As part of setting up the Green Eyed Records platform, I’ve been looking in live music events promotions and I’m constantly amazed at what I have found to date. I recently searched for an artist I knew was playing as a support act in a major city venue. Even with the date and the venue name, it took a fair while to find the support info. Aside from the actual name of the artist there was ZERO INFORMATION, that’s right, absolutely NOTHING! There was no bio info, links to social media, artist photo no video, just NOTHING!
I don’t claim to be the world’s greater music promoter, but this is really basic stuff. Ok, I thought, there’s nothing on the two support acts, lets look for the main act information. Yes, in this instance there is a photo and a link to one track of audio, BUT no social media, website or any other links. On searching on this headline artist, I finally found their YouTube channel which had 16 subscribers.
Post covid 19, I would have thought that promoters would be doing their very best to attract audiences and support artists. Even though this evening of three acts has a knockdown ticket price of just 6 quid, this basic lack of attention is not going to help attract an audience. The promo video for the venue on YouTube from the owner released in August 2020 has just 126 views, no likes and no comments! No wonder live music is struggling to attract audiences, when music venue owners don’t pay attention to basic marketing. To be fair the FB page is significantly better, but this is still IMO an epic music promotion fail as they are missing a whole load of opportunities here…
In the last few weeks, I’ve been working in my studio with Agi laying down vocals and BVs for new material. We have been using the superb Austrian Audio OC 18 mic and its proving to be an absolute gamechanger. We are also now using a 55 inch 4k monitor which is fantastic for editing tracks as we can see everything up close and it makes editing super easy. I’ve been working with Agi for two and a half years now on a weekly basis and now and she has totally transformed by vocal abilities and I have already recommended her to a number of colleagues. Not only is she a brilliant teacher, but she is also the best harmony singer I have ever met.
Both my producer and I were also amazed at how quickly she has grasped how to use Reaper as opposed to Logic. These studio sessions have been amazingly productive and I’m astonished at the quality and speed at which we are now working. In the last 18 months we’ve got 47 tracks “in the vault” and I’m really happy with the studio set up. My plan is to continue to write and record material across the four different projects currently in play. These are truly inspiring times and Agi’s input has been invaluable in working up these tracks. She of course was also key to my last band album with “The Caravan of Dreams” “Tales of Dark and light”
The Nick Cody and The Heartache follow up single to “Can’t Stop” is “You gotta move” and is released on August 6th on all digital platforms.
Special thanks to everyone who has made this track possible and especially Carl Rosamond for continued great sound production, Rich Ferdi for percussion, Howard Taylor for bass, Agi for backing vocals, Joshua Burnell for keys.
The Nick Cody & The Heartache debut album and live work
This second single is one of five tracks already recorded for the debut Heartache album. We are currently also working up the live band for gigs, the first being on October 2nd at The Old Woolen in Leeds The live ensemble is Nick Cody, Fergus Quill and Rich Ferdi with additional guest musicians. This is a full electric ensemble and the initial “Can’t Stop” single has already received excellent radio play in the UK and overseas.
A rare but welcome addition to my instrument family
I had never heard about the Alternate Reality Fender Tenor Telecaster until my bass player Fergus Quill brought his tenor to one of the rehearsals. I thought “Yes it looks cute, but I can’t imagine that its going to sound that great” and how wrong I was. To my great surprise, the pickups sounded great and it played really well. I immediately started looking for one online and found the above placid blue version left in the UK. Aside from somebody asking a truly bonkers price for all three colours on Reverb, these simply don’t exist. Fender did one run and I suspect some players bought them out of curiosity and at a retail price of 429 its not a big financial risk. These are made in Mexico and once I changed the strings for a better gauge and got my tech guy to set it up properly, its a really great guitar.
I have a great acoustic Collings tenor, so I have some familiarity with playing tenors, but the Fender is a very different beast. My years of hanging out with Martin Simpson have alerted me to the terrific possibilities of using non standard tunings and of course the tenor’s standard tuning is essentially two thirds of a standard guitar tuning without the low E and A. With this Fender tenor guitar I am finding that open C is working really well and two songs have already emerged in the first two weeks of playing it.
I also learned from Martin Simpson to experiment with different amps and currently I am a big Supro fan and have been playing through the Supro Comet and the bigger Royal Reverb which has two ten inch speakers. Most of my other amps have twelve inch speakers, so this has been a new exploration for me and I’m pleased to report that the Alternate Reality Fender Tenor Tele sounds superb through the Supro amps and I already have one track recorded, ready for BVs and mixing.
Nick Cody & The Heartache live sound
I’m looking at using the tenor live with the all electric Heartache ensemble and we are rehearsing every two weeks up until our first gig on Oct 2nd supporting Captain of the lost waves. I like the idea of a short 30 minute set to test out the new material and new gear. So when you see me pulling out what looks like a tiny telecaster, you’ll know its one of these rare Alternate Reality Fender Tenor Telecasters!
This has been a very strange 14 months with no live gigs and no travel. I have taken the opportunity to review and upgrade my home studio as I realised that I was going to be spending a lot more time at home.
Big monitor time
One of the biggest changes has been to add in a 55 inch monitor instead of my old Samsung monitors, which served me well for many years. This makes a massive difference when editing tracks and I wonder how I ever managed to work with my old digital tape medium in days gone by which was almost always problematic. Monitor technology has massively changed and its really helpful to see the entire session of multi tracks with one glance.
I have already blogged on the excellent Austrian Audio mic. This was recommended by my producer and I have to confirm that its a total game changer in terms of sonic quality. Not only is it the best vocal mic I have used, but it also works brilliantly for instruments, either acoustic or electric. Its not until you use a really great high end mic that you realize what a difference this makes. I’ve previously used Ear Trumpet mics and these were excellent, but the Austrian Audio is another step up. I’m especially aware of the difference with doing vocal work as its super responsive to every single expression vocally, and I can appreciate why so many studio engineers are raving about this new unit
Reaper as a DAW
I’ve been using Reaper as a DAW for the last 18 months and I’m 100% convinced by this recording software. Not only is it super stable, but its also the most cost effective solution to really great high end recording. Increasingly studio engineers are moving over to Reaper as it provides everything you might need for audio recording and its really easy to use.
UAD Arrow and plugins
The UAD interface has also transformed the way I record in the studio. The Arrow interface provides the best audio and the UAD plugins blow away everything else I have used to date. There are endless options, but I tend to use a number of core plugins and the Arrow is really easy to use, one line in for the Austrian Audio mic and one input for instruments.
The simplicity of this set up really cranks creativity. In the last 14 months I have recorded 45 new tracks across 4 musical projects. This is a dream scenario when it comes to recording. Covid 19 has meant having to work differently, and the upgraded studio has been a gamechanger when it comes to creating new music.
After 18 months of covid restrictions, yesterday was our first live rehearsal as a trio. We are currently working up a set for October 2nd which will be our first live outing for the all electric ensemble. This is very different from playing the previous acoustic sets. One main difference is playing through the new Supro amps and using the Moses hardtail strat. The Comet has a 10 inch speaker, so it responds very differently to other amps I have used to date. By using the superb dude pedal its great to have such a simple set up, one guitar, one pedal and one amp! This is a far cry from previous days where I may I may have played up to five different instruments in one set!
The Moses Stratocaster has a Warmoth body and a graphite neck, which is pretty rare these days. I first came across graphite necks with Parker guitars and have always found them superb in terms of playability. The two single coil, one Tom Holmes humbucker configuration allows for a great range of tones that are perfect for the Heartache roots electric sound.
We’ll be rehearsing every two weeks up until October and deciding what best to include in the set. The challenge is that during covid I have written such a huge amount of material that I have to relearn many of the songs. This is a very different sound, and of course the debut single “Can’t Stop” is released June 4th.
In running Original Ukulele Songs and Music for Thr Head and Heart I get a lot of artists post on the social media pages and its rare to come across material that stops me in my tracks and thinks WTF! However when I first saw the video below, I could not believe how good it was and as well as promoting it, I invited Towse to be on one of the MHH Songs of Hope videos
Towse aka Grace Fellows massively reminds me of one of my favorite artists Mary Margaret O Hara, but with a twist and genuinely unique. I started to explore and see what other material was out there and bought the last album that featured a really superb track “This is love”
This is another really well contructed and delivered song with a great video.
During covid 19 I have been immersed in creating a wealth of material and decided to see if Towse would be interested in some collaborations. The first track I sent over was “Wait until the pain has gone’ a slow Amy Winehouse type song and Grace did a brilliant job of adding a verse and harmonies.
Since then we’ve worked on a number of songs that are quite diverses in nature and both myself and my producer are blown away by the results. This material will begin to be released later in 2021 and 2022 through Green Eyed Records.
I also highly recommend subscribing to the Towse video channel HERE