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Roland Barrett – No Enemies No Friends

I’m always delighted to share something nice produced by a fan (and therefore – a friend) and Roland has been a friend of mine for a few years. He has produced a very, very nice video and recording of his No Enemies No Friends which I’m pleased to share here. I’m particularly impressed by the video shoot and it has caused me to sit back and consider carefully my own production values before I dare post a video of my own playing.

Lovely song, playing and singing too. If I’m right, Roland is playing a Martin 15 series – a 000-15, I think. He’ll no doubt severely correct me if I’m wrong!


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Good Grief! candidate #4: Waiting For Krzysztof

Play the song:

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One more for the CD, “Good Grief!”. Maybe. It’s up to you. 😉 See the poll below – vote now!

As you listen, you might start to form the opinion that I’ve squeezed some words into what is essentially a guitar tune. Er… not so. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is above all a song. To prove it, here’s the lyrics:

Waiting For Krzysztof

While she was waiting for Krzysztof
While she had time on her hands
She mused on the passing of steam
And the far Morecambe sands
And the grass that is bent by the winds
On the dunes all day

While she gazed out on the platform
In the pools of the cold neon light
She dreamed of the crying of gulls
And the stealth of the tide
Nobody walks these long sands
Without their leave

But. Does it get to sit on the CD? You’re chance to vote:

[poll id=”6″]

Dave Keir Cold Light

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The Listening Room

Took the guitar out for a breath of fresh air this evening. Played a couple of songs in The Listening Room at The Blue Blazer in Edinburgh. Not been there before. Had a lot of fun – really friendly people! Headline act was Calum Carlyle whom I hugely enjoyed. We swapped a couple of CDs.

After the recent refret, my OM-18V definitely needs to be played in a little. Fingers not slipping so easily to their appointed places. Wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to say that right now it feels like playing over railway tracks! Got there in the end though without squealing in pain!  😉

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Good Grief! candidate #3: Irresolution Blues

Play the song:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 Here’s another song which is a candidate for my next CD, Good Grief!

Irresolution Blues is a song about indecision. I’m quite certain of that. It was a blues that was crying out to be kept simple but I screwed up by messing around on the guitar between the sung bits and so denied it that. Maybe because of this misdemeanor it er.. um.. well, it has some uncertainty about its… ah… er… well…

What I do know is that listening to it is not the same as thinking about it. Making it up in the first place is not the same as playing it in another place. All that can be hoped for in the heat of the moment is that fingering and intonation is certain.  To quell a flutter of anxiety. To preempt any swell of nausea. Belt it out in defiance and in any case!

Bandits at twelve o’clock! “What you wanna do?” What else but this!

This of all irresolute songs is deserving of a poll. Vote now! (Or come back later if you’re unsure…)

[poll id=”5″]

Download the song (192kbps MP3), read the lyrics, and (for guitarists) view and download the guitar notation and tab here.

And, of course, I would welcome any comments below – with conviction or otherwise.

[Edit: because of the excellent comments from Phil (see comments on this post below) and my good friends over at , I’ve made some adjustments to the recording. I hope you think it’s improved!]

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Edinburgh from our place

Or, in truth, just a 30 minute uphill stroll from our house. In the middle distance you can pick out the inevitable castle and Arthur’s Seat pokes above everything on the right. I took the piccie the day before yesterday. You couldn’t see this today, though. Thunder storms bringing the curtains down once again on Scotland.

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My Cat the Composer

All you cat owners know that your pet’s mind is a mystery. But sometimes its deportment and its habits provide clues. My cat, Dougal, has, for example a habit of taking over my manuscript on whatever surface it’s laid. There may be acres of lie-downable space to hand, but – plonk – onto the manuscript he goes; and, for all I bloody well know, muses on key relationships and melodic lines.

But – like his staff (me) – he goes all “Fuggit. I’ll finish it tomorrow… I’ve got more important stuff to do…”

I could get out a new page or two of manuscript and wander off somewhere quiet, but My Cat The Composer will not leave me to my own devices for too long.

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A Place To Practice and Rehearse

On any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday… these days I can be completely ignored while in my private rehearsal space.

Dave Keir Durris Rehearsal Space

You will see the stool which I sit on because I’m often asked to play on bar stools so a certain posture has to be “rehearsed”.

You will see a glass of wine but not the bottle that refreshes it. You will see a tuning fork in case my ears deceive me. You will see a page of paper and a pen with which I use to list down songs to practice. You will see a bottle of water for when a sip of wine is insufficient. You will see a book on the table which is called “The Indie Band Survival Guide”. You will see a leather suite of chairs I rarely occupy until exhausted.

Martin OM-18VAnd for fans of the Martin OM-18V – which in my case badly needs a refret, a new saddle, and a jolly good old setup – here’s a close up.




And in the height of summer when the sun hardly sets outside my practice space, there is always the light. And the light looks like this:

DurrisThis is not the all of it. I’ve missed out the work with the songs for the CD because I haven’t thought yet about how to make photographs of computer screens and headphones newsworthy. Hah!

The light! The light!

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Good Grief! How many songs?

Part of the reason for the polls I’ve been setting up for songs that I’m considering for Good Grief! is that I’ve too many recorded to fit on one record! “Fine”, I hear you say: “make it a double album, or save some for a later release.” Nah, neither option appeals – but thanks for the thought. I’m more inclined to put the successful candidates (see polls) on the record and do something else with the rest – like, for example, a free download album to CD customers. Just a thought. What do you think?

Here’s a discussion I came across on a forum to stimulate some thoughts:

How long is a full length album?

Do you have an opinion?