Archive for the art Category

Photography – Railway Yards

Posted in art, black and white, Jamie McPherson, Photography, rail, railway, sepia, train with tags , , , , , , on February 22, 2014 by Jamie McPherson

Hi all,

Besides making music, one of my passions is photography. It’s not something I get to do that often these days, but when I do it gives me great joy. Not just the taking of the shot, but also in editing it into something that pleases my artistic eye. I normally work in sepia and black and white as I love the use of tone, but I will occasionally throw in an odd colour shot or two if the photo demands it.

This morning I passed the old tower at my local rail yards, and thought that I better grab the camera and finally get that photo of it, instead of thinking “next time” 🙂

So, I spent a bit of time snapping shots and then editing them when I got home. I hope you enjoy the results. It should appeal to both photography and train buffs 🙂

You can view the full size photo just by clicking on it 🙂

(All images Copyright 2014 Jamie McPherson)

Behind the Storm

Behind the Storm

Eureka

Eureka

Rust Never Sleeps

Rust Never Sleeps

Railway Yards

Railway Yards

Winged

Winged

Snails

Snails

Big Red

Big Red

Old Wall

Old Wall

Wagon

Wagon

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New Song Lyrics – Moonshine’s a Running

Posted in 12 string guitar, Alternative Country, art, cowboy, folk music, guitar, Jamie McPherson, Music, Newsletter, Songwriting, Uncategorized, whisky on June 10, 2013 by Jamie McPherson

Hi folks,

I’ve just written a brand spanking new song called “Moonshine’s a Running”. Here are the lyrics and below that will be a brief explination of the song –

Moonshine’s a Running

Moonshine’s a running

From the side of the hill

I make my living

From the pot and the still
.

Moonshine’s a running

From the side of my hill

I feed my young un’s

From the pot and the still
.

I work all day toiling in the dirt

When the chillun’s cry from hunger, that’s when I hurt
.

Moonshine’s a running

Like my Pappy did before

As his Daddy did

When he washed upon this shore
.

Moonshine’s a running

It’s an honest man’s trade

The sheriff let’s me know

When it’s time for the raid
.

These hills are alive with the smell of mash

And quiet whispers at night and promises of cash
.

Moonshine’s a running

On an Appalachian night

I’ll brew my magic

By the harvest moon tonight
.

Moonshine’s a running

It’s time to move the shine

The dogs are a sniffin’

I’ve been given the sign
.

The sheriff said “I hear ya farmin’ the woods?

There’s new folks in town out lookin’ for your goods”
.

Moonshine’s a running

It’s time to move on

It’s the end of the verse

But not of my song
.

Moonshine’s a running

Little bellies full tonight

But who knows tomorrow

If their belts will be tight
.

It’s a life I never chose to be

But a man does what he does, for his family
.

Moonshine’s a Running

On the side of my hill

I made my living

On the pot and the still
.

Moonshine’s a running

Time to rest my bones

I died a moonshiner

Four miles from my home
.

The cold and wet got me in the night

Daddy won’t be home, but everything’s alright
.

Moonshine’s a running

On the side of a hill

They’ll make a new life

From the pot and the still
.

Moonshine’s a running

It’s the way it’s always been

It will always live on

In both kith and kin
.

A hundred fires in the woods tonight

A hundred souls will go on, fight the good fight
.

Written by Jamie McPherson

Sunday 10 June 2013

Words and music © 2013 Copyright Jamie McPherson

The line “moonshine’s a running” came to me while reading a Foxfire article about moonshining in the Appalachian Mountains called “The Fine Art of Moonshining”. It was a great article written in the 60’s of the dying art of Moonshining (the distilling of illegal whisky). One thing that touched me deeply was that it was accepted by all the locals, including the local law enforcement, as for many it was the only way they could feed their families. Life was tough for these folks, and they had to do whatever they could to survive. Their only real concern was the Federal law enforcement agencies, who could spell a lengthy prison sentence for them. But to feed their families, it was worth the risk. So, I hope I was able to catch the spirit of this within the song.

The song was really born out of the chords. I was noodling around with the guitar last weekend and started to play these chords. I recorded them on my mobile so I wouldn’t forget. Then, yesterday I played back the chords and wrote the music structure on a neet little program on my mobile. And this morning I sat down and wrote out the lyrics.

So, I hope you enjoy Moonshine’s a Running. Hopefully soon I’ll have a rough demo up so you can listen to it.

Beannach leibh,

Jamie

November Newsletter from The Official Jamie McPherson

Posted in 12 string guitar, Adelaide, Album, art, CD, Dail Chuinnidh, do-wop, folk music, guitar, harmonica, Jamie McPherson, Jeremy Watson, keyboards, lyrics, Meeting Place, Music, Newsletter, painting, Photography, Recording, rock, Songwriting, Strathalbyn, Tikarma Vodicka on November 1, 2011 by Jamie McPherson

November  Newsletter from The Official Jamie McPherson
Welcome to the November edition of www.jamiemcpherson.com.au

NEW LOOK WEBSITE!

The big news for the month is that the website has had a makeover! New colour scheme, new layout, new photos and new pages. The first thing you will notice is the fantastic photos from Jeremy Watson taken during the Meeting Place photo shoot for the album. Hopefully during the year I can get some more photos from the shoot to put up on the site. Jeremy is such a great talent! There is also a nice photo of me taken by Michael Buddle underneath my personal message.

There is a new Lyrics/Chords page on the site where you can see all the words for my songs, and the chords are there too if you want to try your hand at my music. I’m not precious, so feel free to print them off and wow your friends at your next party or gig. There is also the new song, The Ballad of Lester Moore. As yet, unrecorded, but it is the cornerstone of my latest project.

I have also put the Meeting Place promo video underneath by bio if you want to check it out. Just remember that you will need to pause the player at the top of the page if you want to prevent conflicting sound.

I’ve redone the Buy section of the page so it is a dropdown menu. This should make it easier to get a copy of Meeting Place. You can buy direct from the website, or choose to buy from CD Baby via the new CD Baby widget. The big news here is that there is a price drop just in time for Christmas! Read below for further details.

The Photos section is now also a drop down menu. You can see some of the stunning photos by Jeremy Watson in the CD Cover Art and Photos by Jeremy Watson as well as the wonderful ‘Meeting Place’ painting for the back cover of the album done by Tikarma Vodicka. Also, there is a Live photo section with some new live photos and a Miscellaneous section that has a few photos of me with friends and loved ones.

The Press page is also now a drop down menu. Read all the latest articles in Articles About Jamie.

Use the dropdown menu on Music to Hear Jamie’s Songs. These are the same songs on the player up top, but with accompanying lyrics.

Tune In will tell you which radio stations have Meeting Place on their playlists, so if one of these is your local, why don’t you request a song?

Finally is the Links page. Use the dropdown menu for all the links for myself, Tikarma, Jeremy and also some of my very talented friends.

While your there, don’t forget to sign the Guestbook!

Just head on ober to www.jamiemcpherson.com.au to check it all out!

NEWS JUST IN – CD PRICE DROP!

Yes, you heard right folks. Just in time for Christmas. There is a CD price drop on Meeting Place to keep you in the good books this Christmas.

MEETING PLACE NOW ONLY $10 FROM THE OFFICIAL JAMIE McPHERSON

Purchase Meeting Place from www.jamiemcpherson.com.au and pay only $10 plus $5 postage and handling worldwide. Buy two or three and recieve a further discount and only pay one lot of postage. That’s a lot of Christmas cheer!

Also, there is now a price drop at CD Baby. Pay only $12 per CD. Buy two or more and recieve a 10% discount. Just head on over to www.jamiemcpherson.com.au

Looks like Santa came early this year!

What’s been happening?

Well folks, it’s been a busy year. The big news is that Tikarma and I have relocated our Ravenwood Studios to the other side of Strath. So, it’s been a mad time for both of us, moving and settling in to our new digs. Unfortunately, my recording studio is not up and running yet, pending the arrival of a new computer and software, but in the mean time, it will leave me plenty of time for songwriting for my new project, entitled The Ballad of Lester Moore. I’ll keep you updated as it progresses.

There’s been many a great show happening throughout the year. I had a great CD launch at The Singing Gallery with some brilliant and talented friends to help me celebrate. There were captivating and touching performances by Tikarma Vodicka, Dave Clark, Bob Malloy, The Self Preservation Society and Pasquale. The highlight of the night for me was performing Folsom Prison Blues with Tristan Newsome and Girl From the North Country with Tim Inglis. The numbers were down, but we had a great day! A BIG thank you for every one who came along and to those that wowed us with their stunning performances!

There were also great shows at The Mannum Hotel, Bliss Organic Cafe, The Avoca Hotel, The Adelaide Convention Centre, Kym Maree’s Cancer Fundraiser and The Foster, Relative & Kinship Carers Family Fun Day where I also got to run the buskers corner and have a lot of fun with the kids busking for the first time.

The album has been doing well. It seems to be popping up everywhere on the net all around the world. From Japan to Norway and everywhere in between. I’ve even seen the songs for download as ringtones on the net!

Tikarma has ben keeping herself busy re-doing her website and it coming along beautifuly! Unfortunately, such is her great talent, she is a very prolific writer and it will take her some time to re-do all of her poetry archives. But, it’s been a great joy revisiting these beautiful poems as I check out her progress. Such a great talent! She has also done a wonderful painting to help raise money for the Cancer Council Australia. You can see all her wonderful work at www.tikarmavodicka.com or click on one of her links from my website.

So, that’s it for November. Wishing you all a brilliant and musical month and remember to head on over to the site to check it out.

Beannachd leibh,

Jamie

Jamie McPherson
Songwriter/balladeer/composer/live performing artist

 

March Newsletter from www.jamiemcpherson.com.au

Posted in 12 string guitar, Adelaide, Album, art, CD, Dail Chuinnidh, do-wop, folk music, Gaelic, Gaidhlig, guitar, harmonica, Highland, Jamie McPherson, Jeremy Watson, lyrics, Meeting Place, Music, Newsletter, painting, Photography, Recording, rock, Scottish, Songwriting, Strathalbyn, Tikarma Vodicka, Uncategorized on March 21, 2011 by Jamie McPherson

 

 Hello and welcome to the March edition of www.jamiemcpherson.com.au

It’s been a busy month behind the scenes but we are moving ahead nicely. The big news is the CD launch will be at the beautiful Singing Gallery in McClaren Vale on 03 April 2011. This is an all ages show and we will be having a brilliant line-up including Matt Reiner, Pasquale, The Self Preservation Society, Bob Molloy, Dave Clark, Tikarma Vodicka and maybe some other friends will drop on by. Why the big stellar lineup for a CD launch? Well, that’s easy to explain. It will also be my 40th Birthday Bash, and damnit, I want to hear some great music! And these guys will deliver.

Also, the good folks at Music SA have been kind enough to have me as their featured artist for a couple of weeks. Their hard work, dedication, support and encouragement never ceases to amaze me! Not only myself, but many a South Oz musician owes them a debt of gratitude for all they have done for us here. You can check out their website at www.musicsa.com.au and read some great articles and reviews, including a few on myself.

And, talking about Music SA, I have also been fortunate enough to have the CD reviewed by Mr H.W.Bones on the site. It is another wonderful review and I am just chuffed with it! You can read it at the bottom of the Newsletter or go to the Music SA website.

The last bit of big news is on a more personal note. Tikarma and I are currently in the process of moving our Ravenwood Studios. It is an exciting time and my studio is being packed up as we speak. We will still be in beautiful Strathalbyn, just on a different side of town. 

Wishing you all a great time of music for March, and I hope to catch as many of you as possible for my CD Launch and 40th Birthday Bash next month.

All the information on the CD Launch and the article and review from Music SA are below. Feel free to have a read.

Beannachd leibh (brightest blessings), 

Jamie


 

‘Meeting Place’ CD Launch & 40th Birthday Bash

 

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011The Singing Gallery
Meeting Place CD Launch and 40th Birthday Bash – 2pm-6pm 133 Main Road
McLaren Vale South Australia 5171
Aus 0413 358 618 [map]
Price: $10, $5 concession

Come celebrate the launch of Jamie’s Debut CD, Meeting Place along with his 40th Birthday. We’re having some friends along to play and bring it all back home.

The lineup includes-

Jamie Mcpherson
Matt Reiner
Pasquale
The Self Preservation Society
Bob Molloy
Dave Clark
Plus the poetry of Tikarma Vodicka

This will be an all ages and child friendly event. Enjoy fine music in this ideal location. Tickets at the door. Children under 12 free. BYO  


The latest article from Music SA

featured from 11 march 2011

Strathalbyn’s very own folk and alternative country artist, Jamie McPherson, is gearing up to launch his debut album, Meeting Place.
 
The much anticipated album, which has been 3 years in the making, will be launched at The Singing Gallery (in an all ages show) on Sunday 3rd April for his CD Launch and 40th Birthday Bash. The show starts at 2pm and includes special guests Matt Reiner, The Self Preservation Society, Pasquale, Dave Clark plus the poetry of Tikarma Vodicka. That’s a full afternoons entertainment in the picturesque surroundings of McLaren Vale.
 
Meeting place is a eclectic blend of traditional folk, rock and country blues combined into a wonderful life brew that encompasses life, death, love and the stories of a self proclaimed balladeer and songwriter. Jamie started writing the album about 3 years ago and decided to throw himself into his music after a huge life change made him re-elvaluate where his life was going. He decided to immerse himself into his passion for music.
 
“When I initially set up my Ravenwood Studio, I envisioned the album of just being more along the lines of a traditional folk album. Just myself on vocals and guitar and maybe blowing the occasional bit of harp. I’ve had no formal musical training at all, so I was very surprised to find I had a talent for composing and scoring music. All the songs I wrote on guitar just began to grow into full arrangements. The next thing I know, all my influences of rock, country and blues came forth and the songs took on a life of their own. It is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to genre, but luckily there is the label of Alternative Country, in which it seems to fall into nicely”.
 
Jamie did a soft launch of the album online in December just for fans and friends, and has already recieved some positive media interest from overseas music critics who have picked up on the album.
 
“I was very surprised to hear from music critics in Italy, the U.K. and the Neatherlands who had heard parts of the album on CD Baby and wanted to do reviews of it. Most of the reviews are in, and so far they have been excellent. I’m very chuffed with them and a bit overwhelmed to be honest.”
 
Here are what some the critics are saying about Meeting Place-
 
A very personal cocktail of blues, rock and folk…” – Paolo Caru, Italian rock critic
 
On the one hand the sound of the wide open space, reminiscent of the The Triffids, on the other, a passionate approach reminiscent of Kim Salmon, both confirming his authentic Australian roots” – John Gjaltema, altcountry.nl
 
As quickly as I put it in I took it out to make sure I hadn’t mixed it up with a new Leonard Cohen release, but no – definitely Jamie” – H.W.Bones, Music SA
 
Jamie will be selling his debut album at the launch event. Tickets can be purchased for just $10 ($5 concession and children under 12 free) at the door. Come visit the beautiful former Congregational Church in McLaren Vale on the Fleurieu Peninsula for an afternoon of music in this idealistic location. More information is available from www.jamiemcpherson.com.au


 

  ‘Meeting Place’ CD review from H.W. Bones, featured at Music SA  

lp:  meeting place

Meeting Place - Jamie McPherson

Meeting Place - Jamie McPherson

 

First time I ran into Jamie McPherson was at a gig he was playing at Higher Ground on Light Square and I proceeded to talk at him for quite a while about the high ornamentation of the rosette on the feedback stopper of his twelve sting Takamine guitar. In addition he had on a Johnny Cash t-shirt which was instantly appealing. Nice chap, looked like he’d just come down from the mountains with his beat up hat on (which he effectively has, coming from Strathalbyn). What I saw on that day was an almost traditional folk performance, great and heart felt lyrics as much at home on stage as around a campfire.

It was with great interest I received Jamie’s debut album ‘Meeting Place’. Wonderfully packaged and looking slick as any major label release, with some great pictures of the artist lounging in various uncomfortable locales and a thought provoking painting by Jamie’s wife Tikarma taking up the back cover really rounding it out.

I popped ‘Meeting Place’ straight into the cosmic destruction player to see what Jamie had been cooking up in his home studio ‘Ravenwood’. As quickly as I put it in I took it out to make sure I hadn’t mixed it up with a new Leonard Cohen release, but no – definitely Jamie. The first track ‘Midsummer in a Summerland’ would not by any means be out of place on a newer era Cohen release, very clever lyrically and that same almost Casio drenched production on this, which is a nice easer into ‘Meeting Place’.

Throughout listening to this album I found myself more and more drawn into Jamie’s lyrics. He has a great eye for detail and even things that may be termed a cliché written by a lesser lyricist are dealt a deft and skilful hand on Jamie’s watch. In the tradition of many folk/country performers a wry and often dry humour surfaces in many of the songs which helps to lighten some of the lyrical load.

Jamie is not afraid to try his hand at various styles within the folk/country umbrella either, there are times where musically this release strays into almost doo wop territory along with a good sprinkling of rock and roll (that’s right – both kinds of music rock AND roll… Ba DAM Ching). The only cover on the album ‘No Expectations’ shows a further range of where Jamie is coming from in terms of influences.

If I could offer one piece of advice I’d love for Jamie to find his own voice a little more on his next release. I have had the pleasure of hearing Jamie play live and I can hear a lot of that voice in these recordings and it’s really a treat, but there are occasions where it does sound like his voice is borrowing from some of his heroes. This is something that is easy to do subconsciously whilst recording, but when you have got a voice with as much character and strength as Jamie’s I’d love to hear it push through stronger on the next one release that he puts out.

 In all this is a great release, professionally packaged, raw and heart felt, and for this listener’s ears, definitely autobiographical. I look forward to the next instalment!


All album photograph images are copyright 2010 Jeremy Watson Photography

‘Meeting Place’ painting copyright 2010 Tikarma Vodicka

February Newsletter from jamiemcpherson.com.au

Posted in 12 string guitar, Adelaide, Album, art, blues, CD, Dail Chuinnidh, do-wop, folk music, Gaelic, Gaidhlig, guitar, harmonica, Highland, Jamie McPherson, Jeremy Watson, keyboards, Meeting Place, Midsummer, Music, painting, Photography, radio, Recording, rock, SCALA, Scottish, Songcatcher, Songwriting, Strathalbyn, Tikarma Vodicka, Uncategorized on February 6, 2011 by Jamie McPherson

Hello and welcome to the inaugural newsletter from jamiemcpherson.com.au. Not only is this February’s Newsletter, but also the wrap up for 2010.

Meeting Place - Jamie McPherson

Meeting Place - Jamie McPherson

The big news for 2010 is the soft launch of my debut CD, Meeting Place, in December. After 3 years of hard work, the CD is finally here and it both looks and sounds great! I’m just chuffed with the way it came out. The stunning photography on the album is done by one of my dearest friends and one of this country’s greatest photographers, Jeremy Watson.

left inside album cover

left inside album cover

 

right inside album cover

right inside album cover

Also, the back cover of the album features the wonderfull painting “Meeting Place” by my very talented wife, Tikarma Vodicka.

back album cover

back album cover

This 45 minute CD takes you on a musical journey through my world of sound and song, with nine original tracks plus the Rolling Stones classic “No Expectations”. Here is the first review for the CD by influential Italian rock critic, Paolo Caru-

“A very personal cocktail of blues, rock and folk, McPherson draws inspiration from Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen and invites us on a very personal journey through his musical microcosm. Ballads, folk rock, singer-songwriters, a cross between blues and rock for a diverse disk.”

Paolo Caru – caru.com (Dec 12, 2010)

Also, this just in, a new review from altcountry.nl in The Neatherlands –

“The wide Australian space blows through the lungs of Jamie McPherson. In short, a rural landscape. Slowed movements. Singing with a certain reverence. That sums up what Meeting Place (home) by Jamie McPherson has to offer. The landscape is most clearly experienced in the first number of the album, A Midsummer In a Southern Land. It tells of the surroundings of Stathalbyn, South of Adelaide, where McPherson lives. On the one hand the sound of the wide open space, reminiscent of the The Triffids, on the other, a passionate approach reminiscent of Kim Salmon, both confirming his authentic Australian roots. Just as in America, Australians also have other roots further ashore and for McPherson that is Scotland. The title number confirms this. McPherson began with music after his son passed away. He records in his own studio, this is evident given the still somewhat amateur like sound quality . A little more dynamics and tighter playing wouldn´t have gone astray. Nevertheless, certainly enjoyable this Meeting Place. Available via CD Baby”

3 stars out of 5

John Gjaltema – altcountry.nl (Feb 05, 2011)

December saw the launch of my website www.jamiemcpherson.com.au . This site provides a one stop shop to purchase a CD or merchandise, listen to a few tracks, leave a message or catch up on the latest news. Also, you can veiw some of the pictures Jeremy Watson took for the Meeting Place shoot. Hopefully in the new year, we can get some more of his stunning shots from this session online. At the moment, he is off in Sri Lanka doing wonderful work with the kids there, teaching them photography and helping to heal a country through children sharing their photos and lives.

Besides buying direct from jamiemcpherson.com.au, there are plenty of places to now buy Meeting Place. We welcome our first retail partner, Jeff’s Books in Strathalbyn, to be the first shop to offer Meeting Place. Also, there are plenty of online retailers to buy the CD from including CD Baby, CD Universe, Caru.com and Amazon in the USA, UK and Japan. You can also download the album in MP3 format from CD Baby, Digstation, iTunes, Amazon, Shockhound, Last FM, Zune and eMusic.

2010 was a great year for live shows too! After the sad demise of Macrocarpa in Mount Barker, we saw some good shows during the year. The highlight was definately The Singing Gallery in McLaren Vale with Rob McDade, Andy Salvanos, Paddy Montgomery plus the poetry of Tikarma Vodicka. Such a magical night! Other great gigs were a couple at Higher Ground including my SCALA debut, an afternoon at the wonderful 90 Mile Wines, Foster and Relative Kinship Care Week at Dunreath Homestead, The Victoria Hotel for the Strathalbyn Antique Fair and The Jade Monkey as part of the Nefarious Nine. I got the oppertunity to play these gigs with some fantastic musicians including Tristan Newsome (The Self Preservation Society), Mosby, Daniel Pitman, Anthony D’Antonio, The Kemp Brothers, Matthew Hill, Rachel Cearns, Peter McIvor, Sleepless and many others.

2010 was also a good year in radio, as I appeared on Radio Adelaide’s Songcatcher programme for a chinwag about my songwriting and music as well as playing a few of my tracks from the album and artist influence songs from Wall of Voodoo and The Band. I also got some brilliant playtime on 5EFM on the Fleurieu Penninsula. So, it was such a great joy to switch on the radio and then here my songs come on. A real blast!

Also I got to see some great shows from friends such as The Self Preservation Society, Matt Reiner and the Aunt Sally’s and Colonel Kernal.

It was a year of ups and downs personaly, but on the whole perseverance proved to be a good bet to make and I am happy with the way things have turned out. So, it’s upwards and onwards.

January has been a quiet time, doing admin, plugging the CD and organising shows. March will be a special time as I will be turning 40, and to celebrate there will be a special show at The Singing Gallery on 03 April with some special friends to help ring it in. It will also be the official launch of the CD! Hopefully, to continue the celebrations, in March there may also be a joint 40th birthday celebration show with Rob McDade, who also shares this milestone. Something we are trying to organise. Also I will be performing at The Great Australian Shave on March 10 in Mount Barker, to raise money for Leukemia research. More details of these shows will appear next month as we get things finalised. So, stay tuned.

Other plans for 2011 including hopefully upgrading the studio, writing and recording, playing more live shows as well as working with Tikarma to record some of her wonderful poetry. We did a test disk last year and it sounded fantastic! She has a wonderful voice for reading her talented poems and we got some great feedback. I’m definately looking forward to that!

Thank you all for your support and encouragement during 2010 and hopefully 2011 will be a brilliant year! Remember to visit www.jamiemcpherson.com.au to purchase a CD or tee and get all the latest news.

Beannachd leibh (Brightest blessings)

Jamie

Jamie McPherson
Songwriter/balladeer/composer/live performing artist

Meeting Place – Jamie McPherson’s debut CD

Posted in 12 string guitar, 4 Wheel Drive, Adelaide, Album, art, blues, CD, Dail Chuinnidh, do-wop, folk music, Gaelic, Gaidhlig, guitar, harmonica, Highland, Jamie McPherson, Jeremy Watson, keyboards, Land Rover, lyrics, Meeting Place, Midsummer, Music, painting, Photography, piano, Recording, rock, Saunders Gorge, Scottish, Strathalbyn, tea, theremin, Tikarma Vodicka, whisky on December 7, 2010 by Jamie McPherson

Meeting Place is more than a place. It is a state of mind. Every time you think fondly of a friend or a loved on, that is Dail Chuinnidh. That is Meeting Place.

Meeting Place is also the title of my new CD. And it is on sale now at www.jamiemcpherson.com.au

Meeting Place - Jamie McPherson

Meeting Place - Jamie McPherson

Yes, after three years of hard work, I finally have the CD in my hot little hands and it’s on sale now. It’s been a hard slog but also a great learning curve and has been very rewarding. This CD has represented a lifelong dream and it’s been a wonderful experience writing, composing, arranging and recording. Many hours spent in the studio learning new recording techniques, writing instrument scores, trying to get tracks right, wrestling with vocal takes and then countless hours of late nights and wee hour mixing tracks and then mastering. And on top of that, all the legal jargon and law one has to learn with copyright both in Australia and the USA, organising artwork and CD production as well as the sales process. But I got there in the end. And I loved every minute of it!

The first thing you’ll notice in looking at the CD is the fantastic cover. One of my dearest friends and one of this country’s finest photographers, Jeremy Watson, did all the photography for the album. I’ve looked at all his photos for the shoot many times in order to pick the shots for the album and to approve the proofs from the design company, and I have to say I still get excited every time I see them. He is a true master of his craft. For the album shoot, we got into Jeremy’s Land Rover with his equally talented assistant, Astrid Innes, and headed up to a wonderful property called Saunders Gorge. It is a mixture of wilderness area and sheep grazing land on the rugged Eastern slopes of the Adelaide hills, overlooking the Murray River flood plain. It was a fantastic day full of photography, 4 wheel driving, good cuppas and plenty of laughs. The cover was shot in an old ruin down in a valley by a wonderful creek. As you can see, this shot just screamed to me “Album cover!”. Jeremy has a great sense of capturing the spirit of any person or project and when I gave him a brief on the concept of Meeting Place, he just ran with it. Normally I would be quite controlling with something like this given my background as a film maker, but having Jeremy as the photographer, I felt very comfortable in leaving it 100% in his hands. I just told him that it’s his shoot and his eye and I wanted his vision to come out as the artist. As you can see, it was the right course of action to take. I didn’t even dream of a cover shot so good!

left inside album cover

left inside album cover

When you open it up and look at the left inside cover, you see yet another of Jeremy’s great shots. This shot was truly magical and gives a great sense of a meeting place. Sitting by a cairn high on a plateau. It gives a sense of a place of magic and age. This could have been a meeting place for hundreds of years and here it is being used by myself, maybe waiting for someone. He captured it so well, and the original shot looks even better than the one on the album after the designers reworked the background colour so one could read the text. This is one of my favourites! And it also appeals to my Highlander blood!

right inside album cover

right inside album cover

The third shot of Jeremy’s is the inside left, where the plastic tray is. This was also done high on the plateau by an old stone wall. I thought this was a great shot of me addressing the camera and I do love old stone walls. And it is the perfect segue into the back cover of the album. Stone wall to stone wall.

back album cover

back album cover

The back cover is a wonderful painting by my beautiful wife and very talented artist, Tikarma Vodicka. She did such a brilliant job with this painting, and it now hangs proudly in my studio. As you can see, it is two pannikins on a stone wall. To me, this adds a bit of mystery to the album art. So far, all’s you have seen is me at various meeting places, but now with the two mugs, you know that someone else has been there with me. And just seeing the pannikins only, it still captures that sense of isolation in the landscape, as now we don’t see anyone at all. I gave Tikarma the concept, took a few photos so she could see what I was trying to describe and out of her paintbrush came this very beautiful painting. I was just completely blown away! This is Tikarma’s second painting that has ended up on a CD cover and one can see why. She is such a great talent.

But enough of these talented people. Let’s talk about me, or more importantly, the songs on the CD.

Track One – A Midsummer in a Southern Land

It’s a bit ironic that the first track on the CD is actually the last track recorded. I decided to go with this as the opening track as it gives a sense of place. I wrote this song on a Midsummers day out in my patio. As usual, I had spent the morning with Tikarma, drinking cups of tea and watching the wildlife come into our back yard in Strathalbyn. It was so wonderful and varied that I had to put it into song there and then. All these birds and animals going about their daily life was a story in itself. I wanted the verses to be nice and intimate and capture my little part of the world, but I wanted the chorus to be an anthem, proclaiming with pride that this is my land and home. Tikarma provided the backing vocals on the chorus, as I just didn’t want this to me my song, but everybody’s that loves this land and all that dwell in it. This is my tribute to a country I love so dearly.

Track Two – Don’t Cry Me a River Murray

This song is one about a very serious issue in Australia, particularly in South Australia. We have a very ancient river system that has been a part of our lives ever since our Aboriginal brothers settled in the region during ancient times. When the first white explorers set their eyes on her only a couple of hundred years ago, it was still in a pristine condition with dolphins swimming all the way from the sea up to Mannum. But a couple of hundred years of irrigation seems to have destroyed this beautiful river beyond full recovery. If we act now, it will recover a great deal, but never to its once pristine condition. Hence my words “It’s too late for sorry…”. It is so saddening to see the damage that has been done to the Lower Lakes and the Coorong just on my back door. The river system including the lakes and Coorong have always played a magical part in my life and it does bring me to tears thinking about it. I do not think of this song as being political as such. To me it is more about myself and my connection to this river.

Track Three – I Don’t Care

This song just started out as a guitar riff, with the concept for the lyrics popping in my head as I played it. It reminded me of that crazy guy you see on the street and got me thinking as to what his story was. Maybe his joyous eccentricity was a way of hiding behind a deeper hurt he could not confront. I imagined him losing the love of his life, so in order to feel happiness, he created his own mad delusion, so as to never feel pain again. I put in some organ in this song to give it a bit more of a carnival feel, being reminded of the hurdy-gurdy at Semaphore Beach. I wanted us to feel his delusion of happiness. I recorded a fragility on the vocals that tell his story and then came in strong on the vocals for the voice of society to distinguish between the strength of the every day against the delicate fragility of one man trying to just hang on.

Track Four – Road of Bones

Road of Bones is about death being a part of life. As one grows older, one sees death all around them. This song is essentially about myself and my acceptance of that. Over the years I have been touched by death many times and now I know it is for me to accept that it is a part of my life. It doesn’t mean my grief is any less as a loved one passes on, but that I accept that this is a part of life and all things must pass. You may notice on listening to this track that it sounds like it has been recorded live. Let me assure you that this is in fact studio trickery. My “Bennie and the Jets” moment. As I was writing and recording this song, I kept on thinking how rocking this song would be to do live. So, I decided to capture that in the studio. I especially love the keyboards on this one, which is an old clavichord run through a phaser to give that great effect.

Track Five – You’re My Only Vice

This is the start of my love song suite for the album, even though it is very tongue in cheek.Tikarma kept on joking that everyone likes me, so I imagined writing this song as someone with a huge ego. I may be the saviour of the world, but she is my only vice. It is about ego and love. This is definitely one of my favourite tracks and one I am very proud of musically. I love the blending of styles from country, blues and do-wop. I had a lot of fun arranging and recording this song and was chuffed with being able to blow a bit of harp at the end along with the organ solo and the theremin. I hope you enjoy listening to this song as much as I enjoyed making it.

Track Six – Doing Serious Time

This is my “Me and the Devil” song. It is about the folly of youth and growing up when one finds the love of their life. This song is very much about me. I left the recklessness of youth behind when I saw a better life with the one I love. It is about the Devil coming along and saying “What the hell has happened to you? You’ve changed man!”. The argument ensues and in the end the Devil concedes that he can not compete with her. Love trumps every time. As this song is more a story, I recorded it live in the studio in one take. Just me and my guitar and then some harmonica dubbed in afterwards at the start and end. I didn’t want the music to overshadow the story at all. I think this is a story that many a man could tell and hopefully many find a truth in it.

Track Seven – Be My Valentine

The funny thing about this song is that it started out as a Valentine Day card. I wrote a few of the words on a card to Tikarma and she commented that it sounded like a song. Well, that’s just like a red flag to a bull. The next thing I know I was in the studio and writing a love song. I wanted to do a classic love song of an older era, simple structure and melody, where the sentiments are all in the lyrics. It is about celebrating love through all the holidays and asking for a commitment of love. I kept the instruments on this a bit old school too, with the piano being the main instrument along with organ and violin and strings fading in as the song progresses.

Track Eight – Dail Chuinnidh (Meeting Place)

This is where it all began. With this one song. Dail Chuinnidh is a place in the Highlands of Scotland where my family comes from. The translation from Gaidlhig is “Meeting Place”. I wrote this song during a very happy time in our lives when Tikarma was pregnant with our son Alexander. I was thinking of my favourite whiskey one day when the words “With heather and honey and fine Highland peat” popped into my head. All of a sudden I had the love song I always promised Tikarma I would write for her. It is about love, life and the joy of family set in the Scottish Highlands. The lyrics of this song is a celebration. If you notice a bit of sadness to the recording, it is because our little Alexander did not survive childbirth. This was the most horrible time of our lives and something we will never get over. I had finished the recording on the first anniversary of his death, and I suppose as an acknowledgement of our grief and sadness I recorded the vocals and violin a bit sadder to reflect our loss. Also you will notice Tikarma’s backing vocal on it that has such a wonderful etherial quality to it. It just makes the song. This song is a turning point in both of our lives, both good and bad, but an important turning point no less. This will always be my gift to my two greatest loves, Tikarma and Alexander, with love always. We will always meet in love and life

Track Nine – No Expectations

This Rolling Stones classic is my one cover song for the album and rounds off my love song suite. It is a song of love lossed and I thought it was a good way to close off this part of the album. It was in fact the second track I recorded as it is a song I have always enjoyed playing and always wanted to record it in my own style. I loved putting in the organ and building the song up a bit slowly with the drums and then the piano to add a bit of colour. I am happy with the way it came out and how it sits in the album.

Track Ten – 12 Bar Odyssey in B flat

The final track on the album. This is my second simple song of just vocal and guitar. I wanted to write a song about what it is all about to me. The music. I have noticed that a lot of the albums I love often finish with something simple and basic and decided to do the same. I wrote the lyrics with archetypal images of blues and rock music that many of us can relate to and give a sense of place in music. I do love the way the vocal sounds on this song. I hope you enjoy it too.

Well, that is my new album, Meeting Place. I hope this blog gives you a sense of the CD and where it comes from. To find out more, you can go to my website at www.jamiemcpherson.com.au and even purchase a copy there.

To view Tikarma’s fantastic paintings or even read some of her wonderful poetry, please visit www.angelfire.com/poetry/twistinggoldenthread

To go to Jeremy Watson’s website and look at more of this man’s amazing talent, please visit www.jeremywatson.com.au

Below, for those of you that may struggle trying to read small print, is a copy of the album credits –

Meeting Place
Jamie McPherson

1    A Midsummer in a Southern Land [5:45]
2    Don’t Cry Me A River Murray  [3:41]
3    I Don’t Care    [4:38]
4    Road of Bones    [4:01]
5    You’re My Only Vice   [4:49]
6    Doing Serious Time   [4:11]
7    Be My Valentine   [3:16]
8    Dail Chuinnidh (Meeting Place)  [7:06]
9    No Expectations   [4:25]
10  12 Bar Odyssey in Bb   [3:31]

Total Running Time  45:44

Jamie McPherson – vocals, 12 string guitar, harmonica, keyboards, arrangements and drum programming
Tikarma Vodicka-McPherson – backing vocals on Dail Chuinnidh (Meeting Place) and A Midsummer in a Southern Land

All songs written and arranged by Jamie McPherson Copyright © 2010 except No Expectations by Jagger/Richards

Recorded, engineered, mastered and produced by Jamie McPherson at Ravenwood Studios, Strathalbyn, South Australia

Cover and album photography by Jeremy Watson © 2010 Jeremy Watson Photography
Photography Assistant Astrid Innes
Back cover painting “Meeting Place” by Tikarma Vodicka © 2010 Tikarma Vodicka
Photographed by Jeremy Watson

This album is dedicated to Tikarma and Alexander, with love always and forever.

A very special thank you to Tikarma Vodicka. Your support, encouragement, inspiration and love made this album happen.

Special thanks – Jeremy Watson, Tim Inglis, Tim Wright & Wright Guitars, Tristan Newsome, Matt Reiner, Rob McDade, Elizabeth Reid, Matt Swayne, Kyle Fiske, Tim Buck, Robin Willhite, Peter McIver, Quiet Pop, Music SA, APRA, Disk Makers, Kym & Mike Kuijpers, Mum & Dad, Vera, Bob, Stan & Pietra  and all the brilliant musicians I have had the pleasure of playing with and all the punters who came along.

This recording Copyright © 2010 Jamie McPherson
All rights reserved

Thank you for reading, and for all those that purchase a copy of the CD, many thanks and happy listening.

Beannachd leibh,

Jamie

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