Monday, June 29, 2009

KAW Creation Announce the Release of the Single "Linda Lou"

KAW Creation, comprising of the song writing team of Allen, Kaufman and Wood, today announced the release of their third single, "Linda Lou".

Sydney, Australia (PRWEB) June 30, 2009 -- KAW Creation, comprising of the song writing team of Allen, Kaufman and Wood, today announced the release of their third single, "Linda Lou".

Departing musically from their two previous releases, "Linda Lou" is a Southern rock song inspired by song writer Letha Allens childhood in Saylerville, Kentucky. The use of natural instrumentation, (acoustic guitar, mandolin, harmonica) layered over a soulful, danceable, country back beat, and a solid electric rhythm section, provides both depth, and lightness to complement the solid performance of vocalist, and co-writer, Mark Kaufman.

Kaufman, who also provides most of the instrumentation, is accompanied by Allen's solid vocal performance, resulting in the delivery of a unique story line that inspires the listener to turn it up load and get out of their seat.
Best described as blues infused country rock with a Bo Didley flavour, "Linda Lou" was produced in Sydney by Australian producer Geoff Wood, and mix/mastered by engineer Thomas Wind in Denmark. The international focus of this release crosses world boundaries of country and rock and will appeal to those fans who enjoy a unique blend of styles. "Linda Lou" creates a rousing and uplifting toe tapping country rock experience.
Broadcast quality downloads of "Linda Lou" are available to licensed commercial broadcasters, exclusively at Airplay Direct. Streaming and downloads of "Linda Lou" are available to the general public exclusively from KAW Creation at Independent Artists Company.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

I Woke Up This Morning ......

The blues. To sing them or not. To play them or not. It seems most have, and will continue to do so.

Having performed and written in a few genres over the years, there is no doubt that to sing a sad song, a really sad song that lets it all out, can really be an uplifting experience. Duplicity of the situation aside, there just seems to be something wistful and melancholy about sitting in a smoky bar at 3 am, either as the performer, or as the only set of ears in the joint, and listening to the final few bars of a tune which contains both a sublime sadness, and a sense of “it’s OK, life will continue on”.

Having being on both sides of the listening experience, the blues may just have to be the one form of music that is universally recognised, and keeps on re-inventing itself. At the sake of conjuring up the shrimp scene from Forest Gump, you’ve got the blues, the Delta blues, blues rock, rock blues, jazz blues, country jazz rock blues, The Blues Brothers, The Brothers Grimm…. no, maybe not them, but you get the picture. And so it goes on. Played at one time or another by almost every musician on the planet, there must be something in this stuff which keeps it going.

I learnt to play the blues many years ago from an old musician, now very old, who was a piano player in a well respected hotel. I’d drop in late at night after playing my pub gigs. John would be sitting there at the piano, in his tuxedo, quietly tinkering away, filling the air. We’d have a chat in his breaks, sit and have a beer and talk music. Those were the days where the musicians were expected to talk to the guests, and it didn’t hurt things that it was also the days where the lead acts had a discretionary bar tab to use as they saw fit. I’d get up and play a couple of numbers, we’d play the occasional duet, and then I’d wander off into the night, to get some sleep and do it all over again the next evening. After travelling for ten years, I went back to that hotel. There was John, still as entertaining as ever, raising up a storm on the ivories. And as a true host that he was, he still remembered me by name.

The good thing about travelling of course is that you meet some very entertaining individuals. In retelling musical oddities, I can’t recall of how many little snippets contain the words “blues” “past midnight” “mildly sozzled” and the various combinations and derivations of the same. Travelling to London via Sri Lanka, we decided on a 2 day stopover in Colombo. The dinner entertainment was a trio of wandering Sri Lankins dressed as Mexicans, playing Hawaiian songs. Quite a treat. Of course, who wouldn’t end up in the bar with them, well after midnight, playing the blues ? Or sitting down next to a piano player on an old upright in a Tunisian hotel, only later to find out you’re playing the blues with a Spanish pathologist ? Or going to the infamous jam session, where no-one knows any songs, and playing a good ol’ 20 minute rendition of the song that has yet to be written. 12 bar of course, and at least everyone got a solo.

The blues don’t discriminate. Words aren’t necessary, and when they are, they are only there to entice the audience back from falling asleep. Best written when one is either annoyed, sullen, lonely, drunk or depressed, the best lines of course, just have to be “I woke up this morning”. In point of truth, it is usually “I woke up this afternoon”, if at all. That doesn’t seem to fit the rhyme scheme properly, but what’s a little artistic licence, if not to be used , and used over and over and over again. Is it 3 am yet ? Just checking………

A free stream and mp3 download of a slow southern blues, “Sad Song for Your Baby”, featuring the sultry vocals of Australian session vocalist Linda Rae Harris, is available by clicking the picture on the right.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Caught in the Loop

After fruitlessly trying over and over to plug in the acoustic guitar, and getting a sound resembling a sitar in a train tunnel, the time had come to dig deep, bite the bullet and go in search of the infamous, and these days well regarded loops from the masters.

Now, I don't mind a good loop. They're great for those repetitive bits that really aren't worth hiring a drummer or bass player for when fleshing out a song, and exceptionally good if they're a sound effect and you happen to slip off the mouse and send the things spiralling out of time control. Talk about originality.

Not being a guitarist, I've never really worried about the guitar tracks. Just phone up a guitarist friend, send an email to an anonymous web server, pay a few bucks or scratch a few backs, and said track miraculously appears in the in box ready to be fitted seamlessly into the music of the moment. This was not the case in this case. Friends on holidays, unanswered emails and a dirge of new possibilities simply add to the confusion of how to get the damn backing track finished without the most important bits resembling a wobbly wind chime shaking in a junkyard breeze. There are a number of considerations here however. Patience and persistence simply don't work in regard to Brilliant Idea No1 on account of the musician in question having no idea that his musical abilities on acoustic guitar are far from brilliant.

So off we go on a musical odyssey, in search of the perfect guitar loop to complement the perfect but erratic accompliment . And what a host of material to choose from. Music sites abounding with the latest offers and discounts, all conveniently packaged and shipped to the door within a manner of days. A small thought creeps in here, that if it takes a couple of days to arrive, what about finding that unfindable riff on an internet site of dubious repute ? A quick look provides a simple answer. With URL's resembling the length of a Beijing telephone book, and a whole host of options ending in the domain name .ru, it's quite obvious this line of questioning will result in the immediate and systematic destruction of one or more hard drives, and a locking of the Windows which will require expert intervention. Best left alone.

After careful consideration of the viable alternatives, and not being a student, pensioner or other worthy individual of society in order to receive the maximum discount, ( Oh, that's right I'm a musician, which says it all really ) the appropriate title is selected and it's time to fill out the form. The little padlock arrives on the lower corner of the screen and provides great assurance to the one who is about to send his credit card details and entire financial viability into the abyss of the digital realm. At least the web site does not end in .ru.

Now it's time to sit back, and over the next couple of days, watch the little parcel make it's way through the twists and turns of Fedex, thanks to the helpful little tracking programme that has been sent via email. Oh good, it's got to Dallas, yippee it's passed through Hawaii, and what do you know? , it's landed at Sydney airport and is clearing through customs. It's always great to deal with a company that knows the difference between Australia and Austria. Ok, it's now the afternoon and it hasn't arrived. The little tracking programme said it would be here by this afternoon and it's nearly 4.30. Time to take the kids to their swimming lessons. It wouldn't arrive while I was away for an hour would it ? You bet it would. Upon our return, there is a white card at the doorstep stating "We called with your parcel, but you weren't in." . NO BLOODY KIDDING ! OK, calm down. Just leave the signed card at the door, and they will leave the package next time they come around. Hopefully tomorrow.

Tomorrow arrives, and there, in the morning, sitting in the gleaming sun, is the little package. But wait. It looks a bit strange. The glee of receiving such a wonderful new toy is replaced by the horror, that upon opening, the case has bent up at the edges, on account that it has been sitting on the hottest part of the porch and has been quietly baking, hotter than a Bondi blonde. Never mind, the disk might be all right, and upon examination seems to be flat to the naked eye. Right, lets test it. Waiting, waiting........loaded ! Yippee, the little package has come to the rescue, and it's contents are just what is needed to satisfy the composer who is without guitarist. A quick mix, and email off to the collaborator, and all is well in music land.

Well, that wasn't so bad. Time to lean over the computer monitor and have a beer in a dark and cold room. That just doesn't sound right. It should be a beer hunched over an acoustic guitar on the porch in the sun. Oh well, never mind, the lead probably wouldn't stretch this far anyway, and the little disc has had more than enough sun for both of us. Thank goodness for modern miracles, it's a bloody miracle they happen at all.

As a reminder that not all loops are of a single instrument, an example of the neverending loop is available by clicking the picture to the right. Titled " Ongoing Classical ( Loop )" , such repeating loops are best suited as background music for web pages and multimedia applications, and incidental music for vision.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Art of Collaboration

To collaborate or not to collaborate, that is not a question easily answered.

Sydney, Australia 2nd June 2008 - Having been a musician and songwriter for, ahem...quite a few years, collaboration was not something that I was particularly familiar with, and not something I would have explored in the normal course of events. Having written tunes with band members in the past, I can still recall the bombastic and egotistical nature of some, when it came down to writing a few lines. Guess I may have been included in that group also.

And what was all the fuss about ? Generally about nothing. The long winded arguments as to wether a single word should be included, a phrase added or deleted, or wether the song was cool enough to proceed with. The thing about cool, is that there are quite a few meanings depending on the eyes of the viewer. When one set of eyes is permanently glazed over, another is as wide open like saucers, and another may have been as red as a fire engine, musical accomplishments take on a whole new meaning. Generally, meaning that anything which played back the next day actually made sense, it was accomplishment beyond belief. Sure, it sounded great at the time, but a few hours of sleep and a little sobriety shines a new light on the last piece of so called random musical brilliance.
Not gigging out anymore, I thought I'd give this collaboration thing a shot . Hey, what's there to loose. A little time and a few frustrations. All in all, it's been a 50/50 success, in that 2 songs have worked out well, and the other 2, well.....let's just say, sometimes it's better to call it a day and move on to other things. If there's anything to be learned, it's probably the following..............

*Song writing, like life, has it's frustrations. If you're not willing to compromise, then it's best to write alone

*Pick partners who are easy to work with. Difficult people don't possess any better musical attributes than those who are easy going.

*Set an agenda and stick to it. Like business, people appreciate work delivered in the agreed time frame

*Set a format which is easy to use and technically compatible to both parties

*Most of all, don't treat it too seriously, life is too short, and music is a luxury, not a necessity. Have fun along the journey.

So, I think I might give it a try again. The worst that can happen is that I might biff the odd beer at the monitor, and swear a lot to no one who is listening. And the best thing is, of course, that the eyes may be any colour, and in any state, as the delete button can always be pressed way before the latest piece of botched brilliance is thrust upon the unsuspecting ears of the co-writer.

Write on !

A free mp3 download of one of the more successfull collaborations, with Mr Colab himself, Mr Robert Pickens, is available by clicking the picture on the right. "Someone's Got a Better Hand" , a funky soul retro tune featuring the smokey vocals of Robert Pickens, is a song of realisation against a background of everyday life. Written over a period of about a month, it demonstrates that 2 halves are sometimes much greater than the whole.