Okay a share in one but what a prize!

I wrote this song to accompany a promotional video for George Street Community bookshop, a Community Benefit Society that is undertaking a Community Share Issue.

Now you have the chance to win a share by buying a download of the song from my Bandcamp site. Minimum payment for the song is £1 but you’re welcome to pay as much as you want. On the eve of the closing of the share issue all of you who buy a download will be entered in to the prize draw and I’ll notify the winner within a day or two. Currently the share offer is open to 7th December but is likely to be extended for a week. Therefore I’ll let you know the outcome by 18th December. The song will then be removed from Bandcamp sale for at least 3 months.

You can name someone other than yourself as the recipient if you wish to offer the prize as a Christmas present. Providing of course that you win! If you want you can always buy shares in the shop and support the project regardless of this competition.

The idea is to raise money to rescue, revive and ensure the survival of the second hand bookshop. Shares cost from £50 and can be owned by anybody. It is an equitable share issue so regardless of whether someone owns shares worth £50 or £5000, it is one member one vote on the running of the shop.

For more information on the share issue, supporting documentation etc is available from www.georgestreetcommunitybookshop.co.uk

My decision on the winner is final but I promise no shenanigans.

lyrics

When you read a book you’re going to find
pages of stories of every kind
when you read a book, you’ll fall in love
With one then another and isn’t it good

Chorus
You”ll read a book and I will too
You share it with me and I’ll share it with you

When you read a book you step back in time
Or visit the future all in your mind
And when you read a book a novel idea
Takes root in your brain cells, it just appears

When you read a book it can set off your dreams
Inside a book the world is not as it might seem to be.

I’ll read a book, you’ll read a book

Let’s read a book turn off the phone
With thousands of words you are never alone
Let’s read a book you know it makes sense
So pick up a book and have fun with some friends

I’ll love it forever and I’m sure so will you.

credits

released November 29, 2018
written and played by Steve Roberts 2018

The Music Minds triple CD I’ve posted about in previous posts is now on Spotify and iTunes etc and here’s the Spotify link if you fancy hearing my version of Ronnie Lane’s Annie.

Play Annie by Steve Roberts

I recorded it in my home studio in bits and pieces. I first played a guide keyboard part, the accordion sound you hear, and then I quickly recorded the acoustic guitar and lead vocal, both also intended to serve as guides until I could do them properly. All these parts stayed on the finished song. I wish it was this easy all the time but usually I’ll labour away re-recording things all the way along but I got lucky with this.

I took my computer up to Matt Hill’s house where Matt recorded a couple of banjo takes in the hour or so I allowed him. Similarly Steve Davies was given a couple of takes on the Piano before I whisked him away for a pint. I think I was trying to preserve the spontaneity to the recordings I sensed were in the guide recordings I’d made. Or I’m just lazy.

Martyn Campbell was then coerced into visiting with the promise he’d be fed and watered in return for bringing his bass guitar and helping me to finish the song off. Martyn’s more of a perfectionist than me but within a few hours we’d done his bass and percussion fashioned from lentils, chick peas and other pulses in old boxes. I think Marty helped with backing vocals too.

Appropriately and something I’m delighted with, my wife Ann agreed to play flute and recorders to put the icing on the song cake. So to speak. This is only the second time she’s been persuaded to record and I’m made up with the finished song. My daughter Fae has recorded some video footage so I hope that might see the light of day. In the meantime I hope you enjoy the song and the rest of the album.

Here’s to Ronnie Lane. Chin chin!

Music Minds Mental Health Charity Album.

I’m pleased to let you know that I’ve covered one of my favourite songs by one of my favourite songwriters and it’s included on a new triple CD album released this week on Fretsore Records in support of a number of mental health charities.

The song is Annie by the beloved Ronnie Lane that first appeared on his album Rough Mix with Pete Townshend. and it’s one I’ve loved for years. I hope I’ve done it justice. I certainly did it with love and respect and was fortunate to have some great musicians to help me. Martyn Campbell played bass guitar and home made percussion, Steve Davies, piano, Matt Hill, banjo and my Annie makes her first appearance on record playing flute and recorders. Absolutely loved doing it. The album is packed with great artists as you can see from the cover picture and you can buy it and get more details about it from Norman Records. Spotify, iTunes etc to follow. We hope it will raise money and awareness and if you have any media contacts, radio, press or online, please make sure to share this with them and they’re welcome to get in touch if they would like to talk or feature it in any way.

I’m gigging this coming Saturday (13th) at my spiritual home venue, 81 Renshaw Street, Liverpool sharing the bill with Nick Ellis and Thomas Morecroft for a Klee Records night. Tickets available from the Klee Website mention Roberts21 to get a discount on ticket price. Stage time 8pm.

I’m going to be playing songs from my It Just Is album which I haven’t done in a while. This was prompted by it being last week’s featured album on the Chris Currie Radio Show on IWFMradio. Listen back here.

Really happy to have contributed a cover version of one of my favourite Ronnie Lane songs  to a wonderful album raising money and awareness for mental health charities that will be released next month.

Here’s a video with details about the album, artists and charities:

The album, 40 songs deep, features some extremely well known artists like Glenn Tillbrook, Tom Robinson, Nick Kershaw among many others, and will be released on 10th October 2018. On the same date there’s a concert at the 02 Islington in that London. I’ll post more details soon.

MM_Gig_Poster7.jpeg-1

Two local gigs for me, the first a bit late notice, both at the best vegan Pub in the country, The Globe, High St West, Glossop.

Tonight (8th) I’m opening for the Rattlebag songwriters circle featuring Matt Hill, Emma Thorpe and Huw Costin. 8pm and this is free entry, so quite a treat it is.

Next week on 15th I return to open for Aziz Ibrahim (Stone Roses/Ian Brown and more) an amazingly gifted guitarist who’s joined by percussionist Dal. Details for this one here. Get down early as this will be very popular.

Next up after these is a return to a home from home, 81 Renshaw Street Liverpool for a songwriter night in the company of me, Nick Ellis and Thom Morecroft. Tickets available here

Well maybe not all, but a couple of mentions I’ve enjoyed recently. The first is from the gig in Liverpool where I opened for Bennett Wilson Poole a couple of weeks ago (go and see them, listen and enjoy. Superb band breathing new life in to the Byrdsian jangle) and you can read it here. There’s a couple of videos of me playing that night to be found on my Facebook music page.

Here’s the second; when you fly as far under the radar as I feel I do, then inclusion in any Top Ten is fantastic, but Top Ten songs about Liverpool?!! Quite honestly, I’m chuffed to bits. Can you guess the song? All is revealed in this article by Jamie Bowman for Get Into This.

Edit: while I’m at it here’s an interview for Liverpooletc from this time last year.

I’m back in Liverpool with a band in tow, for a festival gig on 26th August and on Saturday 13th October I’m playing solo again at 81 Renshaw Street. I’ll have more news on these soon.

Quick post to say I’m playing the wonderful 81 Renshaw Street, Liverpool venue on Friday. I’m opening for the superb Bennet Wilson Poole who fans of Americana/Byrds/Petty will absolutely love.

Im on at 9 pm for 40 minutes and I’m doing all guitar songs going from Old 16 Tambourines songs right up to the here and just about now.

Admission is £10, more details from the promoters, Heavens Gate, Facebook events page here

It’s hard to remember a time when there weren’t acoustic guitar slingers on every street corner en route to the back rooms of pubs around the country to play their bedroom classics at open mics and sessions, but at the time I recorded the songs on this collection, it was difficult for the budding James Taylor or Joni Mitchel. I didn’t regard myself as an acoustic singer-songwriter, these were songs waiting for a band to fill in the blanks.

I’ve been asked a few times why I haven’t recorded a stripped back acoustic record and it’s because I don’t regard myself as your James Taylor type – for one thing I don’t have the guitar or piano chops and also I enjoy the camaraderie of the band type collective. My songs are usually written with one eye on how they’ll sound with bigger arrangements.

These songs were recorded sometime late 1990’s or early 2000, I can’t remember. They were done one afternoon at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios in, if memory serves, the 16 track facility they had there. Mike Hunter recorded it and I do remember him coming to my house to listen to what songs I had beforehand. He was very encouraging as I’ve always been a nervous player in studios. He set me up in the middle of the live room with a load of microphones around me like I was in a little den. I know some photos were taken during the session by my friend Spike and if you’ve seen the pictures of Dylan at the Isle of White festival, that was the kind of way it looked. Kind of.

In the 3 hours or so I believe we were there, we rattled through 1 or 2 takes of each song and in the time left went back and did some very basic overdubs. Comrade Martyn Campbell helped, along with providing some wine to keep the whistle wet. Mike mixed on the fly and we left with everything done. The CD I found had a photocopied cover, very basic, and I used it to hustle gigs and pretty useful it proved to be. Three of the songs I re-recorded later for the It Just Is album. The lovely rediscovery for me are the songs I Surrendered and Lucia, songs I really would like to record again at some point.

This collection is free to listen to and/or download over at Bandcamp and I hope you enjoy them.