In celebration, I’ve made public playlists of some of my favorite holiday music, both old and new. It’s currently filled with 3 1/2 hours worth of music. Perfect to have in the background as you open presents, spend time with family and friends, travel, or any time you want to get in the holiday spirit. Set it to shuffle and enjoy!
Last Wednesday, I came home with an idea for a song arrangement. I recorded it right away and today I’m releasing the recording to you. I’m not entirely certain what sparked it, but I suspect it had something to do with having a desire for peace during this holiday season. The phrase “sleep in” stuck in my mind and I had the idea to loop it. From there, the rest of the arrangement came together quickly. The vocal loop offered a sense of motion while also adding a peaceful, sleepy element to the song. Perhaps if we all slept in a little more often, we’d have a little more peace and be a little less on edge?
Here’s to sleeping in this holiday season. The image for the cover you see above is one I captured during the blizzard in NYC on January 23, 2016. The roads were closed and for a night the Manhattan streets were quiet and peaceful.
Please enjoy my interpretation and recording of this holiday classic, Silent Night.
It is currently available to stream and download (pay what you want) from Bandcamp. In the coming days, it will also be available on all of the major streaming services like Spotify, Amazon, and Apple Music.
You can now listen to a live recording of my set from this year’s Banding Together performance.
If the embedded player doesn’t appear below, you can listen here: https://soundcloud.com/joshbicknell/live-espresso-joes-101417
I’m thrilled to be part of this year’s benefit for the Spondylitis Association of America, Banding Together 2017. Lazlo from blowupradio.com organizes this successful effort each year. His wife suffers from Spondylitis, so this is a very personal cause for him.
Spondylitis is a genetic rheumatoid arthritic condition that causes inflammation and fusion in the vertebrae of the spine. To date BlowUpRadio.com has raised thousands of dollars for the cause, and raised awareness of the genetic disease which the Centers For Disease Control says affects more than 2.7 million adults in the US.
Want to help out?
There are two ways to contribute:
- Attend a Live Performance
- Purchase the Digital Compilation
Attend a Live Performance on Saturday Afternoon
I’m playing a solo acoustic set at Espresso Joe’s in Keyport, NJ on Saturday, October 14th at 2:30pm. Come at 2pm to see fellow Toll Collector Jonathan Andrew perform before me!
There are also shows featuring other great NY/NJ artists on Friday at 8pm at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ and the Clash Bar in Clifton, NJ on Saturday October 21st at 8pm.
Purchase the Digital Compilation Now
There’s an exciting compilation full of 36 exclusive tracks from local New Jersey/New York-based musicians. I’ve donated a live recording of one of my new songs “Don’t You Ever Want to Be In Love.” This is the only place you will be able to listen to this track!
Suggested donation is $10, but you can always donate more! It all goes to the Spondylitis Association.
Click the image above or click this link to access the exclusive compilation album: https://spondy.bandcamp.com
Hope to see you on Saturday!
My latest single, Walking On, is now available everywhere you can find digital music!
I’ve added it to all the major distributors, including the following:
Add it to your favorite playlist, download it, and share it with everyone you know!
My new single, “Walking On” is available for download today! This single is a modern foot-stomping blues featuring Ty Tuschen on electric guitar. I will write more about the creation process for this recording in the coming days, but for now you can download it (pay whatever you want) from Bandcamp.
Hope you enjoy it!
Today I’m releasing a new piece of instrumental music – “A Spy Named Stella.”
“A Spy Named Stella” is highly rhythmic, conducive to running for your life from an international spy in a game of cat and mouse. Use it as a soundtrack to get yourself out of danger. The piece juxtaposes samples of acoustic instruments like strings and upright bass against electronic elements. Driven by the rhythms of multiple drum sets and percussion instruments, this track takes you to a new place – one that isn’t quite electric, isn’t quite acoustic, and definitely isn’t safe.
Download it here or stream it using the player below. Pay what you’d like for it or grab it for free by entering 0 in the price box.
You can also check out the other instrumental pieces I’ve sporadically released over the years – “My Favorite Daydream” and “You Smiled Because You Knew.”
After a battle with traffic on the NJ Turnpike extension, I was able to make it to Lazlo’s Banding Together live acoustic music marathon at Espresso Joe’s in Keyport, NJ. If you haven’t done so already, please download the compilation record to donate to the Spondylitis Association of America.
For those of you who missed the performance, you can now listen to a live recording below. If the embed doesn’t appear below, click here to listen directly on Soundcloud.
Here is a nice photo captured by Lola.
And here is the setlist.
I have a brand new recording to share with you today! It’s a newly-recorded version of my song “Walking On,” featuring Ty Tuschen on electric guitar. It’s part of Banding Together 2016, a compilation album to benefit the Spondylitis Association Of America. All proceeds will go to fund research and provide programs and services for people suffering from Spondylitis, a genetic rheumatoid arthritic condition that causes inflammation and fusion in the vertebrae of the spine, affecting more than 2.7 million adults in the United States.
This compilation album features 32 tracks of original music from local musicians and was curated by Lazlo at BlowUpRadio.com. Download the compilation album to support the cause today!
Thank you so much for supporting this cause!
Last year, I wrote about the recording process for Banding Together 2014 and how it evolved from 2012-2014. In 2015, the process took another step forward. Here’s how.
In 2012, I put a stereo field mic on my dining room table, sat in a chair, and let it happen. In 2013, I learned a bit about mic placement and I stood up to get some more energy on the recording. In 2014, I abandoned the stereo field mic approach and instead used two mics. This gave me better control over the balance between the voice and guitar.
As I set up to record Banding Together 2015, I started with the same approach as 2014. And then at the last minute, just before hitting record, out of the corner of my eye, I saw that same stereo field mic I had used in 2012 and 2013. I had a thought!
Though I liked the sound of the 2014 recording, everything sounded “up close.” As the listener, I didn’t get the sense I was in the room. There was no ambience, no space, no room sound. So at the last minute, I grabbed the stereo mic, placed it on the other side of the room, and hit record. I didn’t expect to use it in the final recording at all, but I thought it would be a nice experiment. I had changed my approach each year since 2012. It just didn’t feel right to take the same exact approach.
Well… what was just an experiment turned into a revelation.
I was shock when, after having finished recording my performance, I dropped the stereo field mic’s audio into the mix. It made it sound so much bigger! There was a bit of space between the source of the sound and the mic. The room acted as a natural mixing board, blending the sounds of my acoustic guitar and my voice in a natural way. Combining this sound source with the close up sources made the overall recording sound fatter and larger. It sounded like you were there in the room with me. Which was exactly what I was going for!
Having that room sound alongside the closer mics on my voice and guitar really gave me the best of both worlds. I had the detail and presence I needed from the close ups and I also had the room and a sense of space from the room mic.
And of course, after all this, I made a connection I probably should’ve made from the beginning.
It’s a lot like recording drums! The close up mics are for the detail, but the drums don’t sound complete until you hear what they sound like in the room. The room is essential!
Just like anything you are trying to capture acoustically, the room can make all the difference.