Monday, 7 January 2013




Hi David, I listened to your albums 
both at home and in the car. 

Good music, keeps being interesting. 

Thanks for listening Dick. 
The Whisperer was kind of demo as I had not recorded in the studio for almost 10 years. I was just playing gigs in pubs and small clubs. As my animal behaviour work reduced in the recession I had more time to spend with my music. 
Then, with a handful of songs tor record I looked around for a local studio. I found Mr Smith who proved good on one level (I did have to ask him to reduce the reverb) and difficult on another level (had his own idea of how I should sound) 

Mr. Smith - the producer - maybe did put in reverbs a lot? 

Do you have the loose untreated tracks for remixing?

In some cases I have early demos but mainly me as vocal and guitar. I have stems for my song, ‘We know how it ends’, but only because there was talk of a remix.

Here are some questions for a blog (MySpace, Facebook, Hyves)

When writing, which comes first - lyrics, or music?

You will read in some of these blogs of mine (if you have time)  that sometimes I am playing a chord sequence and adapt it into a song (like Galileo) or words/poems come first like Small acts of Kindness.


In the case of the latter - what do you come up with first: tempo, chords, melody? 

Chords usually, but in the case of Love Thing I had a melody idea – the lyrics came to me in a flash – and I was playing with unusual reduced string capo positions. In home Fire I liked a chord sequence and had the idea for a road home song. With Spitfire is was the idea of analogy/metaphor – my wife as the Spitfire character (she can be feisty) and me as the slow burning fuse – I was born in Germany because my father was in the British army after the war and my wife in England – so, I had the opposing planes!!! 
Do you write down stuff on paper or computer? 

Or do you record new ideas?
I scribble lyrics down on scraps of paper or note pads – I write the chords down and try and go over it a lot until it is right. Valentine Light was being played and revised over a two year period during live gigs before I recorded it. It went from folk to alt country.

On average, how much time does it take between first inception and actual finalizing the idea for recording? 

Can be weeks or can be years. I have only just mastered home recording.

In the studio, do you use click-tracks? 

All of ‘The Cat that solved the String Theory and other stories’ was recorded to click tracks because my timing can be awful unless I am in a groove. I found it very difficult at first to sing without my guitar but now I understand it is better when other musicians are putting their instruments into the mix….

Did you record all the tracks separately or was there a live connection between two or more of the tracks?

Almost all were recorded separately although sometimes I stayed in the studio after a main session and rushed down a new demo (ie Do my Dance and Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter and He chose the road).

The idea was when Expat Records approached me to release an album the guys said – let’s do a great studio job that is radio playable in the USA. We hoped my music would break there but all the ideas from Expat have come to nothing. I am looking for a UK European label for a release of my new songs.
I have gone back to my acoustic roots now and recorded tracks ‘unplugged’ style as you can hear from the House of Teaspoon sessions on SoundCloud.

Friday, 4 January 2013


How fast did 2012 go by?


January 25th 2012 saw me play AS the featured artist at the wonderful Artist’s Hangout at Foulridge at the Café Cargo by the canal wharf. What a great venue! Teaspoon and me watched films, listened to other musicians, looked at art and enjoyed a creative evening. I played a set and really enjoyed the appreciation of a listening audience.

The months always seem to disappear quickly these days but last year in February marked the end of the Black Horse (Gregson Lane, Hoghton) music-nights after many years and some great Dogman gigs and brilliant open mic evenings. It was a great night (Rob Fielding and others played) with Pat Gaffney joining me on stage. We made it one last real blast to mark the end (Jo and her partner retired from the pub). Fortunately, I have some recordings kindly made by the host of the open mic nights, John Poulton, taken from times when Matt Wells joined me on a set.  

You are welcome to sample the magic of those nights with a couple of songs see link for SET on Soundcloud. click on the link to hear some live tracks


In April, my wife and I travelled by car and ferry to West Port, County Mayo in Eire to meet up with Teaspoon and Matt Pawson and family to enjoy a musical week and a change of scenery. 

Dogman  and Teaspoon in Eire

We had some really great times playing the pubs and chilling (see link to Youtube for a filmed version of Marvin Gaye’s What’s going on with me and Matt Pawson). click on link to see video by Teaspoon

The owner of the famous pub at the bottom of the Holy Mountain gave us a great revue after we played there one evening. I had met up with him in the day and played him a couple of tunes to get us the gig. Paid in beer they were calling us to play on late into the night!

Dogman at Campbells


Matt Pawson on guitar

Dear David,

Greetings from Campbells! I hope this finds you and Catherine doing well. I have been planning to e-mail you since your visited Campbell's last month to express my appreciation for the wonderful performances you gave here during your visit.

THANK YOU to you, Tea Spoon and Matthew for performing here. It was wonderful to have you play here and it was one of the best ever performances here. I do hope you can make it back again.

Please extend my sincere thanks to Tea Spoon and Matthew. Also, please extend my best wishes to Catherine  and the family members of Tea Spoon and Matthew. It was a great pleasure meeting you and I hope I will see you here again! Best regards,

Padraig Fitpatrick Campbell, Murrisk, Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland


Alongside my steady collaboration with Mikans, I ‘had a ball’ recording alongside music and remixes by Indigolab from Midlands (Lost – folk fusion), Middleschoolfrown from Scotland (sounding very Blue Nile) , Roy Taylor from Canada (fab flute on Trouble I’m in), Kenetic from South Africa (fab remix of Galileo see link) Ali Warlow aka Harm0nizer, down South (a dance remix of Bright and Beautiful) and the brilliant Peter Brown in Florida for my spoken word recordings.   click on link to hear collaborations


I played the famous vegetarian restaurant and acoustic venue, Jim’s Café, in Colne, on several occasions (With Ray Irvine on keys in August) including a great gig in July with Ghost Radio and Teaspoon as support.
 I enjoyed playing there again with Ray for The Blues Festival Fringe in August. 

Dogman  and Ray Irvine at Jim's Cafe for the Blues Festival

Finally, to end the year I played a set for the Singer songwriter night. This was the first time myself and Mikans had played together live and the experience was excellent. 

Poster kindly designed by Mark Bennett

We are hoping for a video - from the brilliant Railton Lee Johnson (Shadow of the Hill Productions). This acoustic Christmas session included Teaspoon and Matt Pawson, Paul Aiden and James Hirst who all played brilliantly. This was my last of the year’s gigs in December.

As Dogman, I played as the featured artist (The Queens Folk Night’) but it was fun to play local pubs too including The Dog Inn at Whittle le Woods, The Last Orders ‘Buskers Ball’ Hindley Wigan, 

The House with no name, Bolton, the Red Lion, Wheelton, The Plough (twice and on the last occasion alongside old friend David 'Crick' Calderbank) at Euxton/Leyland. Our version of Light my fire is still the talk of the lane!


and the excellent Saturday afternoon music venue, Heebie Jeebies, in Liverpool.

Dogman @ Heebie Jeebies Liverpool, pic Johnny Sands



I had already begun recording with Teaspoon for an EP the previous year – a new song Avalanche came from those Higgin Street sessions with Matt Pawson on guitar and Lois on harp. The NEW songs grew and grew and so the EP will become an album - THE NAME NOT DECIDED YET with, hopefully, a bonus CD of Crossbreed remixes from my collaboration with Mikans. Click on the link to hear some unplugged songs

Dogman playing live in Eire 2012


I will write about 'Dogman for 2013' in my next blog. But for now, this musician is resting and planning some very different music for this Newest of Years!!