Rapsquillion CD Review

rapsquillion

Congratulations to the multi-talented Rapsquillion, whose new CD ‘Earthly Joys’ is now making waves.

I’ve already reviewed it for Folking.com and would still be playing it non-stop if my copy of the John Renbourn/Wizz Jones album, which was John’s very last recording, hadn’t just arrived. 😉

For more information or to get the CD, contact the Raps here.

By the way, I’ve just updated my list of reviews here.

David Harley

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Flying Toads CD review

warts-cover

Another of my reviews for Folking.com, this time of the new CD by the excellent Flying Toads, versatile musicians who specialize in Celtic music, mostly dance tunes with the occasional song featuring Val Marciandi’s vibrant vocals.

THE FLYING TOADS – Warts ‘N All (Own Label)

I’ve done more reviews in the past couple of years than I’d done in the previous two decades, and am really enjoying it. 🙂

David Harley

The Carpenter’s Son (instrumental)

Since it’s Christmas. Nearly…

Basically variations on the tune I wrote as a setting for Housman’s ‘The Carpenter’s Son’. (Which you might consider more appropriate for an Easter post, but since this version doesn’t include the words, that’s not so much of an issue.) The first section is solo guitar, a slightly more decorated version of the accompaniment for the song, which aims for some of the tone of an oud or desert lute. The second section is a variation on the same tune, with guitar plus overdubbed mountain dulcimer and bouzouki, which may sound a strange combination but gives it a sort of medieval ambience.

David Harley

Ten Percent Blues

I’m in the process of gathering together my 80s studio recordings, among other things. This one is probably going onto a CD soon, and got to the top of the list when Ian Semple kindly played it on this Saturday radio show for Coast FM (normally between midday and 2pm). I ought to do a version of this with the resonator guitar at some point, though.

Words & music by David Harley, copyright 1982: all rights reserved

10% blues 2

Got a seat facing the engine
So I don’t have to face where I’ve been
Luggage on the rack, no reason to look back
At all my wrecked and reckless gypsy dreams
No more bright lights, no more white lines
Or crashing in the back of the van
No more hustling small-time gigs
I guess time has beaten the band

No more deadlines, no more breadlines
Mr 10%, you’re on your own
No more fine print, no more backstage  blues
This rolling stone is rolling home

Got a ticket to take me to tomorrow
It can’t be worse than today
So driver, take me home and don’t spare the horsepower
I’m on a ten year holiday
No more missed chances and chickens*t advances
Cold chips in the back of the van
No more blown tires and fuses, no more broken promises
Time has beaten the band

No more deadlines, no more breadlines
Mr 10%, you’re on your own
No more fine print, no more backstage  blues
This rolling stone is rolling home

No more spotlights, no more ups and downers
Absolutely no stage fright
No more superstar fantasies
From today I’m strictly 9-5
No more infighting, no more moonlighting
No more one-night stands
All along while the band was beating time
I guess time was beating the band

No more deadlines, no more breadlines
Mr 10%, you’re on your own
No more fine print, no more backstage  blues
This rolling stone is rolling home

David Harley, vocal and slide guitar

Make Mine a Snowball [demo*]

[Since we’ve just received our first Christmas card for this year, perhaps I’ll put this up for the entertainment of my many readers. Ho ho ho…]

For years this was just a single verse stranded in the first draft of a novel I’ll probably never finish now, and then a few years ago it demanded to be finished. Apologies to both Howard Blake and Raymond Briggs, who might not approve. 

Its first public appearance was after the funeral of my friend Graham Bell. That might seem less strange if I tell you that the service finished with the Ying Tong Song. Graham was always urging me to play more jazz, but I think he would have approved of this even without the vaguely jazzy snatch of White Christmas that precedes it.  I don’t know how Irving Berlin would have felt about it, but at least I haven’t had any ghostly visitors on the nights leading up to Christmas. So far. Bah Humbug!  It certainly proves conclusively that I was not born to compete with Wes Montgomery or Barney Kessel, but it’s nice to give the Strat an airing occasionally.

Recorded on primitive handheld equipment: perhaps one day I’ll take another run at it in my updated home studio and do a little OTT overdubbing. I’m thinking celeste, harpsichord and orchestra. (I have access to a Yamaha keyboard and I’m not afraid to use it.) 

*Not that this is ever going to be translated to a commercial recording. 🙂 

snowman2

I’m snoring in my chair
I’ve really had too much to eat
And even if I tried
I couldn’t leave my seat.

I’m getting very tight:
I didn’t need those lasht two beersh
And now that last mince pie
Has dribbled down my brand new tie.

Somebody offered me another cup of tea
Turkey sandwich, more plum pudding, woe is me…

I’m sprawling on the stairs
I haven’t got the strength to rise
And dear old Auntie Jill
Is in the bathroom still.

I’ve turned off the TV
The Queen’s speech was keeping one awake
And one more Singing Nun
Is more than I can take

Uncle Dick is feeling sick, he’s running for the loo
Heaving like a mighty monster from the zoo

I’m surfing in my lair
Googling for some online deals
To spend next Christmas Day
On a cruise ship far away…

David Harley 

St Helena radio interview (part II)

While it’s not really Wheal Alice fodder, here’s the follow-up to the St. Helena radio interview I mentioned here previously

While it’s not really Wheal Alice fodder, here’s the follow-up to the St. Helena radio interview I mentioned here previously: the article for ESET linked below gives a little backstory and a lightly edited version of the interview.

Child safety: An unexpected radio interview

I promise this blog is not going to become a sort of backdoor security PR resource. 🙂

David Harley