Since dropping the last and presumably final Famous Groupies album, I have had time to dig even deeper into Patrick's notes, song books, tapes and sheet music. There is a wealth of good material here, but I could spend a lifetime trying to get it all 'out there' properly and I'd probably fail miserably. I doubt there is enough time. So, I had a thought.
I've been cobbling together as much of the better recordings that I could find. That is to say, the actual recordings for the many demo's and ideas that Patrick himself had recorded between the years 1968 and 1980. I very much like the idea of releasing those recordings - as is- for his fan base to digest and ponder.
Anyway, its still in negotiation with my family, and a few of us don't much care for the idea of releasing Patrick's material in this way, and I can respect and appreciate their point of view. So, this may or may not even happen, but I am hoping that it does. I will keep you all posted should I have any good news in the future.
Meanwhile, I have been making my own recordings of the aforementioned songs, and perhaps I will release my versions of those songs - if everyone is onboard with that idea as well. They are just simple demos of me working out Patrick's material on my own...with a guitar or piano. Nothing polished, mind you.
I will say, I did indeed stumble onto this behemoth of a song, an epic concoction of many songs rolled into one. I suppose I would compare it to 'Backseat of My Car' meets 'Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey'. I've spent a week on that song alone, just trying to figure it all out -much like a jigsaw puzzle. If anything, I would love to track that one proper and share it. Its just too good to be sitting in a footlocker.
We are pleased to announce that our new album is now available for sale at these fine outlets in Japan, be it brick and mortar or online. Here are but a few places to shop - for our friends in Japan.
*Click on the pic to be redirected.
We are delighted to announce that our fourth and ultimately final album has been unleashed upon this world. We have spent these past 8 months working away on these 15 (technically 16) songs, and fruition has arrived. We set you free, Chameleon sessions...
If you follow us on Facebook, then you have seen our daily introductions to all of the brilliant guest artists who were so generous to help us out with many of the songs on Chameleon Sessions.
To recap, here is a list of those wonderful artists who contributed:
(in alphabetical order)
This project has been a blast, we have thoroughly enjoyed it on every level. We thank you for taking a chance and exploring these songs and we hope that you have enjoyed the journey with us.
All the best to you from Famous Groupies!
Well, as we wrap up the fourth and possibly final Famous Groupies album, I thought it best to update our current status. Below you will find a chalkboard chalk full of songs (pun intended). There have been a few additions and subtractions since we began sorting song selection and recording, but we feel that this collection is the right chemistry for the Chameleon Sessions album.
I must add that for those songs we have removed from the original song list, not to worry - they won't go to waste. Those songs will be given away freely to those who pre-order the album between now its and release date -which will be later this month (August). Bonus songs -as it were. A few alt mixes will be given out as well.
There are quite a few guest artists on this record and I plan on sharing those names just prior to the albums release. Its just more fun that way. Many talented friends joined in to add their own magic and make this record very special indeed.
Thanks again for all of your support and we will see you soon!
Our new single and new video will be unleashed onto the world in just a few short hours. "Voodoo Woman" is the very first single from the soon to be released "Chameleon Sessions". Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? You should! Here is that link, we don't want you to miss all the many new songs and videos coming soon.
It's strange to think that only 8 months ago we had released The Furry White Album, and only 5 months prior to that, the Double Entendre album. And 9 months prior to that, our debut album was released. We have certainly been keeping busy and it shows.
The new album (Chameleon Sessions) is now available for pre-order <------ Just click on this link to take you there, or click up at the top on the Chameleon Sessions pre-order tab. You can pick from the CD or digital download.
When you pre-order the album early, you will receive a few bonus perks. How about the new single, Voodoo Woman on mp3 or WAV? You will get that tomorrow, once the video has been released. Also, one week prior to the albums release (which will be sometime in August, 2021) - we will send you one non-album track.
We also plan on printing up some posters of the super secret album cover (it's pretty damn cool). Over at the pre-order page there is a lovely faux album cover sitting pretty, but the real cover will not be released until the actual release date for the album. Isn't that fun?!
More news will follow soon, keep your ear to the wall and watch out for the "voodoo woman"!!! She'll get ya.
We are pleased to announce that our first single from the new album (Chameleon Sessions) with be released as a video in July.
As mentioned in previous posts, our new album is much more eclectic than the previous three and there are several songs that favour the work of Jeff Lynne and ELO in a very big way. So, we had a wee bit of fun with the song, "Voodoo Woman". We turned up the ELO to 11, and I confess that the production is a bit over the top for us, but its all in good fun. And the video is all about having fun as well.
We've not set on a release date for the new album just yet, there is still some tinkering going on and one or two songs are under scrutiny as they may or may not be replaced with other songs. Sometimes you have to try different ingredients to get the stew just right, and we want this album to be 'just right'.
Still, this album will be a summer release and we look forward to an official announcement for the magic release date......very soon.
A little update for those interested in the future of Famous Groupies. First, let's chat about our next album, "The Chameleon Sessions". We have been chipping away at the songs for a few months now, and as some of us Groupies now live in different parts of the world, the recording process has proven difficult, but thankfully everyone has the ability to record their parts from their flats.
The Chameleon Sessions will be very different from the previous albums, many more influences will be apparent and this album will also feature many guest artists and musicians. We have met lots of new friends since releasing our albums, many of them are fine songwriters, musicians and artists themselves, so we thought we would invite some of those talented friends to join in on these chameleon songs. And I think you will like the end result. We hope to release this album this summer, preferably in July.
The Chameleon Sessions may very well be the final release for this version of Famous Groupies. That is to say, this group has been somewhat of a family affair, but as some of us have moved on and no longer live in Scotland, and some of us are getting married and starting new lives in new places and some of us are simply too busy to continue setting aside the time to record all these songs that Patrick McKenzie left behind. Having said that, I (Kirkcaldy) may still carry on by myself and record more songs from Patrick's vast catalogue. There is much of Patrick's work that I believe should be heard, so I have no immediate plans to stop recording them anytime soon. I will keep you posted on that future.
In other news, we have released our first album, "Rehearsing The Multiverse" - on all digital and streaming platforms. So if you'd like to finally buy the album on iTunes - it's there for the taking. And of course, Apple Music, Amazon Music, iHeart Radio, Spotify and a 150 other relative platforms carry our album for your listening pleasure. Eventually we will release the other two albums for these formats, but that's down the road a wee bit.
Be on the look out for the first two singles from The Chameleon Sessions. They should be set free in June.
The band would like to thank everyone reading this for your support and kind words regarding Patrick's music. It has been a great joy to bring these songs to an endearing audience who appreciate them as much as we do.
Many thanks from Kirkcaldy and Famous Groupies.
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!
Thoughts and scribbles