About the Songs.......

A little insight into how these songs got written and recorded

Moving Forward  March 2020   CD PTR 11

An album recorded at the home studio containing 10 brand new songs! As ever, I play and sing everything on the album but thanks to Bernard Hoskin for playing on 'Deirdre & Naoise' and to David Cammish for playing on 'It's a Long Long Road'. Liuba Doga my vocal tutor has helped me tremendously gain confidence in my singing. If you need a lesson she's the one.....

Moving Forward - Written by Bernard Hoskin. A wonderful singer/songwriter now based in South London. This is one of my favourite songs of his and I'm honoured he allowed me to record it. He gigs a lot and has some great songs. You should go see him and visit his website bernardhoskin.com

Wishing On a Star - The lyrics are written by Tara Westover who has a fabulous voice as well as being a successful author. In her time here in Cambridge I got to accompany Tara and got to write this song with her too. She's in New York now but it would be nice to think we'll get to work together again. Thanks Tara for allowing this to go on the album.

Home - My attempt to write a pop ballad. I don't know why the person is away from home or what it is they felt they had to do. But somebody is waiting for their return.

It's a Long Long Road - It's a melodramtic piece about infidelity and the difficulty of working through it. Full of biblical images of retribution. Great fun to do. Great Bass part from David too.

Moonlight - Nostalgic ballad about the pains of early love. I'm guessing we've all been there...

Warren's Road - An instrumental piece written about the final stretch of tree lined dirt track that leads to the place we visit every summer with our friends Graham and Judy in Ontario. The road was built by Graham's father, Warren, a wonderful man who was so kind to us when he was alive. It's quite a sight to be in the wilderness and catch the sun bursting through the trees and revealing the beautiful tranquil lake.

Washago - Written on holiday at the lake in Ontario. Glenn Curtis is a bass player and guitarist who got the ball rolling before I jumped in and then Graham and his son Jeremy added to the mix. It's about a small railway town called Washago which is the last place you can stop before going off road towards the lake. You can only buy alcohol in Ontario from the LCBO (Liquor  Control Board of Ontario) and therefore a place of great significance for the barbeques, campfires and music sessions on the lake... There's an enormous LCBO in Washago. It's one place that you gotta do... I'm not too sure Washago would be pleased with the songs sentiment but it's a fondly meant, tongue-in-cheek ditty. After I'd recorded this version a new verse was added by Glenn so maybe one day I'll get to re-record it...

Deirdre & Naoise - Bernard Hoskin asked me once if I'd written a traditional folk song yet. This is the result and I'm pleased to say he agreed to add the mandolin part. It's a Celtic story I found and I simply retell it.

All for Your Love - We all want it and we all see it around us and we need to be sure we don't lose it when we have it.

The Living Dead - My wife Anji had been listening to a radio documentary commemorating ten years since 9/11 and she told me about it. The first responders were clearly ones who risked their health on that fateful day but what was more remarkable were the vast numbers of ordinary people who travelled from far and wide to support the search for the bodies and help out with no skills or protective clothing. The toxic environment engulfed them all and over the years they have been dying as a result. It is a cruel twist of fate to a tragic event that shook the world.

You'll be there - Knowing that there's someone out there for you is what sustains the person in this song. Anyone can relate to the love they have or the love they want to find. It drives us all...

Additional Info

Produced by Rhys Wilson with Anji Wilson for Pear Tree Recording
Recorded and mixed using Apple Mac and Logic X Pro
Mastered using Ozone
Recorded using Rhode and SE microphones through Focusrite Scarlett 18i 8
All instruments and vocals by Rhys Wilson except 'Deirdre & Naoise' Mandolin - Bernard Hoskin and "It's a Long Long Road" Bass - David Cammish.
Rhys played Martin D-18, Gibson Hummingbird 12-String, Takamine EN-10c, Epiphone FT-550 'Excellente', B&M Maverick 12-String, Gibson E-335, Fender Telecaster, Eko Banjitar, Yamaha Clavinova and Pro Logic sounds.
No sequencing used in the making of this album.

 Something Old....Something New’d  July 2010      CD EP PTR004 CD

Following a busy period of working with other artists and reviewing old material a series of long overdue projects began in 2010. One was to write a few new songs and revitalise earlier recordings. The resulting EP was recorded in the home studio between May - July 2010.

Waiting - Written as the opening song form the 1983 musical ‘Train to Somewhere Else’ which is a current recording project. My friend and broadcaster JWR Morrison wrote the lyrics and sets the scene for the song cycle. Actually not sure if I’ll stick with this version but who knows.

Slept Through Indiana - It’s a true story. We did a tour round Lake Superior with some Canadian friends around 2004. We spent a little time in Chicago and heading back we went through Indiana. My wife slept through Indiana in the car. She knew it was the birthplace of Michael Jackson for whom she’d been a fan since a small girl. When Jackson died on June 25th 2009 the song came together. FYI - the car was called Sadie.

Sea of Dreams - Written a few years ago now for my wife. Originally pencilled in for the ‘What I did on my Holidays’ album it never made the cut for some reason. I was a little less comfortable with overt sentimentality in songs I think but it seems a shame it never got recorded, especially considering who it was about! It has a home now.

She Knows - I wanted another new song for the EP and so wrote and recorded the song one Sunday afternoon in early July 2010.  It’s a simple song about how you can never be sure of anything.

Hi’way Songs - A re-recording of a song that appeared on ‘What I did on my Holidays’ and was written around 1989. I’ve recorded it at least five times before but never been happy with the way it came out. I’m much happier with this one. Songs about escaping on the highway have always been wonderful romantic notion - this is the anti-romantic take on it.

    I hope you enjoy the album - Rhys Wilson July 19th 2010

Additional Info:-

Album Produced by Rhys Wilson with Anji Wilson for Pear Tree Recordings

Recorded and mixed using Apple Mac running Logic.

All guitars and vocals recorded using Rode and Sure microphones through Edirol UA-25EX Digital Audio capture.

All instruments and vocals by Rhys Wilson

All songs written by Rhys Wilson except ‘Waiting’ by Rhys Wilson & JWR Morrison


 What I did on my Holidays (2004)   PTR 003 CD

Recorded through 1990 - 1995 at Ladbroke, Bassingbourn, and Pear Tree using Tascam and Fostex 4-track tape machines. Notator Logic and Cubase Mac used for sequencing via Roland Sound Canvas and Roland DX-5.

Sea Captains Bed - Written after reading about a hotel my wife and I had visited in the Cotswolds had been burned down. It was a beautiful old building and the room we stayed in had a bed that was inscribed with the note that this bed belonged to a retired sea captain in the 1800’s. Didn’t think much about it at the time but when I learned it had gone the tale of the retiring Sea Captain popped into my head. No gimmicks here, 2 acoustic guitars, bass and harmony vocal all overdubbed onto the Tascam.

Nightshift Worker - Like Exodus and Waiting this is a song from Train to Somewhere else. This was pretty much the demo. Because the musical was about strangers trying to run away from their problems I wrote a song about about someone who had actually committed a crime and was trying to runaway. Not easy to resolve really.... Relied on old Atari ST and Notator Logic to get me the drums and percussion track.

Dark Fears of Love Lost - A very early song from me written when I was around 17 or so and just after the Farewell Sunshine Album. I still love it’s unabashed and unashamed pain and misery! Great to sing and a really pleasing melody.

Rain - Okay - it was raining when I wrote this. It was during a lunch break at the school I was teaching in. I was baby sitting a detention group - it was pouring with rain and I heard this snippet of tune in my head. Wrote the lyrics and hey presto. School had a piano too - and I was able to write this and record a demo on a nasty cassette pretty quickly. This is a recording from some years later using Cubase Mac to put down some of the backing. Those that know my music have often cited it as one of their favourites which is nice.

Looking For a Way to Go - Silly song but fun. Recorded in a large house on Grange Rd in Cambridge where my good friend Rob lived at the time. We set up the Tascam, he played the bass, me the acoustic guitar and we jammed until we got this. Fun!

In Dreams Now - One of my favourite songs of mine and wildly romantic. A proper Valentines message this one and so wonderfully small in scale. No tricks here all guitars and keyboards overdubbed onto the Tascam.

Without You - This was supposed to be a joke when I was bored one day. I wrote and recorded it very quickly and was trying to mimic that easy listening radio style music with about 27 different key changes. It’s a bit rough and ready in places but I have to tell you when I was compiling the collection a good deal of my friends urged me to put this track on the album. I’m not complaining - it was a request!

Exodus - Written for the musical Train to Somewhere Else with my good friend Jimmy Morrison who wrote the lyrics. Simply one of the best, if not the best song I have ever written. It speaks for itself.

Hi’way Songs - I’ve struggled for a long time to do this song justice. I really like it. It’s structure, it’s scale, it’s sentiment and even though I included an updated version of the recording for this album I still didn’t feel I’d got it quite right. I was to re-record it again in 2010 some 15 years later and feel much happier and that recording is on ‘Something Old Something New’d’

Could’ve Been - I’d realised that most of my home recordings didn’t feature how they were performed or written. There were always overdubs etc.... and so I wrote and recorded this song at the ‘Hi’way Songs’ session in Bassingbourn in the hour I had left before leaving. It’s just me and the guitar recorded together live in one take. It’s a song about reflecting on the choices we make in life and the price we may have to pay for our dreams.

 Farewell Sunshine (1976)   MRM 1 Mushroom Music (Vinyl - deleted)

CD Transfer from Master Tapes are available. Original vinyl copies sometimes appear on eBay. NB.These copies can be very expensive and are often sourced in Japan.
Only original compositions are in the descriptions below.

Farewell Sunshine - I was 14 when I wrote this. It was the record producers favourite song and so it got to be the title of the album. Country bounce and a good chorus - what’s not to like?

Song for the Memory - I performed this the other day at home and because I was only 14 when I wrote it I’ve often been dismissive of it but actually it’s quite good and has stood up well over the years. Melancholy angst wrapped up in a pretty tune and surprisingly well crafted lyrics.

Lonely - It starts Side 2 and became my broadcaster friend’s favourite song. He used to play it from time to time on his Sunday Radio show at Radio 210 (Thames Valley) and he heard it when we started writing ‘Train to Somewhere Else’. God bless Jimmy! Again - I was only 15 when I wrote this.

Katie’s Suite - I’ll encompass all the songs in one go. Katie was my girlfriend at the time of the recording when I was 17 and I wrote these songs over a few months when I was 16. ‘Katie is the Song’ was one of the few uptempo songs I’d written at the time and I genuinely had no idea how close the guitar riff was to a well known song. ‘Lady that I can call mine’ is a typical guitar ballad but certainly none the worse for it and ‘Homecoming’ is about the angst of missing someone and traces a more epic style of ballad. Will, the producer, felt the suite needed a little bit if lightness in it and so Jules, the bass player, and I jammed a riff in the studio and I later overdubbed a vocal to complete the song. ‘Katie’s Summer’ was born.
What’s sad about Katie’s Suite is that she dumped me just as the album came out and the songs never meant that much to me again. Any song writer will tell you though that I got a whole bunch of other songs out of the experience........

Farewell Sunshine also includes covers of other songs, ‘Miguel’, ‘Sunshine on my Shoulders’, ‘Today’, Outward Bound’ and ‘Casey’s Last Ride’

Album Produced by Will Jones

Bass Guitar - Jules Ladbury
Flute - Katie Hounam
All guitars and vocals - Rhys Wilson

Recorded 2 days in June 1976 at Mushroom Recording Studios, Oxford

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