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COVER TO COVER [ALBUM #4] AVAILBLE NOW

JENNY BIDDLE’S FOURTH ALBUM is AVAILABLE NOW!

Recorded with legendary producer and former Thirsty Merc Guitarist, Sean Carey, this album showcases a top selection of infamous covers. Jenny’s ingenious renditions show off her feisty guitar playing as she plays a gorgeous handmade guitar by Papa. C. Her tasty piano playing and soulful voice will melt your core, and her sprightly harmonica playing will get you moving, along with some other surprises. For the first time her self-made Baritone guitar features on this record, creating a unique and deep resonance. There’s a track for everyone on this album (including your grandma).

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Jenny Biddle’s music features on “Follies of Youth” Webseries.

Independent Producer Tony Avard is soon to launch his webseries “Follies of Youth”. Centered around four friends as they navigate their way through life in their twenties, throughout the course of the series we watch them tackle the challenges of sexuality, sexual assault, friendship, growth and various other struggles in life.

Jenny Biddle is excited have music from her first three albums featuring on their touching webseries.

WATCH THE PILOT:

 

Avard and the team are are raising funds through Kickstarter. To support this project and raise awareness on youth issues check out Kickstarter!

HELP FUND THIS PROJECT:
CLICK BELOW

Follies

Fans Fund Jenny’s 4th Album!

We did it! In just three weeks fans raised over $8000 through Pozible to help the making of Jenny’s FOURTH album, Cover to Cover, an album full of Jenny’s ingenious covers. Recorded and produced at Sean Carey’s Sydney Studio, Trackdown Studios, Cover to Cover is expected to be released in May this year.

A huge thank you to all the financial supporters below.

 

NAME WEBSITE
Ellie Stubbs & Simon Gronow
Jill Guscott Guitars by Jill Guscott
James Harries
Alan Clement  Southern FM 88.3FM
Jessie Pearson
Stuart Ritchie
Hui-chang Wang
Monica Davis
Jacqui Rattray
Andrew Wood-Rich
Alan & Jenny Nossal
Patricia McCormack & Brendan Hopkins
Phoebe Coates
Carly Day
Catherine Reidy
Rose Edwards
Nic Tate Beauty by Nicole
Julia King
Mark Walsh
Peter Indermuhle
Bones & Greg Mackinnon The Swamp Dog Show – Casey Radio 97.7FM
Caitlin Hobbs
Emma O’Connor
Doug Hocken
Emily Wardeiner
Natalie Brida
Sally Leonie & Ben Pfau
Shaun Hoult
Atonya & Melissa
Ann Skarratt Annies Whale Watching
Sarah Lambert
Katie Spence
Mel Lamborn
Deb Bourke
Mook & Jude
Dave & Belinda Atherton-Northcote
Frank Shaw & Robin Birch
Elly Maria Brus
Kelly Andersen
Beverley & Matt Coldhurst
Sally Maer Cello Diva
Richard von Schrenk
Emerald Leyden
Chris Rickard
Phil Ruck
Genevieve Bryant
Chele Oswald
Anita Monika Madura Anita Monika Madura Artist
Graham Koop
Leonie Lovell/Guiney
Brian & Kerry Lapsley
Sue Poustie
Phil & Narelle Wood
Tim Keeble The Artist Shed (Queanbeyan)
Matthew Dorhauer
Wendy Cutler
James Murnane
Danielle Madeley
Lance Fishman
Karen Coldwell
Red MacKay
Shannon Cornish Shannon Cornish Manufacturing Jeweller
Brooke Bevan
Clare & Marcus de Rijk
Julie Adams
Jenny Lewis & Clare Parslow Bright Holiday Rentals
Megan Cullinan
Nicola Nossal & Jana
Belinda Davies
Andrew Rossborough
Miranda Bradley
Ian Gordon Wright
Jo & Steve Reader
Grit Diessner
Peter Salt
The Nightingales
Janet & Owen Quinlan
Eric Allbutt
MAJOR SPONSORS
Steve Guest S Graphics
Maurita Walker
Chris Wynne Thomas Lloyd Guitars
Mary Colquhoun

Blog: Oh the School Belly Ache…..

I had a school belly ache this morning.

Today I set foot back in my old high school. To sing and to speak. It’s been 12 years since my year finished up and I hadn’t been back since.

School is a rollercoaster for all of us, aint it? I have vivid memories. Good and bad. The experiences at this time in our life that can make us… or break us.

I walked back through the gates and was flooded with memories. Everything was kinda the same, yet… so different. I remember the table where I sat on my very first day, reluctant in a skirt, with my hairy legs (I didn’t know you were supposed to shave back then), shy, very dorky, but eager to please, and aching to fit in. (It didn’t take long before I was shaving my legs…). The buildings, the teachers, uniforms, the quadrangle, the hall, everything was as I remembered it. Students were lectured about etiquette on public buses… just as I remembered.  They all have the hots for the young male teacher… just as I remembered.

But I’m a different person today.schoolblog2

It was like the new me was meeting the old me. The teachers who knew the old me were meeting the new me.

I was greeted by a friendly and familiar face. Ashamedly I didn’t recall her name, she wasn’t my teacher, but she knew all about me and the guitar I made and won a Design Tech Award for 12 years ago! And suddenly I’m reminded that teachers are human. With passions, visions, their own hopes and dreams, their own opinion, their own flaws, failures and mistakes. They don’t seem human when you’re a student. It’s us versus them. There are the ones who are like heroes to us, who inspire and encourage, who plant seeds that we take with us for life. And there are the teachers whose harsh words can define and limit us for the rest of our lives. I am grateful for the teachers who saw something in me and believed I was worth their time, effort, patience, and guidance, despite my troubled teen years. Unforgettable.

My school was a great school. There was opportunity, respect, education, some wonderful teachers. But it wasn’t always easy. Adolescence is a tough time for anyone, only to be made tougher by the idea of grades and “figure out who you and what you wanna do with your life NOW”

I approached the school wanting to come back to talk and sing. I wanted to share a bit of my story, my time at school, and where I have landed today, in the hope that if I could get through to just ONE person and make their life a little better, it would be all so worth it.

I stood in front of the school of 1000 people. I spoke about my high school years. I was a good student, but I struggled with an eating disorder. I struggled with being gay, lying about it and pretending I wasn’t to avoid bullying, I struggled with depression, anxiety and self-harm. How school can be so tough. I felt fear as I shared my story today, and that fear could have disabled me if I gave it too much weight. But the message I wanted to leave people with is bigger than that fear. It’s the message that we’ve all got our stuff; home life, abuse, disabilities, religion, sexuality, social/peer pressures, sickness, poverty, etc, but you WILL get through it. It all feels so intense at the time when it’s happening. It’s important to try your best, but school is not the be all and end all. There IS life after year 12. “I dare you to be yourself”, I said (perhaps easier said than done). Part of me wishes I had the guts to be myself back in school (but if we were never there, we’re never be where we are today – and today I had the guts to be me). It’s liberating to not place so much emphasis on what the world thinks. I came out of school alive. Not only alive, but I’ve prevailed. I’ve followed my passion for music, despite the hurdles and setbacks. We don’t HAVE to be bad at maths, cos our maths teacher tells us we are. We don’t have to follow the straight and narrow through the bottleneck society creates to success. And we don’t have to hate ourselves for being different.

It was an empowering experience. And if it could offer one student hope, it’s a job well done.

I stood on that very same stage where I once sang my little heart out and tied for first place at the School Talent Quest. The stage where I sang to my peer group at our graduation, and received a goosebumping standing ovation. Today I sang Hero in Me to the most appreciative audience. A song I would never have been brave enough to compose in high school. When the school applauded, it was like no applause I can ever recall. It echoed endlessly through the hall, and I felt their sincerity and enthusiasm as  I stood there, struggling to accept their humbling praise. I felt a sense of empowerment and pride. I was proud to have found the courage to reach beyond my comfort zone and stand before those young people as the true person I am today, and inspire them to become the true person they are.

It’s all gonna be ok, ey.

What was your high school experience?
Was there an experience that made you?
Was there an experience that broke you?
Where are you now? Who are you today?
Tell me a fond memory?
Did you also draw a mustache on your face with eyeliner in the 8th grade?
Who are you grateful to?

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE: MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY

Jenny has returned to her former uni; as the Macquarie University MMCCS’ Artist in Residence for Semester 2, thanks to sponsorship from APRA/AMCOS. This time the alumna stands at the lectern to share experiences from her music career thus far and work with aspiring music students. Having completed a Bachelor of Arts & Diploma of Education in 2007, majoring in Contemporary Music, and launching into a full-time music career since graduating, she will be running lectures on songwriting, performance and creativity, plus advanced guitar workshops, recording/production assistance, and assisting young artists in their development.

 

Special Event for the Public: jennybiddle-lecture

FREE CONCERT:
Tuesday 22nd October
Drama Studio: Building Y3A 187
1:00-2:00pm
Open to public, all ages

 

READ FEATURE ARTICLE by Maricris Espinosa.

Photo courtesy of Maricris Espinosa (Macquarie Univerity Web Content Officer)

“Hindsight” the BRAND NEW Jenny Biddle single HITS #9 on the iTunes Charts!

chartsJenny’s brand new single, Hindsight, spiked to #9 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter Charts yesterday, amidst the likes of Tracy Chapman, Leonard Cohen, Ed Sheeran and the wonderful new independent artists Mark Wilkinson and Passenger.

Raving reviewer, Lloyd Bradford Syke claims, “One of her finest is Hindsight, the heartbreak of which is encapsulated in the phrase, ‘love is blind, in hindsight’. This is JB, the ingenious tragedian poet.” [Australian Stage].

New single Down With Your Soul, a catchy, moreish acoustic number was recorded the same week as Hindsight, comes in a close second on Jenny’s most popular iTunes sales.

Recorded and Produced by Thirsty Merc’s former guitarist, Sean Carey, these two songs are said to be the best releases by Jenny yet.

Hindsight and Down With Your Soul are only available for digital sale at this stage- iTunes, Cd Baby, and more digital outlets. Grab your copy now.

Front cover photography by the ingenious Raditya Fadilla

Building a Baritone Guitar in Italy: Blog Intro – Setting the Scene

I am about to make a guitar in Italy!

Last year I made my first acoustic guitar under the guidance of luthier Chris Wynne from Thomas Lloyd Guitars (in Montsalvat – Eltham, VIC). It was an amazing journey of such personal growth and enjoyment (see previous blogs for the Making of Ann Marie), not to mention coming away with a self-crafted, custom guitar that I will cherish forever. When I found out Thomas Lloyd Guitars runs a couple of 2-week courses in Italy, I couldn’t refuse. The time has finally arrived!

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What makes this trip even more special is my father is joining us (there are 6 of us students all up) to make his first acoustic guitar. He is making a little Parlor Guitar. He and I went sight-seeing before the course and got our basic Italian into practise. Now we are about to embark on the guitar building adventure side by side on workbenches in the tiny town of Benabbio, in the Tuscan hills of Italy.

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No… I don’t need another guitar. I’ve got a dozen or so (each with names…). But… but but…. ITALY. And guitar making. And bonding with my father! What an experience. What a memory this will be.

 

Baritone Guitar:

I’ve decided to build a baritone guitar, which is a LOW, bass sounding guitar. I wanted to craft something a different to what I have, something that will inspire new songs and new musical direction. It was a tossup between a 12 string, a slide guitar, Chris’ crazy idea of a double neck guitar/mandolin combo (ummmm…???), and a baritone. I’ve never played one, but the idea of a baritone guitar intrigued me. I use alternate tunings a lot, and one of my favourite tunings is a C based tuning. Tuning a standard guitar any lower than that isn’t ideal as the strings start flapping around. The baritone guitar is tuned like a standard guitar but tuned either a 3rd, 4th, or 5th lower than the average guitar, reaching an A in the lowest bass string.

Standard Guitar Tuning: E A D G B E
Baritone Tuning – 3rd lower: C F B♭ E♭ G C
Baritone Tuning – 4th lower: B E A D F♯ B
Baritone Tuning – 5th lower: A D G C E A

Although you lose a lot of higher notes, you gain more in the bass, and perhaps this will fulfil the lack of a bass guitar in my solo performances, and open up new songwriting possibilities with alternate tunings.

There are a few structural differences too. The baritone guitar lends itself to a bigger body to resonate those lower notes, thus I will be making a JUMBO sized/shaped guitar (how I’m going to wrap my little self around that, I don’t know…). It also has a longer scale length, which will mean further stretching across the fretboard. Heavier gauge strings will be required to cater for the low tone and longer scale length.


The Villa: Villa San Rocco

Talk about pleasure overload for our sensors. We are staying in Villa San Rocco in the tiny village of Benabbio. And some villa it is! It’s an inspiring setting with mysterious history and character. The building is currently owned by a UK doctor, who’s son, Jason, and Jason’s wife Kasia (and their little elves) turned the near ruins into a European dream stay in the Tuscan hills. The building is said to be about 700 years old. Its 5 storeys high (3 above ground and 2 below) with rooms upon rooms to get lost in. Each room is decked out with amazing antique European furniture to create its own unique vibe; from the Roman Room to the Red Room. The stories of how this place has transformed is incredible. I’ll can imagine the next two weeks of guitar building, finding myself in a different room every night, watching the mountains transform from the balcony, seeing the clouds creep through the valley as I explore the woods, writing in my journal by an open fire, and sitting around with the crew while too much wine and food is consumed. Tough life ey…

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Villa San Rocco foyer

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One of the lounge rooms

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View from my bedroom. Cloud fills the valley below the Apennine Mountains

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VIlla San Rocco

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Annalisa, Paul, Marcus, Jason, Fiona, Jenny, Lindsey, Chris, Ian & Bill

 

The Workshop:

Conveniently, our workshop is downstairs from our bedrooms, so there’s not far to go. We can fall out of bed and climb back in after the long days. There are 6 workbenches and another room with some more tools.

Luthier Chris Wynne and Admin Extraordinaire Fiona Mitchell, the master minds behind Thomas Lloyd Guitars, have done a massive job preparing the course and workshops for us. They have imported all the Australian wood from home, along with sand paper, glues, clamps, saws, chisels, tools and more tools, and purchased some tools and supplies over here in Italy.

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Supplies. These pieces of wood will become guitars.

Unfortunately we don’t have a big drum sander like back in Montsalvat, that allows us to get the exact thickness of timber, down to the .1 of a mm. This is very necessary for parts like the back board, sides, and soundboard. So Chris Wynne thinned out some timbers for this. Also, there’s no side-bending machine here in Italy, so we will have to bend our sides by hand. We shall make do with what we have.

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PRE-class shot. Won't be this clean for long.

The workshop is looking tidier than I’ve ever seen. It won’t be long before there’s saw dust in the air and wood shavings all over the benches and floors.

I can’t imagine what preparation goes into setting up such a course. Fiona and Chris have done the most spectacular job to get it all happening. It’s going to be a sensational two weeks.

 

The Program:
We’ll be working from 8:30am – 5pm in the first week (not my usual muso hours, I can tell you!). Sunday is REST day! In the second week 8:30am till…. 7pm, 8pm… 9pm… midnight, whatever will be required to finish our guitar by the following Sunday, ready to fly back to Australia! The 6 of us students will work on different parts of our guitars so we don’t need the same big machinery at once.

I don’t believe it’s possible to make a guitar from scratch in TWO WEEKS… but I am about to find out. My last guitar took 30 days over a period of 4 months. This will be two intensive weeks. We are warned about how warn our hands will be after the course, it will be funny to see all the lads using moisturiser to cope with the wear and tear.

I shall update you with pictures, day by day blogs of the making of this baritone guitar :D

LET THE BLOGGING BEGIN!!!!

And you?
Any highlights of Italy? Recommendations?
Guitar making experience?Share it with us in the comments below :D