The Trials Of Life…
I’ve had a few emails from fans asking about the new albums, in particular Shadows & Light. I’m currently working on several recordings simultaneously, but due to my increasingly busy schedule and a demanding 2 year old daughter, I’m struggling to be honest!
Originally, Shadows & Light was going to be released around the late Summer this year, but we’ve changed the release date for Fall 2010. This is more realistic as there’s still the cover and artwork to complete plus the mixing and mastering. I also want to promote the album ahead of time as best I can, so the Fall schedule is ideal.
Distant Dreams will soon follow, probably more towards the end of the year. As with Shadows & Light, I’ve already got several songs finished, I just think that more time is needed to promote and plan plus it’s not a good idea to release two albums at the same time anyway.
In between the above recordings, I’m working on two vocal based albums with singers John Pratt (Firefly/John Pratt Band) and Lee Small (Phenomena/Shy/Lee Small Band). At this moment in time there’s no definitive release date, we’re working on the albums on an ‘as and when’ basis. Whenever we have spare time we dedicate it to the projects. The album with John already has a title of Uncharted Waters and we’ve almost finished one of the songs called ‘Kyoto Belle’. As soon as there’s an update I’ll of course let you know and will also post a soundclip to give you an idea of how the project sounds.
As well as all the above, we moved house in December to a different area in Las Vegas, the studio was also relocated and took some time setting up and settling in. The scorpions, spiders and other bugs became too much of a problem at our old abode, plus the new house we’ve moved to is brand new and bigger.
The New Guitar!
I’ve had several emails from guitar fans enquiring about my new Siggery custom guitar. The guitar was delayed a little due to a supplier messing up a parts order, then the English snow blizzard earlier in the year caused some delays for other parts. But, the new guitar is finally here with me in the studio in Las Vegas, and let me tell you – it plays and sounds amazing…!!! Above is a photo of the new guitar, more will follow and I’ll get some video of me playing it online asap ;-)
My ’signature’ guitar is totally handmade and will retail at $2,095.00 (price includes a Gator flightcase). For all enquiries please contact Siggery Guitars on +1 1892 610073 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The guitar’s spec is as follows:
- Solid mahogany body with thin Koa veneered top and set mahogany neck
- Rosewood fingerboard (25″ scale) with 24 jumbo frets
- Grover 18:1 locking tuners
- Tunomatic bridge, strung through body
- Rio Grande pickups (handmade in Texas): ‘Barbeque Bucker’ in the bridge and ‘Buffalobucker’ in the neck
- One volume and one tone pot (with pull/push coil split), 3-way selector switch
- Transparent black nitro laquer finish (transparent crimson also available)
Please note that a waiting list will be in place for all orders.
Bonnie Springs, NV
Just outside of Las Vegas, not far from Red Rock Canyon is a little place called Bonnie Springs located in ‘Old Nevada’. It’s an interesting place that preserves the old cowboy heritage around here. It’s a combination of a Wild West Town and zoo (rescue center), and despite the strange sounding combination, it’s a great place for all ages. Shawna and I took Skye there recently, she had a great time.
Opera House, Bonnie Springs
View of the Western Town
Shootin’ Gallery, Bonnie Springs
Bonnie Springs Chapel
Bonnie Springs Stamp Mill
Old Saddle, Bonnie Springs
Bison at Bonnie Springs, NV
Timberwolf at Bonnie Springs
After a good walk around, hot cherry pie served a la mode was a great choice in the Bonnie Springs diner ;-)
Dr. Sellot’s Snake Oil
Old Western Carriage
No cowboy town would be complete without ‘wanted’ posters…
‘Old Nevada or Bust’ Western Cart
Great view of the desert canyon on the way home. Las Vegas, NV
Skye had a great time, there was so much for her to see and do, she looked very pensive throughout the day!
Skye’s Karaoke Corner
Speaking of Skye (or ‘The Critter’ as we affectionately call her ;-), she’s started trying to entertain us in the evenings before she goes to bed, singing into a maraca as though it were a microphone! I’m going to make this a regular feature of the blog, as she makes up her own funny words, here’s the repertoire she came up with tonight:
1. Tuna the Dog
2. Stop Until You Eat Cake
3. No Sit Down to Ticky Ticky Ticky Tock
The Beatles Remasters
I recently purchased The Beatles 2009 remasters box set, and was astonished at how good they sound. The clarity of the backing tracks on some of the songs is amazing, I can now hear more of the distant acoustic guitar layers (The Beatles were great at layering electric and acoustic guitars together) and there’s more separation of the tracks.
If you’re a Beatles fan, I would definitely recommend buying this box set, at times it’s like listening to the songs for the first time as they sound so fresh. George Harrison was one of my earliest influences, and I still dig a lot of stuff he played back then.
A friend of the family’s was lucky enough to see the Beatles live back in 1966. He also saw several rock and metal bands years later but said that the loudest band he ever saw was the Beatles…!
My friend and bassist Paul ‘Pablo’ Stanney got married in Vegas in November to his wife Sophia. I was the best man at the wedding, while Skye provided the entertainment…
Pablo’s since relocated from England to Sophia’s native Canada (Vancouver), so he’s not as far from us anymore.
L to R: Shawna, Skye, Me & Pablo
The strange weather front known as ‘El Niño’ reared it’s head again at the start of the year. Southern California was affected the worst, here in Vegas we just had a few heavy storms and misty days.
Luxor in the Mist… I took this shot while driving down Tropicana Avenue early one morning, The Luxor Casino (pyramid) was obscured by thick mist. This same day the weather was very strange and by the afternoon a heavy storm had kicked in. Typically, the day ended with a beautiful Vegas sunset…
Unusual cloud formation during the calm before the storm…
Seconds before the storm hit…
The same area as in the previous photo, showing a typical Vegas Sunset just a few hours after the storm had passed over.
The Death of Music?
I’ve mentioned it before, but illegal downloads are increasing so it’s worth mentioning again…
My wife did some research a couple of weeks ago and discovered that over 32,000 illegal downloads of my album Entranced had been stolen via torrent sites and similar since it’s 2007 release date. Whilst I know it’s a tiny amount compared to some bands who are losing hundreds of thousands of sales to illegal downloads, at my level (appealing to mostly guitar fans within a niche genre) it’s affecting me greatly and is eventually going to prevent me from recording and releasing music in the future if it persists.
It takes quite some time to write, rehearse, record, mix and master an album. I can’t justify spending months in a studio to produce an album that doesn’t generate enough income. Although I love music and it’s my life’s work, I’m a professional musician and make a living from it. Many other people are in the same position, and there’s an air of apathy in the industry at the moment due to musicians (quite understandably) being unenthused with recording due to the lack of income generated from it.
Several record labels have closed/are closing down, blaming internet piracy. EMI is currently in debt for $460 million dollars and is allegedly rumoured to having to sell off its iconic Abbey Road studios. What a sad state of affairs… We mastered The Magician at Abbey Road back in ’91, it had such a great vibe to it and was full of musical history. Lion Music in Finland who have possibly released more guitar instrumental/neo-classical/prog music than anyone else have expressed their concerns through their article ‘Murder of Music’. This article, and several others written by some of Lion Music’s artists can be read here.
I will always continue to write and record music; it’s in my blood. But if the illegal downloads continue as they are doing, I may look at other musical avenues and stop releasing albums.