A Seasonista Wrote This...stuff

Here’s a new version of a song I wrote early last year for Jim’s season 363. Ashamed to say it’s based on a true story of mild road rage (my own) - fortunately I don’t think the other driver was even aware of my presence, let alone my intense frustration at his (lack of) speed! :)

Such sad news today. Lesley Fowkes - barefootgypsy and songanddancedaisy- has passed away. She loved the Seasons. She also wrote some wonderful songs. We had a Season to honor her. I recorded her song "Troubador" . It is with a heavy heart that I post it now. We loved you Lesley- may you find peace and sweet music in the Great Beyond.
No recording yet but you know the tune

Dr. Fauci says vaccines should be widely available in April. That’s a full year of us socially isolating.
This is the current draft of "The Twelve Months of Quarantine"

In the first month of quarantine my true love gave to me, a jigsaw puzzle of a pear tree, with a bird in it.
In the second month of ..... two rubber gloves
In the third month......three face masks
In the fou.......four rolls of TP
In the fifth.....five “Tiger Kings”
In the sixth….. six feet social distance
In the seventh….seven Zoom meetings
In the eighth…..eight shots of bleach
In the ninth ….. nine nasal swabs
In the tenth….ten ventilators
In the eleventh….. eleven antibodies
In the twelfth….. twelve vaccines
It's best if you read the list backwards
This is a song I wrote with Paul Marsh, telling a ghost story of Deadman’s Island. While I’m on cello in this one, Paul features on ukuleles of various sizes.
If we're friends on Facebook and you've seen me share this to every page I can think of... Apologies.

But anyway. I'm in the midst of recording an album in my little home studio, and I'm finally ready to share the first single from it. It's a song I wrote just a few weeks ago for Edwin's season but it's been so well received even Mrs RABB has had it stuck in her head, so it had to go here.

It's releasing with a couple other tracks on the 28th March, in the meantime here's the lyric video.

My greatest hit was a song recorded by Roy Bailey (stalwart of the British Folk Scene) and John Fitzpatrick (button accordion player famous for playing with Richard & Linda Thompson). I had hoped someone would post it to YouTube one day and at last someone has.

This version (from Roy's "Greatest Hits" album "Past Masters") also has Sue Harris (then John's wife) playing the oboe. Sorry, there is not a ukulele in sight, but I hope you like it. This was my finest hour as a songwriter.

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I created this for a contest they run at UU+.

Last time, there were 4 contestants.
In early April, as I was looking ahead towards a couple of months of not a lot of employment whilst living in a country on the verge of civil war, I thought I'd take the time to do something I'd never done: get professional ukulele lessons. Where to turn? Where I've been since 2009 - where we are right now. UkuleleUnderground.com

What have I learned? In no particular order of importance:
1. the worm and the ukulele dexterity challenge
2. the importance of warming up
3. The major scale, HHhHHHh
3.5 The minor scale HhHHhHH
4. a new way to play the E chord on a GCEA uke
5. Inside-out plucking technique
6. A song is in the key of whatever scale we find its major chords
7. The II V I chord progression

There's lots of other little trivial things as well like Jake Shimabukuro got known for the flat top headstock on his uke accidentally. And important stuff about myself as a player came from self-reflection as opposed to direct tutelage. It's self-reflection I wouldn't have been doing had I not been a student. I also learned the Aldrine Guerrero is the nice guy he seems to be, but a no-nonsense teacher. The one time I tried mildly disagreeing with him on something, with a "well, what about...", he give me a look and made a noise that made things perfectly clear who was the teacher and who was the student.

They have a monthly song-writing challenge there for students, and on the very night of the deadline, I felt compelled to get SOMETHING submitted, even if it was schlock because the winner is chosen at random. The post above this one was my previous entry into the challenge incorporating the theme of "My dog has _____" and an optional II V ! chord progression. This next hack job had a Mad Libs theme again with "On the _____, we do it _____ style, and a Mad Libs chord progression of I ___ V. (the IV just belongs there!_) and tried the ii in the middle position, and you'll hear the results the (I ii V)(I ii V) redefines its measures and becomes: I)(ii V I)(ii V I) - the same II V ! that sounded cool in the Every DOg has its Day
They accepted my last minute submission, and due to the luck of the wheel, guess what? This stream-of-conscious improv won the contest - and I'm getting some of Aldrine's signature strings sent to me here in Myanmar. Cool.
Mostly posting this here to bring this thread to the top...

So, during FAWM, someone reminded me that Filk was a thing. If you don't know Filk (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filk_music), it kind of defies any reasonable description, except that Filk is a thing that filkers do, but perhaps the best description is that it's the music of nerdy techy types, like wot I am. Anyway, it turns out to be a rather welcoming community, to the extent that they asked me to do a short online concert at an event this past weekend (https://www.nefilk.us/). So I did. And I tried recording it, and here is the result. I think I got away with it.

If nothing else, it's evidence that I have a Top Of Head. I cropped out the clutter on my living room table instead. I can't bear to listen to this again myself, so I probably won't leave this up forever :).

A couple of weeks back I inexplicably found myself as the support act for the great Judie Tzuke at a gig in my hometown. I realised I was a song short of a 30 minute set so, in a bit of a panic, wrote this to flesh out the set. (The brief live footage is me playing this song at said gig)
Recorded at my kitchen table with 8 string baritone (acoustic and electric), tenor banjolele, GarageBand organ and drums. The video is pieced to together mostly from stuff from my phone.


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