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Colin Carter-ONE Colin Carter Sell your music everywhere

Colin Carter

Greetings, my friends ! I'm mentioning names here , of some musicians and the bands that they've worked with, just in case you're not aware of who these people are. Others that I've also had the pleasure of working with, that are left out because of space limitations, are no less worthy as musicians and people, and still remain good friends of mine. This is not the whole story, obviously, just an overview of my travels and musical connections.

I come from Gosport on the south coast of England. Like most kids growing up in post WW2 Britain, our playgrounds were a mixed landscape of concrete air raid shelters, barbed wire and bombed out buildings, tempered of course by the beautiful rolling green countryside of southern England.
As a teenager, I learned to play guitar, and with friends, jammed in the streets and local folk clubs.

My first band in the Portsmouth area of any note, was The Inspiration, a mod band playing Motown and RnB tunes. We played the clubs and pubs, incorporating our versions of all the best songs from both sides of the Atlantic. I began as a singer/rhythm guitarist but soon became the front man, the lead singer. The prime suspect !

Later, with the coming of the psychedelic era, and band names like Vanilla Fudge and Strawberry Alarm Clock, I joined four friends to form the band Coconut Mushroom, (later Mushroom) incorporating a mix of original songs and versions of our favourite Dylan, Byrds, Love, and Buffalo Springfield songs. Four part harmonies and jangling 12 string guitars !

We came to the attention of the Beatles record label Apple. They were going through major changes at that time and although meetings were held at the Baker Street offices, no record deal transpired. However, through Apple producer Mike Berry, we began touring Europe, and also most importantly, began doing regular session work with him. All that studio experience was to stand me in good stead a little later. The later line up of Mushroom included guitarist Barry Paul, (Savoy Brown Blues Band) and renowned session bass player Mick Feat, (Dave Gilmore Band).

In London, I met keyboardist and songwriter Peter Bardens, (Camel, Van Morrison, Rod Stewart) and he invited me to front his band. Though it was fairly short lived, we headlined the legendary Marquee Club in Soho a few times. Reg Isadore was on drums, and he went on to play with Robin Trower on the classic Bridge of Sighs album, and with Trower and Jack Bruce on the Truce album.

Adrift again in London, and looking for a new project, I tracked down another Peter B. This time it was guitarist Pete Banks, (Yes, The Syn). He was seeking something too, after the first two Yes albums. We began writing material together and looking for management and a record deal. We soon found both. The song, Small Beginnings, that I wrote with Peter at that time, went on to become a Top 40 single in the US. We added to the line up with bass guitarist Ray Bennett, (The Breed, The Gun), and drummer Mike Hough, (Arrival).
We named the band Flash. Modest and to the point !
The keyboard player who rehearsed with us, quit just before we were due in the studio to record our first album, so keyboardist Tony Kaye, (Yes, Badger) played the session, but he was never in the band.
Flash recorded 3 studio albums, Flash, Flash in the Can, and Out of Our Hands, and 2 live albums, Psychosync and Flash in Public. Ray Bennett and I recorded another album using the name Flash in 2013. Flash toured all over the UK, Europe, Australia and multiple tours across the US playing clubs, theatres, stadiums and giant festivals.

After Flash disbanded, I moved from London to New York City, and started a new band. Storm, a five-piece UK/US lineup. We wrote and recorded and played gigs in the NY area. The drummer was Mike Hough (Flash), keyboardist Al Greenwood (Foreigner), bass guitarist Kenny Aaronson (Johnny Winter, Bob Dylan, Yardbirds) and New York guitarist Tony Guerino. Great guys and good musicians.

I had some business connections, management and a producer, trying to help me get started in L.A. They rounded up a band of fine musicians for me to front. Lead guitarist Phil Brown (Little Feat), bass player Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets), Jan Uvena on drums (Alice Cooper Band) and on keyboards Rocke Grace (Joe Walsh's Barnstorm). Great players, of course, and great in theory, but we were headed in 5 different directions, so after a few rehearsals it became clear it was not to be.

Still in Los Angeles, I then met fellow Brit, lead guitarist Martin Pugh. Martin had been with the British blues rock band Steamhammer, and later with Keith Relf (Yardbirds, Renaissance) in the band Armageddon. Adding Graham Keighley on bass and Mike Messer on drums, it was a loud blues rock quartet ! We made recordings and played the local clubs. Fun to be in, but not exactly commercially viable in the post punk, new wave world of L.A. at that time.

After years of living in some of the major cities of the world, I decided to head north to escape city life for a while. Now I'm in the coastal range of Oregon, 15 miles from the Pacific, where the maritime climate, the cliffs and coastlines remind me of the Cornish coast in the UK.

Without the noise and distractions of the city, I've been able to focus on the songwriting and recording process here. I do a lot of my writing on multitrack recorders , building layers of overdubs , trying to sculpt the sounds and ideas I have in my head. Sometimes I get lucky and get close immediately, but sometimes it's a struggle ! I never meant to make this CD, I just kept writing and recording song demos. Eventually however, I decided it was time to share them with the world.
I usually begin with a guitar and vocal phrase, and throw it down quickly on the recorder while it still has the idea that I am imagining. Then I walk away and come back in a day or so to see if it still holds up. If it does , I then begin to add parts to strengthen the idea.
Taking a guitar /drum machine demo track and adding live drums and bass takes the song into a whole new realm. It breaths life into it. It then gives me fresh ideas and inspiration to do more with the song and track.

I've worked on this CD project with musicians from the UK, New York and Oregon, old friends and new. Their names are on the package. Many hints of influences that I've picked up along the way, like blues, rock, soul, folk, and more, including some later somewhat atypical ideas, can be found sneaking their way into my songs and lyrics and arrangements. I am the sum of my experiences. I am to blame !
Working with some good musician friends, and skilled support in the studio , I've taken this collection of song ideas from basic sketches to fully fledged recordings, while trying to keep the essence of the original concept alive as I go. Here they are , in a ten song CD, Colin Carter-ONE.