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Andy Long Bass Player

Four/Five/Six Strings & The Truth

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God’s House Band will be on our new album!

We had a great time yesterday at Red Rock Studios.  Tim wrote a song awhile back called ‘Blues Like A Prayer’, which will be the title track of the new album and we really wanted to find a gospel choir to put some backing vocals on that particular song.  A couple of months ago we played at a church in Bristol called God’s House and we approached them to see if they would be interested in helping us out.

So yesterday a handful of their members came along and put some amazing vocals down.  There were just five of them, but the magic of studios and multi-tracking soon sorted that out.

Wait until you hear this track guys, it’s incredibly beautiful.

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First studio day for new blues album

coverWe started work on the third Tim Crahart Blues Band album today, at Red Rock Studios, near Pengam.  I had intended to tweet throughout the day with progress reports, but the lack of serviceable wifi in the valleys put the mockers on that one, so instead here’s a short blog about the tracks that will be on the album and how we got on today.

As with our two previous albums, “No Drinkin’, No Cheatin’, No Shootin’” and “Isaiah 61 Revisited, we prepared and rehearsed the new material thoroughly, so that we can progress things very quickly once we are in the studio and keep to as much of a live feel as is practical.  The new album will be titled “Blues Like A Prayer” and brings together our usual mix of original compositions and classic gospel blues given a fresh feel.

There are eleven band tracks on this album and a couple of solo tracks from Tim too.  Today booklet-coverin the studio we put all the drum tracks down for the whole album and a fair chunk of the bass tracks too.  We’ll be going back tomorrow so I can finish off the bass work and we can start on the guitar tracks.  We’ll have the whole album finished and up for sale very quickly.

Some of the original tracks, that you may have already heard us play live, include;

“Good Woman Blues”, a cool swing blues, I wrote the lyrics for this one, based on Proverbs ch. 31.

“Lady Gets The Blues”, our tribute to the style of the late great Gary Moore

“God Meant It For Good”, a chunky, Hendrix-style rocker, it tells the story of Joseph, but this ain’t no technicolor dream coat!

“Blues Like A Prayer”, the title track, a no holds barred gospel wail.

These are interwoven with familiar classics like;

blindwilliejohnson“Soul Of A Man” from our favourite gospel artist, Blind Willie Johnson, this classic has been covered by heaps of artists; Eric Burdon, Bruce Cockburn, Maria Muldaur and most recently Tom Jones. Now it’s our turn.

“Motherless Children”, you’re probably familiar with Clapton’s funky workout of this track from the “461 Ocean Boulevard” album. We thought it need a more soulful approach and yes, it’s another Blind Willie Johnson tune.

“Jesus On The Mainline”, the origins of this song are lost, but the earliest recording was by Mississippi Fred McDowell. Ry Cooder recorded a famous version and the song also featured in “Blues Brothers 2000”.

Mississippi_Fred_McDowellI’ll post another blog at the end of tomorrow’s session to keep you up to date with progress, watch this space for the release date soon.

 

Deep Discussions Bass Event (Pics)

Spent a lovely afternoon in The Vault in Swansea for the Deep Discussions Bass Player gathering.  Some interesting gear to drool over, including

Radio Shop custom wound pickups, based in Bedwas www.radioshoppickups.com

Pulse custom built valve amps, based in Bridgend (don’t seem to have a web presence)

 

Also a masterclass from my old mate, Steve Lawson.

Here’s a couple of pics from the day

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The Pulse Bass Amps can be seen here, and if you’ve got really good eyesight, the Radio Shop pickups are on the table.


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Downloads now available on iTunes and Amazon

Thanks to a fantastic arrangement with an online music company called Doxmedia, run by the fabulous Keith Dixon, both of the Tim Crahart Blues Band albums are now available to purchase as downloads from the iTunes and Amazon online stores.  Whilst we are not expecting to become millionaires through this enterprise (yet!) it is a great way for us to get our music out there to a wider audience.

Additionally my own solo bass album from 2011, “Patches Of Coloured Light” is available from these sites too.

All the albums are still available from the excellent ‘Bandcamp’ site too (and always will be).

To find the albums just go to the iTunes store or to Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com or bandcamp.com and search there for “Tim Crahart Blues Band” or “Andy Long”.

REVIEWS

If you have written a review of any of the albums (or would like to), it would be really helpful if you could post them at any or all of these stores.

Also if you can share this blog post with friends, that would be simply marvellous.

Thanks for reading my spam

Regards

Andy

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three bass amps for sale

So, further to my recent blog post about searching for a new, lightweight bass rig. I’ve now pretty much made the decision as to what that’s going to consist of.  Hence I’ve got three amps for sale.  These amps need to go, buyers should be able to collect, but I don’t mind delivering them myself if it’s not too far from Newport, South Wales.  All the prices quoted here are up for negotiation.

Get in touch via facebook or twitter or e-mail me at andy@andylong.org.uk (go to the contacts page on this site).

Various sizes, let’s start with the smallest.

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Fender 25B. This is a 25 watt practice amp with a fantastic sound. I’ve even been able to use it for small gigs or worship group sessions. Vinyl covering with a carry handle. £50 o.no.

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Gallien-Krueger Backline 112. 100 watt kickback combo. Two channel input with some kind of built-in distortion function. Nice sound, I’ve used this for some gigs and theatre shows where space is tight.  The carpet covering on top of the amp is slightly frayed, but not too bad (thanks cats!) £100 o.no.

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Ashdown ABM 400. This has been my main gigging combo for the last year or so.  It’s a few years old and has had a speaker replacement so it now houses a 15 inch Wembley Loudspeaker (http://www.wembleyloudspeaker.com). This amp is a truly fantastic piece of kit, the best live sound I’ve ever had. It really cuts through the band and has tremendous presence and quality.  I’ll be sad to see it go, but it’s physically too heavy for me and that’s the only reason I’m putting it up for sale.

The rear panel of the vinyl covering has been cut away by the previous owner when the speaker was replaced, leaving bare wood.  This is not all that bad as it can’t be seen in a gig situation.  I still have the panel if the buyer wants to stick it back on again.  £250 o.no.

If anyone out there is interested in any of these amps, please do get in touch and let’s deal. Also, if you could repost this blog anywhere I would be grateful

Cheers

Andy

 

 

Deep Discussions

Spent the afternoon in a basement bar in Swansea, a bass player gathering called Deep Discussions, organised by a new friend, Peter Cullen.  It was well attended, I guess about twenty five bass players and the official bass count was 39.  A simple idea, come along, bring your gear, drool over everybody else’s gear, try some amps and stuff and watch Alun Vaughan doing his thing. Here’s a few pics

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My two Status basses, sitting alongside Rhys Anslow’s Warwick (which is for sale BTW). Someone else’s five string something or other.

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A gorgeous Shuker six string and a really nice Alembic four string included in this pic.

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The Orange Wall, supplied by Cranes Music. I tried out the 500w Terror amp with the little cabs, sounded great – but that’s not my new rig…

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A selection of Eden amps, cabs and combos. The 1 *12 cab in the middle was what I was interested in, so two of these will be coming to live with me shortly, paired with a Markbass head.

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Alun Vaughan tries out the Warwick Vampire. A truly evil combination.

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Alun with an Ibanez Soundgear.

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The afternoon was closed by Alun playing a short set with his drummer chum, and fielding a few questions.  A most enjoyable event, I hope we can do it again soon.

Thinking about a new bass amp…

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I’ve got a few amps sitting around my house, but the one I use most of the time is an Ashdown ABM400 combo.  I bought it last year from ebay, it’s got a few miles on the clock but it sounds fantastic.  Problem is it weighs as much as a baby hippopotamus and I am getting too long in the tooth to hump this beast up three flights of stairs to the function room.

Looks not dissimilar to this one.  Recently I’ve been thinking that what I could really do with is one lightweight all-rounder, an amp that is easily portable, but has enough power and presence to stand up in the band setting.

I don’t play at huge volumes so there is potential for a smaller rig that would fit every situation. I could sell the four amps that I’m currently sitting on, although none of them are worth much money but this would go some way to financing a new set-up.

Have been browsing online and talking to a few shops and these are some of the models I’m currently looking at.  There’s no rush to make a decision, I want to get it right first time.

Any opinions on these amps welcome, or any recommendations for others to check out.

TC amp

TC Electronic BH500 with a 2*12 and a 2*10.  A great looking set-up at a fantastic price, the cabs are light-ish, but maybe not lightweight enough, however for most gigs one cab would suffice.

markbass

Markbass Little Mark 250 Black Line with 2*10 cab. This is probably looking favourite at the moment. A lighter weight cab and I know the Markbass stuff sounds great.

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Phil Jones Bass BG150 with some sort of extension cab. Ultra lightweight, sounds great but probably too expensive.

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Eden EGRW1264 bass amp bundle: WTX264 head AND EX112 cab. Probably need an additional 1*12 but this looking like a great set-up too.

GK-MB210

 

Gallien-Krueger MB210 – looks good but not sure if I want another combo.

Any thoughts?

3rd Day Rising

In the 90’s I played for a few years in a band called 3rd Day Rising. The band cut two CDs, the first one before I joined and the second, ‘Spiral’ in 1999. Shortly after it’s release we had a bit of a line-up shuffle and in 2000 we recorded just three tracks.

Two of these tracks were never released and the third was included on a tribute album that had a small commercial release.

I dug the tracks up this week and have posted them to bandcamp as a free download.

I hope you decide to go and get them, because I still think they are great songs.

While you’re there it’s the perfect opportunity for you to gorge yourself on all my other recordings, all are free or Pay What You Want downloads.

Enjoy!

Another album review

‘Patches Of Coloured Light’ has recently been reviewed by Lins Honeyman at the Criss Rhythms site.  A short but positive review and 7/10 for a home recorded album is a good result in my book.

Andy Long – Patches Of Coloured Light
Andy Long - Patches Of Coloured Light
STYLE: Ambient/Meditational
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7   
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 123526-18810
LABEL: Independent
FORMAT: CD Mini-album

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

Currently the bass player in the Tim Crahart Blues Band and formerly a member of numerous bands, Newport’s Andy Long has bravely chosen to release a solo instrumental bass album. Wisely adopting a stripped down approach to allow his instrument to take centre stage, Long makes good use of loops and delay effects in “Ymddiheuro Am Yr Oedi” and the delightfully experimental “Dan Yr Ogof”. Not afraid to occasionally go for a more conventional approach, numbers such as original composition “Song For Lucy”, Francois Couperin’s baroque piece “Le Petit Rein” and “Twyn Du” – one of three tracks containing Welsh place names – showcase Long’s melodic side as well giving an example of what the bass can sound like when used as a lead instrument. Long’s Christian faith is referenced in a pleasant enough but somewhat workmanlike reading of “Morning Has Broken” whilst a brief rendition of Robert Lowry’s hymn “Nothing But The Blood” ends this fascinatingly unique release, proceedings of which partly go to Cancer Research UK.

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