Saturday 28 November 2009

just a few thoughts

So just thought I'd post a few things that I've found interesting lately-
a couple of blog sites... I don't always agree with what's there but like that there is often an idea that will spark my imagination- strike a chord or help me shape my own opinions...
Quote that I liked there today-
'The reason they want you to fit in...
Is that once you do, then they can ignore you.'
Derek Sivers entrepreneur and creator of CD Baby

and I revisited Leonard Cohen's Lyrics for his song Anthem- from the Future album,
think it sums up a lot of my thoughts really!

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring ...

You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.

Thursday 28 May 2009

recent gigs, hushland house tour and ramblings...

I should never say that I'll keep anything up to date- it's instantly cursed to be the opposite... honestly part of the problem is having too many sites to keep up to date these days... but anyway...
it's been a good few months since I last wrote here- May has been a particularly fun month- starting with Bob Dylan concert, (Bill and I were not expecting much from him- but were happily surprised and pleased as thought he performed a great set. ) Also enjoying his new album... My birthday celebrations seemed to last the whole if the bank holiday weekend, much merriment, music making, whiskey drinking and chocolate cake consuming were part of it all... Bill and I also caught a Devon Sproule gig which was great- she's a really engaging performer ...

This last weekend, I went and performed at The Sound City, industry festival in Liverpool- and ironically met a great band from Cardiff there called Toy Horses, who had a very cool electric Ukulele, and played fun quirky acoustic, pop numbers, kind of sounding like Madness meets the Fin Brothers, with a touch of Elvis Costello, and a dash of You Am I- there now I've said all those artists- I guess they just sound like themselves... anyway that was pretty fun, it's crazy that you can be from the same city and it's not till you are else where that your paths actually cross...
Then a lovely little festival here in Cardiff, we had a beautifully sunny day, and it was great to have Stacey Blythe join us on accordion for the set... I'll post a photo, taken by my friend Matt Carr.

Bill and I have decided to team up (with the ever faithful musical backing and acompaniment of Karen Chalk) for a series of House Concerts, in living rooms, gardens and other similar intimate venues across the UK over the summer months. These will be an evenings double bill of Rachel Taylor-Beales and Sir Silence and The Hush, with our visuals projected behind us. Due to the nature of the venues being homebased we will release address of location via personal email when purchasing tickets, so do get in touch if you want to come along to any of the dates (see my website gig dates) and email for more info. Visit to hear some tracks by Sir Silence And The Hush and view some visuals also.

I am planning a similar House Concert solo tour later in the autumn so do drop me a line also if you think you would be interested in hosting one in the future.

I've now booked into the studio in September to record the next album- part three in the colour trillogy!
I am both delighted and excited to be working with the very talented Welsh musician and composer Dylan Fowler on this next project... so will keep you updated on the progress there... we are thinking that it will be released sometime in the New Year...

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Tattoo... Jamming...Fleet Foxes and Tom Waits... demos

Have decided to keep this blog a bit more up to date- well- we'll see how long that lasts....

I've really enjoyed the last few weeks since road tripping with Karen...
Had my first tattoo this weekend- The out line of a humming bird in flight among some cherry blossom- its very simple (bill designed it with me) and I'm very pleased with it! Its still covered in cream so will put photos up when its settled in a little more! Can't believe its taken me this long to get one done- I'm sure it won't be the last! It was interesting hanging out in the tattoo shop- we were there off and on for most of the day as Bill, and my sister and brother in law also had tats done (partly why the day was so fun) we took shifts at hanging out with my nieces to save them from boredom- Justin who tattooed us has a very charismatic personality and it seems that people just like hanging out in his shop- all sorts of folk were just popping in to see him and have a chat and sit on the sofas in reception area- if there was a cafe attached to the shop then I reckon a few of them would probably move in a be there all day- also interesting to catch a glimpse of a much more hardcore element to the whole to the whole tattoo world...

Also had great fun jamming with some musos I met recently- who came over to play me some of their tunes on Sunday - I haven't had a good old jam for ages- so was able to get out my soprano sax and my violin among other things and play along (not sure that play along is actually the right word for some of the noise I was making though!) I have decided that the sax needs to be played more- it used to be one of my strongest voices and so I've realized how much I miss it being in the mix...
We'll do more I'm sure- and I have a jazz drummer coming over on wednesday also to see if there's any mileage in working together...

The other reason that the last few weeks have been fun is that I've been painting... Bill asked me to help him work on a mural and it has been a real joy to spend proper time painting again... Fleet Foxes brilliant album and Tom Waits have been my top choice of music to paint to so far..

And finally demos... I have a bunch of new songs and am in the process of recording demos of them- having now booked myself into the studio again for September.... This is the stage I really love- the creating stage- if it were possible I'd lock myself away and lose myself in the creating process entirely!

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Liberty Track on Fatea Showcase Session

My Song Liberty is featured in this great Download CD along with many other very talented artists

Fatea Showcase Session:One
The new Fatea Showcase Session:One is available for free download at:

Featuring 17 great solo artists across a range of acoustic based
genres, "One" is the forth of the Fatea Showcase Sessions, Spring 09.
The download is exclusively available for three months after which it
will never be available again.

'One' is the first 2009 session and all the sleeves this year have
been designed by David Owen and will build into one large image.

To ensure you the listener gets to hear the band at their best, the
downloads are 256kbs drm free. The zip file also contains a sleeve
pack. Links to the band are on the session page as well as on the
sleeve. We hope you enjoy what you hear and then choose to buy releases
from the artists or go to their gigs when you can.

01. Jackie Oates - Wishfulness Waltz

02. James Ragbone - The Parade

03. Maggie Council - Nebraska Avenue

04. Bob Burke - Siren

05. Rachel Taylor-Beales - Liberty

06. Jinski - Hand Of God

07. Aimee Newsome-Stone - Drive Me Down

08. Ivor Game - I Like Being At Home

09. Becky Syson - Before Now

10. John Fairhurst - Obnox Stomp Remix*

11. Tina Taylor - Someday

12. Simon Jackson - Stainless & Cold Pressed

13. Patsy Matheson - Precious Little Soldier

14. Tessa Bickers - This Song’s For You*

15. Diana Johnstone - The Troubled Heart

16. Henry Clements - Needle And Thread

17. Lizzie Nunnery - Hungry

*=Session Exclusive

New Feathers and Flowers song live on You Tube

Filmed by Live Music Showcase at Bournemouth Folk Club Jan 09:the song is inspired by Alan Garners novel The Owl Service- drawing reference from the legend of Blodeuwedd, whose story is told in the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi- a woman created out of flowers for her husband and then turned into an owl as punishment for having an affair.

Other news- had a great time in Glasgow for the Celtic Connections Festival. Road tripping with Karen Chalk- drinking whiskey till the early hours and catching up with a long lost school friend was fantastic!