I'm Alan Rae - I play Guitar and Piano - I like Blues/Folk/Jazz
I’m a multi-instrumentalist and singer with roots in Folk, Blues and 60s music. I play keyboards and when performing Folk I play guitar, mandolin and mandola.
I’ve been performing since the ’60s. Back then I abandoned the piano and took up guitar and played blues and folk as a solo act and in a couple of long forgotten bands – one called Bacchus had June Tabor as singer for a while and focused on Steeleye Span and Pentangle songs.
In the ’80s I took up the piano again and played for a while in a Jazz band called Heavenly Blues, a name I continued to use as a Duo with Rhiannon Daniel from around 2006. I did some musical theatre work playing piano in a production of Ayckbourne’s a Chorus of Disapproval and created a one man show “Music and Marketing” which uses some classic 60s tunes to illustrate basic principles of marketing. I’ve also written about a dozen songs.
Other bands I’ve played keyboard for include Blues Business who took me to the Kathmandu Blues Festival in 2009, the Ugly Bugs Blues Band and Revo6 whose repertoire can best be described as the Commitments introduce Thin Lizzy to the Blues Brothers.
As well as playing keyboards for the Tina Turner tribute band Just Tina, I’m the singer for Newick Folk which plays traditional tunes, classic folk songs and various not-so-folk songs while doubling as a Ceilidh Band
Always up for musical misbehaviour – paid or otherwise.
As well as the usual appearances with Newick Folk, I have been collaborating with a couple of Newick Folk members to create repertoire that is part jazz trio and part 50s rock and roll / blues. I’m working with Boogie demon Roland Batty on keys and Karn Broad on Bass.
Roland and I did a trial run at Newick Primary School fete at which we played San Francisco Bay Blues, The Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square, Blueberry Hill, Rave on / Bye bye love etc.
This coming Saturday Karn and I are doing a 2 hour Flower Power set at a friend’s party covering standards like Light My Fire, Flowers in the Rain, Mellow Yellow, Lucy in the sky with Diamonds and other rockers from the locker.
Look out for more info on forthcoming gigs here and on Facebook
Finally Karn and I are appearing as part of Just Tina at the Horsham Rugby Club Summer Tribute on 1st August
Summer Tribute featuring Just Tina at Horsham Rugby Club 1st August
I’m doing another performance of Music and Marketing for Lewes Business Network on Wednesday 10th August. It’s an early start – the meetings start at 7 am at the Pelham House Hotel at the top of the High Street.
The performance runs for around 45 minutes and covers personal branding, building reputation, getting your story tight and some lessons on networking and brand guidelines. It also discusses how to develop products that get built into other people’s activities.
The set includes examples of songs by The Rolling Stones, Beatles, Kinks, Bob Dylan and some Jazz standards plus a couple of re-written Eagles and traditional blues numbers to illustrate specific points.
The Balance is about 1/3 Music, 2/3 talk about principles of marketing. It’s generally amused the audience when performed before and it will hopefully give you some ideas about how to promote your business more effectively.
Earlier this month I was invited to do a re-run of the Music and Marketing show I did for the Brand Network last year.
This was for the last meeting of the Ecademy Blackstar group for the year and I took the chance to write a new song, re-do some of the examples to include an Elton John number and a new Jazz standard and revise the Rolling Stones set on personal branding.
I also tightened up the set to deliver a really tight run time of just over 30 minutes and covered personal branding, building reputation, getting your story tight and some lessons on networking and brand guidelines. I was lucky enough to be asked to do it at the Amadeus centre in little Venice where they have an awesome grand piano. I took my own mike and the trusty Roland street cube for the vocal.
I think this would make a great keynote for a marketing conference as it would lighten the mood and set the tone for the day. The show can be expanded to an hour or so or delivered as a tight 30 minutes as I did on this occasion. So any of you event organisers who’d like something different – give us a shout.
Here is a ten minute edit of the show to give you a flavour – hope you like it.
We had another session at the Brand Network this week in which we were looking at how do you get the rebranding of a company right. Since we were using Ecademy as a case study with the people who managed it talking to the massed wisdom of the brand professionals, my partner in crime, Mark Wing, suggested we might do a song to lighten the mood and get us off to a good start. There’s a live film of this floating about somewhere but until it surfaces, here is It Ain’t Easy. Eagles fans may find it strangely familiar 😉
Next outing of the Music in Marketing experience is on 16th December for a Business Networking group.
Basically I’ll be using some well known tunes to illustrate some basic principles of marketing and communication. Things like how to tell a story in a couple of verses like in Sunny Afternoon, how to build a consistent image around an overarching idea – like the Rolling Stones did with suburban sleaze, how to get your materials embedded into other peoples work – as Dylan did, and how successful covers can build a reputation by being known, liked and followed. We’ll also take a look at how Jazz is a parallel for brand guidelines and how hooks are like musical logos. We’ll end up thinking about how the practice of music mirrors the kind of offline/online integration that goes with marketing in this strange 21st Century.
One of the great things about living in Sussex is the number of local festivals that there are to play at.
On the 30th October we are playing at Plumpton Fest which has a range of different musical genres doing a 10-15 minute slot each. I’m on twice, once as Heavenly Blues and once as keyboard player for “Graham and the Country Members”
Event was great – 50 musicians, 10-15 minutes slots each – wide range of genres. Wide range of ages of musicians, wide range of ages in the audience. Music as it should be
We had the fourth of these at the Crown in Newick last Sunday. We’ve been running these the first Sunday of the month since the beginning of the year. Generally we turn up to play at about 8.30 and carry on till they kick us out – usually about 11.30. The same team did the grand finale at the Bull open mic on Tuesday with a spirited rendition of the Wild Rover.
Here’s the video of the team in action – it gives a good feel of what its like.