Rated Blue EP Released!


As some of you may or may not know AV Linux has been on “pause” since last spring so hopefully this will explain some of my absence…

I’m very happy (and relieved) to release our Rated Blue band EP on my new (and very small) Indie label Bandshed Records…

I’ve copied and pasted the Album notes below if anyone is interested in some details, but first links:

Stream/Listen: https://soundcloud.com/rated-blue/sets

Download/Purchase: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ratedblue (physical CD’s will also be available in a day or two)

  • Coming soon to Spotify, Deezer, iTunes, Amazon etc.

Album Notes:

'Three Walls Down' is the first EP by 'Rated Blue' a bluesy, soul-influenced power trio from southwestern Ontario Canada. The EP collects 7 songs by guitarist and vocalist Glen MacArthur written over a period of more than 20 years. Three Walls Down is a collaborative effort with a very unconventional lineup bonded by ties of both family and friendship, MacArthur's son Connor (only 16 at the time of recording) contributes focused, powerful drumming with intuition far beyond his years and longtime friend and musical partner Pete Cox provides trademark propulsive, inventive, in-the-pocket bass playing as a perfect complement to the song arrangements. The band is unabashed about celebrating their early blues and power trio influences citing such revered artists as Freddie, Albert and B.B. King and classic trio lineups like Cream and The James Gang as inspiration for their powerful, uncluttered and direct sound. Contemporary luminaries like Big Sugar, Gov't Mule, The Black Keys and Gary Clark Jr. also provide inspiration even though many of the songs on Three Walls Down were written prior to their success.

Proudly self-produced, Three Walls Down betrays a zealous enthusiasm for classic analog and tube gear and the sonic palette includes naturally overdriven swampy baritone guitars, warm n’ fuzzy bass and thunderous Zep-approved drums. The DIY ethic was extended even further by using the Open-Source Ardour workstation software to record the album on a Linux-based OS that MacArthur himself does development work on. The album opens with ‘Day of the Blues’ a joyous warp speed jump blues and switches gears into the seismic sound and fury of ‘Four Months on Tuesday’ a slow blues in 6/8 time. ‘Frank Underwood Blues’ is a swampy, heavy half-time shuffle roasting any crooked politician you can think of and ‘My Face’ is a minor-key soul ballad with a fiery conclusion that highlights the improvisational interplay between band members. The title cut ‘Three Walls Down’ pushes loudly and proudly into power-trio territory with a visceral guitar solo and the plaintive ‘Understanding’ changes things up with it’s itchy reggae verses and soul-influenced choruses. ‘Waiting’ the final cut is a unique blend of rootsy country and soul influences and leaves things on an empathetic and encouraging note for anyone weathering hard times.

Three Walls Down is certainly not just another garden variety blues trio album, the combination of band chemistry, powerful impassioned playing, songwriting and authentic, immediate production should set it apart as a definite album of interest for fans of raw rootsy blues and soul music.

This was recorded with Ardour 4.X in various GIT builds with WinVST support and LinuxDSP, OverToneDSP and Calf Plugins. Huge thanks to Robin Gareus for bailing me out of numerous issues that arose from gcc-5 sweeping through Debian testing…

Comments and Critiques are welcomed, thanks for taking time to listen :slight_smile:

Hi guys,

Thank you both very much!

@GMaq Glad you have been able to concentrate on making some music!


I’m looking forward to listening to this (can’t right now as I’m at work…) and buying a download, especially if it helps to support / encourage the release of the next phase of AV Linux. Well done Glen!

Cool GMaq !! I enjoy listening very much! I like the drum sound very much, can u tell me what snare / mic combination u guys used?

Hi calimerox,

Thanks a lot for listening and your comments…

I experimented a lot with miking the drums and I was generally very pleased to retain the actual acoustic characteristics of the kit and I learned a lot but also looking back now I would do some things differently. As far as the snare I used a cheap but decent Apex 415 large diaphragm condenser with the 10db pad switch on. One ‘mistake’ I made was hitting the cardioid/omni hardware switch by accident when I set the mic up so it was picking up with an Omnidirectional pattern which gave a little more hi-hat bleed than I wanted. In the past I’ve usually miked the snare top head and hi-hats from one mic but I think next time I will record the hihats on their own mic to be able to move them around a bit in stereo image and mix them more independently.

The snare itself is a Pork Pie Rosewood/Zebrawood and it it has a surprisingly sharp attack and tone for a wooden snare…

beautiful, thanks for the details, and recording the snare with omni: sometimes little mistakes make a unique sound :wink: