Saturday, 21 April 2012

We all had to start somewhere...

Along with many others I am indebted to this book which I was given with my first guitar. What a legacy Bert leaves, becoming more successful as the author of this guide than as a performer and above all for creating an initial introductory milestone for so many players.

Bert will be remembered for this book, whilst Jim Marshall will be remembered for effectively defining the rock guitar sound, both lives are to be celebrated...


Sunday, 15 April 2012

We all give God the blues...

From the album Mercyland: Hymns For The Rest Of Us, a collection of 12 songs curated by Phil Madeira by various artists. As well as this song in the style of the Blues there are contributions ranging from traditional, Country and Rottsy folk songs.

This Nashville Scene article explains more, a couple of sentences that challenge are:
a devotional album without all the religious and commercial hoopla
"I think the most visible expressions of Christian faith are very exclusive, and I think that has been a real struggle for me."
P h/t @iancron

Thursday, 12 April 2012

You would not believe your eyes...

Video featuring iDrum virtuoso sticksman Dan Abbott along with his pots and pans percussionist Jono breaking out some broad smiles in the metropolis of Londinium with some guerrilla busking. Hailing from my local patch of Colchester iDrum is a drummer's collective headed up by Dan who is also a regular member of Psalm Drummers as well as playing for various bands. Dan stresses that iDrum is primarily about having fun, being a tad different from other buskers and definitely not a commercial masterplan. Love the mime to Owl City's single Fireflies too, pukka performance art!

According to Dan the interaction of the watching crowds makes all the serious effort well worthwhile, with folk saying that stumbling across them playing landed up making their day. Young guns have staged dance offs in front of the band, there have been spontaneous break dances and other pro drummers have stepped up and joined in for impromptu jam sessions. Keep an ear and eye out for them as they perform all over the place, check out the various youtube videos.

Film above created by Timecode Cartel.

P h/t Tim Abbott

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Itch, caring for the Elements...

Itch, an abbreviation of a dear departed soul resting in Holy Trinity, the parish church in Blythburgh, Suffolk, is also the nickname of the hero in this thriller from the pen of pop-tastic BBC radio presenter Simon Mayo. Set in Cornwall and a modern day version of earlier swashbuckling style tales, Itch is a bit of a loner with an obsession to collect all the elements in the periodic table. This process lands up getting him into all sorts of difficulties right from the start.

OK, I confess, I loved reading this book, not a skimpy tome at just over 400 pages, yet one I found I could not put down despite it probably being targeted at those of somewhat fewer years! However, there are nuggets for more mature readers to latch onto. For example, when I read the words 'Cousin Jack' early on I immediately wondered if Simon was subtly referring to the very excellent folk artistes Show of Hands? His allegiance becomes progressively more unveiled, culminating with a specific mention in an appendix. Beyond that I am left wondering if the Doctor Fairnie's name is actually an homage to the late, lamented and mutual friend Steve...?

Simon has been quoted as saying he didn't set out to write an educational book yet it ticks lots of curriculum boxes, even if one moment in the Chemistry may be slightly suspect. Check out the Itchingham website for more information along with Simon's podcasts.

I'm already looking forward to the promised sequel.