Inspiring Discoveries

I LOVE discovering musicians and songwriters I have never heard of before. It inspires me to be creative and write new songs when I have those periods, as a songwriter myself, of struggle to get the creative juices flowing. In recent years, this methodology has been my go-to option when I struggle – go and listen to some great songs written and performed by great musicians and songwriters, which are well recorded, mixed and mastered. I almost never end up envious and saying, “why are my songs and recordings not as good as that?!” Rather, I end up inspired to go and write the best songs I can and capture the very best recordings I can.

Today, thanks to my friend Joe Gilder and his fabulous Home Studio Corner Podcast, I happened upon an artist whose music thoroughly inspired me. What was even more inspiring was that his fantastic new album “Death In Reverse” was 90% recorded and mixed in a home studio like mine! The artist is called Jeremy Casella. I very happily commend his music to you. You can go and check him out HERE.

I hope you enjoy his music as much as I have, and I hope it inspires YOUR creative juices as much as it has mine.

Until next time……See you!

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Birthday Hobbles

October 9th saw me enter my final year of my Thirties. I had a really great day, full of blessings and surprises and a wonderful evening out with my wonderful wife, Cate, for a very delicious and filling dinner. The only down side of the day, and the days leading up to it has been a rather nasty and extremely painful infection in my left calf that flared up out of nowhere on the Friday before my birthday. It rendered me practically immobile and had the serious concern of a number of medics, including our GP. I was quickly prescribed some very aggressive antibiotics and hefty pain relief. These meds pretty much kept me in bed for most of the week leading up to my birthday.

By the grace of God, Cate happened to be off work on annual leave, which has helped speed up my recovery massively. As I write this, I am now able to hobble about for short periods, which is a good thing now that Cate is back at work. The antibiotics are working well and the pain meds are enabling me to hobble about keeping the kids occupied. I am still quite sore, especially at the ends of the days, but I am slowly recovering.

In other news, my studio computer is misbehaving quite annoyingly, rebooting inexplicably quite regularly, which makes working practically impossible. My good friend Jonathan Simpson has been helping me develop the website for the studio (www.jonnylipshamstudios.co.uk) and has been hard at work trying to solve the computer issues. Hopefully, in the next week or two we will have it back up and running, hopefully, and I hope it will run problem free for at least another 18 months, as I cannot afford to replace it just yet.

The studio itself is undergoing a wee makeover. I will have some pics of the finished studio up here in the next week or two. I am excited about the studio business, and am confident that, once we have solved the computer problems, it will be a successful enterprise and will afford my very hardworking wife some time away from work to be with the kids and explore some adventures God has put in her heart. That’s the plan, anyway!

Those of you who pray, please pray for my studio business – that I get plenty of clients, students and session work – enough regular work that I can release Cate into some of the things God is calling her into. Those who don’t please do encourage us with your thoughts for us.

Can I please encourage all of you to visit the studio website – www.jonnylipshamstudios.co.uk – and spread the word!

Until next time……..see ya!

Settling The Dust

So, September 18th was a MASSIVE day in British history. Scotland went to the polls to answer the question on whether we should be an independent country or not. Turnout was the highest ever recorded in Scottish electoral history, at close to 90%. It is the first time in my own personal electoral history that I have witness queues and votes being registered every 15 seconds at the polling station I attended. From a democratic point of view, it was simply glorious. I wish all elections and referendums in Britain were like this! It was something I will never forget.

In the evening, I attended another polling station to represent the No Thanks campaign. It was there that I encountered the dark side of politics, and specifically, of nationalism. In all my years of campaigning for the Labour Party, I have never once been verbally or physically abused, but that night, representing a cross-party campaign, all that changed. I received a large number of verbal abuses, from the laughably stupid to the highly offensive and racist kind.

Later on, that night, I was subjected to worse. I was surrounded by a group of young Yes Scotland (the pro-independence campaign) supporters, who not only attempted to intimidate me, but also physically attacked me, and then destroyed signage, which they threatened to injure me with. I stood my ground and refused to be intimidated. I did not fight back, but defended myself sufficiently to cause them to flee! The police were involved, but sadly, finding these young men has proved extremely difficult.

In the early hours of the following morning, the result was in: Scotland voted NO to independence.

What happens next? Well, somehow, the people of this great country have to figure out a way to heal a great rift within our people wrought by the last two years of referendum campaigning. We have to figure out what is right for us. 55% of us said NO to independence, which has proved to have come as a huge shock to the other 45%. That needs dealt with. We need to figure out the way forward for Scotland within the Union – the right place for us to be, in my opinion – and the way forward for the whole Union.

The United Kingdom has forever changed. It MUST modernise. Whether federalism is the answer or not, I am not completely certain of yet. We must settle the dust stirred up by the last two years. It won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight. It will require the people of all four Home Nations, all political parties, all community groups, ALL of us,  working together for the future of our Great Union.

And……we must defeat nationalism. It is incompatible with the 21st Century, and it MUST be destroyed, and honest, humble patriotism – pride in our heritage, history, people and potential – must be restored.

Now that this referendum is over, normal service on this blog will resume as of next post!