April 16, 2015 by Robb Powell
Blues From The Herts is a wonderful music project masterminded by musician and writer Jim Kirby with proceeds going to the SANE Mental Health charity to help them continue the marvellous work they do and services they provide for those in need. Mental health services in the UK are among many areas to have seen drastic cuts in funding which naturally has a direct and severe impact upon how many lives can be helped through the varied and often stigmatised quagmire of mental health problems from which any one of us could at some point in our lives suffer with. If we haven’t already of course. Even if you personally have not it is highly unlikely you will not know someone who has or is experiencing such health problems at some, or many points in life.
Here’s Jim in his own words detailed on the project’s Facebook page which you need to go and like please. Click >>here<< and you will be able to keep updated on the progress of the album along with excellent write ups about the superb musicians getting involved with this excellent and worthy endeavour. These write ups will be featured on the blog too along with other updates. The first about musician Jay Semko joining as special guest for volume one is below: (Rob)
Though “founded” in the April of 2015, the Blues from the Herts has a history from two years prior with a fundraiser for SANE mental Health charity held at Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, organised by Jim Kirby.
The goal is simple. To simply help people with music but on a longer lasting timescale than through a couple of charity festivals, concerts or gigs. The goal is to produce albums! Volumes of the most Talented, enjoyable but most of all honest and heartfelt musicians of Hertfordshire.
Not one artist will make money from the sales (physical nor digital) of these Volumes. All artists have agreed that sales of their donated songs from the collection will be sent to SANE mental health charity to support their 24 hour support teams.
Though the titles states “Blues” the format of the music will not always hold to that description or assumption of the genre. The “Blues” found within the project is the Empathy and willingness of the Artists to create in order to support those in need.
Though born and raised on a farm in Saskatchewan, Jay Semko‘s life in music surpassed even the wildest dreams of his childhood. Jay has said that it wasn’t until he reached 7th Grade and had moved to Saskatoon that he truly discovered his way around the fretboard and through the challenging waters of lyrical structure. Many bands and groups followed flirtatiously in these early days as he began to hone in on his sound and style but after a year in University Jay formed the Northern Pikes with Bryan Potvin, Merl Bryck, and Don Schmid.
The Northern Pikes held many a genre within their hands and flooded the American/Canadian radio scene. Though popularity was knowingly on the rise Jay still states that it was a surprise to have then been signed to Virgin Records.
Within his time with The Northern Pikes, Jay Semko was awarded four Gold Records and one Platinum as well as finding a place in the Canadian music Hall of Fame. Not only does Jay hold the title as a member of the prestigious Northern Pikes but he is also known as one of Canada’s Premiere Songwriters. Jay has won many an award for his music through his solo career as well as having become one of the top names in western film and television composition.
Jay holds a close love of Roots Country, Blues, Folk and Americana genres and after an amazing two hour phone call with him and sharing the original music from the project’s artists I am delighted to announce that Jay Semko is our special guest on Volume one of the Blues From The Herts project. http://www.jaysemko.com/
Superb stuff and a very exciting music project in the making, all for a very worthy cause. So make sure you ‘like’ the Facebook community page please and keep posted for regular updates. The next artist feature will be up in a day or so’s time. (Rob)