There are a number of songs that I’ve written which have plenty of gospel in them but which were never designed for a congregation to sing. And due to the nature of my life and work, I’ve had little opportunity to sing them or to air these treasures in public. Many have sat as ideas taking up brain space, hummed to myself as ear worms. Others have found their way out as demos, musical explorations of their strengths to play in the car. Some have even made it out into occasional performances and even as videos on YouTube.
One of these songs started life in my early days at uni but aspects of its lyrics had always left me feeling that the song was finished but not polished. It finally got a polish in 2022! Now I’m happy.
Another began life when I found a distorted Wurlitzer sound on a then new DX100 back in the 90s. The riff stuck and I could hear a tune but no lyrics, just a feeling about the title. Finally during COVID lockdown I did some collaboration with my old mate n singing partner Lin Nicholls. I asked her to have a go with some lyrics and she came up with some fab poetry which, with a couple of nudges, fit right in. Thanks Lin 🙂 .
One was a painstaking reworking of a live recording of a performance I’d done at Kensington Temple. I did my best to follow the great performances of Mick Shah, Justin Bloomfield and Ivo Ivanov, such class musicians.
Another has been recorded at least twice before – once using the fabulous combo of the 90s – a Yamaha DX7 midi’d up to a Roland Juno 106, bass provided by a Danelectro Longhorn. But it was never distributed beyond friends and family. It’s a piece that I’m very fond of and this version finally does it justice.
Yet another was a rendering of a classic portion of the Bible and, whilst faithful to the text, its lyric in at least one part made an implication not present in the original scripture. Finally, a reworking unlocked the joy of feeling this song was finally complete.
Another was thrown down as a challenge – rework a song that had been a signature tune for someone else…but…do it differently.
Those others which in some cases have sat as demos for years have now been reworked, added to, remixed and mastered to give energy and life with a suitable layer of polish so that the whole album has a sonic consistency and vibrancy.
If these songs show anything it is that classic never goes out of style and that given time you can complete anything if you put your mind to it and surround yourself with good friends.
Available as a digital release from Feb 2023. I will post more detailed song stories elsewhere.