The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Playing the Bouzouki, Blues Style...

Last Friday saw the official launch of the "Lost Wasp" record label at the Mill on the Fleet - where the Mill Sessions take place (music events I photograph and have occasionally played in) - which also acted as a fundraiser for the Mill Sessions and a showcase for many talented local musicians.

Lost Wasp is the brainchild of Alan McClure - singer and guitarist of local band, The Razorbills - and its purpose is to support and promote original material by locally based singers, songwriters and musicians. There is no financial backing at this stage (fundraisers might occur in the future), but it is acting as a way to draw talent together and pool resources.

Because of my attachment to the Mill and the local music scene, I was keen to get involved, but the timing didn't suit the rest of the band I usually play with, Scruffy Buzzards. So I put out the word that I was up for collaborating with anyone else.

Marcus Wright records the Mill Sessions each time, and was the producer on the last Razorbills album (and on the one they have just begun recording), but he's also a superb musician and songwriter in his own right, so I was delighted when he took up my offer.

Together we created "Loving The Sun", which we performed at the launch. I handed my camera to a friend in the audience and asked him to video us.

The Irish-style bouzouki I'm playing is most commonly seen in folk music (see my post Bouzouki Comparison about the difference between Irish and Greek bouzouki), but I don't often play it in a particularly folky way (nor Greek way, for that matter). Indeed, for this song I start string-bending in a much more blues-style approach. Ultimately, any instrument is a tool designed to create sounds - and so long as those sounds are interesting to listen to, then I don't think it matters if it is played in one style or another.

The picture quality isn't great due to the low light, but the video does give a pretty good idea of the performance. At some point, we hope to make a proper recording of it.

Hope you enjoy it


hope said...

When they were handing out talent, did you stand in line twice? Photography AND Music!

Nicely done.

Anonymous said...

Nice and bluesy!

Pat said...

Marcus seems like a good egg - great collaboration.
The dim lighting gives it a Rembrandt feel.
Be a brave boy today (Rogan) it's OK for men to shed a tear.

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - but I was at the back of the queue for the practical skills, like putting up shelves...

Allen - thank you :)

Pat - I hope to do some more collaborations with Marcus :)

bluesman said...

Excellent work!
Check also, if you like, Stelios Vamvakaris Blues with greek Bouzouki

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