Just completed my first YouTube book trailer video for my collection of short stories, and I think it's brilliant but, on second thoughts, I'm sure it's brilliant. But then I would, wouldn't I?
And I think my copy editor on the book did an excellent job putting the video together. Being a perfectionist, she has now created an improved version. I'd be very pleased if you could take a look, and I would be interested to hear any feedback, either here through the "Comments" option, or on YouTube itself. Hope you like it!
And … I had this new whiz-bang idea of reading (or narrating) the shortest of my stories in this collection, “Tobago”, which would be easily done in three short, 4-minute videos.
I shall now go and brush up my actor's narrating voice.
BIG NEWS! My latest book “Scot Free in Hollywood” has been accepted into Amazon's Kindle Scout program. My 30-day campaign got off to an auspicious start in the early hours of the New Year, on 1st January 2017.
You can read all about it and peruse an extract from the campaign page. And, if you think this is the sort of book that Amazon should publish, please leave your nomination.
Here is the link:
It is literally just a question of clicking the blue button <Nominate Me> while being logged into your Amazon account. No forms to fill in, and no personal information required.
If the manuscript is successful, you will receive a free Kindle copy of the published book. And please feel free to share with your friends, the more nominations the better!
So I'm having my composition "Hawaiian Breeze" played on “That Thursday Thing” with James Martin on North Highland Radio, 29th September 8pm-10pm UK time, the show runs, and as I said before it's available to watch on Facebook “Live” in the Studio with a fair bit of banter and comic flair from James.
However I forgot to say before, that this track is NOT FOR SALE anywhere right now – no, not ANYWHERE. Movie music supervisor has asked for it to remain unreleased for now.
BUT if you hear it and you like it, just drop me a message on my Facebook page or my own Website and I will send you a private link via e-mail to the track. And I should conclude here by mentioning the production's very important credits. With sincere big thanks to all:
Produced, mixed and mastered by Alexander Johnston for CMI Music Group at the Voodoo Suite Studio - Manchester
Alexander Johnston: Drums, bass, keys, guitar, percussion & lots of encouragement!
JV Johnston: Guitar
Christopher Calcott: Guitar
Well North Highland Radio is – with DJ James Martin in charge. He does a great boppin' show and you can watch him in the studio “live” on Facebook, where he'll be checking your messages and tweets and all, as the songs are playing. It's quite the performance as he juggles all the media and the playing discs at the same time, … and occasionally giving the camera an insight into his “take” on the proceedings with some candid expressions. It's quite the show, but if you prefer just listening to the programme, it is available on the North Highland Radio website - top right “Listen Live” button – click and you're away !!
So, anyway… anyway, I have the great privilege of singing in front of the super-talented musicians from the funk/rock/soul group Mamma Freedom, who are currently touring and supporting Alexander O'Neal in his 30th Anniversary “Hearsay” tour. But these guys are cutting-edge “Now” and they give me lots to lean into with their great envelope of sound. - No Walls here – I think we've all heard enough about Walls recently. In fact they played so well I ad-libbed a line mentioning them into my song. If you listen closely, it's towards the end. And if you play it backwards it says “I've not been cloned”.
So Thursday 29th September “That Thursday Thing” the show is called and I know James would welcome comments and requests online as he navigates through his stint “On Air”.
You might even ask him to play my tune again … and then again you may not, but do give him a listen he's really very entertaining. My song is called "Hawaiian Breeze".
Here are the links - Listen here 7pm-10pm Thursday 29th September https://www.facebook.com/jamesmartinradio
You can also e-mail James at his Twitter address email@example.com
And you can check out my fabulous support Mamma Freedom and their Live Tour Dates on this short video
Cheers, All the Best
No words needed – just listen to Mamma Freedom.
Even better as it's Christmas - BUY this album and GIVE AS A GIFT AND BE THE COOLEST GIFT GIVER !!!
... till what, you may ask – Well, till my much-mentioned (but with good reason cos they're “Brill”, as we all say in the bistros of Beauchamp Place) – yes, till my chums, the brill Mamma Freedom release their acoustic album of songs selected from their two previous rocking/soul sounds albums “Preachers and Criminals”and “Voodoo Suite Sessions Vol 1”.
They've got some great fun videos on YouTube, too, of their live performances at, for example, London's Jazz Café. Sort of a video diary, don't you know, and some others of “behind the scenes” at recording takes of the “Voodoo Suite” sessions.
Now alas ... yes, alas, I must admit I don't feature in any of these, but I trust one can console oneself with the stellar sounds and the outstanding musicianship.
So I won't warble on ad-infin... - I'll just strongly suggest, and I am fairly confident of my ground here when I say these boys are the business. Oh yes indeed, in fact it was just listening to the strains of “Being Good” from the new acoustic album “Altered State” that put me in mind of this whole bally writing style I've got stuck in today.
So there we are – take my advice, come Sunday deploy the old plastic card number via the usual business and grab your copy of “Altered State” before they're all gone – yes indeed, you take it from Robertson, these chaps are quite the dernier cri, and as far as cris go they don't come much more dernier than them.
Disclaimer: The fact these boys are working on backing me up and, to a large extent “carrying me” through my latest musical effort has no bearing on the above ; although I must say, the swirling organ, the kicking drums, and the sublime trumpet by Mr Marsh on my “Stopped Making Plans” does incline one to recommend their sound rather highly – well that, and the fact that they are all great musicians, playing knockout funky soul/rock compositions.
My mates at Mamma Freedom are just about ready to release their acoustic version of those knockout tracks from their “Preachers and Criminals” and “ Voodoo Suite Sessions Vol 1” albums on the absolutely sonically pristine “Altered State” album. Release date is 13th December.
Now, the previously-mentioned albums are both on iTunes if you care for the absolutely funk-full band renditions – that means drums and all kinda other instrument things - but I must say, having been privy to hearing the acoustic “Altered State” compilation ... this is “something else”!!!
If you don't like music - you won't like it; if you don't like jazz - you won't like it, and if you've got no soul - you won't like it; BUT, otherwise, YOU WILL LOVE IT!!!
Now much as I think JV Johnston is a vox par excellence, there is a track on this album that is just quite positively “arresting” and it is sung (as well as composed) by the Musical Director, Keys Man, Producer, Alexander Johnston. It's called “We Deserve” and if you don't find that a “stop you in your tracks” sound, well … check your soul in for repair.
Now as for jazzy and a bit of “Those Were the Days” - c'mon you remember Mary Hopkin, sure you do - well, “Being Good” is kinda a Gatzby /Those Were the Days, gypsy, good time romp.
All in one tonight. And tonight I am flying high up there in the sky on my way to Hawaii.
I am recording my next single (available soon at iTunes, Amazon and all your usual streaming and download sites) and it's all about Hawaii.
I like to be “in the location” or “on location” as the movie guys like Kyle Harrison would say.
It adds a certain authenticity to the flavour of the song, I mean, for example I recorded “Homeless in New York” out there in the street under the shelter of the overhead subway track. That's the song that the brilliant boys in Manchester, Alexander Johnston and JV Johnston, arranged into this colossal, orchestral Opus featuring on the Sonic Generals debut album “Soul Riders” (to be released soon, I think, but I'll keep you posted).
And with this new song I've been trying to get that powerhouse sound of Mamma Freedom to fly out and accompany me, but these guys are just so tied up, what with the launch of their rockingly funky Rhythm & Blues single “Cast the First Stone” (out on 2nd October), and the launch party and all, there in Manchester, well, we'll have to see whether they can make it. But it would be great cos their sound is dynamite.
And I promise, John (Mayer that is) that you can play on the next one - and it's right up your alley, honest.
So with all this going on, I decided to change my profile pic on Facebook. See, with the previous one I had this idea to have it mirror the atmosphere in my single “Stopped Making Plans” - which was a piece I wrote with a movie theme in mind. Not sure they're still gonna make the movie, so it's a great excuse “to get out of this place, find me some heat and a warm sweet embrace” and change that profile pic.
Just love Hawaii, here I come.
By virtue of my special powers, I have hovered over the Voodoo Suite Studios in Manchester, England, and I have eavesdropped on the creation of an acoustic work of art.
Simple – one takes a very special and unique vocal talent (JV Johnston) and a band of musicians tempered tight by virtue of their gigging in the likes of London's Jazz venues: Mamma Freedom are the band of the moment.
And so recording-wise, one passes the sound of these superb talents over to the production genius of Alexander Johnston and … Voila !
You have “Altered State” - an acoustic celebration of real musical purity, outside of the confines of commercial distortion, crazily chasing any “latest” trend in a cacophony of … (you choose your favourite derogatory word).
I warrant that if you can find a better Jazz-influenced achievement than “We Deserve”, I think you need to listen to it one more time, as I think you would be mistaken. Sometimes excellence is not immediately appreciated.
That's it. “Altered State” by Mamma Freedom is something else in its purity, scope and musicianship. Give your ears a break from the noise, and listen and relax. Mamma Freedom have it covered. The new “Altered State” album is coming very, very soon and if you are insistent and impatient, I'll use my special powers to speed up the release!
And here's what they do when they're in their Soul R&B persona … pick the bones outta that if you can!!! And my own single track? Well it's Done a Dusted too, but …. later.
~ Author of fiction