I just got back from Eiger studios in Leeds where we spent the day shooting video and rehearsing for the Sept 23rd Green Eyed Records/Music for the Head and Heart showcase.
I chose Eiger as it had by a mile the best facilities for this work and also was really central in Leeds. Mal Williamson came over from Hull to do the video work and Towse came up from London before their two month USA tour starting next week.
Planning makes for a productive day
I’ve long learned that the best video shoots require proper planning. The right equiptment, right space and right people all contribute to making such an event a success. I’ve seen some disasterous video shoots where there was lack of attention to using the best gear and properly organising time. A big mistake is to focus only on the visual aspect and not pay attention to sound capture and I’ve seen many examples of album launches where hours of video are rendered non productive because there wasn’t proper audio capture! Fortunately Mal Williamson is a seasoned film maker and has superb attention to detail and attention to detail is essential to make a success of any video shoot. I picked Mal up at 10.24 from Leeds station and we has a good 90 minutes before the other artists landed at Eiger studios.
The space at Eiger studios
I booked the main studio space at Eiger as this was by a mile the best location for any filming. There were three separate rooms, the main space for playing, the studio and a separate booth that we used for green screen work. This gave us a variety of excellent options and crucially there was no sound leakage from other rehearsal rooms. Unlike some other spaces in Leeds, Eiger is manned by actual human beings who were really helpful with all our needs. Food and drink were supplied by my wife Sue who has become the designated catering manager for such events! She provided a great spread for all involved. Such details are often missed and when people have proper nutrition, concentration is always improved!
Working with Towse and Harry Orme
Its an absolute pleasure to work with Harry Orme and Towse on a new project which will be revealed at the showcase on September 23rd in Leeds at Heart. These are exceptional professional artists with great creative skills and are easy to work with. I’ve learned to only work with professionals in such projects and we’ve already recorded a number of really superb tracks which are very different to anything I have done to date. Of course Towse was featured on the “All is fine ’til the world goes pop” album described by Jim Glennie founder member of James as
“NIck Cody continues to write great songs that span genres and sound fresh, vital and relevant.’
‘Nick and Towse’s new album is a must have for your next long car journey.
Taking you from the Yorkshire Dales to the US prairies and back again.“
Harry Orme has been a game changer in terms of working up new material, a superb guitarist with a great musical brain. It was great to see him playing with Corwin Zekley from Towse and I am in awe of their musical skills! This is a great example of creativity through collaboration, the central theme for the Green Eyed Records platform. I recorded two great inteviews with both artists which will be released in the near future.
I first met Jon Gomm a few years ago when I interviewed hom for Music for the Head and Heart and was blown away by his playing and performing. He is truly a unique artist and will be headlining the Green Eyed Records/MHH live showcase October 7th this year. My band “The Heartache” and Towse will be providing support, so its gonna be a great night of entertainment. Not only is he an extraordinary musician, but also a great songwriter with an excellent attention to detail who creates really terrific material.
A few months ago Jon asked if anyone had any stickers for his new guitar case and I mailed him a GER sticker and a huge Code-E1 sticker that made the cut for the case. Jon recently received a guitar award from Ards International Guitar Festival who gave him an award that was an exact replica of his guitar cased, so Green Eyed Records and Code-E1 are now immortalised in ceramic!
I can think of no finer artist to be hosting this October and tickets are now available here
This has been a very surreal five months, during covid 19. Like all musicians I had to cancel all live gigs for myself and for music events I host with Music for The Head and Heart. With the lockdown, the whole world was suddently on pause and we have and continue to be in uncharted territory. I’ve driven 45 miles in 5 months, so am totally doing my bit for the carbon footprint as I also cancelled 8 overseas trips for my non musical work.
Music creation and recording
To my great surprise this has been an amazing period for writing and recording new material. Just as lockdown appeared I grabbed a number of new items for my home studio that have been used to great effect. I’ve already blogged on the Acme DI and the Ear Trumpet Myrtle mic and I’ve also been using Fulltone trem units and my Henriksen Buds for recording via the excellent UAD Arrow unit. I’m actually working on two totally different music projects at the same time with two different producers.
For the first time everything is on electric guitar, which is a first. Usually I’ll put down some sketch ideas, then work them up into a demo before starting to adlib and figure lyrics. I’ve been using my weekly meetings with Agi to do live takes of vocal tracks and I now have 14 tracks mixed and “in the vault” for one of the albums, and there will be very different versions of these tracks for a second album.
Gathering like musical minds
One of the few benefits of covid 19 is that there are many artists sitting at home neding work. I suspect that live work won’t appear until 2022 and in the meantime streaming will only increase, but that’s a very different experience. Social media has been great for locating session musicians to add to a core group that are generally my ‘go too folks” for any projects. I’m lucky to be working with two brilliant producers who have never been so busy. Its clear to me that that the role of any producer is essential in creating the very best music. Often music may be mixed but not actually mastered
Tracks “in the vault”
These tracks are already mixed and in the vault, with four more tracks in the pipeline
All is fine till the world goes pop 4.19 Gather round 6.57 Nothing here sounds good 3.21 All Kinds of Crazy 5.24 Your chosen one is coming 4.12 Please take this time 4.24 321 Lockdown 3.41 Hold that thought 3.30 Sticks and stones 3.40 The world is burning 3.39 That gals as cool as fuck 3.25 All about her lies 3.29 Maybe 5.04 Come on down 3.51
Special thanks to everyone who has helped with creating these tracks to date
We just finished mastering a full band track called “That gal’s as cool as fuck” The song is about Scarlet Rivera who was the violinist on Bob Dylan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder Tour. My good friend Kit Bailey on seeing the movie wonderfully commented on social media
“That gal’s as cool as fuck!” and I thought “What a great title for a song!”
I loved Dylan’s work from that period and especially the album “Desire” Scarlet’s violin work really made that album and I wrote this track about her meeting with Dylan. Here are the lyrics
That Gal’s as cool as fuck
There’s a rolling thunder, sweeping through this town, Marty’ s got his camera, to get the whole thing down A hard rain is falling, to wash this sad away, Music from the heavens playing night and day
Chorus When Bobby sings with scarlet strings, the audience’s in luck Sweetest sounds are ringing from the gal – that’s cool as fuck
She’s dancing with the twins respectful for the space, Wild, withdrawn and silent behind this painted face, Heading down to Brooklyn, for a taste of blue, This simple twist of fate reveals all that’s true.
A desire is forming down he Bitter End, Isis in the headlights, messages to send One more cup of coffee, sets aside the shy A crossing of the stars, no time to wonder why
In 2016 my band The Small Change Diaries were invited to play at The Lagoa Guitar Festival in Portugal. This was the first full band outing overseas and it was a wonderful experience for us all.
We were supporting a french trio Les Kostards and met up with the musicians the night before as we were both staying in the same hotel. Little did I know that this would spark a great friendship and some wonderful musical collaborations!
This is when I first met violinist Laurent Zeller. At this time I had not heard Laurent play, but we got on well and both shared an obvious enthusiasm for photography. Our host took both bands on a wonderful tour of Lagoa prior to the gig and were able to see some wonderful scenery.
On the day of the gig I was blown away by his playing. Below is an example of this
The Les Kostards set at the festival was extraordinary and the guys rocked the house. Prior to the gig we met up to see if we could do a group jam on the night and I am delighted that Laurent agreed. We decided to play “Slow News Day” as an encore and as you can see from the clip below his solo during this track is extraordinary. Fast forward to 3 min to see him in action
The following day I asked him if he would contribute to some tracks for our next album. These tracks included a version of “Birdman” and his wonderful violin part can be heard on the movie short of this track seen below