Track #5, “Target Practice”, In Black and White

Happy New Year! The silly season’s out of the way for another year, the headaches have subsided, and here at Catch and Release HQ we’ve kicked out the squatters and cleaned the stains off the ceiling. And we’re back on the blog!

Tune #5, entitled “Target Practice”, comes out this Thursday! The release date took me by surprise this time, so we’re going to have to cram two weeks worth of blog into about three days. Starting with photos!

We recorded the new one at Smalls last week. Our wonderful and talented photographer, Una, came down with an unexpected bug and had to pull out at the last minute. But as luck would have it, Dan’s younger brother was in town, and happens to be quite the talented shutterbug! Dan called him from the drum stool, and he dropped everything and hied it down to the session. And check out these moody shots! Thanks Avshalom- you saved our bacon!

IMG_7476

IMG_7446

IMG_7439

IMG_7418

IMG_7433

IMG_7416

IMG_7388

IMG_7430

IMG_7453

IMG_7473

IMG_7398

IMG_7479

Advertisements

A pianistic stab at Tune #4

Tune #4 of Catch and Release comes out Monday! And it features the wonderful Rossano Sportiello at the piano! Sadly we didn’t get any footage of the recording session, so I thought I’d bash out a version so you can hear the tune. Rossano sounds much much much much better than this.

Buy tunes #1-3 at iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/nick-hempton/id449388179

The Third Degree in moving pictures!

Our third little bundle of jazz is out in the world, and seems to be making friends. It’s quickly become our most popular tune on iTunes, thanks, probably entirely, to the participation of our man Peter Bernstein. Not just one of my favourite musicians, Peter is also a generous, modest, supportive dude. The session was great fun, and Bernstein tore it up take after take. If you haven’t heard The Third Degree, here’s a snippet, with video from the studio. If you dig it, please pick it up from iTunes or Amazon- it’ll only cost you a buck- and tell your friends about it!

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/third-degree-feat.-peter-bernstein/id928690451

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00OEEZRBU

I’ll start the lead up to tune #4 in November- I’m thinking a scaled-back sound for this next one, maybe duo? I’ll have more for you soon. In the meantime, let me know what you think of the Third Degree, and what kind of thing you’d like to hear next! Cheers, Nick

Session #3 in pics, and our secret guest revealed!

Tune #3 is called “The Third Degree”, and it comes out a week from today! Here are some shots from the recording session, featuring our special guest, guitarist Peter Bernstein! Dig:

a6a5IMG_2967a7 IMG_2909 IMG_2919IMG_2935IMG_2959IMG_2966IMG_2968IMG_2930

As always, thanks Una Stade for the great pictures!

Inscrutable, impenetrable iTunes

Of all the people and organizations I deal with, iTunes is the most mysterious. And I work with some freaking oddballs. Somehow my music ends up for sale there, but I have no clue how or why.

Like many independents, I use an outfit called CD Baby to handle digital distribution; their system is easy to use, the prices seem fair, and customer service is excellent. When a tune is ready, I upload it to their site, along with recording and track details, artwork, my family history and physical measurements. They approve all this, list the tune on their site, and send me an email saying they’ve sent it to iTunes. Then we wait. CD Baby suggests that it will take 2 days to appear on iTunes. I’ve seen it happen in hours, weeks, and in the case of my old podcast, never.

In my mind, iTunes HQ is a bit like the Wonka Chocolate factory. It’s giant and old, with imposing fences and signs all around. Nobody ever goes in, and nobody ever comes out. Decisions are made in a theatrically arbitrary fashion by a weirdo in a top hat, and the grunt work is done by underpaid iLoompas. They have golden tickets too, but they don’t really want anyone to find them, so they’re packaged with Nick Hempton Band albums.

wonka

In the case of my podcast, I tried for a year to get that bloody thing up. Every idiot and his dog has a podcast on iTunes, and the process seems fairly simple. But if one link in the chain is missed, if one iLoompa is asleep on the job, it seems you’re screwed. Countless emails and phone calls to heads of various departments led nowhere- they all scratched their heads and said everything was in order, and they’d leave a post-it note for Jason in podcasts, but no dice. Eventually I gave up. And really, the world is no worse off for lacking that particular series.

These experiences have given me a sort of awed respect for iTunes; the kind of respect one might have for something that is entirely unfathomable- like, I don’t know, the ocean… Or women. In any case, somehow, magically, all the Hempton Band gear is currently available on iTunes. For now. But tomorrow? It’ll probably still be there tomorrow. But after that? “You should never never doubt what nobody is sure about…”


Sixty Seconds of a Very Swinging Trio!

Here’s a clip of the cats swinging out in the studio, on track #2 of Catch and Release. The tune is called “Hanging for Dear Life”, and you’re watching Tadataka Unno at the piano, Dave Baron on the bass, and Dan Aran at the drums.

The tune will be released September 2.  Dig!

Recording Session #2 in pictures!

Tune #2 is done and dusted! I wish recording sessions could all be this easy- a comfortable, relaxed setting, with cats who are not only the most happening, but extremely easy to work with. Thanks again go to Una for some great photos, and there are videos on the way! Next up is mixing, then the tune will be ready for you September 2nd!

Smalls windowIMG_9433

IMG_9479

IMG_9559

IMG_9560

IMG_9500

IMG_9527

IMG_9530

IMG_9449

IMG_9549