MP3 Al Soucy - Minimum Exposure
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14 MP3 Songs in this album (51:40) !
Related styles: Folk: Folk Pop, Easy Listening: Soft Rock, Type: Acoustic
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Al Soucy began entertaining and singing at the age of 5 years old by performing in his neighborhood. At the age of 13 he began learning guitar when he and his brother Tim received electric guitars for Christmas that year from the Sears catalog from their parents. Prior to this they were using tennis rackets and brooms in front of the mirror singing Beatles songs handed down to them from their Uncles. Al was swept up in Beatlemania right from the start. It would be the beginning of his musical career.
The guitars were a big improvement over a tennis racket and a broom. There was a lot of fumbling for a while until one day Al learned his first song. By The Sea and from that point forward it was one after another. What helped in the learning process is that there was a nice circle of players around so we were all learning from each other and constantly raising the bar, nothing like good old fashion competition to drive the best out of people.
Alâs first real band experience was called Power House and it was comprised of Wayne Hewitt, Tim Soucy and Joe Wallace. Al recalls we made a lot of noise mostly in the basement but we had some memorable experiences performing in front of people. We had some nice originals in this band. âPleasant View Avenueâ was one I still remember today. One thing to note as a kid playing in a band you spend a lot of time in basements practicing.
Several years later when Al became more proficient on the instrument he would join a band called Midnight Mist comprised of three other members: Tim Soucy, Dave Tassie and Shannon Fickett. This band auditioned for Community Auditions, which was hosted by Dave Maynard for WBZ TV4 in Boston, MA. The band lost on that program but the seed had been planted and a musician/entertainer was born. We played the song âIfâ by the band Bread.
In High School, Al played in a band called Ambush with four talented musicians: Tim Soucy, Dave Thorp, Jeff Longwell and Troy MacPherson. This band was primarily an original rock band. This band helped honed Al's skills as a singer/song-writer and bass player. This band would provide Al his first experience in a recording studio (North Country Sounds) and would also form the foundation for the bands to come in the future. Matthew Callahan was the bands photographer.
Memory: We had a neighbor who allowed us to practice in his garage. Moeâs garage. Our drummer at that time was also a part time carpenter Kevin Lamontange. He built us a stage in the garage. We had lights hanging on beams. We had our own light man Mark Callahan and our own sound man Jeff Bissonnette and there you go we had our own arena with our own guests and the concert was on. The garage was our home away from home. This band had some wonderful originals: The Race Car, Hopes and Dreams, Time and Shine on Me. This band was a good teacher.
After High School, Al went on the Road with "The Blair Hunter Band" comprised of four other members: Angela Blair, Rick Gelinas, Gary Wytonic and Joe Antonis which, was under the management of Bill Macek for Clockwork Entertainment out of Haverhill, MA.
This was a top 40 GB band. This band played on a circuit that covered: New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine. A highlight performance was backing up Jon Butcher Axis at the Frolics in Salisbury Beach. Jon Butcher attracted a large crowd. Ariel Jones was the photographer of the Blair Hunter Band.
Memory: When I received the call from Bill Macek that I was hired for âThe Blair Hunter Bandâ I was thrilled. I needed a job and was excited about the opportunity. So, I called Rick Gelinas the guitar player who begins walking me through the song list and the first show is in several weeks. I gather the material and work very hard practicing basically non-stop, around the clock. Rick is helping me with the material and Iâm traveling down to MA. Side Note: I was quite poor at this time and barely had a car that could run or that I could afford. I was going for broke on this dream and willing to sacrifice everything for it and that included a good car.
Anyway, the night of the first show has arrived. It was at a place called the âAx Handleâ. I donât remember where that was anymore. I think all said I needed to learn about 50 songs. So, here I am Mr. Rockân Roll ready to go and I absolutely drew a blank from the very first song. I could not remember one song. I was mixing songs together. It was just awful. My first night was a train wreck. By the time the show was ending I had put my back to the audience. I figured it was bad enough everyone had to hear my mistakes. I did not want to punish them any further by letting them see the mistakes too. Long story short, the band gave me a break. I was green and as my confidence in the material grew so did my skills.
After being on the road Al, then joined up with a Boston based band called "The Steps" comprised of three other members: Brad Jeter, Bobby Dimartino and Steven Doyle. This band was an all original band. Al played at the area clubs in Boston, MA for several years: The Rat, The Metro, The Channel, Bunrattyâs, Jaspers and the Paradise. The Steps released one album in 1982 and received airplay on WBCN and WGIR with a song called âWhite Liesâ. The Steps were under the management of Donna Rodden and would record at Blue Jay Recording and Sound Design studio in Boston, MA
Memory: The band received a call one night from management that we had an opportunity to be in a battle of the bands at a club called Jaspers in Somerville, MA. The Steps music had a real Tom Petty sound to it, very melodic, good harmonies. In any case we were told that we would have a good chance in this contest. So, after thinking about it we decided what the hell letâs do it. OK. Weâll do it. It wasnât clear to us until we got in the club that night that this was serious punk rock night and we were not dressed right for the occasion. It was definitely not the right place or the right time or the right genre for us. We didnât last very long on stage as you can well imagine and it was time to go. The punk rock crowd did not enjoy our Tom Petty sound at allâ¦no offense to Tom Petty.
After departing from The Steps in 1984, Al decided to pursue work in the recording studio and began doing session work. Alâs bass work is on many recordings from studios in New England: Blue Jay Recording, Cedar House Recording, and Sound Design Studio and
North Country Sounds to name a few. You can hear Al on a CD by Amy Conley at CDbaby.com.
In between this session work Al, played with bands off and on throughout the late 1980's and 1990's.
The Switch an all original band comprised of: Al, Jeff Longwell and John Toronto. Three-piece power trio played the Paradise, The Channel, Bunrattyâs and the Boston circuit and recorded several songs in Boston, MA. Some great original songs came out of this band: Restless Hearts, Just Too Good, 36 Hour Day and Borrowed Time.
The Muse Review at The Paradise - Thursday March 15, 1984: The Switch - a trio who is faster than Def Leppard, stronger than Quiet Riot, more well, anyhow, they managed to make the Paradise sound like the Worcester Centrum. Guitarist Jeff Longwell powered their icy, proud melodies along with his Van Halen-style sonic riffing, while bassist/vocalist Al Soucy sang their epics of teenage angst and heartbreak songs like: âSuch A Foolâ and âLast Standâ. Metal heads should make it a point to see these guys.
After the Switch, I played in two bands for a short time. A band called âWitch Hunterâ a three piece power trio. This band played heavy rock. Witch Hunter played a battle of the bands at âThe Granite Rockâ club in 1991.
IC5 a four piece all original punk rock band, this band was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the creativity in this band. Showcase show was at the Rat in Sept. of 1987. It was a great show and this band was fun. This band had the freedom to draw outside the lines and did.
The Keys: Al, Tim Soucy and Duke Peloquin an all original band. A solid three-piece power trio with good originals. Songs included: Come Back Home, Donât Cry and On Your Side. Donât Cry and On Your Side are both wonderful songs and stand on their own to this date. I re-recorded and acoustic version of âOn Your Sideâ on my solo album âPennywise and Pound Foolishâ in 2003.
The Brotherhood an all original band comprised of three other members: Tim Soucy, Norm Levesque and Dave Thorp. This band highlighted such shows as backing up FarrenHeit and Robin Lane and the Chartbusters. They may not know it but we were actually a regular back up band for FarrenHeit for a period of time, backing then up a dozen times, several times at the Granite Rock Club in Nashua, NH. Several great originals came out of this band - Love and Money, Itâs Over and These Days. This band played at the Granite Rock Club, Classics and was a regular at Hendiâs in Lowell, MA.
Recorded by the Brotherhood - The Back Page Review: âCarry Onâ - July 1990 - A little reminiscent of the Squeeze with a little country twist. Some nice harmonies and some exceptional work on the guitar.
After the Brotherhood Al played a duo gig with Dave Branch from the Branch Brothers Band for several years and they played pubs with their home base being Colonel Sheppardâs. I learned a great deal playing with Dave. He is a wonderful musician.
Memory: There was a blizzard outside. The doors were closed at 12:45 and Dave and I played music taking request one song after another until 5AM. Dave and I always played well together. We had a lot of fun at Col. Sheppardâs. This is a very memorable time for me musically.
The Crayons: Al, Dave Tassie, Tim Soucy and James Soucy a top 40 GB and original rock band. This band worked solidly for two years and had a rockân sound and good originals. Al got to be in this band with his two brothers and his best man which made the Crayons even more special. This band had some wonderful shows and a loyal following which made the playing all that more sweet. Daveâs Uncle deserves a big hand for putting up with us practicing in his basement for two years, a very memorable time. Don Taylor videotaped every single show for us and captured some great nights of music. Mathew Callahan photographed the band.
30 Nov 2000 - The Uptown Tavern - There were people as far as the eye could see. A packed room, enthusiastic crowd which means our friends and family and we just absolutely smoked the place, a very memorable show.
Project X - a top 40 GB band comprised of members: Al, Jeff Longwell, Harley Walker and Dave Thorp. Highlight show was being the mainstay for the Milford Balloon Festival for many years. Harley Walker would go on to be my main drummer on three of my solo albums.
2003 - The Branch Brothers - a top 40 GB band comprised of members: Steve Branch, Kevin Vigue and Dave Branch. The last band hurrah! This band produced some magical moments by playing Hampton Beach several times. We certainly did have fun! I couldnât have ended on a better note. Thank you guys! Connie Camber-Soucy photographed this band and captured some wonderful moments.
Memory: When I was 16 years old, I used to sneak into Headliners North in Nashua, NH to see these guys play (The Branch Brothers). Who would have known that one day I would have ended up in a band with them, life can be pretty cool.
JJ Merryweather band - a top 40 band comprised of members: Jim Fothergill, Harley Walker and Troy Macpherson. This could have been a good band but it never really got off the ground. I was pretty tired and needed time off from playing in bands. I didnât realize at the time but my time off from band life would be a permanent. By this time Al had been playing in bands for some 25 years and it was time for something completely different.
In recent years, Al Soucy has taken to his own studio, Robin's Nest Way recording for Stapler Records his own recording company and has released 8 CD's: Out In Time in 2002, Pennywise and Pound Foolish in 2003, SIT With Me in 2005, Temporarily Out of Order in 2006, Follow The River in 2007, View From The Top in 2008, Take Nothing For Granite in 2009 and his latest CD Minimum Exposure in 2011.
Al Soucy playâs: bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electric rhythm/lead guitar, drums, mandolin, keyboard; he sings lead vocals and backing vocals on all of his CDâs. Al, not only writes and performs on all the original compositions by playing all the instruments but also does all the recording on a Yamaha AW4416 24 bit, 16 Track Workstation, mixing, mastering, artwork for CD, packaging and distribution. It's truly a one-man production.
Each CD that is released includes special cameo guests appearances from seasoned performers from the New England area including: Harley Walker - drums, James Soucy - drums, William Bryer - banjo, Peter Croteau - harmonica, David Tassie - electric guitar, Mark Vernon - percussion, Randy Arrant - electric guitar, Cajon, drums, Mike McGeehan - electric guitar, James Fothergill - electric guitar, percussion, backing vocals, sax, piano, Tim Soucy - Electric Guitar, Ken Jones - percussion, Shannon Fickett - drums and Jeffrey Yopp - percussion. Having these great players adds a whole new dimension to the music that otherwise would not be present. It has truly been a blessing to be surrounded by such talented musicians who have given their time so unselfishly to be a part of these CD's. I feel their collective talent has enhanced the music greatly.
I would like to take a moment to discuss my new CD âView from the Topâ everything I have written and performed on this CD could always sound better despite the obvious anomalies. However, as long as I improve as a player, my songs improve, as does the fidelity of my music then I have met my goal. That is to pursue my craft and passion. I provide that preface because I stumbled through this entire CD. I purchased the Yamaha AW4416 24 bit workstation and the Yamaha DTExpress Electronic Drums. The learning curve for me was enormous in many respects.
There were many mistakes made during the recording not to mention that this CD had more cameo appearances than any of my previous works. Making schedules work had its complications. However, I made it through and completed it despite the challenges. That is success to me. I tried my best to produce something that I would be proud of and I feel for where I am in the process I did that. There is the law of diminishing returns and that threshold had been met for me.
I want to thank everyone who helped me make this CD. I want to first thank my wife Connie for the CD cover picture which she took from the top of the Empire State building on a trip we took to NY and for the cover title. Connie has a great eye and knack for timing. All the players who gave of their time unselfishly: James Soucy on drums, my brother and a talented musician, Ms. Malynda Larocque for her wonderful lyrics that made the song âWhere I Want to Beâ come to life. The lyrics are fresh and innocent and lent themselves to my music beautifully.
Dave Tassie my engineering mentor and a very talented guitar player, Harley Walker my steady drummer who is moving and Iâll miss him terribly, Peter Croteau who brings such a unique vision to his playing and tasteful melody that enhances the music beautifully, Randy Arrant on the Cajon, electric guitar and drums. I never knew what the Cajon even was before I met Randy. What a sound this drum produces. Randyâs drumming and guitar playing are also featured and are nothing less than top shelf, William Bryer on the banjo, William is such a great picker and I try to put something on every CD just for William because I enjoy his playing so very much. I wish I could pick like that.
Mike McGeehan on guitar, Mike is amazing; he came into the studio and within a matter of a few hours left me with some wonderfully creative tracks. What a great and talented musician. Mark Vernon on percussion, Mark thinks he has no rhythm but he has lent his rhythmic style to my work and I feel added a whole dimension in percussion sound that enhances the music. I want to thank âNotorious Gregâs Music for the Electric guitars used on this CD. This guy has some great guitars and I had fun playing them. What a joy to play beautiful guitars. Youâre too kind!!
I owe my biggest debt of gratitude to Dave Tassie who without his help I could not have even made this CD. If it were not for his tireless patience as a teacher in engineering I could not have learned the concepts or technology to engineer the CD. Dave Tassie cut down my learning curve by tutoring me on the gear I purchased and the overall recording of this CD. This CD would have been delayed for quite a bit longer without his support, direction and guidance. Thank you so very much Dave!
Every song is an experiment and some experiments are successful and some are not. Itâs the roll of the dice and Iâm always surprised. The unpredictable is often a blessing in disguise. There is no value in zero productivity whatever your passion or dream. So, you find a place and you cut the cord, some songs youâll like and some youâll dislike. Itâs a year of my life documented for posterity in these 14 songs. As long I can continue to write, play, and record my material Iâm fulfilling my dream. Itâs always been about the music for me. Iâm very grateful for all my blessings, especially the opportunity to pursue my passion. Thank you for listening! I feel this new CD has improved over the last in many ways but there are miles to go before I sleep and miles to go before I sleep, to quote Robert Frost. Enjoy!!
Here are a few juicy tidbits about this CD to listen for: my favorites are "Broken Promises", âDon't Replyâ, âLearn to Love Againâ and âDon't Let It Slow You Downâ. Listen closely for the chorus effect on the tail end of âThere's Only One Wayâ, the mandolin on âBroken Promisesâ (I wrote that song on the mandolin and then built everything around it), âSudbury Dreamsâ which is a true story, âDonât Replyâ - a buddy of mine Randy Arrant is playing the Cajon on this with a tambourine. Listen to the very, very end of âI Rememberâ and I play a tiny guitar part that comes in with the banjo that is very cool and took hours to get right or the way I wanted it lets say. Lastly, âWhere I Want To Beâ - the lyrics were written by my niece Malynda Larocque, she asked me to write a song to her lyrics, which I did and itâs good.
For those of you out there who enjoy what I am writing: NEWS FLASH - I have a new CD coming out in the fall. Itâs going to feature many cameo appearances from seasoned musicians. Jeffrey Yopp on Percussion, Mark Vernon on Percussion, James Soucy on Drums, Peter Croteau on Harmonica, Ken Jones - Percussion, Lyrics from Alaina Soucy on âMy Romanceâ, Tim Soucy - Electric Lead Guitar, James Fothergill - Electric Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Sax, Piano and Lyrics from Malaynda Larocque on âSomething Greatâ. This promises to be a good CD with a wonderful variety of ideas.
I have had more fun on this CD than the previous one already, basically because I have developed a better understanding of my Yamaha AW4416 workstation, which left more time for the music. I feel that so far it is coming out better than the last one. When itâs released I hope you all will feel the same way. More on this laterâ¦â¦â¦â¦.
October 2009 - New CD update: Almost done. Scheduled release before Christmas, all new songs.
Dec 09 - The new CD is done and will be released shortly. Here are a few juicy tidbits about the CD from the inside. I dedicated this CD to my wife Connie because she challenged me to think in a different way for this CD and I tried my best to do that. I also love her picture of the granite quarry in Barre, VT and the play on words with the title of the CD.
I had more fun on this CD because I spent more time writing songs. I wrote 23 songs and invited a number of players to perform on this one. So, there were quite a few songs that did not make this CD. It was narrowed down to 13 songs which I thought were the best of the bunch.
This CD is far from perfect and there are blemishes everywhere but I had a good time making it. When itâs not fun anymore, Iâll stop. Iâm doing what I love to do in the meantime write songs. This expression is exactly what I started playing for all those years ago. Itâs wonderful however, raw in nature, to have the opportunity to accomplish the task in its entirety. Iâm grateful to be able to do this. I started this CD last November (08) and Iâm finished with it in December (09). So, itâs been a solid year in the making and I have worked hard on it and done my best. I hope you enjoy it!
The title track - âThis Songs for Youâ was pure inspiration and written for Connie. It came together quite easily as if it was meant to be written. The song was magic because it just happened. Spontaneous combustion and thatâs where the magic is. âMiles Awayâ - sometimes you want to help but you just canât and your miles away and nothing can change that. See if you can figure out what the first word is in this song. Another spontaneous event and I have no idea what I said but it just seemed to fit. âSomething Greatâ - Lyrics by Malynda Larocque - Beautiful lyrics about lifeâs bumps in the road and the loneliness of those trials. No one leaves the planet without a scratch. Very well written! âWith Change There is Hopeâ - I was looking for a little Marvin Gaye sound.
I donât know if I did a good job or not. I really enjoyed playing the electronic drums on this song. âIâm Man Enoughâ - Jim Fothergill played Piano, Sax, Hand Claps, Backing Vocals, Congaâs, and percussion. Jim really surprised me, we had talked about doing something together for years and finally it came together. This song was originally not going to be on the CD because I didnât care for it. Jim got a hold of it and took it in a very different direction and I liked it. Thanks Jim!
âMy Romanceâ - Lyrics by Alaina Soucy - There is certainly a statement being made with these lyrics and a real good one. Great job! James Soucy my brother played drums on this song too. He delivered some fantastic drumming. Thanks Jamie! âDead Soulsâ - Tim Soucy on lead guitar. Tim came in the studio and just laid the track down in a few takes and the ending outro lead is just wonderful and just what the song needed. Thanks Tim! Peter Croteau on the Harmonica as in typical fashion added the tasty harmonica melody to âWhen I was Youngâ and I think it came out just great! Woodford to you my friend! Although, I like Basil too. A real professional, Peter puts his all into everything he does. I truly appreciate your style! âDead Soulsâ has a gunshot in it. One day I heard someone shooting a gun and I went out with my little Sony stereo recorder and recorded the shots on the Sony then went into my studio and recorded the gunshots from the Sony into my condenser mic on a separate track. I added a little reverb and itâs not on the beat intentionally. I wanted the song to feel awkward when it was heard. Several folks have already told me it was eerie, which is the desired effect. It fits the context of the song.
As always a special thanks to notorious Gregâs music for all the guitars used on this CD. The Les and Tele both have a place on this CD. Wherever you hear a crunch itâs the Les, wherever you hear that crisp clear sound thatâs the Tele. Youâre the greatest bud! Thank you!
This CD was unique for a couple of reasons. I had both my brothers on it. My brother Jamie played drums on two songs and my brother Tim played Lead guitar on one song. That hasnât happened before. My niece Alaina (My Romance) and Malynda (Something Great) also contributed lyrics to this CD. Mark Vernon found the rhythm I knew he had and my friend Jeff Yopp added some tasty percussive tracks. Ken Jones was a wonderful surprise and played the guiro in âAbout Changing the Worldâ. The song would not be the same without it. Iâm always amazed when I have percussionists come in because you just never know whatâs going to work and enhance the song. You start off with certain ideas and by the time itâs done, well, Iâm always surprised and percussion is one of those instruments that can totally change a songs vibe. Mark Vernon ended up playing Moroccan Flat drum and sticks on âWith Change There is Hopeâ and it was perfect for the song. That guy has Rhythm. Thanks Mark!
Jeff Yopp a colleague of mine was new to this CD. He never came up to the studio before but was just as natural at being in front of a mic as though he were born for it. Some folks get a little mic shy. Jeff was very comfortable landed in a zone and delivered two very good performances that truly enhanced both songs he played on. I was struck by Jeffâs timing which was right on the money. Great Job!! Ken Jones a wonderful drummer, a great guy, good guitar player and a very creative person. Ken played the
Guiro in âAbout Changing The Worldâ and it added so much texture to the song. I fell in love with the sound and the part is very creative. The addition of the cow bell and the triangle made the song come to life. The bell shaker was a tasteful choice in âWhat Have You Got To Sayâ. It blended into the song nicely and enhanced the feel. Thank you Ken!!
I want to say thank you to all those who participated in this CD. The dimension you all bring to the music helps to make it more rounded and rich. It makes the music more interesting and offers layers of ideas to listen to and enjoy. Thank you all for your time, energy, emotion and consideration. I truly appreciate it! Enjoy listening!
01/13/2011: NEWS FLASH - I am more than half way through my new CD now. This is CD number 8 of which 2 did not get released. This is a very interesting CD so far. There have been no cameos thus far other than Shannon Fickett on drums. Shannon is a wonderful addition to this album. My steady drummer HW from my previous albums moved to get away from the snow. I have missed him. He had wonderful timing, finesse and a very sweet man. Thankfully, Shannon has offered to step in and it has made a big difference. Simply put Shannon knows my music and his timing is wonderful. He understands how it's put together so he can instinctively and effortlessly create a tapestry of sound. Shannon's drumming has added some exciting dynamics that enhance the songs and help bring them to life. Shannon has heart and soul and that comes out in his playing. It's great to have him back. Thank you Shannon!
I was five months into this CD when tragedy struck and the hard drive crashed on my Yamaha AW4416. It was unrecoverable. I had no back up. 110 tracks were lost. I had to relearn all the tracks from a single flat recording in rough draft form. Thatâs all that remained. I spent a lot of money trying to recover the material and the place I took it too did a great job but it was a costly venture one of which I did not have the funds to continue pursuing.
I was able to hotwire the hard drive by using a different hard drive. It worked which allowed me to reformat the hard drive and that was successful. I then began the process of relearning all of my previously recorded tracks again. All 6 songs worth of tracks. It was a laborious process. Very uncreative. One, I donât wish to repeat again.
Several weeks after my workstation crashed my Yamaha DS55 crashed and I still donât have that repaired. Iâm borrowing a keyboard from my Father-in-Law right now for this album.
Normally by this time of the year I would have an album coming out. I try to do one a year if I can.
In any case, itâs been an album riddled with problems and lessons. Itâs been quite exhausting. I had considered at one point not bothering this year at all but I felt compelled because I had these six songs already fully written.
I succumbed to the challenge and here I am. This has become a very different album than what it started out to be.
The first draft of all of these songs had an unpolished âLet it Be Nakedâ less Phil Spector sound. Itâs was rough and raw which is what I prefer. However, after relearning all of these parts and noodling them to death as DT would say they have become very polished and produced. More than anything Iâve done before so there is that. I have learned that I wonât ever let that happen again and I donât now. I back up the material often now and itâs not that I wasnât before but I generally didnât back up at the beginning of a cycle but more towards the middle and that wasnât often enough.
However, at the end of the day I have now reached the place where I was 5 and half months ago. Whew!
Itâs a different album for me. More keyboardsâ¦more guitarsâ¦â¦less backing vocalsâ¦more single voice.
Now all the songs have been written for the CD and Iâm working on finishing up parts and next lyrics and vocals. My plan is to have this album out in the spring. I think those folks who like my music will really like this album. Itâs very different than previous albums. Stay tuned more to comeâ¦â¦
3/5/2011 - NEWS FLASH - The music for the new album is just about complete. I'm putting the finishing touches on it now. A track here or there and I'll be all done. I want to thank Notorious Greg's music for the use of the guitars for this CD. It's been fun playing them and makes all the difference. There are 14 songs on this CD. I have the name for the CD but no picture yet. Normally my Wife Connie has a picture or I had one to use that we had taken but this time nothing. The Title this time has a metaphorical value to it. So, that's why it's been more difficult to find a picture. I'm still looking at a spring release. Next up: lyrics, vocals, final mix down, mastering, packaging and finally distribution to the listener. It's quite a process from beginning to end and you have to stay committed to it to have something when it's all over and regardless of what anyone thinks, it's irrelevant simply because you completed it. As they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. One of the themes of this album is that actions speak louder than words. Words are never enough. There are some really good songs on this CD. You'll be the judge of that soon enough. Stay tuned....
3/6/2011 Recently, I received a phone and was persuaded to release an older CD called âSIT WITH MEâ. The caller said that the album had to be released so that two songs could be out in the universe: âTo Be Aloneâ and âI Love That Girlâ. I didnât much like the recording of this album myself but if you can look past that and appreciate the songs for what they are then they are enjoyable. This CD was recorded prior to âTEMPORARILY OUT OF ORDERâ. The recording could have been better as I said but there are a number of songs on this CD that are worth listening too regardless of the recording quality. It should be available for purchase soon.
There are two CDâs prior to âSIT WITH MEâ, âPENNYWISE AND POUND FOOLISHâ and âOUT IN TIMEâ. Maybe one day Iâll release âPENNYWISE AND POUND FOOLISHâ there are a couple of gems on that one as well, again the recording is not very well produced but if you can look past that to hear the songâs youâll find a couple that are worth listening too just like on âSIT WITH MEâ.
The CD âSIT WITH MEâ has several cameo appearances, a standout vocal part by Douglas Oliver on âSundownâ and Harley Walker on drums. Several songs that have good value in my opinion are: âBreakdownâ for the mandolin part, âTo Be Aloneâ for the âStrawberry Fieldsâ piece at the end of the song. I tried the Ringo Star thing at the end with the âI buried Alâ, instead of âI Buried Paulâ for any Beatle fans out there. Itâs corny but it was fun nonetheless. The drums in âAll My Hopesâ by Harley Walker are just wonderfully executed. The vocal line in âSundownâ by Douglas Oliver is just a joy to listen too. The title of this CD was originally going to be âWhere Thereâs Lightâ, song #3. I even wrote a song on this CD with the title track (3). However, when I finally came up with a picture for the cover the title no longer seemed to fit to me. The two rockers around the hearth lent itself better to âSIT WITH MEâ.
Track 1 - A nice theme about life, sort of like âFollow The Riverâ in the sense that if you go with the flow of life things always have a way of working out exactly as they are supposed to. Track 2 - This song was actually written a million years ago and I have carried it with me throughout the years never really doing anything with it but enjoying playing it from time to time. The mandolin part in this song was fun to do and finally formalized it on this CD. Track 3 - Was supposed to be the title of the CD.
Track 4- âTo Be Aloneâ was actually on my very first CD âOUT IN TIMEâ and it was suggested that I re-record this song by my friend Rick Bailey. The initial recording of this song on the very first CD was poor at best. In fact the first CD will never be released because of the recording quality. This re-recorded version of âTO BE ALONEâ isnât a lot better but it is more representative of what I wanted the song to sound like. This song has the âStrawberry Fieldsâ ending on it. I am recording this song again on my NEW CD due out in the fall. I have changed it again, this time keeping it simpler than ever. It has a haunting melody and lyrics.
Track 5 - A sweet song about your daughter growing up and becoming an adult. Track 6 - A song of hope, insecurity and a realization or an awareness of self and our own dysfunction, looking for reassurance. Track 7 - âThe Hillâ is a fun song about a fantasy, whimsical journey to a place where everything is just perfect. Everyone is friendly and happy. Track 8 - I truly like this track however, this is not a recording that I particularly cared for. One day Iâll re-record this song to realize my vision but this was not it.
Track 9 - âSundownâ is a very good song in my opinion. I happen to love westerns and did go to âTombstoneâ and had a shot of whiskey at the âCrystal Palace Saloon bar with my best friend Connie Camber-Soucy. It was so cool! It was a trip! The vocal effect in this song is a âLexicon MPX 100 and it is my voice. Douglas Oliverâs vocal track in this is just wonderful. His voice has so much soul. I can hear gospel in his voice and I love
the interpretation. The final track - 10 - A beautiful melody and romantic cut about meeting the love of my life - Connie. My favorites are: Breakdown, Sundown and I Love That Girl. I do hope you can find a few tracks you like as well. This CD was recorded using the Roland VS880-EX 16bit workstation. As always thank you for taking the time to listen. Sew good seedsâ¦.Peaceâ¦..Al Look for my new album in the spring of 2011.
04/23/2011 NEWS FLASH- Iâm officially just about done with all the music on this CD. Shannon Fickett is coming into the studio one more time to finish the drumming on this CD for me. He really has done a wonderful job and Iâm proud of his performance. Dave Tassie has several percussive parts which have been appreciated as well and added some nice ambience to the music. Iâm writing lyrics now and laying down vocals. Itâs coming out nicely. Each song typically has anywhere from 12-16 different tracks of me playing various parts on various instruments. However, Iâm going to change it up a little on a few songs. Weâll see what happens in the final mix but right now there are 14 songs on this CD.
All in all this is a good CD for me at this point. Two years has gone into it and the songs are finally beginning to take life. I expect to release this CD by the end of June. That is my target date anyway. For those who buy hard CDâs there is a new improvement, in the past, I did not have a way to label the CDâs. So, I signed them and wrote on them myself. Now I have a way to label them. My wife Connie bought me a light scribe writer which allows me to burn a background with artist information onto the CD face. It looks real good. What a great gift! I have had a lot of fun with it. I think for those who buy hard CDâs youâll appreciate the improvement. The next CD will also have all the artist information burned onto the CD as well. So, for those folks who put their music on an IPOD or any player for that matter all of the artistâs information will come up now automatically. No more typing the song titles, times, artists information, album name, etcâ¦ Two new advances for me on this album that Iâm pleased about. I plan to do this for my entire collection as well over time.
NEWS FLASH: Iâm planning to release an older CD soon from 2003 called âPennywise and Pound Foolishâ. It was made prior to âSit with Meâ and there are some nice surprises on this CD. If you look past the recording and listen to the raw ideas there are some nice melodies: âIt Betterâ one of my better applications using a delay in a mix, âSomeone Elseâ a beautiful song in DADGAD tuning for those David Wilcox fans, âSame Old Storyâ, featuring Jeff Longwell on Pedal Steel, perhaps one the earliest recordings of Jeff playing Pedal Steel. âI Canât Stand No Moreâ featuring Dave Tassie on lead guitar, playing a raspy growling lead that is very tasty and enjoyable. âOn Your Sideâ which, is a song I wrote back in 1982 that made this album and I plan to rerecord this song one day in the future. I wasnât very pleased with the backing vocals as I said it was a very early recording, amateurish for sure but the song is a good one. Now that I have a better idea of recording Iâll do a better job next time. Look for it on a future release.
More to comeâ¦.the next announcement should be the album release date. Thanks for tuning in and remember you miss all the shots you donât take.
06/01/2011 NEWS FLASH: With the end of June fast approaching I thought it was a good time for an update on the progress of the new album. The new album is moving along nicely although not as quickly as I had hoped. I have six songs completed now with lyrics and vocals and it is sounding very good. I had originally hoped for a June release but it is clear to me now that date is not realistic. Iâm looking safely at September now before I can have this out on the streets for all to listen to.
I have seven songs left to write lyrics for and to sing. I think all my listeners will be pleased with this album. I am already working on my next album in parallel with this one. I typically enjoy playing a number of instruments but my next album will be very thin in comparison to my previous albums. I plan to make the next album an acoustic album. There will be some bass, percussion and vocals but mainly acoustic in nature. I plan to enlist the help of Shannon Fickett in regards to the percussion.
It will be a greatest hits acoustic album for the most part although there may be a few surprises as I have a couple of ideas in the hopper right now for new acoustic songs. However, my plan is to go through all of my released albums and relearn many of my songs and pick the cream of the crop and record them acoustically without all the over head of the multiple guitar parts, keyboard parts, etcâ¦. I think those that like simple acoustic music will hear my music in a new perspective this way without all the bells and whistles everywhere.
In the meantime I plan to release an older album shortly called âPennywise and Pound Foolishâ. This was my second album that I made and although the recording itself is not the best quality considering it was my second album and it came out in 2003 - Pennywise and Pound Foolish. An early CD with lots of learning ahead, rudementally recorded at best, however, some nice songs nonetheless. Track 1 It Better: Basic acoustic song, really my first time at experimenting with the delay on my voice. It worked in some places and in others not. Track 2: Someone Else: Beautiful song in my opinion, one of my favorites, a dumb guy who almost blew it big time. Track 3: Let It Go: Very corny keyboard intro but fun. Track 4: Same Old Story: Jeff Longwell on Pedal Steel. Itâs a good song but the vocals were not done well or the drums, which was me but you get the song anyway. If you can look past lifeâs early imperfections you can still appreciate the vision. One day Iâll re-record this song and do it justice but for now it is history, recorded for prosperity.
Track 5: Both of Us: Real good pop ballad. Track 6: I canât Stand No More: Dave Tassie has a nice lead part in this song. Itâs raw and a great sound. Track 7: On Your Side: This is a wonderful song. I wrote this many years ago. I do plan on re-recording this song at some point. The backing vocals are just awful in this so you have to look past that. They were recorded too hot but again a real nice song. You will hear it again in the future. Track 8: Tonight is Forever: Spooky song overall, great hook and backing vocals. Track 9: Living the Good Life: Fun little country song. I wrote this on the mandolin and you can hear it in the background. Iâve always liked this song. Well, I hope you enjoy some of these songs. Look for my new album soonâ¦.stay tuned....
09/02/2011 NEWS FLASH: I'm weeks away now from a new release. Two years in the making. Lots of up's and downs. Stay tuned...more to come....
10/08/2011 NEWS FLASH: New Album completed, released to CDBaby and should be available for purchase shortly.
I want to extend a sincere thank you to the following individuals for all of their support and help on this album: Connie Camber-Soucy for the CD Cover, Rebecca Davis for the Album cover, Shannon Fickett for the beautiful percussion work, Dave Tassie for the percussion work, Greg Milligan from Notorious Gregâs music for all the beautiful guitars used on this album and F.C. and Avis Crane for the production assistance. Below are some interesting tidbits about each song. Enjoy!!
Reach to the Sky - When I was a child my Father took me on a walk one time along a river in the fall. There was a path along the river and as I was walking along this path and I was thinking about the Indian tribes that had once occupied this land along the banks of the river. I visualized families along the banks and was just fascinated by the Indian culture and the way in the world has changed since this simpler time in history.
Never Never Land - A very simple idea but for many a complicated concept to understand that simply put âActions Speak Louder Than Wordsâ. Words are empty until there is an action behind it. I can use whatever rhetoric I want to use but until I actually do something the words have zero value and just becomes pontification which is just arrogance in the spoken word. If you want to know how anyone feels about you on this planet with their actions listen to none of their words. People expose themselves without you ever engaging them.
Youâre My Best Friend - I dedicated this song to my best friend Connie Camber-Soucy. This lady gets it: Connie understands loyalty, understands respect, understands trust, understands commitment and truly is my equal in every sense of the word. I value and appreciate her friendship dearly and this song is one way I can let her know that I feel the same way as she does and we are on the same page.
Back in The Game - I was inspired to write this song for Tom Sizemore. I watched a show in which Tom was suffering through addiction and I was deeply moved by what I saw. Addictions can be so terrible and ruin your life and I found Tomâs story compelling. Tomâs honesty and commitment to getting his life back on track was inspiring.
Great to Be Home - Shannon Fickett wrote the lyrics to this song and they were beautifully written. This is a man with a beautiful heart and a real man not afraid to express his inner feelings. Shannon lived in New England most of his life and then took a 15-year hiatus to California and moved back to New England several yearsâ back.
These lyrics speak of Shannon being back home and reconnecting with old friends and where we all are today and what has become of our lives from our humble beginnings.
Good Intentions - âThe Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentionsâ. A lot of people think because they say that they love you or that they are going to this or that and even if it is well intentioned that is all they have to do here. Well, I said it so that is enough and again this follows a similar theme as âActions Speak Louder Than Wordsâ. Good Intentions does not equal an action. It has no value to say something and then to never follow through. John F. Kennedy once said âThat Sincerity Always Requires Proofâ. Throwing empty words around does not mean that you actually did anything. I can say that I love you and still hurt you or betray you so my words were empty. I can say that I will come and see you and then never follow through and again my words are empty and full of good intentions but the âRoad to Hell is Paved With Good Intentionsâ. Words by themselves are never enough.
Something Fun - A simple song about dreaming, having fun in life and that change is stability.
Run Around - Philosophical song about life in terms of rolling the dice and dealing with the cards that you are dealt in life. Accepting the consequences of your choices and that you have to pay attention in life to the outcomes that emerge and that typically if the right outcome emerges then the right decision was reached if the wrong outcome emerges than possibly the wrong decision was made.
Piece of Pie - This song was actually fully written when I was 15 years old and it is finally documented for posterity. This was initially a jam idea on the bass that I pulled out of my pocket whenever there was a jam and everyone could have fun with it. As I was laying down a bass track for another song this bass song came back in its entirety to me and I took the time to record the whole thing at that time and here it is as an instrumental.
History - This song is really about missed opportunities in life. If we pay attention to life we can change anything that we want to change that we all are 100 responsible for our lives. When we commit to our core values in life and stray from those values we do ourselves and those around us an injustice.
Itâs a Jungle Out There - At the end of the day you must respect yourself and what your beliefs are. If you fall for anything you stand for nothing and respect for yourself is at the core of living a joyful happy life. You canât allow others to impact your world if their values contradict your values. Sometimes having respect for yourself means that you have to stand-alone. There are many more sheep than there are shepherds. There have been many great thinkers in the world that have been called crazy and had to go on alone.
The Man That I Once Was - A fascinating look at asking the questions in life about who are your real friends, who are your real allies, who has invested their time in your life, what do you believe and thriving in faith, humility, joy, confidence and peace.
Late in June - A mysterious song with a nice instrumental section.
Youâre Crying - About an individual who makes a tragic mistake that can never be undone and kills another person with a careless mistake that never should have occurred and the price for this mistake is life altering for everyone who has been touched by the tragedy and nothing will ever be the same again. Unfortunately in life when people donât listen or have their receptors open to other perspectives you have to stop talking and allow life to be the teacher because everyone on this planet at some time or another will have their own day of humility and then they will be forced to be open to other view points and grow and learn.
The original compositions you will listen to will provide you with a glimpse into the psyche of a philosopher at heart. An inquisitive person who goes through the levels of thought analytically like peeling away an onion to develop a perspective of the world around us. The songs discuss one individualâs perspective of hope, angst, love, faith, reality, fantasy, change and stability or lack thereof at times.
Al Soucy is an authentic spiritual man who believes in Karma and is always stretching his own knowledge and understanding of his own human experience. I do hope you enjoy listening to the compositions as much as I enjoyed writing, playing and recording them. I also hope that this music causes the listener to question their own human experience and seek the answers to the questions in their own lives. A great deal of work and care has gone into each and every song and I hope the songs reflect this.
Most importantly: I would not be able to produce one note of music or invest this effort in my musical endeavors if it were not for my beautiful, loving, kind, compassionate wife, Connie Camber-Soucy. She is my muse, my inspiration and has provided me with an environment that is conducive to writing. I love you Connie and thank you for allowing me to be a witness to your life.
Thank you all in advance for your time, for visiting and for listening to what I feel is some of my best work to date.
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