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.
A Norwich law firm was already an energetic teenager when, in 1841, the city gave birth to a new music society.
During the following 175 years, Hansells and the Norwich Philharmonic have each thrived. Over the generations both have become woven into the fabric of Norfolk life.
This week lawyers, musicians and singers came together at Hansells offices in Cathedral Close to launch Norwich Philharmonic's 2016-17 concert programme. It is the fifth successive year Hansells Solicitors and Financial Advisers have been the highly-acclaimed society’s main sponsors.
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.
In August I spent 4 days in a Bed and Breakfast in Staffordshire, which I was using as a base while attending a nearby festival. Over breakfast one morning, one of the other residents mentioned that he DJ'd at a variety of events. He went on to say that regardless of whether he was playing for a thrash metal crowd, a Northern Soul audience or at a family wedding, the most sure-fire way to get a dancefloor jumping is to drop a Ska tune or two. Further evidence of the inhibition-losing qualities of Ska was given last Thursday at The Open in Norwich by the current heavyweight champions of the genre, The Selecter.
Legendary 2-Tone artists, The Selecter, are to embark on a 16-date UK tour throughout November and December, in support of their recently released new studio album, 'Subculture' starting at OPEN in Norwich on Thursday 19th November.
Led as always by the iconic singer, author and broadcaster Pauline Black, The Selecter will be performing a selection of tracks from Subculture - including recent single 'Walk The Walk', for which they made this brilliant, visually arresting fashion-led video: https://youtu.be/9m7V7DMrOUc - alongside all the classics and live favourites including ‘Three Minute Hero’, ‘Too Much Pressure’ and ‘On My Radio’.
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!