Behind Every Word available on CDBaby

Behind Every Word is now available at CDBaby.com – click here to head to the page – there you can hear 2 minutes of every tune, and read about it. And if you’ve already got the Cd, you can post a user review at the bottom of the page (just as you can in my webshop too!)

So you can now get Behind Every Word on my site, CDBaby, at gigs and from Ray’s Jazz Store on Charing Cross Road in London. What are you waiting for??

The finest weekend of the year is over

For another year.

Another magic Greenbelt has come to a close, and we’re home. We drove back late last night, which was pretty hair-raising given how tired we were, but I’ve got a gig today at the National Theatre Foyer with Theo so couldn’t really have stayed over and partied til 4am like so many others…

The last day of GB was a fab one – starting with an organic vegan breakfast, and progressing via a panel discussion on Norther Ireland featuring Assembly members from the DUP and Sinn Fein along with two peace activists, one of whom had had his wife murdered by the IRA. The session was incredible, and what was said was so remarkable, that I doubt they’ll release the tape of the session… A big step forward. Maximum kudos to the most wonderful Gareth Higgins| for chairing the session so well.

After that, I was back into compere mode, to introduce Lleuwen Steffan, Huw Warren and Owen Evans – definitely one of my musical highlights of the festival (that’s their gig, not my introduction, which was good, but hardly a highlight). Amazing music, great performance, very well received.

After that it was full-on Recycle gig logistics – collecting keyboards for Huw to play, getting my gear up to the venue, missing lots of things I really wanted to see… Anyway, got all the gear up to the venue, and set up. Lovely audience comes in along with my co-conspirators.

The gig started with a me-solo set – (Grace and Gratitude, Behind Every Word, MMFSOG, Scott Peck, FRHU, Deep Deep Down and Deeper Still, for those keeping notes), then Julie joined me for some New Standard-ing – Video Killed The Radio Star, I Don’t Wanna Know and Running Up That Hill. Then we went into One Step from the album, and about three quarters of the way through, I gave Huw a nod and he joined in on the baby grand piano that was in the corner of the room, which worked an absolute treat.

After that, he came up to the stage on Keys and laptop, and he Julie and I did a couple of improv things, with them doing a duo version of ‘The Water Is Wide’ in the middle that was exquisite.

All change after that, and Andrea Hazell joined in on voice for our version of Dido’s Lament, which was gorgeous as always.

The wonderful Juliet Turner then got her first taste of Recycling with Harry Napier and I. Most lovely.

And finally, Huw and I played a gentle duet to send the lovely crowd off into the night. All in all, a fab Recycle night. Don’t miss Sept 20th at Darbucka!

Then it was all systems go to get all the stuff packed up before Spearhead started on mainstage. We missed the very beginning of the set, but it must be said that standing in a field at Greenbelt with TSP listening to Spearhead is as close to utter bliss as I can imagine. Really really great way to end a stunning weekend of great music, me-gigs, new friends, old friends, brain food, organic food, camping, chatting, hugging and kissing, laughing, sharing etc. etc. etc. All good nothing bad. Everything was wonderful in this best of all possible worlds.

See you there next year?

More magical recycling…

It’s becoming a bit predictable – Recycle Collective rolls around towards the back half of each month, and an evening of fabulous creative exciting music ensues.

Audience sizes are less easy to predict, but August is a tough month for playing anything other than festivals in the UK, so I was actually quite happy with our modest gathering of lovely Recyclettes.

We went with the three set/three curators model of Recycling – starting with me playing a couple of solo tunes (Behind Every Word and MMFSOG for those taking notes) and then inviting Andy Hamill up for some bass duets, he on upright, me on fretless, that came out beautifully. Andy’s been playing with Natasha Atlas, and he fed a gorgeous middle eastern melody into one of the improvs.

We then got Seb up to join us on drums, and I looped his drums, and anything else that happened to end up being picked up by the mic over his kit! Much fun indeed, some great noises and great moments.

Second set was Andy’s to curate, and he started it off with a lovely solo piece for looped bass and harmonica, followed by a duet with violinist Julian Ferraretto, who also sang beautifully on Nature Boy – yup, proper jazz at the Recycle Collective! They did another standard after that, My Romance, with Seb on drums, and played it really well – Andy’s chordal comping on the upright was just amazing. Fab stuff.

I then joined them for a quartet improv piece, which started off with a violin and bass loop and spiralled out from there. Such a treat to play with such marvellous musicians.

Seb’s set – the final one of the evening – started with him playing his first ever solo drum piece. Always nice to have firsts at the RC, especially when they’re as good as this. I then went up and we started what was to be about a 20 minute abstract piece that began with me looping his drums, replacing bits of the loop, flipping it back to front and adding some scary elephant noises and spookiness, then moving to a filtered faux-tabla rhythmic thing before andy joined us, and finally Julian and another violinist, Mandy Drummond piled in for a very dark atmospheric finish, with andy playing a sparse groove, seb scattering percussive sounds all over the place and the two violins adding violin loveliness to it all.

All in all, a fab night’s music. Some truly amazing moments and a fascinating journey through a new musical landscape, as well as the first ting-ting te-ting jazz at the RC.

Here’s hope the Bass/Bass/Drums trio happens again very soon!

Bargains Galore in the online shop…

Right, as I said, I’ve finally got round to putting the download version of ‘Behind Every Word’ up at my online shop.

However, I’ve also just posted a special offer on a T-shirt/CD double pack – you can get a Bass:The Final Frontier T-shirt, and a copy of ‘Behind Every Word’ for just £14 + £1 P+P worldwide! what a bargain! And what’s more, if you use the drop down list at the bottom of the page, you can get another download album for just £4 when you order either ‘Behind Every Word’ or the CD/Tshirt double pack.

click here to go to the front page of the shop

here’s the design on the t-shirts –

Play like Stevie…

The current issue of Bass Guitar Magazine (the one that has the review of Behind Every Word in it) has also got a transcription of one of the tunes from the CD. ‘Deeper Still’ is the last track on there, and I’ve transcribed it all up until the bit where I start recording the loop (which is just a simpler version of the chords to the first bit anyway) – so from that you should be able to work out pretty much the whole thing.

Enjoy!

Album review…

The new issue of Bass Guitar Magazine has a nice review of ‘Behind Every Word’ in it, written by Stuart Clayton. Here it is, reprinted for your pleasure –

“Behind Every Word is the fourth studio outing for acclaimed solo bassist Steve Lawson. With the intention of combing [I think that’s meant to be combining – steve] the ambient soundscapes of his previous efforts with a more structurally composed approach, Lawson had created a solo bass album that sounds… nothing like a solo bass album. The opening trafck, ‘Blue Planet’ offers up a silky smooth fretless groove which Steve punctuates with ghost notes in order to provide a rhythmic accompaniment. This line is them looped and becomes the foundation for the entire piece. Over it Steve adds piano like chordal parts, and a lilting ‘guitar’ solo. The diversity of sounds that Lawson coaxes from his bass and armory of gadgets is truly impressive here and indeed throughout the album. In fact, almost two minutes of ‘Jimmy James’ go by before anything that is recognizable as a bass guitar surfaces through the ambient, swelling sounds! Lawson has invited two guest musicians to join him on this record. Pedal steel guitar legend BJ COle guests on the track ‘Scott Peck’, his slide guitar playing being the perfect understated accompaniment to Steve’s chordal bass work. Julie McKee’s vocals add variety to the ‘One Step’, which in all honesty, at almost fifteen minutes in length is slightly over indulgent. Behind Every Word is unlike any solo bass album you will have heard before and is all the more fascinating because of it. I quickly forgot that it was a solo bass record and found myself enjoying it in the same way that I would enjoy a ‘chill-out’ album. It is in this way that Lawson has succeeded where many have failed – to make a solo bass record where the music truly comes first. Check it out – but keep your mind open.”

There you go – that’s rather nice. Clearly, I don’t think ‘One Step’ is over-indugent. I’m not even sure there is such a thing as ‘over-indulgence’, just good or bad music (and that was the shortest of the three takes that we did of the track! :o), but it’s nice to read. Thanks, Stuart!

Friday Random 10 again

Here’s today’s random playlist…

Talking Heads – CrossEyed And Painless (Remain In The Light version, not the ‘Stop Making Sense’ version)
Steve Lawson – Behind Every Word (yay for me!)
Talking Heads – Once In a Lifetime (this time it is from Stop Making Sense)
Duran Duran – Wild Boys
King’s X – Honesty
Kate Bush – Somewhere In Between
Galactic Cowboys – Speak To Me
Window On The Deep – BJ Cole
Stevie Wonder – Knocks Me Off My Feet
Kings X – Alone

two appearances each for Talking Heads and King’s X? Is iTunes making taste-based suggestions for what I should listen to – ‘stop listening to crap 80s pop songs, and get back to listening to lots more Talking Heads and King’s X’ – as advice goes, it’s up there as some of the best I’ve received in a long time!

"available in all good record stores!"

Well OK, available at Ray’s Jazz. So maybe not all good record stores, but certainly the best record shop in London!

I’ve mentioned Ray’s on this ‘ere blog before – apart from being a fantastic record shop, it’s also the loveliest indie coffee shop in central london, has FREE WIFI and is situated on the first floor of Foyles, the finest book shop in London.

So all in all, it’s a great place, and you can now buy ‘Behind Every Word’ from there. Or order it over the phone from them on 020 7440 3205 (or just order it from me on line by clicking here!)

Anyway, proper shops, that’s always nice.

Next weeks unmissable Recycle gig

We’re only one week away from the next Recycle Collective gig, and it’s going to be a blinder.

It’s a three part gig – part one is my album launch! Yes, I know that lots of you have already bought Behind Every Word (if you have please head over to the shop and post a review of it there, please!), but here’s your chance to hear lots of the tunes from the album live, and it’ll be a longer solo set than my usual 25 minute opening to the Recycle gigs.

then part two is Julie’s and my Edinburgh preview gig. Yup, it’s the only chance you’ll have to see the entire New Standard show from this years Edinburgh fringe, in London. We’ve been rehearsing lots, have come up with a pretty much perfect set list, and you need to come and see it! No really, it’s a must. Julie’s great, I’m not bad, and what’s more, there’s a part three to the gig, where Julie and I will be joined by Cleveland Watkiss, UK jazz legend, and one of the most amazing musicians ever to play at the Recycle Collective. He’s great.

So there you go, next Wednesday, at Darbucka, it’s only £7 to get in (£5 if you’re a student or an OAP or in the MU or whatever – bring proof, please) and the venue’s fab. bring friends, come early and eat, make a night of it.

Yay!