“The Great Compromise” (John Prine) cover by Andrew Shedden

This is one of those songs that has stuck with me since I was quite young. My Dad was a big John Prine fan, and I discovered his music when going through his CDs.

This song immediately was powerfully impactful. It was just an acoustic guitar and a singer, with a simple chord pattern. The lyrics are deceptively simple (like many John Prine songs), free of ornamentation and excess.

I recorded this in one take this summer when visiting Blind River, Ontario. Thanks to Karen for her videography skills! Guest starring the fly who wouldn’t stop bothering me the entire time I filmed this. Hope you enjoy! A

With a Little Help From My Friends

Alan Andrew and Sam

To me, music is both a solitary and collaborative pursuit.

When I write music, it’s usually by myself. I’ve tried cowriting a few times, but it’s never turned out the way I wanted it to, other than “Killing Time”, which I wrote with Kate Suhr.

I guess it’s easier to write a duet where there are two distinct voices. Two different people singing together.

I would say the majority of my performances have been as a solo artist. When I was working full time as a musician, most of the gigs I was able to get were solo shows. The pub singer thing can be incredibly draining. Trying to carry four hours of music as a solo guitarist and singer can leave your throat raw and your fingers sore. Worse than that, many of the pub singer gigs I’ve gotten weren’t really performances at all. I was more like a jukebox or a radio, and the crowd was ambivalent to what I was doing.

I knew in December of 2015 that I wanted to do a full length record. I’m lucky enough to have access to a great little project studio at the school where I work. I have access to excellent instruments, interfaces, microphones, etc. Initially, I decided I would play every instrument myself, record and produce everything. I thought that this would give me creative control, and the opportunity to make something great.

Oh how wrong I was.

I laid down the bed tracks, recorded scratch vocals, bass and then drums. From the moment I started listening to the playback, I knew that I needed something more.

Could I have done this myself? Sure, I’m a reasonably good drummer, guitarist and bassist, and I have produced other records myself in the past. But the results wouldn’t have been close at all to the final product coming out December 16th.

Alan Black absolutely killed it on the drums and the harmonica. He’s a veteran player who has been playing music for longer than I have been alive! Check him out here:¬†http://www.alanblack.ca/

Alan Black

Sam Quinn was a member of “Rural Soul”, one of my old bands, and we have played many shows together. He’s an incredible bassist who brings so much to my songs.

Sam Quinn

These guys make me look a lot better than I actually am. So glad they are on “Better Off This Way”, and I look forward to sharing their work with all of you on December 16th!

Thoughts on Physical Media as a DIY Musician Who Can’t Tour

Andrew Shedden

So right now I’m trying to figure out the best way to share my music with the world.

Full disclosure, my “day gig” as a Grade 7 teacher takes up most of my time. I work full time for 10 months of the year, with only limited time to get out on the road. I work in an isolated community (Kashechewan, Ontario), where it’s impossible for me to even do the weekend warrior thing. My situation is a little different than most. I’m not complaining, just explaining.

I’ve completed all of the front end for my record. I wrote the songs, recorded them with a great band and an amazing producer. I sent them off to be mastered by an excellent mastering engineer. I received my final masters back in May 2016, and I’ve been sitting on them since then.

After some careful research, I finally decided to use TuneCore to handle my digital distribution. There are many other options, but based on my circumstances, TuneCore seems to make the most sense.

In terms of physical distribution, I’m currently looking into a couple of different of options. It’s harder to make a decision that makes sense in this regard.

I bought my first new vehicle earlier this year, and it didn’t come with a CD player. A sign of the time?

What’s your opinion on CDs, Vinyl or Tapes. I’m interested to hear your opinion.

Song Spotlight 2- Party Dress

Party Dress will be the second track on Better Off This Way.

A few years ago on Facebook, a girl I used to have a bit of a crush on posted a selfie in a beautiful dress. The caption read “I wish someone would give me a reason to wear this dress…” The hopeless romantic in me saw this as a perfect opportunity to write a little love song. She’s never heard it…

“Better Off This Way” by Andrew Shedden

Digital Release- December 16th 2016

www.andrewsheddenmusic.com

Song Spotlight 1-Where I Am From

Where I Am From is the first track on “Better Off This Way”

This song is a little different than most of the tunes I write. I got home from university and took a nap. When I woke up, I wrote the lyrics for this song in it’s entirety. I guess I had been watching too many gangster movies at the time.

I guess the idea of being some kind of an outlaw appealed to me at the time (even though I’m a big nerd who likes video games, and not being on the run from the law). I got the bad guy stuff out of my system in a song instead!

“Better Off This Way” by Andrew Shedden

Digital Release on December 16th 2016

www.andrewsheddenmusic.co

“Better Off This Way” digital release on December 16th

 

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“Better Off This Way”

By Andrew Shedden

Available wherever music is streamed or downloaded on December 16th 2016.

Featuring:

James McKenty- Guitar, Piano, Pedal Steel, Percussion and Harmonies

Sam Quinn- Bass Guitar

Alan Black- Harmonica and Drums

Recorded, Mixed and Produced by James McKenty

Mastered by Harris Newman

Cover Photo by Jessica Lee Latone

Album Update!

I’ll be recording next weekend! Tracking with Alan Black, Sam Quinn at James McKenty’s studio. Very excited to work on this project!

Old Tattoo By Andrew Shedden

Here’s Old Tattoo by Andrew Shedden! My new video.

Not sure what’s been the primary motivating factor over the past few days, but I’ve been plowing away at these original songs for video.

I am a perfectionist by nature, and have left a bunch of decent recordings on the cutting room floor because I haven’t been totally happy viagra d. Well actually, that isn’t true. I have been happy with them, I just haven’t been confident enough to release them to the world.

I am sure I will slow down soon enough, but for now have a listen and let me know what you think!