LAST UPDATED: September 25, 2020
I'm pleased to announce the completion and subsequent official release of the "Playing To An Audience Of None" project, which "went live" this past Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. The album is available thru many of the digital platforms such as Deezer, Google Play, Napster, Pandora, YouTube, Spotify, and many other such digital platforms. It is also available as a traditional CD thru this website at this time via the email address as provided below. The CD will also shortly be available thru eBay, and in the very near future, it will also be available in a limited run on traditional vinyl LPs for those who may be interested. And as just mentioned above, the physical CD copies can be ordered thru firstname.lastname@example.org ONLY at this time.
The album consists of 10 new tracks, 9 of which are original compositions, and one of which is a cover version of The Byrds track "The World Turns All Around Her", from their 1966 album "Turn Turn Turn". The jangly electric 12-string guitar that you can hear (which makes the song as far as I am concerned), was contributed by Kevin "Basil" Carmody. Many thanks to both him on the Byrds remake, and to my younger brother, KC Brown, who contributed the electric guitars on the "Shame Shame" remake. I couldn't have done these 2 tracks any real justice without either of them.
Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the entire album cover design was created and brought to life by my very talented daughter, Nicole Brown-Harrison. She tackled the front cover with relish and delivered a first-rate cover in very short order. Many thanks for the effort, Nikki!!!! EXPECT MORE!!!
I will be taking perhaps a month off from recording to catch my breath, and then starting around Halloween 2020, it's on to the NEXT project, which as discussed below in the MAY 14, 2020 update, will be a remake of my 1971 offering "Another Midnight's Yearning" (see below). Thanks once again for listening!!!
FROM MAY 14, 2020
Since January 2020, I have been working off and on recording the current CD project, titled "Playing To An Audience Of None". The target date for the CD release was June 2020, but in the interim, I was sidetracked by another project, which I will delve into very shortly. As a result, I had to push the release date back from June to September or October 2020. I currently have 5 tracks completed and "in the can", with another 5 left to record, which I am now back to working on.
As for the project that sidetracked me away from the "Audience Of None" CD, I was thrilled last month to be reunited with all of the early master recordings I did back in the 1971 to 1974 time-frame, both IN high school and within 3 years of graduating FROM high school. All of these recordings went missing many years ago and were presumed either lost, erased, or destroyed.
So imagine my surprise last month when I visited one of my oldest friends and old band-mate, John Gallia, and he presented me with a dusty old crate chock full of most, if not all, of my old master recordings. Apparently at some point in the past, I gave them all to him and he has had them in storage all of these years. This collection included the master tape of my very first "official" offering from 1971, titled "Another Midnight's Yearning", or simply "AMY", as it came to be known by. (These master recordings are referred to as "offerings", since none of them were ever officially released. I've long wanted to hear those lost masters from that specific offering, as the girl that I wrote and recorded the entire collection of songs for, Amy Swinfard, passed away several years back. I have maintained contact thru the ensuing years with her brother, Chet.
I immediately took a break from the "PTAAON" sessions, and spent the past month or so in transferring every one of the old analog master recordings over to a digital format to preserve them, as the master tapes themselves have been stored thru the years in a less-than-desirable environment, and believe me, it shows. Those master tapes from the early 70s are at present very fragile, and require TLC.
I hadn't heard these specific recordings in 49 years, and I must admit, I cringed when I heard them again. At the time of the "AMY" recordings, 1971, I had been playing the guitar less than a year and was effectively a 17 year old youth just starting out on learning the recording process as well. Those two facts alone made for some very sloppy recording technique. One can hear clicks and pops on numerous occasions where I would punch in and out on the individual recordings. On at least one occasion can be heard what sounds like something being dropped to the floor right in the middle of recording. In addition to those gaffes, I was also just starting out with developing some sort of vocal technique (there wasn't any) and tended at the time to hit the occasional flat note, all of which I gleefully left in the recordings, lol. And to top everything else off, there was NO Dolby noise reduction or ANY noise reduction employed at all, meaning tape hiss of varying levels track-to-track, depending upon the number of times I bounced the tracks back and forth on each song. The inescapable conclusion one must come to after a few listenings is that the quality of the recordings left THEN and leave NOW a lot to be desired. Despite all of these shortcomings, however, I treasure all of these early recordings. They are a snapshot in time. And despite all, a number of the original compositions themselves are worthy of being re-recorded and finally officially released.
All of which brings me to my point:
After "Playing To An Audience Of None" has been released, my very NEXT project shall be the re-recording of the "AMY" album in its entirety. I plan on having it ready for release in time for the 50 year anniversary of the original "AMY" recordings, a project of which commenced on Jan. 31, 1971 and which were all completed 14 days later, on Valentine's Day 1971. As I recall, I had been suspended from high school for a two week period at the time, and used the time off to do the "AMY" recordings. I may or may not not have it ready by Valentine's day 2021, but I WILL have it ready to go sometime during the year 2021 itself.
In addition to re-recording a 50 year update of the entire project, I also plan on including the ORIGINAL 1971 offering, warts and all, combined with the new, updated "AMY" recordings as a double album (or double CD) in 2021. I wouldn't normally release a substandard work, which the 1971 version of "AMY" definitely is. However, these particular recordings are special to me due to the fact that it was my very first offering as a solo artist. And at any rate, I am confident that the newer updated re-recordings of the "AMY" tracks will be a redeeming factor in my decision to include the original 1971 offering as Disc B of what will be a 2-disc release.
As for the "Playing To An Audience Of None" project, back in 1984, when I purchased my first multi-track recorder, a Fostex X-15 four track analog recorder, the very first project I did was a private cassette release (20 copies only) and IT was titled "Playing To An Audience Of None" as well. It was never "officially" released due to the fact that the highest recording speed available on the Fostex was at 1 7/8 IPS (studio quality was 15 IPS in the day). This slower recording speed resulted in a less-than-stellar recording quality, good enough for demos only but NOT for a real release. By releasing THIS new project officially under the same title, it brings things full circle, so to speak, even though none of the tracks on the original cassette release will be featured on this new OFFICIAL release.
The writing of new material and the harvesting of some of my older, unreleased material, as well as the recording of the first five tracks for the project, is already well in the works. I will make every effort to have the new CD recorded and targeted for a September or October 2020 release date.
I am looking into releasing a single from the new CD. The single in question is titled "The World Turns All Around Her". A limited number of vinyl copies would be released as well as CD copies and digital downloads. The new single is a cover version of an obscure old Byrds tune from their 1966 LP, "Turn Turn Turn", and features none other than Kevin "Basil" Carmody on the electric 12-string guitar. Anything that "Bazzy" touches usually turns to gold, and this track is no different. He does/ did a GREAT job and the track wouldn't have been possible without his guitar work in there.
And as always, in closing, thanks to all of those who take the time out to listen. With all of the stellar artists out there from which to choose from, I am eternally grateful that you have lent your ears to any of my material. It is truly a disadvantage to remain an unsigned artist. THANKS AGAIN TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!!!
FROM OCTOBER 27, 2019:
I'm pleased to announce that I have just released three albums simultaneously and that all three of the releases, "Shades Of Blue" (a re-release from 2017), "Hindsight" (a 17 track compilation album containing the best tracks from the 2006 - 2016 time frame), and the newest offering, "The Hard Road", have gone live on several platforms as of 10-23-19.
The "Hard Road" CD features 12 new tracks, all of which are original compositions, which is a first for me personally, being as past releases have generally followed the formula of 1 cover song per every 2 original compositions. This time out, I am standing on my own composing chops with no cover versions to lean on, and although I have ALWAYS been my own worst critic, I'm really very pleased with the results. I think "The Hard Road" is my best effort to date. At least three of the "new" tracks are some of my earliest compositions, dating back to the 1968 - 1970 time period. The title track, also titled "The Hard Road", was written in July 2019 in honor of my parents.
In addition to the upcoming "Hard Road" release, I have ALREADY begun work on the next project, tentatively and aptly titled "Playing To An Audience Of None". I had enough tracks left over in the can from the "Hard Road" sessions to warrant working on the new project. This new CD will also feature some session work from an old high school friend, Kevin "Basil" Carmody, who has contributed in several ways on past releases, ranging from verbal input (making suggestions) to guitar work and keyboard work (past releases) to co-composing ("All Systems Go", from the "Shades Of Blue" CD). As always, Kevin has been indispensable throughout. In addition, the new untitled CD will feature some session work from a friend, Dale Bayer.
Regarding my past releases...
Earlier this year, after almost 8 years of availability, all 4 of my prior releases, "Retrospective", "Fresh Tracks", "Living By The Numbers" and "Shades Of Blue" all went out of print, but as mentioned above, the "Shades Of Blue" CD is once again available through the re-release. All tracks from the other prior releases, however, are still available on an ala carte basis at this website, so they are STILL available as downloads. In addition, for those who may still be interested in obtaining physical copies of those earlier out-of-print releases, they are available here at this website. All you need do is contact me and I will have them made available through Amazon on an "On Demand" basis.
The "Shades Of Blue" re-release and the new album, "The Hard Road" were timed to coincide with yet ANOTHER new release that was also submitted at the same time, a compilation CD titled "Hindsight". As mentioned earlier, the "Hindsight" release will be the equivalent of a double album release, and features 17 tracks from the now out-of-print releases ("Retrospective", Fresh Tracks", and "Living By The Numbers").
In closing, I wish to thank each and every one of those who take the time out from their busy schedules to listen to my warblings. I am eternally grateful to each and every one of you who does so.