**Site updated 17th July 2014**
Here is a link to Roger and myself playing 'Death and the Lady'. It is simply the beginnings of our arrangement of this song, recorded with one mic placed anywhere so that we have a reference. Never meant to be put out to the general public, but hey, it's that sort of world these days. All the better for it say I. Our first public performance of this song will be at Nettlebed this coming Monday. Good luck studio.
I have just put the first pictures into the Gallery. They are photos of the restoration of my favourite Violin. Incredible.
Update to last post:
I have just called Martin. It was Norma and Eliza who transformed the tune from a good tune to a great tune. Thanks Norma and Eliza. By the way, the song is 'Death and the Lady'.
**Site updated 19th June2014**
Yes! I am out of my period of rest. My nails are long and I couldn't play my fiddle now without cutting strings. I will cut them tomorrow like a gunfighter getting his guns ready for his next step into the battle.
After leaving Steeleye, I decided that I would not head straight into my studio, that lovely place that beckons, but to another lovely place that beckons. The place that is full of time and wonder. the place where deadlines are banned, and talk of work in progress is whispered like a thought. Not to be shared. Not to be taken as gospel. There's a word.
When I return to the UK, I will be fighting fit. Short nails, a fiddle that nestles and feels comfortable, and a mind that is prepared to not waste my time, or anyone else's, so that I can sleep, smile, wonder and ponder without fear. If you shoot form the hip then your aim will be true. If you lie and deceive and shoot blanks, and have to shield your hidden agenda with every stumbling word, then your aim will be aimless and fruitless and of no real value. It's not what we achieve in this short life we find ourselves having, it's more about how we achieve it.
So. This is me saying I am about. I love music and all that it is. I do not love all that it attracts, but at last I am old enough, and ugly enough, to remove myself mentally and physically from all that I find uncomfortable, and find that path that is even less trodden than the less trodden. Good hunting say I.
I have had a beautiful time here in France for the past two months, and in three weeks I will be in the UK armed with whatever ammunition I have gained from this well deserved time out.
Gigspanner have been working on new material, including a song that is perfect for us. It is a song that we have searched for. It is a song that my wife Deborah found. It is a song that is sung and performed by Martin and Norma. It is a tune that I suspect was transformed by Mike Waterson. it is a tune that is perfect for Roger to play, and the tune inspires a bluesy feel. We have a rehearsal recording for reference that I may put out so that you can hear it before we record it proper. Very exciting. I have also been waiting to find a song that I can play my Octave fiddle with the Rat pedal as in 'Bonny Black Hare'. This is the one.
So leaving you with that thought, I am signing off.
I trust all is well with you and yours and we will see you on tour.
The Feast of Fiddles tour is about to begin. We kick off at Nettlebed Folk Club for two nights. All the dates for the tour can be found on the Feast of Fiddles Website.
See you on tour. :)
Latest News 1st April 2014
'An Ancient Cause Re-release, Plus Two Bonus Tracks'
The remastered re-release of 'An Ancient Cause' is now available from my on-line shop, and will also be available at gigs of course.
I have been working with Edd Blakeley on remastering the album, and with the intervening 23 years of advancement in technology, it sounds better than ever.
Tim Harries came over to the States and worked on it with me and his playing is superb. Although Tim has guested with Gigspanner quite recently, I had forgotten just how beautifully he played on this CD.
There are two bonus tracks. 'From A Lullaby Kiss' and an instrumental version of 'She Moved Through The Fair'.
Latest News 5th February 2014
During the 2013 Feast of Fiddles tour, I was backstage wondering what to play for my solo spot, and I decided to sing a song I had only just written but never performed, called 'From A Lullaby Kiss'.
Since then, it has taken on a life of its own, and I have received many emails from people asking me when it would be available on an album.
Well, at some point it will be on a CD, but for now, here is a link to a recording of the song, accompanied by a video created by Perrine Nouvier. A film maker and friend.
I hope you like it.
Latest News 14th November 2013
I will be leaving Steeleye Span at the end of this next winter tour, November / December 2013.
I couldn't have chosen a better tour to call my last. The band is in fine form, and the songs from the new 'Wintersmith' project are sounding good.
I have given this a lot of thought, and without getting complicated, my reason is simple. Enough is enough.
Latest News 27th March 2013
Sound samples of 'Cobweb, Moth and Mustardseed' Now available.
Click on Soundcloud Logo.
Latest News 20 March 2013
‘Cobweb, Moth & Mustardseed’
I was recently given the honour of composing and recording a piece of Music for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and information about that commission is detailed HERE
The piece of music ‘Cobweb, Moth and Mustardseed’ is also available as a CD, and is now available to order from my online shop HERE
9th March 2013.
Last night was the first night of the Steeleye tour. All good news for a first gig. The new songs based on some of Terry Pratchett's books were well received, and reasonably well played, and sat well with the rest of the set. A good start to the tour. Another chance tonight to get it right :)
1st March 2013
Links to the 'Steeleye' Tour and the 'Feast of Fiddles' tour are now in the panel opposite. When time allows, I will be posting the dates on this site.
My old site is resting in pieces. It will be remembered fondly.
It was impossible to update on a regular basis, and had to be changed, so this is the starting point. There may be a few things from the old site that could be restored, and time will tell. As it stands, this new site will be much easier for me to update on a regular basis, without having to battle against code from a different and now unavailable web editor.