Stephen Leigh & S.L. Farrell

Roaming at the intersection of fiction and reality

Musician (fairly often).

I've been playing music since the late 1960's (damn, I'm OLD!) in various groups in and around the Greater Cincinnati area. I play guitar and bass, and I've usually been one of the lead singers (we won't talk about the time I actually fronted a wedding band as the singer). I currently play bass and sing in this group: TOAST.

I also play the occasional solo acoustic gig–just me, a mic, and three guitars: a six-string acoustic in standard tuning (my Eastman E10D); a six-string acoustic in DADGAD tuning (my Eastman E20D); another six-string (my Eastman E6D-TC Ltd Alpine) tuned down a full step in D-standard. That last guitar is my "Down Capo" guitar -- a normal capo allows you to play in a higher key with the same chords shapes while a D-standard tuned guitar allows you to do the same without a capo (though having another guitar is more expensive than buying a capo). I also have pedal board with a few effects, a Meinl BassBoX for percussion support on some songs, and a Bose sound system.

My gear (for you gearheads out there):

Acoustic Guitars: 2018 Eastman E10D (Adirondack (Red) Spruce over Mahogany), 2019 Eastman E8D (Sitka Spruce over Rosewood); 2020 Eastman E20D (Red Spruce over Rosewood), 2021 Eastman E6D-TC Ltd (Alpine Spruce over Mahogany)—can you tell that I'm a fan of Eastman guitars? All those have K&K Pure Mini pickups installed. I also own a 2011 Guild GAD F212 12-string (Sitka Spruce over Mahogany -- currently up for sale!)

Electric guitar: 1964 Guild Starfire V semi-hollow electric

Bass: 2000 Roscoe 5-string LG3005 bass (fretless)

Amps & PA: Bose L1 1S system with B1 bass module; Mackie PROFX8 8-Channel Mixer; Ampeg Portaflex 4x10 cabinet with Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 head and with additional Ampeg Portaflex 2x10 cabinet if needed; Sennheiser e835 vocal mic, AKG P420 large diaphragm condenser mic, a Meinl Percussion BassBoX

Pedalboard (used mostly for solo/duo acoustic guitar gigs): DigiTech JamMan Solo XT looper; Digitech 3-function foot switch for looper; TC-Helicon Harmony Singer; Caverns Reverb & Delay; Donner Chorus; Wampler Tumnus Overdrive pedal; Donner Autowah, Boss Acoustic Pre-Amp AD-2; Truetone 1 Spot Pro CS12 Power Supply.

I occasionally put together an original song. One of my 'projects' is to put together some of my original songs (as well as some of the cover tunes I do) in a decent enough format that I could cobble together a 'set' to give to coffee house/bar owners where I'd like to play or even sell on a gig. To that end, I picked up Logic Pro X for Macintosh, and a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface to connect to my laptop, and I've asked my son Devon to add some professional drum tracks. Still working on this...

Here's my current effort in that direction: no drums or bass on this, just me on guitars and vocals. "I Am Home (Nise's Song)"—Denise insisted on the parenthetical addition to the title—doesn't have any drums, or bass for that matter. It's just me doing guitars and vocals. This one came about after Denise and I planned a trip to Ireland with my sister and brother-in-law, but at the last minute Denise was too ill to accompany us, though she insisted I should go anyway. I missed her terrifically, and wrote an early draft of these lyrics after my return. She and I did make it to Ireland for the Dublin worldcon, though we also spent several days in Wales and thus I was never able to take Denise out to the west of Ireland to see what I think is the most gorgeous scenery on Earth. Maybe in another few years... FWIW, I took the audio recording and made a video using photos of Ireland that I've taken over the years, and combining it with photos of Denise (and occasionally both of us) and Cincinnati. Anyway, take a look and a listen, and I hope you enjoy the tune.

During the pandemic, I did a series of "one take and absolutely no fixing of mistakes afterward" YouTube videos of me singing and playing some of the songs I tend to do on solo gig. Those 'mistakes and all' videos are here, if you can stand to watch them! More polished recordings to come as I record them!

Here's the link to my playlist for solo gigs as of July of 2021, if you're interested.

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