Wish I Wrote That #2 – “By This River” (Brian Eno)

I have a lot of favourite songs and favourite songwriters however, if I was going to put my finger on what my favourite song of all time is, it would be “By This River” by Brian Eno.

I have been a huge fan of Eno ever since I started learning and playing music but when I managed to get his “Before And After Science” album I was transfixed by this song.

I was initially grabbed by it’s childlike piano motif which repeats itself throughout the whole song. The melody is almost like that of a nursery rhyme and because of this it had a very high level of immediacy with me.

Even though the format of the song is AAA, it doesn’t need anything else to deepen the impact of the song. “By This River” is a great example of the less is more principle of songwriting. Adding a bridge would take away from the simplicity of the piece.

This song to me shows that Eno is a songwriter of extreme confidence.

Lyrically it portrays a passage of time between two people by a river. I admit there’s not much information to go on however, from the tone of both the music and the lyrics, the song is one of sadness and loneliness.

It certainly makes me feel a tinge of sadness every time I hear it.

Brian Eno – By This River

By This River – Brian Eno

Here we are
Stuck by this river
You and I
Underneath the sky
That’s ever falling down, down, down
Ever falling down

Through the day
As if on an ocean
Waiting here
Always failing to remember
Why we came, came, came
I wonder why we came

You talked to me
As if from a distance
And I replied
With impressions chosen
From another time, time, time
From another time

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Let me know what you think.


Corey :)

Sting’s Songwriting Process – An Insight

I stumbled across this old video on YouTube of Jools Holland interviewing Sting (circa early 80’s) recently and it gives a brilliant insight into the way that Sting gathers, processes and demos his songwriting ideas before introducing it to the rest of the Police band members

Even though the video primarily focuses on how he came up with “Message In A Bottle” (one of my all time favourite songs) there are plenty of pearls of wisdom to be had if you listen for it.

Look out for the introduction of Dennis as one of the central characters in his songwriting process.

Jools Holland interviews Sting (The Police)

I loved every minute of this video especially the old recording technology I mean, I used to have a Tascam Portastudio (ahh, memories). I hope you enjoyed it too, let me know what you think.


Corey :)

Words Of Wisdom From Steve Vai

Below is a video I came across today of Steve Vai at one of his private sessions guitar events answering the age old question… “How To Become Successful?”

What struck me about this video was how eloquently Steve Vai constructed his answer. He certainly had put a lot of thought into what he was going to say and, it showed.

For me, the best line of the video was when Steve said that “…the level of achievement that we have at anything is a reflection of how well we were able to focus on it.”

I was very, very impressed… Here’s the video for your enjoyment.

Steve Vai "How to be Successful" Private Sessions Guitar Center


Corey :)

CD Project Update #25 – CD Launch: Change In Venue/Date

I just wanted to let you all know that there has been a change in plan regarding the “Seeing Stars” CD Launch venue and date.

I’ve decided to take a leap of faith and go with The Promethean (which was my first choice anyway) instead of The Brunswick as the launch venue.

The reason for the change in venue was pretty simple. Space and capacity.

As I’m working towards a target of 150-200 people to come to my launch I’ve realised that The Brunswick would not be able to accommodate that many people whereas, The Promethean is more purpose built to handle what I’m wanting to do.

(The Promethean also has a Grand Piano and its own PA system that I can use as well which really sealed the deal for me)

So, in light of the change of venue there’s also a change in the launch date.

It’s been changed from Saturday, June 30th to Sunday, August 26th as it was suggested to me by the manager of The Promethean, David Grice that a Sunday mid/late afternoon show would be an ideal time for the launch.

I know that it’s added another couple of months to the timeline but it will give me all the time I need to really promote the launch and to rehearse the band to its fullest potential.

Once again I’m excited.


Corey :)

PS: I’ve also booked the mastering of the CD for Thursday, April 26th at Disk Edits. More details as they come to hand.

The “Seeing Stars” Songbook

In the spirit of keeping you all in the loop with what I’m doing, I just wanted to run something by you all… It’s an idea for a different type of product or merchandise?

It will be called the “Seeing Stars” Songbook.

It would be a book with the lyrics and chords for all of the songs on my “Seeing Stars” CD on one page and a detailed description of what the song is about and how it was written on the other page.

I reckon it would be something a bit different to have available at the CD launch however, what do you think about this idea?

  • Is there anything else you’d like to see in the songbook?
  • Would this be something you’d be interested in owning?
  • If so, how much would you be willing to pay for such a product?

I’m looking forward to your honest and candid feedback as always…


Corey :)

CS Gigs: W/E Sunday March 18th, 2012

Here are the gigs that I’m doing for the week ending Sunday March 18th, 2012.

Make sure you mark these gigs in your diary in BOLD RED PEN.

Wed 14 – Open Mic @ The Dan (8pm – 12am)
Fri 16 – FIGJAM @ Mick O’Sheas (7pm – 11pm)
Sat 17 – Hotel Royal (7:30pm – 11pm)
Sun 18 – Bridgewater Inn (1pm – 4pm)

Hope to see you there,

Corey :)

CD Project Update #24 – Final Mixes And The Mastering Process

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been helping Anthony Stewart at Red Brick Music complete the final mixes of all the songs in readiness for the mastering process which will be done later on this month.

The songs sound absolutely fantastic and the feedback from the select few people that have heard the finished songs is very, very positive.

The more I listen to the songs as they are now the more proud I am with what I’ve achieved.

For me, this CD will become the start of an amazing journey.

It will be a journey which will enable me to revisit what it is to be a performing songwriter and musician playing my own music rather than the music of other people.

It will also be a journey that will hopefully propel my music career up into the next level or two and with that, will come the profile, the touring opportunities and the professional satisfaction of doing my own thing that I have been working so hard for so many years.

All that needs to be done now with the songs is the CD song order to be finalised and a little bit of “top and tailing” of all the tracks and they are ready for mastering.

According to WikiPedia, mastering is “…a form of audio post-production, the process of preparing and transferring recorded audio from a source containing the final mix to a data storage device (the master); the source from which all copies will be produced (via methods such as pressing, duplication or replication).”

This means that once this process is over all that is left to do is to physically create the CD.

I’m really starting to get excited now.


Corey :)

Help, I Was Hacked!

I have been a bit quiet over the last week because this website got hacked and I’ve been spending the time researching and trying to fix the issue.

Thankfully, it’s all better now but man, what an ordeal.

In my research I read that having your website hacked triggers the same feelings as if your house was broken into.

This is something I can certainly attest to.

Just the knowledge that someone got into Corey Stewart Online and decided to muck things around a bit made me feel sick in the stomach however, getting hacked seems to be “just one of those things” that you have to deal with if you have an online presence.

I use WordPress and I’m very diligent in my version and security updates but it doesn’t seem to be enough. The hacking problem doesn’t seem to be a WordPress-centric issue because sites that run other content management systems (CMS) such as Drupal or Joomla are being hit as well.

The hack I was hit with was called an “eval base64_decode” hack which essentially puts malicious code into most of the php code of my website. The end result being that when you went to Corey Stewart Online it was then redirecting to another site.

To get rid of it I had to go through every PHP file manually and delete the malicious code or in some cases, delete whole files that were placed there by the hack in the first place.

That was about two whole days right there. What a pain in the arse!

I suppose the lessons that I learnt from this whole experience have been twofold.

First of all, I’m going to be even more mindful of my internet security and not get complacent just because I run a Mac and secondly, I’m able to roll my sleeves up and get my hands dirty with php code and fix a problem all by myself.

I do feel good about that.

I’ve also been able to get a good snapshot of the relationships between the domain names that I own and the websites that I run and realise that I could’ve tightened up my security there as well. That has also been rectified and I feel most relieved.

All in all it has been another action-packed week here at Corey Stewart Online. Just wondering when the fun starts.


Corey :)