Tag Archives: Acoustic

‘In The Shawowland’ The St Illtud’s Sessions

It gives me great pleasure to share ‘In The ShadowLand’ from The St Illtud’s Sessions, recorded live on location.

I have a growing interest in field recordings, so when the opportunity to record at the remarkable St Illtud’s Church in Llantwit Major came along , I welcomed it with open arms.

The project evolved from visits to St Illtuds, playing at the monthly open mic there and creative conversations with music enthusiast Canon Edwin Counsell and musician-producer Kevs Ford.

Our field recordings from this ancient space will not be perfect but will hopefully capture in someway the essence of this sacred place.

We kept the set up and the tracks simple, using condenser mics and an ambient room mic for live recording, in the extraordinary Galilee Chapel, home to an incredible collection of Celtic Stones.

On ‘In The Shadowland’  Peter Rosser accompanies me beautifully on acoustic guitar. Recording at St Illtuds, has really meant a great deal to me, as I feel a deep sense of connection to Llanilltud Fwar.

I wrote ‘In The Shadowland’ when I came home after an evening at Company of Words a open mic of spoken word and song organised by a friend and a fundraiser for Papyrus, the National charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. The sorrow and the hope shared that evening stayed with me, I was profoundly moved and the song welled up in me. It was late, I picked up my guitar and very quietly wrote ‘In The Shadowland’

I wasn’t aware until I played the song to a friend that it echoed a line from the exquisite “Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats, inspired by the song of a nightingale, it was written in 1819, and has it’s centenary in 2019. The poem must have been in my subconscious when I was writing.

“Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known”
An extract from John Keats ‘Ode To A Nightingale’

Kevs and I started our musical journey together a few years ago when we recorded my song ‘Our Places’ live by the River Ely in Cardiff. The St Illtud’s Session have been a great opportunity for us to get back to where we first started and explore ideas and sounds in situ.

After our first day of recording I wrote a short tone poem, a site specific composition called ‘ Living Stones’. To help me gain a better sense of the space, in the summer I spent an afternoon sitting amongst the ancient Celtic stones in The Galilee Chapel, sketching The Houelt cross, listening to the sounds in and around the building.

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The St Illtud’s Sessions are an ongoing project which we hope to keep exploring and developing. We are listening back in the studio our field recordings and hope to have enough material for an EP to be released in the early spring.

My warmest thanks are given to the St Illtud’s community who have encouraged my music and helped make this project possible. There is a great wealth of talent and sharing of creativity at the Open Mic which runs on the first Friday of each month, run by Peter Cronin and friends.

There is much to be discovered at the ancient site of St Illtud’s and the surrounding area of Llantwit Major. I look forward to what will be revealed next on this creative journey and I hope dear reader you will check in along the way.

In The Shadowland’ Live – The St Illtud’s Sessions is available to listen, stream and download from Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

Recorded live on location by Kevs Ford at The Galilee Chapel, St Illtuds, Llantwit Major, Wales

Written by Bel Blue

Bel Blue: vocals, guitar
Peter Rosser: vocals, guitar

Produced by Kevs Ford and Bel Blue

Massive thanks to St Illtud’s Church, Edwin and friends

Photography Jack Constable @jacsimages

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Company of Words Summer Sizzler

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It’s lovely to be invited along to share my songs at Cardiff’s Company of Words summer special open air, open mic event. Taking place in beautiful Cardiff Bay at The Look Out Cafe Bar, July 25th 6-9pm.

Set up by the vibrant Alix Edwards, visual artist and writer, the night promises a sizzling array of guest performances and Open Mic Performance, poetry, song, prose.

Guest performers for the night are the amazing Welsh Hip Hop literary artist Rufus Mufasa, myself Bel Blue-Singer-Songwriter and Poet Rhys Milsom.

Rufus Mufasa and myself will be joining forces to perform a recently workshopped collaboration.

If you want to come along and share your words, sign-ups are from 5.30pm. Event time 6-9pm. donations for papyrus

There will be a collection for Papyrus

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Photo Credit: http://www.huwdale.co.uk

Event information here:

 

Company Of Words Summer Sizzler

Alix Edwards Visual Artist and Writer

Links to guest performers:

Rufus Mufasa

Debut Album ‘Fur Coats From The Lions Den’

Bel Blue

soundcloud.com/belbluemusic

www.facebook.com/belbluemusic

open.spotify.com/artist

belblue.bandcamp.com/album/our-places

Rhys Milsom

 

FATEA Showcase Sessions Winter 16 “Mirror”

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Bel Blue’s Wild Dog Rose from her debut album “Our Places” is one of the tracks featured in the latest Fatea Magazine Fatea Showcases  Winter 2016 session – Mirror It was released on Nov 1st, with a playlist of 18 exceptional artists. It’s a free download and only available for three months. These sessions are a great way to discover new music. download it. You won’t be disappointed. http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/news/WinterMirror/

Download here www.fatea-showcase-sessions.co.uk

Chosen by the FATEA team, it’s an eclectic mix of some of the best rising names across the acoustic spectrum for your enjoyment. Thankyou Neil King.

The download comes to you at no charge, please support the artists involved. The 2016 Fatea Showcase Session Front Covers are artworked by Daria Kulesh

01. Ange Hardy & Lukas Drinkwater – Daughters Of Watchet
02. Georgia Shackleton Trio – Endurance
03. Kizzy Crawford – Gerridae
04. Jack Cookson – Old Chapels O’ Stone
05. The Leylines – Let It Go
06. Plu – Gollwng Gafael
07. Ruth Theodore – Buffalo
08. Matt Cudby & Erin Brown – P Stands For Paddy
09. Fara – Games People Play
10. Granny’s Attic – Away To The South’ard
11. The Barber Sisters – The Ox
12. The FB Pocket Orchestra – I Lost My Girl From Memphis
13. The Brewer’s Daughter – Home, Sweet Home
14. Bel Blue – Wild Dog Rose
15. The Amazing Devil – Not Yet/Love Run (Reprise)
16. Carrie Martin – What If
17. Anne Sumner – Tide Will Turn
18. Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage – Lady Margaret

 

Wild Dog Rose

from Our Places, released August 1, 2016
Bel Blue: vocal, guitar
Jamie Nemeth: Violin
Ben Steer: Mandolin
Kevs Ford: Harmonium
AJ Constable: Percussion

Recorded and produced by Kevs Ford
© 2016 BelBlueMusic

Bel Blue,Our Places, Album of The Month

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I am delighted to announce that I have finished my first album, Our Places, to be released on 1st August 2016, recorded and produced by Kevs Ford, Our Places will be available online at Bandcamp, belblue.co.uk, and locally at Retro-Vibe Music

I am also knocked out, Our Places is the featured Album of the month for July, on The Honky Tonk Radio Show with Jeremy Rees each week he will play a song from the new album, so far he has played In Its Time and the opening track Longings Gone. Listen in for more exclusive plays from the album.

 

Curated by  Jeremy Rees the weekly radio show on BRfm presents new releases from the world, Country, Americana, Rockabilly, Western Swing & Roots music, together with classic tracks. The show is broadcast weekly on BRfm 97.3 in Blaenau Gwent, South Wales on Thursday mornings at 11am – It is also syndicated on Blues & Roots Radio (Can/Aus/UK); WRFN 1025 (UK); Radio Galaxy 105 FM (Malta); MDORadio.com (US) and Radio Goolarri 99.7FM (Australia); Spellbound Harbour Radio 106.8 FM (New Zealand); Pirate Nation Radio (Bristol, UK) and on West Yorkshire’s Pennine235. Monthly version on UKCountryRadio.com. All shows available to stream online on Mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/honkytonkradioshow/

Any profits from the album after project costs, will be donated to ‘Michael’s Project’ a service for men, run by the mental health charity Cardiff MInd.

 

Bel Blue 2000 Days Music Video

My first visual project, Bel Blue 2000 Days music video is published on You Tube.

The track brought to mind some of the amazing paintings by Welsh UV reactive abstract artist Glyndwr Brimacombe, and I was delighted to have his permission to use some stills of his work.

Photo by Clint Elwyn Thomas Photography
Glyndwr Brimacombe at Cynon Valley Museum, Photo by Clint Elwyn Thomas

I often collect short clips on my mobile as source material for my songs and enjoyed using some for 2000 Days. I used an imovie app on a mini ipad, with limited editing, which I  am still learning, but happy to share my first go.

The Welsh landscape informs much of my practice and the video includes footage from The Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales: Penarth Beach , The wishing tree at Tinkinswood Burial ground, Nash Point, and The Gower, Llangennith Beach. 2000 Days is a previously unreleased track by Bel Blue, recorded back in the day at Signal Box Studio, Cardiff Bay.

 

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The Captain’s Purse, our first music and poetry Demo

A little colloboration project ‘The Captain’s Purse’ weaves poetry and folk together. A poetic threnody, originally titled Ship to Shore, by C Searle, I was captivated by the poem when I  heard it read, and was invited to put it to music. We performed it with the poet at Rhyme and Real Ale, in Cardiff this May, and a week later, we all headed up to  Shabbey Road Studios, Caerphilly and recorded a semi live demo, of The Captain’s Purse. The song, takes us on a tragic sea journey, in three parts, as spoken word and vocals merge together, with violin, mandolin, banjo and percussion.

Bel Blue: Vocals, Guitar/ C Searle: Spoken Word/ Heulwen Thomas: Violin, Vocals/ Ben Steer: Mandolin, Banjo,Vocals/ Andy Constable: Percussion.

Art work by Andy Constable

The Captain's Purse

Caerphilly Folk, Recording Dunraven Bay at Shabbey Road Studio’s

After a gentle walk at Southern Down, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, this September, I sat on a hill overlooking the breathtaking Dunraven Bay and the words of Dunraven Bay began to form.

Just a few weeks later, I learn’t to play a basic Travis picking style on my guitar via talented musician and teacher Shemi Jones. It fitted the song so well, the rhythm of the picking rolled like the waves of the sea.

Photo 03-11-2014 20 05 58Happy coincidence and a helping hand from my local poet friend, saw me heading over to Shabbey Road Studios, Caerphilly to put the song down. After a very warm welcome from the Shabbey Road Team, Al Steele and Ceri, a few hours later, I left the recording studio with this beautiful song Dunraven Bay.

Percussionist Andy Constable, added a clay bodied Tabla, that drives the song all the way though, with an undulating beat.

Recording in the Studio with Andy Constable and Al Steele.
In Shabbey Road Studio’s with Andy Constable and Al Steele.

As the track came together, Al Steele, opened it up, by laying down a beautiful piano and bass accompaniment.

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Since I began writing this blog, Dunraven Bay had its frist radio play on The Acoustic Programme, on Radio Tircoed, thanks Andy Boyt, a fabulous folky show every Friday eve 🙂 It is also listed to play on the wonderful HonkyTonk with Jeremy Rees on his November 20th Show, Galaxy 105FM (Malta) on Thursdays at 21:15. Dunraven Bay is on its journey.

My many thanks to Andy Constable, for his encouragement and percussion, to Al Steele, his lovely partner Ceri, and to everyone who’s been part of this musical journey.