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 (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.
Saturday, 5 May 2012
The first of our record projects is complete. I made the final adjustments and tweaks and it's ready to be manufactured. I learned a lot during the making of the record. To be precise, I relearned a lot. I'd spent a lot of time recording before I was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2009 and when I went back into the studio in January,I'd forgotten how to work the software. That's not a problem now. I relearned all that and leaned some more from my mentor Andy. I'm posting a track on Soundcloud in the next day or so. We're just deciding which tracks to use. The next date in our diary will be in two weeks time when we travel up to Whitby for the annual Gospel Music Convention- hence the rush to get the project finished. Dave the bass player is unavailable due to other commitments so we've roped in old friend Will, who recently moved up to Filey and will play bass for us. We have chosen a dozen tracks for the weekend. I expect to play 3 or four songs each night as part of a show that features a host of acts, compered by George Hamilton IV and featuring my old friend Paul Wheater, known everywhere as Yorkshire's Jim Reeves. We have plans to release several albums this year- the Gospel Album, which was requested by fans after last year's Gospel Convention. Although not strictly a DCB album, all the band are playing on the album. We'll be releasing an album (or two) of the music we play in the pubs, followed by an album (or two) of our folk music set. Finally I have an idea for a Johnny Cash tribute album. I won't say any more at this time- just watch this space!