Welcome once more to a long rambling blog post, this one tells the tale of my NEW album which is titled ‘One Way Road’.
Given that i attract no media attention for my musical endeavors i have to do what i can to alert people to my latest collection of songs. Social media sites do come in handy for these such things i must say, because it is on Facebook, Twitter and the like where i can make myself heard to those willing to lend an ear.
I might as well start by taking through each track on the album one-by-one and give you a bit of information on each one, so here goes.
Track 1: Bohemian Dream
I wrote this song in late-2011, as usual i try to start an album with a slightly musically upbeat number, the song speaks of my desire to find a way of life outside that of the normal 9 to 5 world which sees people drowning in loans and broken dreams.
I did record a slower version during sessions for another album but the faster pace gave the ‘bohemian dream’ a little more urgency. The title/idea for the song was born when i started to really focus on my musical quest and realised i would never be completely happy living a ‘normal life’ and the need to sing my dream was great!
Track 2: Sunshine Dreamer
Writing this song was the reason i booked the recording session and once i had done so many more from the album came flowing, it was a good week for songwriting, as usual some songs from the session didn’t make the final album but you have to go with what feels right, no matter how good songs seem to be individually.
Sunshine Dreamer is essentially about someone who lives on a hill and controls the suns rising and falling, it features a line from the Donovan song ‘Hey Gyp, Dig The Slowness’ which is “give me some of your love” but other than that there isn’t much to tell, it’s just a good groove!
The harmonica for this (and all the other tracks that feature harmonica) was overdubbed during a 1 hour session but all acoustic and vocals on the album were done live, it’s how music should be done, as live as possible. I think it took a few deep breaths and 2 or 3 takes to get the harmonica right and it sounds great!
My thanks go to Duncan Chave who is not only a big help in the recording and mixing of my songs but also it was him who suggested the harmonica would suit this track and it does!
You can listen to Sunshine Dreamer on SoundCloud
Track 3: It Just Rolls On
A song about the flow of life, sure i’ve written songs with this theme before, most notably ‘The Rolling Days’ from the album ‘From Nowhere To Here’ but this has a little more of a rolling tempo i feel and there is also a nice bit of echo that was added during the mixing.
It is a song that focuses on the nature of life, how alive are we all really? because we rarely think we are actually going to die even though we know it awaits us all and this in someways stops us living our dreams because in the moment life seems never-ending.
Track 4: Take It Slow
Something a bit different, a simple little riff is played while i appeal for people to slow down and enjoy life, this world is far to hectic, especially as there is no given reward, so i say just enjoy every moment you can.
I don’t think it is a contradiction for this song to encourage people to take things slowly after ‘Bohemian Dream’ and ‘It Just Rolls On’ have a message of living care free and for the moment. The overall message of this track is to just not let yourself get pushed onto a path that isn’t yours, walk your own and think things through.
Track 5: And I Sang
This song was almost included on the album Tales From Sunshine Street or the EP Little Tracks but it didn’t quite make it onto those but i do love it, the chorus i feel is catchy and the whole song speaks of enjoying the world and being thankful for it.
This song was recorded during the making of past works but this release is a NEW recording done in the same session as all the others, one day an older take may surface from my song archive but until then i hope you will enjoy this one.
Track 6: Save The World
What better message is there in a song then one encouraging people to save this planet we find ourselves upon. The song is heavily inspired by Donovan’s song of the same name which i’ve listened too countless times and thankfully i avoided ripping it off and feel this song stands up well on it’s own with it’s lyric and melody.
Some may view it as preachy but if you can’t dream of a better world then surely we won’t ever get one, not that i expect humans to stop being stupid in my life-time but small steps go a long way, so lets just be careful what we do as we tread through life.
I’ll admit i felt when i wrote this it was a lazy composition but it has grown on me greatly and a great song to gently strum and hum.
Track 7: Looking For Something Greater Than It All
Once more we have Donovan to thank for this song, well Donovan and Woody Guthrie, the title is taken from an interview with Donovan where he claims he was “looking for something greater than it all” when discussing his early beginnings and dreams, so i set to work in making this song.
The song didn’t come naturally alas and this is the third song i wrote using this title, it is of course the best one too (in my mind). I decided to use a standard Folk/Woody Guthrie-esc structure for the song as it’s message should be heard rather than a pretty melody and fancy chord changes (not that i know any).
The song speaks something very true to my heart and like Bohemian Dream it speaks of finding fulfillment rather than riches.
Track 8: Under The Sun-Kissed Waves
All songwriters should have a song about Atlantis and here is mine. It is another song that almost appeared on Tales From Sunshine Street but i felt it didn’t fit the album, i have however in the past shared the version from those sessions, this is a new recording of course and done in a different key (don’t ask me which one, i just moved the capo).
The lyrics are based on moments from the well known LucasArts adventure game Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis along with moments from documentaries and films i have watched about the great lost empire that was Atlantis.
It’s nice to explore myths and legends in song, of course Atlantis is a well-used theme like so many legends from forgotten ages but it is important to keep these stories alive and play my part in telling them.
Track 9: Hold On (It’s Alright)
This song was finished on the day i went into the studio, i had the chords and the melody and the majority of the lyrics but wasn’t 100% happy with it, it didn’t seem to flow well enough for me.
However after having had some morning acupuncture at the Lemon Acupuncture Community Centre in Newton Abbot (how’s that for a plug!) i went home and found the words that were needed to finish the song and headed to the studio in a good place. I hope like my calming acupuncture experience the song will help people feel good about themselves and give them a reawakening perhaps?
Track 10: Before I Meet The Angels
Much like the song before it this number focuses on staying strong in moments of personal hardship. I wrote this within in a day of booking the session i believe but i think it took a few days to get lyrics right.
Like a lot of my songs it also speaks of living your dreams/life while you can and i hope it has a positive affect on people because we’re all headed to the great end but the trick is to enjoy what you can before that moment arrives, it might not always be easy but it’s a ride worth taking.
Track 11: Come With Me
This song was a late inclusion to the final tracklist but i love this little song so it had to feature really, on the surface it is a love song, asking someone to be with you but looking deeper it’s also a calling for people to follow me (and others) in the quest for a better world.
I did ponder trying to force more lyrics and making the song longer but i think it works well being short and sweet and is a nice way to close an album.
The Album Title
The album title ‘One Way Road’ was chosen as it represents the journey of life and we must all walk it, no matter how long our own roads are, or where they lead. There is also the slight reference to the open road and my dreams of traveling with my guitar playing people songs and spreading some love. It’s also the title of a great Oasis B-Side from 2000 single Who Feels Love? but i’m sure Noel Gallagher won’t mind.
Prior to choosing ‘One Way Road’ other titles considered were, Bohemian Dream, The Cosmic Gypsy, Starburst and Borderline Poet, all of which i was never happy with but Bohemian Dream stuck for a while.
The artwork was done by my youngest brother Harry who also did the Tales From Sunshine Street artwork, owing to the albums title the idea of me being in a country lane seemed appropriate and gives a good image for following the ‘One Way Road’.
You can view all the photos taken from our session on his Facebook page.
End Of Chapter 1?
I have now recorded and released 7 albums, 8 singles and 2 eps since September 2011, which gives me plenty to play on the road for those willing to hear my songs and that now becomes my focus, to spread the music as far as i can, so do make sure you keep up to date with my goings on via Twitter or Facebook if you wish to see me live, or if you want to recommend a venue for me that would be great too, all support from friends, family and fans is all very important to me and i will be forever grateful for it.
I have no schedule with regards to any of my releases, this one wasn’t really planned but the songs were there so “why not release it?” i thought, no point holding it back, got to let the music flow.
Whenever my next release comes i’d like to try something a little different, some more instruments perhaps? but thats not for now. I’ve got a nice body of work to introduce people too.
A Final Thank You
Before i bring this rambling session to an end i must of course thank all the team at Sound Gallery Studios once more, particularly Duncan who helps me bring my songs to life and makes me sound half-decent.
Of course a thank you goes to all my family and friends for there support and help in all my musical endeavors to this point (and those beyond).
Getting The Album
I’m not sure if this album will feature on iTunes, Amazon and the like as i am pondering pulling my stuff from there and distributing it all myself via websites such as Bandcamp and SoundCloud where i have more control and things are easier to keep an eye on.
My NEW Bandcamp page is where you can get your hands on ‘One Way Road’ – http://www.rossmayhew.bandcamp.com – as a FREE download from the 3rd of June 2013 (although you can pay if you wish), it will however only be FREE for a limited time before i start charging so get your copy quick and share it with your friends and family!
Hope you enjoy the One Way Road!