I had a great time playing two successive Americana nights in Norwich last week. I performed at the historic Guildhall in the city centre for Grapevine for Music, who host regular gigs showcasing quality folk, Americana and country artists. Also performing were superb Norfolk singer-songwriter Jake Morrell, now based in London and fresh from recording in Nashville, and also SJ and the flying Pigs from Cambridge, who create a lovely dreamy sound with acoustic guitar, banjo and fiddle.
I had a lovely time performing at the inaugural Deepdale Festival last month. In a beautiful North Norfolk setting, and with glorious weather, the weekend showcased all the wonderful local talent the area has to offer. There was a friendly, relaxed and welcoming atmosphere and it was a lot of fun having drummer Terry Anderson from The Mojo Preachers join me impromptu during my set.
Congratulations to Jason Borthwick and Chris Haycock for a successful festival, here’s to next year!
I have had a busy time recently playing some great local gigs and enjoyed a fun evening of live music last month at The Garage, Norwich celebrating the release of my student Breeze Redwine’s debut EP ‘Trust’ which has received lots of airplay on BBC Introducing as well as many other radio stations across the world.
There was a really supportive and enthusiastic audience for Breeze who shone on stage and demonstrated her amazing versatility as an artist. She performed original tracks, as well as favourite songs and duets with myself and local songwriters Kolin Durier and Grant Ley who also performed sets on the night.
I had a lovely time performing two acoustic sets at Reepham Festival this month. It was my first time playing the festival and there was such a warm, friendly, laid back atmosphere.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, and expanding to two days, the line up this year had its usual eclectic mix of established names and independent artists. There were great energetic sets by headliners, legendary 2-Toners The Beat, who I have seen before at Reload festival, and powerful rock band Walkway, who have supported The Darkness and Status Quo, and the excellent Jeramiah Ferrair from Leigh near Manchester, who blend rock, ska, funk, reggae and calypso in a refreshingly original way.
Three wonderful singer songwriters, Sarah Darling, Jenn Bostic and Michael Logen, played a sold out concert last month at Norwich Arts Centre. I was fortunate enough to be asked to support them on the night and performed with brilliant local musician Noel Dashwood, who plays dobro and ukulele on my latest EP ‘Another Place and Time.’
The special concert was part of their ‘A Night In Nashville’ European tour and saw them bringing the Nashville style of playing ‘In the Round’ to a captivated audience. Each songwriter performed their own song in turn and gave an insight into the inspiration behind the material. As a songwriter myself, it was fascinating to hear what inspires their writing.
It’s been a little while since I wrote my previous All Things Norfolk column but it’s been a very creative period of writing and rehearsing with some talented local musicians with a view to performing around the area very soon.
Last week I performed for Record Store Day at Vinyl Hunter in Bury St Edmunds which is always a great day celebrating independent record shops.
I’ve also been writing articles and reviews for quarterly digital magazine Songwriting Magazine. My feature on crowdfunding a creative project is in the new spring issue, cover star is Sheryl Crow.
I’ve been working hard on my new Christmas single ‘When Christmas Comes Around’ which I’ve recorded and mixed myself like my previous acoustic festive song ‘St Benedict’s Christmas Fair’.
The song is about the pleasure of spending time with those you love during the festive period and I really enjoy the process of creating a song from scratch, and adding layers and parts to it.
The song has just received airplay on BBC Suffolk which makes all the hard work so rewarding and will be available on my Bandcamp page lisaredford.bandcamp.com
I enjoyed another great Sound and Vision festival last month and found the conference on Friday as usual really informative and full of the latest advice for musicians releasing their own music and wanting to get heard by the industry. Representatives from organisations such as Tunecore, Music Glue, CMU and Sophie Little at BBC Introducing in Norfolk looked at ways you could promote your music using the various platforms available, the latest developments with streaming services, and how you could make the most of your social media accounts to engage with, and grow your fan base. As the music industry is constantly changing it can sometimes feel overwhelming for an independent artist, so it really helps to be aware of the new advances in technology and to use all the great online tools out there available to promote your releases.
I spent September enjoying some great live music in the city. Last week I saw singer/songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich perform solo to a packed Norwich Arts Centre as part of his UK autumn tour. Ben’s been earning wide renown as a songwriter, he co-wrote ‘Grow’ with British artist Frances which featured in the Amazon UK TV advert, and recently released his second album ‘After the Rain’.
I also really enjoyed the support artist, Siv Jakobson from Norway, also solo. Her haunting acoustic songs have been compared to the likes of Laura Marling and Ane Brun and she has supported SOAK and Damien Jurado. She performed a very unique cover of Britney Spears’ 'Toxic', giving the pop classic a very yearning and fragile quality and my favourite was her final song ‘How We Used to Love’ which also has a great Martin Hviid remix with a lovely string arrangement on her Bandcamp page. Her most recent songs were created in Brooklyn and since its release has been well received in the press with praise from several national and international publications and renowned music-blogs, BBC 6 Music and XFM.
August was a busy fun month of music as I enjoyed both playing and attending festivals in the area. Also I recently had a lovely evening at BBC Introducing at the Forum in Norwich as my vocal student Breeze Redwine was interviewed there about all her exciting achievements in Hollywood and career so far. Her second single ‘Dreams’ with its uplifting Olympics inspired video has earned lots of airplay on the show and was also a recent Track of the Week. Thanks to the team there for having us.