August has rolled around and we're suddenly in the midst of an election campaign. Fear not. I'm not going to express any political opinions in this blog. There are enough people out there who will deluge the country in political statements without me adding to them.
That's the title of my new album which is in the can and will be going to the presses shortly. As with the previous two instrumental CDs, Eight Winds has been produced by David Findlay at Otitis Media in Lunenburg, In addition to the production, Dave has also lent his considerable musical talent to the project. We were in the studio doing final polishing a few days ago and he expressed the opinion that it is the best we've done so far.
A particular treat during the production of Eight Winds has been the addition of three duets co-written by my friend Duncan Woodcock. Duncan was the one who introduced me to finger-style guitar when I was first learning to play. He lives in the UK so we don't get together very often. In May, he came to Lunenburg for a visit and we spent a good deal of the time playing guitars.
Several years ago, we co-wrote a couple of guitar duets but we never had good quality recordings of them. While Duncan was in Nova Scotia, we wrote a third piece. I asked if he would play on Eight Winds and whether we could include the three tracks on the CD. I'm pleased to say he was very happy to participate so we went up to the attic and recorded the guitar parts then spent a couple of afternoons with the talented Mr. Findlay.
The finished version of the CD will include 11 tracks plus a bonus. Eight of them are Bob originals and three are the afore-mentioned co-writes. The bonus track is an alternative mix to one of the co-writes. While we were mixing the new song we'd written, David added some percussion, piano and a bass track. After listening to both the guitars-only duet and the "full band" version, we had difficulty deciding which should be on the CD, so they both are. I prefer the guitars only version; Duncan prefers the full band version. David was very diplomatic and didn't cast a deciding vote.
Eight Winds will be available on CD and as a digital download. You will be able to order CDs and digital copies from my
website and I will have CDs and download cards available at live
performances. As I'm composing this blog, download cards are at the printer. The CD artwork is complete and is being entered into the format that the manufacturer requires for printing. If all goes to plan, we should have the CDs made in September and we will be looking into a formal release some time after that.
Also coming up in the near future is a visit to the United Kingdom on a short tour. In October, I'll be performing at the Lancaster Music Festival. I am pleased to announce that Duncan will be joining me on stage for some of the performances.
Through the miracle of technology, we've been working up a number of songs for the set list, including the three duets on Eight Winds and also working up duet arrangments of some of our other songs. I'll be in Lancaster for a few days prior to the festival and we're going to be spending most of the time rehearsing.
In addition to the festival, I will also be appearing at The New Mills Folk Club doing a short guest set and I'm in negotiations with a venue in Poynton, Cheshire. More details will be announced as they become available.
I'm still waiting for final confirmation but a big thrill for me will be performing an opening set for one of my musical heroes, Wizz Jones. Wizz will be playing in Hope, Derbyshire near where I'm staying. I was originally just planning to be part of the audience but on the basis that you don't get it if you don't ask, I emailed the club organizers and asked if I could do an opening set. They have tentatively agreed so it will be my great pleasure to share the stage with Wizz.
I'm still looking into additions to the tour but for now, that's all we can formally announce. It's been a busy summer and it will be a busy fall. As always, thanks for reading this far and thank you for your support.