Big thanks to Chris Lyne at CKCU FM31.0 for including my song Chopping Wood on his Bedtime Stories show
I’ve found it. My new passion.
Yes, yes playing for tired people while they’re running..(the power of music and motivation)….
On Sunday 26th May I had been asked to perform a covers set of 90mins playing to the runners (of Rock n Roll Marathon Liverpool) as they passed by through Liverpool City centre. I got to perform the fab Stage X which was a Stage Bus (a converted double decker bus) that caught runners just coming in from their 4mile windy, rainy stint down the prom.
I had some good fun choosing a set list for this. With the job of motivating people when they’re tired, making them smile and hopefully join in singing…, I DID play Eye of the Tiger and yes, people sang along…more please!
When the Event Manager, the Sound Engineers (and the sound) and the nearby deli/eatery (thank you Delifonseca Dockside!) were all amazing to deal with, I consider it a great gig 🙂
I hope to see you next year!
Great news this week to learn that Sharks, the song I co-wrote with Luke Moore/Operation Lightfoot is currently getting lots of good feedback on the Fresh on the Net – Listening Post (Batch 322).
Beat the January Blues.
I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Raphael Callaghan and Al ‘bluesman’ Peters. Cracking night of Blues, slide, songwriting, Very happy. Lovely sound, great crowd….
The first time I’ve done a gig on Peppermint Tea and then got up at 7am the next morning to do Princes parkrun. A different kind of Rock n Roll altogether 😉
I’m excited to announce I will be performing a set of songs for Liverpool Acoustics ‘Beat The January Blues’ on 5th Jan.
Their new venue is 81 Renshaw st. It would be great to see some familiar faces there to bring in 2018.
I will be sharing the evening with…
Al ‘Bluesman’ Peters
See you there!
A fantastic song written by my good friend David Masson.
I loved this song as soon as I heard it and couldn’t wait to put my vocals on there. It’s the first time I’ve done a duet, and I loved what Masso had done with it. It’s punchy and pithy and lulling. I love the sparseness and then the build. It’s dark and weaving and a bit eerie. I find it exposing and comforting.
A few weeks ago we shot a video to go with the song. A video that was, and is lots of fun and filled with oddness. Testament to the vision and creative skill of Mr Masson who conceived of the whole thing and came back with this….
and it’s also the first time I’ve been asked to choke up yakky stuff for art.
Have a watch and a listen, share and enjoy!
oooh …..this song gives me the chills every time I hear it!
Me and the fabulous Grethe Borsum (Get Her Band) sat down a couple of years ago with some beers and whisky, my resonator and a means to record. The intention? to do some songwriting…
Approaching collaborations you never really know how it will go until it does. The best I bring to it is to focus everything I’ve learned as a musician and songwriter and try to stay focussed on getting something to come away with, as well as having an experience that nurtures the creative process….it needs to flow 🙂 Admittedly, I was a teensy bit nervous, mostly because I’m used to writing on my own and it feels so vulnerable doing that with someone else.
It turned out that we had a lot to talk about…as the evening passed we crafted and played, had a chat and beer break, repeated this countless times. The result of which is this beautiful, lullaby of a song I get lost in every time I hear. Drink Me.
Proud. Happy. A genuine marinated shared creative experience.
When Grethe made a trip back to Liverpool last month we got together and recorded this video in Jacaranda, I’m so happy it’s here to share. Thanks to Grethe for her amazing video skills as well as the experience of writing this song together! Also, shout out to Luke Moore who jumped in and did some videoing for us too.
So, 2, 3, or even possibly 4 years ago I made a quip on Facebook regarding having the cold coffee blues…
… once upon a time I would drink my way through a Cafetiere of coffee whilst working/songwriting and drink it dry as it was going cold….now? no, no, I like it hot!
Hence my proclamation.
This was commented on at the time by an old friend of mine from my time on the Popular Music BTEC at Thornes Park College..Mr Ryan Mitchell – Smith, that it would indeed be a great song title. I agreed. I said I’d write it and he said he would play harmonica on it.
Being the kind of person that if I say I’ll do something, I tend to mean it. 10 years may go past but I will carry it and one day, it will be done. And here we are.
Cold Coffee Blues is now a song. When I sat down with my guitar to write one day, that song just fell out, (as easy as knocking over my coffee has been plenty of times). It’s fun, it’s thoughtful, it’s easy and cathartic and made me smile and when I smile playing one of my own songs, its all good! Once I’d finished it I was hoping Ryan would still be up for being a part of this. Lucky for me he was still into it.
Full circle. I’m totally honoured. Ryan has nailed this song. We have some cheeky Blues Harp. His playing is awesome and has really captured the vibe and it’s been on repeat in my headphones for the last couple of weeks. It’s really exciting for me to work with people on my music, and when it fits, it’s magic. Like excited being a kid magic. Things I wouldn’t and couldn’t have done myself. It’s much more fun involving others!
Cold Coffee Blues will be on my next album. I’m recording and working with guest musicians to make it an album I’m happy, excited and proud to share. So far it’s all working to plan 🙂 I’ll be continuing with updates as things happen each step of the way and when I have bits of music to share it will be here first!
Thanks for reading, listening and sharing and don’t forget……..DON’T LET YOUR COFFEE GET COLD.
There are things bubbling under the surface at the moment that make me happy to be creative.
The main thing I’d like to talk about today is my studio session with Cello on 2 tracks for my currently-being-record album…
Last month I headed down to Crosstown Studios in Liverpool to work with Jon Lawton again. Love working with Jon, so chilled and interesting, great coffee and an ideal ear to bounce ideas off! This time it was with the company of Luke Moore. I’ve worked with Luke on a couple of occasions on Operation Lightfoot projects and he has many hats but in this situation it was as Cellist, Cellist to contribute and weave some dark, beautiful string tones to 2 of my songs. The songs most fitting for this – Riches to Rags and Say Everything Do Nothing. It’s exciting for me to hear an instrument I don’t play adding sprinklings to my songs. Strings have such a powerful sound and I came away from the studio very happy. So, amidst conversations about zombies, Crystal Maze, Obstacle Races and coffee we put melodies and rhythms down to enhance, enhance, enhance. I had lots of fun being objective about my music and I’m now able to stand back from these songs and enjoy the craft. Being in the studio has to be one of my favourite ways to spend time, especially building my own songs. Onwards!
NEXT UP NEWS!……. I have another fantastic guest musician to announce on another song in the coming week for the album…. I’m going to sit on the details of this a tad longer but this song is on repeat on my phone at the moment and makes me smile 🙂 There will be details of this to come.
On a slightly different note…I did my first ever 10k Obstacle race last month called Wolf Run. Loved it! So much fun, so much mud. More more more. This is my preferred way to defrag and get a body stretch and some fresh air, for this I’m grateful.
Earlier this week I headed out to meet with Luke Moore (my collaborator for Sharks with Operation Lightfoot) and Jazamin Sinclair (multi – artist and in this case, videographer and photographer..) to get filming our video for said song. We wrote the song a while ago now and after piecing bits together are a step closer to releasing it! For this I am excited, I love this song. After brainstorming ideas a couple of months ago and then Luke fine-tuning them, we’re off…………
The morning looked like this… a coffee, chat, catch up and superfood salad… plans and directions decided, satiated and ready to go film….
We ventured various places over the course of the day. The trees, the beach, face down in the sand, avoiding statues, dogs and boats. We squelched down dingy railway alleys and bin alleys in the dark, ran through doors and ended up in the cellar. We had a giggle, drank lots of coffee and after 10 hours had enough footage to allow ourselves sleep. I had an amazing experience working with these two folks. It was easy and fun, and we got stuff done. I’m excited to see the finished edit and to premier at View Two Gallery, Liverpool on 25th November 2016… cant wait to share.
And this is what I looked like at the end of the day…..
Creeping from the darkest corners of the cellar I present to you ‘Sharks…Operation Lightfoot featuring Jo Bywater’….the Teaser/Trailer/Taster of what’s to come your way this November….
Here are a few words from Mr Operation Lightfoot himself, Luke Moore..
“It’s been great to work with Jo again after finishing the track earlier in the year. In the video pre-production meeting we talked about a few things that we wanted to try out and put together the framework of how this might look and the footage that we got is even better than I’d expected.
We’re aiming to have the video ready to accompany us at the next Operation Lightfoot performance on Friday 25th November at the View Two Gallery in Liverpool.
The song and video, like the other Operation Lightfoot material, is a great example of how collaboration and working outside the usual comfort zone can be both a creatively enlightening experience as well as produce really strong results.
Jo has been a really strong co-writer, flawless performer and working with her from behind the camera was an absolute joy and I think we were both pleasantly surprised by what we achieved. I’d like to say a big thank you to Jazamin Sinclair, too, who has really done a great job so far and I’m very keen to work with as soon as possible”.
See you there!