Gavin Sutherland

Gavin Sutherland

Musician and Songwriter

wirelessleeveWireless Connection . . . .

"I feel a wireless connection,
'Tween me and you.
Right now I'm getting good reception,
Yeah, the signal's coming through!"

'Wireless Connection' was written, recorded and produced during the winter of late '16 and early '17, in Gardenstown, Banffshire, Scotland. It is scheduled for release autumn, 2017, on the Hanover based MIG Music label

Mastered by Richard Digby Smith, Windsor Road Studio, Torquay, and Richard Werner, B&B Studio, Edinburgh.

All songs written by Gavin Sutherland, Suthsongs©2017.

Gavin Sutherland, guitars, bass, vocals and various, with big thanks to the lads and lasses who helped the whole thing roll along:
Adele Henderson, voice, Alexander Jarvie, horns, Carl Damiano, piano, organ, Debi Doss, voice, Gareth John, cello, James Sutherland, drums, John Wright, drums, Katie Morley, voice, Kelly Seerungum, voice, Nick Zala, pedal steel guitar, mandolin, Rachael Brown, voice and Terry Butters, piano.

Cover photography: Barry Wain
Artwork: Sascha Osterland

An 'organic' approach to writing and recording seems to work best for me these days. Get an idea, knock up a rough sketch, map out the general shape of the song and see where you can take it from there. Try a few different things and maybe get some musicians and singers onboard if that's how you feel it should go. Don't get too hung up about words and musical detail, all that will happen if you're onto something worth exploring and you're working with the right people. Let one thing lead to another. Let it grow.
A record is never really finished, you could fiddle around with a song forever, it's about finding the right time to abandon it, let go and move on. We had a good time recording this album and hope you like what we've done. Cheers. GS.

1 Peggy Told Me
2 Blueberry Wine
3 Stolen Dream
4 Wireless Connection
5 Microgroove
6 After The Storm (Revisited)
7 Old West Road
8 Merry Lights
9 Monkeys and Trees
10 The Thistle and The Rose
11 Show Mercy,
12 The Nightbird's Song

 

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Tune in for a quick listen . . .
Hit the dial to fire up the old wireless if you'd like to hear a few snippets from the tracks. They're short n' sweet but enough to give you a flavour of what it's all about.

 

Peggy Told Me
John Wright, drums, Carl Damiano, piano.

Conversations with travelling folk from a generation who remember the days when their families and company of friends took to the country roads in horse drawn caravans, and hearing the stories and songs of their intimate bond with the natural world, stirred the romantic in me. My thoughts were of freedom, innocence and happiness, but some of the realities, I'm sure, may well have been quite different. A pal wondered if there might be a nod in Margaret 'Peggy' Atwood's direction somewhere in there. Well, if there is, that's fine with me.

Peggy told me things I didn't know,
She told me about the river, and the way it flows
By the road to Lumphanan
Where summer breezes blow.

She told me about the days when the wheels rolled round
On the old rocky road, as the sun went down,
Yeah, Peggy told me some things I didn't know.

She told me, a hand was there to hold me
And time would show me,
Where I belong.

Gone are the days when the big wheels turned,
Gone are the nights when the lamplight burned,
I'll raise a glass to Peggy, and the comfort I found
When she told me, she'd be there to hold me
And time would show me,
Where I belong.

Yeah Peggy told me things I didn't,
Tales of the river and the way it flows
By the road to Lumphanan
Where the wild heather grows.

 

Blueberry Wine
John Wright, drums, Carl Damiano, Rhodes piano, Kelly Seerungum, Rachael Brown, backing vocals.

A glass of wine, relaxed in the summer sun, and a toe-tapping groove was born in a daydream.

Talking on the telephone, to a friend of mine,
Talking over what it is, drinking blueberry wine,
Blueberry wine, with a friend of mine,
Talking over this and that,
Drinking blueberry wine.

Thinking things over, in the heat of the day,
Thinking about the whole thing, in a whole new way,
Drinking blueberry wine, blueberry wine,
Sitting in the shade in an old straw hat,
Thinking over this and that,
Drinking blueberry wine.

Riding on the late night train, on the east coast line,
The sea in the moonlight, biding my time,
Drinking blueberry wine, yeah it's looking fine,
Heading back home to the old Seatown, see who's around,
Drinking blueberry wine.

 

Stolen Dream
John Wright, drums, Carl Damiano, piano, Hammond, Kelly Seerungum, harmony voice.

Life's an unpredictable game, so let's all enjoy the ups and deal with the downs as they come our way. That's about the top and bottom of it.

A thousand colours, light up the sky,
On a night like no other, shooting diamonds fly,
You stand beside me, and offer me your hand,
Together we wander, in a wonderland,

I don't want to waste my time on the trouble of the day,
Find a place to lay my head and dream my dream away.

We call up the piper, he plays a tune,
A tune like no other, to a raging moon.

I don't want to waste my time hung up in blue
Find a place to lay my head and dream my dream with you.

The stars were falling, as the night turned black,
My dream was stolen, but I got it back!

I don't want to waste my time on the worry of the day,
Find a place to rest my head and dream my dream away.

 

Wireless Connection
Carl Damiano, piano, Nick Zala, pedal steel guitar, Adele Henderson, Katie Morley, vocals.

The connection we have with each other, the radio that brought a world of music into our living rooms and now the global web connection we all take so much for granted that it feels like it's always been here.

If I had wheels I would roll to you,
If I had wings I would fly
If I could speak I would talk to you,
Sometimes words are hard to find.

If I was a sun I would shine on you
There to lighten up your day
If I was a star I would shine so bright,
Always there to guide you on your way.

I feel a wireless connection,
Between me and you,
Right now I'm getting good reception,
Yeah the signal's coming through!

If I had wheels I would roll to you,
If I had wings I would fly
If I could speak I would talk to you,
I got so much on my mind.

 

Microgroove
James Sutherland, drums, Carl Damiano, piano, Alexander Jarvie, horns.

It started with a line from a nursery rhyme on a wax disc, and from there grew a massive industry. The vinyl record manufacturing business, with those magical microgrooves bursting full of sound. What would life have been like without them?

There are times when I wonder,
What the next move's gonna be,
And there were times I thought I might go under,
But you were always there for me.

Oh the microgroove, came to save me
Turn away those late night lonesome blues,
The microgroove, would not forsake me,
Forever there beside me, tried and true.

There are days of little comfort
And there are days when all I see is blue
And on those days when all things come to nothing,
That's when I turn to you.

 

After The Storm
John Wright, drums, Gareth John, cellos, Debi Doss and Katie Morley, backing vocals.

A tune I wrote some years ago, right here in the old Seatown. The song just appeared in my head as I watched the storm out over the bay. Wish it was that easy every time! I found the words I'd scribbled down in an old note book a couple of months ago and decided it might be worth a revisit, maybe with some strings in the mix? Really enjoyed voicing the cellos and great to have the lines played by a fine player who lives nearby and who taught my youngest daughter cello when she was at school.

The wind was coming off the sea that night,
Blowing hard on me that night,
The moon above was clear and bright,
After the storm.

There was something in the air that night,
Something kind of rare that night,
I think I must have seen the light,
After the storm.

I was looking for a friend of mine,
Another place, another time,
I didn't see the warning sign,
After the storm.

It's time to hit the road again,
Carrying the load again,
Yes and reaping what I sowed again,
After the storm.

 

The Old West Road
Nick Zala, mandolin, Terry Butters, piano.

A photograph or a chance meeting can often bring distant memories to mind.

When we were young, our hearts beating strong,
We laughed we'd run down the Old West Road,
Where as a young man I took Jeannie's hand
As we walked on the sand by the Old West Road.

Yesterday's deal, the sail-boat and creel
A fiddle n' reel down the Old West Road.
I still see her face, her smile leaves a trace
Of a lovers' embrace, down the Old West Road'

Now those days are gone, but the memory shines on
In the warm summer sun, down the Old West Road.

When we were young, our hearts beating strong,
We laughed we'd run down the Old West Road.

 

Merry Lights
Carl Damiano, piano,

Watching the Northern Lights dance across the night sky always brings out the 'who, what and why' in me. I've been fortunate enough to have seen the giant light show many times, but it never ceases to amaze and bring about a magnificent sense of wonder.

What will I write, when the time comes around?
A tale of how the world turned upside down.
What will I be, when the day is done?
A rabbit in the headlights, a circle round the sun.

All that bold endeavour, so much comes to mind,
A flicker in the darkness, a light forever shines.

What will I do, when the well runs dry?
I'll be thinking about the who and where and why.
What will I see, when I look into those eyes?
The Merry Lights dancing, 'cross the sky.

All that bold endeavour, so much comes to mind,
A sparkle in the darkness, a light forever shines.

What will I see, when I look into those eyes?
The Merry Lights dancing, 'cross the sky.

 

Monkeys and Trees
John Wright, drums, Carl Damiano, piano, Alexander Jarvie, horns.

Hard to imagine just how clean and wonderful our planet must have been before we humans came along and started messing things up. 'Progress' is an interesting word.

Looking for answers, looking for clues,
Taking chances, paying my dues,
Some got the money, some got the luck,
Looking for reasons and coming unstuck.
These are the things that've troubled me,
Ever since the creature crawled from the sea.

Always nervous and insecure
Never quite certain, never too sure.
Wars n' roses, pleasure n' pain,
Hung out to dry, now they've done it again.
These are the things that worried me
Ever since the monkey came down from the tree.

Reading Revelations, it's in the book,
The Quaker quaked while the Shaker shook
Turn the land, plant the seed,
The Reaper comes along and takes what he needs,
These are the things that have mystified me,
Ever since the monkey came down from the tree.

Monkeys and trees, monkeys and trees . . . .

 

The Thistle and The Rose
James Sutherland, drums, Carl Damiano, piano. Kelly Seerungum, harmony voice.

The trials and tribulations of a guy born in Scotland, brought up in England by his Scottish dad and English mum. So, here I am, quite happily, somewhere between the thistle and the rose.

No political agenda, no business plan,
Thrown into the lions' den,
I don't wanna go there again.

No space to wander, no place to hide,
The river is a flowing pen,
I'll pick it up and start again.

No time for freedom, no time for peace,
No time to go out looking for a friend,
We're ringing out the bells again,
Yeah we're ringing out the bells again.

We walk on ice, we walk on air,
Stepping out together to get somewhere,
One day we'll be there.

We'll find that peace, we'll find it all
In a place that no-one knows,
Somewhere between the thistle and the rose,
Somewhere between the thistle and the rose.

 

Show Mercy
James Sutherland, drums, Alexander Jarvie, horns, Debi Doss, harmony voice.

Reflections of my roots and the hymns and songs I heard as a young lad, sung with passion in the local kirk by a community whose livelihood came from the sea. It's impossible to ignore the unfairness of what goes on around the world, and neither should we. It's always been the case, and probably always will be, but things just might get better if we try a little harder?

I don't know much about this logic that you speak,
Still confused by all the secrets that you keep,
Now I must hold on to what I know is true,
I'll put my trust in you.

We're all in this together, well so I hear them say,
We'll ride the heavy weather, find a brighter day,
There's a calm on the horizon, go steady with the craft,
She's taking water fore n' aft

Show mercy for the hungry, out on the street,
Mercy for the pilgrim, dying on his feet,

Show mercy to the innocents, with trouble at their door
All the lost n' lonely who've seen it all before.

Show Mercy!

 

The Nightbird's Song
John Wright, drums, Carl Damiano, piano, Nick Zala, pedal steel guitar, Adele Henderson, Katie Morley, vocals.

Kindness is priceless. Yes, John, some may say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.

So many precious things,
To help it roll along,
Out of darkness,
Comes the nightbird's song.
The wonder of a dream,
The magic in a smile.
And a kind word,
From a good heart,
Means everything.

The days will come by,
When the blue sky turns to grey,
And all the plans you made,
Somehow slip away.
At times like this,
When nothing's going right,
And a kind word,
From a good heart,
Means everything.