Thursday, 27 December 2012

Sciue sciue

Great concert in Agropoli the other night. In my local bar. Grazie Alessandro and Lino per l' ospitalita.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope you've had a good year. I spent most of it in Italy and played only a handful of shows this year. And don't have any big plans for next year. I've kept writing though and started recording in a very nice local studio here in the Cilento National Park, called TVA studio (in Aschea). It’s filled with all old analogue equipment and has a wonderful warm sound.

The first songs I’ve finished there are the recording are for this year's Christmas album. Four classic Hank Williams songs. I chose Hank Williams because the songs he wrote or has made famous all tell a simple story well. I’ve tried to strip them down even more, leaving out the country and keeping the sentiment. It’s a shame the sentiment is all sad. They’re all about women-trouble and I didn’t choose them because of that. I’m not having that problem thankfully as Maria is still very good to me.




I'd like to thank the following local musicians for playing with me. Francesco Citera on accordion. Antonio Fiorillo on double bass. And Piera Lombardi provides percussion. It was recorded and produced by Tonino Valletta at TVA studio. Tonino put so much time working on the sound of the recordings and all the quality you hear is down to him.

I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it.

LOST CHRISTMAS
1) Lost highway
2) I'm so lonesome I could cry
3) Your cheatin’ heart
4) Cold cold heart

FREE DOWNLOAD




Sunday, 23 December 2012

Thursday, 15 November 2012

In the studio

Through my friend Paolo here in Agropoli I found a nice little studio with an old-school analogue setup in Ascea. Tonni, the producer, was a very laidback charcter. I recorded 17 songs yesterday. Piero Lombardi, a local Cilento star, was in the studio as well and very kindly did some backing vocals and percussion on one of the songs. I'm back next week to work on adding some more instruments.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Amsterdam gig

I'm playing in de Nieuwe Anita in Amsterdam on Tuesday 16th October, 9pm. It's a nice acoustic set with a few other artists playing the same night, behind the bar.

Friday, 7 September 2012

New album recording

I've 17 new songs not yet recorded, but plan to do that in the next month. The common theme of the songs is Italy of course. There's a studio here in the Cilento that is quite economical. I think I'll do it mostly acoustic and then add on some piano and accordion (the typical local instrument) afterwards. Watch this space. 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Amsterdam show

I'm playing in Amsterdam on Saturday night (25th August) at
Delicatessen, the basement of Pakhuis Wilhelmina, Veemkade 574 - from
9pm. Lots of other good acts on. Be there!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Rome to Sicily

Three Danish cyclists - Sune, Andreas and Tuo - are cycling from Rome to Sicily. Sounds familiar! They're also a band, although not touring with music now. Great guys and it was a pleasure to have them. We hosted through warmshowers.org and it was nice to be able pay back some hospitality after all the people that hosted us.

Another day another saint

I think it was saint giovanni today. A brass band paraded around the village followed by a big procession of people. Then there was a flight of the angel - a little boy pulled along a cable above the crowd while he sang and recited scripture. He looked to be enjoying it.

Flying angel

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Beachboy

The pasta hasn't affected my beautiful figure.

Food

Italians love their food. Meal times take a long time, not because they're so relaxed about it, but because there is so much food to get through!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Taking the saint for a walk

Every day is devoted to a different saint in Italy. And as most people are named after a saint it's like a second birthday. Different villages celebrate different saints days across the year, so the public holidays and celebrations seem quite random. You can go to a town for something only to find everything closed and everyone following behind the model of their saint while the brassband plays.

Village fountain

Most people still take their drinking water from the fountain. It might not look appetising from this picture but it tastes fresh.

Perdifumo

An update on life in Perdifumo. We're living in the village now. It was cold and empty in winter but now there's life to the place. The holiday houses are filling up with their Milanese owners. Germans can be heard occasionally. The village has two small cafes, a few shops and two restaurants. Everyone knows everybody else and their business. There are few secrets it seems. Maria's father has leukemia, which has been pretty rough. He's coping well with the chemotherapy now.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Hanne Boel

The lovely Danish songstress Hanne Boel has a beautiful house here in the Cilento and we went round for some Danish beer last night. She gave me some advice on songwriting for other people and being a topliner - a term I'd never heard before, refering to the top two lines on sheet music, and means writing the melody and lyric on top of someone else's track. I'll try and get on some songwriting retreats or collaborate with other people. There aren't many in the Cilento so will have to try the good old internet.

Monday, 25 June 2012

My gig in The Central on Saturday night

A nice gig in front of a small but well-formed audience. Only my second show this year! Last year I did over 200.


The F holes

The F holes - Rocking ragtime band. From Winnipeg. Definitely worth checking out.!


Lauren Mann and the fairly odd folk

Lauren Mann - Look as good as they sound. Fairy tale folk pop


Toronto buskers

That's my kind of drumkit


D'arcy

Went to a ping pong bar owned by Susan Sarandon, with D'arcy who I know from Australia. He's travelling across Canada to raise money to end Polio. Great to meet someone so selfless. An inspiration.




Too much stuff




Rooftop gig





Gangstagrass

Gangstagrass - Hiphop bluegrass from Brooklyn. Wicked!




Mary

My wonderful host! A fellow Englander who relocated to Toronto many years ago. She looks after children with autism, so having me around is no problem.




NXNE - 1st night

I had a good first night in nxne, wandering around and seeing bands. This guy steve hill was on fire. Guitar and bass drum. Wicked blues riffs.
There's lots to see here. I need a bicycle though. The venues are only in one corner of the downtown, but that corner is 5by5km at least.



That's service




Zombies vs robots exhibit




Zombie killer

Something for my nephew Oscar



A room with a view



Two years since I was here last. They've built a few more skyscrapers since then.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Rock Talk

My interview in Toronto is online at http://www.newstalk1010.com/Episodes.aspx?PID=1776 (June 16th edition)

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Arrived in Toronto

Great to be back. 2 years since I was here last, also for nxne. It's information overload... After 6 months in Italy. Here I can understand and overhear what everyone's saying, can see all the shows, so much to read, to do, signs, shouting, tv, music, cinema, phew. It's an assault on the senses.

+ I recorded a radio interview yesterday for rock talk here in toronto. Check it out at
Newstalk1010.com at 8 pm EDT Saturday and 10 pm Sunday, and afterwards via iTunes podcast.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

NXNE showcase

From 13th until 17th June I'll be in Toronto for NXNE. I'll be
performing live at my showcase on 16th (Sat.) at 9pm at The Central,
603 Markham Street. It looks like being a great NXNE, with lots of new
bands and the Flaming Lips headlining.

On Wednesday June 13th at 2:15 pm local time I'll be on a radio show
called Rock Talk in Toronto. Past guests have included Ray Davies, Al
Kooper, Nick Lowe, Judy Collins, Nile Rodgers, Dave Stewart, Andy Kim,
Barenaked Ladies and many, many more.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Love alone

I've been writing a few more songs lately, still on the Buddhist theme.

Love alone by thejackstaffordfoundation

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Luna bar, Agropoli

I had a show in a small biker bar here in the south of italy, near Salerno, where I'm staying with Maria and her family. Thanks to Paolo for fixing it up. It's sunny and quiet down here. The musical is going well. As is the gardening.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

NXNE

I've been accepted for Canada's NXNE again this year. It's a five-day live music and film festival and music conference in Toronto. I last played in 2010 and had an amazing time. It runs from June 11th until June 17th. http://nxne.com/

Friday, 23 March 2012

Ayurveda the musical

I'm currently living in the countryside in the south of Italy near Agropoli writing my next album... a musical... about Ayurveda, the Indian science of life. It's going well.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Amsterdam

I had two shows in Amsterdam last week. One in jet lounge and the other in badhuis on javaplein. It was great catching up with everyone. I feel a lot of love for that city.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Collaborating...


I've been working on a lot of new songs in these wintery months and will start to put them out there for collaboration. All ideas and style are welcome. Just let yourself go!

Here's the first one.
Our temperament determines our fate (Saṃsāra) by thejackstaffordfoundation
(or on Kompoz.com, which is a collaborative website that's a bit more organised than soundcloud, showing files. You need to upload MP3s. Free convertor available at download.com or use itunes to convert) http://kompoz.com/p/30681

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Perdifumo

I've spent the start of the year holed up in the south of Italy avoiding the bad weather, with Maria and her lovely family. Looking after the grandma, sitting by the fire, learning Italian, writing songs and eating pasta. I'm also applying to festivals so I have something to do when the snow clears. That's all for now.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Troubadour Chronicles

I have put my songs from the last couple of years on the road into one big album. Yes, one album. 110 songs. It's over 5 hours! So you might want to put it on when you have a quiet night... and then slowly fall asleep.

I'd like to thank all the musicians and producers who helped me make this - particularly Kevin Wesley William, Chris Leggerie, Andreas Langhorn, Patrick Fergus, Jasmine Wynants, Ro Halfhide, Emma Hill, Alec Genton, Rory Blahzl, Maria Rosaria della Pepa and Simon Wallace. And of course the people I met on my travels. People who inspired me, gave me a place to stay, and came to the shows. Without whom I wouldn't have anything to write about or anyone to sing to.

I've made it free to download so that money isn't a barrier to my music reaching you - but please make a donation if you can.

And if you get to the end of it, please let me know your top 12 tracks. I'd like to put out a more easily digestable 'Best of'. Buona fortuna!!!!


Photo by Judithdekker.nl

DOWNLOAD ALBUM

(There are 33 videos too. Click the links to view)

1. Every day's a joy (video)
2. Rise of the renunciate (video)
3. Debt train 
4. IKEA 
5. Dreams of plenty 
6. Daytime TV 
7. Mortgage on mind 
8. Job applications 
9. Cold cold world 
10. Viva la revolucion 
11. A cruel beginning to my decline and inevitable death 
12. Work eat shit sleep 
13. Dear shareholder (video)
14. City life 
15. Soulseller 
16. Every moment matters (video)
17. Killing the kids (Jamie Oliver Blues) 
18. ADD (video)
19. Mother feeder and the homecoming kid (video)
20. The sorrow of Gaia 
21. The stone age didn't end because we ran out of stones 
22. The US economy 
23. Another dead man in Afghanistan (video)
24. A day out in Detroit 
25. The ballad of Jolie Holland (video)
26. The cabin song 
27. Super easy classic rock (video)
28. Renee Vancouver 
29. Mel Gibson’s mind
30. Mr Pleasure Man (video)
31. Ode to the lonely stoner 
32. Eindhoven: City of light
33. Song to Woody (video)
34. Vanessa & Sebastian 
35. Gay OK (video)
36. The art of conversation 
37. Five years on (video)
38. Nick Helderman and the immortals
39. Dance for me
40. The waiting game
41. All-knowing girl
42. Girl with the perfect posture 
43. The law of diminishing marginal returns 
44. Why are they like the way they are? 
45. My leaving was a long time coming 
46. I want you to fail (video)
47. A journey (The Blair Crusades) 
48. The end of the farce 
49. Loneliness of the bank CEO 
50. Gordon Brown Blues
51. Anywhere but here
52. After the Olympics has gone 
53. The trial of toni terry
54. Tales at the end 
55. Strange times
56. The obituary of Will Perrin 
57. Nights like these 
58. Sleep 
59. Making my life too hard (video)
60. Bored in Camden (video)
61. Music for a mountain top
62. Peace of mind
63. Letters from a long arm
64. Athens' streets 
65. On the train to Rome 
66. The Italians 
67. I didn't sleep so good (video)
68. The Marie Cubi House Band 
69. Wifi? (video/video)
70. The water's on song (video
71. Cold cure blues 
72. Curse of standards
73. Oath of abstinence
74. TV in my mind 
75. It is dangerous out there (video)
76. Oh Christchurch 
77. Takaka hill 
78. The city' s not the same without you (video)
79. The buskers (video)
80. Save the developers
81. The quoll
82. Maria (video)
83. Good life on the road 
84. East timor song 
85. Peace and love (video)
86. Under the stars (video)
87. Coffee lover (video)
88. Dumpster diving date (video
89. Queensland rail 
90. Troubadour (video)
91. Jailbait 
92. Plastic sea 
93. Dog's life 
94. 34 years old and a birthday at sea (video)
95. Riportarla a casa 
96. You can't say no to love 
97. Sailing 
98. I'm not sea sick, just sick of the sea 
99. Gulf of Carpentaria 
100. The model 
101. The searcher (video)
102. Bad for good 
103. Big fish, little pool
104. Liberate Libya (video)
105. Mohamed Bouazizi 
106. Revolutions 2011 (video
107. Letting go 
108. Let there be light
109. Love is happiness 
110. Son of a gun

I have to say I'm pleased with it! Of course I'd change a lot if I had time... but then I have the feeling I'll never get it out. Maybe I'll do some revised issues in the future. It's rough around the edges and I should re-record some of it, but as it is it has a nice story arc, and you can see how my playing changes over the travels, which would be lost if I re-recorded. And with the songwriting, the transition from sardonic to spiritual. I'm definitely a different person than when I started travelling... more interested in meditation, well-being and other people. I'm taking a break from travelling now because when you're on the road it's very difficult to be productive. I'm working on a new album about Ayurveda, have three film ideas, make some music videos, and want to apply to festivals. As well as trying to get some assistance from music companies to make life easier, so I'm putting some effort into that as well. As always you can follow updates on the blog or go back over the last 3 years if you really truly have nothing else to do!

I toured Europe, North America, New Zealand and South-east asia. There's still lots of places still to go and all to go back to. Here's a map of the chronicles (people who've visited me, not people I've visited) with website hits for last year: