What do ‘bootz and catz’ have to do with my upcoming Live in Germany album? I probably should name it this way because the ‘catz’ were essential for its making. I’ll explain. Say ‘bootz and catz’ out loud, right now. OK, now try it 4 times in a row. Do it fast. Have you done it? What do you hear? Does it remind you of something?
I love playing with my band, however, quite often, when I tour long distances, it’s financially unfeasible for me to bring the band along. Many musicians face this problem time after time. This fiscal conundrum has lead me to develop a one woman show. I am a guitarist first and foremost. As a guitarist, I like to have a backing band, that rhythm section, the energy from the drums and bass. Non of that is there when you are performing solo. So, what do I do?
I ‘bounce the pizza’ … and ‘boot the catz.’
I have been bouncing that pizza for a long time now! I tell you, all this ‘booting’ and ‘bouncing’ got me through many tours 😉
Let me demonstrate.
(Now you try! Why not film yourself and share it on your socials. When you share it, tag @LeciaLouise on facebook and on instagram. I would love to see what you do!)
In the early years of my career, I met Mal Webb at Woodford Folk Festival. I saw him on stage using a loop pedal to layer sounds that he made with his body and instruments which kept going and growing. It was very inspiring because I could see how one person could express themselves so easily. This is how the loop pedal entered my music life and became very useful for me in my solo shows.
For those of you who are not familiar with this, I should explain what this is. A loop pedal is an electronic device which captures the start and end point of a piece of music I play and then plays it back on repeat as long as I want. This provides some music that I can then play with. So it’s like an instant backing track being made then and there. The beauty of it, once I have recorded one thing in the loop, I can keep adding to it, making layers of music, this way I can almost achieve the sound of a band behind me. I can add as many voices to it as I wish. On top of this, I also use foot percussion as a kick and snare sound and various effects on my electric guitar. This completes the backing rhythm track which accompanies the lead. Below are some examples. The first video is a live performance of ‘Reeperbahn Blues,’ followed by a full demonstration of my entire one woman band set up.
I am a self managed, self funded, independent musician. I book my tours, accommodation and draft itineraries myself. I have played in Europe every year for 7 years running. There’s a lot of work behind the scenes. To set up a tour you need to send out hundreds of emails, which quite often, mostly get ignored. I then send follow up emails and sometimes a follow up call, which is quite difficult with the time difference between Australia and Europe. A tour can flesh itself out once it gets rolling after meeting new people who recommend other places to play etc. Quite often I slept in the tour van, but now and then venues who booked me put me up in a nice hotel. I also met some friends on the road who took me in which was much appreciated on some of those freezing nights!
Van Hermann was my trusty home on wheels. Large enough to sleep and dine in. I could also lock up my gear securely. A couple of times some people tried to break in, but they could not get into the lock up musical section. Thank goodness! (Unfortunately this has happened to me in the past with other tour vans. All of my tour cash was stolen on one of my previous German tours.. ouch!! The ‘Reeperbahn Blues’ is about that.)
So now, I am glad to introduce my first ‘bandless’ release, which features all of these techniques for the first time. For those who only know me from my previous albums recorded with a full band, this will be a new experience. You will now know more about how the sounds of my new Live in Germany album are made and what work goes into booking a tour. So turn it up and enjoy!
Leave your email on the right hand column of this blog and get your copy of this album half price for a limited time only. I will also send you 3 free songs.
I will not be making this available on any online streaming sites. Thank you for listening.
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