Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.
Charles crosses his fingers and touches wood as he covers a cover.
As I switch on, switch off and switch on the light again, a blind man sways with a smile from behind his electric piano. He rounds off a soothing ballad and segues into a funky number. Something changes in the air. From clouds of cirrus to bolts of loytneen, there’s a storm a-brewin’. A god is in charge and the genius is at work. I speak of Lord Stevie of Wonder. One of the greatest people in music lending us one of the greatest riffs ever known to man, and not a guitar in sight! Superstition is perfection from beginning to end. Unbetterable (ahem). This is clear to almost any musician. So why cover it…?
A very good question. Why, indeed! Because it’s just so damned fun to play: that’s why. Despite the main riff being played on a Clavinet - no, not a clarinet, for that would sound rather weedy - it transfers so well to guitar, and so has become a staple for any guitarist from the age of able. Our friend, Ed Eagle has been singing his guts out and serenading his friends and family with this toon for many a decade. It is one of those songs that works acoustically as well as with a full band, for a more faithful representation. Ed pondered on this, while stroking his black cat, and started to realise that it might not be something only for his closest and dearest, but maybe for a wider audience. He stared through his own eyes in the mirror that he was oh-so careful not to break, for that might be most unfortuitous. Time to do this. Let’s embiggen this baby!
The man initially had the idea of multi-tracking just one acoustic guitar for all the parts - not just an acoustic cover, and not a fully orchestrated rendition. Ed knew he could bash out the percussion part by thumping the wood of the guitar. He even had the thought of pitching the guitar down an octave for the bass parts - an inspired idea! And so to work. Ed recorded and recorded, until he could record no more (or until some irritating technical glitch rendered him useless). This was as far as he could go, alone. He became increasingly aware that the New Artist Spotlight works because of its natural mass integration. Everyone working together to form a bond mutually founded by like-minded individuals. It was time for him to venture further afield than the Eagle Castle for the next step. Ed found a penny and picked it up. I am pleased and proud to say that his first port of call was little me, to mix and master the piece. Flattered, I listened intently and ripped him to shreds. No no no, how could I possibly do a thing like that to such a talented artist and a dear chum… However, I did realise that it had an unfinished or incomplete sound to it. The bass was unfulfilling without a stonking great kick by its side - the guitar’s wood was just not enough. I decided to take his original percussive part and “work my magic” (as Ed likes to call it). Boom! There we go. Sorted. But now it needs a little something else…
Ed decided to let me loose on it - and abandon his initial idea of all being played on one guitar - and trust me. A daring man. But also a darling man. I was thrilled but I was always aware that this was Ed’s baby, and I didn’t want him to be the one walking under my ladder. And frankly, his raw, soulful voice and his funky plucks are more than enough to stand proudly in first place. My funk came into action as I snaked into the body of Stevie, taking to the Clav like a Stevie to owgan. After much twiddling of knobs and getting entwined in reverb, the piece was complete and we were both thoroughly contented.
Ed was by now realising the importance these days in having videos to accompany one’s songs, but save for the ‘stock footage’ route, there was little he could do. He called on an incredibly talented member of the New Artist Spotlight, who not only writes, sings, plays, arranges, produces and mixes his own music to the highest level, but is also an astounding 3D graphics video editor. You may know him as the remaining member of Wretched Pinhead Puppets - I have reviewed them (him) here before - but to us, he’s Jimmy. He somehow managed to create the most sensational three dimensional scene complete with SO many ‘Easter eggs’. I cannot imagine how much time he spent on it, but he somehow achieved this in seemingly a matter of days. It shows not just immense skill, knowledge and experience, but such attention to detail, subtlety, thought and wit. This makes less an accompanying video, and more a completion of a fabulous group effort. No, ‘effort’ somehow - in MY mind - suggests an element of failure. Achievement, would be more apt. Make sure to watch it, but don’t sit too close or you may go blind. No offence to the blind readers among you.
I don’t know if you believe in fate, but this little get-together really did turn out rather well, and it certainly couldn’t be said to be beginner’s luck.
Rabbit’s foot, my arse (as it were). In the end, Ed got by with a little help from his friends.
Listen to 𝙎𝙪𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Spotify playlist HERE!
Listen to 𝙎𝙪𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Apple Music playlist HERE!
Watch 𝙎𝙪𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 on YouTube HERE!
Follow 𝙀𝙙 𝙀𝙖𝙜𝙡𝙚 on Instagram HERE! (as if you aren’t already)
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