Paul Cowley in the South-West

Paul Cowley, an excellent blues-influenced player, tells me that he has some gigs in the South West in the near future, including gigs in Brixham (Feb 14th), Dartmouth (March 2nd) and Liskeard (The Albion, 4 Dean St, Liskeard PL14 4AX, on March 3rd). More information on all his upcoming shows here.

I reviewed his 3rd CD here: it’s really rather good.

David Harley

Advertisements

Bootup Blues (Big Blues) [2019 demo]

When I woke up this morning
My laptop wouldn’t boot at all
I said I woke up this morning
And tossed my Tosh against the wall
My baby took the mains adapter and the battery’s screwed beyond recall

Well she left me for some guy
With a 99GHz overclocked PC
And now she’s interfacing
With his RS232C
(he’s a serial womanizer)
She said my hard disk was too small
To satisfy
Her new spreadsheet

I wouldn’t treat an iPad
The way that woman treated me
She fragmented my hard disk
And ran off with my Angry Birds DVD
Left me nothing but this boot sector virus
And a copy of Wordstar version 3.3

Dah-diddy-dah-diddy-dah-diddy-dah….

You can get some idea of how old this thing is from the fact that the iPad was originally an Amstrad, and the Angry Birds DVD was originally a 7th Guest Cd. It’s hard keeping up with technology. Hopefully, I’m still ahead of the curve on PC CPU specs, Moore’s Law (or House’s variant) and overclocking notwithstanding. The reference to RS232C is slightly disingenuous: RS-232-C is the 1969 version of the standard, not hardware. I wouldn’t have mentioned any of this if it weren’t for a ludicrous conversation in a pub with someone who apparently thought I was setting PC for Dummies to music rather than writing a mildly amusing blues parody. And to the guy who recommended that I use Sophos to deal with my imaginary boot sector virus, thanks for the suggestion, but I did at the time actually work – or, strictly speaking, consult – for a(nother) anti-virus company, and I had it covered.

David Harley

Snowbird (live version)

A version recorded live for a CoastFM Live Lounge session. Words and music (such as it is) by me. A few rough patches but the guitar is mostly in good shape: I’m really going to have to record this properly one day.

A version recorded live for a CoastFM Live Lounge session. Words and music (such as it is) by me. A few rough patches but the guitar is mostly in good shape: I’m really going to have to record this properly one day.

I’ve got me a golden needle to help me tie my threads
I’ve got a bottle for my baby and a blanket for my head

So lay down, lay down mama, lay down and let me be
Somehow I feel like old cold turkey has his claws in me

If I had a silver dollar like I had one thin dime
You know I’d clip that turkey’s wings with another shot of turpentine

And if I had me a roll as thick as my right leg
You know I’d fly back up up country like a snowbird to its nest

I’m going back right now, back to my daddy’s farm
If I can find me a rag to bind up my right arm

Soul food when I’m hungry, white lightning when I’m dry
And maybe I’ll get to feeling better by and by

So lay down mama, lay down and let me be
Somehow I feel like old cold turkey has its claws in me

Another song I’ve written several times: basically, I wanted to do something based on the Cocaine Blues/Honey Take a Whiff on Me theme. Eventually this version popped out as a (more or less) eight bar blues around 1976.

David Harley

Folking.com review: Paul Cowley

A very nice blues album by Paul Cowley  that I reviewed for folking.com.

“It turns out that what Paul Cowley knows is country blues, and he really does know his subject, with influences including Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt et al. This CD features eleven songs: five of them are his own, and the rest are from classic blues artists like Memphis Minnie and Furry Lewis.”

David Harley

Unnamed slide piece demo

Update: this has now acquired a name and an updated version – ‘Box of Blue‘.

A piece so new and raw it doesn’t even have a name. I was basically just goofing around with a Maj7 tuning that I thought might have possibilities.

Hopefully, at some point the piece will turn up here better and more tightly executed (and with a proper name). In fact, I even have a set of words that might fit it. But this version is just here so that I don’t forget about it.

David Harley

Butterfly (Over The Hill)

Most Saturdays – at any rate when I’m at home – I spend the hours between 12 and 2pm listening to Ian Semple’s radio show on Coast FM (Facebook page here). While Ian plays a great deal of local music, his tastes are wide-ranging: today, for instance, his playlist included Pink Floyd, Richard Thompson, Seasick Steve, Wilde Roses, and Ry Cooder, as well as more local names like Baldrick’s Plan and Julie Carter. And this was a track of mine that he played today. 🙂

My friend Vic Cracknell, who among other musical activities runs open mike nights around Surrey, where I lived for several years, often used to introduce me as ‘someone who plays authentic blues.’ As a result of which, I got used to introducing this along the lines of: “This is a traditional blues. However, it differs from most traditional blues in that it was written on the platform at Chalk Farm Tube station after an evening at the Enterprise folk club in 1983.” 

In recent years, I’ve usually played this on electric guitar. This version, though, was recorded on domestic equipment (or maybe a Fostex X-15) in the 1980s, with quite a different arrangement (and on acoustic guitar). I think I might try for a better recording using the same(-ish) arrangement in the near future. But in the meantime, this isn’t too bad considering it was taken from a cassette.

David Harley