Paul Strummer - Singer Songwriter

2012 A Year In Review

Well, what happened in 2012? My top 80 acoustic cover songs of 2012! and other musical stats, along with video/song links, in this year long review of someone who "likes to strum" in some of his spare time...

In 2012 I performed at 83 events in total, mostly open mic slots but also about a dozen feature artist slots too. Roughly sticking to the quota laid down by my lovely long suffering wife Tracey, a limit of going out doing music stuff no more than 3 times a fortnight!

My top 80 acoustic cover songs of 2012

Although I love playing my own songs, I'm also a sucker for learning, creating, and performing solo acoustic arrangements of my favourite songs by other artists too. During my 83 live events in 2012, I performed solo acoustic covers of 80 different songs, and here they are in order of most played, most popular, first:

position, song, number of performances
01. Fade To Grey Visage, 21
02. Stayin' Alive The Bee Gees, 19
03. What A Waste Ian Dury and the Blockheads, 17
04. Saving All My Love For You Whitney Houston, 13
05. Hushabye Mountain Dick Van Dyke, 11
06. Seven Nation Army The White Stripes, 11
07. That'll Do Nicely Bad Manners, 11
08. The Show Must Go On Leo Sayer, 10
09. God's Gonna Cut You Down Johnny Cash, 9
10. I Feel Love Donna Summer, 8
11. No Diggity Blackstreet, 8
12. On The Road Again Willie Nelson, 7
13. Word Up Cameo, 7
14. Babooshka Kate Bush, 6
15. Don't Stop Movin' S Club 7, 6
16. Gitane Kenneth J Nash, 6
17. Ice Cream Man Tom Waits, 6
18. In Your Eyes Kylie Minogue, 6
19. One Man Band Leo Sayer, 6
20. Trail Of The Lonesome Pine Laurel and Hardy, 6
21. Ugly Face Nina Nastasia, 6
22. Gallows Pole (Traditional), 5
23. Lost In Music Sister Sledge, 5
24. The Death Of You And Me Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, 5
25. Thriller Michael Jackson, 5
26. Dare Me The Pointer Sisters, 4
27. Don't Kill The Whale Yes, 4
28. Giving It All Away Leo Sayer, 4
29. Leave Your Body Behind You Richard Hawley, 4
30. Over The Edge Status Quo, 4
31. Read All About It Part 3 Emeli Sande, 4
32. Strongbow Karl Phillips and the Midnight Ramblers, 4
33. Swords Of A Thousand Men Tenpole Tudor, 4
34. Ticket To The Moon ELO, 4
35. Yesterday Is Here Tom Waits, 4
36. Back To Black Amy Winehouse, 3
37. Bad Things Jace (True Blood theme) Everett, 3
38. Clown Virus Stevie Rigsby, 3
39. Dog Eat Dog Adam and the Ants, 3
40. Don't Go Yazoo (Alison Moyet), 3
41. F**k All The Perfect People Chip Taylor, 3
42. Thank God It's Christmas Queen, 3
43. Think Of Me Phantom Of the Opera, 3
44. Walk On By Dionne Warwick, 3
45. California Dreamin' Bobby Womack, 2
46. Dance Yourself Dizzy Liquid Gold, 2
47. Don't Let Go En Vogue, 2
48. I'm A Man Spencer Davis Group, 2
49. Just An Illusion Imagination, 2
50. Monster Mash Bobby Pickett, 2
51. Price Tag Jessie J, 2
52. Ring My Bell Anita Ward, 2
53. She's Not There The Zombies, 2
54. Supernature Cerrone, 2
55. The Adventures Of Raindance Maggie Red Hot Chili Peppers, 2
56. The Broken Man Bob Cousins, 2
57. True Love Ways Buddy Holly, 2
58. Wild Boys Duran Duran, 2
59. You Showed Me The Turtles (Salt n Pepa), 2
60. 25 Years Stevie Jones, 1
61. Bedsitter Soft Cell, 1
62. Could It Be Magic Barry Manilow (Gary Barlow/Take That), 1
63. Grease Fankie Valli, 1
64. Hold Me Now The Thompson Twins, 1
65. Johnny Come Home Fine Young Cannibals, 1
66. I'm So Excited The Pointer Sisters, 1
67. Liberian Girl Michael Jackson, 1
68. Love By You Joan Armatrading, 1
69. Moon Over Bourbon Street Sting, 1
70. Motherless Child Traditional, 1
71. Next To Me Emeli Sande, 1
72. One Way Ticket To The Blues Neil Sedaka, 1
73. Proud Mary Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1
74. Shake Your Booty K.C. and the Sunshine Band, 1
75. She Works Hard For The Money Donna Summer, 1
76. Summertime George Gershwin, 1
77. The One I Love REM, 1
78. Wanted The Dooleys, 1
79. Way Down In The Hole (theme from The Wire) Tom Waits, 1
80. Will You Hazel O'Connor, 1

The last cover I performed at the last open mic of the year was Adam Ant 's Dog Eat Dog at Ye Golden Lion Acoustic Open Mic (Wildfire Sessions) Wellinborough December 20. Coincidently, Adam Ant is on Jools Hollands Hootenany tonight, so an Adam Ant song might be one of the last songs many people will hear in 2012! Dog Eat Dog would definitely be higher up on my charts if I had learnt it earlier in the year, but I only started playing at the end of November!

My top acoustic covers of songs from local songwriters in 2012

I'm quite proud of the fact that out of the covers, I've also included covers of some of my favourite songs from local singer songwriter friends:

Gitane Kenneth J Nash
Clown Virus Stevie Rigsby
The Broken Man Bob Cousins
25 Years Stevie Jones
Strongbow Karl Phillips and the Midnight Ramblers
as well as this Happy Happy Birthday mash-up at the Wildfire Sessions birthday bash, where I mashed up my own song Happy Happy Birthday with Wildfire Stevie Jones, Never Felt Like This Before Hannah Faulkner, Clown Virus Stevie Rigsby, On The Town Kev Lee, I Have Been Jason Vatter, Home Sweet Home My Jaike, and Gitane Kenneth J Nash.

RIP tribute songs I've performed in 2012 for songwriters, singers, famous people

Whitney Houston: Saving All My Love For You
Robert Sherman: Hushabye Mountain Dick Van Dyke
Robin Gibb: Stayin' Alive The Bee Gees
Donna Summer: I Feel Love and She Works Hard For The Money
Hal David: Walk On By Dionne Warwick
Neil Armstrong, Ticket To The Moon ELO

Live Performances of original songs from my 2011 Debut Album:

position, song, number of performances
01. What's Special With You, 35
02. Waiting For The Sign, 19
03. Devil Comes A Knocking, 13
04. Out Of The Maze, 13
05. Summer Rain, 12
06. My Gift To You, 9
07. Rest Of Your Life, 8
08. Twist Of Fortune, 8
09. This Tour, 6
10. Guilt Trip, 5
11. Happy Happy Birthday, 4
12. One Chord Song, 1

Live Performances of original songs from my upcoming 2nd Album:

position, song, number of performances
01. The Moon Is Awfully Bright, 25
02. Talent Shows (On The Money), 7
03. Theory Of Everything, 4

The venues I've played at:

popularity order, visits
01. Ye Golden Lion (Wildfire Sessions) W'boro (Thu), 22
02. Horseshoe Inn Acoustic Club W'boro (Wed), 19
03. Chequers Yeldon (Sun), 7
04. Royal Oak W'boro (Thu), 7
05. Angel Oundle (Mon), 5
06. Horseshoe Sywell (Sun), 4
07. Golden Lion (before Wilfire) (Thu), 3
08. The Auctioneers Northampton (Tue), 3
09. Red Lion Broughton (Tue), 3
10. Tollemache Arms Harrington (Fri/Sun), 2
11. Crown and Cushion Northampton, 1
12. Hart Brewery W'boro, 1
13. Kettering Arts Centre, St Andrews Church, 1
14. Melbourne Arms Northampton, 1
15. Old Market Inn Kettering, 1
15. Royal Oak Naseby, 1
17. Rowell Charter Inn Rothwell, 1
18. The Musician Leicester (Sun), 1

Featured Artist Sets:

Out of the dozen featured artist sets, 10 were Wildfire Sessions featured sets (thanks Wildfire Sessions and Stevie Jones), 3 of which were at Chequers Yeldon (thanks Stevie A Rigsby), 1 Xmas showcase at The Auctioneers (thanks Hannah), and 1 acoustic showcase which I organised (thanks Wellingborough Harts brewery)
05 Mar: Wildfire Sessions Showcase, Old Market Inn, Kettering
14 Apr: Wildfire Sessions First Birthday All Day Music Festival
06 May: Chequers pub Yeldon all-dayer Beer and Music Festival
10 Jun: Chequers pub Yeldon afternoon open mic
12 Aug: Tollemache Arms Music and Beer Festival in Harrington
22 Aug: Rowell Charter Inn Rothwell
23 Aug: Ye Golden Lion pub open mic night
26 Aug: Chequers Yeldon music festival all-dayer.
02 Sep: Horseshoe pub, Sywell
28 Oct: Troubadour Tribute Night, The Musician, Leicester
10 Nov: Acoustic Showcase at W'boro's Hart Brewery beer fest
18 Dec: The Auctioneer pub's Christmas acoustic showcase

Music Events I've Organised:

The ones where I've lugged my own PA system, etc, include the Acoustic Showcase at W'boro Hart Brewery beer fest, and a few open mic nights where I was temporarily standing in as open mic host for rock band Solid Fu3l at The Royal Oak W'boro.

Collaborations/Jams 2012

Thanks to Simply Undrea, for my first international collaboration, on a cover of Time After Time Cyndi Lauper. I provided an acoustic guitar backing and Undrea did the rest!

As for impromptu open mic jams, thanks to the Ash, Marcus, Chris from rock band Solid Fu3l for surprising me at the end of my Price Tag Jessie J cover, thanks to Rob Matheson for backing on F**k All The Perfect People Chip Taylor, Johnny for harmonica backing on On The Road Again Willie Nelson, Mel for letting me guitar back her singing on Summertime, and thanks to anyone else who has sung along with any of my open mic covers, most notably songs like Stayin' Alive The Bee Gees, I Feel Love Donna Summer, Babooshka Kate Bush, Swords Of A Thousand Men Tenpole Tudor, Dog Eat Dog Adam and the Ants, and Saving All My Love For You Whitney Houston.

Songwriting 2012

Although many people might have heard my songs for the first time in 2012, a lot of those songs were written in 2011 for my 12 song debut album released in December 2011. In 2012 I have written 12 more original songs in readiness for the 2nd album, keeping most of them under wraps but I have aired 3 of them in live performances this year. The 2nd album should be ready early 2013, hopefully in January. I had originally hoped to home record the album in December 2012, but rain stopped play, my home recording room isn't sound proof enough to keep out the sound of rain! Here's hoping for a drier more quiet January 2013! I'm looking forward to airing and performing live songs from the 2nd album in 2013, especially some of new song genres for me, including a trance-dance-pop solo acoustic song and a hip-hop-rap solo acoustic song! I've already had some fun airing a Jewish-folk-gypsy-klezmer-punk solo acoustic song Talent shows (On The Money).