Well, we have already broke ground on the next Famous Groupies album, The Chameleon Sessions. This album will be a wee different from the previous albums. We have set aside at least 25 songs that have very unique signatures, in that they remind us of other various artists from the early to mid 1970's.
McCartney's style has been a staple thus far in our sound, and of course, that is all thanks to Patrick McKenzie and his writing, but he also wrote many songs that remind us of other artists of his day. So, it seems that as a songwriter, Patrick was something of a chameleon, or a zelig. And we thought it would be a fun change of pace if we were to select an album's worth of this material and have a go of it.
Here is a who's who list of what you can expect to hear (style-wise) on The Chameleon Sessions album:
There are more comparisons I could make, but I will leave those for you to decide after you have heard the album for yourself, which is scheduled to be released on May 1st, 2021
Happy New Year!
Kirkcaldy McKenzie & Famous Groupies
Album of the Year: The Furry White Album, Famous Groupies
By Peter Lee On 30 December 2020 In Reviews
Famous Groupies have been busy. In 15 months, they’ve released three albums: their sparkling debut, Rehearsing the Multiverse; a compilation consisting of their debut album and unreleased material, Double Entendre; and their latest release, The Furry White Album.
The Furry White Album continues to cull from the treasure chest of songs lead singer Kirkcaldy McKenzie has at his disposal, and it deservedly receives Hooks and Harmony’s 2020 Album of the Year.
If the title sounds like a Beatles parody, it is — sort of. It really should have been called The Furry Ram, for McKenzie channels Paul McCartney’s life-on-the-farm mentality that is apparent on Ram, his 1971 solo album with wife Linda McCartney. In fact, Famous Groupies have positioned themselves as the Rutles of Paul McCartney, although the comparison is more pastiche than parody.
From the opening vocals on “One Trick Pony,” which sounds just like Wings’ “Getting Closer,” you’re launched into a McCartney tribute. Patrick McKenzie, Kirkcaldy’s grandfather, apparently hung out with the former Beatle during his Wings phase and wrote hundreds of songs himself, many of which capture McCartney’s style perfectly. The result, like their debut album, is like finding a lost Macca album.
The influences are everywhere. McKenzie’s voice recalls Paul in his early solo years. “Bombs Away!” is a more upbeat version of “Monkberry Moon Delight” or “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five,” while “Count to Eight” is a replica of the Beatles’ “All Together Now,” right down to the counting (“One, two, three, four, can I play with you a little more?” vs. Lennon and McCartney’s “One, two, three, four, can I have a little more?”)
This is not to say that the album is not original. It takes a lot of songwriting chops to write in the style of someone so talented — it’s like trying to paint in the style of Rembrandt. The group has created an amazingly beautiful album that brings to mind the best of McCartney’s songwriting. Instead of “Junior’s Farm,” we have “Maggie’s Farm,” complete with a bagpipes solo that brings to mind “Mull of Kintyre.” “Please Stay” is a spot-on version of the Beatles’ “Oh! Darling,” and “The Harmony of Love” sounds like a lost outtake of “Band on the Run.”
But when McKenzie (the grandfather, or grandson?) stretches his wings and flies solo, he shows us the talent inherent on this album. “Little Bird” is perhaps the best song I’ve heard in years. It’s a soft piano-led jaunt that is soothing and full of contentment. And “Bonnie Parker” is an acoustic gem whose sing-song melodies stand out.
That’s where McKenzie’s work excels: The melodies on The Furry White Album are effortless, soaring at times and traveling up and down the scale at others. There is very little harmony on here, which shows that the melodies can stand on their own. Kirkcaldy says his grandfather had “a love affair with the music of Paul McCartney, which I assume is why much of his older material sounds a great deal like Paul’s early work.”
People say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the McKenzies have shown their admiration for one of the greatest songwriters of all time — and done it well. What’s not to love about an album that sounds like Ram?
Back in July 2020, we had released an expanded version of our debut, Rehearsing the Multiverse. Double Entendre features the album "Rehearsing The Multiverse" on Disc One and many new songs as well as remixes and demos from the debut on Disc Two.
Well, this double CD was released as an exclusive for select record shoppes in Japan, so it was not released anywhere else as per our deal with our Japanese distributors. However, we are pleased to announce that on January 1st, 2021 we shall make Disc Two available for digital download. 16 songs in total. Hurrah!
Be sure to visit our site on 01.01.2021 and download Double Entendre Disc Two!
As of 12.15.20 The Furry White Album has been seeding the world and hopefully creating ear worms for ever new listener. So far there have been 3 singles released, and they are: Little Bird, Bombs Away!, and, Ghostwriter. You can click on the "music" page and then on the YouTube icon to take to to our channel where you can hear all these new songs and more. There are 17 new songs to explore on this new one, boasting almost 54 minutes of music!
If you'd like to buy the CD or digital, just click on the Furry Pre Order tab. And to purchase our debut LP, Rehearsing The Multiverse, simply click on the Buy It! tab at the top left. And if you are in Japan, almost every record store will be have both albums in stock by January 13th.
We hope you like the music!
We are excited to announce that The Furry White Album is on it's way to the world. The official release date is 12.15.20.......but....for those who pre-order now, you will receive the CD in the mail on or before the release date.
There are 17 songs on this album, which also boasts over 53 minutes of music. And there are currently two singles released, both of which may be found on our YouTube channel. Be on the look out for another single to be released in the next few weeks.
I find the subject of "Ghostwriting" especially fascinating lately. As you may or may not already know, my Grandfather, the late "Patrick McKenzie" was a ghostwriter for many years. And as time goes by, my family and I learn more and more about his somewhat mysterious life as a ghostwriter. I mean, we all knew he was a multi-instrumentalist and a song writer, and we knew that he had written for a variety of artists throughout the years, but we never really pestered him about his past. He was a very lively fellow, brimming over with exuberance and natural energy, all of which was very charming and very entertaining. It was all we needed.
And as I have gone through many, many more songs and notes and books that he had left behind, I have been able to place more pieces of the puzzle together. And as we are in the final mixing mode of the new album, most of which was written by Patrick, there is one song on the album that piqued my interest even more. Patrick had actually penned a song entitled "Ghostwriter". Well, we have just mixed this song, so we had to hear the song played over and over again...which got us all chatting about the content of the lyrics. I will post a bit of his lyrics below..
Write me another song
Go on now, get along
You ain't done me wrong just yet
Like we agreed upon
So go on and write a hit song, so we can get rich
You can pay the bills and while we wait I'll go fish
He sits alone and he works all day
The fans who adore him don't know his name
He writes the songs that make the whole world sing
If you need a good anthem give him a ring
As you can read into this, the lyrics are comical and light, but I also sense a bit of frustration too. How could a ghostwriter not be frustrated and somewhat sad at the realization that his work will never be known as truly written by him? It makes me a bit sad when I think that much of Patrick's life work will never be acknowledged as his. until now, that is.
Also, in his lyrics he writes: He writes the songs that make the whole world sing
If you need a good anthem give him a ring
This suggests that his work is being heard by a large audience, presumably all over the world. Well, I started to pay more attention to notes written on lyric sheets and in his notebooks and I noted that he had talked alot about a Scottish band from the mid 60's, called "The Beatstalkers". They were also known as "The Scottish Beatles". I always thought they were a cover band, but I looked into them a bit more and I made a few connections fairly quickly.
Okay, Patrick was originally a session player more-so at first, then a songwriter. He did play covers in a few bands, prior to 1965, and it seems that he had worked with a few fellas from The Beatstalkers, which then introduced him to Decca Records, which then led to him writing songs for local artists. Back then they didn't credit you properly, so it's difficult for me to see if he was on payroll or if they simply gave him a few pounds per song and that was that.
The Beatstalkers had a hit in 1965 with a tune called "Ev'rybody's Talking 'bout My Baby". I believe that Patrick had a hand in writing this one, as well as another one of their hits called" Little Boy", which sounded very much like Patrick's style during that era -based on tapes I have found of his.
I believe that Patrick wrote more for this band and many more songs for other Decca Records artists. The timeline works out, as he was in London in 65', which is where Decca London was. He would have probably met Denny Laine around this time as well.
I'll just stop right there, but I will say that the ghostwriter that Patrick was will surely be exposed on "The Furry White Album". We will pay tribute to his work and the 17 songs we have selected to record.
Famous Groupies is very excited to announce that there will be a very special guest performing on our NEW and soon to be released album. You know him from the band WINGS, the incredibly talented Laurence Juber!
Aside from playing with Paul McCartney in Wings, Laurence has had a busy career playing on numerous songs with a variety of artists... such as Eric Carmen, Al Stewart, Belinda Carlisle, Ringo Starr, Rosemary Clooney, Barry Manilow, and the list goes on. He even played the James Bond theme for the film The Spy Who Loved Me.
We are over the moon that Mr. Juber has agreed to play on a few of our songs and we can't wait to share them with you very soon! The Furry White Album is shaping up to be a very special album indeed! Watch this space, more soon.
Follow Laurence Juber on Facebook and tune in for his live stream show called 'Tea Time With LJ'. It's absolutely amazing! His interpretations of Beatles songs are the stuff of legends. Totally mesmerizing and brilliant!
Wow. Today on the Disk Union website in Japan, I was floored to see that our new double album had reached number one (again), this time under the "in stock" section of the Hit Chart ranking. We are gobsmacked to see our LP sitting above The Beatles and Queen. Such an amazing honour. Thank you Japan, you truly are the best fans ever!
Meanwhile, back in Scotland.... we have been working tirelessly on The Furry White Album. We hope to release this LP in October, probably late October. There are 17 songs slated for this record, a fitting 47 plus minutes of music.
I think that fans of the first LP will very much like our follow-up LP. It is very much a continuation of Rehearsing The Multiverse, with many of the songs having been written in the early to mid 1970's. Ah, but there are one or two that were written in the late 60's as well.
In other news, with the announcement of Rosie and Gavin (McKenzie) to be married later this year, they both now reside in lovely old England. So, that means that the majority of their musical performances have been recorded remotely and then digitally forwarded to me, in Scotland. It's worked out pretty well, but we do miss seeing their happy faces in person, singing and playing until the wee hours.
And, Rosie has just released a fab new single from her soon to be released LP. She is a brilliant writer/musician and she plays every single instrument on her album. She truly is a female Paul McCartney.
Check out her new single here--->
It's such a great feeling to know that your LP is #1 on any chart. And today this chart happens to be for the "Old Rock" genre at Disk Union in Japan. It is equally mind-blowing to see your LP sitting one notch above one of the best records ever released in the 90's. Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks with Orange Crate Art, it's such an amazing album! I spy Bowie in there too! Thank you Japan!