When I’m not falling over the cables trying to stand on the tables with The Eastern I’m a one man operation, spinning all the plates, burning all the rags, making the posters, driving the truck, breaking the PA, trying to tell the good stories, taking the D.I.Y. approach most of the time, ‘cause if I don’t the Black Flag Tattoo on my wrist starts burning; which it does all the time and especially lately whenever I thinks to myself “there must be an easier way than this”. The answer is there probably is, except it isn’t because it’s easy to get tangled in your expectations when you start talking plans and strategies etc. and then you get caught in ‘how to do it right’ and I’m quite contrary, cause no one really knows how that all should go down. I do a lot of things wrong but I get a lot of right out of it if that makes any kind of sense and I watch people doing everything right and only growing wronger and wronger. Sales are small around here, ticket sales down, knees weaker, brain tireder but I’m getting more human as the day goes and if I’m not mistaken the work gets closer every day. Closer to what doesn’t even matter.
I have no team (apart from my 8-9 bemused and often disappointed friends), no manager, no ambition, no plan, no goals, just a bundle of hopes and a dogged desire not to give up and not have to go looking for a day job. I’m trying to be a folk singer, singing songs about people and the things they go through and the things they find, I try to listen and make sense of it all which is hard ‘cause I’m loud and scared and a bit out of whack and running at a weird speed which is a little bit slower and a little bit faster than what it should be.
I never stops writing the songs though but, and travelling with them round and round and round ticking off a lot of singing for folks listening and a lot for folks not, but the whole rigmarole of stopping and recording them and listening to my own voice and not having a chance to tell the stories in between just seems to keep me away from any kind of studio anywhere. But back there before the pandemic I slowed down/speeded up enough to make some songs and record them and then I mostly let the whole thing lie, staying home like everyone else, then revving my roadwork and The Eastern back up, and then I figured, maybe I’d just let the record stay way down hidden with my ambitions.
A lot of people helped me make the record, and I was so grateful and didn’t want to dishonor them and their efforts but man it’s been slow going trying to think about what it all should be and how it all should be.
But then my friend Paul got sick, like real sick, like suddenly the present feels very present type sick and Paul has a little family that loves him and they need all the help and time they can get with him and the drug that might increase that time is beyond most people’s means, including Paul’s. Paul also ran a record store that just had to close and that record store had a label attached and that label put out The Eastern’s last records as well as so many other great things. VIVA ROUGH PEEL!
And when I thought about that I thought who cares about what and how, lets just get busy with DO, so I’m putting it out now, early, late, whatever.
It’s called Dear Companions, because of everything I’ve learnt or am learning about the people in the songs and what they help me learn about myself and about the world big and small (especially small). But that kind of conception is just how records start, where they end up is up to whoever gets a copy in their life.
Paul always put his heart and money where other people’s mouths were and it’s in that spirit that I release Dear Companions, right now, without any grand strategy, just get the thing out, trade it with people for money and any of that money we might generate can be given back to my Pal Paul in order to help keep him going and loving and hanging on.
With that in mind, there will be no Spotify (or the like) streaming of the album. It’s gonna be old fashioned. If anyone wants it then it’s for sale, on Vinyl, CD and Download. Any streaming might show up in the future if Paul’s need for treatment ends but right now its SELL SELL SELL as the record label people used to say.
My operation is small, jerry-rigged, run on gaffa, good will and sweat and guts and is all missteps and wonder and confusion, late payments and weird happenings but I try to make the songs as good as I can, ‘cause they keep saving me and that’s what songs are meant to do. I am under no illusion that they would or could do the same for you but I hope they might make things a little easier or at least take the edge off or maybe if the songs are ok enough help you feel like you ain’t in this whole big weird thing on your own.
I’ll be talking about it, singing it, praising everyone who helped me make it over the next while, but for now it’s out from
or here on the store page!
you can download it
buy the CD (shipping now! But if youre in chch and want it before xmas I’ll deliver it like a desperate santa!)
preoder the vinyl (shipping early FEB!, you know how vinyl goes)
it’ll be in stores early in the year
I know it’s all a bit messy but we gotta hustle up some of this dough for my brother/father/friend Paul a paypalforpalpaul if you will!
Expect everything a normal album release might entail but slower and later and all higgeldy piggeldy pie…which is perfect ‘cause it means I’m getting more human every day.
“Let the pros do what they do
They ain’t rough like me and you
I got more than enough good enough to get us through”