guitar

New songs, albums and radio stuff, plus a big move…

Some updates on my acoustic singer-songwriter side of life. Because you asked*.

I’ve got some new songs (you can have ’em for free)

As usual, they’re home recordings, i.e. I’ve stuck my phone on a random surface and hoped it came out OK. Most of the time it vaguely works. I think…

1. A cover of Defiance Ohio‘s brilliant rallying cry against modern society:

2. An instrumental piece inspired by Cornwall and the summer:

A new ‘album’

I’ve stuck together a collection of my recent demos in a free compilation thing called Luddite Ballads. Which I might use as the title of my actual new EP thing coming out soon from Rack Mount Records. More on that in a mo.

Actual new album thing

The proper EP I’ve been recording over the past year (feels like forever!) is finally coming out soon on iTunes and Spotify and all that stuff, so I’ll have something official for once. Which will be great. Keep your eye out! Just being mastered etc. at the moment I think so I’ll wack it on the blog when it’s all done.

On t’ Radio

I did a BBC Introducing session the other week with Radio York, as part of their York and North Yorkshire Introducing programme to get up and coming artists heard. You can still listen to it here. I’m 43:30ish in so listen out.

I play three of my own tracks, two of my favourite artists (Bragg and Guthrie) and have a general chat/interview about life, politics and music. It was good fun. Hope you enjoy it too.

On me travels

And with that, I’m off to Belgium to live for six months, working as a (paid!) intern with the Green European Foundation, a think tank linked with the Greens in the European Parliament. It should be exciting and a nice chance to live abroad (despite my lack of French/Flemish). I’ll keep the blog going and will keep strumming. See you soon.

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* That may or may not be true.

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New Songs and Stuff

Just a quick update on the musical side of life. Since publishing my last post here I’ve recorded three new songs – all covers, for a change. As usual, free to hear/download/pirate/destroy/share/generally defame.

The first I recorded for St Piran’s Day – the Cornish ‘national’ day – and the song is the Cornish anthem Trelawney (or Song of the Western Men). Gets the patriotic blood flowing. Not that I’m in to patriotism generally, but Cornwall is pretty great so I don’t really mind.

The next is a cover of Bob Dylan’s beautiful Song to Woody, an ode to Woody Guthrie, the early 19thC socialist folk hero of America. Hope I’ve done it justice. If not, well, soz.

Finally, another Guthrie-related tune, This Land is Your Land, written by the great man himself. I’ve tried to ‘angry’ it up a bit. The lyrics are brilliant, and still very relevent.

The new EP is coming along slowly and should be released with a launch gig over the next month or so, and I’ve got a gig lined up at the Sage in Gateshead on the 29th April, as well as a couple of other speculative gigs lined up. Everything’s up in the air with the end of my degree, but music is a nice distraction.

Anyway, that’s all, folks.

PS don’t forget to visit my SoundCloud page where all my stuff resides/goes to die – soundcloud.com/josiah-mortimer. I’m also, inevitably, on Facebook. Have a gander, and ‘like’ that shiz.

Latest radical acoustic songs and news

Just a quick update on the musical side of my life. I’ll be in York recording a new political acoustic EP in October, and hope to use it as a springboard to expand my gigging and musical presence generally. It will probably go up online either for free or a small donation.

There’s a few gigs coming up in the next few months. My next gig will be the 99 Club in York on the 11th of October,  7:30pm at the St Lawrence Working Men’s Club, a fundraiser for striking miners in South Africa and their socialist alternative to the ANC (after the latter’s failure in the handling of the Marikana massacre). A very worthy cause. Hope you can make it if you’re around! The other gigs are still to be confirmed – make sure to keep updated by liking my music page on Facebook here.

I’m also hoping to start a band after becoming pretty bored of playing solo and realising it would be better to have other people involved – particularly after a violinist, double bassist and possibly a drummer/percussion player and cellist. Get in touch if you know anyone who might be interested!

I won’t go on for too long, apart from saying that there’s lots of new (mostly political) material, most of which has been home recorded and is free to hear and download below or on my SoundCloud site.

Please listen, enjoy and share widely!

Shut Them Down – a song of solidarity with the anti-fracking movement

Staring at Screens – my latest song, a rare non-political piece about spending too much time in front of a computer. An ode to the Facebook/Twitter generation…

Occupy the Radio – my first song on banjo! A call for (musical) revolution…

Darker Things Rise Up – a piece about the worrying rise of the far-right across Europe, as well as UKIP and the EDL in Britain

New song, ‘All You Fascists’, now up in wake of EDL protests

I’ve just recorded and released my latest song, ‘All You Fascists’, a re-working/writing of Woody Guthrie’s classic, in the wake of the horrific rise in racist violence over the past week after the Woolwich murder. It’s free to hear/download online (as usual), and comments are very welcome. I’m hoping to do a proper studio recording in October but in the meantime, this phone-recording should fill the gap!

I wanted to record it in time for the York gathering against the EDL on the 26th May, which in the end proved a massive success with over 100 members of the local community coming together to show our unity and solidarity. The EDL, on the other hand, were virtually a no-show with just four or five supporters turning up. News of the community day has now gone viral online – see here – particularly in light of the fact that the EDL were invited in to drink tea, chat, and play football in the sun (though they gave the latter a miss. My team lost, sadly). A great turnout from both students and locals showed unity isn’t just a nice word.

It’s been a busy past few weeks, trying to squeeze in song-writing and gigs between exam revision. But good things have come out of it, including playing alongside the wonderful Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly in Manchester, on the 18th May at the People’s History Museum (for NoiseStock). It was an incredible experience and a great gig with hopefully lots of exciting opportunities to come out of it.

PS While you’re here, have a listen to my other new song, ‘All I Got Is This’, a piece on being young and relatively lost in the world.

I’ll be playing again at this term’s Jamnesty, the fantastic Amnesty-organised music event so see you there!

Hope you like the new tunes, and keep an eye out for more updates at www.facebook.com/josiahmortimeracoustic

‘The Lady’s Not Returning’ – A Song on Thatcher

I’ve just recorded and uploaded my latest song, ‘The Lady’s Not Returning’, to my SoundCloud (it’s free to hear, download and share). The song is on Margaret Thatcher, the most divisive (and destructive) Prime Minister Britain has arguably ever seen, and comes of course around the time of her £10m publically-funded funeral. If you oppose what Thatcher stood for, have a listen and feel free to pass it around. There’s also a little YouTube video of it here.

Thatcher is gone, but her ideology is still with us – particularly with the current government’s vicious austerity programme which is ruining the lives of millions of people and failing to sort our economy. The Iron Lady’s ideas aren’t yet Rusting in Pieces…

Like all my stuff the song is on a Creative Commons license so you can basically do what you want with it. Hope you like.

I’ve just launched a new Facebook page for my music stuff – feel free to like it to keep up to date: www.facebook.com/josiahmortimeracoustic

You might also want to listen to two other new songs of mine – 99 Reasons (a tribute to the People’s Assembly Against Austerity this June), and A Movement and a Reason, dedicated to the student protests of 2010 against tuition fees and a call for a new student movement –

On a final note, I recently did an interview on my music with York Vision, a student newspaper at the University of York. Have a read for more info on my song-writing and what I’m up to musically. Exciting times! www.yorkvision.co.uk/scene/interview-with-josiah-mortimer/

‘Live and Overcome’ – An Acoustic Tribute to Chavez

I’ve just recorded and uploaded my latest song (written tonight!), ‘Live and Overcome’. It’s an acoustic tribute to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who tragically passed away on Tuesday. He was, and is, an inspiration to millions world-wide seeking an alternative to the destructive free-market capitalism which has landed us in all this mess.

You can listen and download it for free (along with all my other stuff) from soundcloud.com/josiah-mortimer. Feel free to share around – it’s all on a copy-left license (Creative Commons), so I won’t sue 🙂 You can listen to it below too, using Soundcloud’s fancy embedding stuff. Recorded rather quickly on my phone, but I hope it comes across OK.

If you’re around York, I’ll be playing on Saturday at York Social’s ‘The Gathering’, a night of radical acoustic music and poetry, at York’s only co-operative pub, the Golden Ball. It’s a great pub and it should be a fantastic night. It’s free (as far as I know!) and will start from about 8pm. See you there!

I’m also playing the University of York Amnesty International fundraiser ‘Jamnesty’ next Wednesday at Tramways Working Men’s Club from 8pm, billed as a night of decent local acoustic music, ‘because we give a folk’. Good stuff. Should raise a lot of money for a great (on the whole) organisation.

Anyway, hope you like the track. And maybe see you at a radical gig at some point in the future!

New (Semi-)Political EP ‘Bonfire Songs’ Released

At the end of December I recorded (and have now ‘released’) a new acoustic EP, Bonfire Songs, featuring music inspired by modern protest, student life and, in March and In This Together, the disturbing policies of this government. All four songs from the record are available to download for free online, released under a Creative Commons licence (copy-left ftw). Have a listen, download it, share it around if you want. You can hear and download Bonfire Songs here: soundcloud.com/josiah-mortimer/sets/bonfire-songs.

I recently had the massive privilege of playing at Luddites 2013 – a big 200th anniversary event of the execution of the Luddite’s executed in York for their role in trying to (literally) smash capitalism from the outset. The radical music event in the evening showed the extent to which the left-wing musical tradition does live on, albeit underground. Hopefully there will be plenty more political music events to come. We need to keep radical song alive.

Firstly, some background about the political music on Bonfire Songs itself. March was written for the TUC’s ‘A Future that Works’ protest in October 2012, and was entered into the TUC’s ‘Make the March’ project, which promoted the demonstration through art and song. March became one of the most shared songs on the site, and has now been entered into Noise Festival’s ‘Art of Protest’ competition, potentially being featured in the People’s History Museum, Manchester. Wish me luck.

In this Together was inspired by the betrayal of the Liberal Democrats going into coalition with the Conservative Party, and condemns the brutal cuts which resulted from that decision. As a student involved in the 2010 student protests, it tries to reflect some of the anger students like myself felt (and still feel).

 

Hope you enjoy the EP. And if you’re after someone (however unrefined!) to play a political/charity event in the Yorkshire or South West regions, drop me an email #willplayforpints

 

Bonfire Songs Cover