Lockdown for the Count - our lockdown recordings
We have been proud to release two Lockdown EPs during the COVID pandemic. The two volumes of the EP are available in digital format on our Bandcamp store; a physical CD, combining both volumes, will be released soon.
- Vol 1: Lockdown for the Count (released June 2020)
- Vol 2: Still Locked Down for the Count (released February 2021)
About the EPs
Unable to perform or record together during the 2020 and 2021 COVID lockdowns, we collaborated remotely - recording ourselves in our own living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms. We worked with City String Ensemble, Birmingham’s Town Hall Gospel Choir, and other special guests - a total of 52 musicians, making this the largest Down for the Count ensemble on record to date.
We have been proud to support two amazing charities through these lockdown recordings. 50% of all profits from the sale of our digital and physical lockdown recordings will be donated to Mind (for better mental health) and Refuge (providing support for women and children at risk of domestic violence).
About the songs
1. Love's In Need of Love Today (Wonder) 5:06
This song is the opening tune for Stevie Wonder‘s sublime “Songs In The Key Of Life” album and it’s a song of hope which we feel couldn’t be more relevant to the current times. Our version features the wonderful voices of Birmingham’s Town Hall Gospel Choir.
Vocals: Katie Birtill, Lydia Bell, Callum Gillies, Katherine Thompson, Hannah Castleman. Choir: Town Hall Gospel Choir.
2. Let's Face the Music and Dance (Berlin) 2:28
Our version of Irving Berlin’s 1936 song “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” is based on the arrangement written by Billy May for Nat ‘King’ Cole’s album “Let’s Face the Music!”. This song was the first Lockdown song we released, dedicated to the amazing healthcare professionals worldwide who are taking such risks to keep us all safe.
Vocals: Callum Gillies; Organ Solo: Mike Paul-Smith.
3. 'S Wonderful (Gershwin/Gershwin) 3:32
Another recreation of a Nelson Riddle/Ella Fitzgerald classic. Lyricist Ira Gershwin was at the original recording session and apparently remarked “I never knew how good our songs were until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them”.
Vocals: Lydia Bell. Flute: Luke Pinkstone.
4. Ain't Misbehavin' (Waller/Razaf) 3:26
Written in 1929 by Fats Waller whilst in alimony prison, with words by Andy Razaf. Our version is a re-creation of the arrangement written by Gordon Jenkins for Nat ‘King’ Cole in 1957.
Vocals: Katie Birtill.
5. Candy (David/Kramer/Whitney) 2:50
This tune is most often associated with Nat ‘King’ Cole, who featured it on his “After Midnight” album. Our original arrangement was written by band leader Mike Paul-Smith for Gregory Grefenstette, whose generous contribution to our 2019 Kickstarter campaign helped us record our “Swing That Music” album.
Vocals: Callum Gillies. Guitar Solo: Sam Ainslie.
6. As Long As I'm Singing (Darin) 1:52
As Long As I’m Singing was written and made famous by Bobby Darin. Our arrangement is based on the original version but we’ve expanded it with extra instruments - especially strings (we just couldn’t resist adding something for the “pizzicato” line!) - and added an extended instrumental.
Vocals: Callum Gillies. Tenor Sax Solo: Alex Western-King.
7. Don't Get Around Much Anymore (Ellington/Russell) 3:01
The song “Never No Lament” was written by Duke Ellington in 1940 and when Bob Russell added lyrics in 1942, it gained a new new name and became a hit song. Our version borrows ideas from Billy May’s arrangement for Nat ‘King’ Cole, and from the original arrangement of “Never No Lament” performed by Duke Ellington‘s orchestra. Vocals: Hannah Castleman; Tenor Sax Solo: Alex Western-King.
8. You're All I Need To Get By (Ashford/Simpson) 3:43
This tune was originally recorded by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell; here we’ve recreated Aretha Franklin’s unforgettable version.
Vocals: Katie Birtill. Backing Vocals: Lydia Bell & Hannah Castleman.
9. All The Things You Are (Kern/Hammerstein) 3:21
One of the most popular jazz standards of all time. We’ve recreated the version of the song arranged by Nelson Riddle for Ella Fitzgerald’s 1963 “Jerome Kern Songbook” album. Vocals: Hannah Castleman.
10. That's Life (Kay/Gordon) 3:07
Written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon, “That’s Life” will forever be associated with Frank Sinatra, who recorded it in Los Angeles 1966, and whose arrangement (written by Ernie Freeman) we have re-created here in collaboration with L.A.-based actor and singer Richard Shelton.
Vocals: Richard Shelton. Backing Vocals: Katie Birtill, Hannah Castleman, Callum Gillies, Charlie Pyne.
11. I Like Pie, I Like Cake (Little/Sizemore/Shay) 3:40
Beloved by swing dancers worldwide, this song was written in 1925 and most famously recorded by The Four Clefs in 1941. Our version is dedicated to everyone who has had a birthday in lockdown, or had to postpone an important celebration during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vocals: Callum Gillies, Hannah Castleman, Katie Birtill and “The Down for the Count Chorus”.
Appearing on the EPs:
Piano/Hammond/Conductor: Mike Paul-Smith
Piano: Alex Howgego
Bass/BVs: Charlie Pyne
Bass: John Rixon
Drums: James Smith
Percussion: Dae Hyun Lee
Percussion: Jordan Murray
Guitar/Banjo: Sam Ainslie
Mixed, mastered and produced by Mike Paul-Smith