Fall 2013 “Over the sea and across the continent”

September 20th 2013

All The Leaves are Brown…  Greetings!

 Fall, Autumn, The Rag End of Summer – my favourite time of year.
Dear Listie’s
I’m starting this newsletter in the sunny confines of the Vancouver Airport whilst I await the third flight of the day to get me into Kelowna B.C. Tomorrow B&RK are playing Tinhorn Creek Winery in The South Okanagan… Music and excellent wine is a winning formula in my books and getting paid to combine the two is sublime good fortune. Back home, the dreaded “back to school” hoo-ha has ended and soon the pumpkins will be appearing as we head into Halloween and the season rolls on. Good summer for you? Me, I can’t complain… travelled a fair bit to festivals hither and yon both solo and with B&RK… This summer, Alberta seemed to be the place I visited the most, I even got up to the Interplay Festival in Fort McMurray, where East-Coasters flock in droves to work the rigs and the money is good… Fort McMoney they call it, strange place for sure… feels like the wild west with a lot of heavy equipment and even more showroom-new half-ton pickup trucks parked up and down the streets of town. Played for an hour and a half to a small crowd of people including a person in a full rabbit costume, who wandered through the crowd at regular intervals… at one point I asked if everybody else was seeing this or was it just me? Hello David Lynch. The next day I drove back to Edmonton and set up with The Rodeo Kings at The Edmonton Rock and Roll Festival. We were on between Kim Mitchell and Loverboy… no rabbit mascots this time, but a lot of beautifully tricked out Harley’s and a good time had by all. What can I say… it’s a beautiful life. The adventures continue with more shows in Canada , The US and (at last) a solo return visit to the UK. Read on!


Touring and touring and touring…

Flock
Canada, UK and US Tour dates:
I’m happy to tell you that I will be headed over to the UK this coming October to play a bunch of shows (details below or go to my website www.stephenfearing.com/tour/). I’m also doing some more shows in Ontario, The US and Western Canada this fall, AND the first gallery show of my photographs  taken over the years, more on this later. For now, here are my tour dates up until Christmas, when I will be taking a short pause to breathe deeply and smell the turkey.

Between The Rumble Strips # 3Between The Rumble Strips
– My first gallery show of original photography

I’m standing at a window, I’m pressed against the past, I’m looking on in black and white through the eyes of photographs…
This line is from The Longest Road – one of my best known songs. The song was inspired by a photograph my mother has in her attic in Ireland, where I grew up. Ireland is a powerful place, full of great tragedy and overwhelming beauty.  Perhaps because of my youth in Ireland,  imagery has always been a very big part of my songwriting, I believe in the rule “show, don’t tell” and many of my songs are an attempt to put the listener in a place or into the feeling I had when I wrote the song, by using imagery… painting pictures with words. Photography, for me, has always been closely connected to this idea, capturing an image and trying to convey a mood or a feeling with shadow and light. For many years taking pictures was just something to do on tour,spurred on by the feeling that I was witnessing beautiful, fleeting things in my travels… but like a lot of people, I always had a fridge full of unprocessed film and the whole thing had more to do with taking the picture, than doing anything else with them. When the digital camera came along, my technical shortcomings as photographer were suddenly balanced by the ability to work with the image on my computer. One thing a touring musician has, is lots of down-time, in hotel rooms, backstage, in planes, trains and automobiles… to be able to disappear into the images and use that dead-time creatively has been a huge gift for me. In hindsight, it was just a matter of time before I started using these images on album covers and now, making the leap into showing my work publicly.

 

Driving through to midnight between the rumble strips
Never let your promises get too far from your lips

Black Silk Gown – Stephen Fearing

And so it is with great pleasure that I get to announce my first gallery show this coming Oct. 4th and 5th in Ottawa Ontario at Guild Gallerie 240 located at 240 Guigues Ave. Ottawa, On. The gallery is open to the public from 2pm to 6pm and I will be there both days to chat and tell you about the pictures. Hope you can make it. If you are unable to come, I will be bringing some of my work on tour with me, to have available at my merch. table. Or you can go to my website and peruse/purchase from the various on-line galleries. All photographs are available in a variety of different formats, and sizes.


Blackie and The Rodeo Kings / Fearing & White:
New albums on the way.

South /Tea and and Confidences
Yes indeed, next year is shaping up to be a very busy year with both bands releasing new albums. How are you going to juggle these two commitments (not to mention your solo work) Stephen?  I hear you ask… Well the truth is I don’t know, some careful scheduling and a little luck possibly. The worst thing that can happen to a touring musician is to find themselves (inadvertently) without work and grounded, looking at the calendar and realising, that for whatever reason, there is a giant hole in the itinerary where no gigs are marked and no income is expected. I’m being humorous(?), but it is actually quite terrifying and the kind of thing that no amount of melatonin will overcome. Combine this fear with a natural desire to play and create with different people and you have the makings of my 2014.

SouthSouth – Blackie and The Rodeo King’s new album, is due out on vinyl and CD in January of 2014. This album is a new twist for us – a completely acoustic recording – something that we started thinking about whilst performing around one microphone at radio stations and the like… a bare-bones chance for us to show you what it sounds like when we get together to jam and try out new songs offstage. At least that was where the record started, but after recording a bunch of material at Colin’s house in Nashville, we realised that this record was going to be more than that and deserved a wider scope, so we went back into the studio and recorded more new material. We plan to tour the daylights out of this album across Canada and down into the US, so keep an eye out for it and stay tuned, I’ll tell you more as it gets closer.
Tea and ConfidencesFearing & White is myself and Andy White –  (poet/songwriter/singer and hard-core troubadour who emerged from the Belfast punk-scene in the 80’s.) We’ve been pals and touring-mates for over a decade now, releasing our first record Fearing & Whitetwo years ago. Now I’m happy to report that we’ve just put the finishing touches to our next release. Tea and Confidences will be coming out in Canada – March 2014 with an immediate tour of the western provinces to follow and (no doubt) further touring across the rest of the country and overseas later in the year . On the last album we tried to hold the arrangements back to keep the album sounding like two guys in studio (with the odd track featuring drums). However this record is  fully realised – still mostly Andy and I, but with Gary Craig playing drums on most tracks and ray Farrugia – drums, Jeff Bird – harmonica guesting an a couple of tracks. Meanwhile Andy and I play a variety of acoustic and electric guitars, basses and even a mandolin. Unlike our last record, these songs were written over two quick sessions with the reality of living on different sides of the providing the impetus to “get ‘er done”. I will admit that having four days to write eleven songs was stressful, but I am really happy with the results and there is a lot to be said for deadlines. Unfortunately the artwork is not quite ready yet, so I can’t let you see anything… yet. Stay tuned.
AND FINALLY – ROOTS ON THE WIREMostly I wanted to say Thanks..
One of the highlights of the summer was  Roots On The Wire series, a live-stream concert series that ran the last Wednesday of roots-imageJune, July and August. Those of you who tuned in for the 2+ hour shows got to watch me try out something I’ve never done before – namely three live-streaming concerts on the internet… no audience in the room, just me, two tech/friends, a couple of mics and cameras and a couple of hundred people watching and chatting back and forth with each other from all over the globe. It was a great success and something I want to do again in the future – maybe bringing some guests into the “studio” with me… those of you who missed it, I will be posting clips from the shows on my Youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZnYCosL8xaU4IcRIFGQDDw and will post links on my website as well. All in all, ROTW was a great success and apart from occasional technical hiccups went smoothly and intimately. I will definitely be doing more of these shows. If you want to “follow” me on Google livestream, so you stay informed, go here, http://new.livestream.com/accounts/4448723/events/2344684 where the third and last show – (viewer’s choice – where you chose the setlist) is currently posted.So that’s it for now, hope to see you out on the road, and as always – thanks for listening.=SF=

Roots On The Wire Concert #3 – Viewer’s Choice!

August 22nd 2013

Roots-on-the-Wire-Facebook-3August 28th is fast approaching and the e-mails are starting to flood in with requests for this last show in the series. Yes, that’s right, YOU choose the setlist for this show. I will tabulate the votes and the ones with the most votes get played. This process will be rigorously vetted by a panel of Swiss judges, for impartiality and strict adherence to protocol etc. etc.

 

There is still time for you to get in on the action, so send your requests to 2stephen@stephenfearing.com

 

 

Several people have asked about how to make a donation to the “Pay What You Want” series. here are the links where you can make a donation. Suggested donation is $10, but don’t let fear hold you back….

Roots On The Wire #3. Many people have asked how they can make a donation for this “Pay What You Want” show. There are two ways you can do it:

1 – Paypal
https://www.paypal.com/ca/webapps/mpp/make-online-payments

2- IOU music’s site

https://www.ioumusic.com/stephenfearing

Suggested donation for the show is $10… but don’t let fear hold you back and definitely let your conscience be your guide!!!!

 

The link for this Live-Stream concert is:

https://new.livestream.com/accounts/4448723/events/2344684

What is Roots On The Wire? Why a Live Stream Concert?

August 8th 2013

Image 3Stephen Fearing: The idea for Roots On The Wire was hatched (as are many good ideas) over a cup of coffee as a way to help promote my (still) new album Between Hurricanes.

As most people making records know, any new album-release  (hopefully) results in a burst of publicity announcing the new music and the accompanying tour. Much of this publicity is now generated on the internet, (we are all familiar with the barrage of FB and Twitter that goes with a tour and helps to promote a new album at the same time). My experience has taught me that traditional print and radio need the “story” of a live show in their region, to create an angle for talking about the new record (preview, review etc.). Canada, where I live and tour most, is a relatively small population and typically an artist can expect to tour hard, for three or four months to cover most of the country and in doing so, tap into the press and radio across the country. More

Roots On the Wire #2 – YellowJacket – Following The Big Beat – July 31st

July 15th 2013

I’m starting to prepare for the next Roots On The Wire concert. Live-stream Show#2 will feature the entire Yellowjacket album played for the first time, entirely acoustically from start to finish. For more information on the series, click here. The First show was a bit of a trial by fire, but went off swimmingly with about 250 people in attendance (from all over the continent) and a lively chat room pinging back and forth during the performance. We are working on a couple of issues that emerged up during the show the feed dropped out a few times (at regular intervals, which we think we can solve) and lighting. But overall the sound quality was excellent and people seemed pretty happy. I hope you can make the next one July 31st. Please tell your friends and re-tweet, re-post whenever you get a chance, this is grass roots at it’s finest.

 

Roots-on-the-Wire-2-Facebook

Summer Newsletter 2013

June 25th 2013

Summer is a-coming in
and winter’s gone away…

 

Dear listies,
as I write this, Calgary and much of Southern Alberta is bailing itself out from the worst flooding in 100 years, my sincere best wishes to my many friends out west who are enduring some of the craziest weather we’ve seen in those parts…
Batten down the hatches Manitoba and Saskatchewan, global warming is here, we are definitely living in interesting times…I’m happy to tell you that Between Hurricanes, my new solo recording which came out earlier this year, has made a lot of headway and I’m into my second pressing of CDs (remember those weird discs… what was the tagline? “Perfect sound forever…” hah!) which still continues to be the coin of the live-touring realm. Well the record has been well received (lots of positive reviews on my website) and more importantly, the new songs translate beautifully to the stage, which was primarily what they were written for. Here is what Ken Kelley had to say about the new recording:
“Much like John Hiatt before him, Nova Scotia’s Stephen Fearing can get away with wearing many musical hats and come out sounding like a winner. Fearing’s newest record leans heavily upon the folk music realm, every song anchored by his earthy, baritone vocals.
There are many highlights to be found on Between Hurricanes including Wheel Of Love and Don’t You Wish Your Bread Was Dough, a song that could have easily been penned by Texan songwriter Guy Clark. Fearing proudly wears his influences while still maintaining a truly original voice.”
As per usual, I am juggling many different balls and wearing a variety of hats and needless to say, there is much to tell you about, so I’ll get right to it.

Roots On The Wire – Live Streaming Concerts!

 

Roots on The Wire, a Live-Stream Concert Series

The idea behind this  series was hatched by my friend Matt Charlton and I over coffee one afternoon. We thought it would be exciting to put together a series of three concerts that are only accessible via the internet, so if you’re up at a cottage or still stuck in the city on the last Wednesday of June, July or August, you can tune in for a live mini-festival concert set from the comfort of your own WiFi. As well as the music, we will have a chat-room area where you can talk amongst yourselves without getting any dirty looks from fellow concert-goers, or ask me questions between songs… like “Why did you write that one Stephen?”, “What gauge strings do you use Stephen?”, “Is that water glass full of water Stephen?”… you get the picture. The idea is that we can interact, although mostly I will be playing and hopefully you will be listening. This is a big world and that proves to be a challenge when it comes to picking a time when everybody can watch (and I can get to bed at a reasonable hour!) so…  shows will all kick off at 11:00pm NST / 10:30pm AST / 9:30pm EST / 8:30pm CST / 7:30 MST and 6:30pm PST  Confused? –check here). West Coasters can watch right after dinner and Newfoundlanders can watch on their laptop in bed… or when they get home from the pub. The rest of you? Well I hope it fits in with your  plans… what else were you going to do on a Wednesday evening? As for my friends in other parts of the world, I realise that the timing will make it difficult for you to tune in, however, I am hoping that there is enough interest in these shows, that I can start to plan for time-zones much further afield (Hello UK, Europe, Eire… Asia!). So mark these dates on your calendar and plan to sit out on the back-deck or drag a deckchair out to the dock and put something decent in the ice bucket. Please tell your friends, I’ll do everything I can to publicise these shows (I’ll be tweeting using #rootsonthewire), but the more people you can tell, re-post to, tweet, talk to at the water cooler etc. etc. – the better. I will post each event on Facebook and hopefully you can make one or more of the shows. Further details and a link for the concerts are at stephenfearing.com

Show #1: June 26th -my current touring show
This show will be drawing from what is currently on my playlist in concert with the odd surprise thrown in… dealers choice. The show will be approximately 1.5 hours long comprising of roughly 14 songs.

Show #2 – July 31st – Yellowjacket
The Yellowjacket album in it’s entirety from beginning to end, solo and acoustic. I’ve never done this before, so it should be interesting to play these songs back to back. 11 songs. Probably about an hour+ with the stories behind the songs (tunings – guitar geek alert!) and other fascinating trivia.

Show #3 – August 28th – Fan’s Choice
You choose the setlist –  Send in a list  of your favourite 12 tunes. Songs that get the most votes will be played. Songs can be drawn from SF Solo, Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, Fearing & White… if I can play it (and enough of you vote for it) I will. Sign up for my mailing list and send your songlist to 2stephen@stephenfearing.com


Summer Touring

 

This summer is a mixed bag of solo work, shows with Blackie and The Rodeo Kings and the Roots On The Wire Live Stream Broadcasts. Further details are available at stephenfearing.com, but here are the highlights:

July 31, 2013
Live Webcast, Nova Scotia
August 30, 2013
Live Webcast, Nova Scotia
October 5-6, 2013

UK Tour Confirmed for October / November

 

I’m very close to announcing my UK tour dates… but still have a few tweaks to make in the schedule before setting out the schedule. Many of you guys over that side of the pond have been writing to ask about UK dates this fall and I’m happy to tell you that I’m definitely coming over, but still not sure exactly where/when. When I do get there (probably mid October) I will be performing all the songs off the new album and whatever else you want to hear OK? Promise! In the meantime- keep your eye out for Maverick Magazine and R2 as both of those excellent publications will have one of my new songs from Between Hurricanes on their sampler CDs. In the meantime stay tuned for those UK dates.

Fearing & White – Tea and Confidences

 

Andy and I plan to meet up in Los Angeles July 1st to listen to mixes of Tea and Confidences, the new Fearing & White album, due for release in Canada – March 2014. Tea and Confidences is vintage Fearing & White – mostly written over a 4 day marathon writing-jag on Saltspring Island last summer, with a couple of songs already in the bag from an earlier  session. Last July, we had a few days off between the Vancouver Folk Festival and The Islands Festival in Duncan and were lucky enough to score a small cottage (Frida’s Villa) near Fulford Harbour on Saltspring and started writing… honestly, I don’t think either of us had a clue that we would cover so much ground, but when we left, the album was pretty much written. I’ll tell you more ab out it when we get closer to the release date. We are making plans to tour western Canada – March/April 2014 and Central Canada in the fall of 2014 with further plans to return to the UK winter 2014. Stay tuned for more details or visit fearingandwhite.com

Blackie and The Rodeo Kings – South

 

South – the new album by Blackie and The Rodeo Kings is almost completed. I was just down in Nashville for a couple of days to listen to mixes at Colin Linden’s beautiful new studio and I’m really happy to tell you that it is unlike anything we have done before. Over many months of touring Kings and Queens, we found ourselves in a lot of tiny radio stations,  singing and playing into one or two microphones with just our acoustic guitars… at some point we decided that we wanted to make a record like this, unplugged, recorded quickly and with the intention of putting across the acoustic side of the band, something we have toyed with on other records, but never fully realised. So stay tuned for South, a whole slew of new songs, a sound you haven’t heard from us before in an album package that features my photographs (rah, rah!). For more info and for tour dates specific to B&RK go to www.blackieandtherodeokings.com

Art prints and transcriptions

 

As mentioned in a previous newsletter, I have finally gotten myself organised enough to put up a number of song transcriptions for purchase and download. I will continue to add to this catalog as time permits. A number of you have already purchased some of these and for that I am grateful… in fact I had the great pleasure of signing a transcription of Whoville for a young man in Alberta on the last tour. He said the transcription was bang-on accurate and that makes me happy, since I don’t read or write tab or notation! Here’s the link to the transcription page. Also – a number of my original photographs have been uploaded to my Photodeck online-gallery. These images can also be purchased from my website and come in a number of different sizes printed on archival paper, stretched canvas, matted or plain, it’s up to you. The Photodeck interface is very smooth and easy to manage, so check it out. I have a lot of images still to upload and this part of my site will be changing and improving greatly over the next few months. For those of you in the Ottawa Valley, I’m pretty chuffed to let you know that I will be mounting my first exhibit at Guild Galerie 240  (240 Guigues Ave. in Ottawa ) Oct. 4th –  6th 2013. The opening on the 4th is a private event but the 5th and 6th are open to the public. if you are in the area and can make I’d be happy to see you.

Thanks

 

So that’s it for now, tomorrow I will be going through a dress-rehearsal of all the technical and audio gear for the first Roots On The Wire Concert streaming live on Wednesday at 10:30pm AST. I hope you can make it and I look forward to crossing paths with you soon. In the meantime, as always – Thanks for listening!
=SF=

Between Hurricanes – On the air – In the ether – On the road.

March 31st 2013
Dear Listies,
As many of you probably know – Between Hurricanes, my first solo album in over six years (who knows where the time goes…) is up and at ’em. It was released in Canada on LowdenProud Records at the end of  January and is now available at Maple Music .com  or on iTunes OR (if you are lucky enough to still have one) through your local music store. Reviews have been steadily trickling in and people seem to like it….
“My God, Stephen. Between Hurricanes is nothing short of magnificent. What an amazing collection of songs!
…it further solidifies you as one of the music world’s finest in the craft and art of the song. Jeeesus it’s good.”
Bob Chelmick – Host of  “The Road Home” – CKUA Radio
Ahem…
I’ve been trying to keep up with posting all the reviews (so far only one bad one review the UK who said the record was… “wussy” ??? ) on facebook and onto my website, but I’ll be honest here and admit that I can’t drive the car, play the shows, sell the merch AND keep everything current. So I’ve opted for pecking away at this newsletter when I have time and working on a few of the bigger challenges which seem to be resolving themselves. Read on.


Tour Dates
Western Canada  – March/April
Central Canada – April/May

So with the new album making it’s way in the world, it’s time for me to hit the road too and start bringing these songs to you live and in person, which I have been doing for the past several weeks. Many of you have come out to see me as I drove/wove my way from Winnipeg and out to the west coast. As I continue to write this (I started this newsletter Halifax fer Pete’s sake) I’m sitting in a hotel lobby on the edge of the world – Ucluclet BC on Vancouver Island. The Pacific is crashing endlessly on the rocks below and I am the sad bastard sitting at a computer behind the big glass window up above. It’s been a very full and plentiful schedule of shows so far and to those of you who came out in the blizzard that was the show in Saskatoon, or who froze their feet, standing in line outside the Avenue Theatre in Edmonton… thanks for coming out and making this tour a great success so far. It’s not over by any stretch, and so for full details on the upcoming dates you can head over to my website and get all the information on venues, start times and ticket outlets. Meanwhile here is a list of confirmed shows.

– May 5, 2013
Ottawa, Ontario – map

May 7, 2013
Orillia, Ontario – mapI am adding dates pretty regularily, so please check with the tour page of my website for the latest up to date shows.

I‘ve been taking pictures more or less for most of my life. Pre-digital, I usually had several film  containers (of unknown age and content) stuffed into the fridge door taking up space in the egg-box , waiting silently to be “hatched”, it was a hobby at best, and one that I found too tedious to fully engage in. The whole thing turned on a dime with the advent of the digital camera and the accompanying software  giving me the ability to process the images myself during those endless tour-nights where the TV is a depressing drug and insomnia lurks like an old ghost in the lobby of every 2 star hotel. Now I rarely turn the stupid-box on  as there is always a backlog of photographs waiting for my attention and what I lack skill-wise, behind the lens, I’m learning to deal with behind the screen. You see, imagery has always been a huge part of why I write songs and I like to think that my lyrics paint pictures. Certainly I like to “show” not “tell” if you get my drift, so it’s natural for me to take this a step further and try to capture them through the lens. One of the real perks of my job is that I get to see a lot, places, people and things that always seem “fresh” to my eye as I swing through on my way to the next gig. I’m finally (and with the encouragement of some fine photographers/friends) willing to take this seriously enough to start using my images on album artwork (Between Hurricanes is all mine and the next B&RK recording features my images on the front and back cover) and taking this a step further, offer them through my website for sale to anybody who’s interested. So I’m very happy to report that my Store is up and ready for business. It’s pretty self-explanatory, all you’ve got to do is visit the page, pick the images you like and decide what size print you want, what you want it printed on… click, click, click, stick it in the virtual shopping cart  and Paypal does the rest. Prints should arrive at your door in a few weeks. let me know what you think, this is a work in progress and I will continue to add images to the various galleries as time goes by. BTW –  I am very interested in your comments (as long as you don’t use the word “wussy”…).


This idea has been a long time coming and I want to sincerely thank those of you who have been waiting patiently and encouraging me to stick with it. Initially, I thought I would just put out a song book, but when it actually came down to the details,  the cost of creating and printing a stock of music books was prohibitive. As time went by and new album projects came and went, the idea of a music book just kept getting pushed further to the back of the stove and I almost gave up on the idea altogether until, once again, technology came to my rescue and my laptop/website offered a viable solution. So far I have managed to get 16 songs transcribed and I’m very happy to say they are available and, (now through the magic of Paypal), for sale, download etc.

Btw. These songs were transcribed by the meticulous and talented Jason Fowler and I chose them based on e-mails you sent me over the years, so… these are your choices. With this initial offering up and ready to go, I will see what kind of a reaction I get and if there is a demand, I’ll continue the process of getting new songs transcribed and present them for sale. The obvious next step it to transcribe the songs from Between Hurricanes ,but I would(again) like your feedback on this venture and if there is a song that you really want to learn, let me know by sending me an e-mail <2stephen@stephenfearing.com> I’ll tally up the votes and start this process again in the near future.
That’s it for now – thanks for reading and for listening.
=SF=
“Those who live by the song
Die by the road”
Roger Miller.
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