Artist: BLACKSHAW, JAMES
Label: Bladud Flies!
|“Apologia is the first solo guitar recording by James Blackshaw, which he self-released in 2003 on CD-R in an edition of 30. Bladud Flies! now presents a limited vinyl edition of 500 copies. "Apologia was written on a cheap Yamaha guitar with a ridiculously high action over the course a couple of months in 2002 and recorded in February 2003, a few months before I picked up a 12-string guitar for the first time and wrote and recorded my first release, Celeste. Id just started fingerpicking and had gotten comfortable enough with some techniques to experiment with open tunings of my own devising and write my own compositions, which were at that time very inspired by the musicians I adored -- John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and lots of old country blues players like Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Blake, and Reverend Gary Davis. I burned about 30 CD-Rs with homemade covers in jewel cases, gave most to friends and family and sold a few in the record shop I used to work in Soho. I felt for some time afterward like I was only just starting to find my own voice with Apologia -- the songs are shorter and more straightforward and the cyclical structures and appreciation of drones and overtones really came to the fore later on, as did my appreciation of adding other instrumentation and experimenting with sounds generally. Plus, I wasnt entirely happy with the sound of the recording (some small EQ changes and reverb was added for this edition) and lets just say the situation in the studio was far from ideal, but thats another story. For that reason, I never chose to reissue Apologia. Now, almost 12 years later, Im hearing them in a different way, realizing the songs charms rather than simply concentrating on the flaws. It doesnt sound quite like anything Ive ever done since and theres a simplicity and raw energy about them that Ive grown to appreciate. Its an interesting snapshot of where I was then and how things have changed. It is an absolute pleasure for me to work with Bladud Flies! to release Apologia as a limited edition LP now -- something I would never have dreamed of back in 2003." --James Blackshaw.|