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