Categories
Albums

Album: Tales Of Love And Defiance

Album cover

Released in June 2020, Tales Of Love And Defiance is Michael’s most recent album, with fourteen tracks all written and recorded in 2019. Done mainly with Cubase (and some tracks captured with a TASCAM DP32-SP 32-track recorder), the album was mixed and mastered by Paul Ashmore at Audio Animals, Ltd. in London.

“It marks a new phase in recording for me, having someone else mix and master the tracks. The sound is more polished, more professional than anything else I’ve done before. I think many of the songs are some of the best I’ve ever come up with, and the production is second to none in terms of quality. I feel it will amaze many people; at least I certainly hope so!”

Inspired by the 50th anniversary reissue of the Beatles’ famous ‘white’ album, the tracks show a great amount of variation, ranging from the funky rock & roll of Scoundrel, to the down and dirty feel of Hammer Hammer Hammer, the full-on bluegrass of Goodbye Laurie (Sail Away To Sea) and the Dylan-esque vibe of I’m Done With You.

The album also includes what Michael feels to be one of his standout tracks, Come Back To Me.

“To me, it’s very similar to something Lennon might have written. It came out really well and I like how all the parts fit together.”

The CD was pressed by PureMusic Manufacturing in Manchester. Photography was by David White.

SONGS
Scoundrel
Don’t Believe
I’m Done With You
The Belly Of The Beast
Come Back To Me
I Can’t Say I Love You
Goodbye Laurie (Sail Away To Sea)
Hammer Hammer Hammer
The Story Of Me And You
Dirty Little Secret
Nikole
Free From Sorrow
Give Up The Ghost
You Went Down The Stairs
All songs written and © by Michael S. Carpenter (BMI). All rights reserved.

Tales Of Love And Defiance is available for purchase (physical copies only). Details and more information can be found here.

 

 

Categories
Outside Projects

The PS5UG

PS5UG logo

In 2002, TASCAM released the Pocketstudio 5, a digital 4-track recorder with built-in programmable backing tracks. They also had a user’s forum, where owners of the PS5 were encouraged to share files and collaborate on songs. Sometimes these recordings could involve people spread around the world.

The forum was short-lived, however, and it was eventually closed down. Michael set up an alternative forum and named it the Pocketstudio 5 Users Group (PS5UG). Members continued to share files and collaborate, or showcase their own solo efforts.

In 2005, Michael solicited recordings from members of the PS5UG and assembled them into a CD, which was available for several years through Cafepress, a website mainly known for selling customized t-shirts and other items. The album was titled Another Fine Mess and featured a dozen original songs; some as collaborations and others recorded singly.

Another Fine Mess

Michael contributed one song, When Tuesdae Comes. The complete song list, with artists, included:

  • Rob Martin – Catch My Breath
  • Peter Robinson – Presense
  • Gustavo Meillón – Niña de Cristal
  • Charlie Comberrel – Garden Seduction
  • Stan Gulley – In The Bible Belt
  • Frank Kuepper – I Rock
  • Sahib Radio – Hanging Tree
  • Bob Vincent – Another Day
  • Michael Carpenter – When Tuesdae Comes
  • PS5 Super Users Group – Quitting Time
  • Cameron Pierce – The Road Is Long
  • Roger Holzheimer – I Saw You

Over the years, Michael was involved in many collaborations with a variety of other members of the group. And while production of the PS5 was shut down many years ago, the PS5UG continues up to the present day. The remaining members have moved on to other recording platforms, but still continue to collaborate from time to time or share their new recordings with each other.

Another Fine Mess is no longer in print, but the PS5UG can be reached here.

Categories
Outside Projects

The Coquina Rock Band

Coquina Rock Band logoIn 1980, Mike was playing with a band that included drummer Steve Fillicelli. As often happens, musicians would come and go for various reasons. Eventually, Steve left the band and a new drummer was recruited. Some months later, Mike also left, but he wasn’t idle for very long.

He was contacted by Steve, and asked if he was interested in joining the band that Steve was currently playing in, as their bassist was leaving shortly to move north and go back to school. Mike agreed, and this led to him becoming a member of the Coquina Rock Band.

The CRB had been started a year before by Mark Watson and his sister Jill, both of whom were excellent vocalists, with Mark also playing keyboards and a bit of guitar, while Jill contributed the odd guitar or percussion part. They too, had experienced the musical-chair situation with other members.

Their current bass player was Perry Petrone, aka ‘Sonny LaRock’. Perry was also left-handed, so he and Mike had a rapport almost immediately. The two of them had several sessions at Perry’s house in which they went over the bass parts to nearly every song the band played. This was important, since a large part of the band’s repertoire was original music from the Watson siblings (with contributions from a writing partner of Mark’s).

Coquina Rock Band TV appearanceWith Mike up to speed, Perry left the band and the CRB was able to carry on without a hitch. During the time Mike was a member, they made a TV appearance on Sunshine Music Hall, a half-hour broadcast on station WMFE in Orlando, Fl.

After several more personnel changes, including a new drummer, the band went into the studio (for the second time; the first occasion was with Perry some months before Mike joined). This resulted in two original tracks, Expendable and Metal On Metal, recorded at a professional eight-track studio in Melbourne, Florida. Except for some live recordings made at a surf festival some months later, these were the only songs captured on tape while Mike was with the band.

Eventually, Mike also left the group, which carried on a while longer then disbanded completely. Mark and Jill went on to work as a country duo for a short time, which ended when Jill moved to Chicago. Mark and Perry both passed away in 2004. Mike and Jill still keep in touch.

For more information, check out the Coquina Rock Band website.

Categories
Outside Projects

Jeremiah Ellsworth

Jeremiah Ellsworth 'Tomb of Time' cover artBetween 2000-2002, Michael worked almost exclusively with his good friend and former bandmate Rick Beyer on material that would eventually fill three CDs, as Jeremiah Ellsworth. All the songs were written by Rick (except for If I Lose My Faith from the Branded album, with lyrics by Mike), and recorded at Rick’s 8-track studio in Florida. Rick did all the vocal and guitar parts, Mike did all the bass and keyboard duties.

“Rick and I were in bands off and on for many years, but hadn’t worked together in some time. I had played him some stuff I came up with (I Caught A Train and Make You Go), and we fell into recording some songs he had. It went really well, so we just kept going.”

Jeremiah Ellsworth 'Branded' cover artThe first album, Tomb Of Time (2000), used Michael’s keyboard as a drum machine. Branded (2001) had Stan Soloko on real skins, and In Stride (2002) featured Mica Parenti handling the percussion chores. All the albums were mixed and mastered at TGIF Studio in Florida, under the direction of Chris Hattingh.

The JE CDs proved to be surprisingly popular, with requests for airplay copies coming as far away as France, and sales on the Internet  even out to Japan.

Jeremish Ellsworth 'In Stride' cover artMike and Rick discussed recording a fourth JE album together, but eventually the plans came to naught. Rick has continued to write and record as Jeremiah Ellsworth, however.

More information can be found here.

Categories
Albums

Album: The World At Large

The World At Large cover

Released in 2005, The World At Large was to be the last full album for some fifteen years, with most of the songs having been written between 2003-2004, and several numbers recorded with eight tracks, unlike the previous album which was completely four-tracked.

“With more tracks, many of the songs have a fuller sound, with a lot more energy. After the last album I wanted to rock a bit harder. There are a few ballads to round things out, but this one certainly cranks a lot more than last time. Especially the first half of the CD!”

With songs like Everyday Is Like The One Before and Running For Love, Michael went for a sharper edge in the material. Even some of the slower songs, like The Rock-Bottom Truth seemed to have more ‘kick’ than before

“Since finishing the album, I’ve already recorded several new numbers. Lots of heavy string sounds, but I’ll probably still come up with a few rockers. I like ’em!”

Photos for the CD were taken by Natalie Nosareva at Piccadilly Circus and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

“London is one of my favourite places. We had a mad day, just running around and taking photos.”

SONGS
Benefit
Running For Love
The Rock-Bottom Truth
Cranking At The Hall
In Leningrad
Alphabet Soup
Dancing In A Hurricane
(You Are) The One
Everyday Is Like The One Before
My Cathedral
The World At Large
All songs written and © by Michael S. Carpenter (BMI). All rights reserved.

No longer in print, but all tracks from this album can be heard via the Soundclick link in the bottom left corner of this page.

Categories
Albums

Album: A Man Alone

A Man Alone CD cover

Released in 2003, A Man Alone was Michael’s first ‘real’ album (2001’s Skies was only a 4-song EP). It’s the result of years of songwriting, but was recorded in just under a year on Mike’s new TASCAM Pocketstudio 5. While most of the material was written in 2002-03, some songs go as far back as the early 80’s.

“I had gotten the new 4-track, and started by laying down older songs that had never been properly recorded. I also began to write like never before, with new material just pouring out of me. I had time on my hands, since I had just moved to England, so I spent hours every day, just writing and recording. When I had enough decent material assembled, I thought it might be good to put together an album.”

But the genesis of A Man Alone had actually started back in 2001, while Michael was recording tracks for the Jeremiah Ellsworth CDs. The album title and artwork had already been worked out. An early version of All I Need was attempted with Rick Beyer, but never finished. Then Michael flew off to the UK, purchased the Pocketstudio, and set to work.

Artwork for the CD was taken by Victoria Carpenter at Whitby Abbey, on the Northeastern coast of England.

“When I saw that photo, of me in the aisle of the church ruins, I knew that was the cover of the album. It was totally unplanned, just holiday snaps really.”

SONGS
Our American Dream
You Say
It’s Just You, It’s Just Me
The Best Years Of My Life
You Got That Something
Broken Waltz
Mary Mary
All I Need
Valentine’s Day
She’s Gone
Happy Birthday To Me
In The Dead Of Night
All songs written and © by Michael S. Carpenter (BMI). All rights reserved.

No longer in print, but all tracks from this album can be heard via the Soundclick link in the bottom left corner of this page.

Categories
Albums

Album: Skies

Skies cover art4-song CD.

Originally released in 2001, Skies was a modest debut, consisting of only four songs, all recorded on a TASCAM model 144 cassette portastudio. The idea at the time was just to have something, anything, available on a disc. So the four best recordings were carefully transferred from cassette to CD and put out online via the now-defunct MP3.com website.

Two of the tracks, I Caught A Train and Make You Go, were done with a new piece of equipment – a Yamaha PSR330 keyboard. But it wasn’t used as a keyboard on either recording; instead it provided drum tracks. Percussion was a continual problem for Mike in the early days. The cheesy keyboard drums on She’s Out Of Control are proof enough.

When Michael played these two tracks to Rick Beyer over Christmas of 1999, Rick was so impressed that he invited Mike and his keyboard drums to take part in what would eventually wind up as the Jeremiah Ellsworth sessions, resulting in three CDs of work over two years.

I Caught A Train and Make You Go were the first songs I ever recorded that sounded like real records, instead of crappy demos with me banging on bongos or whatever. I had also just gotten a decent electric guitar, which didn’t hurt any either. In my mind, I always saw them as two sides of a single. Rick was *very* impressed the first time he heard ‘Train.”

SONGS
I Caught A Train
She’s Out Of Control
Someday
Make You Go
All songs written and © Michael S. Carpenter (BMI). All rights reserved.

No longer in print, but all tracks from this EP can be heard via the Soundclick link in the bottom left corner of this page.