Good day to you!
As I'm closing in on 70% of my target, I thought i'd update you on the plans...
Well, it's certainly changed a little bit since I first came up with the plan, but it's all becoming so real and I'm getting super excited.
We've got 10 days booked in the studio in January, I've also hired a house near to the studio for those who are working on the album to stay in if they don't live in London or they want to be part of the community. It is always a larger space where we can talk through what we've done and work out plans for the next day or the next week which is more comfortable than my flat or hotel rooms. It's one of those strange things, that I'm recording near to where I live, but I've still done this, I know it's a big expense, but for those involved I really do think it will make everything more comfortable and therefore more productive.
Talking of those who are involved. I've picked my producer. My very good friend Danny Gruff, who many of you would have seen me tour with over the years has been working in a studio for the last couple of years refining his production skills. He originally studied music production years ago, and his own productions have really inspired me over the last few years, but hearing the stuff he's been doing for over people really sealed the deal for me. I want to have my closest allies with me during this, and Danny is one of my closest. I'm so excited that Danny has signed up for this.
I've also chosen my engineer who will also be mixing the album. Dani Bennett-Spragg was named Breakthrough Engineer of the Year by the Music Producers Guild in 2019, and has worked for a huge variety of artists like The Rolling Stones, Noel Gallagher, The Amazons, Blair Dunlop, Tom Grennan, Circa Waves, Kurt vile, Foals and Emeli Sande to name a few. I've known her for quite a while now, and I'm so glad that she's agreed to work with me on this.
Next up, I've booked flights for Kevin Haaland (guitar) and Adam Kury (bass) to come over from the US to join us. The two of them played on Tennessee and 48th and were so integral to that album sounding as good as it did and making that experience enjoyable through their chilled out vibes and experience.
On drums, I've confirmed Siân Monaghan. She played on Maggie Knows and Little Black Stone after I met her in January 2020. She had just won instrumentalist of the year at the UK Americana Music Association awards and you may know her from her work with The wandering Hearts, She Drew The Gun, China Crisis or REWS. She's ridiculously good and I'm so happy that she's agreed to do this.
I've also confirmed that Blackjack Horns will be playing on the album. Jack and Nik are two of the best musicians I know. Between them, they play almost every brass and wind instrument and do so on a regular basis for the biggest names in the industry, too many to name here. It won't be their first Abbey Road trip, so it's nice to have them on board. Jack played trumpet on Love, Life, Loss and Tea back in 2012 too. So it's a nice link back to that.
Talking of links back to that album... The Glock from the Candle Thieves has also agreed to play keys for this project. He played piano and harmonica on that album... and the producer of that album Nigel Pulsford has also agreed to be involved with arrangements and some guitar playing.
I'm also trying to make sure we've got some great backing vocalists on board.. and i've already got some great names lined up.. More on this later.
I'm also in talks with a string quartet, but I'm still waiting for that to be finalised.
So, now I've got to start making sure I can pay all these people, the studio, accommodation and flights paid for... the rest is now all on the musicians, and if the fundraising goes well, then hopefully we can also record the album on tape.
I've made the decision to focus the time on doing just the one album. I know I've said previously that I was hoping to make two. One recorded the standard way, and another all done on one day live to 2 track tape. I still really want to do this, but it just doesn't make sense to do this within the same window, it's going to take too much of my mental headspace away from the main album, and the extra money for a different set of musicians who can focus on that project was pushing me way over budget (i'm already currently £8000 over budget based on my current plans), so it just doesn't work this time. It was always something I would only do if the fundraising went exceptionally, but i've now decided that even if i do smash the target, i'll do it at a later date so i can have the correct energy to be able to do this.
Anyway, thank you so so much for all your support. As I write this we've raised nearly £35,000, which is crazy.
Please keep streaming, or if you haven't yet, please do check out my merch store. There's plenty of nice things on there, and some might run out soon!