It's not unusual for a PBGB song to emerge from the barest snippet of an idea.
In the case of When Ya Gunna, the snippet was a groove Pete was fiddling with. The beat became 'Groove in G'. We'd been kicking it around for a cuppla weeks when Brother John Drews dropped in for one of his very welcome visits.
John set hisself up and dropped in on our Groove In G.
Well, as often happens, John's twiddles turned a jam into something worth working with.
We had the recorder on. Neil decided to take the results home.
Next thing we knew Neil had added some scones and cream to the jam......... lyrics and vocals.
Kerry has been a regular Shedder for going on a year now. Until recently she had sung lead and back-up vocals on four PBGB songs, one of which, 'Sugar', she wrote herself.
Kerry digs The Shed. She loves coming on down and getting stuck into whatever project we have going on. Kerry is also a strong believer in what the Shed stands for, and happily stretches herself in her quest to improve her vocal performances and her song writing skills. Suits us just fine - learning is what The Shed is all about. Besides, Kerry always has a big smile on her dial!
Now, Kerry is very proud to present her second original composition. It's called 'Away'. We kicked it around for a while, then turned on the recorder.
The song is a very personal one for Kerry. The story behind it, in Kerry's own words, goes like this:
"My father was given away at birth. He was a love child, born out of wedlock in the 1920s. That was a shameful experience back in those days, and my grandmother and her family found it all too overwhelming. As a result my father and I never knew his parents. The circumstances of Dad's birth were kept a family secret. His name was Clancy, and, true story, I was raised to believe I was a descendant of “Clancy of the Overflow”.
Dad did eventually track down his father and front him, but that man denied his parenthood. Dad also tracked down his mother and met her when he was 28. Mum wanted to stay in touch, but it was too painful for Dad to learn that as a child he had lived in an orphanage not far from where she lived and yet she had never visited.
Despite these difficult beginnings, my father always had a smile on his face and an indomitable spirit.
This song has been cathartic for me in coming to terms with abandonment."
Thanks for sharing this very personal song with us Kerry. Listen to how Kerry expresses her feelings about all this by clicking on AWAY.
Kerry wrote and sang Away
Mick Nadin played the harp
Gus Washbourne played guitar
Neil Porter played bass and organ, and produced the song
When we found the then unpublished version of 'Under The Southern Cross' languishing in the PBGB archives ............ see the story by scrolling down to the blog post dated February 17, 2017...............we wondered what other unpublished songs might be gathering dust down there in the archives.
Neil thought he'd have a look, crawled in, and before long stuck his head up with THIS.
'Wood You Like Chips With That ?' is a song we wrote specifically for a gig we played at the Tanja Hall way back in........way back in............somebody help me here please..............anyway, let's say 2010. Back then, Neil, Chris Ralfs, Gus and Pete were The Shed Regulars.
Anyway we got a call from a local environment care group..............somebody help me again please.......who were putting on a fund raiser and they asked us if we would play a set.
Well we in The Shed have our hearts and minds in the right place as far as the environment goes, so we set about putting some songs together. In fact we decided to write a song especially for the occasion.
The woodchip industry is very much an 'in your face' local environmental issue around these here parts, what with the Eden Woodchip Mill being just down the road, the recent scalping of the forests at the top of Brown Mountain, and the constant stream of logging trucks that rumble through Pambula Village. Three of our favourite things really...........not !
So we wrote this little ditty, and with a nod to Macca's, called it 'Wood You Like Chips With That ? '
Neil wrote the music, sang it, played guitar and organ and produced the final product
Gus played guitar
Chris played bass
Pete wrote the lyrics, and played the drums.
We hope you like it.......................the Eco-Warriors did. Best as we remember anyway.
Neil's fifth CD, "Looking Like The Real Thing" became available at the start of 2017.
It contains 15 original songs from the last two years, which were written in Pambula Beach, Australia and Ougney-Douvot in France. Many of the songs have had mp3 versions available for a little while in various locations, but this is the first release of CD quality aif tracks of any of the 15 songs. You may have already heard tracks from "Looking Like The Real Thing" on local radio - thanks Graham, Henry and Fraser. All recorded and produced in Neil's jigumastudio except for some of "Snake Oil", which was recorded in the PBGB Shed.
Apart from two tracks where Jan joins in on harmony vocal, and "Snake Oil" which features members of PBGB (Peter Reid on drums, Kerry Hynes on vocal and Mick Nadin on harmonica), all instruments and vocals are performed by Neil. Style ranges between fairly straight-up rock and old school RnB with a couple of outliers - including a little Bavarian disco ;)
You can listen to it from the player below or go to the CD's BandCamp page and read lyrics, view track info, and even buy it there at a ridiculously low price.
Possibly Neil's best collection of original songs so far.
Tony Green has been Shedding for the best part of a year now. He and wife Chris retired from Canberra to Tura. Tony's alter life in Canberra included years playing gigs around the pubs and clubs of the Nation's capital.
Tony got wind of what goes on in The PBGB Shed. He got in touch. We invited him down. He enjoyed himself, we liked him, he handled his bass with aplomb. We were pleased to note Tony's interest in harmonies, and his desire to learn about recording and production......it all felt good, so we invited him to come on board.
Tony was stoked to note our focus on original songs...............in the Canberra club scene originals are about as welcome as a strong dose of a something nasty. But Tony had a batch of original songs in his kit bag and before long he wheeled out 'First Class Ticket'.
FIRST CLASS TICKET is the first of Tony's originals to grace the PBGB Blog. Tony wrote the song, sang it and played the bass............ then dove headlong into the production. He set himself up with Logic software and set about unravelling the mysteries of mixing / production.
The black arts of mixing and production are enough to make anybody tear their hair out. Desperate L Platers seek out whatever help they can get, from any quarter.
Tony found a helper in Merimbula local Eden Hendry. Eden uses Logic as a tool for producing electronic music. He's keen to make a career out of mixing and production but hadn't had the opportunity to mix 'live' recordings. So he was happy to dive into the First Class Ticket audio files with Tony. He enjoyed that, and now he plans to check out The Shed, and we are looking forward to meeting him.............who knows what might happen.
First Class Ticket is Tony's first PBGB 'production'. It's a great start Tony, well done sir ! You're off and running, and bound to get betterer and betterer at it.
As for the song, Tony explains.............
"First Class Ticket is a song about what we don't know about death. What happens to us ?
If we believe in God, and heaven and hell, then we will presumably be predisposed to practice good deeds.
But none of us is perfect.......we have all made mistakes.
So if I'm going to hell I want to go in style, and take my time getting there. But if I'm going to heaven then I'm cool, I'll take any seat on offer."
Sounds fair to us !!
Joining Tony on First Class Ticket are.............
Steve Faggotter on Lead and Electric Rhythm Guitar
Lou Nadin on Acoustic Guitar
Mick Nadin on Harmonica and Harmony Vocals
Kerry Hynes on Harmony Vocals
Graham Brown on Percussion, and
Pete on Drums
Eden Hendry showed Tony some stuff about Logic.
Nice one team !
Well done Tony.............a splendid first attempt !!!
Couple of weeks back we played back some early PBGB recordings while packing up apres Sesh.
Neil's song ' Under The Southern Cross' popped up. It must have been five years since we last heard it. Neil's ears pricked up. We thought it sounded pretty smart. We chatted............... realised we had never posted it on the PBGB blog.
'Why not ?' we wondered. Buggered if we knew.
"Well let's do it" .
So Neil dug the Logic files up and had a bit of a fiddle. Added a dash of this and dab of that. Fine-tuned the mix as it were.
Neil wrote the song in response to the then recent Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi which seriously lashed the coast of Queensland. It also drove some beautiful lines of swell down to Pambula. Good for us, not so good for Queensland !
Back then, Neil, Chris Ralfs (once aptly described by Jenny Halper as ' the Grizzled Bass Warrior' ) and Pete jammed regularly as a threesome in The Shed.
So that's Neil singing and playing guitar and some keyboard overlays, Chris on bass, and Pete on drums.
Graham has been a regular and enthusiastic Shedder since mid 2016. He is now happily ensconced in his corner of The PBGB Shed surrounded by things he hits and a maze of microphones and leads.
Graham has contributed his percussion chops to a few of our songs now, but 'Georgie' represents Graham's second 'original' offering. That's 'original' in inverted commas......... on listening you might realise that we pinched the groove from T-Rex. More on that later.
When Graham first turned up at The Shed he, like everybody else, was warmly welcomed by George. George and Graham established an instant rapport that soon became a solid bond................they have become best mates.
George of course has been grooving along to music in The Shed all his life. He loves to mosie in, say hello to everybody, then curl up in or under the wagon and drift off............no matter what sort of cacophony is going down.
Wasn't long before Graham decided to put his fondness for George into words. At the same time, the rest of us were kicking around a few grooves that might teach us a thing or three about syncopated funk.
One such groove was that which Marc Bolan used in T-Rex's number 1 hit of the early 70s "Get It On". T-Rex and funk ? A funky glam band ? Really ? Well, in fact, Marc Bolan, author, poet, and creator of T Rex, actually had a deep knowledge of, and respect for a huge range of musical styles and artists. He saw going glam as an extension of a long tradition of showmanship.... all part of the show. And why not ? It's all entertainment after all. And it worked............T-Rex, arguably the first ever glam band, had eleven consecutive UK top 10 hits. 'Get It On', along with another three T-Rex songs, went to number 1 in the UK, and scored top 10 in the US. All this in direct competition with The Beatles. Not bad.
Meanwhile..........back in The Shed we were kicking the Get It On groove around when Graham fronted up with his lyrics for 'Georgie'. We decided to see if we could put the two together.
Over the years the PBGB Shed has been blessed with visits from many of the fine musicians who underpin the Bega Valley's well earned reputation as a microcosm of creative musical excellence.
Now we are thrilled to welcome Colleen Spillane and Chris Komorowski to the PBGB fold.
Given Colleen's impressive record of live performances alongside PBGB Family Members Ken Vatcher, Steve Clark, Mark Bolsius, Mandy Siegel, Stacey Mills, Andy O'Donnell, Dave Crowden and John Drews, it is something of a wonder Colleen hadn't found her way into The Shed sooner.
As it happens, not so long ago, we chatted about the possibility of recording Colleen in The Shed. Colleen was keen, and said she'd keep an eye out for the right opportunity.
Well that opportunity arose when Colleen told us that her close friend Chris Komorowski was coming to town for a series of gigs with the Dorian Mode Hammond Organ Trio, which happened to feature Ken Vatcher on drums, and that she and Chris would love to come over to The Shed and record a tune or two.
Well that lit us up big time !!
Colleen studied singing at The Australian Institute of Music in Sydney, and the University of Western Sydney, graduating with a Bachelor of Music (Honours). Since moving to Pambula, Colleen has dazzled audiences, singing with top local and touring musicians at events including the Merimbula Jazz Festival, and the Down South Jazz Club.
Colleen first came to our notice when she became a regular feature artist with the brilliant Steve Clark Trio. Steve's trio cohorts were Ken Vatcher and Mark Bolsius.
Colleen went on to team up with PBGB Family Members Mandy Siegel and Stacey Mills in the all gal 'Queen Tide' combo.
More recently, Colleen has knocked audiences dead with her contributions to The Figmentz ( Andy O'Donnell, Ken Vatcher, Dave Crowden, John Drews ) 'Celebration of Joe Cocker' and 'Soul Shakedown' spectaculars, both of which have wowed audiences and startled unsuspecting punters with their professionalism.
On top of that Colleen and Stacey now make very welcome regular guest appearances at Figz gigs.
If you Google Colleen Spillane you will come across numerous references, including a video of her brilliant performance at the 'Farewell to Mark Bolsius' show shortly before Mark, much to our dismay, moved on from Merimbula.
And as for Chris....................
Well we feel absolutely blessed to have a musician of Chris' calibre join the PBGB Family.
Chris lives in Sydney, but performs fairly regularly on the far South Coast, due to his friendships with so many top musos from around these here parts. Chris has been playing guitar since he was a little tacker. Epiphanous musical moments included being awe-struck by The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Martin Taylor and Australia's own Tommy Emmanuel. Such musicians inspired Chris to, as he says "get serious" about his music. Fascinated by harmonies and intrigued by the boundless possibilities of jazz, Chris knuckled down and went on to graduate from the Sydney Conservatorium with a Masters In Jazz Performance degree.
If you Google up Chris, you'll see that he is very comfortable playing across a range of musical genres.............jazz, blues, pop, and country. You'll note that Chris has gigged with some of Australia's finest talents, including Lloyd Swanton, Col Nolan, Laurie Bennett, Pugsley Buzzard, Sandy Evans and Nichaud Fitzgibbon.
Chris has featured at the Tamworth Festival, the Gympie Country Music Festival, and the Merimbula Jazz Festival, amongst many other prestigious gigs.
Chris released his debut cd "As I Hear It" in 2010, and is now working on a cd of his own compositions, forever burrowing deeper into the limitless joy that is music.
Chris has his own website, which includes a video in which Chris appears with Steve Clark at Sydney's premier jazz haunt, The Basement.
So...............are we stoked to welcome Colleen and Chris to the PBGB fold ?? You bet we are !!
Chris and Colleen recorded five songs in an afternoon in The Shed. Given they were able to reel off stonking versions of these songs in short order, we decided we would create a Special PBGB Project to house all five songs. Click on The Colleen Spillane and Chris Komorowski Special Project on the right hand side of this page to listen to their musical brilliance, and read a bit about each of the songs they performed.
Our heartfelt thanks go out to Chris and Colleen for coming on down to The Shed and sharing their brilliant musical chops with us. It was a fun afternoon, an absolute privilege to sit there and listen to these brilliant musicians perform at such a high standard. Their contributions to the PBGB oeuvre surely rank amongst the classiest recordings we have made.
Welcome to The PBGB Family Colleen and Chris! We hope you enjoyed your visit as much as we did, and that we can all look forward to seeing you in The Shed again.