The Usual Suspects – Confinement Collaboration – Long Distance Love

Our first musical collaboration 2021 and possibly our toughest/best yet. We are covering Little Feat’s ‘Long Distance Love’.
We have Madame Blance on lead vocal, Jim Condie on Acoustic and Slide guitars, Rod Millgate on Keyboards, and new boy Peter Jezukiewicz on bass. I’m playing some additional guitars and drums.
We hope you like it! Remember, all parts were recorded at home by each musician, then it was all put together later.

One for the newbie roadies – handlebar positions

I’ve been reading a number of newbie roadie threads about handlebars positions, aching hands, fear of the drops, and so on. It got me thinking about the way I use my drops, and I decided to try and share this with you. It is in no way the right or wrong way to use them, and I’m sure there are other ways. I hope my post might help you.

Firstly, being a veteran, and a bit stiff, I use very shallow drops (like a lot of the TDF riders do).


I use 8 different hand positions as follows……

Right on the tops – For long seated climbs, or sitting up in the buch. For easy riding. Though I sometimes ride hard in this position, especially with a tailwind.


On the tops – A sort of ‘ready’ position where I can relax but quickly and easily more to a more serious position.


On the corners – I use this postion a lot in a bunch. When riding close. It’s easy to ‘touch’ other riders from this position. They like it! ? Slide forward and you’re on the hoods.


Touching the hoods – I use this position a lot when training. It’s a little lower and a good ‘working’ postion. Can be used standing.


On the hoods – Fully on the hoods. I can brake from here. A good position if you are riding with riders you are not sure of. Or communting in heavy traffic. Low enough to go fast, high enough to see ahead. Can be used standing.


On the hoods top – when the pace is high I’ll ride here. It allows you to get down and suffer.


On the drops/brakes – Going fast and needing to brake. Voila! Can be used standing.


On the drops – Going fast on my own, or in a small group, or if it’s raining and windy. On the drops. Bend elbows and grimmace for better effect. Also used for ‘commited’ sprinting. Can be used standing.


FWIW – I’ve been riding on the road since the early 80s. I was schooled in road riding by scousers, mostly from the Liverpool Cantury Road Club. Happy days!

The Usual Suspects – Confinement Collaboration – Hangin’ ’round Here

The final music collaboration of 2020. Our cover of John Hiatt’s Hangin Round Here. All the parts were recorded at home, then put together. We hope you like it. We hope that 2021 will be your best year ever. Happy New Year!

Jim Condie – Vocal, Dobro Guitar
Jon Medici – Acoustic Guitar
Dave Purple – Harmonica
Serge Bardot – Bass
Andy Bennett – Drums
Madame Blanc and ‘The Crew’ – Backing Vocals

Alone Together jazz standard cover

I’m working hard on my Jazz playing. Here is a cover of Alone Together, a jazz standard written by Arthur Schwartz with lyrics by Howard Dietz. It was introduced in the Broadway musical Flying Colors in 1932 by Jean Sargent.
The song soon became a hit, with Leo Reisman and His Orchestra’s 1932 recording (vocal by Frank Luther) being the first to reach the charts. It has become a jazz standard. The first jazz musician to record the song was Artie Shaw in 1939. Though I reckon the version most people know best is the Chet Baker version from 1959.

Alone Together was the August ‘tune of the month’ in the PJG (Play Jazz Group) study group on facebook. This was my submission for the end of the month ‘final project’. Posting a final project gets you feedback from Matt, and from your peers. Another great month of learning! I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this tune. It was one that I didn’t know, and now I love it. I‘ve learnt so much this month about navigating tricky changes. I’ve had such fun with comping. My goal for the past couple of months has been to be more succint, to start and end phrases properley, also to create tension where appropriate. I think I’m getting there, still a way to go though. I played the bass part using Matt’s walking bass line from the weekly excercises. For the comping, I used diatonic moves, some approach chords, and substitutions….and a little ’arrangement’ walking the Fmaj7 down to the Dmaj7 in half steps (bar 11 onwards). I normally play the melody straight for FPs, but this time I decided to add flowers. Soloing wise, bars 9 to 13 became my favourites. Find it Matt Warnock’s Play Jazz Guitar Facebook group here…
https://www.facebook.com/groups/playjazzguitar/

Sidestepping excercise over the B scetion of ‘Alone Together’.

Nobody has asked me how I’m getting on with my Jazz studies! So…..

Sidestepping excercise over the B scetion of ‘Alone Together’ using G, G#, and Am pentatonic. The G# pentatonic is used over the C7 chord making for a very tense sound that releases when you use Am pentatonic over Fmaj7. This excercise is from Jazz tutor Matthew Warnock. You can find it and other excercises relating to this month’s tune of the month Alone Together in his Play Jazz Guitar Facebook group here… https://www.facebook.com/groups/playj… I started studying Jazz guitar with Matt a while ago. He has a way of explaining things that make it easy to understand. I’ve learnt more in the past few months than I have in the past few years! Plus, I’m really enjoying playing, and have never been more in love with the guitar. If you are thinking of getting into jazz guitar, the group is free to join, there is excellent camaraderie amongst the members. It’s a lot of fun. Here is Matt’s website – https://www.mwgcourses.com I’m using a Fender Telecaster straight into a Focusrite Scarlett 6i6. Ableton Live is my DAW. Video from my Ipad.

Dutch Porn Castle Loop

One of my favourite loops to ride recently. The Chateau de Montbrun is said to be owned by a Dutch Porn Baron….whether this is true or not I don’t know, but it’s what it’s known as. Right after the Chateau there is the climb to Le Grand Puyconnieux. A really nice Cat 4 climb. From the top it’s big ring hammer time all the way to Cussac.
It was a brilliant ride, I really enjoyed it, and gave it some all the way round.

The Chateau de Montbrun

Could you help my friends band?

My friend’s band The Bellrays is trying to make the best of this virus situation by doing live sessions on Facebook and YouTube. To take it to the next level they need 1000 YouTube subscribers. So far they have 744. Could you give them a sub? If you want to do a sub for sub thing, leave me a comment with a link to your channel and I’ll happily do that.

Thanks, and stay safe!.