Some suggested musical listening

Some suggested musical listening

Spending most of your working day plugged into spotify is fantastic as i discover so many new bands and artists on a daily basis that i really cant keep up with them all but here are a few of my latest finds that i have really enjoyed.

First up have to Sons of Kemet  or Sons of Kermit as they are known in our house.

suggested musical listening

Its pretty Jazzy but don,t that let that put you off..

2013’s Burn is probably my favourite Album although they really are all good – I am listening to the track “inner babylon” as i type…

Ibrahim Electric

Not quite sure what to classify this under psychedelic jazz maybe?

suggested musical listening

The latest Album “Rumours from outer space” starts off with “Attack from above” and a little organ riff that is straight off Blackpool pier – worth a listen…

The Gary Potter Quartet

Gypsy Jazz has always appealed to me and my guitar playing habit, but its fucking difficult to play it like this

suggested musical listening

These should keep you musically amused for a few days



I Havent written anything in ages

I Havent written anything in ages

Well i finally managed to remember my login for sick strings as its been such a long time since i posted anything here but i have my pencils out now and i am back with you.


So since i last posted i have been running….a lot about 20 miles per week which isn’t too shabby for a fat lad like me… more on that to follow

Guitar wise its been difficult to say the least with a new(ish) baby and work commitments taking up a lot of time i haven’t been managing to get my three hours a day in for sometime but have pared it down but tried to increase the focus and quality of these shorter sessions…more on that as well….

So inspired by my better half’s excellent writing on life which you can read over at cooeymrshifter i am going to be writing a lot more and getting some shit off my chest.


await further announcements





Apple music is a mess

Apple music is a mess


So as i mentioned in a recent post i was trying to weigh up the battle between Apple Music and Spotify……

But after using Apple for a while my music library on there has become a right old mess

Its insistence on adding single songs from a playlist to “Albums” is shit – i cant find what i want when i want and my list of Albums list is full of single songs that i have added from playlists…. also the inability to go from a single song to an album i.e goto artist is lacking

until they add the option to “show whole albums only” i am sticking with Spotify.




Spotify Vs Apple Music

Spotify Vs Apple Music

Spotify Vs Apple Music

Spotify Vs Apple Music


I have been using Spotify since it first started back in 2008 initially using the free membership and then deciding to spunk the £9.99 a month in about 2010 once i quit my wanky job with a wanky investment firm and got a job where i could listen to music as i work.

I have been a huge fan of spotify ever since – its saved my £1000’s due to the fact it stopped my buying copious amounts of CD’s

Spotify Vs Apple Music

My CD collection


I own quite a few Cd’s as you can see

Now i dont as a rule have allegiance to any particular app whether it be a music app – a Camera app or whatever if a new and improved  app comes my way i invariably make the swap and don’t really bat an eyelid.

But for some reason i have bee less inclined to make the change from Spotify to Apple music – am i just swapping like for like.

I put it out there on facebook and asked what peoples thoughts were ?

my Brother confirmed “Spotify has left the building”



So my initial thoughts…….

Spotify does have a few problems as the competition here is pretty fierce from Apple

The things that are currently letting Spotify down are (in my opinion)

As a music discovery tool its “Discover” application is pretty rubbish, I want it to update quicker than once a week – why cant it be responsive ? one day i might be listening to Jazz and the Aphex Twin the next day dependent on my mood – the discover tab udates too slow for me i want to find new music similar to what i am listening to right now not 3 months ago – Spotify is still suggesting bands related to ” The flaming sideburns” great band but i listened to them three months ago and have moved on since….

Friends View – waste of time – i want to be able to like a song that a friend plays and be able to message them and say “hey you  listened to this than you might like blah blah blah”

Radio – I love the Radio on Spotify but if i click on the thumbs down it makes absolutely fuck all difference – it may as well not be there at all

Price – i aint complaining 9.99 for all you can eat – its a bargain and all the people who say 9.99 a month !!! i would pay twice that.

onto Apple Music

Initial thoughts – not as simple to open and play as Spotify (which even my dad could manage…..just)

I struggled to get it all to sync up between my mac and iPhone but have sorted that out now and it seems to be working well, my Bro said he liked this mobile interface although he does have a fancy new iPhone, the one about the size of a widescreen telly , now i am getting used to it i think i might prefer the layout on Apple over Spotify – its cleaner and generally better designed

Sound Quality 

Apple seems to have trumped Spotify I could go into bit rates or whatever it is they use to measure it but i have no idea what it all means – it just sound better to me.

Family Thing

For 14.99 i can let my family listen to it too 6 users i do believe no this is a winner as our 8 year old wants to listen as does my mum who is too tight to pay so now i can let them listen and i will pay which i am more than happy to do as long as the 8 yr olds playing of Taylor swift doesnt show up as if i am listening to it….imagine the embarrassment…

Anyway – I am still assessing my options but one telling thing is that since Tuesday i have used Apple a lot more than Spotify – I am switched the thingys off so that when my free three moth trial ends i wont automatically start dishing out and then i will make the decision.



Shit i am digging at the moment

Shit i am digging

Haven’t posted here for a day or five – been busy with my number one thing i am digging

My little Nancy


Nancy Tate Rothwell

Tomorrow she will hit the grand old age of three weeks – she is certainly made me look at life in a slightly different way – her mum did say she hoped that being a “biological” dad ( I already have two little mentalists) that i may get more compassionate and emotional……..nope

Nancy is certainly a ray of light in my otherwise dark mind

What else……………

Music of course….that’s a given

Weird Proggy oddness

Space Shanty by Khan

Odd Free Jazz Shit 

I really don’t know what it is i like about this whole free jazz thing – I just know I keep coming back to it for more…

Guitar (its cheaper than therapy)

3 hours a day pretty much everyday

Its odd i have spoken to loads of people about playing since i started and loads have said ” oooh i’d love to play guitar” well whats fucking stopping you ?

I did try teaching a friend to play a couple of years back – but ultimately he made every excuse under the sun NOT to play and got the results he deserved…play on motherfuckers.

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Arpeggios and sweep picking 

I am currently working through this

Arpeggios for the modern guitarist – its a great book and is really helping



Reading Music

This is one i thought i would never crack but i made it my new years resolution for 2014 to learn – I’m still learning but making progress – its really helped my playing and made me play stuff i would never have ordinarily played like Bach..

This is the Music reading book I am currently working through



JazzAdvice – Brilliant website 

This bugger is packed full of wholesome and nutritous jazzines

if you love playing Jazz – then this is for you.


Mine is growing back nicely although it has yet but has yet to attain its previous length










Guitar backing tracks playlist on Spotify

Guitar backing tracks playlist on Spotify


As i am a Spotify Fiend and spend most of my day (whilst working of course) listening to and finding new music I naturally come across some great guitar backing tracks so i put together a playlist of 892 of the best from Modal backing tracks to Jazz to Rockabilly through to heavy metal there are loads of great tracks here and all in one place.

Having a handy playlist of backing tracks is really handy – I use it all the time if i am working on some changes or a particular scale shape – hopefully you will find it useful.

If you are not already on Spotify then trust me its a life changer if you love your music, I couldn’t live without it





Ornette Coleman

Ornette Coleman died today at the age of 85

He has been a contentious issue in our house for some time – my much better half said about his music “it’s so higgeldy piggeldy it reminds me of a Russian roulette jellybean game : some are strawberry and some are dog poo flavour”

I think what my learned woman is trying to say is that you love it or hate it !

Me I love free Jazz, I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly I like but the more you listen the more it sucks you in – oddly I had been listening to Ornette Coleman only this morning on my way to a guitar lesson………

It’s hard to imagine he was 29 when he made “the shape of jazz to come”

It’s one of my favourite Jazz Albums but as to why I really don’t know……..

I shall miss him – my better half maybe not so much..

Albums I shall insist my daughter listens to…

Albums I shall insist my daughter listens to…

Nancy Tate Rothwell was born at 10:20am 2 June 2015 weighing in at a healthy 7.9lbs

Its a fair assumption that music is going to play a large part in Nancy’s life as it has in mine – I have no idea if she will musical but if she is its my parental duty to lead her on the correct path so i felt it parentally correct to select some albums that when ready she might want to listen to with her old fart of a dad – they are in no particular order just some good shit that as a parent i feel its important to know about.

Never Mind The Bollocks – Sex Pistols


Its a no brainer that this be on here – this album has changed lives mine included – nearly 40 years on and it still sound raw ( although incredibly well mixed) angry and up to date.

Entroducing – DJ Shadow


If you have never listed to this then rectify your mistake immediately – This album defined the term “trip hop” many a happy hour sat listening to this – best listened to in the dark with a fat spliff (obviously Nancy wont be doing that bit)

The Electro Series


Back to my school days with some proper old electro – these albums really did change my whole view on music – I have the vast majority on Vinyl – Nancy and i will dig them out and spin the wheels of steel – Electro 4 was always my favourite but they are all good until the much later incarnations which to be hoest were pretty shit – 1 – 12 are epic though.

Rock This Town – Stray Cats


The first single i ever bought was “Runaway Boys” i still love it now as i do anything by the Stray Cats – Brian Setzer is my guitar hero and the very reason I play guitar when Nancy asks “Daddy why do you play guitar so much” i will just play her this and that will be the only answer required.

Searching for the young soul rebels – Dexys Midnight Runners


This was the first Album I owned and its still a firm favourite having stood the test of time – this is pre all that dungaree wearing come on Eileen bollocks – The teams that met in the cafes is still one of my favourite songs ever – I was lucky enough to meet Dexys when the played in Penzance at the now long gone Winter Gardens – They stayed at the Pirates Hotel next to our house.

Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington


This was the first Jazz Album I ever listened to – My mum had it on Vinyl ( she doesnt have it anymore as I stole it)

My Great Grandmother upon hearing Monk used to say to my mum “theres that man having his piano lesson again” I love Thelonious Monk – whats not to like and Monk playing Ellington – well Nancy and I will kill two birds with one stone here.

Tin Drum – Japan


Funeral Music as my mum used to refer to it but i still love em today its an amazing album that I would really want my little girl to know about as it was a huge part of my mid teens to which it pretty much supplied the soundtrack.

The Dirtchamber Sessions – Liam Howlett


Easily my favourite Mix CD ever – done with an 8 track though but who gives a shit

Every track on here is a killer – Essential listening for Nancy – I hope that by the time she is old enough our prodigous leader may have released no 2…….

Hot Rats – Frank Zappa


My favorite Zappa LP – My 5 and 8 yeare old have grown to love “Willie the Pimp”

I would hope Nancy will grow to love this too – Beefhearts Lyrics on here are amazing – the whole things amazing.

Safe as Milk – Captain Beefheart


Beefheart is an acquired taste – I had to work to really dig his stuff as i did with Zappa

But with a little perseverance there is enough musical content here to last my girl a lifetime, once the taste is acquired she will keep coming back to this for years to come.

I would have put Kind of Blue on here but she has already listened to that ( just this morning in fact)

The list could go on and on and on

As long as she doesn’t listen to this wanker i will be happy