One thing is for sure about Marseille: the weather shapes much of how this city lives and breathes. As much of the rest of Europe starts to bundle up and hunker down with colder weather, here you just have to find the sunny side of the building to be comfortable in shirt sleeves. I was just talking with Berlin on the phone and it’s even below zero at night now.
Life and music surely seems to be intricately bound together for me and perhaps more so then ever this mid February of 2015. Katy and I are deeply into the process of packing and moving from our home of almost 10 years here near Paris to Marseille (8 hours drive to the south). It's a huge change. Katy began a new job in Marseille last March and I have remained in Paris looking after our house. It seems as everything is ok there for her now and so now it is for me to follow. It took us 5 months to find a buyer for our home here in a very tough economic market but it's done now and the whole complicated French process will be finalized (knock on wood) in another month. Once we sign the papers we hand over the keys and will not come back. Life will be different. Marseille is not Paris. I'm cool with the move although strictly from a logistics angle Paris is more centrally located for my work (drive times: Belgium 3 hours, Holland 4.5 hours, Germany 5 hours, Bretagne 6 hours) and CDG airport here (30 minutes) has been nice. Paris being Paris is not such a bad place to live near. On the other hand Marseille has much to recommend it (weather, lifestyle, congeniality, cost of living, a much more accessible music scene- think of Portland 1986-, Spain-4 hours, Italy- 5 hours, etc.) and Katy likes it a lot. We'll be able to afford living in the city (in Paris no) which, both of us agree, will be a welcome change from the suburban life we have lived here. It will have to be an apartment lifestyle though which will take some getting used to (sans BBQ, garden, et.al) but I'm cool with that. We'll rent for awhile until I can learn about the city and then we'll decide which quarter a more permanent residence will be. I can write songs pretty much anywhere of course and providing we can get into a place where my yodeling doesn't bother the neighbors we'll be fine. It's all doable and I'm excited about this change and look forward to the new challenges and opportunities. Now getting everything into a box, sorted, labeled, separated and all the rest is another matter. Can't be helped though and it's just one of those 'roll up your sleeves' kind of moments. I'm just a bit shocked at how much 'stuff' we've accumulated.
And for the music? The Long Draw was released in October of 2013. I traveled and supported that record all of last year but always of course with an eagle eye toward the future. Glitterhouse and I have agreed to release a follow up record and so I made plans in September to record another in December 2014 and booked the studio to do so. And I wrote the record. 12 new songs which took me about 6 months of hard work. The one little problem though was that when I got all those songs together and had given them a good listen I realized that they were just not good enough. I don't mean they were 'bad' songs. Just not great songs. They just lacked focus, depth, originality and believable emotional content. I don't always having the most objective view of my work but even I knew this new record just didn't have the material to warrant a new release. Subsequently I canceled the recording dates and have come back to my writing desk. Disappointed yes as this kind of thing had never happened to me before. I'm looking at it like an opportunity though. Sometimes one must write the bad songs to get to the good. Recognizing the difference is the key though. Anyway, ore than this I will not say now. Getting too far in front of myself is a mistake I don't want to make again. After the songs are finished, who the producer will be, where I will record and all of the rest of those answers should and will fall into place. Suffice it to say now that I am working on new material.
I've not been able to make any touring plans given the upcoming move and all. I've a few scattered shows to do and a Hardpan reunion tour in early May all of which will keep me on stage just a little bit. I do feel like I need to be getting back to gigging but first things first. As complicated and scattered as my life is right now I just really need to prioritize. Songwriting and The Move. That's enough for now.
Please don't forget to check out my web store if you'd care to. All of my records are for sale digitally and there are even some hard copies available by post. And thank YOU for being here. I very much appreciate your continued support and trust.
Your friend in music,
Photo by Franck Betermin 2013
I want to send out a big and heartfelt thanks to all my friends and the many kind folks that helped make my tour possible in the Basque region of northern Spain. This is a great and beautiful corner of the world to tour and I am so lucky to be able to be there. I ended up with 8 shows in 10 days and, as always, I had a wonderful musical journey. I really love being able to play shows every day. It's a dream come true for me and an opportunity I never take for granted. Even in the tough economic times that everyone in Spain is experiencing, that fact that folks share those hard earned and valuable euro's with an English singing songwriter is the ultimate compliment and endorsement. Live music does still live! Eskerrik asko and gracias!
In the end I couldn't keep up a diary. As posted earlier this was just a bridge too far for me to do on a daily basis. I love reading others though musicians diaries though (Steve Wynn, Matt Cameron and Dave Alvin come readily to mind). Mostly for me though was the fact there just didn't ever seem to be enough time. It was more important to be able to sleep (or rest) a little be longer or simply just too busy. Any screen time had to be used for keeping up with the more important emails and business side of my job. And the final excuse is that my iPad locked me out which I had no idea the reason for. The message was that I had to connect to iTunes which of course I couldn't do until I got home. That left me with my cell phone for the last 6 days of the tour. Try tapping out complicated emails on cell phones!
I want to send out a big thank you to all the many fine folks who turned out at the various venues and house concerts. It would be hard to imagine a nicer group of people, young and old, who support me and my music. It was an honour to be invited into all your lives for the one night.
I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted here. I think I just ran out of steam after all the work that went into the release AND follow up of The Long Draw. Well I'm back. 2014 summer is over and the busy fall and winter time approaches.
The big news here I think is that we will be moving to Marseille. Katy has a new job. I don't know the city so well but this summer I visited a couple of times and enjoyed myself and liked what I saw. And moving has never been a problem for me. I can live pretty much anywhere and still do my job. Paris is more centrally located then Marseille but on the other hand Spain and Italy will be be closer from there. There is always a tradeoff right? And I also have to say I'm ready to leave Paris. It's expensive, cold and I've been here long enough. Because we live in the suburbs it's not like we can even have the full advantage of city life. There are friends here and the city can be fantastic and there is no place like Paris and that's a fact. All in all though I think this move will be ok. First things first though and the number one item up is selling this house.
This summer I have been hard at work with writing new songs. Glitterhouse has agreed to release another record from me so that's what I'm working towards. I don't want to say too much about content or even a time schedule just yet except that no release will happen before 2015. The songs are not all finished but I feel very positive about direction and content. I know what I want the record to sound like and I finally have a good selection of material to choose from. Now it's just a matter of refining the songs I do have and narrowing the choices. It's also true that I'm not writing as fast as I used too. Suffice it too say that I DO believe that content is much more important then quantity.The world is overloaded with music. Why contribute to the noise with anything less then your best? And there has to be a reason for the records to exist, not just the newest batch of laid eggs.
So that's it for now. It seems this webpage needs some innovation and work. Gotta shake things up a little bit. Hey, autumn is the perfect time for such work right?
I would invite to visit my web store if you have never. The prices are quite fair and buying directly from me is a great way of supporting your's truly. Plus the fact that all of the CD's offered (accept The Long Draw and Tunnel Tree) are now out of print now. When these physical copies are sold that will be it. Of course for those of you that just do digital then everything is available in that format.
An acoustic duo two track recording from 1979 released on Glitterhouse Records. This will be a limited mail order only release as well as at my shows! We will have it for sale at the TLH webstore starting April 29 and at Glitterhouse later in May. You can catch a tune on the site player below. Here are the liner notes: Terry Lee Hale and “Becca” Sarow (pronounced sorrow) were an acoustic recording and touring duo that formed in Chicago in 1975. We sang a collection of original songs as well as many ragtime, country blues, pop and folk standards. Fronted by Becca on vocals, I also sang and played 6 string Froggy Bottom guitar. We lived in and toured throughout the Midwest, Colorado, Washington and Texas and finally settled in Denver in 1979.
Best of 2013
Finally the Terry Lee Hale webstore is up and running. Click on the the Shop button above and it will take you directly to our site. I've added a The Blue Room (digital and CD), Frontier Model (digital), Wilderness Years (digital), the Tunnel Tree limited edition single and all the various formats for The Long Draw (digital, CD and LP). All prices include shipping. We have a company that handles all the money transactions and whatever denomintion you want to use. We don't have your credit card information here and don't even see it. We DO handle the mailing though and we're pretty fast in getting them posted right away. Check it out when you have time. Buying my music in this way is a great way to show your support and much apprecaited.