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The start to the year often seems relatively quiet…this year was no exception gig wise….but the spare time was welcome because I have two major recording projects on the go. My own band album, “Transcendence” and the new Jigantics album, as yet untitled.
The band album will be released definitely by July in time for touring, if not before. The album continues from where “Catch the Fire” left off. With this album, I wanted to be creative and yet stay true to the roots of Blues/Rock. I wanted to be myself, yet also in some way pay homage to those who have influenced me. A challenge but I think I have done that. This all came about during off days while on tour in Poland. Me and the guys, Jacek Chruscinski (Bass) and Artur Malik (Drums) went into DMP studios in Krakow and began recording. We sure had a lot of fun on tour and in the studio….I think it shows!
We will be touring again this summer…dates below:
Thursday 11th, Kraków Summer Jazz Festival, Harris Piano Bar, Poland
Saturday 13th, Kraków Summer Jazz Festival, Main Stage, Poland
Wednesday 17th, Club Sowa, Olsztyn, Poland
Thursday 18th, Augustow Blues Marathon, Kaktusik, Augustow, Poland
Friday 19th, Augustow Blues Marathon, Jam session on the boat, Poland
Saturday 20th, Augustow Blues Marathon, Anfitheatre Stage, Poland
Sunday 21st, Sierzan, Poland
Monday 22nd, Club Pamela, Torun, Poland
Wednesday 24th. Kojetin, Czech
Wednesday 31st, Gloucester Blues Festival, Café Rene, Gloucester UK
Sunday 4th, Jerry Ricks Blues Festival, Kastav & Opatija, Croatia
Friday 9th Duck and Drake Music Venue, Leeds UK
Saturday 10th. Lowther Game Fair, Penrith, UK
Sunday 1st. Prince Of Wales, Stafford, UK
I recently started inviting people to ask me questions that I thought might make interesting content for the blog….so here goes!
1) What effects pedals do you use and why. What sound/tone are you aiming for?
Well….that is quite easy to answer. The guitarists that I was drawn to as a kid played either a Strat or a Les Paul and more often than not a Marshall amp. The classic combination! I think some of the best tones on record ever were played by Paul Kossoff, Peter Green, Gary Moore, Jeff Beck, Dave Gilmour, Rory Gallagher….to name a few. The thing about them was that, even in the case of Gary Moore who used a very over driven sound, there was a purity about the sound too. Not only that, they were each unique. So….the conclusion I came to was that I did not want to copy them but I have always been striving for that same purity of sound….but I wanted it to be my own. The way I approach that is that I try to use mostly the natural sound of the amp and guitar. So pedals for the electric are quite minimal. The only pedal I use regularly is the “Marshall Guvnor” (Basically a Marshall sound in a box!). This is very useful for me especially when traveling and being presented with any number of back-line amps. I will on occasions use a wah pedal. There is usually a nice reverb on most amps these days so I always have a touch of that. Occasional delay pedal which is a nice touch….Amp always set with a slightly crunchy gain….not over done…and that is about it. The rest is in your head and your fingers!
2) Why the guitar in the first place
Uhmm well I was 5 years old when I started playing. As with many of my generation, I grew up listening to the Beatles, The Stones, Free, Led Zeppelin etc. All guitar bands. I just loved the sound of the guitar right from the start. I remember Hank Marvin was on TV a lot back then. Great, pure sound! My first guitar had to look like that with a tremelo arm. Rapier 33! (poor man’s Strat) but from then on I was hooked!
3) How do you approach your acoustic guitar playing?
Yes the acoustic is really a different beast. Some of the techniques are of course interchangeable but for the acoustic I tend to gravitate to a more slapping finger style approach….possibly because I used to listen to a lot of John Martyn. I think in many ways I have developed a fairly individual style on the acoustic. For me, it keeps this fresh. In the live situation I use pedals on the acoustic. Ironically I use more pedals than I do for the electric.
From the beginning of the chain, on the right of the board:
a) Tuner. b) Compressor. c) Overdrive. d) Delay. e) Loop station. f) Hall of Fame Reverb Unit
4) Why did you record the album in Poland?
We started recording the album in Poland when we had some days off on the tour. We were getting on really well as a band and wanted to use the energy. The guys knew this great studio in Krakow where we were free to just knock tracks out. I did bring the files back to the UK to finish them off but hopefully we captured the energy. KTB has always been a fluid line up. Circumstances, budget and location all play a part in who is in the band at any given time.. You may notice that the picture at the top of the blog has yet another line up! This was taken at a one – off gig in Slovenia towards the end of 2018. The whole event was put together by a German promoter who just wanted to do his own thing!…I must say we had a blast though. Obviously it would be great if the band could be consistently the same line up but we are all busy people and in many ways it keeps the whole thing fresh.
Thanks for the questions and thanks to all who have supported me in many ways…..enjoyed my music, bought albums etc.
Hope that’s all good for you. Hope to see you out there at one of the gigs.