Friday’s Child

My drummer brother Supawal visited me a while back. We had great fun doing some playing together. It’s over 25 years since we played together in bands.

Each day we’d go into the studio with an idea, a notion, a catalyst. We’d empty our minds and pray that the Gods of music might express themselves through us.
Then we’d hit record and play. After that we’d drink a beer and get on with editing and mixing.
This was Friday’s Child…….. I hope you like it.

Telecaster with a Bigsby

I’ve never really seen many Telecasters with Bigsby tremolos before, so when I saw this one the other day I did some research. It seems that Teles with Bisbys are uber kewl, and some people go out of their way to get them or modify normal Teles. Maybe it’s because it has a more 50s vibe, maybe it sits better with rockabilly and indie than a Strat does – cos that’s what I’d use if I needed a tremolo system. Or maybe the different action of the Bigsby is preferable, it certainly does have a different feel to a Strat.

Anyway, back to this one. A Candy Apple Red ‘Crafted in Japan’ one from around 2006. It is in fabulous condition, and plays very well. At first I wasn’t sure about it, but after trying it for a couple of hours I was won over. It’s fab, and for sale too! Tempted!

Telecaster with Bigsby

What could be cooler than a bound Tele with a Bigsby? Not much in my book! This 62 Custom Reissue was built by the fine craftsman at Fender Japan and exemplifies the quality that many players love. Japanese Fender instruments have developed quite a following in recent years for their cool vibe, great quality and excellent attention to detail. This Tele is no exception. Great specs throughout. The body is alder and is bound in white on the front and back for killer looks. The 25.5 inch scale maple neck features a rosewood fingerboard with 21 vintage frets and dot inlays. Classic Tele single coils deliver trademark twang and growl. A factory Bigsby vibrato offers killer whammy effects. Kluson style tuners keep it rock solid. This example is finished in candy apple red, Leo Fender’s favorite custom color. A really cool looking guitar with vintage mojo to spare.

Like most Fender Japan guitars, this Tele plays great and sounds good. The neck is slim and comfy and the frets are good. The pickups sound great and everything works as it should. A really cool guitar. From Shelton’s Guitars.

A visit from Supawal

Supawal my brother was over for a visit last weekend. We had a great weekend. No cycling, but plenty of beer and music. Here’s a couple of compositions that we put together….I hope you like them.

Funk 15, from an original idea by Supawal with Tim Bragg on Flute, and Serge Baudot on Bass….

F NIK2 with Supawal on Drums, Dave Purple on harmonica and bottleneck guitar. From and original idea by stratobiker :-)….

The Sugaree Band – gigs coming up!

I have a nice string of gigs coming up with my band ‘The Sugaree Band’. As follows…

July 18th – Blues Rock Cafe, Angouleme
July 20th – Soleil Couchant, Plan d’Eau, Verneuil, 16310 Massignac
July 26th – Le Rivage, Exideuil 16150
August 3rd – Santrop, Lac Saint Pardoux.
August 8th – Saint Junien, 87, ‘Comme un Effet de L’Art Scene’
August 10th – Bessines sur Gartempe
August 17th – Soleil Couchant, Plan d’Eau, Verneuil, 16310 Massignac
August 24th – Wedding, Bordeaux
September 8th – Mecaniques Passion, Saint-Mathieu
September 13th – Golf de Saint Junien

We have a bunch of new songs that we’ve been practising, and we are ready to rock! I’m really looking forwards to these.

….and all this on top of the Jazz n Blues club, which by the way is going very strong. More on that soon.
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Thriving music scene in France…

The weather here in France this spring has been a “cat’s arse trophy!” (say it quick). It’s been so cold and wet. In fact right now it’s pishing down and only 10 degrees C, and we are almost in June!!!
So I’ve been doing a lot more rock’n’roll that I have cycling. There’s a rampant music scene here in our part of central France, and over the next few months I’d like to share some of it with you.

With that in mind, I’ve changed all my header pictures and installed a calendar plug-in. I’ll try to keep you up-to-date with what’s occurin’….just in case you fancy coming along and checking any of it out.

Next thing for me personally in the Jazz n Blues club in St Junien tonight. It’s been going from strength to strength since we started it in Feb. Tonight promises to be another great night. We are getting a good mix of French and ex-pats coming along. It’s just great to see everyone getting ‘hip’ together and enjoying themselves.

Here’s the poster y’all…

jazz club poster

In the meantime, my band The Sugaree Band had a storming gig at the Giac’s Bar in St Junien last Saturday. Ace pro’ photographer Ian Wilson came along and took some superb pictures.

Carla shakes em

Many more here.

If you want to hear a clip of us playing there’s one on you tube here…




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I’m starting a Jazz club!!!

If someone had said to me, “you’ll move to France and start a Jazz Club”, I would have laughed in their face…….. But, I did, and I am! I’m starting a Jazz’n’Blues club! It’s something i’ve been thinking about for quite a while, and I finally got around to it. I contacted the Giac’s Bar in St Junien and asked if I could use their bar as a home! Next I put a call for musos on facebook, and voila! it’s happening! First meeting on 28th February. If it works it’ll then be the last Thursday each month.

Why am I doing it? Well, because I want to create a warm loving environment in which like minded musicians can meet, play, share, grow, and get hip! 😉 Nah, it because I thought it would be fun. There’s nothing else like it going on nearby. Seems to me there’s a lot of very experienced musos not playing, and something like this might get them out. I’m hoping I can learn from them too!

Here’s the skinny from the page I put up on limousinlife.com…..

We’ll aim to meet up on the last thursday of each month. Initially,
until we get things established, a list of songs for the session
will be posted by me well in advance. This gives those wishing to
take part a chance to brush up on them. We want people to feel comfortable,
so, no surprises – please don’t just turn up and ask to play something
that isn’t on the list. This may make people uncomfortable, and
while ‘outside the comfort zone’ is often where the magic happens
we don’t want to put people on the spot or embarras them.

Here’s the list for this month…

Moondance – Am

Autumn Leaves – G

Blue Bossa – Eb

Carnival/Black Orpheus – C
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy – Bb

Tell Me All About it – Bm Blues with a Feeling – 12 bar in G

Juke – 12 bar in E

Funk Groove 1 – Am

Funk Groove 2 – Em
If you want to play you must contact me in advance so that I can
plan the session. My aim being to give a little continuity to the
evening.

We’ll start the evening around 8pm with a couple of numbers from
the ‘house band’. Then I’ll invite people to get up and play. Think
of it as more of a ‘sit in’ session rather than a ‘jam session’.

There will be a PA with at least two mics, Guitar and Bass amps,
keyboards, and drums. Guitarists and bassists – you’ll need to bring
your own instrument and lead.

The venue is the Giacs Bar – 15 Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau, 87200
Saint-Junien. It’s a super nice bar, and they have a great courtyard
that would be fantastic for summer night jazz!


Why do people love to play guitar?

Why do people love to play guitar?

The guitar is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Some people love to listen to it, while others try their hand at playing one, whether it’s acoustic, classic or electric. You may wonder what the appeal of playing the guitar is though.

They love the sound

The first thing that attracts a person to an instrument is the sound. If listening to an instrument is akin to nails on a chalk board for you, then you won’t want to play it. However, if you love the sound when it is played well, it will make you more likely to give it a try yourself. Guitar has a very distinctive sound.

It’s soothing

The process of playing each note is actually quite soothing, once the movements have become second nature. You don’t necessarily have to play a well known song. Some people use partycasino.com to relax, but sometimes it’s quite therapeutic to play guitar and see where it goes.

Because they want to get girls

I wouldn’t say these people are the most successful guitar players in the world. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend taking up guitar if your main aim is to impress the opposite sex. However, if you take it up for that reason, and happen to love it and carry on, at least you got one good thing out of it.

Guitar is portable

The guitar is one of the most portable instruments in the world. Certainly the most portable one which can produce multiple notes, and this makes it more appealing than a keyboard, because you can zip it up in its case and carry it on your back.

Easy to teach

The guitar is relatively easy to teach at its most basic level. You don’t have to read sheet music, instead learning the chords and feeling them out as you go. One of the best ways to teach someone, is by teaching them how to play certain songs.


The Sugaree Band


Some of you, most of you, probably know me as a cyclist, but actually, I’ve been playing guitar longer than I’ve been riding a bike! I first picked up the guitar when I was a teenager recovering from a motorcycle crash! I didn’t start competitive cycling until some years later.

I’ve played in all sorts of bands over the years. I love playing guitar, and I think guitars and cycling go well together. Since I moved to France, and I’ve had a little more spare time I’ve been playing more. I’ve always been in other peoples bands up until now, and while that’s great, sometimes you don’t get to play the stuff you really want to play. Also, when I’ve played. friends have told me that they didn’t realise I was into this or that or whatever when really I’m not, I’m just playing the bands material – I rarely get to play as ‘me’!!!! I hope that makes sense.

So, I finally started my own band, “The Sugaree Band”. We play an eclectic mix of anything that takes our fancy, and anything that suits my 70s based Strat spanking style. From Hendrix to Anita Ward! Yeah! We do “Ring my Bell”, the old disco classic!

We are a three piece, drums, bass, guitar, plus singer. You’ll never guess who the singer is! Actually, you probably will. The thing I really love about the ‘power trio‘ line up is that everyone must hold up their corner. There’s nowhere to hide. It’s honest, raw, earthy. It can make a grown man cry, and a young woman go weak at the knees – goin’ off on one. Soz!

We’ve only played a handful of gigs so far, but we’ve had a truly great response which has motivated us even more. No, I don’t imagine for a second anything silly. But I don’t see why we can’t be a good semi-pro outfit with a full schedule. There’s plenty of work out there for good bands.

Watch out, here comes the sales pitch! If you are looking for a band playing an eclectic mix of fantastic covers from the 70s onwards in the Haute Vienne (Limousin), and surrounding departments for your party, wedding, biker fest, fete, celebration, we are available.

You can listen to a sample of our music on our reverbnation page here…
http://www.reverbnation.com/thesugareeband

You’ll find my stuff including some hilarious pictures of bands in the past here…
http://www.reverbnation.com/stratobiker

We have a facebook page here. Please ‘like’ us. It’s good karma! 🙂

Keep on Rocking in the Free World

SB 🙂



Lovely old Strat…

The Marshall MG15 practice amp wasn’t seeing much action since I got my Marshall Class 5, so I put it up for sale. Had a phone call about it, and told the gent to bring a guitar with him if he wanted to come and try it. So he did. This one…

As soon as he took it out of the case I recognised it as a 70s Strat. The large headstock, bullet trus rod, string trees, and three bolt neck. It was just like the one I bought from Rock Bottom in Croyden in the late 70s. I asked about it..

A 1974 Strat. Three way pickup selector switch. In fabulous condition for it’s age. Still had the original bridge cover in place. The owners friend had bought it new, then sold it to him one year later. He’d had it ever since. Sad part is that although he’d played it in lots of bands he doesn’t play anymore. Good part is that his rather lovely teenage daughter is taking up guitar and she gets to play it. She’s the one he’s buying the amp for, so she can practice at home. I hope she realises how lucky she is. With such a Strat and a Marshall you could go a long way.