Bob & Lorie Gray
Bobsongs Creative Media

Sam and Luke return from Nashville…

Frequent readers will know that I am a fan of Sam & Luke.

New readers need to know that they are two teenage brothers who formed a band, write their own songs, are self taught, and are stunningly amazingly good artists.

They just got back from Nashville, where they recorded their second album, but the first that wasn’t self-produced.

Renown Producer Colin Linden oversaw the production, writing and recording sessions.

Colin Linden with Sam & Luke

Sam and Luke have posted a couple of Videos:

The first is a 90 second video clip of “Black Magic Woman,” from one of the last gigs they played before heading to Nashville.  Please check it out !!!

The second is a video of one of their Nashville sessions, featuring “So Perfect,” one of the songs from their new album.

(Incidentally, the new album is not out yet, and I’ll post updates as I get them… last I heard the album is going to be mastered in New York in a few weeks, and should hopefully be available in August.)

The line for CD’s starts behind me !!!

Father’s Day Reflections…

I’ve never been able to write songs about stuff that happens to me in my life.

So, because of this, I must draw on the reflections of a friend, Earl Travis Taylor, who also wrote I Miss My Mom

He wrote the song “A Cowboy Never Dies” for his Dad, (who passed away in 1998 and was also named Earl Taylor,) and his Uncle Jerry, who was a man of similar character.

So, on this Father’s Day weekend…  For all the folks who are missing their Dads…

(Whether he ever rode a horse, or not)

A Cowboy Never Dies

“He’s out there riding fences, somewhere on the Range.

With a whistle in the wind, that tells me he’s all right.

And a Cowboy never dies.”

A Cowboy Never Dies

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Happy Father’s Day to every Dad out there, whether riding Fences or celebrating with the kids…

Dad Gray at Christmas, a few years back...

Dad Gray at Christmas, a few years back…

Nashville Floods… By Sam & Luke

I have not yet been to Nashville, but Sam and Luke were there… right through the floods…(which I’m sure influenced the songs they wrote).  They’re heading back home and I’m looking forward to hearing from them first hand, about their experiences… but in the meantime, in a Guest Blog, here are a few of their thoughts, “borrowed” from their blog:

Sam & Luke Band

Nashville Floods–We Were There

We were huddled inside our Nashville hotel room, writing songs for our debut CD as Music City was experiencing severe thunderstorms and the worst flooding in 150 years.  For a while there, the weather was pretty terrifying to us.  We kept waiting for the windows to shatter…. or worse.
Reassured by our producer, the legendary Colin Linden, we pressed on and penned 11 brand new songs altogether . . . four of which were written in collaboration with Nashville songwriting giants: Gary Nicholson (Peter Frampton, Etta James, B.B. King, Los Lonely Boys, Ringo Starr) and Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Taylor Hicks, and Billy Ray Cyrus).  Colin lined us up with those great songwriters. They made us feel right at home so we could write freely and openly. We’d come up with the direction of the songs then we’d all collaborate on the music and lyrics.
We also wrote songs with Colin, and with the young Canadian recording artist, Liam Titcomb, who happened to be in Nashville at the time.   Liam’s close to our age and a lot of fun to write with. We’re really glad we got the chance to work with him.
But not all of the songs were collaborations. Sometimes we’d write alone in our hotel room at night. Our parents were in the room next door so we were free to fire up our micro amps and plug-in, working late into the night.  Thankfully the other guests in the hotel never complained.
Once all the songs were written it was time to lay down the tracks. The sessions, which came off without a hitch, were recorded at Nashville’s Sound Stage Recordings and Pinhead Recorders. We were blown away to record with the celebrated bassist and American icon, Bob Babbitt.  Never in a million years did we think that one day we’d be recording with him.  Bob is the original bass player with the Funk Brothers and is prominently featured in the movie, “Standing in the Shadows of Motown”. He has played on thousands of recordings with everyone from Stevie Wonder to Elton John.  Along with the other monster players: Tom Hambridge on drums, Kevin McKendree on Hammond B3 and grand piano, Stephen Mackey on bass, Colin Linden and Liam Titcomb on acoustic guitars, and Jim Hoke on horns, we blew through the fast-paced recording sessions charged with creative electricity. Our personalities immediately clicked. It didn’t take long before we were all playing and nodding and laughing and trying to outdo each other. It was magic.
Beginning September 7th, the CD “Standing in a Room” (working title) will be available on CD Baby, and iTunes.
We hope to have it available directly from the Sam and Luke website as early as August 1st.
Sam & Luke
Congrats guys !!!
We are SO looking forward to hearing your new songs live, and getting your new CD, as soon as it is available !!!

I Miss My Mom…

A friend of mine, Earl Taylor wrote this song, about how he missed his Mom.

On Mother’s Day, it seems quite appropriate to Post it, as I miss my Mum, too.

To all the children, who still have their Parents, enjoy a wonderful Mother’s Day.

I Miss My Mom – Song By Earl Taylor

My Mum

Joy Gray

BobSongs Recording Studio…

Someone recently said to me… “I didn’t put together the name BobSongs, with you being a songwriter.”

It got me thinking that some of the links on my webpage don’t get clicked through, often enough.

So, I thought I would make that the topic of a Blog Posting.

Over the past few years, I’ve been working on my basement, which is comprised of two main parts:

Black Cat Saloon Sign

Black Cat Saloon Sign

The Black Cat Bar…

which I will talk about in another post…

and BobSongs Recording Studio.

BobSongs Studio

BobSongs Studio

BobSongs Recording Studio is a one room recording studio, without the requirement of an isolation booth.

Because it is strictly for my own use, or for a very small group, I don’t require a separate room to run sound out of.

The Computer Controls and the “magic” all happen in the same room.

When I was building the Studio, I was concerned about the acoustics, so I took an extra year, and custom built a Birch Wood Wall, constructed with a recurring pattern of jutting box shelves, which acoustically break the flat surface of the facing wall.  It took me a year, because I had never custom built a wall before.  Seriously.

Studio WallStudio Wall

I have been writing songs for years, and had a recording rig setup in my house, but it always seemed that someone was using a weed wacker or a leaf blower whenever I wanted to record something… so I thought it would be best if I could finish a quiet, sound-protected corner of our unfinished basement.

Trumpet lamp

Trumpet lamp

Along the way, I had a lot of challenges and fun, and perhaps my favourite “touch” is the old trumpet, I turned into a lamp !

I don’t know if you have heard anything I’ve recorded… but I can assure you… I have no aspirations for being a recording artist.

My love is writing and crafting the music and lyrics, and getting it to a point where I feel it is “ready.”

My hope is that some day, someone will like one of my songs enough to publish or record it.

In the meantime, I will keep toiling away, with occasional shots of “inspiration” from the Black Cat Bar !!!

For the Sound Geeks, you may want to know I run ProTools with a DigiDesign 002 Rack.

Drums and many accompaniments and flavours are provided compliments of “George”, the Yamaha PSR-2100 Keyboard.

I have a few guitar brands represented, amongst them: Takamine, K. Yairi, S. Yairi, Bayou, Fender & Hohner.

My focus and hope is to get my Songs to a point, where my performance doesn’t distract TOO MUCH from the Song itself.

An example of this quality of production is: Whisky Haze

This is, I hope, a good enough quality demo, to prevent my poor singing and playing from being a distraction, and THAT is the purpose of BobSongs Studio.

Trying To Break Into The Music Biz…

BobSongs Studio

BobSongs Studio

By the nature of my writing, I explore and share various facets of my life, in my Blog.

Recently, one of our cats has been unwell, and during the recovery process, we have been keeping closer tabs on his daytime activities, amidst the hubbub of everyday life.

Hiding behind a screen...

Hiding behind a screen…

It seems to me, that, as I am paying more attention to his “business”… he too has been apparently trying to take over mine !

Those of you with keen eyes will notice an interloper hiding behind the bottom computer screen.   (Close up photo on the right)

(And, as much as I would love to have a helper in the BobSongs Studio… he ain’t it !!!)

It made me think of the number of times recently, where… (for a cat) …we discovered him doing something that would be considered cute… but now, in context, has the appearance of getting ready to assume a Rock and Roll lifestyle.

Suddenly, his keen enjoyment of my painful Banjo lessons becomes suspect.

just in case...

just in case…

Hanging out in the Studio becomes more about learning ProTools keyboard shortcuts, and less about spending time with his people.

What ?!?


The very fact that he has “People” to do stuff for him.

He obviously is fully prepared for a life on the road, and yearns for the free-wheeling catnip-partying days he has heard much about, but never explored himself.

Bailey on a suitcase

Bailey on a suitcase

I’m not sure to what degree he will have success, but we will always support him, and encourage him, on his way to the top.

Maybe I should be prepared to sneak into HIS suitcase.  It WOULD be easier for him to claw his way to the top!!!


This is NOT the ladder of success !!!

This is NOT the ladder of success !!!