Blue Chip and the Music of Acoustic Alchemy
So long ago and not so far away, before the iPhone and and Spotify I most would burn my music to CDs and listen to my CD player through the car radio. Last night as I was moving things around I moved an old CD case with some odd CDs in it. One of the CD was marked MIx One – New CDs,and the date was 12/31/2002! So now that I have a car radio that can play MP3 CDs I decided that the songs on that CD would be the soundtrack for this morning’s commute to babysit Oliver.
The tracks came up in alphabetical order by artist. The first artist was Acoustic Alchemy and their album Blue Chip. Blue Chip was the third album released by the band and was released in 1989.Now let me say that this album is the only album that I have by Acoustic Alchemy but I have enjoyed it over the years. I have never really delved in the band, its members or history before writing this post. So a lot of the information that I am posting is new to me!! I love finding out new stuff, although as you will see, in the case of Acoustic Alchemy it us not all good stuff! From Wikipedia….
Acoustic Alchemy is an English contemporary instrumental and smooth jazz band formed in England in the early 1980s (c. 1981), originally fronted by acoustic guitarists Nick Webb and Simon James. The band is currently fronted by Greg Carmichael and Miles Gilderdale.
….During the 1980s, there was little grateful audience for this form of music in the UK, and the big players in the genre were all American. The pioneering sound of two duelling acoustic guitars — Simon James on nylon and Nick Webb on steel — was a fresh touch on the genre, often backed up by a double bass, percussion, and occasionally string quartet The Violettes. A couple of records were pressed by Webb, but at a considerable loss. In the mid-1980s, James left the band; in the 1990s he would go on to form Kymaera, a similar, albeit more Latin oriented band. In 1985, Webb then discovered Greg Carmichael, a guitarist with a London pub band called The Holloways (not affiliated with the current indie band of the same name) who became James’ successor.
The two guitarists that lead the music on Blue Chip are Nick Webb and Greg Carmichael. The band’s tenth album….
….Positive Thinking… (Acoustic Alchemy) (1998) was to be Acoustic Alchemy’s last album with original frontman Nick Webb. It was recorded over a week’s time in a Manor House near Bath, England in Munkton Combe. Recorded by Steve Jones, the musicians were Greg Carmichael, (nylon string guitar), John Sheppard (drums), Dennis Murphy (bass). Webb was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer prior to starting work on it, and became progressively worse throughout the project. In the end, he could only offer inspiration, as he was too weak to play at recording sessions. Nick Webb died on February 5, 1998
The band has released nine more albums after the death of Nick Webb The last of which was Live in London released in 2014. Their last studio album Roseland was released in 2011.
Ok so now that this post has been longer than I anticipated I will have to break up this post into two or three posts depending on how much I find to write about the other two artists that I listened to this morning – Alex Degrassi and Brooks Williams. Both of the albums from those two were acoustic guitar albums also. these four great guitarists made for a great start to my day!!
Links for Further Explorations of the Music of Acoustic Alchemy
Here is “Catalina Kiss” from Blue Chip by Acoustic Alchemy and boy do I have a lot of Acoustic Alchemy music to catch up on!!
P.S. When I went to Acoustic Alchemy’s website I saw that back in October of 2015…..
October 17, 2015
It is with great sadness that we inform our fans that Stewart Coxhead, Acoustic Alchemy’s longtime manager, has passed away today.
From James Coxhead, his son and Acoustic Alchemy Tour Manager: “His passing was painless, quick and without distress which, when it all comes down to it, is as much as any of us can hope for.
My sympathy goes out to the family of Stewart Coxhead and to the members of Acoustic Alchemy who worked with him for so long!
P.S. II – not that it matters but in 2002 I got the CD version of this album, hence it was a new CD, but I had the cassette version of the album for many years before I picked up the CD! Not that it matters!