Monday, 2 December 2013

Hard Times

This album was almost completed on time!

We decided to spend the months of July and August recording the album, with the intention of  getting it manufactured when we went on our summer break at the end of August.

Chris and I set down the basic rhythms tracks for each song, which I then built up into the full recording by layering guitars, mandolins, voices and fretless bass. I'm pleased with how smoothly the project went, but when I listened to the first master I realised that I'd missed a couple of instruments off. Nothing that the untrained ear wouldn't notice, but we noticed and that had to be changed. So we missed our first deadline.

We finally sent the master copy and artwork off in mid-November and copies are now winging their way to radio stations and magazines across the UK. This is my first release in "digipack" format and I think it looks great (and sounds great too!) It will be available on iTunes etc just before Christmas.

Here's the back cover

Other People's Greatest Hits

And why not?

The Eagles' first UK album was their greatest hits album. So I thought- why don't we call our first album our greatest hits?  One problem- we don't have any hits, great or not so great, so I thought- why not release an album of other people's greatest hits?


Here's the front cover image

And here's the back cover with the track listing

Band update

It's been a while since my last post on here so I thought I'd update on what's been happening (or not happening)

We finally released the album and it sounds great. 13 tracks of DCB skiffle bliss (or whatever you want to call it) However it has not been easy getting gigs for the band in the last year. Most bookings tend to be at the weekend and our bass player's main band takes precedent for his services, so trying to find a date when everyone is available has been problematic. We've decided to limit the Dave Clemo Band's appearances for the forseeable future.
The band (now known as the DCB) will play a few shows in our hometown during 2014, mostly on Friday nights, leaving Saturday nights free for our other projects, more of which later.
Earlier this year I recorded ten tracks for Vince's solo album and we played a number of shows getting the material ready to record. The album will be called "Tartan Paint" and features Vince singing and playing mostly traditional Scottish folk tunes, plus one self penned track. We played some shows in Corby, which has a large expat population and we go down really well there, so we'll be playing a few shows as The Tartan Painters during 2014.
Dave Walker is continuing to play in a number of bands and is also busy recording tracks. I'm looking forward to hearing them.
Back in May I had a phone call asking if I could play the Whitby Gospel Music Convention and very short notice, so I went up and played a set of songs that they hadn't heard before and that has given me some ideas for a second Gospel Album that may be recorded next year.
I also had an invite (out of the blue) to play a gospel music festival in Norway and Chris and I went over in November and played three shows in all. Our music was well received and who knows, we may get another invite in the future.
Then earlier this year I gave some of our CDs to a friend to review, and his positive comments encouraged me to embark on my third studio recording in as many years. I've just released an album of original songs and will be spending most of my time and energy promoting it during 2014.

So while the DCB is taking a back seat, we will still be busy on our own projects and will be getting together from time to time to entertain you all with our 21st Century Skiffle

Monday, 19 November 2012

Two weeks to go

We finished recording the tracks for our album "Other People's Greatest Hits" back in June. Since then I've been editing and mixing the thirteen tracks and refining the sleeve design, etc. We set a number of deadlines along the way, and it has always seemed that we were two weeks away from completing the project. Well, it's now mid November and I can say with confidence that we are about two weeks away from completion. Still two weeks away....? Every time I achieved a mix that I was satisfied with we took it and played it on various players around and about and there was something wrong. Too bassy, not bassy enough, too muddy, too toppy.... Eventually we decided that the only way forward was to look at the studio itself and we have stripped it out and rebuilt it with the control desk at the other end of the studio. We're looked at every aspect of the layout and I can at last say that the mixes are much better. So much so, that I think we're about two weeks away from completion! Seriously, the tracks sound really good.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Summertime blues

It's a quiet time for the DCB. Last year it was my turn to be unavailable when I had a month on tour with Nicki Gillis, followed by several weeks in hospital and on the sick. This year it's my turn to sit and kick my heels as the other guys have had their own projects on the go. Still it's not all bad. I've been using the time in the studio working on a couple of album projects which will become the DCB's next two albums! And that's not all. I have a load of songs for an album of original songs which may or may not have a Cornish theme. I'm still working that through. I've also recorded a duet with Nicki Gillis! And I've dusted off an old live recording of my old band from the 1970s- Left Hand Drive. That CD is available to special order only. So although the band has been quiet recently we're still working away behind the scenes and will be back out playing again in August

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The DCB at Whitby- part one

I've been a regular performer at the Whitby Gospel Music Convention ever since the first weekend back in 2000. Sometimes I've sung by myself, sometimes with my wife Sue. I used to use backing tracks but tired of the inflexibility. The last few years I've sung solo, just me and my guitar.
However, I persuaded the organisers to allow me to bring some of the band members to the 2011 event and we went down really well. People were asking if I had any recordings by the band. I had to say no- but we began work on the new album just after Christmas. I'd not been in the studio since before my illness and had to relearn the technology.
Eventually we finished the album in time to take it to Whitby and the band and I played songs from the album over three nights.
Unfortunately our double bass player Dave could not make it as he was double booked, so we enlisted the help of Will Sherkle. He plays guitar and bass and has recently moved from Northamptonshire to Filey.

The audience loved the sound of the band and we picked up a few more fans. I recorded an interview with Branch FM, a Yorkshire based community radio station and that should be broadcast soon.
One highlight (of many) was on the final night when I asked some other artists if they'd join me on the band's last song, which was my version of "Amazing Grace".
We didn't have any time to run through the song beforehand, and having so many singers and musicians on stage could have been a logistical nightmare, but the guys who run the sound at Whitby are very experienced and took care of everything.
All I had to do was to get the musicians and the audience singing along. We raised the roof.

My thanks go to Sharon Gardiner and her son Aaron (who played cajon on a couple of songs), Samuel Purdy who played piano, and Colin Elliott and the boys from Live Issue.

Here's link to our version of  "Amazing Grace". Enjoy.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Dave Clemo Gospel Album- Mystery

Dave Clemo Gospel Album- Mystery (Click on the link) Here's a sneak preview of the Gospel Album. I wrote the song a dozen or so years ago and recorded it soon afterwards. When I was choosing songs for the gospel album this was a no-brainer as it really suits our sound. Chris plays cajon, Dave W plays double bass, Vince added some guitar and I played guitar, mandolin and sang. I enjoyed the recording process although it takes a completely different mindset to playing live. I hadn't been in the studio for a couple of years and had to relearn all the technology so it took a bit longer than I expected, but it's worked out well. Gospel music isn't everyone's music of choice, and so I was careful not to get too theological but to concentrate on good songs and musicianship. Which is as it should be.