Today I was talking with someone about how many songs I've written over the years, and how many I've forgotten. Here's one of the songs I completely forgot about, this I think recorded at Collapseable Studios in West Asheville, NC. It's a song about a long-gone Asheville landmark and a murder I imagined.
DAVE TURNER OFFICIAL BLOG
Here's the web version of another email I decided to send out today:
Hello, Everyone –
Lately I've been thinking about how I can make a difference. It occurs to me that Facebook is such an information-overload place of fleeting posts, and I have (at least until I send this email) a pretty big number of people on my email list. I hope I don't lose you. Many of you, no doubt, know who Bernie Sanders is. Perhaps many of you don't. In either case, please read this commentary by me (particularly those among you who are American citizens), and then read the article in the link:
DT: "I question the intellectual capacity and human compassion of anyone for whom Bernie Sanders' remarks in this article don't resonate (in a positive way). Please, please, even if you're not "political," read this piece. Put off the latest TV show or other anesthetizing activity you may wish to be engaged in this evening, just for five or 10 minutes or so (that's about how long it took me to read it). I believe it'll be time worth invested. And if it does resonate positively with you, share it widely. Let the revolution begin! Let's make America what it can be and needs to be. We the people (not the corporations and 'psychopats' – quotations provided to show that, no, it's not a typo) have the power."
By all means, let me know what you think.
All the best,
Here is the web version of my latest email to those subscribed to my email list:
Hello, Everyone – It's been a while. I hope you're doing well! A couple of quick news items:
I just published a review I wrote on a great new album by my friends Rupert Wates and Bartosz Hadala, The Nighwatchers. I thought you'd enjoy learning about this disc and previewing it:
Read the review
July 29 Performance
Also, I have my first performance in quite a while coming up on July 29:
Songwriter Round Dave Desmelik, Chris Smith and Dave Turner
Wednesday, July 29 @ 8:30 PM
Altamont Brewing Company, 1042 Haywood Road, Asheville, NC
All the best,
By Dave Turner
The latest release from singer-songwriter and guitarist Rupert Wates will sound familiar to his fans, as it is a retrospective of sorts. Yet while it looks back at a selection of his previously released songs, they all receive new treatment by The Nightwatchers duo (www.thenightwatchers.com) featuring Wates and virtuoso pianist Bartosz Hadala. This self-titled album looks forward as well, particularly as it brings together musical elements that rarely come in one recording.
“If I had to point to a single distinctive element that makes The Nightwatchers project unique it would be the combination of my original songwriting with Bartosz’s improvisational background and approach,” said Wates. “It’s not often you get a mixture of these two elements. Most jazz players play mostly standards in their set rather than original songs, and few original songwriters have the virtuoso jazz chops which Bartosz brings to the project,” he said.
It is the best of both worlds. As the title of the first track says, old fans and new listeners alike will be “Happy to Be Here” from the start.
Based in New York City, Wates has won more than 30 songwriting awards and is also critically acclaimed for his masterful guitar work and compelling vocals. Polish pianist and composer Hadala, now based in Toronto, is highly regarded in the jazz world for playing that Jazzis Ltd. critic Adam Baruch calls “absolutely wonderful, elegant and expressive.”
As The Nightwatchers, Wates and Hadala have performed this repertoire on tour in Poland and Canada, and they have dates in both countries scheduled for fall 2015. This disc was recorded live March 17-18, 2015, at Phase One Studios in Toronto. It gives remote listeners a front-row seat.
The Nightwatchers presents an eclectic mix of songs and styles. “For instance, we move from quite heavy duty 5/4 jazz in Travelling Circus to a pretty straight folk and country sound on Days Of Mercy,” said Wates. At the same time, the progression from song to song unifies them all as organic parts of a whole.
As Wates is known to do with his songs, his collaboration with Hadala as The Nightwatchers draws the listener in with superb musical composition, lyrics, vocal performance and dexterous playing.
Wates is a true wordsmith, in this collection with a single thread that weaves through all of the songs and musical styles, a thread that leads through the correlating breadth of the human condition. “Happy to Be Here” starts the disc with a missive to enjoy the now, to embrace the mystery. “Drowned” begins with a sense of being overwhelmed and hopeless yet ends with a belief that love overcomes all. You can see and feel the sun in “After The Rains.” Being a “Prisoner of the Open Road” is far from an incarceration, at least one that would create a desire to escape. One feels a sense of joy with “Morning Bird.” Then comes a perspective shift to an unanswerable why in “Born to Lose.” The next track, “Standup Comedians” provides, well—comic relief. “Waiting to Begin” examines the tendency to put off one’s true desires and gives a thinking-out-loud reminder to waste time no more. Next, indeed, we’re all part of the “Traveling Circus” in which “all of us are looking for our moment in the sun, turning tricks and pulling stunts, performers everyone.” “Days of Mercy” is a moving look back to America’s dust-bowl era. Equally moving is “Prayer,” which gives a toast and embrace to all throughout past, present and future. Finally, “California” (music composed by Wates’ twin brother Matt) explores memories and regrets and accepts the uncertainty of following a dream while keeping hope alive that it will be “all that and more.” In the last line, Wates sings, “Maybe I’ll find what I’m living for.” He still may be searching, but it is hard to imagine that he has not found what he has been put here for.
This album brings to mind Socrates’ wisdom in his statement, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Wates’ examination of life, and his musical explorations with Hadala, have led to fine recording well worth further examination through many listens time and again.
Dave Turner is a freelance writer, website designer, and pianist and singer-songwriter based in Asheville, North Carolina.
Just last week, news broke on the potential purchase of revolutionary music streaming service, Spotify. The company which brought free music streaming to the masses in 2006 via Swedish duo Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon is said to be in the advanced stages of selling the company that will exceed $14 billion as reported by Digital Music News. Since its inception, the streaming service has over 10 million paying subscribers to a service that was first launched as a free platform for all. As the business has evolved over the last 9 years, so has its reach. Spotify now streams music from nearly all of the music industry’s biggest stars including artists from EMI, Warner and Sony. However, it hasn’t all been plane sailing for Spotify as it has come under increasing criticism for the lack of monetary payouts it gives to the artists that stream their music on the service. This even applies to many of the global stars that only receive a small amount compared to what they would from a record sale. Although these constant criticisms hasn’t stopped the undisclosed bidder from potentially purchasing Spotify. The news of said purchaser will be released via the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday April 1, however the news will only be able to be viewed by paying subscribers of Spotify.
One of the more interesting variables of the aforementioned deal is that half of the proposed money will be paid directly into a “musician’s fund” that will be hugely beneficial to artists past and present. Record labels will also profit hugely from this transaction if it does go through, as they will be eligible for royalties – something in which they have only previously received a tiny amount. A significant reason why the quoted figure is so large is partly down to the fact that Spotify has gone mobile. With many companies now seeing mobile as the future, Spotify has excelled in the mobile market. A market that Gaming Realms PLC, creators of the innovative Spin Genie portal, stated that they to continue to grow in strength. They expect mobile Internet penetration to surpass the 17% where it currently stands globally, by as early as next year. In the United States alone, that figure currently stands at 58% according to PEW Internet, so you can see how important it is for companies to have such a powerful presence nowadays. While their mobile capabilities are help driving this potential sale, so will the news of well overdue payouts to the people that make Spotify what it is: the artists. And hopefully this will mark a new era in rewarding the artists and giving them a more profitable platform to offer their music to millions of people globally.
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