The new album “Soft Soft Soft the Sparrow Sings” with seventeen delicious songs, written on my bike journey to India, is now complete! Just waiting to sort out a launch date probably August / Sept sometime.
The Album is being released through a musical collective we’ve set up in Bristol called “The Undergrowth”
More details soon!
I interviewed Jesse from the bands “This is the Kit”and “Morningstar”, for the next issue of Boneshaker Magazine, for an article on musicians on bikes, and he told me about The Magical Bike Tour, a summer musical tour he’s been doing by bike.
And so this August I’ll be a little musical tour with Jesse and his mates in the Welsh Borders before going to The End of the Road music festival with Bristol musical and story collective Folk Tales.
The Magical Bike Tour proves its possible to tour and gig by bike and have a great time.
Here’s a video of one of the last Magical Bike Tours. Proving you can tour with drums and double bass by bike!
Look out for a full interview with Jesse and Dino from the Magical Bike Tour in the next issue of Boneshaker and a bunch of other freethinking musicians on bikes.
Boneshaker Issue 11 is out now with the article “Soft Soft Soft the Sparrow Sings” and a preview of songs from the album of the same name. The magazine is available in loadsa of great shops in Bristol including:
Jakes’s Bikes / BIKE / HERE Shop / Arnolfini /
Sustrans /Bristol Bike Workshop / Stanfords / Bristol Dropouts / Spike Island
+ right across the UK, global stockists and online.
You can read about my cycle trip to India in the article and the background to some of the songs I wrote on the way.
Here’s a link to the bandcamp site where you can hear seven songs from the forthcoming album…but you’ll need to get the magazine to get the full article. At only £6.00 and jam packed with brilliant photos and great articles Boneshaker is a top buy whatever your interests.
Here’s a video made by our friend Kat Jungnickel which features a shortened version of the song “There Goes My Guitar” (You can find the song in full on the Boneshaker mag bandcamp site and on the forthcoming album.)
“There goes my guitar” was written in my head as I watched Jen cycle into the Iranian desert with my guitar strapped to the back of her bike. The guitar and Jen would wobble in and out of the mirage as we cycled.
The video is a bit closer to home. Kat was doing a PhD research project into cycling cultures in different cities and soon after our return from India we met her on the Bristol Bath bike path. It was part of an arts trail project and we were exhibiting some photos from the trip and I was playing my songs through a battery powered amp by the path. Kat wanted to interview us for her project and then take a David Hockney like picture collage of us on our bikes outside an abandoned chocolate factory. (We met some great characters that day including a professional metal detector offering call outs for lost wedding rings. He wrote his number on the back of a business card for a dementia care home.)
Kat exhibited the photos she’d been taking at Bristol Bike Festival and Jen and I played a short set in a pop up exhibition in an old shop.
Here’s a photo of Kat’s exhibition behind our little set up (Jen plays the casio keyboard) You can just see Kat’s collage of us outside the old chocolate factory in the bottom right hand corner.
Kat then asked if we could provide a song for a short film about her cycling project and hey presto a video.
I particularly like the mandolin break at end (recorded by our Devonshire mate Jon) and Kat brushing the leaves on the trees as she rides through a park on her penny farthing. Kat races these iron spinneys all over the world. What a brilliant bunch of bike crazies we all are.
Boneshaker is a gorgeous little publication that celebrates cycling. I’ve been writing for Boneshaker for a couple of years and for the next issue, issue 11, I’ve written a piece about my cycle trip to India and the songs that I wrote along the way. There will be eight songs up on a dedicated Bandcamp site which you can click on as you read the article.
Issue 11 will be out in the new year and you find out more and where to to get it at
Jen who cycled with me is singing backing vocals, my friend Virpi is playing violin, with Jon G adding guitar/ banjo and mandolin. The album was recorded with Alex at Forest Studio in Bristol and then mastered onto on an old reel to reel tape machine. It’s also got a cast of casio keyboard, spoke sounds and a bike pump.
The whole album with fifteen songs will be out Spring 2013 and we’re looking for a label.
In the meantime here’s “Pedal Pedal Pedal” . I wrote “Pedal Pedal Pedal” in a flat in Istanbul as Jen folded out the map of Turkey and we tried to draw a line across that didn’t hit any mountains-which is a bit like trying to wrap a wooden ruler round a grapefruit.
Pedal Pedal Pedal
In the final stages of mixing a whole bunch of songs I wrote when I cycled to India. It’s got Jen on backing vocals. And my friends Virpi and Jon on violin and guitar respectively. Even my faithful bike Bertle got to join the team when I used Bertle’s bike pump on the song “Chai Stop Please.”
It’s a been a long time coming this album. But like all things, like cycling into the great blue yonder, it’ll be worth the sweat and tears and laughter.
I’ll put the list of recorded songs up soon.
I’m Jet McDonald, a musician and writer. This site is about my songs.
I’ve just come back from a year long cycle trip from Bristol to India and I’m in the process of recording the songs I wrote along the way.
My little guitar was kept in a black bin liner to keep it dry, and strapped to the pannier rack of the bike I was riding with a set of bungees. It still sounds great.
Peddle Peddle Peddle