Richard Bethell (better known by nom de plume Admiral Bob, which is how you'll find him on iTunes and Spotify) has been singing and playing blues, R&B, and gospel music in Ottawa and Montreal, Canada, for the last 30 years. He leads "Sundays at 8", an eclectic blend of gospel, bluegrass, and contemporary praise every Sunday Night at Ottawa's Blessed Sacrament Church. He is also a member of the semi-active pop-jazz fusion group Evolutions. As Admiral Bob, he has released two albums on the TuneTrack.net label.
In the 1980s, I performed in a popular local group called The SugarDaddys. After that, I spent an active decade or so with Evolutions, which has kind of petered out of late. But during its heydey, it was great fun - we played original R&B music with a horn section, and we got to do some very strange (but fun) gigs. We were on the local radio and cable channel frequently, and even filmed a video (that involved the bassist and I attacking a woolly mammoth statue in loincloths, I am ashamed to say.)
Lately, I've put my focus on crafting sounds. What do I want my music to sound like? In these recordings I've played all the instruments myself, so that I can make the tunes sound exactly as I want them to. of course, anyone who records knows that never really happens, but the later songs show that perhaps I am getting better at it.
But I'm not strictly a DIYer. I also do a lot of remixing at CCMixter, as well as deliberate collaborations, which is like being in a band with 500 people. What you hear here is mostly just me, however.
I play with Sundays at 8... on, well, Sundays at 8 PM. Yes that's where the name comes from. Its a group of singers and myself that combine bits of blues, bluegrass, and gospel along with traditional Catholic liturgical music to accompany Father Joe at Mass. Our longtime leader Dave went part time a couple of years ago, which has resulted in me basically leading the group these days.
As for special moments, they're all special. I particularly take joy in those moments where a song becomes a prayer in the best sense, and I can close my eyes, and its just voices singing, without the baggage of worries, cares, what the week is going to be like... just us, music, and God.
Robert Cray, Albert Collins, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, B.B. King are big influences. So is Mark Knopfler. The people I've played with over the many years have had a big influence as well.
My mandolin is a Fender acoustic-electric. On electric guitar, I favour a Fender Telecaster, but also have two cherished Strats and a Gibson Les Paul. I have a Seagull acoustic for recording. My live acoustics are both Ovations, which I like because of the cutaways. On keyboards, I have a Yamaha piano, an organ with a Leslie speaker, and also an M-Audio Keystation, which I mostly use for its Steinway piano sample. I have a Squier P-Bass and a no-name banjo.
I record with a Fostex MR-8 and/or Apple Logic, and use a combination of Reaper, Audacity, Ableton, and Wavosaur to mix and master. Sometimes I like to let someone else do the recording (when it is the church group for instance), and when that happens I entrust that to Chad Nesrallah at Fat Dog Productions (http://fatdogproductions.ca )