Monday 3 September 2018


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Great presentation from Jay at the MU’s ‘How to Win Friends & Influence Promoters’ session…

MARGARET drops me in Milngavie and I walk to the station and jump on a train into town.

My meeting isn’t ’til 11.30am, so McDonalds is my office until then and I get artwork done for – and oder – a banner stand for the local community trust.

En route to my meeting I drop a poster for my King Tuts show (22 November) into Love Music then meet Derick for a coffee and a chat about all things live music.

Next stop is the Scottish Music Centre for a How to Win Friends & Influence Promoters session run by the MU (Musicians’ Union). It’s being delivered by our pal Jay – house promoter and Night & Day in Manchester..there’s a great turnout and everyone finds it really useful and informative. Nice to catch up with a bunch of folks too.

Once done, Jay and I go for a coffee then he hits the station for the train back to Manchester and Margaret picks me up.

Back home, I get a little more work done then we meet Betty and Joe in the local pub for dinner.

Friday 13 October 2017


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Tobias Hug leads what turns out to be a fantastic vocal looping workshop from the MU at the Scottish Music Centre

MARGARET goes to meet our American pals for a coffee before they leave the village…I’d like to go too, but have far too much to get done before I have to go into Glasgow at midday.

Turns out my old graphics tablet won’t work with my current laptop, so I bite the bullet and order a new one. Things have moved on in the 15 years since the old one was commissioned, so it’s probably all for the better.

A look at Tobias’ favoured loop station…the Boss RC-505

After making up a  shopping list and grabbing a bag full of coins – pennies, two-pence and five pence from the containers in the bedroom I drive into Glasgow. A yellow light appears on the dash which indicates a problem with the catalytic converter. Shite! No time to get it to the garage today and I’m driving to Forfar and Kirriemuir on Monday…so Tuesday will be the first opportunity to have it looked at.

I need to be at the Scottish Music Centre at 2pm for a Musicians’ Union (MU) vocal looping workshop …I;d hoped to get all the shopping done before, but roadworks and slo-mos have made the trip into town a lot slower than usual…I decide to leave Costco ’til later and meanitme stop in Tesco to chuck the bag of coins through their ‘coinstar’ machine and grab a sandwich which I eat on the way to the Scottish Music Centre.

I arrive just before 2pm and there’s a nice wee group in for the workshop..most of them folks I know. The workshop is led by a cappella singer and looping expert Tobias Hug – and while looping (vocal or otherwise) is not something I would likely include in my live show, I can see how it might be a great compositional tool and a cool way to work on ideas and get out a rut. it’s informative, interactive and fun. Everyone had a great afternoon…the MU in Scotland is arranging a load of great events like this which also provide great networking opportunities and worth the membership fee in their own right 🙂

I have a meeting right after the workshop then pick up some stuff form Costco before heading home.

This is first night of ‘chill’ since we got back from the France tour…and we’re off south next week then straight on to Estonia and Latvia, so we make the most of it and relax with a bottle (or two) of red in front of the box….

Tuesday 13 June 2017


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All About the Song panel – Dan Moore (BASCA), songwriter Mike Macdermid, Derick Mackinnon and Keren McKean – with Louise Stanners Pow (MU).

FIRST trip into Glasgow of the week. 

Margaret drops me in Milngavie and I get the train into town where I hole myself up in McDonalds with a coffee and use the wifi for a few hours.

When I’ve got most of the day’s work done – or at least under control – I go in search of shampoo. But neither the Boots in Buchanan Galleries nor the St Enoch Centre have it….so I pick up a sandwich, plonk myself down in the St Enoch Centre atrium and order the shampoo on Amazon.

I deal with another few online bits and bobs while  eat my sandwich then make my way to the Scottish Music Centre for a Musicians’ Union (MU) event.

All About the Song – co-hosted by BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors) – features an interview with songwriter Mike Macdermid followed by a listening session giving feedback to songs submitted in advance by attendees.

There’s a good turnout including a few folks I know from previous MU events. BASCA’s Dan Moore pulls lots of good info, tips and insights from the interview with Mike and the following listening session is constructive and useful for everyone, not just those getting feedback on their own songs (including myself…they were very kind!).

The event is followed by networking/drinks and, having been for all the shopping, Margaret comes to pick me up and hangs out for a while.

When we roll up home I realise I left my bag – laptop and load of other stuff – at the Scottish Music Centre. Doh!

A few phone calls and I think it’s been retrieved and safely locked away. Margaret will pick it up tomorrow.

Tuesday 30 May 2017


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INTO Glasgow this morning. The usual routine – drop Margaret off and stop at McDonald’s for coffee and wifi!

I’m on a mission today. Having researched a bit on how best to make promo downloads of my forthcoming Live at Memorial Hall album I decide to give Soundcloud a tryout. I already use Soundcloud to provide the audio samples/downloads on my website but have never really examined the possibilities. For the last two albums I’ve used Bandcamp and promo codes, but it’s a bit of a fanny dance responding to requests by allocating and sending individual download codes.

For last year’s Hellbound Train EP and the recent Live EP I”ve hosted the downloads on my website and directed media to an ‘unlisted’ download page where they fill in their name, publication/radio show and email address in a form..when the form is submitted my system automatically sends an email with a link to download the promo stuff in a zipped folder.

Benefits of Bandcamp are you see who actually redeemed the download codes but that’s offset by the limited number of codes you can generate and the already mentioned fanny dance with all the admin. The self-hosted thing worked well but, on research, had a couple of drawbacks.

First, some media/recipients might not be comfortable downloading a zipped folder from what is essentially an unknown – and therefore probably untrusted – source. Also, there is no way to preview the tracks/release so the recipient has to commit to downloading the lot without knowing what it’s like.

Soundcloud offers a neat way around all these drawbacks at the expense, I think of some of the data…but the paid for (pro account – only £45 a year) option does promise some kind of data/analytics. I tidy up my existing Soundcloud accounts (I have a few!) and upgrade one to ‘pro’.

The fast wifi at McDonalds allows me to get all 26 tracks uploaded as 320k MP3s by the time I’ve finished my coffee 🙂

Next stop is Silverburn to pick up a couple of things we need for our camping at this weekend’s Red Rooster Festival where I play on Saturday night.

The wifi at Silverburn is crap, but back at the car I have a full 4G signal so tether the Macbook to my phone and manage to upload the same tracks as uncompressed .wav file versions – I want to be able to give folks the option of downloading 320k MP3 or WAV files.

I have time for a wee walk before I get some shopping and pick up Margaret before heading to the Scottish Music Centre for a meeting about the industry/media launch event for Live at Memorial Hall. We have a productive meeting and all looks good. Planning is everything!

Next stop is Costco for some more shopping and bite to eat before we go to Glasgow’s Citizen M hotel for a networking event co-hosted by the SMIA (Scottish Music Industry Association) and PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited). We spend a good couple of hours catching up with folks and drinking beer (well I do – Margaret’s driving!)…great event, great evening 🙂

Tuesday 28 February 2017


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The sunshine prompts an impromptu Facebook Livestream form the lochside. Click the pic to watch

THERE’S a few reminders pop up in the diary.

First, book a haircut for tomorrow (Wednesday) while I’m in Glasgow. Actually, that was in the diary yesterday, but the Soul Barber Room’s closed on a Monday. I make an appointment for early afternoon, by which time, I hope, the car will have been fixed.

The second is to chase Three. We both really need to upgrade our phones but can’t afford it. I chatted with Three’s business folks on Friday and submitted all the documentation to apply for a business account. The guy I deal with is on holiday today but the guy I spoke to confirmed safe receipt of the stuff, so fingers crossed…

Once they’re done I do  quick social media post showing off the Glengoyne whisky flask-cum-belt buckle I picked up recently.

Tomorrow’s the first of the month. eNewsletter day. And also the deadline for April gig dates for a load of national magazines, so I send the m off then write/prepare my March eNewsletter and, using Mailchimp, schedule it to out to all my lists at various times tomorrow morning.

If you’re curious, you can get a heads up and read it here.

The sun’s out as I prepare the smoker for the bacon lattice-wrapped pork loin I’ve prepared….all ready to go early/mid-afternoon. The pork loin is short (three or four hour) smoke then, once it’s done, I usually let it rest in a faux cambro for an hour or two.

The sun also prompts a decision to stage a last-minute Facebook Livestream from up the lochside (the only place I can get fast enough connection – mobile or otherwise!). I put a status update on Facebook and run a few tweets to say I’ll be ‘going live’ in an hour at 3.15pm…it’ll take me a good 25-minutes to walk up there. 

I underestimate the time to get the charcoal lit and the meat on the smoker…and also the time to gather what I need. Plus, the wee travel resonator guitar I’m taking doesn’t have a strap, so I need to improvise something.

I’m tight for time leaving and I leg it up the pass. Just as I’m about to take a shortcut through the forest Arthur stops and offers me a lift. I get there with a good five minutes to spare to set things up for the Livestream and go live at 3.15pm precisely. It’s a bit of a fuddle trying to do it all myself but it all goes to plan. Much easier when Margret’s there to help with the camera (ie: phone!) and to relay messages, comments and questions tho. You can watch it on replay here.

Back home, the smoker’s all going good. i add some more applewood chips then get on with retitling the Livestream video and sharing it about a bit to try and get some more traction.

Margaret arrives back just as the pork loin in the smoker reaches temperature. We won;t eat for another couple of hours so we wrap it in a double layer of foil, then a towel and put it in a cool box…there – a ‘faux cambo’ 🙂

We get some more work done then eat, The pork’s amazing.

Both puggled, we chill for a while then have an early night.

Thursday 23 February 2017


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At Perth College – pic: Paul Oliver (via Instagram)

THERE’S a fair bit of snow when we leave the house at 7.30am and when we reach Croftamie, there’s a big tailback of cars. Not moving.

Normally the road’s almost deserted, so this ain’t good as I need to get to Milngavie to catch a train into Glasgow, then another to Perth where I’m speaking at an educational music networking event at Perth College at 1pm.

We turn round and head in the opposite direction along the A811, thinking we can join the A81 at Ballat…but a mile or so we get there, there’s another tailback. Everything’s at a standstill. Someone who must’ve turned round near the blockage tells us two lorries have got stuck in the snow, so we turn round and take a wee ungritted road toward Balfron where we manage to get onto the A81 and make some prgress. Margaret drops me at Milngavie station at 9am  and I;m in Glasgow by 9.30am, bumping into a pal – Allan Nimmo – on the way.

At Queen Street Station I buy my return ticket to Perth then nip out to a nearby Greggs for a roll and sausage and a coffee. I’m meet up with fellow panelists Richy Muirhead (Scottish Alternative Music Awards/BBC Social) and singer/songwriter Finn LeMarinel and we travel together, getting to Perth College in plenty of time for the 1pm event.

Organiser Laima meets us in the coffee bar and takes us to the lecture theatre where we’re speaking. Laima and her fellow students Kaia and Janina were at the Scottish Music Industry Association’s (SMIA)  ‘creative conversation’ event I was speaking at a month or two ago – nice to see them and catch up.

There’s a good audience in when we kick things off and the panel moderator does a great job in directing questions and getting us to talk about the kind of stuff the folks want to hear about.

We’re done soon after 3pm and head to the students’ union to hear some live music. Finn’s had to head back – Richy and I have time to hang out for a while before we have to make our way to the station for the train back to Glasgow.

Margaret picks me up at the station and we make it home in time for a Skype guitar masterclass I’m teaching at 8pm.

After dinner I do a wee bit extra promo on next Saturday’s (4 March) special live recording show at the Memorial Hall, Milton of Buchanan. Tickets are going well and there’s a fine balance between having good crowd in and not having the place too packed out.

Tuesday 14 February 2017


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A wee smacker for Valentine’s Day on our walk up the lochside….

IT’S VALENTINE’S Day – we swap cards but, as agreed, no presents. In saying that, after givin spiralising a whirl with the wee manual gadget I bought last week Margaret did buy an electric spiraliser as a mutual gift. A half-price bargain on Amazon.

A spiraliser, for those who haven’t caught on yet, is a gadget that turns veg into spaghetti-like strings for salads, stir-frys or carb-free ‘zoodles’ – spiralised courgette (zuchinni) that is a remarkably good substitute for pasta!

In the studio I do (very) rough mixes of a couple of tracks recorded at Friday night’s show then take them to the house to check out. There’s definitely potential, so we discuss ideas, logistics and possibilities…as well as, of course, the economics of putting on an special show to be recorded for a live album.

At lunchtime we test the new spiraliser on some mooli (daikon radish) and carrot which I warm in a  spicy peanut sauce. I tried it last week and despite the sauce being a bit wet (or ‘runny) it was good. Today’s sauce is thicker and has more chilli and…Margaret likes it!

We get some more work done then go for a walk, stopping in at Betty and Joe’s to help get their Skybox and Firestick working on the new wifi network. Once done we carry on our walk then stop back in for a coffee on our way back.

Thanks to Betty’s help and enthusiasm, we decide to set up a live recording show at Buchanan Memorial Hall…we need to move fast as time isn’t on our side and when we get home Margaret checks availability and books for Saturday 4 November. It will be a special gig! And I’m especially happy that, as well as helping out on a technical (audio/video) basis, my pal Lee is gonna come and do a short warm-up set.

Tickets will be extremely limited and are available here.

Continuing our low-carb efforts, I make basil, lemongrass and lime tofu with cauliflower rice. My carb intake today has been one slice of wholemeal toast and a can of lager. While I could cut them out, I’m not sure that it’s necessary to be ‘carb-free’…my aim is simply to cut down on sugar and carbs and see if there’s any difference.

Click above for info/tickets for the upcoming ‘live album’ show!

Dave Arcari is a full-time touring alternative blues (alt.blues) guitar player
 and songwriter 
based on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland

Monday 13 February 2017


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Leaving the lights of London behind as we fly back to Glasgow…

OFF TO London…but not so early as to have to catch the red eye.

My meeting’s not ’til 2.30pm, but my flight from Glasgow to London City leaves 1/2-hour late which means I have to rush across London to get to Musicians’ Union (MU) HQ so’s not to be late. I get there bang on time.

The baldy wee fud next to me on the plane ignores the announcement to stow away laptops and table as we prepare to land…then he ignores the stewardess’s polite request to put it away. I’m torn between telling him myself and saying nothing to see how long it’ll take him to put the computer away. He doesn’t. And of course by the time we’re on the ground it’s pointless saying anything anyway.

I can’t help wondering how someone can have the arrogance to behave like that. Is he stupid? Was he hoping to start a fight? Ass-hole. I resist the temptation to smack him in the pus for being such an arrogant wee shite once we’re off the plane! Anyway…

The meeting was called at late notice to deal with some urgent business. It’s dealt with quickly and we also manage to get through a few more important issues – we’re done just after 5.30pm and it’s been a very positive and productive afternoon.

I don’t have to rush quite so much on the return trip and have time to stop off en route to pick up a  sashimi salad to eat at the airport. For all it’s convenience, London City airport has a crap selection of food available…and what there is, is incredibly over-priced. 

I panic as my bag’s pulled aside at security. Maybe they’re gonna confiscate my sashimi…there’s likely a wee bottle of soy sauce in there. The security guy says “you have liquids!’…I look back quizzically and pull out the sashimi salad box. Nope. I rummage about again. Turns out there’s a wee bottle of hand wash in the bottom of the bag. It’s been in there for years and goodness knows how many airport security checks it’s gone through unnoticed!

I apologise as he runs a check on the wee bottle, bags it up and gives me it back with a smile.

The flight back to Glasgow is quiet and I sleep most of the way. I tighten the cap on the miniature of malt and slip it my pocket to enjoy later…better not drink it on the plane ‘cos I’ve to drive home.

It’s nearly 11pm when I get home and share a bottle of red with Margaret then head to bed.

Dave Arcari is a full-time touring alternative blues (alt.blues) guitar player
 and songwriter 
based on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland

Friday 10 February 2017


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Awesome night at the Hug & Pint thanks to Jamie (Little Fire), left, and soundman Doug 🙂

GIG day today – so first task is printing out set lists and getting some last-miniute online and social media promo out.

We’re also gonna try recording tonight’s show and I spend a while gathering an assortment of mics, cables, splitter boxes and other stuff along with the eight-track recorder.

I’m just about to pack the car when Joe shows up to measure our front door to see if their old canopy could be put to good use. I finish packing then there’s time for a coffee and a blether. Joe heads back along the road and we head for Glasgow.

The Hug & Pint is – along with Broadcast, King Tut;s and the Glad Cafe – one of our favourite Glasgow venues and I;m really looking forward to tonight’s gig.

Soundman Doug is ready and waiting when we load in – he’s done my sound a few times in the past and always been great. We’re set up in no time and Doug goes way beyond the call of duty in helping us set up to record the show with minimum fuss…he plugs in his laptop, has loads of good ideas and soon we;re soundchecked and back upstairs enjoying some amazing grub. The food at the Hug & Pint is amazing too!

My pal Jamie – aka Little Fire – who’s opening the show arrives just as we finish eating and is all set up and soundchecked by the time doors open at 8pm. 

There’s a good crowd in for Jamie kicking things off and he plays a wonderful set. So glad we managed to sort a show together after years of talking about it!

I do a quick Facebook Live from backstage and sink a wee dram before I start my set. The place is pretty packed – a nice mixture of old and new faces 🙂

After load out there’s time for a drink then we make for home, stopping off for a haggis supper en route. That’s fucked the low carb efforts of the last few days!

Dave Arcari is a full-time touring alternative blues (alt.blues) guitar player
 and songwriter 
based on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland

Saturday 4 February 2017


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At The Green Room, Perth

THE merch that had gone missing en route to the USA has turned up! Phew!

But there’s some orders come in thatI need to get packed up and away before the last post pickup at midday.

Also realised I hadn’t made up set lists for tonight’s show.

There’s lots to get done before I can get into the studio – we’ve got folks coming for dinner tomorrow and I’m planning to smoke a pork loin. I get a big dod of pork loin, trim off as much of the excess fat then make a bacon lattice, add some ‘Memphis dust’ rub and wrap the pork in the bacon. Ready for the smoker tomorrow 🙂

In the studio I pull in all the audio files from Thursday’s show into ProTools. All’s good except that the sample rate of the stuff direct from the mixing desk is different to what we recorded with the stereo pair of mics out front…so after a few minutes the tracks are out of sync 🙁

No time to work it all out now, so we sort some of the gear for the gig and had to Perth. We need to get there before 5pm so I can pick up any sales cash from the record store.

Next stop, the venue. We load in and Ewan soundchecks things…there’s a few setbacks (only one of the venue;s six DI boxes works!) and the stage is a bit rickety to say the least, but he’s on the case and does a grand job.

Lee arrives and soundchecks, we grab some pizza then doors open at 8pm..there’s a good wee crowd in when Lee kicks things off and by the time I’m onstage things have hotted up a bit. A steady stream of drams from Will, Catriona, Greig and Les keep me fuelled through out my set and there’s time, for a blether and a few drinks afterwards.

We drop Catriona and Will off on the way home, and roll up home sometime around 2am. Bed.

Dave Arcari is a full-time touring alternative blues (alt.blues) guitar player
 and songwriter 
based on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland

Lee opens the Perth show

Thursday 2 February 2017


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My pal Lee opens the Edinburgh show….

ANOTHER early start into Glasgow…glad I packed the gear for tonight’s show yesterday!

There’s quite a lot to get done in town before we head for Edinburgh, including a bunch of last minute online promo for the gig at the Voodoo Rooms. First stop when we get there is Lesley’s flat where we drop off some stuff and she comes with us to the venue.

There’s a fair bit of setting up to do. As well as the usual soundchecks and stuff, we’re recording the show to try and assess if it’s feasible tor us to make a release-quality live recording. We’re also videoing the show for good measure.

Sandy from Edinburgh’s Channel7A is waiting for us – they want to stream a special piece live from my soundcheck and, I think, planning on reviewing the show.

Once we’re done, Lee soundchecks and everything;s ready in time for doors opening at 8pm. Phew!

There’s a great crowd in – lots of pals and familiar faces from past gigs…and lots of new faces too.

Both Lee and I have a show…I’m pretty knackered after my 90-minute set tho’ – my last gig was mid-December in Dundee and I struggle a wee bit physically even if, I hope, the audience is unaware. Must get match fit!

There’s lots of drinking and chatting after the show and it;s well after midnight when we load out and head back to Lesley’s where we drink wine and whisky, eat pizza and all sorts of stuff and chat ’til after 3am.

Dave Arcari is a full-time touring alternative blues (alt.blues) guitar player
 and songwriter 
based on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland

I’m pretty knackered after my 90-minute set!

Wednesday 1 February 2017


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The Live at Five team at STV….

NOT too an early a start…but we still need to get to STV’s studios in Glasgow soon after 11am.

STV is starting to feel a little like a home-from-home. Innes comes to meet us in reception and Murray and Dot are on the studio floor getting everything ready to pre-record my two songs for tonight’s Live at Five.

Given the name of the show, it does seem a little weird that the music isn’t live – but it’s only recently it’s been  pre-recorded…the first couple of times I was on it really was live. No problem for me, but a little nerve-wracking that a broken string or some other technical mishap could really fuck things up.

My two new songs – Givers & Takers and 1923 – are both recorded in one take and before we know it we;re packing up, chatting with the crew and then off for some shopping.

There’s some stuff to be dropped off at Betty and Joe’s and we stop for a coffee and a quick chat then head home.

Not only have I to deal with a load of social media stuff around the STV show going out at 5pm and tomorrow’s gig, I need to sort a set list, rehearse, re-string guitars, print ‘forthcoming gig’ postcards and sort all the gear to record (audio and video) tomorrow’s (Thursday) Edinburgh show.

We take a break to watch Live at Five in between times…then it’s suddenly 9pm and I embark on the black pepper tofu for dinner…

Dave Arcari is a full-time touring alternative blues (alt.blues) guitar player
 and songwriter 
based on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland

Pre-record of two songs for tonight’s Live at Five show on STV

Monday 23 January 2017


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This second hand bargain picked up after a wee appeal on Facebook could be the key to a live recording…

BLUDDY cold today…so we light the fire as soon as it’s set!

There’s a lot on the to-list so we have a ‘Buzz meeting’ to catch up. In addition, I really need to update the ‘Introduction to Dave Arcari’ video  that means trawling through, and selecting, a load of video clips and also filming a ‘personal’ piece to top and tail the thing.

Margaret’s not so sure we need the extra bit of personal filming, but I’m adamant that it needs a couple of seconds at the start and finish to give some perspective and insight into what I’m busy with rather than just jamming together a set of clips. We spend time debating and discussing…but it’s important! Looks like decent weather on Friday so we’ll film something then. Meantime, I’ll try and identify some video clips.

The need to do a Facebook Livestream – mainly to promote the upcoming Scottish dates – is becoming urgent. However, we face the  usual crap broadband service at home issue…Margaret suggests a wee test, and we manage to get ‘connected’…but the stream is constantly interrupted and sound etc breaking up/ The replay works OK, but that defeats the purpose of the live stream which, for me, is all about the real-time interaction with folks watching.

So with the home broadband being too flaky we decide the only thing to do is wait ’til Saturday and do it from ‘somewhere up the lochside’. So, 2pm Saturday it is – at http://www.facebook.com/davearcarimusic

A courier delivers the Zoom R16 multitrack recorder – a second hand bit of kit at a bargain price after a wee appeal for one on Facebook. This may be the key to a successful (ie: usable) recording for a live album.

In the studio I rehearse a couple of new tunes for next week’s (Wednesday 1 February, 5pm) appearance on STV’s Live at Five show.

I also manage to complete all the backup, organising and archiving of hard drives I started a few weeks ago. All that remains is to make a safety copy of the resulting archive so I can move/copy every six months or so to maintain the integrity of the data. It appears that even hard drive archives can become corrupted and the best way to prevent that is to copy form one drive to another and rewrite the data every so often. Bleedin’ hell. More work.

I take a couple of mics and some headphones back to the house and run a few tests on the R16 recorder to make sure it’s all working as it should. All’s good, so the next step is to source some mic splitters to take direct live feeds – I don’t want to take outputs from the venue’s mixing desk or use ‘y’ cables which could compromise the sound of both the show and the recording. And although I’m pretty well up on recording techniques and procedures, I reckon there’s gonna be a bit of trial and error even working out if the live recording idea has legs.

Dave Arcari is a full-time touring alternative blues (alt.blues) guitar player and songwriter 
based on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland

Friday 20 January 2017


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Scottish shows info/trailer video…click above to watch!

THERE’S a note in the diary that the episode of Julia Bradbury’s Best British Walks featuring yours truly is airing on ITV tonight. I spend a while spreading some ‘hints’ around Facebook, Twitter etc.

With an upcoming session of STV’s Live at Five – Wednesday 1 February, 5pm – I run through the new songs I’m planning on performing and rehearse a few more for good measure.

Mikey arrives mid-afternoon – he’s coming through for the night so Margaret can deal with his accounts and get his tax return done in time.

I’m planning a Facebook video ad to promote the upcoming Scottish shows – but before I can make the ad, I have to create the video…just a short piece to camera.

Half an hour back in the studio with some minor editing and I have a wee clip to upload along with the gig dates/info. Although it’s destined to be an ad, I upload it now to get some traction before throwing some cash at an ad campaign.

Betty pops round with info for us and we have a drink and watch Julia Bradbury’s Best British Walks – despite her questionable (but understandable) pronunciation of some of the place names, the half hour show is a fatastic depiction of our area…and the closing segment with Margaret watching yours truly playing Loch Lomond outside the local coffee shop has survived the threat of the cutting room floor!

After dinner we chat and I set up the Facebook video ad. Rather than promoting (or ‘boosting’) single Facebook events, we’ve found we get much better results and more bang for our buck by having an ad direct to a landing page on my website. And video ads have a much higher success rate than standard ads on Facebook 🙂
 

A quick search found the above clip from Julia Bradbury’s Best British Walks online! Click the image to watch the segment featuring yours truly 🙂

Dave Arcari is a full-time touring alternative blues (alt.blues) guitar player and songwriter 
based on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland

Friday 13 January 2016


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IT CERTAINLY is ‘Friday the 13th’ – either that or I got out the wrong side of bed this morning.

First up, I’m getting security notifications when visiting my website. The SSL certificate I installed the other day seems to be creating more problems than it solves. I raise a support ticket with my hosting company to see if they can shed any light on things.

Second – our broadband speed has gone from poor to virtually unusable.

And thirdly – to cap it all – my tour dates aren’t showing up on my website. I use bandsintown to populate my tourdates page and, (I’m assuming) after yesterday’s WordPress update to version 4.7.1, something has happened.

I try a few edits and changes but nada. No solution. My bandsintown page and everything is OK so it must be something to do with the WordPress update that’s preventing the content showing when embedded in my own website. My Google ads ain’t showing up either but that’s no real loss.

Nothing I try wants to fix it so i end up creating a new tourdates page that will suffice until I work oiut what’s gone wrong – or WordPress, bandsintown or someone posts a ‘fix’ or update.

That’s the day all but gone. Dealing with shit. Not a single thing on my to-do list even looked at. I fiond myself wondering how everyone else manages to deal with all this crap. Firefighting.

I spend a couple of hours archiving and organising hard drives in the studio before throwing in the towel for the night and conjuring up a  green curry.

On a more positive note, though, following my meeting with Google the other day, Ekaterina’s advice has already resulted in my site coming up on the front page of search results for the three keywords we chose 🙂

Dave Arcari is a full-time touring alternative blues (alt.blues) guitar player and songwriter 
based on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland

 

Wednesday 23 November 2016


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Chatting onstage at the Hard Rock Cafe with Dougal Perman for the Scottish Music Industry Association's 'Creative Coversations' event.

Chatting onstage at the Hard Rock Cafe with Dougal Perman for the Scottish Music Industry Association’s ‘Creative Coversations’ event.

ANOTHER early start…a beautiful clear blue sky but freezing cold and the car takes a good while to defrost before we head into Glasgow.

A warning message on the dash tells us there’s some kind of airbag problem, so after I drop  Margaret off I nip into McDonalds for a coffee and free wifi and call the garage…kinda hoping they might be able to have a look but the auto electrician’s not in ’til tomorrow. Jeez, yet another journey into town.

I get some work done while drinking my coffee. My task lists in Asana – our favoured to-do list/project management app – are almost up to date…but there’s still shitloads to do. I should really be learning some lyrics for Saturday’s unplugged show in Kirriemuir. I rarely play cover versions, but this is a different kind of show and before playing my own stuff, I’m planning to kick off with a set of covers  – all influences on my own music/style but it’s been so long (30 years in some cases) since I played most of them, I have no idea of the words!

Instead, I sort out a PRS for Music Members’ Fund (PRSMF) visit with a grantholder who’s in hospital later this afternoon…I do annual visits for the PRSMF which amounts to little more than two or three days’ work a year, but it’s nice to play a part in helping folks who’ve hit hard times or bad luck.

Although I’ve been experimenting with Facebook ads and boosted/promoted posts for a good while now, I’m getting the feeling that Instagram is catching up fast. I have an image I created a few days ago to use in a test Instagram campaign which I take some time to set up now. I guess my evaluation will come up in this blog soon.

Margaret’s had a few days doing supply teaching which will, I hope, help tide us over a lean gig schedule over the next few months and has inveigled me into taking a guitar into the school and playing some songs for – and chatting with – the kids. I wasn’t sure if they’d dig my stuff, but I needn’t have worried…the kids are magic and we have a great half hour.

Next stop, Soul Barber Room for a haircut…first time things have worked out in ages to let me have a haircut at my favourite barbershop and Scott doesn’t disappoint, He and Lisa are the best barbers I’ve ever been to.

Then it’s off to the hospital for the grantholder visit before dashing into town to the studio for a Music+ session. En route, tho’, an email comes in from my student apologising he can’t make it…he’d forgotten about it and made other plans. Grrrrrrr….

That takes the pressure off time-wise, so we pick up some bits and bobs then park up and make our way to the Hard Rock Cafe for a Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) event which sees me in ‘creative conversation’ with SMIA chairman Dougal Perman. There’s a good crowd in and the event goes great…chatting with some folks afterwards indicates the audience found it interesting and informative. The whole thing’s been filmed so will, no doubt, be available online in whole, or part, sometime soon.

It’s after 9.30pm when we leave and decide to grab something to eat on the way home…we plan to stop at KaKaLok on  St Georges Road, but on the way we spot a new place called Satu Satu and give it a try. Good call, Margaret – it’s brilliant 🙂 We love the friendly atmosphere and no-frills authentic Malaysian/Asian fare – my squid ho fun with black beans sauce is great and Margaret enjoys her generously served beef with ginger and spring onion.

Then home for a wee dram and bed…gotta get the car into town to the garage early tomorrow 🙁

Friday 11 November 2016


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FUNNY being back into the early morning routine of cleaning the fire, chopping wood and stuff before breakfast…already feels like we’ve been home for a month.

The diary’s full of things to get done – mostly small jobs – then I put out a news release about by forthcoming Creative Conversations event with the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) a week on Wednesday (23 November, 6.30pm) at Glasgow’s Hard Rock Cafe…info here.

I have a music consultancy meeting and a Music+ mentoring session needing set up then I start trying to figure the sync problem between our phones and laptops…I really need to have Margaret’s phone tho’, so I put it on hold for now.

It’s book club tonight and I still have half of Mornings in Jenin to go. I start off thinking I’ll just skim the rest of the book, but I can’t help slowing down to read it properly…it’s a really good, thought-provoking book set around the Palestine/Isreal conflict.

The book’s read by the time we make dinner then head along to Fiona’s where we discuss the book briefly and then get on with the important part of book club – wine, food and chat! Next book is The Good Guy by Susan Beale – physical copy available here….or Kindle edition here.

It’s after 2.30am when we get to bed….

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