One of my greatest passions is discovering new musicians and artists and 2016 was a great year for me in terms of uncovering some great sounds, several for the first time.
Of those I listened to, these really stood out:
I came across a song called ‘The Greatest’ by a group called King. I really like the sound; it reminds me a little of Janet Jackson. I also rediscovered Minnie Ripperton whose voice I have always loved, particularly some of her earlier songs such as Les Fleurs and Black Gold of the Sun.
New Year, New songs to discover….I’ll keep you posted on some of my favourites.
“As the least experienced musician in the band, my teacher is particularly important to my progress and I have been lucky to have had a few lessons from my friend, the great Benny Greb in Hamburg. https://bennygreb.de. Benny’s teaching technique is very relevant to me and his patience has helped me enormously. However badly I play now (!), I would be a lot worse without his guidance. In terms of the drummers I admire apart from Benny, there are some great technicians alive today who are very impressive. But the maestro, Buddy Rich would be hard to beat IMO. Having been lucky enough to see him play live twice before his untimely death, these were experiences I won’t forget.”
One of the bands I am really enjoying at the moment is Tame Impala. Their latest album ‘Currents’ has some very interesting ideas. The first song on the album, ‘Let it happen’ has a really great driving feel to it. I love the use of synths on this album too. Some very cool retro 80s sounds! I think the vocals also have a great psychedelic feel to them. Overall, loving this album at the moment. I must get to see them live. Great band……
We’ve been really busy in the studio lately, rehearsing new material for our forthcoming album and making some important finishing touches to songs that we feel are almost ready to go. These are creative, hectic and fun times and I always find it helps to listen to some great music for added inspiration and, well…just pleasure really!
I’ve been listening to quite an eclectic selection this time. I’m really enjoying some old classics such as Parliament Songs: ‘I’ve been watching you (move your sexy body)’ and Johnny Guitar Watson ‘The Real Deal’. More current artists on my ‘essential to listen to’ list are the truly magnificent Damian Rice Album, ‘O’ and the enigmatic Rosie Lowe. Rosie somehow combines a unique style of RnB and clever electronic intonation with her lovely, soulful voice. I honestly don’t think I will ever grow tired of listening to her.
Going into the studio to record our songs has become a labour of love. We usually know pretty much what we want to achieve as Wayne (mostly) has written the song idea and recorded his voice to a simple backing track as a guide. We may have a few to choose from so then decide which song or songs we want to work on that day and off we go.
Often I’ll change things slightly as I start to record and see how the song works with my voice and usually I will write a second and third verse depending. I also write songs but mostly I collaborate with Wayne our keyboard player who is our main writer.
I like to get my vocals as right as I can from the start though we often go back and re record parts I feel I can improve on. Hearing it finished with the rest of the band recorded, produced and finally mastered is very satisfying and quite thrilling, but it’s the work beforehand where I start with the basic melody and track that is the part I particularly love, as each time it’s a new venture which may or may not blossom. Though quite early on we usually know which will be a winner for us!
Jools Holland is, quite simply, one of the biggest names of the UK jazz and blues scene. Acclaimed by the King of the Blues, BB King, who said “I didn’t think anyone could play like that. Jools has got a left hand that never stops”, Jools has been awarded an OBE for services to music and performed in front of dignitaries such as Bill Clinton, Jaques Chirac, Tony Blair and Boris Yeltsin.
The list of jazz and rock greats that Jools has performed with reads like a ‘who’s Who’ of the music industry: Squeeze [naturally!] Sting, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, George Harrison, David Gilmour, Bono, Dr John, Kylie Minogue, Amy Winehouse, Eartha Kitt, Joss Stone and Tom Jones to name a few – not to mention the myriad of artists that have appeared and played on his show, ‘Later… with Jools Holland’, which is quite simply required watching for anyone with even the slightest interest in music. As the Daily Mail wrote in 2013, “After 21 years, Later… with Jools Holland is still the only show every musician wants to be on.”
Ten Millennia were thrilled to be able to support Jools and his legendary Rhythm and Blues Orchestra [which often features soul singers Ruby Turner and Sam Brown] when they performed at the beautiful Spa theatre in Scarborough in May.
Ten Millennia’s pop/jazz sound was ideal for a large-capacity venue. The crowd embraced Ten Millennia’s set, with new songs such as Give it up and Turn me on got people out of their chairs, dancing and swaying along to the music.
If you missed your chance to see Ten Millennia perform on the big stage, then we have some great news! As Jules explains “We’re absolutely delighted to announce that Jools has invited us to support him later in the year. For details of upcoming gigs, join our mailing list.”
Recently, the band released their debut album, available here. It had been a huge ambition to cut an album of original material, so when the opportunity arose, the members of Ten Millennia jumped at the chance.
The album was recorded in two locations: at the renowned Melrose Yard Studios in York, where many well-known bands, such as Halo Blind and The Enemy have rehearsed and recorded, and then finished off by world famous producer Andy Wright in London.
Rosie and Wayne collaborated on song writing duties, taking the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other and other members of the band. Rosie enjoys writing ballads whereas Wayne writes the band’s trademark up-tempo groovy soul/pop infused tracks. Both styles fit on the new album and ensure that there’s something to suit every mood.
Rosie gets her song writing inspiration from every day life “It might be a feeling or a memory of a song that sparks an idea, or a phrase that makes me think. I could be doing anything and it can inspire an idea.”
With the album now released, Rosie went on to talk about the joy of being in the studio, “It’s so incredible, just getting your ideas down and hearing them come together. We always have a very definite tune, lyric and feel from the start, but we allow ourselves the freedom to innovate along the way.”
Wayne said “Hearing the finished song is the thrill for me. After hours of hard work, writing, recording, production and mastering, hearing the finished thing gives me a real sense of accomplishment. And I get to fall in love with the song all over again!”