I grew up in the thick of the 60's British music scene, beginning my musical career in 1966, and spent thirteen years on the road honing my Hammond organ and piano skills with cult bands BRINSLEY SCHWARZ and GRAHAM PARKER and THE RUMOUR. In the 80’s as a producer my credits included “THERE SHE GOES” by The La’s and UK top ten hits for THE BLUEBELLS and several STIFF RECORDS artists. At the turn of the 90's I moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, becoming in demand as a live performer. I currently live and work in Taos, New Mexico.
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My song "I'M A HERMIT NOT HER MAN" was released on April 4th 2022, and features the vocal charm of ELIZABETH JOSE. Originally called the Hermit song, this composition sat partly finished for several years before the idea emerged as a play on words with the name of the 60's group Herman's Hermits of "I'm Into Something Good" fame. The idea also seemed to fit in with the isolation of the pandemic, complete with my pandemic beard! Finishing off the song and it's accompanying video was interrupted by my illness in the summer of 2021, but now all is well. The recording features artist ELIZABETH JOSE on vocals, artist CHRIS MOREL on Guitar, and multi-instrumentalist BRENT BERRY on Congas.
VISUDHA DE LOS SANTOS and I met up together in March 2019 to help each other further our knowledge of recording music with Ableton Live software. She was also helping me with my rag-bag knowledge of hashtags. The following year we made a mash up of some stems from a rhythmic track she’d made and a demo of mine with just a title and melody. It combined electronic synthesis with live instruments. We also thought it would be a nice idea to chronicle this musical journey with video. Our project sputtered along somewhat over the next year or so owing to V’s condition and then also to mine. Before Visudha passed away in November 2021 she told me how happy she was that our collaboration was finally bearing fruit.
So here it is, with Visudha merrily dancing in and out of the green screen and my fumble fingered camera work trying to keep up with her. Such a brave and beautiful spirit. Miss you V.
In April 1970, the band BRINSLEY SCHWARZ and their management flew 120 UK journalists to the Fillmore East in New York City to watch them play a show. The trip became a media fiasco for the band, and is well documented in Will Birch's book "NO SLEEP TILL CANVEY ISLAND". To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the event, and have fun with some good memories, I produced a series of eight short videos. I sang and played songs from the band's six album catalogue, mostly written by NICK LOWE and IAN GOMM, and one I co-wrote with Nick, "HAPPY DOING WHAT WE'RE DOING".
AJT ROBERTS has a podcast on Mixcloud called TUNES FROM THE MAN CAVE, and has a 90 minute program featuring a whole catalogue of my keyboard studio recordings over the years. A remarkable feat of investigative audio forensics! You can access it HERE.
I recently recorded an interview titled "BRINSLEY SCHWARZ TO NEW MEXICO WITH THE RUMOUR TOSSED IN" on "NOT YOUR MOTHERS RADIO", an internet podcast run out of New Mexico by ELIOT GOLDSTEIN. You can listen HERE. The extensive chat covered most of my career, as well featuring many of my recordings.
My newest album, "ALONE", was released on September 25th 2020, and is available to stream on Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube and many other music services, and to buy as a download at BANDCAMP.COM.
The album features additional vocals by Taosãno musicians MINA MARTINEZ, AUDRA RODGERS and ELIZABETH JOSE, and the banjo of PETER OVIATT on the title track. I played all of the other instruments.
JAY NACHMAN has written a great article on some background behind the writing and recording of the "ALONE" album. Among other things, it delves into the events that preceded the recording, and thoughts that went into the writing of "LIVING IN THE LAND OF FAMILY DOLLAR". You can access it HERE.
"LIVING IN THE LAND OF FAMILY DOLLAR" is a single from the album, and features the wonderful MINA MARTINEZ on vocal harmonies.
"SUMMERTIME IN NEW MEXICO" is another single from the album "ALONE", and features the dynamic duo of AUDRA RODGERS and ELIZABETH JOSE. Both the song and the video were nominated as finalists in two catagories of the 2021 New Mexico Music Awards - Best Novelty Song and Best Video respectively!
"HIGH NUMBERS" is an organ instrumental that grew out of a little jam a couple of years ago. The song was nominated as a finalist in the Jazz catagory for the 2021 New Mexico Music Awards. The Hammond B3 organ was a huge early influence on my musical career. As a teen in the early 60's, I thrilled to the sound of players like Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Jack McDuff and Larry Young, and was also fortunate to see some great English Hammond organists play live during that formative period - Brian Augur, Georgie Fame, Graham Bond, Steve Winwood and, of course, the late Keith Emerson.
August 2019 marked 50 years since the famous Woodstock Music Festival, when 400,000 people gathered together to celebrate music, peace and love in an era not seen before or since. The chaos surrounding the attempt at a 50th Anniversary Festival, and it's eventual collapse, prompted the thinking behind writing "I'M NEVER GOING BACK TO WOODSTOCK", as well as, of course, the very different times we now find ourselves. Originally released as a single, the song ended up as one of the tracks on the album "ALONE".
Originally inspired by Donny Hathaway's recording of the Al Kooper song "I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU'LL EVER KNOW", my cover recording wanders into a reggae feel. It's a style I first encountered in my earlier days with the band BRINSLEY SCHWARZ and honed with my work producing THE EQUATORS on their much underrated album "HOT" for Stiff Records in 1981.
"KATRINA REVISITED" is an album of songs that I wrote but never released while living in New Orleans through Hurricane Katrina. I tried to portray, as vividly as I could, the joy, frustration, and pain on returning home and the aftermath in the city. Jay Nachman has written this great article about my experiences during Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath. Thanks Jay!
"SET THE HAMMOND ON FIRE", the third collaboration with lyricist Robin Hunn, was born out of the kind generosity of another wonderful set of STHOF Kickstarter campaign contributors! The band assembled for the recording at Esplanade Studios in New Orleans in August 2013 featured Jermal Watson, John Mooney, Casandra Faulconer, Calvin Johnson, Alex McMurray and, in Albuquerque, the amazing Hillary Smith. The record had a charity release party at the Half Moon in Putney, London in November 2013, to aid the U.K. Musicians Benevolent Fund.
“INVISIBLE LOVE” was my second collaborative CD/Book project with lyricist Robin Hunn, released in December 2012. Development of the CD was supported by a collection of 58 wonderful contributors to the "INVISIBLE LOVE" kickstarter campaign.The backing tracks were recorded in New Orleans and overdubs and mixes in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The musicians on the record were John Mooney, Jermal Watson, Matt Perrine, Derek Huston, Carlo Nuccio, and Alex McMurray.
“SHOTGUN” was the first collaborative project with lyricist Robin Hunn, released in May 2012. It was sold in a combined CD/Book format, partially supported through a grant from the Threadhead Cultural Foundation. The songs were recorded at the now defunct Piety Studios in New Orleans, with an array of great musicians - Alex McMurrray, Calvin Johnson, Cornell Williams, Jermal Watson, Johnny Sansone and Red Priest.
I released my first solo piano CD, "IN NEW ORLEANS", just six months after Katrina. When I first came to New Orleans in 1974, I rounded Lee Circle hoping to find a statue to one of my favorite singers, Lee Dorsey. After getting over that disappointment, I eventually found him on South Galvez Street welding Cadillacs".
The CD contains one of Lee's lesser known songs, along with other New Orleans standards from Chris Kenner and Ernie K. Doe, and a nod to the King of New Orleans Jazz, Satchmo. There are also great piano blues songs from Roosevelt Sykes and Jimmy Witherspoon as well as the closing song from Hank Williams' catalogue.