comedy

LA Take 2 – Day 5 – horns and acting…

This morning was SO much fun. I headed over to my old comedy chum, Lynn Ferguson’s place to record some This Day Today episodes. It was a long time since I have done any reading or comedy stuff but it was SO much fun. Lynn is a great director and between her and her husband, Mark, I think we have some great takes (and out-takes). I really recommend checking out their videos at http://blip.tv/ThisDayToday. They have some wonderful actors and comedians being very amusing. I will let you know when mine will be shown.

Th weirdest thing though was turning up after not seeing Lynn in over 10 years and finding we have exactly the same hair… I’m her mini-me 🙂

After a lovely lunch and catching up on so much it was time to head back to the studio.

Today is flugalhorn day. There is a wind quartet on Little Room and this was the first instrument to be recorded. Chris Tedesco did a wonderful job on his beautiful new flugalhorn.

Today we had no Joe and agreed that it wasn’t quite the same without his smiling face. It’s funny what aspects go into the overall experience of producing an album. I had today’s chocolate ready but I think I’ll wait until it’s all of us again. He’ll be back tomorrow.

We stared another song today and I had to re do the guitar parts. It was really nice to play and instrument for a while. A lot of being here is me listening while Bleu does a ton of work. I just pass comment from time to time.

Bleu had somewhere he needed to be tonight so I got the chance to get back to the hotel early and have a nice long conversation with my family. I really miss them. They are amazing.

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A Practising Songwriter

I read a post today that got me thinking about being a practising songwriter. Here’s the Mic Control link about how to write even when you don’t want to. There are some great tips!

I have been writing songs since I knew what a song was. It’s just something I love to do. Every heartbreak was captured in song as a teen and every aggregation and grievance was penned through my 20s and 30s. And now that I am lucky enough to write songs as my job I have stopped writing about myself and write about everything and anything.

3 years ago I decided that I wanted to make songwriting my career after finishing up a 20 year career as a musical stand-up comedian. As a comedian I was not prolific and relied on the huge turnover of audience in the UK to get away with doing the same songs for many years. I was very successful but not proud of my work, which really hit home after a bitter sweet review saying I was talented, but was trotting out the same material year after year. They were right about the latter and I was grateful for the former.

When I made the decision to become a full time songwriter and recording artist I knew I had to view writing a a job, not just something I loved to do as a hobby.

A lot of people ask me where I get my inspiration and the answer is that I don’t… not really. Sounds weird, I know. I am rarely inspired to write a song. I don’t get an idea in my head and think “I MUST write about that”. I just sit down and write… a lot. I play some chords and see what comes out of my mouth. Often I am surprised by what I am thinking about. When you write a lot, some of it is going to be bad but with time the ratio of good to bad errs on the good side… I hope!

People talk about doctors, lawyers, dentists etc as being ‘practising’. As songwriters, we should be practising too, all the time. We can’t expect a great song to just come to us or to write one great song a year. We need to treat it like a job and work really hard at it. You wouldn’t want to see a dentist who only had a few patients a year so you should’t get mad at yourself when the couple of songs you wrote in a year were not ‘great’. We need to practice songwriting and for every bad song we learn something that we can take to the next song.

Now that I write a lot, I am proud of what I produce and release to the public. The others are locked away in the ‘bad song’ file on my computer!