Day Six: ‘Vocals’. A week recording in the Scottish hills.

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Today the four men in Caedmon confronted the challenge of singing lead vocals, whilst we wait for Angela’s studio contribution next week. Simon sang lead on ‘Sea Song’ in 1978, and we’ve all sung solo at different times and in other bands, but this felt like quite a big step to make.

Simon kicked off with ‘Bonny Boy’ followed by Ken’s ‘Ouagadougou’, Jim’s ‘Old enough to know better’, and then Sam’s ‘Old Kings’.

Steve Butler (our producer and musician / composer in his own right), got the best out of us and new ideas for backing vocals were emerging (e.g. a shouted response of ‘He’s old enough to know better’ in the chorus of said song ….. perhaps with accompanying roars of mid-life crisis Harley Davisons).

We also continued to work through the list of tracks to be laid down: guitar solos, trombone, and acoustic guitar work. With our last day of this main spasm of recording tomorrow, a successful finished recording is in sight.

Steve has worked so tirelessly and skillfully …….. the recording process demands complete concentration, and he’s working without an engineer. e.g. on Day Five we worked from 9am until 11.30pm with only a couple of short meal breaks interrupting the process.

We finished our day at 7pm today, ate a hearty celebratory meal and discussed things musical. We pooling memories of contemporaries in Scotland during the 70s and 80s (amongst those mentioned: ‘Flame’, ‘Ever After’, Dave Heavenor, ‘Under the Sun’, ‘The Victors’, ‘Harvest’ and Steve’s later band ‘Lies Dammed Lies’). This was not an Acid Folk scene, rather they bands who were forging a new way forward of intelligent Christian music that had integrity of its own. Places like ‘Charisma’ a late night coffee-bar venue where ‘Water into Wine Band’, Ricki Ross and others played provided an outlet for such music. Also at ‘The Netherbow’ we saw Adrian Snell 1977…. whose album ‘Fireflake’ followed with a Gordon Strachan photo of burning heather on the cover.

Talk of creating a ‘family tree’ showing interconnected bands of this era would be interesting to follow up (like the Fairport Convention one on one of their album covers).

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