An Embarrassment Of Riches (Some Great New Music Recommendations)

I’ve been finding SO much great music of late, that I thought it was about time I blogged about some of it. I’ve been posting a lot of it to Facebook and Twitter, but it can get lost in the stream there. So here’s a few of my favourites of late (you can play all of them direct from this page, and if you click the download link on any of the players you can buy the albums): Continue reading “An Embarrassment Of Riches (Some Great New Music Recommendations)”

French Review Of 11 Reasons… (with Translation)

A couple of weeks ago, this review showed up on a French Website called indierockmag.com – with my paltry French skillz, I could tell it was nice, but it wasn’t til I asked on Twitter and Facebook the other night for a translation that I got what it really said… I got 5 translations sent to me, by 5 very lovely people. I’ve only included one here, for obvious reasons, but am v. grateful to Guylaine, Dave (who posted a translation on Facebook), Lorna, Michael and Wayne. Here’s Wayne’s translation – the link to the original review is http://www.indierockmag.com/article14847.html

“Since Steve Lawson became a father, the Londoner appreciates the weight of the years, philosophy, and still more the number three. And that’s good, because we are just as into the poetic meditations that the musician draws from the single six-string bass which, in his hands, becomes a tool of dreams.

“The first electric bassist to have performed solo at the Royal Albert Hall, he is a protege of Michael Manring, who said of Lawson’s 2004 album Grace and Gratitude that it was a real step forward in the art of the bass solo, doubtless referring to a world closer to the ambient music of Brian Eno or the subdued post-rock of Come On Die Young era Mogwai rather than the technical wizardry of Jaco Pastorius. Lawson continues in the same soft lyrical vein with his first album in five years, possessing the good taste to allow it to be downloaded for free. Knowing that the collection in question is even more gargantuan than its predecessors – easily passing 80 minutes – should especially not stop you pulling out your bank card should you turn out to fall in love with it.”

And, of course, you can listen to it here:

My 20 Favourite Records of 2010

2010 has been, for me at least, a bumper year for new music. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve bought more albums released this year than I have in any year for well over a decade. This is a very good thing. That a lot of them were bought direct from the artist is also a very good thing.

Here’s a list of my 20 favourites – not any preference order, that would be futile, and subject to change at a moment’s notice (they’re alphabetical by artist).

Suffice to say, I recommend all of them, with the obvious caveat that if the are from within a style that would otherwise be something you’d avoid like the plague, proceed with caution…

Bandcamp embeds provided where possible… Continue reading “My 20 Favourite Records of 2010”

Great New Album From She Makes War

OK, I’m going to interrupt my ‘track by track’ breakdown of my own new album to tell you about a GREAT record by my lovely friend Laura Kidd, AKA She Makes War.

Here it is, in its entirety, on bandcamp (naturally) – hit play while you’re reading this (and then hit the ‘buy’ button when you’ve finished):

Laura is a true renaissance woman – singer/songwriter/producer/videographer/session bassist/blogger/social tech ninja/web designer… A huge skill set, all of which has come into play on the process of making the album and telling stories around it. Continue reading “Great New Album From She Makes War”

A Decade In Music

We’re rapidly approaching the end of the decade.

A decade that began just a couple of weeks after my first ever solo gig.

That gig, unknown to me at the time, marked a pretty huge turning point in my music career.

The ‘session’ work I’d be pursuing and doing up til that point was to dry up pretty damn quick when word got out that I was doing gigs on my own, but equally fast, word spread about what I was up to to the people who might like to listen to it, and I started to play more and more shows, and in August 2000 put out my first solo album. A decade later, and here we are… Where? I’m not sure. Continue reading “A Decade In Music”

What my musical friends are up to…

I’ve been telling you a lot about what I’m up to musically of late, but I’ve got some rather talented friends who’ve been busy too, so here’s a quick and incomplete round-up of what a few of them have been doing:

First up there’s Ben Walker – fellow Tuttlist and fab singer-songwriter. He was writing 50 songs in 90 days, a few of which he wrote one Friday morning at Tuttle. One of those was called ‘You’re No-one If You’re Not On Twitter’ – here’s the video, which has been watched almost 300,000 times! (warning – it’s insanely catchy…)

Then there’s Jonatha Brooke – I met up with Jonatha in New York in January and she told me about a record she was about to record, featuring songs with words by Woody Guthrie for which she’s written the music. She was very excited, and I’m really happy to say that finished album shows the excitement wasn’t misplaced. I reviewed the album for this month’s Third Way magazine – It’s a truly exceptional album, and here’s a clip of her teaching Joe Sample (jazz legend, out of the Crusaders) how to play one of the songs:

Uhm, who else now? Seth Horan – solo bassist singer/songwriter, recently toured the UK. He’s doing an interesting thing with the production of his new album, that you can be involved in – here are two blog posts about that: Part 1 and part 2.

Iain Archer has an AMAZING new album out, recorded and released entirely under his own steam. Judging by the record, it was a VERY smart move. Beautiful stuff – check out the tunes from it on his myspace page.

And of course Lobelia – we’ve had some great gigs together of late, and here’s a lovely clip of her playing from the same gig as my ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ Vid’ –

More friends-news coming soon. 🙂

A new review…. of And Nothing But The Bass..??

It’s amazing what you can find looking at your web-stats – I was browsing through mine, seeing who had linked back to this site, and found a review just posted on a blog in January of this year, of And Nothing But The Bass (my first album, for those of you a little late to the party).

A little browsing round the blog in question – jamscience.blogspot.com – showed that it was a review that the writer, Ian Peel, had written for Record Collector magazine!

So those of you that have the CD of And Nothing But The Bass – whether you paid for it, or picked up a free copy at the Social Media Cafe on Friday – have a genuine collectors item in your possession! 🙂

Anyway, you can click here to read the full review. The choice quote from it, that will be appearing on a poster near you soon, is “one of the most gifted solo bass players on the planet” which is always a useful thing to have for a press release. 🙂

If you want to listen to And Nothing But The Bass
, you can do so at last.fm, or you can buy the download version with the extra tracks mentioned in the review, from the online shop here, or from Amazon, or from Cdbaby