Busy Days

To quote Jonathan Richman, it’s gotta be action packed. Well, it has been. I feel like I’m running in several directions at once but headway’s being made.

Norton Money played last week down at the Aces & Eights in Tufnell Park, London. Great to get back onstage and see friends after a summer break from gigging. I been doing a lot of recording recently. I’ve been laying down guitar and voice versions of some of my solo songs. This album I’ve had in the works for a while, Car Pizza, has been delayed because I wasn’t really happy with the way the full band versions of songs were sounding. I’m thinking of just keeping it as a more acoustic affair. 

I’ve been working on recording a song with a South African songwriter called Dan Szymczak. I really like the tune and I think it’s cool that he primarily writes songs on a ukulele. Talented drummer too. 

This week, my other band, Grace Solero, has been working on mixing our 2nd album at Assault & Battery Studio in London. This is a place of dreams. Gold and platinum records on the walls and I’m getting awfully distracted from mixing when there’s Alan Moulder’s guitar collection in the other room. A couple Fender Jaguars from the 60s as well as an old Jazzmaster. There’s a strange old plastic Maccaferri and I’m happy to see a Surfcaster representing. The mixes are coming along really well. Darren Lawson is our able and talented mixing engineer and Bjorn, Grace and I shout at him to make changes. No, actually, we all make a really good team. Darren has worked closely with Alan and Flood at this studio so it’s like we have home field advantage. We’re here through Sunday and hope to get back next week for a couple more days. Mixing is such an intense, exhilerating, exhausting, fun experience and to have Darren expertly working the controls of so many fun processors makes it all the better. 

A couple months ago, I met a Swedish fiddle player called Hanna Grahm while busking at Piccadilly Circus. We ended up jamming on a bunch of my songs for over an hour. I was amazed how quickly she picked them up and how much soul she put into her playing. A lot of passersby were stopping and there was such a great energy coming from the music. She was only in London for one night before heading to the US to go play at bunch of music festivals. I’m hoping to get her back here soon to record some songs, get an album together and hit the road. 

Having the Olympics in London was pretty darn fun too. I spent a few days and evenings checking out events on big screens in Victoria Park, just a stone’s throw from the Olympic Stadium. There was a great roar there and lots of Jamaicans when Bolt won the 200m and Jamaica got gold, silver and bronze. I also played a solo gig at the Diamond Club at Emirates Stadium for a Chinese sports company that was here for the Olympics. Met some really cool musicians that were also playing. 

So as fall starts, I just have to focus on my several simultaneous things going on. Easy enough. Thanks for reading. 

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