I LOVE TODAY
the new record
All titles produced and mixed by Mark St. John at The Smokehouse Studios and 811 Studios.
Executive Producer – Paul Madden
Original Cover Art – Jef Aerosol, created from the photograph by Maho Final Mastering – Gwyn Mathias
I LOVE TODAY.That is the title of the new album. It will come out around spring 2016.
About time as well. I agree. But, we had to add 2 more songs to it. I love today, title of the album and Le Temps, both new songs.
We recorded those 2 at 811 studios, in Horsham. Analog, of course. Mark St John played drums, and engineered (!!), Dick Taylor played bass, Samuel Brothers electric guitar and i played acoustic and sung. We have 13 tracks, and apart from those 2, we recorded at the Smoke House studios in london.
The Smoke house is an analog studio that has just the right atmosphere for what we wanted to do.
Produced by Mark St John, the concept was to capture the performance of a an intimate acoustic show, like the kind of stuff i ve been doing lately.
It will feature some new songs, in french, in english as well as some of my favorite covers. Whoever came to the shows i ve been doing lately, will reckognize the stuff on the record.
Blues is the vibe. So, some of the songs will just be as in live, guitar and vocals, recorded live and as a performance. If the vibe wasn't there, we d redo the whole song. That s analog for you!
Also, some friends came, harp, slide guitar, hammond, drums, but as if we were in the front room of my house, cool and warm.. felt like we were by the fireplace, a glass of fine wine in our hands..
Jef Aerosol did the cover. What a cover! He is the man, the main man!
As we get ready, i ll be putting more info on the tracks, the traklisting, the players, i ll put some songs to listen to, to download, where to get the album, etc etc, all the kind of stuff that might interest you.
Repertoire records is the label for the world. They are family. Too.Watch this space for more.
I Love Today: That song was written in about 5 minutes, as i was really attracted to someone at the time - and I guess, the hope, the happiness, the thought of seeing her later on that day, it all just came out…… The music and the words. I actually really love life - I love every single day, it takes a lot to get me down. This was the last song we recorded, and we had help from my friend, Dick Taylor, the guitar player in The Pretty Things, who played wonderful bass (like he did in The Stones!) and a new, young artist of Mark St. John’s (my manager and producer) - Sam Brothers, who plays the beautiful guitar solo. Topper from The Clash was going to play drums, but couldn’t make it and so Mark stepped in at the last moment, so it was a family affair.
Give Me Love: My uncle used to have the single of the theme tune for 'The Third Man', the masterpiece of 'Film Noir', starring Orson Welles, set in the ruins of an after-war Vienna. I used to listen to it a lot. That theme tune of Anton Karas, with a swing twist, inspired this song. Full of diminished 5th and complicated jazz chords (!!). We used an old jazz guitar that Mark had laying around in The Smokehouse Studios and we definitely looked for that sound. And there it was, and it came out another love song. Mark added some fantastic clarinet from a girl we met when I was playing the High Voltage Festival, in London – Amy Gibb - she plays this brilliantly.
Lean Love: when I was living in France, we used to listen to David Bowie. He was pretty big, but somehow we never really heard of Marc Bolan. I guess Marc Bolan never really came to France and the media didn't talk about him, so we just didn't know much about him. But when I arrived in England, I realised how big he was in the UK, always in the charts and always in people's hearts. This is one of his less well-known songs – I love it! George Woosey, a fantastic singer songwriter (and who plays bass in The Pretty Things), plays some fantastic slide guitar on here, and our friend, Lorenzo Moufflier plays great harp.
Long, Long, Long: I have always been a big fan of the Beatles. And when I was a DJ in Corsica, I had the famous Avedon poster of The Beatles above the turntables. I was sporting a moustache like them. And people kept telling me i looked like George Harrison - I loved it - It worked for me......... Nicky Brockway, an old friend of ours, helps out with the atmospheric Hammond organ, which just makes the song.
Into My Arms: played on my guitar in G tuning, that song was played by Nick Cave for the funeral of Michael Hutchence. It is a beautiful song of pure love. For me, it has the same power as a song like John Lennon's 'Imagine'. When I play it right, it works as a “less is more” situation. I concentrate on the words and I pick as little as I can. But then again, it’s played on my B25 Gibson, as old as i am, and always tuned up in G, that has the lead role in all those songs. This is Mark’s favourite on the record…….
Skeleton Blues: I live in an old Presbytere in France, near Paris. Like everyone, I have no idea what awaits us after death but I would like to think that it doesn't all just stop there. And that we keep partying, playing music, drinking and chasing women! One day, as I was watching the famous Disney cartoon - Skeleton Dance, this song came to me, quite immediately. Mark had some fun making dancing Skeleton noises, clattering about on some old rickety machine in the studio, with his drumsticks. Amy adds the wacky clarinet, which really suits the vibe perfectly……
Nature Boy: When I was in The Police, Sting called me nature boy once. I thought he probably imagined Corsicans as some kind of wild people running around in the mountains or the beaches – back then I had never heard of Nat King Cole. I first heard Nature Boy in a Marvin Gaye album. And now I realize that Sting paid me a compliment. And I really love playing the song in open G tuning, even though I play it in Gm here! Oh, and now I know ALL about Nat King Cole!
Brother, Sister, Preacher: The first English record I heard was my father's Paul Robson ' Negro Spirituals' album. I used to adore his deep voice and the rhythm the music had. I kept that record in my collection, and I still have it. And I bought another copy, as my father's copy has been played so much...just in case.. This song is directly inspired from Negro Spirituals that were my early influence. Mark adds the drifting snare drum and Lorenzo nails the harp, George’s incredible, laid back slide is the icing on the cake. Thanks, guys!
Rien De Rien: I love that Edith Piaf song, it’s a blues for me. It came naturally when fiddling with an open G tuning. I tend to play that song at the end of the set. It means so much to always say that in the end we all do what we do, that we try our best – that we should have no regrets, and that tomorrow will be better. I believe that.
Play With Fire: it was Mark who came with the idea of a native Indian drum beat. It gives that song the right earthy blues feel that i wanted. Again, a Gm song played on an open major G tuning - as in Nature Boy. Can't get away from that open G. Mark also suggested that I should do it on electric guitar. He has a 1957 Gibsonette Explorer amp with that wonderful tremolo. What do you think?
Jealous Guy: Sacha Morgan is a lovely girl and I adore her smoky voice. She’s another part of our musical “family” of young (and older!( artists and has a great new album due this year. I guess we all know that this song is personal to John Lennon, but it’s still a great song to play. And so we felt the song had to be sung by a girl and a guy, so that we should share the good and the bad together. We did it a few times together live on stage when Sacha would come and play in Paris. The guitar is in open G tuning. I always wanted the little delay on the guitar to add to the vibe…….
Le Temps: Another song that came to me in about 5 minutes and another from the last session, when we did “I Love Today”. Written about a girl - far too young for me - that song reminds me that time is nothing but a measure, measuring pain and wounds and that the only time that matters is the time that lays in front of us and that we shall spend together. I think we nailed this – with the same players as “I Love Today” – Dick, Sam & Mark – all family and my “Wrecking Crew” on those sessions!
Ne Me Quitte Pas: I used to live in Amsterdam. And i remember one day being in a 'brown bar' and hearing that song sung by Jacques Brel in the Flemish language. And people were totally inspired by it. It struck me that Jacques Brel, who I had then only heard sing in French, was not only a poet for the beautiful words he put together but also for the deep meaning they conveyed. That is true poetry. The English version is too sentimental and doesn't carry the desperation Jacques Brel implied in the song.