Nashville!

Well, I finally made it to Nashville to record a couple of songs at the famous Beaird Music studio. I gave the boys in the band a bit of a break and worked with some great session musicians. Their credits include folks like Alan Jackson, Luke Combs, Hank Williams Jr., Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Melissa Etheridge, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Willie Nelson and Alicia Keys. It must have been quite a thrill for them to work with me. Other megastars to stand where I’m standing in the photo include a chap called Garth a couple of weeks earlier and a gal called Dolly. Rob, the sound engineer has now worked with all the Big Three. Actually, the man displayed the patience of a saint, as did everyone involved!

We did two songs. Needless to say, the band sounds great. The vocals….

Executive Producer, Mairi Sinclair captured the momentous event on video on her phone. Here’s the first song with the most rudimentary of editing as our social media intern Cher Maposte was unavailable owing to being stoned out of her mind and wandering around asking everyone, “Where’s Garth? They said Garth was going to be here.”

New Single – Un jour à Amiens

Our new single is now available at your favorite streaming service. In a brave, some would say foolhardy departure, it’s in French. If you find listening to me singing in French, or indeed singing at all, excruciating, console yourself with the thought that at least it’s short.

Notre nouveau single est maintenant disponible sur votre service de streaming préféré. Avec un mélange de courage et de folie, j’ai pris la décision de chanter en français. Si vous trouvez insupportable de m’entendre chanter en français, voire chanter du tout, consolez-vous en vous disant qu’au moins c’est court.

The Story Behind the Song

I recently found myself in France visiting my daughter and, as I stood looking over the river Somme in the beautiful city of Amiens, I thought it might be nice to have a stab at writing a song in French. Standing in such a beautiful place tends to put a chap in the mood, but what kind of song should it be? I was pondering this when, much to my surprise, I caught sight of my friend Aldo Sachs, the band’s alto sax player sauntering along the river bank towards me. He seemed in remarkably good spirits and the story he told me soon revealed why.

Followers of the band will be aware that none of us is what you might call lucky in love. The romantic travails of guitarist Dee Sharpe in particular have been detailed elsewhere, as have those of drummer Kit Bashir. This tends to give some of our music a bit of a melancholic tinge. How nice, therefore, to find inspiration in a happy tale.

Five years ago, before joining the band, Aldo met and fell in love with a beautiful young street musician at the very spot at which I stood. Their careers took them to separate corners of the earth but, as they said their tearful farewells, they vowed to meet again by the banks of the Somme five years to the day from when they parted. As I watched, a dark haired beauty caught sight of Aldo from across the bridge and, dropping her cello, ran, crying with joy, into his arms. A tear formed in my eye too, and this song formed in my head as the lovers embraced. Aldo was too emotional to play the saxophone, and he’d left it in his hotel room anyway, so he held the mic, but Marie retrieved her cello from where she’d dropped it and joined in during the instrumental break.

New Song – Modern Lovers

With their latest song, “Modern Lovers,” The Mysterious Beings once again showcase their ability to be very silly indeed. Listener discretion is advised LOL.

Click on the arrow to play. Allow a moment for the music to start.

Keen followers of the band will know just how much I have always deplored the amorous antics of our notorious pianist, Gene Poole Skimmings, known throughout the music industry and beyond as The Sleaze of the Keys. Some of those antics have been documented here. It came as no surprise, then, that Gene is a big fan of dating apps. He’s on them all, including some catering to niche tastes that few others have heard of. The other day, I found him trying to explain some of these niches to a visibly shocked Aldo Sachs, our alto sax player. That gave me the idea for one of the verses in this song, although I changed Gene’s name to protect the band’s reputation. See if you can guess which verse it is. Then I added some others and composed this commentary on modern love. Aldo took several days to recover from what he had seen, so there is no sax here.

And ladies, if you swipe in the wrong direction when encountering Gene’s profile, don’t say you weren’t warned.

We would have preferred to call this song Modern Love, but that Bowie fella kind of made that title his own. Lots of songs share titles, but when it’s that well known, it would be a bit like writing a song and calling Hey Jude.

New Song – Un Jour À Amiens

Click the arrow to play. Allow a few moments for the music to start.

I recently found myself in France visiting my daughter and, as I stood looking over the river Somme in the beautiful city of Amiens, I thought it might be nice to have a stab at writing a song in French. Standing in such a beautiful place tends to put a chap in the mood, but what kind of song should it be? I was pondering this when, much to my surprise, I caught sight of my friend Aldo Sachs, the band’s alto sax player sauntering along the river bank towards me. He seemed in remarkably good spirits and the story he told me soon revealed why.

Followers of the band will be aware that none of us is what you might call lucky in love. The romantic travails of guitarist Dee Sharpe in particular have been detailed elsewhere, as have those of drummer Kit Bashir. This tends to give some of our music a bit of a melancholic tinge. How nice, therefore, to find inspiration in a happy tale.

Five years ago, before joining the band, Aldo met and fell in love with a beautiful young street musician at the very spot at which I stood. Their careers took them to separate corners of the earth but, as they said their tearful farewells, they vowed to meet again by the banks of the Somme five years to the day from when they parted. As I watched, a dark haired beauty caught sight of Aldo from across the bridge and, dropping her cello, ran, crying with joy, into his arms. A tear formed in my eye too, and this song formed in my head as the lovers embraced. Aldo was too emotional to play the saxophone, and he’d left it in his hotel room anyway, so he held the mic, but Marie retrieved her cello from where she’d dropped it and joined in during the instrumental break.

Jeez Louise Live at Someplace Else 1991

Some friends of the band sent me what might be the earliest known recording of the Mysterious Beings at Someplace Else in Hickory, North Carolina in 1991. The band line up was a bit different then with Joe King on slide guitar and April Fulton on drums. There’s a bit of background noise as you’d expect from a live recording in a bar that did kind of resemble the one in the song. Sadly, Someplace Else is long gone, but the memories remain.

Click on the arrow to play. Allow a moment for the music to start.

New Arrangement of “I’m Here.”

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The other day, guitarist Dee Sharpe and I were sitting in Dee’s Granny’s kitchen in Broughty Ferry pondering the sad state of the world, when, as a way of soothing our frayed souls, he picked up his guitar and started playing the opening chords to our award worthy song, “I’m Here.” I joined in and it was not lost on either of us that such words of encouragement have rarely seemed more appropriate or needed.

So caught up were we in these thoughts that it took a moment to realise that our bassist, Juan Tusrivor had put down his cup of tea and joined in. The sparse arrangement, contrasting with the bigger sound of our original recording, somehow seemed more poignant, and I was glad that our team of Swedish sound engineers, Max and Minnie Mumsetting, with an eye and an ear towards a future documentary about the band, had their recording equipment set up next to the fridge and running 24 hours a day in order not to miss anything.

After the first verse, our agoraphobic Afghan drummer, Kit Bashir, also joined in from the linen closet where he spends most of his time. By the time the chorus came around, even our loathsome keyboard ace, Gene Poole-Skimmings, who had been eating pizza in the front room and dropping crumbs all over Mrs. Sharpe’s good sofa, had moved to her piano and started tickling the ivories, leaving marinara sauce all over them and his unmistakable mark on the song.

New Song – Comfy Troosers

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Before you listen to this masterpiece, I’d just like to say in our defence that it’s only two minutes long.

Fans of The Mysterious Beings will know that they have never been afraid to tackle the serious issues of the day, and it was only a matter of time before we got around to the urgent topic of comfortable trousers.

As we have all had to spend more time at home, much of it has inevitably involved sitting around on our arses, and never has the topic of comfortable trousers assumed such importance in our lives. Time then for a song, which was, of course, written while wearing those very comfy troosers in the illustration.

In both style and language, this song represents a return to our roots for guitarist Dee Sharpe and myself. To the other band members it represents nothing at all as they couldn’t understand much of it.

New Song – Niamh The Brave And Beautiful

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The other day, my daughter Niamh set off for Germany and other foreign lands. Seeing that the thought of her being gone for such a long time had got me down, my old friend Dee Sharpe, the band’s guitarist, reminded me that music is the best therapy in times like this. So I sat down and wrote a song. By the time Dee returned from a beer run, it was finished and, after downing the first of the beers, he picked up his guitar and joined me as we recorded it for her. Then we opened two more beers and raised them to Niamh and her great adventure. Then we had a few more beers to wish her bon voyage. The next thing I remember is Dee’s granny handing me a nice cup of tea where I lay on her couch and telling me she knew just how I felt – not my pounding head but my breaking heart.

New Song – Hey Chuck, Can I Borrow Your Truck?

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The inspiration for our latest song came from my good friend and the band’s fiddle player, Beau Strokes. He turned up at my door the other day, asking to borrow my hedge trimmer. I had to say no, not because Beau is always borrowing things and seldom returns them, but because I happen to know he doesn’t have a hedge. What he does have is an ongoing dispute with his neighbor, Larry. Mountain folk have their own way of resolving disputes and, while I respect that, I had no wish for my hedge trimmer to be used as a weapon. Ironically, the feud began over that habit of Beau’s of borrowing things and generally being a scrounger. After he left, muttering something about how Bubba down the road has a big ass chainsaw, I sat down and wrote this song about how this whole thing started.