Jeff Beck

The guitar world is reeling.

Jeff Beck was an early pioneer of the electric guitar, along with Hendrix, Clapton, Harrison and Page. But he was always a bit of an outlier in some regard.

He enjoyed the success of the Yardbirds but then veered into his own path and in doing so, created a individual voice on the guitar that is incomparable to anyone else.

I’ve studied Jeff Beck’s music and it feels like trying to play another instrument sometimes! First and foremost, he plays with his fingers, no pick! But it allows you to play the guitar with such a different feel! Then there’s the way he used his right hand to utilise the musical qualities of the volume pot and then the whammy bar on his strat, and the results are extraordinary!

The result is tracks like ‘Where were you?’ and ‘Cause we’ve ended as lovers’.

Jeff Beck could play fast but he knew when to play slow and let the notes soar and boy could he make them soar!

My guitar tutor Michael Caswell at ACM, an extraordinary guitar himself when he was alive, cited Jeff Beck as one of his favourites, and I remember the conversations we had about him and the two points Mike made about him were that Jeff was the only guitarist from the 60s who kept on getting better (I whole heartedly agree!) and that the thing that made him truly special was his ability to pick the right small selection of notes that made you go ‘What was that!?’ and make the hair stand on the back of your neck.

Jeff Beck kept evolving. He’s left us a wonderful catalogue of enriching, interesting and incredible music and amongst that catalogue his playing shines through whilst also including a multitude of high profile collaborations whilst also giving lesser known and younger people a platform. Not least the phenomenal Tal Wilkenfield.

Jeff Beck always appeared humble. It was never about him, unlike today’s toxic social media world which spends far too much time pedalling self image and fitting in. It was about making something truly unique and letting the magic of the electric guitar soar. That’s what I aspire to do and Jeff Beck’s influence is certainly embedded in me as it is for many others.

It’s sad he had to leave us so suddenly, and it’s sad that this generation of loved musicians are departing. In all honesty I think this will be a decade of mourning. In honour of such musicians and their legacy, I for one look forward to continue enjoying the music they leave behind and admire the dedication they committed to their work during their lifetime, and try and be as dedicated myself.

Thank you Jeff.

Kinky Wizzards Live Album – Out Today.

Our first ever live album is out.

This show was recorded in Cardiff back in September 2021. It was the first show we had done since the Pandemic.

I am delighted to have a record that showcases what we do live and captures our tracks in this format. There’s a frenetic energy to it that was really fun to work with when mixing it!

A big thank you to Andrew Bishop, who captured the recordings, Steffan Pringle for mastering the record, Dale Johnson for the unique artwork and Adam Prosser for the photos.

I hope you enjoy the record and here are the links:

Physical copies available over at: https://kinkywizzards.bandcamp.com/…/quirky-musings-the…

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/album/6VKTJpA07j8TXQEDDVUsH5…

Apple Music link:

https://music.apple.com/…/quirky-musings-the…/1656310261

Head Above Water – Now available on CD.

Happy Bandcamp Friday everyone!

Today is an extra special day because I am able to announce the physical release of my new album ‘Head Above Water’.

You can now order a copy of the album as a beautiful CD Digipak with an 8 page booklet featuring lyrics and individual artwork for each track. Perfect for those of you who, like me, still like to listen to CDs chronologically and follow along with the lyrics of each track.

You can order your copy here: https://ryanmarkelliott.bandcamp.com/album/head-above-water

This is one of the best ways that individual artists can be supported and as always I am grateful to those of you who choose to engage with our music this way.

Warm wishes,

Ryan

My new record ‘Head Above Water’ is out.

I am pleased to announce the digital release of my new album ‘Head Above Water’.

1. Until the Stars Align

2. Take the Time (Feat. Lauren Kinsella)

3. Liability

4. Negative Partisan

5. Deep Waters

6. Resistance

Bandcamp link: https://ryanmarkelliott.bandcamp.com/album/head-above-water

This record was written between 2020 and 2021 and the album title came from the songs varying themes about hope and navigating our way through chaos of modern life, be it personal relationships, the political landscape or overcoming our own personal battles.

At half an hour in length, this is my most focused and best sounding work yet and I am so pleased to finally share it with you all.

Featuring Aled Lloyd on drums, Dan Nelson on bass, Andrew Bishop as co-producer, Charlie Jenkins on Sax, Emma Davidson on vocals, a vocal feature from Lauren Kinsella and artwork from Darlee Urbiztondo.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me along with the journey of making this record, and I hope you enjoy it!

Ryan

Take the Time (Feat. Lauren Kinsella)

It is called Take the Time and features the wonderful Lauren Kinsella on lead vocals.

Lauren is an Irish vocalist and composer. Her current projects include the band Snowpoet, who released a wonderful record called ‘Wait for Me’ last year and ‘Skylla’ with Ruth Goller which is a fascinating listen.

I am so grateful she agreed to do this track and couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.

Thanks as ever to my team who gave this track absolutely everything.

Andrew Bishop – Sound Engineer – Co Producer, Recording and Mastering Engineer

Emma Davidson – Backing Vocals

Aled Peter Lloyd – Drums

Dan Nelson – Bass Guitar

Darlee Orcullo Urbiztondo – Artwork

The full lyric video by Drew Hamley comes out on Monday.

You can listen to the full track via the following links:

Apple: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1641440453

We hope you enjoy it!

A shame ridden resignation

Too bad that Boris Johnson is incapable of feeling any shame.

It was the same case for Donald Trump.

Are we past the phase of voting in populist leaders who are in the long run so damaging? I won’t hold my breathe, but when you reach a low as low as we’ve done here in the United Kingdom, you have to believe that there is some hope to hold on in terms of us going back up.

Then again, Johnson’s reluctance to resign with immediate effect has a shade of Putin about it.

And what makes me so frustrated is that not enough of the population is aware of the fact that their democracy has been trampled over.

I cannot even bring myself to have a little bit of respect for the ministers who have resigned. They could and should have resigned when Boris Johnson treated the British public with contempt when botching the protective measures needed for Covid 19 and Partygate. The only reason they have resigned is because they have finally realised the ship is sinking and they are making their moves to save themselves. It is all deeply cynical.

The handling of the pandemic from the government in my view is unforgivable. They had plenty of warning signs and ignored them. What’s more, you have a totally reckless push for a hard Brexit which has systemically screwed so many industries over and brought about a massive legal kerfuffle with the NI protocol. Less bureaucracy was the promise and we were given more, and our economic power has diminished. Furthermore, poverty has risen, including child poverty and it took a monumental effort from Marcus Rashford and Jack Monroe to hold the government to account when it came to free school meals and inflated food prices. The defamatory attacks on Monroe from Conservative mps has been especially disgusting. Then there’s Rwanda which was an outright racist and xenophobic move. The Tories are incapable of making policy decisions that are not cruel or squeezing the poor whilst filling the pockets of their over privileged cronies. This is all without mentioning the ignored sexual assault cases that eventually came to be Johnson’s downfall. They are an utter disgrace.

And yet people say it would be no different under another party. Give me a break and do the research. Labour MP Jess Phillips is fighting tremendously hard to bring solutions for domestic abuse whilst Caroline Lucas is a shining beacon for decency, honesty and integrity and whilst things policy wise aren’t that clear with Kier Starmer, there is no question that he is significantly more competent as a leader than any self serving member of the Tories.

So whilst I am somewhat relieved that Johnson will go and hopefully take the insufferable, culturally ignorant sycophant that is Nadine Dorris with her, I am nowhere near optimistic about the alternatives. The best they can offer in terms of an interim leader is Raab. Great: another pathological liar is just what we need.

Standards in the House of Commons are so low, and we need a drastic overhaul where we have a political culture that is more intelligent, compassionate and ultimately one that looks to the possibility that things can and should be better.

It comes down to us to make sure we engage with our democracy and do not take it for granted. We have our vote but we also have our say and Rashford and Monroe proved that you can make those changes happen. If you don’t put in that effort, you have no right to moan about it.

As I wrote in my track ‘Liability’, Johnson is a liability and his bubble was always gonna burst and now it has, we need it to be the first of many.