The Solway Band: New CD

The Solway Band’s CD “Five don’t go to the pub”

With the lock-down in the in February (2020, UK) I thought it had put a stop to playing live. Sessions were cancelled and, for me, musical activities in our new home of Glasgow was non starting. There was a spate of “session videos” which were not practical due to the latency and to be honest it is not the same playing to a video screen!

Thankfully, there was an outlet and that was with the Bowness on Solway session group, called the Solway Band. I had not met them for a while due to moving to Glasgow, but I was willing to contribute to the new CD venture.

I played English Concertina and Mandolin, and there was a array of instruments by the other members: guitars, harmonica, bodhran, ukulele, fiddle, whistles, low flute…and beautiful harmonies sung.

The CD incorporates a mixture of blues, folk rock and folk music, done in our own way. Cover version of songs are worked upon in the sessions and altered to suit the bands style. Instruments are added or subtracted and harmonies worked upon. Humorous lyrics and anti war songs sit side by side to each other, slow murder Border ballads, 60s revivalist songs go next to self penned songs, Cumbrian instrumentals and Mallorcan Boleros all come into the mix during our folk sessions, and some of that is reflected in the CD.

The CD was recorded individually, sent through the internet to David, and he mixed and mastered the individual recordings. He created a booklet of all the songs performed, which comes in handy when wanted to join in at the sessions and also if you want to play along with the CD. He wrote an inside sleeve with info about the tracks as well as the Solway Band. The a colourful picture cover to the CD and the picture disc is a nice touch also. Well done David.

More info about the band and the people involved can be found via the band’s web site The Solway Band

CD: Til the tide comes in

I have just finished the new CD “Til the tide comes in“.
It is very different to my other solo CDs as it grew in size and texture. In fact the name of the CD, at first was going to be called “Textures”. I wanted to record traditional melodies, with each track being different; different in style and feel…texture.

I tried to create this texture by using different instruments: Spanish Gaita, Northumbrian Small Pipes, English Concertina, Mandolin, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electro-acoustic guitar, guitars with different tuning’s, open tuning’s, whistles, drums, shakers, etc.

The recordings were done in Madrid (Casa Asturias), Carlisle and Glasgow. The project kept on growing and I finally decided to release it. I am happy with the result, and I will be doing more of this style in the future.

I also decided to sell my digital CD on Bandcamp, but this time do it more seriously. Since I have stopped busking (due to the lock-down and other reasons), I need to get making music for a living once again.

The melodies were taken from the music books that are associated with the Scottish and English Borders, they are not necessarily Border tunes. But it follows my wish to only play and record the “old melodies”.

Have a listen via the link above, see if you like it?cd cover