Sunday, 28 November 2010

It's Getting towards Christmas. + More Technology

I'm afraid it's been another very quiet week for The Mashers. Quiet, in so far as outings have been none existent.

Before going into the reasons, first an important note. I GOT IT WRONG!!! The November Diary got it right – despite what I said in the last up date Email there is NO NELLIES TOMORROW NIGHT – MONDAY. It was in fact last Monday. So please don't venture out to The Bridge on the 29th.

However, Monday 6th will see a Folk Day at The Bridge, yes that's a Monday, and it's one for the traditionalist. I'm told it's part of an exchange session with some singers from Lancashire. Sounds as if it might be quite interesting.

It's a busy week so head off to the December Diary Page for details.

The new Mashing Machine is now at very nearly full speed. I have to say I'm really enjoying the speed of the machine and it's general look and feel. Even Acoustic Rotherham pages load quite fast.

But no sooner had my personal technical problems sorted themselves when Myspace did for me. Suddenly and without any warning the RSS feed that allowed the News Blog to be placed at various places on the Web and helped readers access the Blog disappeared.

This is, I am afraid, typical of Myspace recently. For much of this year they have been updating everything and as a result the Myspace site has become virtually useless, with so many features being dropped or simply not working. They have sorted the loading speed, sort of, but we are only just discovering the cost.

It would help if they actually informed folks of the changes they were making and when. So much of the Myspace reconstruction has been done without telling anyone with the result that their users have become more and more frustrated.

If you are a musician the only place to be at the moment is Reverbnation, who provide a simple link into a Band Page on Facebook essentially two key places for the work of one.

I've got around the Blog issue by placing our News Blog on Blogspot which I've been able to RSS out to all the key places with the exception of the Ning sites, if anyone is still using Ning that is. I've noticed that Folk Show site has fallen into disuse since Ning started charging for their instant Web Site service.

So you can now link into the Blog via Blogspot, The Mashers site, Acoustic Rotherham, Reverbnation and the News letters of course. It will also be placed on Myspace.

Well, we're into December this week. The rush of Christmas themed songs has already started, prompted one suspects by the rather harsh cold weather that has hit us this week. I'm sure that I do this every year, but for anyone looking for alternative Christmas Songs with side wipe head off to the Bob Rivers site HERE. I'm sure you'll find something to tickle your fancy, and if that's not enough why not try Martin Nesbitt's offering HERE. And for the blood thirsty try this HERE

I've been quite busy of late, but I really hope to get around to places before Christmas – I'm becoming quite boring and perhaps it's time to get out there again. Unfortunately the health issues persist, which is rather undermining all my good intentions, but we'll fight on.

So – head off to the December Diary page for all that is going on, top rated this week, The Play On Club back at the Fat Cat on Friday night, that's if you can resist Wizz Jones, tickets £7 and £5 from Pete GO HERE and before that at the Princess Royal there's the fantastic Toein' In The Dark on Thursday night the 2nd.

Don't forget if your Club has a Festive event or something new going off like The Barnsley Folk Club's Beginners Sessions starting on December 6th then get in touch and we'll get the News out there.

Finally – if you're buying Christmas presents from Amazon, please, use the Acoustic Rotherham link through to the site. By buying through our links it helps to keep the site going. Even if we don't have what you are looking for in our Shop HERE by clicking through the “search” to the main site it still registers as a sale from Acoustic Rotherham.

And don't forget there's some great music to give this Christmas on the Acoustic Rotherham CD Shop page – all direct from the artist check out what's on offer HERE.

And with that it's off to the day job.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Technology Takes up Time - But we Try

I think we can settle down to a bit of normality now.

The Technology problems appear to have slowly but surely been worked through. By Tuesday the Old Mashing Machine had been returned in a condition that allowed me to get at the essential data it contained on the Hard Disc and by late Tuesday it was all safely placed on an external Hard Disc.

The New Mashing Machine was delivered on Friday and it is on that machine that I am writing this weeks News Blog.

All the data moving has caused some problems with the Web Site, it will take me a bit of time to get discover all the missing links. However the good news is that I've managed to sort out the download files on the Web Site and all the links now work. That means you can now get at and download The Mashers Folk Up Front which was repeated by Terry Ferdinand on Bishop FM HERE on the “Book The Mashers” Page. You can also find a number of other Masher downloads on this page as well.

If you couldn't listen in on Radio or over the Internet last week it's well worth a listen, with Myke's music selections being more than a little off of centre.

Currently I find that my teaching Diary is rather full, and I'm also working on a Commercial Web Site job which means time is limited, especially as I now have to do a bit of catching up on the latter following a week's hold up. This means my adventures out into the big wide World are very limited.

I have to add that I'm still working through this really down period when I'm simply not enjoying the performing. I think that there is a lot going on there – so we won't dig down to deeply into that hole here.

I can report that Craig Bookers book signing at Waterson's on Saturday was a great success. He sold out!! so thank you all those readers who went along.

You can still buy his book on the Acoustic Rotherham Amazon Shop HERE And if you want it signed I'm sure we can work out a way of getting that done for you. The perfect Christmas present for the Crime lover.

Talking of crimes. Last Sunday found me, along with Mrs Masher in our local Club where an “entertainer” attempted the classic Elvis Impersonation – all dressed up, a couple of weak attempts at “the moves” shocking backing tracks but an interesting light show and did he sound like Elvis? Well no, actually.

You have to admire these guys though, it takes a lot of guts to get up there and perform that sort of show, so while this one fell a bit short for me I take my cap off for the attempt.

And Ken the Hat has nothing to fear on the costume front.

And of Christmas Presents............ don't forget the Myke Barritt Music Trust event on the 14th December has a Bring and Buy element, plus one or two odds from the Myke Collection, so who knows, you find a bargain or two and contribute to The Trust Funds at the same time, while also enjoying some excellent music.

There was also a Trust get together at The Red Deer on Sunday, in fact folks will be washing down and heading out as I type this Blog. Full details of what you have missed – and the Xmas Bash can be found HERE

A message from the Leader of The Black Bull Gang, Martin, to say that the all between Festive hangovers All Dayer at the Black Bull will be taking place on Wednesday 29th December. Food, booze and some fantastic music all starting at around 1:00pm. And of course and very importantly we should also remind folks that there is a very important meeting of Nellie Folk that evening, starting at the usual time of 8:45pm. You can keep a check on all the Festive stuff by going to our December Diary HERE

I'm sure I've left something out, but my brain and time allow for no more. You lucky people. I know I promised you some new stuff but I'm sorry it's going to take time to put together so bare with me and it will eventually pop up.

So until next time – whatever you are doing this week have fun and keep it live.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Technical Problems but The News Will Out

Let's start with a bit of immediate Masher News this week.

It must be near on two years since Myke and myself headed up the A1 to Bishop Auckland to do a bit of radio stuff with Terry for Bishop FM

Besides appearing on the The Folk Programme where we played a few live tracks, we also recorded one of Terry's Folk Up Front programmes. This programme gave us a chance to talk about our music roots and the songs and artists that influenced us.

It would be fair to say that Myke and I came from completely different roots, and this was no more highlighted than by our selections of music for this programme.

You also get an insight into what and the music that made Myke tick, even within a Mashers type performance.

Terry is replaying the programme this Sunday 14th November at 5:00pm You can listen in HERE on line.

The programme is available on the Mashers Web Site HERE for download. It's a bit of a heavy download but well worth the wait in my view, but I would say that wouldn't I, find out for yourself. I'VE JUST DISCOVERED THAT THE PAGE WAS ONE OF THOSE THAT FAILED ON LOADING - SO YOU'LL HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE ALL CLEAR FOR THE DOWNLOAD.

The promised new Masher recordings have had to be shelved until the New Year. Poor old Phillip Hartley is having to work longer hours for the foreseeable future and may also be called for an op. At short notice.

So you will have to make do with the Moggy Song that we recorded in October until the other stuff is ready – and of course Shirley, which I found in the bowls of my Computer, recorded with the first Masher Keith Nicklin.

Incidentally I've recently been in touch with Keith. He's recently moved home and to be honest is not very well. He will shortly be having some heart surgery and I'm sure everyone will want to send their best wishes to him for a speedy return to the stage.

The good news is that Keith has promised to dig out his recording of “Market Days” his own song about the history of Sheffield Market, and we'll be putting it on the Acoustic Rotherham Player. Be patient though, he has to find it amongst the boxes of stuff that he still unpacking following his move.

The search for a permanent new partner for Dickie Masher continues. It's just a little frustrating not to find someone to join forces with. In the meantime I've been very quiet for a Masher and I suppose it's time to try to find the motivation to get back out there – to be honest I'm not finding it easy at the moment. I'm just so thankful that my old mate Phill Hartley has been able to stand in for a few sets to remind of the fun.

The Myke Masher Music Trust event on the 14th December is beginning to take shape. A list of acts should be available shortly.

There is also an Open planning meeting due to be held this coming week – final details are not yet to hand. Keep an eye on your Inbox.

Those watching their Facebook pages will know that it's been a bit of a disaster week again. Car breakdowns / punctures at the wrong time / and computer failures!!! just another week in what has been simply a dreadful year.

It all means that the Web Site will not be updated until later next week so apologies.

Steps have been taken to minimise future inconvenience.

It's also come to my attention that a few people are having real problem receiving direct Emails from Acoustic Rotherham / Mashers / Richard @ addresses. It only happens in a very few cases, and the strange thing is that the General Mailings sent via Reverbnation get through OK. It seems to happen with those using certain Web Based Email clients – if you are waiting for Email then please check the filters and Spam settings of your Email Clients.

Talking of Web Sites I'm currently building a site for a local Gym. If anyone out there has any Gym type songs I could use on the site then please feel free to let me have them – funny, sad or anything.

The battle between Facebook and Myspace seems to be all over bar the shouting.

In my experience both have their strengths and weaknesses, with Facebook winning out for social interaction while Myspace wins on Band / Music profiling. In fact recently Facebook has made it even more difficult for Bands by taking away the “My Band” Tab from personal profile pages and opening Band Pages. It all makes for added complications and from what I've seen to date much repetition.

Myspace has been making changes to. And not for the best. The site has become so slow and interaction between friends has become very difficult. And of course it's not been helped by trying to make the changes on the live site.

It seems that people are leaving Myspace in their droves though and it remains to be seen just how long Mr Murock will be prepared to allow it to loose huge sums of money.

By the way, the quickest way to set up a Band Page on Facebook is to se the Reverbnation App.

While on computer matters here's a little extra. With Microsoft Office being so expensive and MS Works being so cumbersome to use you might be interested in a FREE full Office Suite I've found made available by Sun the folks who provide the Java platforms man of us use to upload pictures to Facebook etc. The Suite is fully compatible with the Microsoft Programmes (not Office 2010 yet) and I think is based on the old Lotus programme which was one of the first integrated Word Processing programmes on the market. But you can't go too far wrong with FREE so check it out HERE

Well I did promise that I would have a few things for you this week – they are all unfortunately locked on the hard disc of my main Computer, so you'll all just have to wait until next week.

It's a busy old week out there again. Steve Ashley is playing Barnsley on Monday evening and Welsh Geoff is at the Crookes Club on Thursday.

There's also a rumour that Ray Hearne will be playing The Handsworth Club at The Cross Keys on Tuesday 16th November. Confirmation of this as soon as I can get it.

You can check out the full details and listings of all the local Clubs and Open Mics of the week on the Diary Page HERE

Dave Smith who drags acts kicking and screaming to his various open air events over in Wirksworth is looking for people to perform in the run up to Christmas at some of The Farmer Markets ad other events. Email him HERE to get full details of dates and venues

Acoustic Rotherham 10. The full list of acts appearing at Acoustic Rotherham 10 can be found HERE more details later in December.

Many thanks to those who have taken time to send me your ideas about how the Acoustic Rotherham afternoons might be improved – and how we might get Acoustic Rotherham “out there” and more attractive to an audience.


And that's it for this week. Let's hope that we'll be fully operational again by next week.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Short but sweet. + MBMT News

After last weeks marathon it's a short News Blog this week.

I'm sorry to say that I can't say that I'm currently at my best. Acoustic Rotherham 9 and the time adjustment taking it's toll on the body.

I can remember when the extra hour of turning the clock back meant just that, an extra hour in bed. Unfortunately for this old bugger it means I'm getting up an hour earlier, so no gain for me folks. For some the events of last weekend just passed them by completely unnoticed, hence the call I got Monday morning from a pupil wondering why I had not arrived for their driving lesson – their was a rather embarrassed silence when I pointed out the correct time.

So musically a non week for The Mashers.

Fall out from Acoustic Rotherham 9. Some folks like to leave the odd present for me – this time I have a rather posh looking cable which I think belongs to Folk On Fire if they would like to check and no less than two guitar stands, the telescopic type. If the owners would like to contact me we'll try to return said bits to the rightful owners.

I like to see how long it takes for acts to realise that they have bits of kit missing, on this occasion records have been broken.

The list for Acoustic Rotherham 10 grows, and by the end of the week the Web Site page will have been updated.

Plenty of great Gigs and sessions coming up this week so check out the November Diary page for all the details.

The Myke Barritt Music Trust Fund Raiser still needs your help find all the details HERE

Onto the review of the week. Well as promised, I headed out on Saturday night to check out View From S62 at The Queens in Rawmarsh.

For those not familiar with Post Codes, S62 covers most of Rawmarsh, so you now know where the main guys in the band hail from.

You might recall that I was a little critical of the band when it made an appearance at my Club a few weeks ago, but that was a Club environment, at The Queens they were on home ground and boy did it show. In the raucous pub atmosphere VF62 came to life cheered on by their supporters who joined in on virtually every number.

For a local Band they can pack a pub out............. indeed it took me ten minutes to get from door to bar and another ten to get served and then had to stand out of view of the band for most of the set I saw.

These guys clearly love nothing better than playing LIVE MUSIC to an intimate audience and the close proximity in the Queens meant that they could perform at their best, and once again with various guest musicians which in this environment added to the energy of a great night out.

Well done lads. Sorry I couldn't hang around to talk to you but we'll touch base soon I hope.

Head off HERE to find out more about band.

So that's just about it for this week.

Keep a check on the status bars for any activity from The Mashers this week - just in case the body and brain set me free.

Next week we'll be more together and I've got some new Web Sites you may like to visit and ideas for acts wanting to broadcast their music to new audiences. In the meantime keep checking out the Acoustic Rotherham News Page as updates etc. get added daily.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

All The Gossip From Acoustic Rotherham 9 + Loads more News from Around the South Yorkshire Region

Well my friends it has been a busy old time, but slowly we catch up.

But the most important thing this week is to start with this coming Friday's meeting of The Play On Club. I hope the message has not passed you by but the Club is for one month only moving home to The Rutland Arms which you'll find on Brown Street in Sheffield. This is because the Fat Cat is having a Guy Fawkes event. Post Code can be found on our Home Page Here

Right, on with the events of the past week.

It was a case of one extreme to the other for Nellie Folk. The September meeting, as we discussed at the time, was well down on attendance, so it was great to see so many smiling faces when I eventually arrived on Monday night.

Besides the return of some regulars we also had several visiting folks, good to see David Kidman and a few others from up North.

A super night of music and I'm only sorry that my eyelids did not let me finish the night off, but it had gone eleven and well, I turn into a pumpkin if out after eleven thirty.

Well done Rob and Roy.

But just Rob and Roy get my congratulations – The Mashers second outing of the week to what had been billed as The Big Open Mic gets a real thumbs down. I'm almost sorry that I directed so many other folks to the event.

The Big Open Mic was run by Sheffield Live the local Community Radio Station and the initial contact from them was quite good. Strict instructions about arriving twenty minutes before one's spot, and strictly only two numbers per act, etc.

So arriving at The Sheffield Winter Garden, out of breath, with approx one minute to spare of the twenty (well I do work on Masher time) I was a bit puzzled to find folks sitting about listening to a recorded Radio Play.

It turns out that the event had been raided by the Derleks!!! and without Dr Who in attendance to keep them under control they had run amok causing the running time to be pushed back some fifty minutes.

Worse. Because so much time had been lost we were all being cut down to one song! Hardly a chance to get warmed up et alone do a service to the songs we were trying to sing.

I think we moved people to tears with our rendition of Dance On The Grave of Mrs Thatcher, sang, I thought, with feeling and perhaps if the name Simon had rhymed, who knows what the end result may have sounded like.

(By the way, is it any accident that they did not let Mrs Thatcher out of Hospital until Halloween was out of the way?)

But at least we did our bit, and The Mashers really do like being a part of the local scene and taking our songs out, but please, please, please, let's get organised and not treat the acts who were all giving of their time freely so cheaply. A bit of respect needs to be shown and while we understand that there were production difficulties, playing a recorded Play when they had people sitting around and twiddling their thumbs is not really on.

The Mashers did get their song done........... I'm told that some acts had to sit through another, this time live, spoken word piece that took up at least five times the time allotted to the musicians. And this at an Open Mic.

Well, lessons learnt all round I think.

I'm informed that Sheffield Live are thinking of repeating the event throughout the City – a good idea, but my own soundings suggest that a lot of goodwill was lost and they may have problems filling slots up with musicians.

Pictures can be found on the Mashers site HERE

And so to the main event of the weekend, Acoustic Rotherham 9. Yet another great afternoon of entertaining music. Phillip Hartley had it down as the best yet! Although I seem to think that every quarter.

Pictures of the event and the player featuring the acts can be found HERE

The sound, for the second quarter running was provided by Richard of Eskimo Kissed. I think all the artists owe Richard a big thank you for his efforts. It's not easy setting sound up for so many different acts, and even those we thought might be straight forward turned out to have extra twists – so great stuff Richard.

Now, Richard only provided his skills and equipment on the condition we made a collection throughout the afternoon, which we did, all the funds going to the Myke Barrit Music Trust. I can report that the sum of £20 was collected.

And I think the sum reflects the main down of the afternoon, once again the lack of neutral audience, besides the hardcore who have become firm regulars.

It was the reason why the Loftus Hiring Fair eventually ended and the reason why even Acoustic Rotherham is thinking very carefully about how to move the events on. At the moment closure is not on the agenda, all the time that the artists enjoy performing and doing their thing we're happy to facilitate.

A later start - a cover chargea cut back in the number of acts invited are all things being considered.

Having said that around 35 people over and above the artists showed their faces at various times during the afternoon.

And so the artists that followed The Mashers sound warm up spot.............. well someone has to do it!

First up was David Kidman with what he described as an experimental set, and a fine demonstration of acappella style. David describes himself as being within the Revivalist genre, but his all round entertaining repertoire and engaging personality demands attention from the audience.

I'm sure that is not the last time we will see Dave at an Acoustic Rotherham. Watch this space.

Following David came the considerable talents of Rachael Barley, performing a set of blues and jazz with her rich voice supported superbly by a personal guitar style. This young lady deserves greater exposure as a solo artist, and I hope one or two of you Promoters out there will get in touch and give her a stage.

Rachael is a local shy young lady and needs a push to share her brilliant music making talent. Currently she plays as part of the Pa Pa Legbas a Rotherham Band gaining a reputation.

A set of punchy, strong contemporary acoustic songs marked another fine performance from Richard and Julie who together make up Eskimo Kissed. Shhhhhh, they've only just celebrated their twenty fifth wedding anniversary ohhhhh, and I think in Richard's lyrics you can sense just how strong their relationship is. Richard writes all the songs and one day they might just get around to letting loose their closely guarded recorded tracks.

Based in Worksop Eskimo Kissed have quickly established themselves on the South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire music scene as an act not to be missed and I'm sure they will go from strength to strength.

In the meantime, being sneaky, I took the liberty of recording one of their numbers on Sunday so that you can at least get taste of what they offer – it will be on the Acoustic Rotherham Player by the end of the week.

Offering a complete contrast came the Country sounds of J.B. Butterfield.

Here's the story. There I was, on Saturday night having my tea, when the telephone rang. It was J.B. who I had expected to already be in Rawmarsh as he had booked accommodation at Masher Towers.

I've been stuck at Ferrybridge Services since 11:30 this morning said the voice.”

Oh dear” says I, for I thought he had broken down and was waiting for the AA to get their act together.

But no it turns out that JB had set off at first light from Hartlepool to hitch down to Rawmarsh. Now there is true enthusiasm. But just perhaps he should have checked the maps because since his last venture South the A1 had been shifted to the A1M which tends to take North and South bound traffic out of the way, leaving poor J.B. trying to catch a lift South from cars and wagons travelling in the main East to West on the M62.

Alls well that ends well, as Dickie headed out to pick up the lost sheep, returning in time for a touch of stew and a few pints over the Club.

And yes – J.B. Was all bushy bearded for his performance at Acoustic Rotherham which was as ever slick and professional, as he played through his super self penned songs.

Thanks J.B. Butterfield - you'll always be remembered in Rawmarsh and we'll look forward to seeing you again in the not too distant future.

Folk On Fire, them Folk whipper-snappers were the next up. The Mashers have now had the privilege of working with these young musicians on a few occasions this year, and each time I've seen them they just get better and better. This Acoustic Rotherham performance was up there as probably the best I've seen them yet, confirmed by Mr Phillip Hartley, so it has to be right.

So well done Lucie, Mathew and Callum and we hope you'll be able to find time in your 2011 Diary to come and play some of your tunes again for Acoustic Rotherham. You are always assured of a warm welcome.

And then to the other extreme of the age spectrum as seventy nine year old Dorothy Fryman and the young man John Bartey, Song and Story to you and I, who brought songs and monologues casting images of the tragedy of war, and performed with such passion.

Ever popular around the Folk Clubs of Manchester, this is an act that must be seen. We hope that we'll be seeing them again at an Acoustic Rotherham.

The Bouviers then produced one of the slickest acoustic sets we've seen at any of our Acoustic Rotherham events. I think one could broadly label their music as being bluesy Americana. It was energetic, it bounced along and their set seemed to be over before it had started. Simply brilliant stuff. It reminded me very much of The Troubadors.

Thanks guys and I hope that you're another act that will want to come back and see us in the future.

Sabrina Piggott took to the stage with her beautiful self penned songs based very much in the Celtic tradition. Her quiet yet spell binding performance was quite stunning while being ably accompanied Andy Owen on Glockenspiel and hand pump organ thing – (which is Dickie demonstrating a complete lack instrument knowledge, check out the picture and put me right). Sabrina is beginning to pick a few Gigs up around the Leeds area and I hope we'll see more of her South Yorkshire before to long.

There was only one way to follow Sabrina and that was with another singer of intensity, Paul Pearson. When you book in Paul you can never be certain as to whom is likely to be on stage with him. On this occasion we had the bearded wonder Chris Treebeard with his fully pedalled instrument. But not even the amazing Chris was enough for Paul, he had to go and pull the incredible guitar skills of Richard Kitson on stage to.

And the set? Well Paul is another of those artists who seems to get better and better and his ability to pull an audience into his spell is something we should all try to aspire to.

Well done Paul mate.

How do you follow Paul then, well, with another established troubadour of the Yorkshire Folk scene, the brilliant Chris Milner. Combating the Trick and Treaters singing songs in the Public Bar Chris put on one of his typically smooth and professional performances for us. Thanks Chris for taking the time out to come and see us in Rawmarsh, much appreciated.

The last time I saw Richard Kitson play was on the Folk Against Fascism stage in Barnsley. Before that it had been a couple of brief songs at the Barnsley Folk Club.

Richard's performance at Acoustic Rotherham surpassed anything I had seen from him before. He positively exploded on stage, demonstrating a guitar skill well beyond us mere mortals along with a strong and entertaining vocal. This was no “look how clever I am” type performance. It was quite simply infectious fun.

This guys already playing some top Gigs, but I hope he'll find time to come back and entertain us again in the not to distant future.

Ending the evening was a performer whom I thought was a local lad. In fact he's a local lad that has now moved to Burton. Stage name, Gary Saved My Life, real name Joe Evans entertained us with his strong Indie sounding self penned songs. Great stuff Joe and may you go from strength to strength in your music career. Come back and visit us any time.

The talent in our Region is just unbelievable. I take even my new flashy cap off to you all.

And so to news hot off the press. The Myke Barritt Music Trust has just announced the date of their next event in December and you can find all the details HERE your help is needed so get in touch with “committee” and lets have a great warm up to Christmas.

And as we move into November plenty of good things coming up to keep an eye on the Diary pages HERE for everything that is going on. For those inclined towards the concert side of things dont forget to check out everything that is happening on the South Yorkshire Folk page HERE

And while The Mashers catch their breath for a bit I'm sure there will be plenty of good things to report in next weeks Blog, in fact, next Saturday November 6th I'm off to The Queens again to see View From S62 in action and in their natural environment, should be a good night if I can get through the door.

Whatever you're doing this week have a great time and keep it real and live.