Sunday, 28 December 2014

NEIL'S NEW ALBUM "INTO THE BLUE" NOW RELEASED

Finally!

Neil's fourth album of original songs is ready to be released into the wild.

You can listen to the tracks and/or buy the digital version of Into The Blue here.  The CD version will be available shortly - printer problems have put that on hold for the next week or so.  Watch this space!
"My 4th collection of original songs. A fuller, rounder sound than my previous 3 albums, with new songs, and a couple of re-mastered earlier songs (lifted significantly compared to their original versions).  
I'm pleased to have a number of international collaborators on this one - Fran Dagostino from Boston, Massechusetts on guitar, John Libby from Boston on keyboards, Anne Cozean from North Fork, California on backing vocals and Mike Watkins from Virginia on drums - some familiar names there if you have the "Neil Porter Collection" :) I'm also very happy that I have a "live from The PBGB Shed" song here, featuring Chris Ralfs on fretless bass and Peter Reid on drums. Finally, Jan Porter joined me on backing vocals on "Money To Burn" - very glad that Jan was ready to join in again. You'll find reggae, some interesting time signatures, RnB and acoustic rock here - plus something a little harder :) 
The last song, "Eggshell Walk", is dedicated to the late, great Fran Dagostino from Boston, USA who plays all the astonishing guitars. Although I never physically met Fran, we Skyped a couple of times and he was good enough to play lead guitar on a few of my tunes for me. From all reports, Fran was a seriously good guy. He is very much missed, even here on the other side of the planet.  
Have a great 2015!"

Neil

Friday, 5 December 2014

JUST TAKE ‘ONE STEP’ AT A TIME

‘One Step’ started out when Pete put forward a set of lyrics, some ideas about drum patterns, and a desire to see what might happen if we pushed the ‘heavy’ button. 
Pete invited John to contribute some melody and riffage. 
Neil then conjured up a killer bass line and added the guitar parts 
With that all done and dusted Pete stepped up to the microphone, and.............there you have our latest offering ‘One Step’. 
This may well be the heaviest PBGB song to date. It all came together as a sort of sideline project while things were otherwise a bit quiet. Can’t have that! 

You can listen by clicking right HERE or by clicking on the title in the PBGB Juke Box. 
Pete played the Drums and sang the thing. 
John Drews conjured up and played the Keyboard parts 
Neil played the Guitar and Bass as well as doing all the production stuff. 
Enjoy !

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

JENNY HALPER MAKES A WELCOME RETURN TO THE SHED, AND ROB SMALLWOOD AND JOHN DREWS MAKE THEIR DEBUTS ON IMELDA MAY’S ‘BIG BAD HANDSOME MAN’



We have been very fortunate to have John Drews and Rob Smallwood joining us in The Shed over the past few weeks 
John is doing a great job of bringing his long neglected keyboard skills back to life, and Rob is a very tasty guitar player. The sounds of The Shed are morphing yet again ! 
Anyway, Rob, John, Chris, Neil and Pete were kicking some ‘try out’ tunes around, when Jenny Halper banged on the door  “Jen.........Haven’t seen ya for ages. Come in come in. Welcome back..........a long overdue return to The Shed”.   In came Jenny, pulled out her iPhone and played us Imelda May’s ‘Big Band Handsome Man’.  Sounded good.............” let’s give that a run.”   
Played it once, thought about it for a minute, turned on the recorder and did THIS.  We’re chuffed. This is one of those magical Shed moments when something really fun drops out of nowhere. This recording is pretty much straight off the desk. 
There were no re-takes, no add-ons, no dubs, nothing – what you hear is what happened. 
It is our first recording featuring Rob and John, so........ a hearty welcome to the PBGB Family lads. And a very warm welcome back Jenny. Let’s do it again 
Jenny Halper sang 
Rob Smallwood played an electric guitar he made himself 
John Drews played Hammond organ 
Neil Porter played guitar 
Chris Ralfs played bass 
Peter Reid played drums

Sunday, 2 November 2014

LOCHIE MARSON JOINS THE NEW GENERATION SHEDDERS

Pambula Beach resident Lochie Marson recently recorded his first original composition ‘Night Without Stars’ in The PBGB Shed.

You can listen to it by clicking HERE.

Lochie is just fifteen years old, and is a pupil at Eden Marine High School.

By the time he was ten Lochie had a vocal coach and was singing at school functions.

Since then Lochie has taken every opportunity to appear in public. He has played at events including the Lions Club Christmas Carol nights, the Eden Whale Festival, Merimbula’s New Year’s Eve Big Gig, and the Bermagui Seaside Fair.

So committed is Lochie that he can also be found busking here there and everywhere.

In 2014, Lochie played to a packed house at the Canberra Area Theatre Awards.

He also played in the Spectrum Theatre Company’s sell out production of ‘The Sound Of Music’.

Lochie has the support of a number of the top musicians in the Bega Valley. That started way back when he was ten, when he was fortunate enough to have Colleen Spillane, a superb vocalist, take him under her wing.

Lochie has studied guitar under the tutelage of Peter Heaton since he was eleven.

PBGB Family Member Garry Carson Jones  also teaches Lochie guitar, as well as providing mentoring and support.

Lochie’s current vocal coach is David Willis, his music teacher at Eden Marine High and a huge influence and supporter.

Mandy Siegel, another PBGB Family member, has also been helping Lochie by sharing her wealth of knowledge of the performing arts.

So it is pretty clear that Lochie enjoys his music and is intent on seeking out advice and coaching from the very best teachers he can find.

When we found out we could help Lochie out, we jumped at the chance. PBGB is more than happy to join the many seasoned Bega Valley musicians who, by virtue of their teaching, coaching and support, ensure that the Valley continues to nurture our  amazingly talented young musicians.

Night Without Stars is Lochie’s first recording of one of his own compositions.

We already have a deal with Lochie – anytime he is ready to record any more original songs, he is very welcome to do so in the PBGB Shed.

So keep your eye on this website for more Lochie compositions.

It was a pleasure to work with you Lochie !  Welcome to the PBGB Family.  Keep writing songs, and hopefully we’ll see you back in The Shed soon !

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Dave Crowden and Sam Crowden – Father and Son Guitar Duopoly !


Dave Crowden has been a PBGB Family member and all ‘round good friend of The Shed for some years now. Our Blog features lots of references to Dave. He has played on a bunch of PBGB Shed recordings. You can listen to them all, and read about Dave’s musical exploits by clicking here.    
You can hear from those songs that Dave is one hot bass player. But Dave is also a very sharp guitarist, and songwriter. You only have to hear Dave playing with his group Guitarama to appreciate that.   
Up until now we had not featured Dave playing guitar. Not good enough !  We figured we really should feature Dave on guitar as well as bass.   
PBGB is somewhat family oriented, and we knew that Dave’s son Sam is a great guitar player. Sam  was in fact a member of the first iteration of Guitarama. Sam and Dave also perform together as a guitar duo. Make that Dave and Sam ! We may have a fine recording legacy, but Stax we are not !   
So we asked Dave if he might ask Sam if he might like to mosey on down to The Shed and record a couple of songs. Well yes, Dave might like that, so he did, and they did.   
In fact they recorded four songs on the day, two of which, ‘The Island’ and ‘Dili Nights’, are original compositions by Dave.   
So we decided to create a ‘Dave and Sam Crowden Project’ page for the PBGB Blog. Have a look and listen by clicking here.  Enjoy !    
Thanks for coming along guys. Welcome back Dave, and Sam.........welcome to the PBGB Family sir ! We had a great day, and my those guitars sure sound fine !

Saturday, 5 July 2014

ANDY O’DONNELL AND THE MILLS SISTERS KNOW, THERE’S ‘ALWAYS A WAY ‘

Andy clearly enjoying hisself in the role of Musical Director.
This is a song inspired by a Keb Mo concert Ken and Susie and Pete and Penny saw and absolutely dug at The Corner Hotel in Richmond ( Melbourne ) way back in 2012. Keb and his band absolutely cooked, and oodles of good vibes radiated from the stage.......the best of the human spirit conveyed through top notch music! Right there and then Pete decided to write a song that paid homage to Keb and his abundance of positive values. 
After the initial lyrics were down on paper, Pete, Neil, and Kevin Breeze started kicking some musical ideas around. The song seemed determined to head off in a funky Motown direction. Fine by us. Before long we had a strong sense of what we wanted to do, so Pete and Kev laid down the basic drum and bass grooves, and Neil added some simpatico guitar and keyboard licks. 
At around this point, Pete decided to ask Andy O’Donnell if he might be interested to sing the song. The sort of karma that the song is all about came good – Andy agreed. Yay ! Pete was absolutely stoked and asked Andy to also put his considerable musical experience into steering the song in the right direction. 
Enter Andy, Musical Director! Andy suggested a couple of changes to the arrangement and laid down his vocal lines. 
Well shoot.......who wouldn’t?  
Then, Andy figured the song was just begging for some funky backing vocals. Well we knew that Stacey, Patricia and Phoebe Mills, who sing together in the Ruby Thursday vocal ensemble, could cut the mustard big time, so we invited them to come on down to The Shed. With Andy directing, the girls came up with a bunch of sassy refrains that fitted like a silk glove. 
Brother Ken was busily figuring just what sort of percussion bits and pieces might add the right icing to the cake. We put the Backing Vocals and Ken’s tasty percussion chops down. Sounded Goood. We had the makings. 
Neil gathered all the bits and pieces together and scurried off to mix it all down. After a few collective listens, suggestions, fidgets and re-listens we figured we had it in the bag. 
So HERE it is. The making of this song was a perfect reflection of the karmic promise of the lyrics. Pete is seriously humbled by the goodwill of all the fine people who generously devoted their time and energy to creating this song. 
Heartfelt thanks to............ 
Andy O’Donnell for his super vocals and creative direction 
Stacey, Phoebe and Patricia Mills for their classy backing vocals 
Ken Vatcher for his perfectly placed percussion chops 
Neil Porter for all the fine recording and production work, and for his fab guitar and keyboard work (and the "Horns Of A Dilemma" section)
Kevin Breeze for his brilliant bass lines 
Peter Reid wrote the song, played the drums, then sat back and watched in awe as everybody put their stamps on the final product. Enjoy the peace and love brothers and sisters !!! 
Instant karma’s gonna get you !

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

BRETT RALPH “EVERY NIGHT (I SLEEP WITHOUT YOU)"

Here, for your listening pleasure, we present another of the draft songs we have come up with on our journey towards Brett’s cd. 
Like the other of Brett’s songs we have posted on the PBGB Blog thus far, this version of Every Night came out of the very early times we got together with Brett. 
Indeed we think this one was probably recorded the second or third time we played the song. It has been through some studio enhancements, but this version won’t be making it to Brett’s cd. We may re-record it for inclusion, but then again we might not. 
It is however one of our favourites amongst Brett’s quiver of fine songs, so we thought.............why not post it ? Have a listen to it by clicking HERE or by clicking on the title on the PBGB Juke Box on the left of your screen.
This version of Every Night features:  
Brett Ralph (Writer) on Vocals and Acoustic Guitar  
Neil Porter (Producer) on Lead Guitar and Bass; 
Peter Reid on Drums. 
We hope you like this song of Brett’s as much as we do.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

COLIN ENRIGHT AND ADRIAN LEWIS DROP IN

Long time PBGB stalwart Colin Enright made another welcome visit to The Shed in early May.

Col brought along fellow Rosedale resident Adrian Lewis. Adrian is a classically trained cellist with a CV that includes stints with a brace of Symphony Orchestras as well as a few well known musical ‘names’. 

Col has recently retired from his long standing Canberra band Top Shelf. Col has decided to stick closer to home, and is in the throes of teaming up with Adrian to play as a duo named Duopoly, featuring Guitar, Vocals and Cello.

The boys decided they would like to put together an ep of their work, to use as a promo tool, and naturally Col thought of The Shed.

So down they came, and with Neil’s help, recorded a brace of songs for their demo cd.

We thought we’d post a couple of the tunes they played on our blog.

The first we selected is Minnie The Moocher.  

Minnie The Moocher was first recorded by Cab Calloway in 1931. It sold a million copies, which, in 1931, was a fantastic achievement. The song shot back to prominence when Cab was featured singing the song in the all time classic 1980 movie The Blues Brothers. It is a brilliant song, full of charm, and Adrian and Col have produced a particularly charming rendition. Col’s vocals fit in very nicely indeed.

The second song we feature is Pechalbel Canon in D.  

Johann Pechalbel composed this ditty sometime prior to 1700, so you could say it is a bit of a classic too!   The song achieved new found popularity in the 1990s when it was sampled in songs by The Pet Shop Boys, Coolio, and Green Day !!

We all had a great day, lots of fun and laughs, and hopefully Adrian and Col are happy with their promo cd.

We are looking forward to more visits by Col and Adrian, and we are busily exploring the possibilities that having a classically trained cellist in the PBGB Family might open up !

Adrian...........welcome to the PBGB Family sir !

Sunday, 18 May 2014

NEIL PORTER, CHRIS RALFS AND PETER REID FIGURED IT MUST HAVE BEEN ‘SOMETHING SHE SAID’

A couple of weeks ago Chris and Neil and Pete found themselves noodling about in the Shed.

No plan, no agenda.

What to do ?

Neil offered up a chord sequence he had been fooling with.

Pete echoed Neil’s strumming pattern by putting the kick on the 1 and the snare on the 4 in what was sounding like a verse, and then changed to a straight beat, albeit with a cross over snare pattern, for the chorus.

Chris was emitting his trademark growl on the fretless five string bass.

Ten minutes in, and it was all sounding pretty good to us.

So Neil took it home overnight and added some lyrics, vocals, a bit of extra guitar and a keyboard solo and riffs.

And that was essentially that.....................’Something She Said’.

It had been a while since the three of us had produced a result as a trio, so we decided to leave it right there.

Thanks for coming guys.............it’s a take.

Have a listen HERE or click on the title on the PBGB Juke Box.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

BRETT RALPH WONDERS ‘HOW DO THOUSANDS JUST DISAPPEAR?’

As we proceed with the production of a quality cd of Brett’s songs, we will continue, as previously promised, to post ‘early’ versions of some of Brett’s songs.

The versions we post will be what we regard as ‘drafts’ or ‘out takes’, or ‘practice’ versions that we have recorded, but which will not make it to the final cd.

If you click on the Brett Ralph Project on the right of your screen, you will see that we have already posted four such versions of Brett’s songs.
Three of those, Antarctica, Include Me, and Love and Laughter can also be heard on the PBGB Juke Box, to the left of your screen.

Now we present a fifth Brett song – ‘How Do Thousands? ’ 

This version of How Do Thousands is a VERY early version, probably recorded on the first or second day Brett ever graced The Shed, back in August 2013. At that stage we were doing nothing more than jamming on some of Brett’s songs. We did have the recorder on though.

Brett sings and plays acoustic guitar.

Also present on the day, and playing on this version were............

Ken Vatcher on Drums
Artie Westwood on Lead Guitar
Chris Ralphs on Bass
Neil Porter on Keyboards

The song is typical of Brett’s compositions in that it tells a story of a chapter of Brett’s life.

In this instance, Brett sings about the disappearance of a close friend and the subsequent drama. It is a true story.

It is also very socially poignant in that it highlights just one drama amongst many that cause great pain and anguish to people the world over when friends or relatives ..............”just disappear”.

Thanks for sharing this great song with us Brett.

Watch the PBGB Blog for future postings of more of Brett’s brilliant songs.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

STACEY MILLS, MARK BOLSIUS, KEN VATCHER AND STEVE CLARK GET THEIR KICKS.............ON ROUTE 66 !!

If you scroll down to our posting of 20 July 2013, you can read about Stacey, Ken, Mark and Steve, and listen to a couple of songs they recorded in the PBGB Shed back in 2013. We were very chuffed with those recordings. Steve, Mark and Ken, who comprise the Steve Clark Trio, are arguably the very best jazz players in the Bega Valley, and well beyond. 
So being able to record Stacey backed by that line up was very satisfying indeed. 
Now we are very pleased to present another song by Stacey and the Steve Clark Trio. 
Have a listen to Stacey and the boys playing Route 66 by clicking HERE 
We are sure you will agree that this is a very fine rendition of the great song written by Bobby Troup in 1946. Route 66 was first recorded by Nat King Cole. Later covers include those by musicians as diverse as Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones, Bing Crosby, Dr Feelgood, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Manhattan Transfer, The Strypes..............the list is unbelievable. 
Anyway, now we have our own fabulous version to be proud of. 
This recording is amongst the finest ever produced in the PBGB Shed. The standard of musicianship is eye watering. 
Left to right: Steve, Ken, Neil and Mark
Our heartfelt thanks go to Stacey, Steve, Mark and Ken for their fantastic contributions. 
And to Neil Porter, who did all the recording, mixing and mastering. Well done team !!!! 
Fans of Stacey should keep an eye on the PBGB Blog.............we have more Projects involving Stacey coming up. Watch this space !!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

BRETT RALPH DESPAIRS ..............”INCLUDE ME” IN THE WRECKAGE.


Regular PBGB Blogophiles will know that we have had the pleasure of Brett’s company in The Shed for a few months now. Since August 2013 in fact.

Initially Chris introduced Brett, and we jammed on a bunch of his songs over three Seshes.  We only had two or three shots at each song. We had the recorder on.

We fell in love with Brett’s music. We were so taken by Brett’s talents we decided we’d like to record a cd of his songs.

We are doing that. Watch this space.

In the meantime we are posting some of those early Brett Sesh Jam cuts. Just  ‘cos we can !!  We like them.  These cuts are pretty much straight off the desk, very little studio intervention.

This one, another absolute Brett Ralph cracker, is called INCLUDE ME

Enjoy !


On Include Me,

Brett - Vocal and Guitar
Neil - Guitar, Keyboards and Background Vocals
Chris - Bass
Pete - Drums

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

MAX MURRAY, MILES MURRAY, MACEO WOOD, MICHAEL FENDEL, NEIL PORTER – THE Ms’n’N GONZO SHED JAM !!

The Shed was actually hibernating. A Summer break. 

Then Max, a long time PBGB Family Member (SEE HERE) rang up to see if we might get a jam happening.  Cunning devil he is, talked us into it.

Next thing we know Max, brother Miles, mates Maceo and Michael, and Neil were jamming in The Shed.

Max,  Miles and Maceo are lifelong mates from Melbourne, and  jam together from time to time. Michael, an exchange student from Germany, met the boys and has had  a couple of jams with them. Neil had no idea what was about to hit him.

Da Boyz improvised their way across six songs that you can listen to HERE.

The spirit of Crazy Mama lives on !!   Déjà vu 2007..... this is pure Gonzo Shed Jamming.

Enjoy !!!