Monday, December 23, 2013

The Last Will Be First Night.

My last show of the year will be New Year's Eve, as part of the annual First Night Northampton bash. Always a blast. Don't miss it.

Here's the deal: two sort-of-identical sets at The Elevens, the one at 7pm being acoustic, and the one at 8pm being electric (think of it as an early show and a late show...come to both if you like, or catch one and go hit a different venue during the other time slot - there'll be a lot of other great acts worth seeing). Nick and Fred will join me on drums and bass, a First Night tradition in itself. Planning to debut a brand new song that night, too, one that will be on the next album, in fact (and yes, the studio work has begun on that - gonna feature a super lineup of guest artists this time, too). I have no doubt that 2014 will be a great year, but come join in all the fun during the last few hours of 2013.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Twelve Twenty One.

Image courtesy of Seth Adam.
On Saturday December 21st, I'm back at Mocha Maya's in Shelburne Falls, this time opening for my very talented friend Seth Adam. The music starts at 7:30pm, so get there early for a good seat.

I'm also pleased to say that the amazing Dave Hayes will be joining me on bass for this show. It's always an honor to have him along.

This is gonna be a great night, and we all hope to see you there. In the meantime, do check out Seth's fine new album, Steel Tempered Pride.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Heads Up For January.

A few months back, I contributed some guitar tracks to the super new Mystics Anonymous album, Dreaming For Hours. It's slated for release in January, and there is going to be a very cool double release party on the 10th of said month for it and the equally great new album from the band Frost Heaves, called Contrariwise.

Image courtesy Mystics Anonymous and Frost Heaves. Click to embiggen.

The show's going to be at the historic Shea Theater in Turners Falls, Massachusetts. Here, CLICK THIS to learn more about the event without me blatting on about it. But do check it out, and yes, I'm posting about this here partly because I'm very likely to make a guest appearance. But really, you should go anyway. This is good stuff.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Armistice Song.

Image courtesy of The Guardian

In honor of the day, I've posted Armistice Song from the Wednesday Child album over on Bandcamp. (NOTE: This has since been removed.) Here are the lyrics in case you'd prefer a silent remembrance.

We were under the gun
But now the fighting's done
And it's all tea and cakes in the noonday sun
Everywhere we went
Every day was spent
Bending our backs until our backs were bent

Fill in the trenches, boys
Let’s fill ‘em all in again.
Let's fill in the trenches, boys
Let’s fill ‘em all in again.

We are all doing well

In our corner of Hell
And there is no sweeter sound than an armistice bell
Some have gone to town

And some are six feet down
Pushing up poppies in this Flanders ground

Fill in the trenches, boys...

We were not ones to quit

And I did my bit

But I wonder if any good is gonna come of it
When I'm old and grey

And I pass away

Will you visit my grave on Remembrance Day?

Fill in the trenches, boys...

© 2010 Rick Murnane • Buttonshop Music (ASCAP)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Guitar Geek.

I've had this Gibson SG for nine years now, and it's a wonderful guitar, lightweight and versatile. It can go from jazz tones straight through chimey jangle and on into the crunch of heavier rock with ease.

I recently had occasion to do some regular maintenance on it, and while I was doing so, I lowered the neck pickup's height so that it had the same apparent output as the bridge pickup (the neck had always been a bit louder). This cleaned up the tone of the neck pup, and it now has an even more pleasing clarity than ever before.

I'll be playing this guitar at Mocha Maya's on Sunday, along with my parlor acoustic, if you'd like to hear what it sounds like.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Shelburne Sunday Show.

Image courtesy of Mocha Maya's
Looking forward to getting together with Nick and Fred next week for the first time in quite a while. Mostly for fun, but also for a bit of brushing-up ahead of this next event: 

The trio will be playing a Sunday afternoon gig at Mocha Maya's on November 10th at 2:30pm.

This is one of our favorite venues, and this will be our second time playing there on a Sunday afternoon. The other time we did, the place was packed. So bring your friends and family, and come early for a walk across the Bridge of Flowers (yes, it's even lovely in the Autumn), and then stroll up the street for the show. See you there.

Friday, October 11, 2013

NYC Bound.

Image courtesy of AES
Next week, I'll be attending the AES Convention for the first time, and while I'm looking forward to taking part in some of the seminars and, you know, learning stuff, I'm also looking forward to being a kid in a candy shop on the product display floor.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

RM3 Live at The Elevens.

Dave, Rick, Sturgis • 9/28/13 • Photo by Dan Richardson • Click to embiggen

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September's Gonna Rock.

Hi all. Just returned from a five-day extended weekend in New York City, and as exciting as that place is, I'm even more excited about the shows coming up this month. One of them is a private show on the 21st, but these two are public:

Saturday, September 14th @ 7pm
Luthiers' Co-Op, Easthampton, MA. Lesa Bezo opens from 7-8pm, Rick Murnane Trio (with Fred Goodhue on bass and Nick Dines on drums) follows from 8-9:30pm, and the Lonesome Brothers headline from 9:30-11pm.

Saturday, September 28th @ 6:30pm
The Elevens, Northampton, MA. Rick Murnane Trio (note: this time it's with Dave Hayes on bass and Sturgis Cunningham on drums) opening for Colorway (Alex Johnson's awesome new project with Dave Hayes and JJ O'Connell). And hey, this whole show's an early one: 6:30-9:00pm.

Both of these shows fall into the Not To Be Missed category, so mark your calendars now. See you there.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Save The Date.

Here's a heads-up about a show - no, an event - coming up in September.

A Duo Of Trios: Colorway at The Elevens (early show) with Rick Murnane (w/Dave Hayes and Sturgis Cunningham) Sat, Sep. 28. 6:30-9pm

Al Johnson's new band Colorway is some kinda wonderful, and I'm way beyond happy to be sharing this particular bill. Rounding out my own trio for the night is the most recent Superkart rhythm section of Dave Hayes and Sturgis Cunningham (gonna give those Goodhue and Dines guys a night off for a change). Dave and Sturgis and I have been trying to fit a gig together into our schedules for a while now. Here it is.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

New Look.

Decided it was time to change the appearance of the blogsite to reflect the Four Stories design, like I had done for the Wednesday Child release last year. I hope you like it. Similar changes have taken place on my Twitter and Facebook pages.

I've also updated my Discography.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gig(s) Poster.

Click to embiggen. Print it out, hang it up. See you in August.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Crowdsourcing Times Two.

I'm of two minds about crowdsourcing or funding or whatever you want to call it. I think it's a great idea, but so much so that there are simply too many great projects out there to be able to contribute to all the ones we'd like to. Anyway, I'd like to mention a couple of projects two friends currently have underway in case either (or both) might be something you'd be interested in as well.

By now you all know about my being friends with (and occasionally working with) that Collingwood guy. I'm not as close with the rest of Fountains Of Wayne as I am with Chris, but Jody Porter, the band's lead guitar player and I sometimes geek out about guitars via email. Jopo has a solo album in the works to which I've pledged a small donation. Besides being a helluva guitar player, Jody writes really cool songs and I'm looking forward to hearing this when it's done. Here's the link: Jody Porter • Month Of Mondays

On a more local note, my friend Jeff Steblea is similarly funding the new album by his band Mystics Anonymous. This particular project features a bit more personal involvement on my part, as I'm actually playing guitar on it. I really dig Jeff's two bands (Mystic Anonymous and Fiesta Brava), so I'm honored to have been asked to contribute a bit of jangle to three of the songs on this new disc. You can help by tossing a bit his way. Here's the link: Mystics Anonymous • Dreaming For Hours

And another thing: Both of these guys have set up some really great perqs depending on the amount you commit. Click the links up there and check 'em out.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday Girl.

As of today, you can stream the new EP, and download the single Saturday Girl for free at my Bandcamp site.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Our New Label.

Here's what the disk will look like. Click to embiggen.

The Shipping News.

Here's the deal. The physical CDs are not going to arrive in time for us to have any at the Mocha Maya's show. However, the downloadable EP will be going live as planned next week on Bandcamp, so it'll still be a celebratory night on the 13th.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sick Leave.

Hey. Been a long time since I've posted anything in here, but I have an excuse: the worst summer cold I have ever had. I will spare you the details and the complaining, because it would take hours. Let's just say that I'm well into week three and nowhere near 90%, never mind all better.

But. The EP has been mastered, and I'm going to order the disks this week. If they arrive in time, it'll be a CD release party at the July 13th show at Mocha Maya's.

So. Progress. And I'll try not to let so much time go between posts again.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cover Art.

All four songs are mixed, so now it's on to mastering. In the meantime, I thought you might like to get a glimpse of the design side of the process. I'm now looking at early July for sending this out into the world. The original target was for the first days of Summer, so that's still in the ballpark.

Hey, here's a thought. Maybe we'll turn the July 13th show at Mocha Maya's into a release party. That would be fun.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Good Show.

Had a blast playing to a great crowd last night at Luthier's Co-Op.
Photos: Ivan Oransky (top) and Chris Collingwood (bottom)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Progress Report.

Knowing you're on the edge of your seat awaiting word about the current recording project, I can happily say that work is completed all the final punch-ins, fixes, edits, etc., and mixing began yesterday afternoon. One of them is final and another is almost final, apart from a couple of places where I need to ride the lead vocal fader a little more accurately (doing this old-school, sans automation), so there will be just two left once that's done.

Finally chose a nice, simple name for it, too. The EP will be called Four Stories, and the cover art is nearly ready. I'll post an image when it is.

If you would like to hear the EP before it comes out, there's a plan afoot to play the four songs in order, at some point during our set at Luthier's Co-Op tomorrow night.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Guitar De La Soir? C'est Fini.

I was looking back through the past several months worth of blog posts, trying to find some information on a recording date. Found it, but also noticed how repetitive my Guitar De La Soir posts were. I only own a few guitars, after all, so the posts were just the same instruments over and over, with occasionally a different photo to go along with them. Kinda dull after a while, if you're not as much of a guitar geek as some of us are.

So I've decided to drop the feature. From now on you guys will just have to guess which one(s) I'll be using. Or better yet, come to the shows and see what I've got hanging off my neck that night. See you Saturday!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Gig: Luthier's Co-Op, May 18th . everywhere. • Photo courtesy of Luthier's Co-Op.
I'm playing a really cool room on Saturday, May 18th. The venue is a wonderful vintage instrument shop called Luthier's Co-Op, which is located in the nearby town of Easthampton. I've been there, of course, but this will be my first time playing there.

The shop is in the same storefont as one founded by the late Frank Lucchesi, whose legendary love for (and craftsmanship of) musical instruments is being carried on admirably by the current establishment. In addition to instrument sales and service, Luthier's Co-Op hosts several performances each week on a comfy stage, which has as its backdrop that glorious wall of archtops in the photo. There's a small bar in the shop, plus enough seating and standing room for a good sized crowd.

I'll be joined by Nick and Fred on drums and bass, and we'll play the evening's middle set, from 8-9:30pm. Steve Sacco plays from 7-8pm, and the Ed Vadas Trio tops off the night from 9:30-11pm.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Session: Vocals.

Spent some time in the booth today, and am happy to say I completed the lead and
backing vocals for all four of the songs that will be on the EP.  Very pleased indeed.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Vocal Booth.

Click to embiggen.
My brilliant and lovely wife Sarah is one in a million. She and I put our heads together this afternoon and configured a vocal booth for the studio. I had been wondering what to use when she reminded me of a bedspread we'd got at IKEA that ended up being way too big for a regular double (I had thought the "single/double" looked much too small in the store, so insisted on the "queen/king." Duh. Another reminder that I am more fool than royalty). 

So we folded it in half, and I added grommets to it in four places, so it can hang from hooks screwed into the rafters. The result: a three-sided booth that can be folded up and stored away when not in use. I start recording vocals on Monday, so perfect timing.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Four Electrics.

Been recording electric guitar tracks over the past couple of days here at What's That Sound.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Another Subtle Gig Reminder.

Come hear a set full of great harmonies as Liam & Chard Preston (aka Bill Catalde and yours truly) start the evening, and then marvel as the show seamlessly morphs into a performance by the band (featuring Fred Goodhue on bass and Nick Dines on drums). There's no cover, but there's a tip jar we'll be politely reminding everyone about from time to time.

Guitar De La Soir: I'm going to be playing the Telecaster at tonight's practice, and also at the show. In related news, Bill will be playing my A&L Ami parlor guitar at the gig.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Not Just Tough. Boston Tough.

My thoughts are down the pike in Boston today. Great city, Boston. Of course reports are still filtering in, and we're all reacting with the full sadness and anger spectrum. All I know is someone picked a fight in the wrong damn schoolyard. In honor of one tough town, here's a song you might recognize.

Monday, April 15, 2013

What's That Sound.

After giving the matter a lot of thought, I have finally decided on a name for the studio. All studios need a name, even if said studio is just a spiffed-up corner of one's attic. After all, it's going to be mentioned in liner notes, interviews, and hushed whispers backstage at the Grammy Awards, right?

I have learned over the past couple of weeks that naming a studio is every bit as brain-twisting as naming a band. But then, quite suddenly, one just fits. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to What's That Sound.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Favorite Photo.

Photo: Henning Ohlenbusch
Ace journalist George Lenker asked me for a photo of the band for an upcoming column, and I immediately thought of this one, which was actually taken back in the GDV days, on one of those nights when we played the date as a trio. Our friend Henning took this, catching me at a pensive moment in the middle of writing out a set list. Nick and Fred and I go way back, so it feels natural having them as a rhythm section now. They're still sharp dressers, too.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Subtle Reminder About April Gig.

Don't forget that we're playing The Basement in Northampton on Saturday, April 20th. The Prestons will also be playing a set. This is one of those 8pm, no cover, tips appreciated kinda shows. Yeah, I realize it's two weeks away, but it's never too early to start planning your outfit. Tell all your friends to come too. It'll be fun.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Guitar De La Soir.

Got a practice session with Fred & Nick tonight, and I'm playing this one.

Common Time Day.

Yes. I'm also one of those people who enjoys Pi Day every March 14th.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

April Gig Announced.

Just a quick "save the date' sort of post to let everyone know that the band will be playing The Basement in Northampton on Saturday, April 20th. This show will also feature a set by The Prestons, including a few tunes with Fred and Nick backing Bill Catalde and me in addition to all the usual duo goodness.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Not Exactly Overnight Sensation.

Image thanks to The Hartford Advocate and • Click to embiggen.

I've been receiving a LOT of very nice feedback via email and social media concerning this profile of me, written by noted music writer Peter Gerstenzang (Rolling Stone, SPIN, Village Voice, among others). Peter and I have been online acquaintances for a couple of years, thanks to a mutual appreciation of pop-rock in general, and of Fountains Of Wayne in particular. In fact, Chris from FOW was asked to contribute a few words to the article, and very graciously found the time to do so. It was a lot of fun finally getting a chance to talk in person with Peter for the material behind all this. We spoke on the phone for two solid hours. Another nice thing is, the piece's publication this week also gives a great bit of promo to the upcoming show this Saturday in Hartford.

Guitar De La Soir.
I'm tucking this regular feature in here too, because tonight we've got a practice session in preparation for Saturday. I've decided to use my Telecaster for the gig, so will be using it tonight as well.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Guitar De La Soir.

Practice tonight will feature the 1957 Reissue Gretsch Silver Jet. I love this guitar.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Guitar De La Soir.

Played the Gibson SG last night at practice. Nick and Fred are learning two more songs off the Wednesday Child album so we can start performing them at band shows, instead of me just doing them on my lonesome. The songs in question are Wednesday Child and Maybe The Girl. If you come to the Hartford gig, you'll hear us play them.

In other news, work progresses on the attic redesign here at headquarters, and a few bits of new studio gear have arrived. Today I'm going to put the new case together which will hold the vinyl LP collection, and will gather up another pile of rubbish for the Saturday morning run to our town dump. Such a glamorous life, music.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Session Shots.

We finished the last of the basic tracks this past Thursday. Then I packed up all the recording gear and we played for a while just for fun.

Partway into the session, I took a few more pics with my iPad mini, and posted four of them to Twitter. Here they are again, for those of you who do not tweet.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Guitar De La Soir.

This afternoon we have another recording session to finish up the basic tracks. We've just got one song left to do, so it should go pretty quickly. I'll be playing the Tele, just like I have been during the previous sessions.

In other GDLS news, I'm now leaning toward playing an electric guitar on Sunday at the Robyn Hitchcock tribute. Now I just have to decide which one.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Saturday Morning Post.

The Iron Horse gig last night was a blast. It was nice (of course) to see several friends in attendance, but also gratifying to receive so many kind remarks from a great many new faces after the show. My thanks again to the Iron Horse and Steve Forbert.

The recording session this past Thursday went well, even though we were a bit late getting started, thanks to yours truly. Nick and Fred got drum and bass track laid down for two more songs, so that means we've just got one left to do during this next week's session.

I also need to bring the Guitar De La Soir entries up to date. I neglected to include one after the first session, so I'll just state here that I used the Telecaster for both dates. I'm not really recording the guitar, but as we're all playing together in a room, it will be present in the mix as a very slight bleed in the drum overheads.

Last night I used my lovely sunburst Yamaha acoustic. I brought my little parlor guitar as a backup. I didn't use it, but will very likely play that one at the Robyn Hitchcock tribute this coming Saturday.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fast Forward.

If you pay regular attention to the "upcoming shows" feature over there in the right-hand sidebar, you'll already know that two of the four shows on the list are coming up in the very near future. But in case you aren't aware, here's the skinny.

Friday, February 22nd, I'll be playing a solo set at the Iron Horse in Northampton MA, opening for Steve Forbert.

Sunday, March 3rd, I'm playing at The Parlor Room in Northampton MA, with a star-studded cast as part of a 60th birthday tribute to Robyn Hitchcock. Dave Hayes will be joining me on bass for this.

These are going to be very special shows, and I'd love to see you there.

Quick Rewind.

Here are a couple pics from the last session, which I had previously posted to Twitter. We're in a comfortable and warm-sounding room, and the basic tracks sounded really good straight into the machine, without the need for any EQ or compression up front. I simply arranged five mics around the kit, got them placed where they sounded best, brought up the gain to where the levels all matched, and hit the red button.

We're playing the songs live in the room, but very quietly, with me singing vocal cues without a mic. The bass guitar is going direct, but is also amplified, so there will be a very slight amount of bleed from the bass and guitar amps. This is intentional, and it will help to achieve the warm overall tone I'm looking for with these four songs

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day.

The guitar thing started early. Original photo by Barb Murnane.
Last night we began tracking the songs that'll be going on the new EP. There will be four of them, and I'm hoping for a release time before Summer.

In the meantime, however, I rediscovered this little number I recorded a while back and decided to put it up online as a free single.

You Can Never Tell isn't a love song to anyone in particular, but it's about love. So I guess it's for everybody. Including you.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Photo taken by Chris Collingwood at the recent Mocha Maya's gig. Click to embiggen.

Guitar De La Soir.

Today we got the studio space set up at Fred's house, rearranging furniture and amps, and clearing one space for the drum kit and another for the recording equipment. I got the whole kit mic'ed, and all the cabling figured out, and eventually we got down to rehearsing the first two songs we'll record. We decided to do that instead of tracking anything today, but the next time we meet (early next week after this impending blizzard blows through), we're all set to press the red button. What? Oh right, the guitar. I used the Telecaster this afternoon.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Two Nights This Week.

My friend Patrick hails from Athens, GA so we only ever get to connect online. Among many other sterling qualities, Patrick is a superb drummer, and his band Easter Island is performing this coming Wednesday at The Outer Space in Hamden, CT. I'm so going to this. Looks like Easter Island is the featured act on the venue's weekly open mic night, too, so obviously I'm gonna pack a guitar.

The next night, that Collingwood guy is opening for the legendary Boston-area band Big Dipper at the Iron Horse up here in Northampton, MA. Backing Chris for the night will be the killer Hartford-based band The Shinolas (yes, this is the same band he and I sat in with a couple years ago in Hartford). I'm really looking forward to this one, too. I never got to see Big Dipper in their previous heyday, so I'm eager to catch them now that they're back.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Guitar De La Soir.

The band's playing an afternoon gig today, from 2-4pm at Mocha Maya's. I'm planning to divide the time between two real workhorses: the Telecaster and my little parlor guitar, an Art & Lutherie Ami, which has a Duncan Performer soundhole pickup permanently installed in it. These little pickups are really inexpensive, and while they don't have the fidelity of the more expensive acoustic pickup options, in this particular guitar the thing sounds great. I'll run both instruments through my 5 watt tweed amp. If you're anywhere near Shelburne Falls today, stop in and hear what everything sounds like.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Recording Sessions Scheduled For February.

I have decided not to wait until the new iMac arrives (you know, the one we have had on order since last November). The trio will be recording four songs in February, using our old 16-track machine, and then I'll probably master them in the early version of Logic that I have on an old Mac mini. Rather than wait to make these part of a full-length album, the plan is to release these four on Bandcamp as soon as they are ready, and also press a short run of CDs to have available at shows.

In addition to the vocal pop-rock, I'll also be recording a number of short instrumentals (incidental music, if you like), thanks to some recent inquiries. Chances are I'll make those available for streaming but not as downloads.

So you see I'm not just sitting around drinking tea and reading old murder mysteries. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The B's Knees.

Artwork: M. Freddy Stockwell
Greater Boston's wonderful Belinda Rawlins hosts Bubbles In The Think Tank ("It's not a blog, it's a radio show"), and I am happy to report that Wednesday Child has made her list of not-to-be-missed musical highlights from 2012.

‘Maybe the Girl’ was a fabulous track!”

Rick Murnane – Wednesday Child (Buttonshop)  When Bubbles in the Think Tank favorite Ray Mason heard this disc, he got in touch with Rick and told him to mail it to Belinda immediately. I’m so glad he did. So bright, so poppy, this disc spent many spins making food with me.  It all tasted better for it.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January Gig.

Happy New Year, everyone. Today seems like a good day to mention the first booking for 2013. The Rick Murnane Band (trio version, with perhaps some drop-in special guests) will be playing an afternoon show from 2 to 4pm at Mocha Maya's in Shelburne Falls on Sunday, January 27th.

Note: I have a pile of new material to work on and some recording to do during this first part of the year, so gigs are going to be rare until Spring arrives.