...And that equals awesome. Well hello again you anonymous and quite possibly non-existent person!
Just a very quick update to let you know about goings on in the furry world of Sam in the coming times. I'm sticking to my vow to play gigs by quality rather than quantity this year; a few appearances to detail for your reference...
Fri 28th Feb - Supporting Gaz Brookfield at The Exchange in Bristol - £7 cheaplist details here
Tues 22nd April - Sam Eason supporting Scott Matthews @ The Lantern, Bristol
Sun 4th May - Sam Eason @ Nunney Acoustic Cafe, Nunney (Frome)
Fri 20th June - Sam Eason @ The Fleece, Bristol
Fri 4th July - Sam Eason @ Nibley Festival
There are a couple of possibilities that may crop up in between so I'll add them here if they do!
In terms of new Sam Eason material brewing, I have a song that is sort-of-finished but I'm not too happy with yet ['This Time'] that may or may not see the light of day (I need someone who has a bit more songwriting 'skillz' than me to take a look and perform some reconstructive surgery I think) but I do have one that I think I am happy with that I'm really hoping to debut at the Gaz Brookfield gig. It's tentatively called 'Storm (Teacup)' and will feature a dual Sam/Beth vocal. Sounding quite good at the moment, may post a demo up soon.
In the meantime, I'm doing quite a few bits and bobs for some very lovely people for birthdays, weddings and anniversaries in the next few months which is filling my heart with a warm fuzzy feeling and a hope that I can actually add something nice to the occasions!
Speak soon, keep it stubbly xxx
*I say 'all', I really have no idea if anyone reads these, so if you are... thank you! To be honest, I'll keep writing them even if not, as doing a blog makes me feel 'hip'. It also reminds me what I've just done and what I'm doing next!
Just a quick peep out of my winter hibernation hole to say hey and I hope you haven't forgotten about me. The musical gears are starting to crank and my spidey sense is tingling that it may be a bit of a busy year ahead...
I'm playing my first gig of the year at The Crown & Horseshoe open mic this Friday (3rd Jan - BS30 8TU) doing a set of my own songs (including a couple of new tunes - more on that later) and a set of covers that will be decided by the assembled throng. Full details here if you'd like to pop down!
On the horizon I also have a hefty support slot at The Exchange in Bristol with south west king bard of the punk-folkers Gaz Brookfield! Again, details here - let me know if you'd like to sneak in on my cheaplist!
Anyway, last word on those new songs for Friday; One of them ['Peasant Poet'] was written with the band in mind ('Descendants Of Gentlemen' - see previous blog post) but, as our individual schedules are preventing imminent get-togethers, I'm going to give it a debut in solo form. Also, another brand new Sam Eason tune 'Open Book' will get it's first ever airing - its basically a calling card for me and my music, letting people know what I'm about!
Anyway, more news as we get it and hope 2014 sees you happy, healthy and prosperous!
Stay beardy xx
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/
In a turn up for the books, I've been hard at work lately, particularly on the music front! It has been a really enjoyable period full of meeting new people, playing new places and doing lots of new things.
I recently played the wedding reception of a beautiful couple, Ross and Lucy at The Bathwick Boatman, Bath. I was able to really take a tour through my repertoire as I had been asked to play for nearly 3 hours, across two sets.
Due to Ross and Lucy having their formative years in the 90s, like myself, there was much common ground in our musical favourites. I hopefully catered for the wide age range that comes into play when the different generations come together for wonderful events like this. I came up with setlists that were able to travel from Don Williams to The Killers, via Bob Dylan and Adele, so hopefully all bases were covered! On what was (at that point) the hottest day of the year, it was an absolute pleasure to be in such a beautiful setting by the river, watching the boats swish past while being made to feel part of the family by Ross and Lucy's genuinely lovely crew. Oh, and as you can see from the photo, I even tried rocking the bow tie for the first time and was reasonably pleased I didn't look toooo silly! (Beth looked gorgeous as ever)
That day was not complete however and after the newlyweds were off on their boat trip, I was off for event number two to play at little miss Lauren Castle's birthday party in Hilperton. A blooming grand house party of the finest proportions with a groovy 60s theme; These Castles know how to host a party! Again, I found myself in the company of some great people, with an obvious skew towards a younger crowd I made sure to pepper a few more recent chart hits onto the set. Getting in my covers of 'Get Lucky' and 'Pompeii' as well as cracking out the 60s singalongs to fit the theme, I actually even got a request via YouTube for one of my own songs! I had such a lovely evening to cap off a beautiful day, with my throat only just about lasting the duration but a smile which lasted for days after!
Just got back from one of my first ever festival sets... A little tired, a little sunburnt but very content with playing somewhere new to some lovely new faces!
For one reason and another, it'd been a bit of a rollercoaster week so by the Saturday I was more than ready for a bit of festival fun! I'd been asked to play by two wonderful people - Keren & Francis Hayden who run the amaaazing Nunney Acoustic Cafe nr. Frome. Today they were on tour at Calnefest with their own tent/stage and yummy homemade food outlet. The layout of the festival was such that the sound being produced by the young, hard rock bands on the main stage drifted through the flaps of the Acoustic Cafe tent and made for some interesting juxtapositions of sound! Nonetheless, each artist had an appreciative audience who were able to enjoy the more folk/acoustic acts of the day whilst feasting on the finest homemade curry, cakes and quiches and supping on local ciders and ales! I followed a great folk band 'Bateleurs' and the wonderful young songstress Lauren Castle.
Hopefully I came across well; having to battle over the other noise at times meant I was being a bit more forceful in my delivery but people were still listening and clapping and smiling so I reckon it must've been palatable!! It was really nice to catch up with some of the audience afterwards who shared kind words and stories, and I was then free to fill up on some more of Keren's amazing culinary creations and watch the mega talented Beth Monk rock the house (well, field.... well OK, tent in a field)... Any free slots for next year Keren?!
Photo credit: Rod Scarth Photography
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
A productive day on the recording front - two more done for the first covers EP! With the already 'leaked' cover of 'Lovefool', that's three I'm finished with. Have another that I did count as done but probably going to re-do it as I'm not really happy with it. One more is just awaiting a female vocal whilst the last one hasn't begun but will only be a simple one-taker (I hope!). I realise this is a very hazy update as it is very much lacking song titles, but I quite like the tease....
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