February 24, 2015

Hullo to everybody who stops in here from time to time. Long time no speak. I hope you’re all well!

Sorry as usual for the length of time between updates on my site. I’d like to say I’ve been mega busy but I’d be lying, so apologies, it’s been a bit of laziness on my part and I’ll try be on here a bit more this year if things go to plan.

The main news is that my new album is now completely finished. Recorded, mixed, mastered, titled and track listed. It’s been a long process compared to making Fables. We did that over 3-4 weeks but this has been just under a year due to financial restraints. I had no intention of even making an album but as each session finished there seemed to be plans for another batch of recordings hatched and so it stands now that WHYDOLISE? will be released on Monday May 11th 2015.

It features 9 brand new songs and was produced by the inimitable Owen Morris. More about him later. The track listing is ;

1) Let The Wolves In
2) Why Don’t We Do It Again? (ft. Bobby Keys)
3) Sent Home Under Sirens
4) Come Undone (ft. Justin Currie)
5) Sadhana (ft. Steve Cradock)
6) Inside Out
7) Even Anger
8) Hide and Seek
9) Shine A Light On Me

I was again very lucky to work alongside some legendary names on this new record. Justin Currie of Del Amitri sings stunning lead vocals on Come Undone. Steve Cradock of Ocean Colour Scene/Paul Weller plays a truly blistering lead guitar on Sadhana. I also decided to include the now late and great Bobby Keys sax contribution on my track Why Don’t We Do It Again? after having it remixed by Owen. I was deeply saddened by Bobby’s death in December. It was a Tuesday night, a very odd day all round in the studio and this news just finished it off. I consider it the pinnacle of all my years in music having had the opportunity to work with the great man in Nashville. I will never forget that session as long as I live and I want to send my best regards to Jesse Keys and the family.

I wrote 6 of these 9 songs in the studio as the sessions were ongoing. I ended up shelving a lot of what I’d intended recording because I felt these ones were better. There’s a definite theme to the album, from the title to the tracks, and that is basically frustration/anger/despair. It’s not aimed at anybody in particular but it felt like a weight off my shoulders when we had finished up. As always, I’m sure the Glasgow movers and shakers will continue to ignore my stuff but I’m more comfortable than that than I’ve ever been. I realised that as much as I want to, I can’t ever give this up. I’m stuck with it and I write these songs because it’s how I deal with my life. They’re like a crutch to me. I don’t care how ridiculous that sounds. All I hope for is that there’s a bit of music or a line or 2 that resonates with the listeners. That makes it worthwhile and I hope that there’s something on this one that makes some sense to somebody other than me…

So onto Owen Morris…. Like a lot of people, my only knowledge of this man prior to meeting him was that he recorded Oasis and the Verve when they were at the peak of their powers. He made some of my favourite ever records. He has quite a colourful reputation and I was nervous to meet him.

One year on, I’m still nervous to meet him. He is without a doubt unique. You’ll never meet anybody else like him if you live to be 200 years old. He’s very vocal about what you should do and not do when recording. He also knows exactly how to build songs. He’s undoubtedly a genius and he was everything I thought he’d be. His mixes are amazing and his turn of phrase ( and constant abuse!) echoes around in my head for days after we’ve spent any time together. Away from the music side of things, he’s a very warm man. He’s utterly hilarious and you can’t help but love the guy. There’s conversations that can’t ever be repeated and we’ve scraped the darkest surfaces of acceptable topics but all in a measured way, which is slightly worrying! I think of it as a great honour to have made music with a bona fide legendary producer and he brought the best out of the songs and the way I wrote them. I wanted to impress him and I wanted him to enjoy it as much as I did. I learned a lot from him and I wouldn’t rule out further stuff in the years to come. If he’s up for it of course… His version of events may differ greatly from mine but I’d hope not. You never can tell.

I’ve got to mention special thanks to Steph McKellar who spent a lot of the sessions with me playing bass, singing sweet harmonies and being the overall good guy that he is. He makes me laugh constantly and that’s a rare thing for me! On drums, my closest of friends Ross McFarlane was simply on fire. He just gets better and better and the drumming is phenomenal. I also want to thank Anne Marie and the Cairn String Quartet for lighting up 3 of the songs with beautiful string parts, It was an ambition to do this and I’m so pleased with the results. Kudos to Stu Kidd too who drummed on 2 tracks when Ross had to return to his day job with Texas. Cheers Stu, looking forward to doing a lot more together! Thanks also to the GSA Choir for putting the final piece of Shine A Light On Me in place. It’s stunning. Thanks guys and ladies for your time and voices. My brother Daniel Meade features on a couple of tracks on piano and I feel lucky to have caught him because things are blowing up in his world. Remember the name, this is going to be his year.

To mark it’s release, I’m playing WHYDOLISE? in it’s entirety at Stereo in Glasgow on Friday May 15th. I’m delighted that the Cairn String Quartet will be with me and the band and it’s going to be a brilliant night. Tickets are absolutely flying. They’re £10 and if you need any please email me on info@raymondmeade.com There will be a limited run of CD copies. (150) It will also be released on iTunes and all other digital music outlets from May 11th.

I’m also releasing a download only single on Monday 6th April. It will be a double A Side featuring Sadhana ft Steve Cradock and Come Undone with Justin Currie on vocals.

I’ve already started work on a new record. I’ve got 3 songs written and recorded. I’m recording it at home, alone and playing every instrument. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years but never had the means. It will be free to anybody who’d like a copy and I’m hoping to have it ready for July. It won’t be polished, it won’t be sonically as easy on the ear as past efforts but that’s the point. I want this to be a busier year than 2014 and hopefully a far healthier one too. Last year was tricky to say the least.

I was also really chuffed to be involved in the recording of Daniel Wylie’s new album in January. I played guitar and some bass and as a big fan of DW’s songwriting, it was really great seeing how he goes about his sessions. There’s 3 or 4 killer songs on there so far and I’m excited for him and his fans. It’s already sounding like the natural follow up to his masterpiece Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine and I’m proud to be on it. It was an added bonus to rekindle playing with Neil Sturgeon and meeting Stu and Johnny. It made a usually quiet month a really enjoyable few weeks, Cheers DW.

That’s about all my news folks. Thanks for stopping in for a read. Hopefully see you in May and I hope you enjoy the album when the time comes.