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MP3 Bruce Reynolds - Dedication

Pro guitarist and composer Bruce Reynolds''s 25 year long voyage through time and a musical universe - rock, spanish, arabian, classical, jazz, blues, reggae, Django...

13 MP3 Songs in this album (56:46) !
Related styles: Rock: Instrumental Rock, Classical: Film Music, Featuring Guitar

People who are interested in Ennio Morricone John Williams ( guitarist ) Santana should consider this download.

The story of "Dedication" - Part One

Hello. My name is Bruce Reynolds and I''d like to introduce you to a Cd that''s a little different from the usual.

Firstly - take a seat. Relax. Get comfortable. Open a beer. Listening to this CD will take you on a journey through time as well as a journey through musical styles. Twenty five years lie between the first and last takes, eleven musicians and countless recording venues. Eleven musicians and at least as many music styles and influences.

"Dedication" features, amongst others, three opera singers, three drummers, three bass players and a two guitarists, one of them dead. The circle has been well and truly completed. The last 25 years of my musical journey have been captured on this one CD, this roller coaster of emotions and styles. From opera to djembe, mandolin to fuzzed out guitar, birds and basses, flute and echo drenched harmonicas I always tried to stretch what was possible in instrumental music without losing the plot, without moving away from melody and rhythm, searching, above all, for the vibe.

"Dedication" - the soundtrack to a life full of music and travel - from Qatar in the Persian Gulf to Honduras, Barbados to Paris and Münich via London, a tale of encounters with blues and gypsy musicians, buskers and poets, opera singers and rockers.
Apart from being a collection of hopefully good music the album is a document of time passing as the influences I experienced are all embedded in the music, in the fabric and in the soul of the melodies and grooves.

Recording "Dedication"

I was a busker on the streets of Münich, Stuttgart, Paris and Cannes before settling down with my future wife in a small studio flat in the old town of Bern in the early 1980''s. I messed around with 2 cassette players, bouncing takes back and forth till all that was left was a hissy mess with the ghostly residues of 4 or 5 guitars. I recorded early demos for Dedication on the first multi track tape recorder available for home studio owners - a Teac 3440 4 track machine.
I spent the best part of two years recording. Every day I didn''t stop till I had a finished idea on tape - in whatever shape or form. It didn''t matter if it was a backing tack without melody or without vocal - I set myself the target of a track a day and stuck to this routine.

My Teac got carried around to 20 odd addresses over the years before finally giving up the ghost in Notting Hill in the mid 90’s. I was sad to see the machine go but also happy that I didn''t have to schlepp the monster around anymore. It weighed a bloody ton!
When the Teac was not at hand during the early days I used whatever was available at that time in the way of recording device - cassette recorder, mini disc, voice recorder, memo recorder, back of envelopes, memory… all the way up to full on 16 and 24 track mega machines in totally serious studios. Whatever was at hand got used. Period.

I used a few of my parts from these early demos for flavour when I came to finally finish off the album. This led to some of the mixes ending up with takes 25 years apart! At the time I had no idea that I was demoing anything. I just wrote and wrote. After three years on the street I''d heard dozens of fantastic musicians and had accumulated hundreds of ideas.
Twenty-six years later Dedication was mastered in a valve mastering studio 150 meters from that same studio flat down at the river Aare in Bern…
All of the tracks have a story…here are two of them. The first, "Sergio" is special to me and I''ll try and explain why..

The history of recording "Sergio"

Sergio started as a midi based track in the early ''80''s. I liked the harmonies but was not happy with the vibe. It was too tame, digital and lifeless. It took me 10 years of messing with the tune in my mind till the answer arrived in a rush of astounding simplicity. "I''m a guitarist" I said to myself one day. "Record it on the guitar and sod all that midi bollocks" This was easier said than done. If I was going to multi track the song, I would have to play to a click for the timing…or would I? A click makes life easy when it comes to editing but it can also kill the feel of a track like no other musical tool.
I decided to play and see what happened. I recorded 4 individual guitar parts without a click. I had no tempo guide - just the last take as soft as possible in my cans. I went for it on a wing and a prayer.

I recorded the first track and listened to it carefully. It was confidential played and the timing was cool. The second take was a repeat of the first, note for note. I didn''t think how hard it was going to be, I just went for it. While I was playing, I could hardly hear the first take in the left ear of my cans. It was pure feeling. I think I had to drop in and repair maybe one or two small parts but what you hear is pretty much what happened. I then added a solo guitar. By now the track had a vibe. I was just going to wrap up the session and leave it how it was when a voice in my head told me Ii wasn''t finished yet. I grabbed a steel strung guitar and recorded a few parts which were ok. I then had a sudden flash of inspiration and was just about to put down a killer riff, the icing on the cake, the last loving application of magic when a voice came through my cans.

"Bruce! We''re off to the pub! You coming now?"
It was my wife and her best friend, Christine. The steel strung guitar I was using belonged to Christine,
"Yeh! Give me second…" They stood quietly in the doorway as I quickly put down the last riff. "That''s it" i said, "Done!" Smiles all around.

I grabbed my coat and cigarettes and off we went. I didn''t have energy left to listen to it. It had been one of the most intense experiences of my musical life. I had felt the influence of George Sergides, my guitar teacher, in my hands and fingers as I recorded. He was there, sat next to me, helping me, encouraging, listening, smiling. When I returned to listen to the track a day later I threw up a mix with very few effects, no edits, no fuss. What there was on the tape was what I wanted to hear.

I finished the first listen ever to the song and burst into a flood of tears. I had finally said goodbye to him properly. He had died just after I left England to start my European travels in 1979. I came back for a quick visit in spring 1980 and phoned him, bursting with news and impatient to see him. His wife, Pamela, answered the phone.
"Hi, It''s Bruce. Can I speak to George please?" I said.
There was a sharp intake of breath. "George died six months ago. I''m sorry"
"Oh..I''m sorry to disturb you. Goodbye" Without thinking I hung the phone up and stared at the wall in disbelief. I had bad dreams that night. Like a fool I then lost touch with Pamela and Stella, his daughter. It took many years before we were re-united.

The track was always going to be dedicated to George - the only music teacher I ever had. He taught me to love the instrument in the space of a month. After that, it was just a matter of playing.
After I had listened to the mix again I realized I had something special. All the gratitude and love I felt for George illuminated the music, made it come alive. I gave a copy of the first mix to George''s daughter, Stella. She is a girl who loves to talk. She would talk for England given half a chance. She finished listening and sat on her sofa for 10 minutes without a word. Then, I knew it was good.

The piece has since been played at three funerals, twice live by me and once from the old battered cassette I gave to Stella. When her Mum died she couldn''t reach me so she played the cassette at the funeral. Members of her family, not close to her, not particularly close to George, broke down. What is it with that piece of music? I think it is an optimistic piece, melancholic, yes, but still full of joy for life.

The history of recording "The Last Resort"

There is a long story behind this track. I''ll be brief because I need to get on now and do some mixing! As I said, I will provide a complete history of the CD soon…
I was jamming in a trio in Bern in 1982 - two guitars and drums. We got together and blasted away for hours for the hell of it and had a great time. My mate Enrico played the drums and Mischu played his ''60''s Telecaster through his vintage Vox AC 30 very loud. I taped some of the sessions.

Mischu killed himself in 1983. It was a bad time and a bad story that I wont relate https://www.tradebit.com the time I wrote a song for him but was not knocked out by it.

It was only when I used one of his guitars that I had inherited that a track sprang to life. The Les Paul De luxe he had owned for a month or so while his Gibson 335 was getting repaired ( the top of the neck had snapped clean off after a fall ) spoke to me. I recorded the Last Resort in a single morning session in 1983. It was perfect but so badly recorded I didn''t know what to do with it. That original hissy, crappy mix got played to death over 2 decades. Once in a while I would try and re-record it. I hated doing this then and still do now. Trying to capture a vibe from a spontaneous demo is practically impossible.

In the end I had multiple versions and none of them worked but some had very interesting takes so I sat down one day in 2005 and worked through the whole lot of them. it took a while but I was able to build something. Then all I had to do was recreate the original guitar solo…4 minutes of it…I tried to copy it note for note but soon gave up. Instead I went for the vibe, the emotion and it worked.

I recorded the solo in a three hour long session hours in my studio, then in Halen near Bern. It went well and I was happy till I left the studio to confront a neighbor, an artist whose atelier was next door. She asked how long the sessions would continue and I told her I was done. She said she was happy to hear that as the guitar sounded like a wasp in a tin can through the adjoining wall. She said she couldn''t concentrate on her "art". I did have a Marshall 50 and an AC 30 and a Fender Pro all running at pretty healthy levels - driven by various Gibsons through a Fuzz Face and a Big Muff so I could see where she was coming from even if I did not agree with her turn of phrase.

When I came to mix the track I felt something was missing…Mischu!! I dug thru 20 years of cassettes and found one of the old session recordings. Pretty much at random I copied some of the audio onto my drive and had a look at what would fit. Much to my joy, I found 20 seconds of one of Mischu''s solos that did fit - tempo and key and feel and sound. I grabbed the precious 20 seconds and whacked it onto the track. After a little bit of moving a note or two to be in the groove it was done.

First takes...1983.
Rhythm guitars…London 1999.
Drums…London 2005.
Guitar solos…Bern 2005.
Bass…Basel 2006.
Percussion…Belgium 2006.
Mix…Bern 2008.
Time span…25 years.

Dedication - finishing the project

The impetus to finish the CD came with the death of my father. I believe playing "Sergio" at his funeral acted as a focal point for me.
Once I’d recovered from the loss I got serious. Further major changes in my life got in the way of finishing the project but once I was able to settle down and concentrate I got it done. 

This has been a long time coming and I’m still slightly surprised it’s over and done.

"Dedication" spans a generation and the most incredible changes have happened since its first conception. It was started as the world changed with the rising power of the money markets and has been finished just as the same financial structures begin to crumble along with the man in the street''s faith in them. As in the early 1980''s there are seismic changes happening in the political and economic worlds. People are starting to take control of their own destinies globally and are casting aside the old assumptions that those in charge must know what the hell they are doing!
I dedicated tracks to people I met on my journey and to two guys I''ve yet to meet. Friends, heroes, lovers and people who inspired me are all there.

The whole CD is of course dedicated to my dad, a humble, kind man who is with me every good day I have.
I offer up heart felt thanks to all my friends and fellow musicians who helped me finish this project with their playing and with their endless encouragement and support.

Now and the future

The Sea Shepherds, an organization responsible for blocking the slaughter of whales by the Japanese, use "Ocean", the lead track off my CD for promotions. I''m very happy to have the music used in this way.
I will document each track in an E book showing where, when and by whom it was recorded and the influences and stories attached to them. Once this is finished, I will put up a link on my site for anyone who is interested in reading the story of this CD.

Now I am looking forward to the future. I recorded two other CDs in the last couple of years and these are available at my website…I have a list of some 4 CD projects that I am launching into - one at a time I hasten to add. These range from hard rock to classical guitar to world influenced grooves…I cant wait!

Thank you for taking the time read this and I hope you enjoy the music as much as I enjoyed finishing off this project!

Please drop by and leave a message in the guestbook on my site.

Best wishes
Bruce (Bern 2011)

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