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.
It’s been a very exciting summer so far, my talented student Breeze Redwine has just returned from LA where she won many awards at the World Championships of Performing Arts, an international performing arts talent competition in Hollywood.
Among her many awards, Breeze won 4 Gold, 2 Silver and Overall Champion twice. She also won an Industry Award, meaning she is most likely to make it in the music industry.
I’m also so proud that 'Courage' her recent debut single that I wrote, won Best Original Song. As a songwriter, to gain recognition for your songs is the biggest thrill.
April is release month as I’m promoting not one, but two brand new releases. On April 1st my talented vocal and guitar student Breeze Redwine released digital single ‘Courage’. It’s a song I’ve written and I’m so proud of her beautiful performance on the track. The song is really heartfelt with an anthemic feel and a universal message, rising above those who have put you down. Breeze recently filmed a music video with Ipswich based photographer Brendan Taylor and so far it’s had an amazing response on YouTube with its strong message. You can view the powerful video at the YouTube channel for Breeze Redwine. Seeing all the comments so far, I feel so happy that the track has already resonated with lots of people.
This week I played at one of my favourite venues, The Bicycle Shop, as special guest for the incredibly talented rising folk star Kelly Oliver. Kelly is currently on tour promoting her second album ‘Bedlam’ which is coming out on March 6th on Folkstock Records. It was a really lovely evening.
I’ve also been preparing to release my brand new EP ‘Another Place and Time’ which embraces a lot of local talent and is going to be released on April 8th through Proper Distribution. It was recorded withJosé McGillof renowned local Americana band and festival favourites, The Vagaband and also features contributions from brilliant dobro player NoelDashwood.Both musicians also perform in the Jess Morgan Trio and have added some really lovely acoustic instrumentation, including dobro, double bass, percussion and ukulele.
Two stunning female singer songwriters favoured and played by Whispering Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2, Kelly Oliver and Norwich based Lisa Redford are on the same bill on Monday 29th February, in an unexpected change of line up caused by the ill health of Marina Florance. Lisa Redford, a well known voice in our fine city partly thanks to her popular respected regular music feature in the EDP, has generously stepped into the breach to provide Kelly Oliver's only date in East Anglia at the Bicycle Shop with a wonderful opening set.
It’s only February but already there has been lots going on in 2016 which I am delighted to share with my All Things Norfolk followers. Music has been my passion for as long as I can remember and last week I was interviewed for a great upcoming music project. BBC4 will soon be broadcasting the People’s History of Pop, a four-part interactive series where music fans share their special memories of favourite artists and venues and in particular their treasured pop and rock memorabilia. All BBC Local Radio stations are also broadcasting their own tie-in programmes and I chatted to BBC Radio Norfolk about my own collection of memorabilia and the memories associated with them. I’ve amassed quite a collection of rare items by Morrissey, The Smiths and bands from the Britpop era, including vinyl and autographs, and they provide a lovely reminder of some fun gigs I went to and reflect how music can be such a powerful soundtrack to your life.
It’s been a really productive time this past month as I’ve been in the studio recording some songs which I can’t wait to share with you. I really love the creative process of recording and have recorded a lot of my material in the area including all of my debut album ‘Slipstream’ and the acoustic version of second album ‘Lost Again’. This time I’ve recorded a few songs with Jose McGill who is the singer and guitarist of renowned local band The Vagaband. The band have gained a big following on the UK festival scene and play a soulful mix of Americana, blues, jazz and rock and Jose has been adding some lovely subtle instrumentation.
Had a great gig supporting Eliza Carthy at OPEN Norwich last week. It was lovely to be joined for the first time on stage by amazing local musician Noel Dashwood on dobro and harmonies. The lovely sound of the dobro is something that really adds to the songs.
It was also nice to meet Eliza after the show. There's such infectious energy and inspiring musicianship in her Wayward Band, try and catch them on this UK tour!
As mentioned last time, I’d just finished filming my new video on the Norfolk coast. The evocative landscape here provides so many great locations and I’m excited that the video, for one of my acoustic songs ‘Time to Grow’, is now online and had a lovely response. The video was made by really talented local film maker and photographer Claudia Taveira Photography and you can see the new video here:
One of my vocal students, the incredibly talented 12 year old Breeze Redwine from Starston, had recently made it to the grand final of TeenStar 2015, the UK’s biggest search for teenage and pre-teen singers. I’m really excited to say that she was the winner in her category! I was so proud that she performed my song ‘Here Alone’ to a capacity crowd at Birmingham’s NEC, an acoustic song which she had recently recorded at the Mill Studio near Diss.
Festival season is now in full swing and thankfully we’ve mostly had some beautiful summer weather to accompany it.
Last Saturday I played at Dubs in the Hall Festival. Aimed predominately at owners and lovers of Volkswagen Campers, it has a friendly, laid-back atmosphere and the sultry weather we had certainly contributed to a really relaxing feel. The festival is located in the beautiful setting of Holt Hall in North Norfolk and with an eclectic mix of live music, from reggae, rockabilly, rock, indie, folk and acoustic plus DJ sets, there was something for everyone.
Hey there! hope you’ve all been enjoying the Easter weekend. March was a really busy month. I had another lovely show at The Bicycle Shop when I supported Oxford friends The Dreaming Spires whose superb new album ‘Searching for the Supertruth’ has been deservedly earning some excellent reviews. It was also fun that Joe from the band joined me on two of my songs, adding some lovely pedal steel. Here’s one of the live songs:
Hey everyone! Already it’s looking to be a busy year. Huge thanks to Mustard TV for broadcasting my interview and featuring my December headline show recently on The Music Mash and to Country music website W21 Music for kindly made my song ‘Carolina Rain’ their single of the week.
Plus, I’m really excited to announce that I'll be playing one of the Pop Up Stages at C2C Country to Country Festival at The O2 for the second year running! C2C has become the biggest country music festival in the UK with lots of acclaimed artists; singer/songwriters, Americana and country, from around the world also performing.
Hey everyone, I’m really excited that my original Christmas single ‘St Benedict’s Christmas Fair’ is now available on iTunes!
The song is a bittersweet acoustic ballad about how hard it is saying goodbye during the festive period. I had the song written for awhile and it’s a really personal one, all the mixture of emotions felt when I was leaving home to embark on a new adventure.It’s the first single that I’ve recorded and played all the guitars, percussion and vocals, and mixed myself which was really fulfilling. I love the magical creative process of layering a track and the song has already earned radio airplay and some lovely reviews:
Hey everyone, hope you all had a lovely summer and have even managed to enjoy the little indian summer we’ve just had in Norfolk. I had a great time playing festivals and there are some live videos from them below. I’m really excited to be sharing the brand new music video for my song ‘Be Around’ which was filmed in Norfolk