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Friday, July 14, 2017

Getting By With A Lot Of Help From Our Friends! - The Shanty Hounds record a live album!

Getting By With A LOT of Help From Our Friends!

The Shanty Hounds Record A Live Album!

On July 13th, 2017 The Shanty Hounds descended on their two years “Home Gig” at Grunts and recorded a live album.

This was by no means an easy undertaking, yet so many made everything go smoothly!

This was an idea that Dani Hoy and I had kicked around a bit, however, make no mistake about it, Dani was the one who got the ball rolling. Thank you, Dani Hoy!!!

                                  Picture by Ralph DePalma

Dani started a Kickstarter campaign a few months back and, a week or so before the gig, the goal was reached! While Dani is to be commended for starting the Kickstarter, it was all those who contributed who made this possible. Thank you, Kickstarter contributors!!!! 

                            Photo by Ralph DePalma

Shortly before the Kickstarter was started, we talked to producer Ian Shaw. Ian is a world class producer who moved to Key West around five years ago. He bounces back and forth between Key West and his hometown, London, where he's produced every kind of record you can imagine over the last thirty-something years. I've been working with Ian for a while on my solo album, “Jump Into De FiYa!!!!”, plus, Dani recorded her vocals on her latest release “At The End Of A Long Road”, so going with Ian was a natural. We had to speak with Ian first to get a better idea of what we were looking at monetarily before we started the Kickstarter. Ian gave us an estimate and we were off to the races! Thank you, Ian!

(a minor note regarding Ian's experience: We started a song and were about four bars into it when Ian stops us and says "Dani, your B string is out of tune" Not "Something is out of tune" Or "Dani's guitar is out of tune" No, out of two guitars and a bass playing, along with a set of drums, Ian has picked out the individual string out of the entire cacophony of notes, singing, and bashing, just four bars into it. That's just flat out incredible. Totally amazing! I asked him about it later and he said "Oh, it just comes from doing it for so long, that's all")

                                            Ian Shaw - Picture by Chris Rehm

At Grunts for the last year, Bob Tucker has been joining us. For this recording, we brought drummer John Sausser in. John had played with us in our first year, so it was only fitting that he should be the drummer for the recording. John started playing with us every Thursday at Grunts, so we could get the feel of playing with each other. Again, Dani is the heroine, as she paid John out of her own pocket for these gigs!

                            Bob Tucker - Photo by Steve Craigo

                           John Sausser - Photo by Steve Craigo

Next, in stepped Marc Hollander! Mark is the Vice-President of the Southernmost Coconut Castaways, and he also works for Keyboard Specialties. My bar, The Cork and Stogie, has worked with Mark for years, and the Shanty Hounds also have worked with him as well. Marc kicked in and had these commemorative cups made specifically for the event! Thank you, Marc!

In a most endearing and touching gesture, our friends Susan and Mo Sacirbey actually postponed their trip to the northeast by a week, just so they could be at the recording gig! How cool is that? WOW! Thank You, Susan and Mo!

                                       Susan Sacirbey with CR

Gary Ek, of radio station 104.9 The X radio station here in Key West, offered to broadcast the gig live! After a bit of chatting, we called Danny Lynn of Tiki Man Radio up in Tennessee and he also took the feed! I spoke with Eric Babin of Radio Trop Rock, who was on the road but had a laptop go down the day before, which prevented him from carrying the show. “Aww crap!” Was his first reaction. Thank you, Gary, Thank you Danny, and also Thank You, Eric, as you were there in spirit!

Grunts took us on over two years ago. Grunts is a conch house built in 1890. It was purchased over thirty years ago by the current owner, who turned it into a bar. The owner once told me “I grew up here and I saw all of the local Key West bars dying off. I started this bar with the intent of keeping the local Key West bar tradition.” The owner, whom I will not state his name as he is a private man, has gone head over heels for us. He has done things that other owners or managers would never dream of doing. He knows what I'm talking about and that's all that matters. Thank you SO much Grunts Bar! We love you!!

Natalie Konysheva, is first and foremost, a dear friend. Long after we became friends with her and her husband Alan Pairmount, I noticed that she took phenomenal photographs on Facebook. When I inquired with her about it, she told me that she had been a professional photographer up in New York City, where she also went to school for photography. After that, Natalie took the picture for the cover of my book “Bar Stories” at The Cork and Stogie! Additionally, she and I are working on a book together, “The Absolute Best Bars in the Florida Keys”. Natalie stopped by and took a lot of photographs at the gig for us. Thank you, Natalie!

                                           Natalie and Alan

Then, there was everyone who showed up! Man! The place was busting at the seams! I won't name those who stopped by, only because I will inevitably forget some and, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Some came from as far away as Texas, others sailed in from the Bahamas. One regular couple whom we love dearly was in Iceland, but the husband sent his sister and her husband to the gig, as they were staying at their house here in Key West! Then, there was our local core of friends! These folks are authors, artists, entrepreneurs, teachers, fellow musicians, office workers, retirees, nurses, jewelers, office workers, hotel workers, photographers, art salesmen, the list goes on and on. They show up all over town where we play and support out the wazoo! I think every one of these folks showed up at the recording gig! Just wait until you hear them all singing along on the chorus of “Yippee Cayo Hueso”!!! Truly amazing!!! 

Ralph DePalma, the famous music photographer of musicians, as well as the author of the series of books on Keys musicians, The Soul of Key West,  was kind enough to swing by and take pictures! He posted on Facebook and I borrowed a couple for this blog! Thank you for everything, Ralph!!!

To all of our friends, Thank you!!!

As for the recording, it went very well! Our plan was to use original songs by Dani and myself. There were a couple of exceptions. we'll see what happens after we listen to what we have.

There were so many highs to last evening, it's impossible to pinpoint one that stood out above the others. Our great friend Steve Craigo, an individual who goes about Key West every day in search of hearing great music, told me today “I think last night was the best music I've heard since I moved here.” Wow. I'm floored.

Like I said:

We Get By With A LOT Of Help From Our Friends!!!

I will keep you all posted on both progress and the release.

Also, we will be having a contest for naming the album!

Again, I can't say it enough.... Thank you very much!!!!!!!

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