Back to school... Jazz school!

This summer holidays has probably been the most epic of my whole life. It was jam packed with holidays, adventures and performances and all of it enjoyed with my family and friends. There’s far too much for me to list here but I would gladly tell you over a cup of tea some time.

September is a crazy month for me, this year particularly so. After getting over the initial shift in gear of getting used to being back at school there’s lots of life and work admin to catch up with. I’m currently writing this in Vintage Keys Studio where Steve is making the final edits to the title track of the next Spitfire Sisters album, ‘Who Buys CDs Anymore?’ which, after an exceedingly long labour, is almost finished.

In a couple of weeks it’s Winchester Jazz Festival (19th - 22nd) which my colleagues Hannah Castleman and Anna Harding have been working hard at curating, producing and promoting. There’s lots on and many performances I am looking forward to seeing so take a look and get along if you can. In the run up to the festival I am hosting an Introduction to Jazz at Cabinet Rooms in Winchester on Wednesday 11th September. It’s aimed at anybody and everybody who enjoys live performances and would like to understand a little bit more of what goes on. There’s so much ground to cover in just one evening so I’ll be cherry picking things to share and examples to listen to. This newfound insight can then be used at any one of the performances over the festival weekend! Tickets are available here, costing £16.76 which includes the booking fee and small glass of wine or a beer or a mocktail on arrival.

Thanks for reading, and if you see me at a gig this month, come and say hello! 👋

Louisa Revolta
Singing Softly To Your Guitar

Today I finished a song that came to me a few months ago in a dream. I can still recall it vividly. Musical dreams don’t happen to me very often so when they do occur I make sure that I do my best to capture it raw, unfiltered and with as much detail as I possibly can. This dream was in a room that looked like a shared dormitory in a hostel. The room was very bright and sunny with yellow walls. I think the carpets were burnt orange and the bedding was white. There were sets of pine bunk beds and I was relaxing on the top of one of them when I heard somebody singing from the bottom bunk. The songs felt so familiar and in my dream I knew them all and had done for years. I peered over the top of the bunk and saw that it was none other than Paul McCartney quietly strumming and singing some of his most loved songs, or so it felt. I couldn’t actually remember what he was playing once I woke up but I felt compelled to write what I could remember into a song.

I recorded it roughly on the piano and played what I had to Steve Christie who lent an encouraging ear and proceeded to add the bridge section, complete with lyrics. I knew that I wanted it to be played on guitar but I don’t have any knowledge of the instrument (my guitar skills extend to being able to play Smelly Cat from the TV series Friends, badly). I asked my friend, musician and fellow school mum, Rosanna Wellsted if she would mind learning and playing this song for me. I was delighted that she accepted the challenge and she helped me to translate my piano voicings to guitar. A couple of after school sessions of working on it (whilst our children played next door, quietened by Rosanna’s expert supply of snacks) and we had it exactly as I had imagined it sounding.

Last week we invaded Rosanna’s home with some mobile studio equipment and had a wonderful evening recording the song. It was edited and mixed today at Vintage Keys Studio. It’s been a real pleasure crafting this one from start to finish. It will definitely be appearing on my acoustic album of originals that I am steadily building but until then it’s available for you to listen to on my Soundcloud page.

Louisa Revolta