Read more for Steve's statement.
Ok, I’ve been trying to keep it under wraps, but these days that’s difficult.
I’ve been recording. And everywhere I go to work on new tracks, the Social Media devil follows. Rumours abound. Staff want pictures which we innocently agree to. Then a pic appears on Facebook with information we thought was confidential.
Here’s the basics:
After Shrewsbury Theatre Severn at the end of June, my studio engineer and friend, Matt Butler, and I travelled to Rockfield residential studio near Monmouth. We settled in for a sojourn that would last 10 days and nights. Next morning, we were joined by a group of special players.
I have long held a deep wish to work with Martin Simpson, one of the world’s most accomplished finger-style guitarists. In the Folk and Roots world, Martin has Master status. From the world of Jazz came Double Bass specialist Oli Hayhurst and drummer/percussionist Tom Hooper. Both are alumni of the Royal Academy of Music. And they swing. And three days into the sessions, up rocked my favourite Classical player, one Barry Wickens. Here was my team. Until later, last week at Yellow Shark studios in Cheltenham, we overdubbed the most wonderful backing vocals by two fabulous women from Birmingham’s Gospel scene, Genevieve Sylva and Jenny Wallace. And – I really had to pinch myself when she agreed – Eddi Reader sings a duet with me on an ancient Newfoundland traditional song.
So, I’ve got seriously accomplished musicians from the worlds of Folk/Roots, Celtic, Jazz, Classical and Gospel music. Plus an engineer from the highest echelons of studio work.
We recorded 12 tracks at Rockfield. These guys played some fabulous, beautiful music. I was inspired by their talents. I was roaring with stamina and passion when I went in to sing the final versions. Sang all 12 in one and a half days. The hunger and desire to perform was almost primitive. Matt has recorded my voice up-close and unaffected. I sing out, but remain mostly restrained. You can almost taste my last meal, you’re so close to me, listening to the spittle and bark, the groans and whispers. I will not give away titles here. Not yet, as I will be re-mixing, possibly even dropping a track, adding another – who can tell? But I will tell you this: we have recorded a new version of Compared With You, because I have at last written a third verse.
Matt and I will travel to Holland soon to record a string quartet on a few tracks, with arrangements being composed by Thomas Tol.
We (Comeuppance) will be bringing in a Promotion team to work on the record, hustling for Radio air-play, TV slots, Press and all sorts. We will be approaching well-established record companies to lease the Master recordings. I am a proud man at this moment. Can you tell?
Don’t hold your breath. We’re looking at a late January, early February release. The album will possibly be played in its entirety as a first set on the Acoustic Band shows already on sale next year. In its entirety, because those few that have heard the complete work, don’t see a dud in there. The talents around me in those rooms – stunning. Proud? You betcha!
Steve Harley, August 2019