Where the Silver Fox talks about making beautiful music with Serenity :-) Read to the bottom to hear some of our songs!
Lately, Serenity and I have been working together creating music… NOT sitting around like a couple of hippies on the way to Bethel in 1969, nor (hopefully) acting like this couple from Four Weddings and a Funeral!!
What we are trying to do is make a variety of disparate lyrics and tunes come together in song form - not an easy task!
When I retired, Serenity bought me a small recording studio… a separate building from the main house which contains my guitar collection, keyboards, basses, microphones, amplifiers, effects pedals, and the centrepiece, a Tascam 24 track digital recorder. It is heaven!
When I was a youth, (in the 1970’s-80’s), music, football, and girls were all I thought about (not necessarily in that order) and when my uncle (he is only 3 years older than me, so we grew up as brothers) and I got hold of some cheap guitars and a bongo drum from Woolworths, we were all set! Just how awful it must have sounded I actually DO know as a cassette tape of those days exists that shows all the horror (and no, I'm not including any of those early tracks here!) Over time however, I veered towards playing drums, and Pete, my uncle, began his lifelong love affair with the guitar. He remains the best player I have ever known.
Fast forward ten years, and I was now singing and playing the drums in a band formed with some like-minded teachers at the school I was teaching History at in England. Being a singing- drummer seems so natural to me, but for the audience, hearing a voice but not knowing where the voice was coming from must have been a bit of a puzzle. I called the band ‘The Witan’, named after the group of advisors to the Saxon Kings (see, History comes in everywhere). The idea was that I would set up a recording room in our home, and anyone who happened by could add tracks to songs I had co-written with a very gifted writer from London, Stephen Willson.
Moving to New Zealand sort of ruined that, and I lost touch with Steve, and Pete, and music fell away from my life... BUT my beautiful, talented wife has rekindled a passion for music that I thought was extinct…I now have a fantastic collection of guitars (I am getting better at playing them) and our purpose-built studio is amazing… my 15-year-old self would have fainted with joy.
I'll write more posts later about our how our music is progressing, but for now Serenity is going to attach a few of our songs to this post… they may not be great, but they are OURS, and that is special indeed.
First of all, I'm going to include a cover we did ages ago called Down to the River. We had been watching O Brother Where Art Thou, and we fell in love with this song and decided to give it a go ourselves. Our son was only young back then, and we did this recording while he had his afternoon snooze! We're not religious - it's just a very beautiful song.
As time goes by, you’ll come to realize that I don’t have a great voice as I have a tendency to go flat! For this song, I had to sing the whole song a cappella (voice only) by myself, without any kind of music to guide me! I’m really proud of myself for being able to do that. Add to this the beautiful voice of the Silver Fox, especially from verse three when he comes in with two distinct harmonies, and I think this is a fantastic track, one we’re both really proud of.
The second track is a Witan original, called St. George’s Road, with the lyrics written by Willson, the music written and drums and vocals performed by the Silver Fox, the bass by David Riggs, and the lead guitar by David Adams. It’s a super song, full of energy, and we’re all really proud of it.
I wrote the lyrics for the next one – you can probably tell, as it’s a real ballad, soft and romantic. It’s called Strawberry Sunday. I seem to recall the Silver Fox having trouble not to laugh during the "stick and slide" line...
And lastly, here is our first track produced in the NZ studio. It’s a Witan original, called My Manuka (by which I mean My Honey), with lyrics by moi, and all the music and vocals by the Silver Fox. We’re still learning how to use the new recorder, so forgive us for any inconsistencies, but I think it’s a lovely romantic song!
I’m now under strict instructions to write something less romantic, though, LOL. I’ll let you know what I come up with!
S & SF xx
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