Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Staying at Home = Staying Creative

I hope you are doing as well as can be expected under these unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in. After the initial shock, and coming to terms with the fact that I may not be able to perform live for several weeks or months, I've settled into a fairly productive creative time.

Still hoping the government relief is simple and straightforward to access for everyone who needs it(basically the entire service industry, which the live music business falls under), but aside from that I'm finding multiple projects to keep me busy. In addition to music, I've been cooking and baking, and with nicer weather on its way, I look forward to getting out to work on the back garden.

Being a DIY musician for many years, I've often imagined what it would be like to be able to focus solely on the art of making music, and not have to worry about booking and promoting shows, and the additional tasks that come with the job. COVID-19 has provided artists such as myself the opportunity to do just that. 

Check out my girlfriend  @kritchiephoto on instagram to see her beautiful isolation creations - https://www.instagram.com/kritchiephoto/

Before capitalist society came to a grinding halt, my friend and neighbour Kevin Bowers and I had begun to work on a recording project, so we dove right in when the self-isolation guidelines kicked in, and plan to record remotely with collaborators Jason Mercer, Chris Brown, and Pete Bowers to finish up the works.

Have a listen to Alcatraz:  https://youtu.be/uxbw2_dYT_M

This time of self-isolation also gave me the opportunity to go back and take another look at the song, and see where I could take it. Have a listen and share it around.

The song is called "Beach Blanket Bingo Bottle Toke". One of my favourite titles of all time! - http://tomsavage.bandcamp.com

The guitar and vocal for this song were tracked during sessions for my 2014 record "History of a Common Man". Same day as the opening track for that album, "Skinny Kid", and played on the same $40 flea market nylon string guitar (an El Degas for those who are curious). The song didn't quite fit with the mood of that album, at least from a production standpoint. I envisioned something different than the Country Folk sounds on "History". More like Space Folk or something...Blade Runner Folk?

I also worked on this cool video project with Tony Silvestri - https://fundrazr.com/tonystipjar He's raising funds for his long-awaited and soon-to-be-released album!

Stay creative,

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

2020 : Year of the Revival

The release of Great Beyond in October felt like the culmination of an eight-year long art project. So many miles on the road, so many shows, and years honing my approach to the solo performance. I'm proud of the recorded result of my efforts.

Toward the end of 2018, I began to feel the call of rock and roll again. Dead Root Revival was born, and since that time, the band has garnered more and more of my creative focus. This is why, in 2020, I will be taking a break from solo touring, and focusing on developing the DRR sound, and performing more shows with the band. I will still be performing solo shows in Ontario, and if anyone wants to offer me a grand a night to go on tour as a sideman, I would be happy to change plans! 😄

The release concert for Great Beyond made for a very special evening, bringing the two very different facets of my creative output together in one show. For many Kingston fans, it was the first time they had seen the solo performance, seeing as most shows over the years had been on the road. Then the other side of the coin: Dead Root Revival hit the stage (after a stellar set from our friends The Mill-Rights)! We were fortunate to have Geoff Chown on sound that night. He also was there to record our set. The resulting recording captures the band at its best, and where it belongs: On stage powering through some epic jams!

To be released on March 2nd, DRR Live : Volume I will bring you to that show. Come rock out with us again and again on CD or digital format ( Yes, this album will be on Spotify, etc. despite my ongoing protestation of the streaming platform.) Our hope is you will purchase the live album to help DRR raise funds for a future studio release. The plan is to release a couple of live records before the studio release, in order to give fans new music, and to keep feeding our musical engine(the band bank account!!).

(Side Note: DRR is a band that likes to jam. Every show is a different musical journey. We encourage "taping" and sharing of shows. If you want to bring mics and recording gear to shows, please feel free. We only ask you don't obscure sight lines of audience members.)

On Friday, March 13th, we will be celebrating the release of DRR Live : Volume I with a show back where it all went down: The Mansion in Kingston, Ontario. Get your tickets here
. Connor Poulain opens the show, then Dead Root Revival hit the stage. The band will feature Tony Silvestri on keyboards, Daniel Chalmers on congas/percussion, Paul Stacey on saxophone, Richard Piche on bass, Bonz Bowering on drums, and myself on guitar and vocals. Powerhouse!!!

Doors at 8 PM. Tickets are $10 in advance/$15 at the door ( tickets are available at The Mansion or from me in person. Hit me up at open mic at the Rose & Crown).