Lockdown Music Video “Where The Dirty River Flows”

Corona lockdown has left me some time to finally finish a video I started work on last year. The song is an old one, a kind of poem about the tension between our busy lives, the need to be always producing, and having time to feel compassion and empathy.

Music videos have been a bit of a challenge that I’ve been digging into in the last year. For this one I decided to use some old footage from American public information videos which is now public domain. There are some beautiful images in there, and it was fun to find them.

Bathing girls from a 50’s film about Oklahoma

Putting it all together was quite a work, I have so much to learn about this. It’s also made me start to see film through new eyes.

“Poor old agricultural – worrying over yields”

I hope you enjoy the song.

Wishing you a safe and well Corona lockdown!

Wouldn’t That Be A Thing

This was written back in January 2019, when the whole thing of kids protesting about climate change was kicking off. It has a kind of protest song vibe to it. I wrote the song and did a pretty quick demo, here it is. Soon I should do a YouTube version.

A month later I performed it live for the first time at a house concert at Very Fine Solutions, that version is on the CD of that name.

I get numb watching the news right now
Rich old white guys do their thing
They don't speak for me anyhow
Wouldn't that be a thing

I don't hold with the things they say
Madness of the king
Hoping change is on the way
Wouldn't that be a thing

And I'm wondering about you right now
All tied up in your own string
I don't get through to you anyhow
Wouldn't that be a thing

It's yesterday's connection now
With a sell by date on the tin
I can't lose myself in that anyhow
Wouldn't that be a thing

I get numb waiting for you right now
Hurting from your own sting
Got my own wounds to clean anyhow
Wouldn't that be a thing

The kids are smarter than the grown ups now
They show the whole damn world something
Maybe change comes along some day now
Wouldn't that be a thing
Wouldn't that be a thing

Review for “So Far From My Home” at www.cultuurpakt.be

Somehow a copy of the new live CD “So Far From My Home” found it’s way to Knopskaya (otherwise known as Veerle Deknopper) who works for Flemish cultural centre “Cultuurpakt”. She has been kind enough to give the CD an excellent (Dutch language) review, which you can find here (link to cultuurpakt.be).

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THE MIGHTY FLEA PORTABLE GUITAR AMP

Back in 2017, I designed “The Mighty Flea” – a 20W guitar amplifier aimed mostly at acoustic jazz guitarists, and built a couple of prototypes. I used to go to gypsy jazz festivals a lot, and I thought it would be great to make a portable amp aimed primarily at acoustic jazz guitarists – something that looked stylish, and sounded similar to the vintage Stimer amps that those Dhango Reinhardt made famous, but could run off batteries and be played around a campfire.

The boxes for the prototype amplifiers were made by my friend Peter Lewis, and as you can see he did a fantastic job – they really look the part.

Mighty Flea Guitar Amp
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The MASSCOT – A Pure Analogue Sound Sculpting Engine for Guitar and Bass

The MASSCOT (Massive Analogue Sound Shaper – Compressor, Overdrive, Tone) is an effects pedal for guitar and bass players that creates a full, warm sound that is the hallmark of top quality analogue circuitry.

MASSCOT – Massive Analogue Sound Shaper – Compressor, Overdrive, Tone

At the heart of the MASSCOT is a unique optical compressor – a compressor that always sounds smooth but never pumps, due to the custom-designed control circuitry which uses the characteristics of the optical element to shape the sound. The circuit was designed in the spirit of the great circuit designs of the 50s, 60s and 70s, without being a direct “clone” of any of them. rather, a lengthy process of trying design ideas, and then both measuring and listening to the results has given this circuit its unique sound.

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