Well, well, well - I've been having so much fun I darn near forgot I ever had a blog to update! I don't know for whom an apology would be required - to tell the truth I doubt anyone ever reads these - but in case anyone stumbles across this bit either periodically, sporadically, or just to check if I'm alive (hello Mum!) I'm sorry it's been so long!
I don't know who it was that said "You can't have your cake and eat it" (*insert obligatory British Bake Off reference here*) but if I could elaborate/expand upon on the idea through my own experiences in the last year or so it would be to say that "It's probably not possible to have your whole cake and eat it, but you can have a bit of lots of cakes if you only eat smaller parts of the cakes, you'd also then still be able to have some of the bits of cake leftover..." (Sam Eason, 2015)
Hmm... maybe not as snappy or memorable but in a highly convoluted way, I'm trying to illustrate how, by not letting any of the areas of my life and music become too overwhelming, I've been able to be part of so many incredible things in both remits.
Working part time as a teacher in a Special School is my vocation; it's what I trained for and it's something I love. Being part time though allows me to spend quality time with my little boy on my days off - I have been able to watch him grow up during time I'd never have gotten back otherwise. On the day when he's at pre-school however, I am then able to work on songwriting and recording... bonus! Weekends are very much family and friends orientated (a massive focus) but we now get oppotunities to play at weddings on quite a few occasions through the year which is a whole other area of beautiful! I have met some truly wonderful people in the last couple of years through doing this, many who have become good friends. Playing at the weddings also mean I get to spend a couple of hours singing side-by-side with my incredibly talented and amazing wife - what could be better?!
I have also seemingly had a new lease of life with my original music of late (one review opening with "Everyone's favourite late bloomer, Sam Eason..."), releasing my first 'proper' EP through Circus City Records this year ('With Hope' - check iTunes). At the launch gig for the EP, I got to play the whole set with a full band for the first time too which was amazing. Through this time, I've had some incredible opportunities to play at local festivals and on local TV/Radio (thanks to Made In Bristol and the 'Introducing...' team at BBC Bristol) In between all this, I've also had the chance to have little musical adventures like 'BathSongs'. These last two paragraphs are by no means meant as a boast or self-promotion - merely a description of the amazing cakes I've been very fortunate to be nibbling at and a declaration of humble appreciation that I somehow have the opportunity to do so. Maybe it's also a slight justification for why it's taken me so long to update my blog, but I'll try not to leave it so long until the next time... definitely by C*****mas!
Before then, I will have found my way onto local BBC radio again (Sat 24th Oct, playing out our pre-recorded BBC Garden session); played at two more weddings and a birthday party; played two 3hr public gigs in Bristol (check 'live'); hopefully taught some incredible children a little bit about a lot of things; spent some quality time with my amazing family and friends and hopefully written and recorded another song or two for an exciting project in 2016!
I'm telling you, it's much more fun having lots of small plates spinning rather than trying to keep a couple of big wobbly platters in rotation!
Well I have to say, that was musically one of the funnest (definitely a word) Summers in a looong time. So many highlights to name, but the first three that come to mind were: Playing Bristol Harbour Festival for the first time (and getting to ramble away on BBC Radio!), playing a set for the lush campers at Nibley Festival and my first ever gig in Bath at the beautiful Old Theatre Royal (with me ol' mucker Joe Probert). On the flipside, I have also been lucky enough to be involved in the weddings of some truly wonderous people in some stunning locations - every one has been special for us (so thanks so much to the people who asked us to share in it all!)
Ooh, also had our photoshoot with the incredible Oxana Mazur! That was beyond awesome too. Oh, and recording with Sam Baly at Dacoda Studios! Aww man, I don't know how I'll top all that..... Oh wait, yes I do! Supporting the phenomenal Winter Mountain at the Birdcage, Bristol!! Utterly in love with the stuff these boys produce, will be an honour to warm the stage for them on Nov 6th. Please come down, if only to see them!
As the wedding season winds down a little, there may be a few more gigs being added so please please check back at the live page and come say hey at some point! There will be a beardy hug with your name on it! (Or not, if you're not a hugger... that's also cool). Who knows, there could even be the odd new Sam Eason tune to keep you warm on the long cold evenings to come!
Anyway, as always, just wanted to let whoever wanders over these pages that I'm still here and still doing what I do! Thanks for reading you wonderous being you!
Just for fun... Currently listening to:
Ryan Adams - 'Ryan Adams'
Bastard Mountain - 'Farewell Bastard Mountain'
Volcano Choir - 'Repave'
(*Spent half an hour writing a blog post similar to the one above which miraculously vanished into the ether. I didn't write my name on the label so if you find it, please put it in the lost property box for someone else to find...)
So, yeah... we formed a band! I've joined forces with three beautious musical compadres - Tom Turner & Liam Rodda (both of the 'Ten Pound Suit Band' among others) and a lifelong friend with immense musical talents, Adam Cutler. Together, we are... *dun, dun duuuun* (that's not the name...) "Descendants Of Gentlemen". We have now gotten ourselves in a room and 'jammed', laughed, talked nonsense, shared musical ideas and actually come up with some really great song sketches. As of today, we have had only two sessions (8hrs total) and already have our first finished song (woo!!) written together from scratch, as well as another one on the way and another FIVE in the embrionic stage.
We are all calling on a load of influences to our playing styles, but musically we currently seem to be straddling the ground between Elbow, Frightened Rabbit and The Lumineers. No bad place to be I guess!
It feels amazing to be playing together with people who I not only call great friends but with whom it feels like we have been playing for a million years. We have a website and a facebook, so if you want to keep up with how things are progressing, maybe 'like' our fb page or call in to the website now and again. Also, maybe try and keep Friday October 18th free...
To complete the picture on recent Sam Eason beardy action, a few notes on Sunday's Louisiana gig as well as some exciting news (that I pretty much can't say much about at the moment!).
I've been lucky enough to almost call The Lousiana my second home at times this year, playing there in 4 of the last 6 months. It still never loses it's magic - I just love the intimacy of the place; the fact that often the first few rows of people are sat on the floor which accentuates the feeling of playing in someone's living room. The audience is always so respectful and receptive too, and I don't think a bad job has ever been done by the great sound guys. Both The Fleece and The Louisiana (who are programmed by the Fleece guys) do a great job of providing opportunities for local acts and helping them to get a foot up onto the gigging ladder which I for one, very much appreciate.
Sunday's gig was another great coming-together of a variety of acts which despite offering very different musical textures, still somehow still felt cohesive as a lineup. Eddy Hill kicked the night off with a great attitude-led singer-songwriter set reminiscent of Jamie T's more acoustic based material. This was followed by Hayley Chillcott who had people enraptured and transfixed by her beautifully fragile, yet dreamily ethereal voice over some finely crafted, softer acoustic songs.
I then played a set that, while not among my absolute best, was still memorable for a few reasons. Firstly, I decided to put 'Cliches' mid-way through the set for a change, in order to finish on 'Across The Sky' which I thought might be a nice one to leave people with. Secondly, I played a new song which despite being unconvinced by a few days before, with a few added harmonies from Beth, I finally 'got' the song and feel that it offers something to the canon that I haven't really had before. It's tentatively called 'Ever Decreasing Circles', and it's about the slightly downbeat idea that once we all get to a certain age/point in our lives, the knocks we take start to have a longer lasting effect and we're never quite able to get back to our levels of 'wellness' - the song is about getting to the point of no return really, where it may be better to let go than to hold on. As I said, a bit of a different angle to the usual Sam Eason love and happiness malarkey!!
I'm never a really good judge of how the gig comes across but, lots of people took CDs and said some nice things, so even if they were all doing it out of pity or duty, I felt like I did a good job! It was nice to catch some of headliners 'Scott James & The Revolution' - acoustic soul/folk with an urban tinge. Very different but it worked and there was some real talent up on that stage!
Finally, I'll leave you with the news that I'm working on doing the 'band thing' with some incredibly talented people that may or may not yield something special - the initial ideas and discussions have been awesome, but we have yet to meet in a room and get our instuments out.... ahem. That comes next week.
Watch this space, if it goes well, I'll tell you more (if it doesn't, I won't.)
Beard love xx
Photo credit: Mike Harley, http://bristolbands-mikeharley.blogspot.co.uk/
Just got back from a flimmin' lush weekend celebrating the wedding of our very good friends Lindsey and Rich.
It was a day for business and pleasure though, as I was required for musical services both before/during the ceremony and for an evening set! It was an honour to be asked to play during the ceremony, especially to be involved at so many key points; both aisle walks, two solo songs (one with my wife) and during the signing of the register. The acoustics of the beautiful church made the task all the more pleasurable as the sound carried around fantastically, suiting the delicate songs the bride and groom had chosen. I hopefully did a good job, it felt like I had brought my A-Game and hopefully did them proud!
The evening set began in the same vein, mixing up a few modern and classic love songs to add some musical background to people's evening. All focus and attention was gained when it was time for the newlywed's first dance; Newton Faulkner's 'If This Is It', which I played in a more stripped back slower style to suit the slow dance the couple wanted to do. Once they had received their applause I hit em straight between the ears with a few dancier numbers which brought feet to the floor and voices raised in song before the playlist of evening music began and I could 'clock off'! I was then able to enjoy my first pint of the evening (around 9:30pm) to celebrate my birthday!!
The whole day flowed so nicely, with friends and family, old and new mingling, meeting and catching up with not a word wasted. There were too many wonderful aspects to the day, I can't list them all but I think most people would safely say that they didn't want the day to end. Sadly it did but the memories, for me at least, will last long into the years. Congratulations you lovely beards!!
Photo credit: Sally Waldegrave
People are amazing. In my cynical mind I am still sure that some of you are very good at acting enthusiastically when you come to see me! To be honest, I'll never get my head around why my own friends and family still seem happy to pay to see me at gigs despite seeing me countless times, but on the other hand, I'm so so grateful that they do so! Was lucky enough to be able to 'curate' another local acts night at The Louisiana which I was allowed to headline. Gave me the opportunity to round up another clutch of mega talented musicians that I am also proud to call friends. For those of you that came, hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we all did!
Ben Cooling kicked it all off in style with his mod-influenced acoustic swagger, cannot hear enough of the man! Adam Britton kept the momentum with an amazing set showcasing his awesome voice (sublime falsetto!) - really looking forward to hearing more of his original material in time. The beautious Harry Gould delivered a textbook lesson in 'singer-songwriter' awesomeness; All the talent and best bits of all the current crop of "boys with guitars" wrapped up in one lovely man package! Joe Probert, as always, continued to astonish with his ridiculous skills with the guitar and mic as incurred my unending jealousy at his ability to write such amazing acoustic-pop tunes for fun.
...And I had to follow all that lot! :S Thanks to my incredible peeps (acting enthusiatically or not) along with the lovely support of others that stayed on from previous acts, I had one of my favourite ever gigs. Again. The Louisiana never fails to create the 'Living Room' atmosphere that makes any gig an intimate and 'sparks-in-the-air' affair. Played a couple of new songs on the evening which seemed to go down well; a cover of 'I Will Fall' (From 'Nashville' TV show) to "promote" my new covers EP, a new original song I wrote for my mum 'Made Us Gold' and even a sneaky touch of Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky'! It was unofficially my birthday and I could have had no better present than to have the listening ears and singing voices of the unexpectedly sizeable crowd. I was kind of hoping that enough people would have been indoctorinated with the chorus to 'Cliches' by now that some might join in - which pretty much everyone did... cue: biggest grin ever; but it was the participation during 'Undiluted' and 'Across The Sky' which honestly and truly brought a lump to my throat. Never thought I'd ever have that moment of hearing a room of people singing my songs, and even if I never do again, this night was enough. Thanks, you.
*Peter Katz - "Carried Away"
Photo credit: Joe Probert
Just got back from a business/pleasure wedding day of two great chums - Claire and Jon. First time of playing during the ceremony but all seemed well and beardy! Couple of straightforward lovey songs and a couple of adaptations of two less obvious tunes - Blink 182 and Arctic Monkeys :) Totally in keeping with the wonderous couple's style tho and enjoyed the challenge! Was a nice change playing at the deep end of the day and then having the chance to enjoy the rest of the celebrations with good friends. Congrats guys, thank you for letting me be part of it all!! :) xx
L A T E S T N E W S