The release of a 4 track EP just before my two month travels in Europe when I wrote a travel blog called Songs Of Freedom, which is a lyric from Bob Marley's Redemption Song. www.songsoffreedom.com
The four songs on the EP are a complete remix by Joshua Lynn of 1969 Is All You Need with new vocals, Centre Of The Groove, about the great self-taught musicians like John Lennon, Jimi and Prince who just followed their instincts and connected so powerfully, Hold Down Love, about keeping a relationship together by rising above the petty, and She Loves To Dance, my latin-jazz groove about the deep impressions that come from free-range travel in our youth. The song imagines a woman dancing on Bethels Beach recalling the music from a time in the past when exploring the back streets of Barcelona. The Songs Of Freedom travel blog has continued since returning to New Zealand and is used now to journal my experiences at the Byron Bay Bluesfest. I describe the music and performers, and the impressions they made on me – it's a way of preserving some really great moments. The blog will continue with my travels again in June and July to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallin, Berlin, Paris and Jerusalem.
Thanks to the guest musicians: Nigel Gavin - guitar (Mood Indigo), Richard Adams - violin (Possibilities), Andrew Miller - tenor sax (Step Off The Earth), Paul Barry - drums (1969), Mark Johnson - bass (Fallen Down), Paul Naveen - drums (Fallen Down), Jennie Cruse - vocals (Fallen Down). Cover pic by Theodore Richards, inside pic by Ema Barton. Artwork by UVdesign. Recorded at Allan Williams’s Marua Road Studio, Ellerslie and Cabin 52, Mt Wellington, Auckland. Additional recording and mixing in various lounges, kitchens, garages and sleepouts. Thanks to Chris Parisi for the mix production on 1969. All songs, written and produced by Tony Richards. Carnival Din Records, Auckland, New Zealand.
Resonating with the universe, took a photo of planet earth, come together all around the world, taking it higher,
1969 is all you need, 1969 is all I believe. Jimi kissed the sky, John stayed in bed, Zepp'in one and two, Let It Bleed,
Looking from the moon, that big blue marble, floating all alone, so fragile, Just one year, just one year,
Zeitgeist of the modern mind, freakin' right out, 1969 is all you need, 1969 is all I believe.
Get back on the rooftop, call a revolution, get back to the land, it's a free concert from now on, one thing to remember,
the man next to you, he's your brother. Soul on fire, breathe on me, open your mind, get yourself free.
Hey, if you could only listen to the music
from one year in history for the rest of your life, what year would you choose?
Well, here's some of the music recorded and or released in 1969.
A counterculture is a subculture whose values and norms of behaviour differ substantially from those of mainstream society, often in opposition to mainstream cultural mores. A countercultural movement expresses the ethos and aspirations of a specific population during a well-defined era. When oppositional forces reach critical mass, countercultures can trigger dramatic cultural changes. Prominent examples of countercultures in Europe and North America include Romanticism (1790–1840), Bohemianism (1850–1910), the more fragmentary counterculture of the Beat Generation (1944–1964), and perhaps most prominently, the counterculture of the 1960s (1964–1974), usually associated with the hippie subculture. In the 1960's, it has been said, there was a leap in human consciousness: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Che Guevara led a revolution of conscience, and The Beatles, The Doors and Jimi Hendrix used music to create revolution and evolution themes. Wikipedia.
T'shirts for sale. $40.00 plus postage. Any size, colours are red, black, grey, white. Orders to: email@example.com is all you need Not a government funded artist Share the wealth Madam Omar.
Tony Richards is proud to release his 2nd album entitled The Wetland Tracks, the moniker he uses for writing and recording his songs with fellow musicians.
The Wetland Tracks is a celebration of counterculture in a ten-song collection exploring events and philosophies that changed humanity for good.
During recording, the song '1969 Is All You Need' soon became the focus for the album, referencing a year that saw an awareness of the ecology, political consciousness and sexual freedom.
The track '1969 Is All You Need' is an upbeat salute to the incredible albums released that year, Woodstock, political activism and the moon landings. 'Mood Indigo' is a mystically sultry song about sexual politics and woman’s emancipation while 'Madam Omar' is a search for alternative spiritualism wrapped in a rhythmic acoustic riff.
Richards recorded at Allan Williams’s Marua Road Studio, Ellerslie with additional recording and mixing in various lounges, kitchens, garages and sleepouts around the city. A talented group of musicians feature on the album including Nigel Gavin, Richard Adams, Andrew Miller, Paul Barry, Mark Johnson, Paul Naveen and vocalist, Jennie Cruse.
Richards is a regular on the songwriter open night circuit around Auckland.
Says Tony, "There is currently 16 songwriter and open nights every week in Auckland with the standard of performance continuing to rise. They’re the perfect place to workshop new songs, build up that 10,000 hours and hang out with other songwriters."
The Wetland Tracks is now available for purchase from iTunes. You can catch Tony on any given night at a songwriter open night around the city. (Gallery of 1969 album covers and t-shirt merchandise at tonyrichardsmusic.com).
The 1969 cover of the Whole Earth Catalogue with the iconic Earthrise photo.
Playing these songs in bars and cafes at jam nights, open-mic and songwriter nights was a big part of the writing process. I could try out new lyrics, different keys and tempos, weird tunings, and various acoustic and electric guitars until they felt right.
As an unknown musician playing a bunch of songs no one’s ever heard before to a fairly disinterested audience, it’s never going to be a easy – but it's a good way to find out what works and what doesn't. If people turned away from the big flat-screen tv on the wall and listened for a while – something was going right. I’ve no idea why bar staff leave the screens on during singer-songwriter nights, but whatever, when the songs connected it was all worth it. While waiting to play I’d often see some incredible performers with great voices and amazing songs. Live music in small venues has a special chemistry and the audiences seemed to keep growing all the time. On some nights these places were jam-packed with everyone just listening – wonderful.
I wanted to record the songs just as I played them live with an acoustic or electric guitar, but as the recording process continued I asked other musicians to add some extra colour to the tracks and was amazed how much the overdubs have lifted the songs. Thanks Nigel, Richard, Ed and Paul, and also to all the musicians who have joined in and played along with the songs, it inspired me to write songs with one chord – but sometimes fellas, I gotta have more cowbell.
My friend Allan Williams had a studio space on Marua Road that used to be a car storage depot and it was about to be renovated. I set up a studio under a mosquito net right beside another work-in-progress, a blue 1975 Datsun 260Z waiting to be restored (keep going Carl, it’s a beautiful thing). Takes were made between bursts of power tools and some very heavy down-pours on the corrugated iron roof – and even though it was mid-winter without much heating it was the most relaxed and enjoyable recording experience I have ever had. Thanks to my family and friends and everyone who dropped by and listened in or joined in, you’ve all added something to the music.
Album One was recorded at Al’s Marua Road Studio, Ellerslie, Auckland, during the winter of 2013. Additional recording and mixing in various lounges, kitchens, sheds and sleepouts. Thanks to the guest musicians: Ed Gaiger - bass, Paul Naveen - drums, Richard Adams - violin, Nigel Gavin - guitar. Cover image features the sculpture Green Car 666 by Roger Thompson. Waiheke Island Sculpture On The Gulf.
All songs written and produced by Tony Richards. Mastered by KOG.
Thanks to all the live music organisers in pubs, bars and cafés everywhere, and especially: 121 Ponsonby Rd, Grand Central, Snatch, The Windsor, The Brooklyn Bar, The Kingslander, The Clare Inn, London Bar, Empire Tavern, Newmarket Cock & Bull, Southern Cross, Spleen Bar, The Elwood Lounge, and The Portland Public House (some of these places have changed names).
1. Pacific Coast Highway. Tony Richards - acoustic guitar.
2. Stars Align. Tony Richards - guitar, Ed Gaiger - bass, Paul Naveen - drums
3. No Way Back. Tony Richards - guitar, bass.
4. Blue September. Tony Richards - guitar, Nigel Gavin - guitar.
5. Help Someone Else Get Free. Tony Richards - guitar, bass, kick drum, Richard Adams - violin
6. The Secret Is. Tony Richards - guitar, bass, kick drum
7. Ramp It Up. Tony Richards - guitar, Ed Gaiger - bass, Paul Naveen - drums
8. Searching And Waiting. Tony Richards - guitar, bass, Richard Adams - violin, Paul Naveen - drums
9. Everybody Needs Love. Tony Richards - guitar, bass, Paul Naveen - drums
10. Glow. Tony Richards - guitar, Nigel Gavin - guitar, bass, Paul Naveen - drums
A brief musical history: Born in Palmerston North to Sidney William Richards and Kathleen May Coe, studied piano from age 9 to 11, first guitar was a nylon string classical at 15, bought a steel string acoustic at 17 – a Ray Durant (a rebranded Tama). A student in Wellington in the early 80’s, received a B.Mus in Composition from Victoria University of Wellington studying under Douglas Lilburn, Ross Harris, Jenny McLeod, Frederic Page, David Farqhuar and Jack Body. Played in bands that included The Protons which released a single, the noisier but short-lived Carnival Din with Eddie Vaughan bass, Clarke Gregory drums and Roger Hayden on guitar. A composer-in-residence at the Willis Street Arts Centre for their TEP Summer City Programme around 1983 and recorded instrumental tracks at the now demolished Radio NZ Studio on Boulcott St with an eight piece band called Atmospherics that included Roger Sellers on drums and Mike Booth on trumpet.
Lived in Notting Hill by Portobello Road in London for seven years from 1987 to 1995 mainly working in advertising and graphic design while playing in cafés and bars as a duo of guitar and sax with a repetoire of swing, jive, soul and showtune standards. Ray Charles and Louis Jordan songs featured strongly. Wrote music for about ten low-budget and no-budget films and saw the arrival of the electronic dance music phenomenon with smiley faces, Acid House and bands like Massive Attack. Then suddenly Britain welcomed back bands and Brit-pop with Oasis who I saw at Glastonbury in 1995. Returned to Auckland in 1996 with Julia to start a family and worked in live sound production, formed a House music duo called Ultravenous that played one of the early Gatherings in the Takaka Hills near Nelson, released two tracks independently. Since then the focus has been on songwriting and solo performance in bars and cafes.
Thanks for listening. Get in contact if you want some live music at your place.
Both albums are available on CD for NZ$19.95 plus postage. firstname.lastname@example.org