Detour For Some Blues News

I’m taking a slight detour today to share with you some exciting news about my good friend Jon Shain. Jon recently won the 2019 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, winning in the solo/duo category. No small honor as he had to beat out over 200 other talented artists to claim the title.

Jon is a prolific song writer who performs not only Blues but equal parts Folk and Americana. You can learn more about him and his music at jonshain.com.   You can hear Jon perform a wide variety of his musical styles on ReverbNation. 

Jon’s latest CD, “Tomorrow Will Be Yesterday Soon,” is actually a collaboration with long-time friend, and equally talented musician, FJ Ventre.  They are currently on tour, with dates in cities around the U.S. throughout the year. To see if they are playing near you check out their tour dates at jonshain.com.  Jon and FJ are dynamic and seasoned performers who will deliver a fabulous show you don’t want to miss! Here they are singing and playing together in the studio a song from their new CD.

Penny Pierce CD now in iTunes

After 2 years, countless hours of  song writing and re-writing, emotional blood sweat and tears, recording sessions, editing and mixing, not to mention a not-so-small expenditure of $$$……my CD arrived this week. I was so excited that I made the UPS driver pose for a photo, which he kindly obliged to do.

The lovely design of the CD package was done by the very talented FJ Ventre of Tad Pole Designs. The CD contains this 16 page booklet with all of the lyrics and musical credits.

You can now listen to samples of my music in the iTunes store and on cdbaby  and you can download the CD. I think the samples are much better in iTunes where they have put me in the genre of Alternative Folk. (I did not even know such a thing existed) It will be about another week before the CD shows up in Amazon where you can purchase the physical copy.

I have also created a FaceBook page that you can “Like” to follow all things socially musical.

Here is a Song Title list with description

  1. Echoes of Mercy (4:02) A poignant folk-rock anthem that brings a message of hope, one the world needs to hear right now.
  2. Up In Heaven (3:03) Let the swaying rhythm of this Bossa Nova transport you instantly to a sandy beach. Feel the ocean breeze blow with every note of the chromatic harmonica.
  3. Shadows Flee Away (4:25) Piano and cello only soar on this beautifully haunting melody that could find a home in a movie soundtrack.
  4. Dragonfly (Song for Polly) (3:31) Layers of electric guitars create a fun soundscape that imagines an insect’s migratory journey.
  5. Big Texas Heart (4:51) This authentic country-western waltz about love’s insecurity was inspired by that great Texas son, Lyle Lovett. It features fiddle and resonator guitar.
  6. Your Face, Your Voice (3:14) With the feel of a 60’s Bacharach pop tune, this song goes Old School on piano, guitar, bass and drums.
  7. Fates of Time (3:09) A piano and bass duo. Imagine if Joni Mitchell and Carole King sat down and wrote a song together.
  8. A Stone’s Throw (4:49) Finger picked duo guitars shine on this folk song about personal growth and awakening.
  9. Dark-Eyed Sailor (3:54) A traditional ballad from the 1700‘s complete with mistaken identity and a moral admonition. An accordion weaves its spell in and around beautiful vocals.
  10. The Net (3:13) Another piano and bass duet– two musicians on an empty, echoey stage play for themselves after the lights dim and the audience has gone home.

 

 

Another Step Closer to Becomming Reality

0620161249The late June recording sessions went well at Good Luck Studios in Chapel Hill. The first day in the studio is always the hardest for me, and this time was no exception.  After all the microphones were set up and levels checked etc., I had to lay down a guitar/vocal “scratch track,” (used as a template), for each of my two new songs. A click track,( a sound like a metronome keeping time), plays in my headset while I do this. Then I lay down a guitar only track while listening to the scratch track and/or the click track playing in my ears. This work tests and stretches my abilities to their max! Jon snapped this picture of me during a break on our very first day.

IMG_2651On day two I put down the vocal tracks to these two songs as well as some harmony vocals on previously recorded songs. Day three was primarily Jon Shain, (my producer), laying down his guitar parts and a lot of listening to all the rough mixes of the recorded songs. We made decisions about which ones would make the cut for the cd.

As is always the case, something wonderfully serendipitous happened during the recording sessions. On the last day, Jon thought about adding an accordion to my rendition of “Dark Eyed Sailor,” a traditional Broadside Ballad from the 1700’s. He called up his friend, Chris IMG_2671Frank, who was not only home at the time but had the time to come down to the studio and lend his exceptional talent to the song. Chris is a long time member of the internationally renown Red Clay Ramblers. Chris’s poignant harmonies and melodic lines added a layer of beauty and authenticity to this recording.

IMG_2662To round out the day, FJ Ventre, (my engineer), recorded several bass tracks to add to songs as needed. Next up, the rough tracks will be mixed and then mastered. This work will probably take until the end of August.

While FJ works his magic, I must turn my attention to the actual manufacturing of the disc. It will go to Discmakers for production but there is much to be decided upon regarding artistic design for the packaging. Album title, song sequencing, art work and or photographs, song lyrics, credits, printing design, etc. must all be finalized before it can go into production. I have my work cut out for me in the coming weeks! I will keep you posted on my progress. Thanks everyone for following.