Friday 22 April 2016


A complete list of the tracks (sung and spoken word) which have been released over the past 7 years is being prepared Its main usefulness may be as an example of how not to do it

The first tracks were released on CDBaby That site has continued to be used but only sparingly Its usefulness was overtaken by Bandcamp followed by Reverbnation - and of those two Bandcamp has been the easiest to use

In checking over of what is out there the tracks on CDBaby at look particularly messy Those on Bandcamp at are marginally better presented 

The platform provided by Reverbnation at is of a different kind And although I have rarely used it solely as a means of releasing a track it does carry 33 items and a few links to lyric videos 

Another early alternative platform for trying out material was Jango, now called Radio Airplay, and at the present time my so called fan base on there stands at over 1700 But whilst it has been useful, as with many such sites, there is a sense that the owner's interest is more about earning money than assisting the song writer

The above mentioned sites have now all been searched for everything and anything that might be out there 

The main observation so far is that I was remiss in not keeping a record as the 'releasing' process was unfolding Also numerous tracks were put out as singles when I should have waited (sometimes for only a few days) until they were ready to be part of an EP or a full album  As usual there is an explanation for this rather haphazard approach And it is simply that I chose to do what I felt enthused to do at the time I felt enthused 

The image chosen for this post belongs with my first ever attempt to put together a selection of songs with the intention of making it available to 'others' It was on a cassette tape and below is a section of the cover My memory does not serve me well and I have no idea what songs were included but I think the title is as apt today as it was then

A main purpose then in compiling the lists is (again) a desire to draw some sort of line under the sorting process. But it is a line that could perhaps best be described as smudged Because, as the title of this post suggests, there never seems to be a complete over and done with

It reminds me of one of those walks up the fells in the Lake District as a child, with parents insisting that the climb ahead is the last one - to discover, on reaching the top of that hill, that another has appeared

As to what else the lists might achieve: my hope is that having a detailed record of what tracks are out there will also provide a clearer idea of what is still around that might be worthy of further attention And included would be some of the tracks which have been tossed into view as possible candidates for re recording

Once the lists are completed the remaining issue will be whether or not to make them available - and if so where - and in what format 

NB Had it not been for the assistance of Isabel Whyte, who had in her possession a detailed record of most of the tracks, it is unlikely that compiling a comprehensive list would ever have been achieved

Monday 18 April 2016


A letter arrived today from an old friend in Galloway And in it was a photograph - well two to be exact - of this - lets call her  - a very bonnie lass 

This is Joan Ure, also known as Betty Clark, and she is the woman who wrote the lyrics for STAY WITH IT BABY and WHEN I SAY YOU OWE ME NOTHING 
I owe her a lot 
It was Betty who set me off writing my own songs And she had very clear ideas about what she liked so I hope she would have been pleased with how they sound

They can be heard in the recently uploaded BLUES OF A SORT on Bandcamp at

Thursday 14 April 2016


Now available at of tracks that will bring to a conclusion the task previously described as THE 70 SIFT

PART ONE was given the title SO EASY TO PLEASE and PART TWO is entitled MAKING MUD The image to accompany the selection features the So Easy to Please dog along with the Less Easy to please song writer 

It was contrived from a scanned version of a collage made from a crop of a cropped photograph of a painting with some cut out bits of paper added 

For anyone who is interested - a reminder 
THE 70 SIFT consisted of seventy very variable tracks recorded over the years on a variety of machines Those which have survived the selection process - approximately 40 - have been given a wash and brush up 

But there never had been any intention to try to transform them into more than a sample of my earlier attempts at song writing And there was always an acceptance that the finished product might be of more interest to me than to anyone else Obviously I would prefer not to be the only one

With PART ONE I chose to leave the tracks in alphabetical order This avoided trying to order them in a way that would perhaps improve the overall listening experience But there was one exception -SHALL WE GO TO MEXICO - with a dog bark at the end - was moved out of line to become the final track 

And a similar adjustment is being made to the order of the tracks in PART TWO This time the moving and concluding track will be WHEN I GET UP TOMORROW

Tuesday 12 April 2016


The four guys who have been an immense help to me in getting some of my material out on the road are named in this larger version of the back cover for BLUES OF A SORT 
The album is now available on Bandcamp at

A direct link to the song Alone on the Road, with the image I used for its first appearance, is below

Monday 11 April 2016


As the images below were being inserted in this post the songs from the selection were being mastered None of them are new And the idea of putting them together is an old one The vocals are not as I would like them to sound but I decided they 'would do'

I have also been preparing two images which might be used on a CD 

For the back cover there are two possible versions - both with mistakes in the text - see below Both use the names of the four guys who have been an immense help to me in getting some of my material out on the road They can be heard singing along on the track ALONE ON THE ROAD - which is why the title features on the front cover 


Both images will probably be tidied up a bit over the coming days 
And for now that is all I want to say about this selection - except

PS As two of the tracks now on this selection were recently uploaded to Bandcamp as singles they have been temporarily removed from there 

Friday 1 April 2016


About the same time as I was reacquainting myself with the song STAY WITH IT BABY I was reminded of another blues I sang often - in the days when I sang often 
It is the very well known and often recorded Folk Blues YOU DON'T KNOW MY MIND 

Two verses were still very familiar to me (I don't recall ever knowing more than two) but after a hunt on-line for versions of the lyrics recorded by others I began to consider using a few additional words which felt right for me  Many of those I had found were out with my experience and I would have been unable to sing them with any conviction 

Those words are on the recording I eventually made of the song And recording them was almost enjoyable -  which is not my usual recording experience 
Also I did not spend hours trying to get a good take The one I have used arrived quite quickly and I decided  it 'would do' And after it had made a visit to Ca Va and been given some special treatment by Fraser Speirs and Brian Young it has been uploaded to Bandcamp 

The link to the song was but it has now been included in the selection entitled BLUES OF A SORT

P.S I have never been convinced that there was anything of value to others in my interest in writing and recording songs BUT singing this one did give me a certain feeling of release  And it would be excellent if that was a feeling that others might experience when singing along with it