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Tale of three albums

 

As an at the game, I just write tunes, sing em record em and here they are. Could avoid all this store em in the cellar like unloved homemade wine.

In Turkey in the old days according to Seth Godin, you’d go to the bakers, buy two loaves one for yourself and one for the baker to put on the hook. Anyone in hunger can come by and say ha Mr Baker anything on the hook? Yes, he’d reply here’s some bread. Thus, hunger is alleviated at least for this fellow. Put your art on hook says Godin. Not a bad idea, so here they are on the hook.

 

The Journey January 2019

This journey started out before the pandemic, but way after the sad departure of my dear friend Steve. Epoch changing moment on this life’s travels but what comes of such losses, momentary, lessons that life is special, that it’s precious and not to take it for granted then on just the same in all honesty. The same but not the same.

 

The Citadel October 2020

An album of ten uplifting and thoughtful tracks a document on life's journey Tender Spirit Tender Heart with the line "aint it always been that way", like the early song “The place where love is”, with the line "some people don't know for sure exactly where they should be". Oh, life is strange said Billy Bragg, yes, it is. But where not floppy jellyfish, we're erect, like Michael Rosen (Get well soon), once said "life's not adequate", not here or in the Yemen. If all you can do is give a toss, then why not! It's that song you wrote Life in dreams - now it makes sense. So, the songs come, here's another ten hope you enjoy.

 

Ascendance 2021

Into the chasm where you might find some semblance of Ascendance. It was the worst of times; it was the best of times. Best for what we learnt, for how we grew, we ascended to heights high enough to spy vistas of new life. They say you can observe your thoughts, so you're feeling blue - why? Did you not sleep too well, did you lose sight of your dreams? You say you don't know how to resolve these things, but what would you do if you did? Say, look to the birds, they fly south for the winter, yes, they do, they do, yes, they do.

 

Visit for more information and to listen to music visit www.ayobamidele.com

Support me by buying this album on Bandcamp https://ayobamidele1.bandcamp.com/album/ascendance

 

Ayo Blog November 2016

It’s Children in need and I’ve decided to join the party by donating twenty of my album Friendly Sky to the cause, so if you feel like donating a fiver and would like something back in return, why not buy a copy of Friendly Sky on Ebay, all proceeds go to Children in Need. It’s a chance to raise £100 for this great cause.

So, Trumps in the White House, Britain’s coming out of Europe, Leicester won the Premiership. I’m not predicting anything anymore! This world has become too unpredictable. I’ve just finished reading Susan Jeffers book Feel the fear and do it anyway. One of the main premises of the book is that “whatever happens you can handle it”, you have the resources to cope and you should realise it. As far as self-help books go this is one of the better ones. It’s always a case of take what works for you and skip over the stuff that doesn’t with these books.

Realising you can handle whatever changes is a good piece of advice right now with all the change that’s going on. There was a programme on Radio Four the other day, yes I must be getting old listening to Radio Four. It was Soul Music, about Sam Cooke’s A change is gonna come. Apparently, he was inspired to write it by hearing Bob Dylan’s “Blowing in the wind”, he decided to breakout of the pop/soul he’d been writing to something more substantive. They are two of the best tracks ever written.

I read and interview with James Brown years ago, not that James Brown the one from UB40 their drummer. He said something about music that I’ll always remember, he said there are two types of erformers ones that want to break your heart like Billie Holliday and those that want to start a party like Ella Fitzgerald. He said that UB40 are in the party camp, I can testify to that I saw them in Croydon at Fairfield Hall, a great gig. That’s not to say that their music has no depth, they have always had a strong social conscience in their music, like the songs, one in ten, Sing our own song or Rat in the kitchen to name a few. Many bands of that era and just before, had a similar view, like The Specials, The Jam, The Clash, they were all an inspiration to me.

I’m always trying to communicate something in my music, like on my latest album "Silver Lining" about focusing on the things that matter in life. "Friendly Sky" about a magazine article I read which explained all the coincidences that came together to produce a planet which can support life. "Miracle" of finding your soul mate. A "Sculpture of Philosophy" which is about tyranny and those that seek power for their own self-aggrandisement.

"Fly Right", was inspired by something which happened when I was about thirteen I used to write songs back then, while walking along singing to myself. Anyway one day my older brother Olu comes back from school and say’s the Dad of his mate Victor Fassenfelt, saw me walking along singing and he said “he’s not in this world your brother”! He clearly thought I was nuts. Composing songs in the street didn’t go down too well in this particular part of the East End of London. But I thought it was great, “I’m not in this world”, I was like yeah someone’s finally noticed. It suited the bohemian leanings I had at the time. So check the song out, it’s one of the tracks on the album.

I hope you’ll help me raise £100 for children by buying one of the 20 albums available now on Ebay

Click here to hear Fly Right

The album Friendly Sky available on Ebay

Ayo Blog 1 November

It’s been sometime; why is that when you buy a new computer you have to spend twice as much replacing all the software that’s now obsolete. Anyway it’s all sorted now so I can update the site again.

I needed to get it together for the release of the new album Friendly Sky. I read an article recently about all the billion to one chances that came together to result in us being here. If we were any closer to the sun the earth would be a desert, any further away it would be a ball of ice, ETC and on it went all these happy coincidences. We take all this stuff for granted most of the time, so preoccupied are with the substance of our day to day lives. But because of all these billion to ones we have to be thankful. That’s the thinking behind Friendly Sky; also the idea that good overcomes evil most of the time in the long run.

What about Sleaford Mods ranting and swearing their heads off. I reckon they’re into Strummer, Dammers and maybe Weller in the Jam Days. He said Corbyn reeks of compassion, well what does Cameron reek of? Funny he says he’s into Eton Rifles…….

I spent a long time working on this album and I mastered it myself again as Denis Blackham up in the Isle of Skye has retired. He mastered all my solo albums up to last years Tilbury Docks. I messed about with percussion on this one, but left it all off, not too au fait with bongos, wood block and maracas so I decided to stick with what I know best guitar and vocals. Using two guitar tracks on all the tracks, I believe it’s a step forward but in a similar vein to my other solo albums warmth being a byword and hopefully compassion too.

There are songs on it about love and relationships Warm Embrace, Miracle, about putting people and other higher things such as the beauty of nature before money, Silver Lining, Fly Right & Promised Land.

There are others I really like, like Sculpture of Philosophy, Bead & Bangles, Ancient Wisdom; well all of them in fact; but I would say that wouldn’t I. I hope you enjoy it too.

Homage to the Skye Master and Tilbury Docks.

I have to give my appreciation and thanks to Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering. He retired on the 5th May 2014. Denis has mastered all my solo acoustic albums, nine in total. Starting with 2005's Volume 1, right up to last year's Reflections. He always managed to get a nice warm sound and I'm very grateful for all the work he has done on my music.

I have just finished putting the finishing touches to my new album, Tilbury Docks.

For a longtime now I've wanted to write a song about my Father coming to the UK from Nigeria in the early sixties - a long time ago. He came by ship and Tibury Docks was the first place he first set foot on British soil. The town where he grew up Ila Orangun is about 200 miles south of the current capital Abuja. Must have seemed a whole lifetime away from Tilbury in Essex.

His four children including me have settled and built lives for ourselves here in blighty. Unfortunately he passed away before his five grandchildren were born, but I'm sure he would have been very proud. It's British trait to be self effacing, but it's easy to take for granted all the good things Britain offers, freedom of speech, the national health service, democracy, free education ETC. It's not perfect by any means. But I think Danny Boyle got it exactly right in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Games championing mainly the good stuff. All the art, literature and music too.

I'd love my African, Nigerian, Yoruba heritage but I'm proud to be British too. Yes I would say he did make a good choice.

Nesta Records Blog

A big thank you to everyone who bought my albums or any other Nesta Records' album last year. The same also to anyone who came to any of the few gigs I did. All in all the feedback for the album Reflections was very positive.

2013 saw the end of my record label Nesta Records and my online fanzine rootsmusic.co.uk. These ventures were supposed to provide a platform for up and coming roots and acoustic artists to promote their music. One of the highlights of the label, was releasing the compilation The Song Makers Project Volume 1. This included tracks by Billy Bragg, Eric Bibb, Bert Jansch and Ted Hawkins it was our biggest selling album by far. It included the first ever release by Sam Genders. A really lovely acoustic song called Never Die. Sam went on to great success with Tunng and now with Diagrams.

I still enjoy listening to the albums we released by Brothers Falloon and Holy Man Jones, titled Modern Harmonies and Let it Rain respectively.

Another highlight of the whole Nesta Records saga was the package tour we did, playing Bristol, Peterborough, Nottingham, Newcastle, Birmingham and London. All the gigs went down well including performances from our acts plus special guests Jezz Hall, Jackie Leven Bob Fox, Amy Wadge, Friends of the Stars and Chris Tye on various nights.

As for Rootsmusic.co.uk, I still think there is a place for an online music magazine. Think of Mojo but completely online, you can read reviews and hear the music both for albums and live gigs. You could also see interviews being recorded. All downloaded straight to your ipad/tablet ETC, each month. I started it in 1999 before all this social media stuff took off. Before Myspace, Facebook or twitter, now there are so many ways for bands to promote themselves.

So for me now it's all about on playing my guitar, writing songs doing the odd gig and having fun. Roll on 2014.

 

 

Blog December 2013

On the Tuesday before last I went to see Bob Dylan at the Royal Albert Hall. I went along with my friend the musician and poet David Leakey, a real Dylan aficionado. We stopped off in pub for a pint and bite to eat. Thought Bob wouldn't be on until late, got there around 7:30 and almost missed the start. We had seats which were behind the stage to the side, which were actually a lot better than they sound. As we had a good sid on view of all the band and Bob had his back to us when twinkling on the ivories.

Bob has got a really good group of musicians behind him the guitarist and drummer stood out for me. Bob alternated between standing at the mic and standing at the piano. It was my first time of seeing him live and Dave's seventh, he says this was his best performance he'd seen in that Bob was enthusiastic and engaged with the audience. When you see any artist you want to know that they are enjoying themselves or at least committed to what they are doing and Bob certainly was.

The stand out tracks for me were Early Roman Kings, Pay In Blood, Love Sick and a track he played from the Together Through Life album, which I believe was Beyond Here Lies Nothing. Everyone knows the classics like Tangled Up Blue and All Along the Watchtower which he did play but the newer material from Tempest sounds great live too. All in all a very good gig.

Many many moons ago I saw The Style Council at the Royal Albert Hall around the time of the Cost of Loving album. They were my favourite band of the 80's and I've recorded on of there B-Sides (When You) Call Me. You can hear it now on the music page. Music Page

News 13 Oct 2013

My first album Soul Sketches which I recorded under the moniker Delta Blue is now sold out and will be deleted. I recorded it with a host of musicians in 2000. When I say I only pressed 500 copies you can see it wasn't a massive commercial success, taking 13 years to sell out. But I was and still am immensely proud of it and view it as one of my best.

The first two tracks were recorded with producer Roger Askew. The idea was that we would record two tracks and try and get a Record Company to finance the rest of the album. Unfortunately I got turned by everyone I approached so went ahead and recorded it myself at home on an 8 track recorder and a few mics. I hired a host of musicians on drums, percussion, sax flute, keyboards etc. They did a good job.

I remember the keyboard player Paulo Losi being amazed that we managed to get such a good sound, recording at home and with limited equipment.

The album got a lot of good feedback on its release and still does today Big thanks to everybody who bought a copy.

There's no better way to sign off then a review I got for the album dmme.net;

Stuck outside the mobile with this urban blues again – Tom Waits got answered, rootsy way.

Ayo Bamidele, the man behind the DELTA BLUE moniker, may be a Londoner but his African heritage shows, and it is the crux of the matter, of the where and the why this music feels so full of grace. So full of soul opened to the gloom of the city and light of hope in equal measures as fashioned by Tom Waits, but the measure Ayo offers is “The Golden Rule”.

His voice is soft as butter here and trembling in “Butterfly” the uplifting chorus of which chases away the loneliness. The kind of you have when going home in the morning, a feeling captured beautifully by skittish piano of “Best Time Of My Life” and air breathing in between Bamidele’s guitar strum and Holger Gafert’s adventurously jazzy bass in “Love Is The Wine” and “As Years Go By”. So it’s not the blues pouring out of “‘Cold Love” or “You Make Me Feel Good”, it’s blue the color of these sketches. The color of melancholia and life itself.

*****

http://www.dmme.net/reviews/reviews22.html

Blog 3rd October 2013

Winston Churchill suffered from depression, he called it his black dog apparently. I don't suffer from depression, but like a lot of us I get the occasional blue mood every now and then. I wrote about this in the song Stony Ground taken from my latest album Reflections. I threw in a line about black dogs as a pointer to Winston Churchill, you can down load it free of charge from the music page. On the great war time leader, I recently got back from Malta and visited the War Museum in the capital Valetta. The stories of heroism particularly during the Second World War were awe inspiring. This tiny Island in withstanding the fascist, German and Italian Axis played a pivotal role in the Allies winning the war in North Africa.

We also went to the museum of Archeology, the island has been occupied by Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans and many other groups and each has left their own foot print on the Islands. The museum had artifacts from all these eras - well worth a visit. A little tip if you do get a heritage card, it gives you access to all the museums and galleries - save a pretty penny or euro.

While out there I read Pete Townshend's brilliant biography Who Am I. Firstly all that nonsense about downloading inappropriate images was explained. He was trying to prove that the Banks were profiting from this despicable trade. Having been abused himself as a child he wanted to put an end to this. No images were found on any of his computers. If he was guilty of anything it was being incredibly naive. But then again, aren't all creatives a little bit naive? They often retain a child like sense of wonder for life and the world. If you see something wrong go and change it.

I read an interview with the late Joe Strummer of the Clash. He recounted how while on a road trip in America, they stopped off at a diner, while there they became fascinated with an almost antique hand dryer in the lavatory. They were in their for quite sometime checking out the design and trying to find where and when it was made. The locals thought they had gone mad .Strummer went on to say that it was impossible to write good songs without this child like fascination.

Another thing Strummer said was that you can't be a prophet in your own country, this was when talking about the Clash's enormous success in the States and relative obscurity in the UK. This is a biblical phrase taken from Matthew 13:53 when Jesus went back to his own country and was rejected. I wrote about this in my song The Carpenter on the album The Good Tom Shepherd.

Going back to Townshend their were three moments in his biography and his life that stood out. One is the moment that his musical muse was ignited, this happened by hearing a full orchestra composition in the sound of flowing water. This was while on a boat trip in Isleworth when he was a young lad. This is the sound he wanted to recreate in his music. Now listening to the intro to Baba O'Reilly, it sounds like a sparkling spring, flowing water.

Two, he calls the Goldhawk Road Manifesto, after playing an early Who gig, some Mods explained that Townshend song I Can't Explain, articulated perfectly what these young mods were experiencing. A frustrating inability to put into words what they were feeling at this point in their young lives. Townshend then commits to write songs that serve his audience in preference to himself.

Three was his moment of spiritual enlightenment, after which the world looked different. He became a follower of the guru Meher Baba. This had a big influence on his creative work as evidence on the album Tommy. Where Tommy's inability to communicate is a kind of spiritual myopia that Townshend sees in society at large.

I had a similar moment of enlightenment when I was nineteen. On my knees praying probably in one of those blue moods I spoke of earlier, I experienced a wonderful sense of warmth and light that filled the room, even though my eyes were shut. I knew it was God's presence and that has stayed with me ever since. I don't go to church, there's too much that I just can't buy there. But I do read the bible, pray, fast, meditate it's an an important part of my life. Artistically I'm not evangelical - just what would I be trying to convert people to? I don't ever want to come across as preachy.

Many atheist check for the almost spiritual yearning many of us feel, but say this can be filled by inspirational music, art, poetry or nature and of course it can be found in all these things. In John 4:13 Jesus tells a woman at a well that he can feel this yearning by offering water that if you drink you will never thirst again. I wrote a song about this which you can listen to and download on the music page. Hopefully it says something to atheist and people of faith alike and without preaching of course.

Blog 22 July 2013

I have always striven to make music with real heart and soul . To follow his muse rather than the current trends and fashion. Inspired initially by the forthright music of young New Wave renegades such as Weller and Strummer writing songs about the human condition and it’s too often pitiful state.

Yes sadly, it is true that kidney machines are still being replaced by rockets and guns and career opportunities is still the one that never knocks for too many of our young today.

Later I learned that other young dudes ploughed a similar furrow many years before no less than one Bob Dylan,and even a Woody Guthrie before then. Leading to Morrison, Martyn, Havens etc. Did Dylan by chance inspire a Curtis Mayfield to write not only of matters of the heart but also of social injustice too.

Yeah Bob Marley morphs People Get Ready into One Love and so the chain continues and the torch is passed.And of love I have written much also, The Place where Love Is, a prime example. But also what is Crimson Red about, if not the lack of love.

So what Reflections are to be made now, after all these years and journeys. These are a personal kind the joys of family life on A Fine Book, dealing with life’s evil sods on Light Stealer, navigating the blue moods on Stony Ground.

The opening track Time Waits for no man depicts a middle aged man looking back on his life and focusing on what is really important the love ones, the friends, his faith, the principles and values he has found to be sound and promising to waste no time in living life to the full in the future.

There’s a couple of songs about escapism, getting away from the shallow pretense of modern life, to a place where deeper views and feelings can be expressed away from the Merry Dance and on to Magic Island.

Spirituality - This has been tackled by many of my favourite artists Dylan, Morrison, Martyn, Marley, Havens etc. I' m unconvinced by organised religion but even Richard Dawkins admits to a sense of wonder over some of the biblical stories. The track The Well is inspired by the story in John 4:13. Musically those that have my earliest solo recordings can hopefully see the progression in my playing and songwriting.

I’ve always taken the punk rock or avant garde view, pick up a guitar and sing your heart out approach, be true to yourself , communicate what’s inside rather than show off with vocal tricks and boring guitar flashiness. But I have developed new styles but hopefully still never letting anything overshadow the song what it’s for, to share and to communicate. Hopefully that’s what this album, Reflections does“.

 

 

 

 

 


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