Author: Lee

Nerja Fundraiser Show

I was asked late last week if I could play for a special fundraiser show in memory of Davey Fraser, who sadly passed away in Nerja recently. Davey’s family need to get back to the UK so that they can continue with their lives surrounded by the people who mean the most to them.

This will be a one-off show on Friday 22nd April at El Varadero, Nerja and will consist of performances from Black Sheep, Maika Lavera and myself. I will start the event at around 7:30pm, followed by the other acts throughout the early evening.

I think this is an important cause so if you can make it, please do show your love and support for Davey’s family and help them to get on with their lives. Tickets cost €10 and can be purchased either on the door or by calling Aisling on (+34) 653 36 71 93.

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Taylor: The New Family Addition

It’s been around 12 years since I last bought a new guitar and I’ve been threatening on getting something for my solo shows. I’ve looked at various models from Lowden, Martin, Taylor and Takamine to name a few but I’ve finally found a beauty!

I was looking on the Facebook page of Rolly’s Guitars last week and he’d just posted a Taylor 618e which looks absolutely stunning. I would usually be unsure about buying a guitar without trying it first but the photos show it from every angle including the case and all the paperwork from the Taylor factory. Rolly assures me that it’s the nicest acoustic he’s ever had in his shop in both looks and sound so I’ve bitten the bullet and wired him the cash. The guitar still hasn’t arrived thanks to my bank being totally useless (I’ll deal with them later) but I will update this post as soon as I get my hands on her. Rolly has been very helpful and it’s clear to me that he’s a proper guitar enthusiast which also helped me make my decision. For anyone who’s interested, you can find his Facebook page here.

Taylor Guitars are used by Richie Sambora, Jason Mraz and Dave Matthews along with countless other inspirational musicians, making the company one of the most highly acclaimed brands in the industry. Established in 1974 by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug, Taylor are renowned for blending an innovative use of modern technology with a master craftsman’s attention to detail. Taylor Guitars are widely considered the best sounding and easiest to play in the world.

As any guitar geeks who have seen me live will know, the current guitar I use is a George Gruhn designed Hohner which technically belongs to my dad. He bought the guitar in the late 80s and it is the one I learned to play on so it does hold a special place in my heart that no other guitar will be able to fill. The thing is, the Hohner has been hammered a bit and I think it’s about time to retire it before it get’s too damaged. George Gruhn had an agreement with Hohner for them to build the guitar back in the 80s and all was going well before the deal fell through (for some reason or another). This meant that a very limited number of these “Gruhn Design” Hohners were ever made, making it irreplaceable. I will, of course, use the Hohner on some of my studio recordings as it sounds great but I am really looking forward to getting my hands on my beautiful new Taylor.

I’ll probably do a comparison between the two guitars when I get the Taylor either as a blog post or a video review but until then, I just have to wait.

I’m still working hard writing and demoing new material at home which I’m having a lot of fun with so I hope to be able to let you listen to some stuff in the not too distant future. I plan to set up my studio in a friend’s garage once I have the finished material for my album and spend a couple of weeks recording everything perfectly. Anyway, I’ll keep you all posted about the progress of that.

Until next time, take care.

Lee 🙂

—————— UPDATE 2ND MARCH 2016 ——————

12790843_1069315013106646_1652568631776704930_nIT’S HERE!

A DHL van just turned up with my new Taylor! I’m actually in the middle of laying some demo tracks down so I can’t write a lot about the guitar but I’ll be back soon with some updates.

Even the case looks expensive, I properly can’t wait to get playing and working on some new tunes. I reckon I’ll have to fit a magnetic soundhole pickup like I did in the Hohner as I’m not a fan of piezo systems, at least not on their own.

So excited!

 

—————— UPDATE 15TH MARCH 2016 ——————

12748313_396427877194125_1325217167_nSo after playing the Taylor in various rehearsals with The Box Drum Band and at home, I’ve come to the conclusion that it lives up to all expectations. The overall sound of the guitar has much more bottom end body tone and the setup is just amazing!

The Hohner is great to play and always has been but I have to say, the Taylor has the edge with regards to playability and absolutely kills it with sound when played acoustically. I did try the Taylor at one of my live shows but I got a lot of feedback (I had the same issue with the Hohner before I added my Feedback Buster) but I’ve ordered another one so I can move my LR Baggs M1 Active over to the Taylor ready for my next gig.

Anyway, I’m very happy with my purchase and I hope you can see it in action at one of my coming shows.

See you soon 🙂

The Writing and Demoing Process

It’s been a while but I’ve finally started spending some more time in my home studio working on writing and demoing some new material. I’m starting to open up to new lyrical ideas too despite the fact that I’ve always found that the most difficult part of songwriting. I’m 100% sure that the lyrics are the thing that most songwriters struggle with as it is very hard to let go of something so personal.

If a song is written for the general population with popularity in mind, I think there’s a lower chance that it will connect with anybody on an emotional level so it’s important that an artist writes from the heart. I’ve got a ton of riffs and vocal melodies which I’ve been working on so I’m looking forward to start rolling out some new music at my live shows and deciding which to put on an album. It’s a long way off yet but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for far too long.

In the past, I’ve always used Cakewalk Sonar X2 with a Windows machine to record my demos which I found to be very intuitive once I understood the basics. Having played live from a very young age, I have always worked hard to get a decent mix at my shows, whether that be with a band or solo. I am very particular about the sound of my guitar as I think it’s very easy to make the entire mix sound muddy if it’s done wrong. Getting a good studio mix is a whole different challenge. Using plugins to try to replicate a live situation is definitely possible but studio engineers spend years perfecting their art which is why it shouldn’t be overlooked. I don’t expect to be able to mix and master my first album by myself as I appreciate that it’s easier said than done.

Anyway, quite recently, I bought myself an Apple MacBook Pro shortly followed by Logic Pro X which I have started to learn how to use. I have to say, I’m very impressed with OSX and obviously, the build quality of the machine. Logic Pro seems to be quite similar to Sonar which is great because I always liked the way Sonar worked. I would definitely recommend either to a fellow musician wanting to get their ideas down quickly and with high quality, the edge so far probably being handed to Logic. The budget needed for an Apple machine may put some people off but I would trust Sonar to do a great job for Windows users.

So I’ll keep you all up to date on the development of my new music. If you want to be the first to know about any news, remember to sign up to my mailing list using the form on this page. It’s free and you can always unsubscribe if you change your mind.

Like, follow and subscribe to my various social network pages if you haven’t already, every one helps me to reach more people with my gig dates and music.

Thanks and hope to see you all soon 🙂

Launch Day!

It’s been far too long in the making but we’re finally here… The new LeeTownsend.com is live at last!

This latest version of my site features a news section which will allow me to publish blog posts periodically to let you all know about stuff I’m up to and important announcements etc.

Also featured are dedicated music, video and images pages which will include all of the latest media items I want to share. My music page is currently unavailable as I’m working on some new music and wanted to get the new site launched as quickly as possible.

My “live” page will feature all of my upcoming concert dates as always. You can now RSVP via the corresponding Facebook event by clicking the RSVP link next to the show’s date. Gig dates which are imminent can also be found in sidebars around the site for ease of access.

I will be posting a short bio page too at some point in the near future which will be accessible via the footer links. Also found in the footer are my latest Instagram pictures and my latest Tweet.

Many of you may know that I have played a lot of private events over the last few years and continue to do so. My next major addition to this site will be a dedicated “Private Events” page which will feature everything from testimonials from past clients, videos of various covers I play, song lists and more!

Anyway, please feel free to have a look around the site. If there’s any information on here that you can’t find, you can get in touch using the contact page above. Also, don’t forget to sign up to my mailing list using the form to the left of the homepage to receive email alerts when I have any important announcements.

Thanks for visiting LeeTownsend.com, I’ll be back soon with more posts 🙂

Coming Soon

Welcome to LeeTownsend.com

My site is currently under construction. In the meantime, feel free to visit my Facebook page for the latest on what I’m up to.

Thanks

Lee 🙂