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Sarah McQuaid

If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous  

Release Date: 2 February 2018
Label: Shovel And A Spade Records
Genre: Folk/World/Acoustic/Singer-Songwriter
Cat. No: SAASCD001 UPC: 5060366785473  

Produced by legendary singer-songwriter and guitar sage Michael Chapman.

If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous is the fifth solo album by UK-based singer/songwriter Sarah McQuaid.  

Musings on mortality dominate this recording, but it’s by no means all gloom: “Break Me Down” is possibly the cheeriest song ever written about decomposition, while “One Sparrow Down” (backed not by Sarah’s trademark DADGAD-tuned guitar but rather by a battery of unorthodox percussion instruments including wine bottle and oven grill) takes a similarly upbeat approach to the death of a bird hell-bent on attacking its own reflection, unseen by the predatory cat calmly watching from her perch on the windowsill. In the liner notes for the album, Sarah thanks her cat Nightshine for contributing guest vocals to the track, and apologises to her for the implicit metaphor.

A cover of Jeff Wayne’s melancholy “Forever Autumn” leads into an arrangement for voice and guitar of “Dies Irae”, the medieval chant whose melody is echoed not only in Wayne’s intro to his classic War Of The Worlds number but also in countless film soundtrack themes (The Exorcist, The Shining and Citizen Kane, to name a few). Here as elsewhere on the album, McQuaid’s guitar shines on an equal basis with her velvet-textured voice. Indeed, two of the tracks are purely instrumental: “New Beginnings”, written as a wedding march for former pop star Zoë Pollock of “Sunshine On A Rainy Day” fame (with whom Sarah recorded the album Crow Coyote Buffalo under the band name Mama), and “The Day Of Wrath, That Day”, whose title is a literal translation of the first line in “Dies Irae”. 

The propulsive, apocalyptic title track was inspired by a warning McQuaid heard herself giving her son as he excavated an enormous hole in their back garden. There’s an obvious allusion to fracking (“Splitting cracks in the rock to free the power inside”), but the song’s thematic scope extends well beyond that: “Sometimes the way to fix a problem is to turn the pressure off” is a maxim that could apply to virtually any aspect of life.  

On four of the tracks, including lead single “The Tug Of The Moon”, McQuaid plays an electric guitar belonging to Chapman, which he’s since given her on long-term loan. “The precision and sophistication of the writing and playing blows me away. I am so glad to be involved,” he writes in his introduction to the album booklet. Since meeting Sarah when both artists played the Village Pump Festival in 2014, Chapman has become a staunch friend and supporter, even performing as her opening act at a local concert he and his wife arranged for her. Sarah became a regular visitor to the Chapmans’ farmhouse in Cumbria, and during one visit he made her an offer she couldn’t refuse: “We were having a chat and a glass of wine, and he said ‘Why don’t you let me produce your next album?’,” Sarah recalls. “I’m glad he said it, because I’d never have dared ask otherwise!”  

Another new addition is piano, which McQuaid plays to beautiful effect on “The Silence Above Us” as well as on “Slow Decay” and “Forever Autumn”. Guest musicians include Chapman on archtop electric guitar, Roger Luxton on drums and percussion, Samuel Hollis on upright and electric bass, Richard Evans on trumpet, Georgia Ellery on violin and Joe Pritchard on cello.

If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous was made possible thanks to financial support from Arts Council England Grants For The Arts, using public money from the Government and the National Lottery, and from Cultivator, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, Arts Council England and Cornwall Council. The album will be launched with a concert at the Acorn arts centre in Sarah’s adopted home town of Penzance on Thursday, 25 January, following which she’ll be touring it extensively in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany and the USA.

You Tube The Tug Of The Moon


The Hardchargers   

Radio Promo 4 Track EP

A taster for the album Scarecrow
Two album tracks + Two exclusive live performances + Key radio track ‘Charger Swing’  

Tracks: 1. Charger Swing 2. Sometimes 3. Beakers Bowl 4. Don’t Tell Me  

The Hardchargers
Lonesome Chris Todd – vocals, resonator guitar, electric guitar, mandolin Dave Thompson – bass guitar, ukulele bass Richard J. Hodgen – drums, washboard   The Hardchargers are a refreshingly original blues trio from Northern Ireland. Together, Lonesome Chris Todd (guitars/vocal), Richard J. Hodgen (drums/washboard) and Dave Thompson (bass/ukulele bass) have been repeat guests at numerous Irish festivals including Monaghan’s Harvest Time Blues Festival, Wicklow’s Knockanstockan Festival, and the Hilden Brewery Festival, Lisburn, and have performed an average of ninety gigs a year at bar and theatre venues from Ireland’s southern tip to its northern coast.

Incorporating an exhilarating back-porch section to their set with resonator, washboard and ukulele bass, the Hardchargers are an electric power trio steeped in inspiration from the greats of the pre-electric blues – Blind Willie McTell, Blind Willie Johnson, Bukka White, Willie Brown – to the progenitors of electric blues such as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf and Frankie Lee Simms. Their live set is an electrifying reimagining of all of the above, combined with the lyricism of Chris Todd’s real-world blues and a musical language exquisitely refined from all of blues/roots and rock history since.

This EP is an advance taster for the Hardchargers debut album Scarecrow which will be released nationally in physical and digital form through Market Square Music/Proper Distribution in January 2018.

Scarecrow was recorded over five days in Belfast with engineers Jude McCaffrey and Late-Night Tony Furnell in December 2016/January 2017 and comprises six originals and two covers, Muddy Water’s ‘Can’t Be Satisfied’ and Johnny Winter’s ‘Mean Town Blues’.

Album guests include Irish jazz sensations Linley Hamilton (trumpet) and Scott Flanigan (piano/organ). While Lonesome Chris went off on sabbatical for three months, playing guitar in England with blues maestro Billy Boy Miskimmin – a long-term fan of the band – the mixing process began. The eventuating vinyl-length album was mastered at RedBox Studios, Belfast, by Cormac O’Kane. The CD packaging was designed by award-winning Whitenoise Studios MD Mark Case. After a challenging 2017 due to external circumstances, the band members were thrilled when a Kickstarter campaign to fund the final part of the project – the CD pressing (£1200) – reached its target within one day.

The Hardchargers Promo

Chris Todd interviewed for the Belfast Channel NVTV 


Trio Dhoore CD 'Momentum'

Trio Dhoore www.triodhoore.be  

The group Trio Dhoore features three brothers from Flanders in Belgium. 

Koen Dhoore – Electro Acoustic Hurdy Gurdy  

Hartwin Dhoore – Diatonic Accordion  

Ward Dhoore – Acoustic Guitar & Mandolin 

 “Technical excellence and rare musicality of all three.” fRoots  

Trio Dhoore are a young and talented band of musical brothers from Flanders in Belgium. Their extensive repertoire of traditional Flemish tunes is punctuated by song and many of their own compositions. This mix all goes to provide their audiences with a soundscape where traditional and contemporary music, melancholy melodies and intuitive interplay merge to unique effect.

The brothers Dhoore, Koen, Hartwin & Ward present their instrumental music in a very dynamic way - writing and playing many of their own compositions - whilst at the same time they breathe life and energy into traditional Flemish music with a skill that belies their ages. 

To date Trio Dhoore have released three albums:
Modus Operandi 2013 – Parachute 2015 – Momentum 2016  

With a critically acclaimed catalogue of three albums, and a stellar list of concert and festival appearances, the brothers have started to gain the attention of the music and cultural media.

The magazine ‘fROOTS’ brought them to the notice of a much wider audience by introducing the brothers to the UK and in turn numerous other countries. This most welcome media attention resulted in the group playing a series of concerts at the 'Sidmouth Folk Week' that proved to be highly successful. Trio Dhoore were also invited to showcase at the 'English Folk Expo' in 2016  

Since the release of their first album Modus Operandi in 2013 Trio Dhoore have become a leading Flemish music export and festival favourites. The brothers have now toured across Europe and as far afield as Canada. 

Amongst their performing highlights they completed a ten-day tour of Canada (Mill Race Festival, Goderich Celtic Roots Festival). They have also appeared at European festivals such as Rudolstadt Festival (Germany), Kaustinen Folk Music Festival (Finland), Korrö Folkmusikfestival (Sweden), Festival Dranouter (Belgium), Fête de la Vielle (France), Hiiufolk (Estonia) and Strib Vinter Festival (Denmark). 

"One of the folk scenes most unassumingly euphoric acoustic sounds"                                                                                 Steve Hunt fRoots Magazine UK

Momentum 2016
Parachute 2015
Modus Operandi 2013   New paragraph


Together is a collection of songs composed by Fil and Tom and featuring both artists together and separately on lead vocals. Also included on the album are two classic songs Peace In Erin and The Maples Lament. 

Track Listing: 1. Until We Meet Again (Campbell) 2. We'll Get Theree When We Get There (McFarland) 3. Ring The Bell (Campbell) 4. Peace In Erin (Trad/Lyrics - Hugh Mcwilliams) 5. The Bird's Song (Campbell McFarland) 6. A New Song To Sing (Campbell McFarland) 7. People Tell Me I'm Lucky (McFarland)  8. The Maple's Lament (Laurie Lewis) 9. Sunshine In The Rain (Campbell) 10. Time (McFarland) 11. Island Love (Campbell/McFarland) 12. Talk About (Campbell)  

Musicians: Fil Campbell (Vocals & Rhythm Guitar) Tom McFarland (Vocals, Bodhran, Percussion) Steve Cooney (Guitars) John Fitzpatrick (Fiddle) Ben Sands (Mandolin) Brendan Monaghan (Tin Whistle) Nuala Curran (Cello) Colum Sands (Double Bass & Concertina) The Singmarra Choir feature on “Ring The Bell” Details coming soon........www.filcampbell.com

Originally from Belleek in Co. Fermanagh, singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist Fil Campbell has been a performing musician and singer since she was a teenager. She was brought up on the folk songs and music that was popular around the localities and townland's of Fermanagh and Donegal.  

Since the 90's Fil and her husband Tom McFarland who hails from Belfast have been singing and playing as a musical duo. Their unique combination of blending vocals, guitar and percussion plus the ability to mix their original compositions with traditional and contemporary songs -- punctuated by the Irish gift of chat and craic -- has won the hearts and minds of audiences around the world.  

"Tom's superbly judged and sensitively understated percussion and vocal harmonies 
prove a perfect foil to Fil's glorious singing." David Kidman, Living Tradition

Fil is well known locally for her work presenting both television and radio shows alongside her keen interest in community choirs and working with adult singers. With a critically acclaimed catalogue of eight studio albums and several independent recording projects the repertoire of Fil Campbell and Tom McFarland is both varied and eclectic.

Tom, working out of his own Ballyneddan Studio where he is at home both as an engineer and producer has played drums and percussion for singers as diverse as John Wright, David Knopfler, Finbar Furey, Ben Sands and many more.  

As a percussionist he is much in demand as a bodhran tutor and session player making appearances on numerous recordings. Tom’s interest in percussion stretches to instruments from all over the world. In his live work he plays, the bodhrán, the African Djembé, Latin American congas and bongos, the cajon, and basically anything else that can be shaken or hit including your normal drum kit.     

When Fil Campbell & Tom McFarland first met they were both working in and around the music business. Fil had just left Downtown Radio’s PR department to set up her own promotion business working as a publicist for concert and TV promoters and booking bands into interviews and gigs. At that time Tom was moonlighting on sound crews for local Cajun and soul bands as well as singer songwriters. By day he was working for Guinness in their corporate division.  

Tom had just started to rekindle his interest in percussion - having played drums as a teenager - and since meeting Fil he would often join her in various music sessions.  After a while Tom persuaded Fil to return to performing having taken a break from her solo career.  

At first Tom provided sound for Fil and then gradually the duo started to develop their own percussion and guitar sound, utilising congas and bongos to add lots of additional rhythms to Fil’s guitar playing.  

After they married in 1988 they moved away from Belfast to concentrate on performing it was during this time that Tom taught himself how to play the bodhran.

Meanwhile Fil was playing occasionally with a fun group called The Presley Brothers, a mix of country blues and singer songwriter material. Tom would occasionally join them on percussion and drums and from there it only took a short while before Fil & Tom were appearing on stage together. After a time their set gradually evolved towards traditional music and their own compositions.   

After moving to Rostrevor in 1993 to record Fil's first solo album - and never going back – they became established as a duo performing on both the Irish and UK folk circuit. 
Tom developed a reputation for being a very sensitive accompanist rather than a showy drummer and as a result their songs took on a slightly different shape and sound.

These days the percussion changes according to the music we are performing, New drums are introduced whilst old ones get retired for a while; however the emphasis is to stay fairly subtle using rhythm and voices   “… a unique voice.  She really gets to the heart of a song” Living Tradition. 

Together (Tom and Fil) (2017)
Back There (featuring Tom McFarland) (2015)
The Emigrant Woman's Tale (with poet Csilla Toldy) (2015)
A Place of My Own  (more songs from the Songbirds catalogue) (2012)
Farewell To Cold Winter (Songbirds Part Two) (2011)
Songbirds DVD of TV Series (2006)
Songbirds (2005)
Beneath The Calm (2002)
Jaimidi - Turn of the Day (2001)
Dreaming (1996)
The Light Beyond The Woods (1992)


Dolennu CD

“Dolennu (v) [Doh-Len-Nee] Welsh, to loop: enfold, encircle, arrange in a loop…”

Thus Wales-based looping ensemble, Dolennu explain their name on their self-titled debut CD + DVD release, inspired by the work of Terry Riley and Steve Reich and heralding the return of the extraordinary Zyklus.  

Billy Thompson Violin  + Warren Greveson Synthesisers

Steve Roberts Drums  + Maurice Loch Video Loops CD + DVD

Track Listing 
1. JLP Special 2. Berwyn Blues 3. The Breathing City 4. Pripyat 5. Just Fibbin

Label: Market Square Cat: MSMCDDVD197 UPC: 5065001032608
Rel: Sept 2017 File: Jazz Rock/Fusion/Electronica

 “I’d been familiar with the process of using loops for almost 30 years, inspired by the works of Steve Reich and Terry Riley. We used to perform his work In C, which is the most perfect piece to play on a Zyklus. When Billy mentioned a looping project I immediately thought of the Zyklus.”  WARREN GREVESON 

Zyklus as featured on Dolennu album The Zyklus
To learn more about Dolennu and the Zyklus read Peter Muir's interview with Warren Greveson which is available HERE

Just listen and watch the accompanying DVD for this titular metaphor to come alive in your ears and eyes. Because this is ‘twisting’ music: a sinuous spacey fusion of jazz, funk, rock and electronica that spins, spirals and worms its way into your inner being.  

With Steve Roberts (Kenny Driscoll Band, Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia) on drums, band founder Warren Greveson (Neil Ardley/Zyklus) plays synthesisers looped to the violin of Billy Thompson (Paraphernalia, Mike Westbrook) aligned to image/sound sculpturist Maurice Lock’s interpretative video loops as featured in the album’s bonus DVD. Five huge, sprawling tracks here journey into sonic other worlds in  a wholly immersive trip helmed by a collaboration of some of contemporary jazz’s most innovative players and interpreters  

Billy Thompson is a classically trained improvising violinist performing in numerous different styles of music. These styles vary from his highly popular band Billy Thompson Gypsy Style to performing with internationally acclaimed jazz artists such as saxophonist/composer Barbara Thompson OBE and pianist/composer
Mike Westbrook OBE
. Billy performs on five albums and a DVD with Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia and is an integral part of the wonderful Glad Day by Mike Westbrook featuring on the live DVD released last year. Billy is also working on a project with a highly talented singer/songwriter (and wine producer) called Gavin Crisfield. 

During Billy’s time living in Wales, Billy has performed and recorded with many of Wales’ finest musicians and singer/songwriters including Meic Stevens (for ten years), Gai Toms (Mim Twm Llai), Heather Jones, Sian James, Delwyn Sion, Dafydd Iwan, Alun Tan Lan and Gwilym Bowen Rhys. During his time in South Wales, Billy was an integral part of The Amigos performing all around Wales and featuring on three studio albums.  

Meeting singer/songwriter Rhian Williams (now Thompson) led to the creation of the Welsh band Amledd and the release of the album Cyfnod Cyntaf.   Now residing in Bala, North Wales with his family since 2005, Billy also runs a recording studio offering recording services, location recording and an online session musician service. For further details visit Thompsound Music.  

Warren Greveson is an electronic music composer, having composed and produced music for the BBC, ITV, Discovery and the Children’s Channel. He was a founding member of the eclectic electronic jazz orchestra Zyklus, along with British jazz legends Neil Ardley and Ian Carr and ex-Lansdcape member John Walters, performing in such places as the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican and Purcell Room. They were featured in an hour long programme on Radio 3 and produced one album, Virtual Realities, which received considerable critical acclaim.  

Warren has released two albums so far: Voyager, an electronic work following the journeys made by the spacecraft Voyagers 1 and 2 (think of it as a reboot of Holst’s Planets); and Songs From The Grand Massif, a jazz-rock trip though the French Alps, featuring the wonderful Billy Thompson on violin. Both albums are graced with the considerable drumming skills of Jon Hiseman.

In 2012, Warren rearranged the Voyager music to be the world’s first work for orchestra and four iPads, with an accompanying film produced by Maurice Lock. This has been performed several times, both in the UK and USA. He is also currently reworking Voyager Reimagined to be performed by Zyklist as a live project, again merging audio and video, and this should be at a town near you later on in 2017, which will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the launch of the iconic spacecraft.

It was during the making of Songs From The Grand Massif that Warren and Billy considered the idea of forming a loop-based band, mixing electronic loops with loops created by Billy’s violin, which is heavily treated on some pieces. This led to the formation of the band Dolennu, augmented by Steve Roberts on drums and Maurice Lock providing visual accompaniment. Their first album will include both a CD of the music and a DVD of the visual interpretations of the music and is available now.  

Steve Roberts was the drummer/keyboard player and writer in Godsticks since 2009, releasing one EP and three albums with the band. They have also toured alongside The Aristocrats (Marco Minnemann/Bryan Beller/Guthrie Govan) and The Mike Keneally Band as well as appearing at numerous festivals. Steve also played for award winning prog band Magenta and appeared on their latest dvd/album Chaos from the Stage (2016) as well as the double live album On Our Way To Who Knows Where (2012), recorded on the continent. He was also one third of the UK Emerson, Lake & Palmer tribute Noddys Puncture and was in the band when Keith Emerson appeared with them for a show. That concert is available on a live cd.  

Maurice Lock recently completed a BA (Hons) Fine Art degree at Coleg Menai, North Wales. During this time he worked with various combinations of video, sound, sculptural objects, installations and photography, exploring the nature and representation of the sublime. He subsequently began working on a lens-based project, digitally re-imagining the spaces beneath motorway flyovers as Cathedrals to the Sublime and three of these images were selected for the Galeri Open 2014 exhibition in Caernarfon during October 2014. His video collaboration with Warren started in 2012 with the video accompanying Voyager for Orchestra and Four iPads and continued with two performances in October 2014 of an expanded version being performed at Stetson University and Mt Dora Center for the Arts in Florida by the Stetson University Symphony Orchestra. Maurice is soon to launch a bespoke service to visualise walking trails, coastlines or any other personally significant geographical feature in the manner of Anglesey In Bits, a piece from his 2nd Year degree course.  

Joining Dolennu as the visual partner has seen Maurice take a move towards loop-based video. This will be shown in the future at Dolennu concerts and will feature a mix of video loops and live action from webcams suitably placed near members of the band. He performed video works to the master recordings from the Dolennu album project and these are included with the music on a DVD with the new album by Dolennu.


You're A Cloud, I'm A Comet CD Booklet

Track Listing:1. A Cloud And A Comet 2. We Climbed A Hill 3. Only Heavens Knows
4. I Found A House 5. A River And A Day 6. Honeyman 7. I Want You Back
8. Now 9. Different Day 10. The Silent Touch 11. The World Is A Beautiful Place

Costas Stergiou      Listen to samples HERE   

Patrick Campbell Lyons: Lead Vocal/Harmonies, Casio CTK-3200 Synth Keyboard, 5-String Buzzbox, Percussion
Costas Stergiou:
Piano, Hammond organ, Electric Piano, Bass, Synth keyboard
Vangelis Katsarelis: Trumpet on ‘A Cloud And A Comet’, ‘I Found a House’, ‘A River And A Day’.
Alex Spyropoulos: Electric Piano on ‘I Found A House’
Russell Nash:
Piano/Backing Vocal on ‘The World Is A Beautiful Place’ and ‘I Want You Back’
Nick Capaldi: Gender Vocal Harmony on ‘Different Day’
Alexa Manolis:
Female Inspiration Vocal on ‘Honeyman’ and ‘Cloud And A Comet’
Steve Carlton/Heidi Stotesbury: Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals on ‘The World Is A Beautiful Place’
Charmain Elliott: Gospel Vocal Backing on ‘The World Is A Beautiful Place’
Duncan Inglis:
Percussion on ‘I Want You Back’

Recorded by
Panagiotis Chountas at InaJamStudio (Piraeus), Athens, Greece
Mixed by
Panagiotis Chountas & Costas Stergiou
Additional recordings
by Vangelis Karapetros at Pazi Studios
Song arrangements by Patrick Campbell Lyons/Costas Stergiou

Patrick Campbell Lyons Title: You’re A Cloud, I’m A Comet File: Pop
Label: Market Square Cat: MSMCD191 UPC:5065001032578 Rel:July 14th 2017

 The 50th anniversary of the ‘Summer of Love’ is a fitting moment for a further excursion into the effecting melancholic pop that trademarked Patrick Campbell Lyons’ former band: 60’s cult symphonic rock act, Nirvana, and his subsequent solo career.

Patrick formed Nirvana with Alex Spyropoulus in 1967 in a London that was riding a creative peak for music, producing a series of critically acclaimed albums in ‘The Story of Simon Simopath’, ‘All Of Us’ and ‘To Marcos III’. 

It may be a mere thirty five years after his last album, but the Irish-born singer-songwriter has clearly lost none of his magic. With a faintly titular nod to Nirvana’s phased-fuelled 1968 hit “Rainbow Chaser”, ‘You’re A Cloud, I’m A Comet’ returns us to the evergreen performer’s seemingly favoured sky-high view of the world and his part in it.  

You're A Cloud, I'm A Comet was Recorded in his adopted home of Athens with sterling support from a coterie of contributors including Nirvana song-writing partner Alex Spyropoulus.

The new album opens the door to a world of reflection, celebration, change and occasionally rueful reminiscence. Reassuringly for fans and admirers, his always-infectious songs are couched in a melange of keyboards of many varieties, percussion and trumpets, residing on swathes of synth with harmony support carrying Patrick’s gently lilting, yearning lead vocal.   

Patrick Campbell-Lyons (Born 13 July 1943, Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland)
is a composer and musician.

He is one half of the cult symphonic-rock band, Nirvana formed in London in 1967 with Greek musician Alex Spyropolous. Nirvana accompanied in the studio and live by a floating line-up of session musicians) created a series of critically-acclaimed baroque, orchestrated albums before disbanding in the early 1970s.

Patrick was part of the West London music scene from the early 1960s playing in several
bands. He was the vocalist and a founder member of a locally-popular R&B band Second Thoughts whose line-ups included future record producer Chris Thomas, Thunderclap Newman founder/drummer Speedy Keen and two future members of prog-rock band Jade Warrior (Jon Field and Tony Duhig).

Second Thoughts split up in late 1965 and after a year living in Sweden, Campbell-Lyons returned to London in late 1966.   Campbell-Lyons then pursued a career in the music business as an A&R executive and producer - while continuing to occasionally record solo albums including Me & My Friend, The Electric Plough and The Hero I Might Have Been.


Niall McGuigan CD Booklet 'Awareness'

Awareness Track Listing:
1. The Bigger Picture 2. Stillness 3. Spirit 4. What’s For You Won’t Pass You 5. Warrior Soul 6. Staring At The Moon 7. Altai Magtaal 8. Buyant Gol 9. Communicate 10.Typical Jah
11. The Stronger The Tree The Deeper The Roots 12. Yarrow 13. I Know Me Now  

Produced by Niall McGuigan & Ben Reel

Paul McCabe Bass Guitar Martin Og McAllister Double Bass Ronan Morgan Drums & Percussion Gerry Black Lead Guitar  Backing Vocals: Ben Reel (Track 13), Clare Foley (Track 7,10,12), Kelly Redmond (Track 1,3,9,11), Julianne Reel (Track 2,10)   ​

All songs written by Niall Mc Guigan except tracks 7 & 8 which are traditional Mongolian songs ​ .

Recorded at Drumill Lane Recording Studio, Silverbridge, South Armagh Mastered by Masterlabs Recording Studio, Dublin Artwork & Photography by Taine King  

About Niall McGuigan

Niall Mc Guigan is a musician and music therapist from Castleblayney, Co.Monaghan, Ireland. After performing in a variety of bands over the past fourteen years ranging from metal, grunge, rock, funk & reggae Niall is embarking on his first album as a solo artist.  

His debut album “Awareness” is a collection of songs written over a period of six years expressing experiences of travel, education and self-discovery. It incorporates many musical styles including reggae, folk, rock, and Khoomii (Mongolian throat singing). This is fused with a variety of cross-cultural influences ranging from South American shamanism to eastern meditation practices. Similar to the idea of 'songlines', a term used in Aboriginal culture to describe songs that create a map, each song on the album is in sequential order providing the listener with a map that points attention within, towards self-discovery, awareness and an opening of the heart. 

The album’s title “Awareness” is a term which Niall feels communicates the common thread linking the variety introspective practices that he has experienced and also the songs he has written. Through the development of awareness true freedom, authenticity and compassion can be achieved as it dissolves illusion and uncovers the endless depth to our human experience.

Ben Reel Talks About Niall McGuigan.
"I have watched Niall McGuigan grow as an artist and performer since he was fifteen years old when his first band Speedking played a few songs at my wedding back in 1999. That was their first ever public performance and even then, you could see that the potential was there.  

As they matured Speedking became a much respected band developing a loyal following in Ireland. They released two EP's  and a great album (Cause & Effect) along the way. Like so many others, I was a fan of the band and felt they were like the next Thin Lizzy to emerge out of Ireland. They where courted by record companies but sadly it didn't happen with the same old excuse of not knowing how to market them in the modern heavy rock genre.

So I was delighted to see his old band mates , Gerry Black Jnr, Paul McCabe & Ronan Morgan join Niall for his first solo project which is completely different to the heavy rock they played in their Speedking days. I recall that I used to say to them, `you guys won't be playing this music when you are in your 30's' and I was proven right.

It was a pleasure to work on the album `Awareness' and to hear how Niall's songwriting and musicianship has developed into this  creative, original and eclectic kind of world music style. For Niall I know It was a spiritual journey in the making of this record and I felt some of that spirit too while we were producing Awareness." Ben Reel 


Titanium Flag CD by Colin Harper

Titanium Flag: Expanded/Remastered
MARKET SQUARE RECORDS MSMCD179 Released: April 24 2017 

Colin Harper, author of several books on music history, released his first national-level album in March 2016, Sunset Cavaliers – a homage to the musicians and musical eras chronicled in his books. A ‘treasure seeker’ as a music archaeologist, if Harper has a ‘buried treasure’ of his own prior to Sunset Cavaliers it is Titanium Flag – originally a vinyl-length instrumental album, inspired by the history of Arctic exploration, recorded in 2010 and limited to 100 copies. An icy sound-world of guitar, violin, clarinet, flugelhorn, piano and drums, with forays into chamber music, progressive rock and ambient, it defies easy labelling but fires the imagination. It was dedicated to one of Harper’s inspirations, Dutch guitarist/lutenist Jan Akkerman (ex-Focus).  

At the very moment of pondering, at his home in Belfast, a remastered edition of Titanium Flag in the wake of Sunset Cavaliers warm reviews and airplay, Harper received an invitation, in Dutch, to join someone’s professional network on LinkedIn: Jan Akkerman.  

‘Suitably inspired – by the karma, not the invitation to join LinkedIn – I emailed Jan with an idea and ‘Greenland: East To West’, inspired by 19th Century Norwegian adventurer Fridtjof Nansen, is the result. Jan’s epic solo is the imagined sound of a man raging against the howling snowstorms of the pre-Victorian Arctic, single-handedly creating the ‘heroic age’ of exploration. It transpires that Jan is still the master of improvisational and inspirational guitar. But I have no intention of joining LinkedIn.’  

Harper reassembled the original ‘Titanium Flag orchestra’ – jazz broadcaster/bandleader Linley Hamilton (flugelhorn, trumpet), orchestral musicians Alan McClure (violin) and Rachelle Stewart (clarinet), and céilí band drummer/closet rocker Jim Cuthbertson (drums) –and added Irish jazz pianist/bandleader Scott Flanigan and local bass maestro Ali MacKenzie along with Jan in Volendam and flautist Premik Russell Tubbs (ex-Mahavishnu Orchestra) in New York. Further cyber collaboration, between Belfast and Australia, was going on with producer/recording artist Martin Tinson and guitar legend Martin Cilia. The result is three new pieces of music, added to the start of the album.  

Four vocal tracks, recorded during the original Titanium Flag sessions in 2010, are added at the end. Other guests on the album include Phil ‘Shiva’ Jones (ex-Quintessence) and Andy Roberts (ex-Liverpool Scene, Plainsong). The audio was remastered by Denis Blackham and the package comes with a detailed 12-page booklet and a fold-out pair of vintage maps of the Arctic regions.  

Harper: ‘It transpires that it’s rather expensive to include a second insert in a CD. I believe that Titanium Flag is the best thing, musically, I’ve done, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to make it widely available. But I’m also hoping I don’t have any more musical inspiration for a while!’  
Select Bibliography:
Dazzling Stranger: Bert Jansch and the British folk and blues revival (Bloomsbury, 2000; 2011), Bathed In Lightning: John McLaughlin, the 60s and the Emerald Beyond (Jawbone, 2014), The Wheels of the World: 300 Years of Irish Uilleann Pipers (Jawbone, 2015).  

Titanium Flag: Remastered/Expanded
will be available physically and digitally (iTunes, Amazon, etc.)


Lianne Hall 'The Caretaker' CD booklet cover

The Caretaker - Track Listing: 1. Always Late to The Party 2. The Crow’s Nest
. Monsoon 4. Amp on Fire 5. Summer of 100 Pills 6. Mess of Love
7. The Last Song of the Caretaker 8. No Medicine 9. Slow Late 10. The Ocean is Broken  

Sebastian Vogel - frame drum, snare drum, shaker, xylophone
Nolan Churn:
shaker, snare drum, bass drum Felix Müller: electric guitars, piano,
kalimba Alex Paulick: electric guitars, bass guitar, treatments, piano, organ
Lianne Hall: acoustic and electric guitars, electric piano, vocals

Words & Music by Lianne Hall --- Produced by Alexander Paulick, Guy Sternberg and Lianne Hall at Lowswing Studio, Berlin Recorded & mixed on analogue tape by
Guy Sternberg
assisted by: Oli Bergkvist (Tape-Op) at Lowswing Studio, Berlin
(Caretaker Cat.No. MSMCD182 UPC 5065001032424)  

Lianne was in the legendary all-female punk band Witchknot
She has played solo and as Pico, Broken Heart Club and Haunted House.

UK singer and songwriter Lianne Hall releases her fourth solo studio album on Market Square Records (UK) via Lowswing Records (Berlin).  Lianne is “one of the great English voices” according to the late great John Peel and 'The Caretaker' proves this again with another astonishing twist in an experimental and adventurous career.
While her sound may be largely country-esque and folk-inspired, her soul is built on a punk rock foundation.

'The Caretaker' was recorded live and direct to tape over a period of five days at the Lowswing Studio in Berlin during the summer of 2015. Lianne teamed up with Alexander Paulick of Kreidler who helped arrange the songs and recruited a host of great musicians who were game to record live.

The sessions were based on gut feeling and very few takes. Behind the desk and playing sometimes too was Guy Sternberg, another Berlin legend and owner of one of the best studios in town. His passion for recording to tape and for this project in particular has resulted in a new record label called Lowswing Records, devoted to analogue recordings only.

The album itself speaks of broken lives and a broken world but without getting dragged into the mess. There's too much light in Lianne's voice and space in the music to feel lost in the darkness. 'The Caretaker' is a tonic for our times.

In the summer of 2015 UK singer-songwriter Lianne Hall teamed up with
Alexander Paulick, of the band Kreidler, to shape a collection of demos into a new album. In a short space of time Alex recruited a stellar cast of Berlin musicians for the sessions and enlisted Guy Sternberg of Lowswing studio to record and co-produce. In three days the entire album was recorded directly to analogue tape. Each song was played live, without unnecessary clutter and with plenty of atmosphere. The result is a spine-tinglingly intimate record with unfussy yet sophisticated production values. Lianne's voice and affecting lyrics have great presence which, along with outstanding musicianship, gives 'The Caretaker' a timeless and deeply personal feel.

Lianne Hall is a singer-songwriter from Peterborough, with a voice and style which sounds immediately familiar in its gentle warmth, yet conveys a unique emotional depth and integrity in its range and beauty. While her sound may be largely country-esque and folk-inspired, her soul is definitely built on a punk rock foundation. Lianne started writing songs as a teenager, and joined her first band, Witchknot, when she became involved with the 'Riot grrrl' movement in ’93.

She lived in a bus for five years, making acoustic folk pop with Bela Emerson under the name Hiphuggers and electronica as Pico with bedroom producer Andy Wills. Whilst living there she met her hero John Peel when he was filming his Channel 4 programme Sounds of the Suburbs, and since that memorable meeting she went on to record five Peel sessions with a variety of line-ups. In 2000 she left her bus and moved Pico to Brighton, where she formed The Broken Heart Club with Matt Eaton, Alice Eldridge and Susanne Lambert. Lianne has also collaborated with lots of different artists including d_rradio (deathrowradio), Paul Hartnoll (Orbital), FITH and DJ Marcelle. In John Peel’s own words, Lianne is ‘one of the great English voices’.

Lianne has toured extensively in the UK, mainland Europe and Canada and the U.S. Her discography includes four solo studio albums and two collaboration albums. The latest collaboration with Paul Hartnoll as Haunted House is a beautifully produced collection of dark, electronic pop songs  entitled  ‘Brave the Woods’ released on Woodland Recordings.

2017 sees Lianne release her fourth solo studio album " The Caretaker" which was recorded live and direct to analogue tape in the summer of 2015 in Berlin at Lowswing studios. Featuring Alexander Paulick from the band Kreidler and members of the legendary Kante from Hamburg, the album is an exciting new departure and sees Lianne’s voice and songwriting maturing yet further.   Discography: Lianne Hall The Caretaker (Recorded 2015 Released  2017) Crossing Wires (2010) Malinki Records Abandon Ship (2006) Local Kid Records Trouble (2001) Beat Bedsit Records 

We have produced a Lianne Hall  'Time Line' on her Artist Roster page         


Track Dogs are a Madrid-based acoustic-folk band with members from
Ireland, England and the USA.

Track Dogs 'Serenity Sessions'

Track Listings 1. To The End 2. So Much Dust 3.Whatever Happens
4. Broken Strings
5. Bon Scott, He Rocked 6. Orion Sees 7. Love Me Like You Used To
8. Only Human 9. Don’t Waste Time 10. The Lights Went Out In Cotos
11. Ooh La La

Words & Music by Track Dogs (© IMRO World & SGAE for Spain)
Except: 11. 'Ooh La La' (Ronnie Lane & Ronnie Wood © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc)

Producer Josh Tampico

Garrett Wall from Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, Ireland - Vocals/Guitar/Ukulele/Piano
Dave Mooney from Bray, Co Wicklow, Ireland – Vocals/Bass/Ukulele/Mandolin
Howard Brown Sheffield, UK-- /Vocals/Percussion /Trumpet/ Cajón/Ukulele
Robbie K Jones from Vermillion, Ohio, USA – Vocals/Cajón/Banjo/  

Guest Musicians: El Twanguero (Guitar) Lucia Otero (Cello) Oisin Breatnach (Whistle)
Javier Escribano & Norman Frederick Hogue (Trombone)

Producer: Josh Tampico

These particular dogs started life back in the autumn of 2006, under the name of
'The Garrett Wall Band'. The starting line-up was simple but effective; guitar, bass, trumpet and cajón.  They wanted a clean sound that would work as easily in someone's living room as it would on the world's stages.

They cut their “live” teeth playing twenty six shows in seven days at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and released their debut album “Sky Pointing” shortly after in 2007.
Tours in Ireland and Spain followed and the relative media in both countries started to take note. They followed this up with the album “Hands & Imperfections” in 2009.

When the time came to release their third studio album they realized a name change was vital. It was important the band be considered for what it was; a band. Not wanting to be considered a singer songwriter plus backing musicians any longer they opted (after an exhaustive search) for the name Track Dogs which comes from the maintenance teams who work the New York subway. These close-knit teams work while the trains are circulating and thus need to look our for each other at all times. What better name for a group that musically did just that!  

Thus the simply titled “Track Dogs” was released in 2011 and from this moment things began to change for the band. The use of harmonies became a signature sound for them and they also expanded the line-up to include banjo & ukulele. Hailing from Ireland, the UK and the USA, the four expats set up their own label, Mondegreen Records, to handle all releases and the licensing of their music, understanding the importance of control over their recordings.

In 2013 the band was picked to perform as part of the Sounds From Spain platform at SXSW in Austin, Texas. In the same year they were also selected for Girando Por Salas (GPS), an important incentive for touring bands in Spain. With the release of their fourth album “All Roads”, the group's unique sound was even more rounded and defined.

With their new album “Serenity Sessions”, named for the studio where they had recorded the bulk of their albums, the band has finally reached a point where the energy and power   of their live sound is properly reflected in their recordings. With the addition of a richer production to their sound, and collaborations with artists such as El Twanguero this new body of work reflects the perfect mix of styles which defines what Track Dogs are all about

Catalogue: Label: Mondegreen Records
Serenity Sessions (Feb 2017)
All Roads (2013)
Track Dogs (2011)
Hands & Imperfections (2009 as Garrett Wall Band)
Sky Pointing (2007 as Garrett Wall Band)  

To The End (Release Date 6th Jan 2017)
Whatever Happens (2016)
Love Me Like You Used To (2016)
Bon Scott, He Rocked (2015)
Find my second home (2011)  

Forever You'll Be EP (2015)
La Banda EP (2014)
Rainbox EP (2014)
Dust Devil EP (2013)
Show Me the Sun EP (2012)
How Christmas Was Meant To Be (2011)


Eamon's EP 'Takeaway'

Download for Radio Stations - ‘Takeaway’ (Dropbox) March 6th (2017)

Track 1. Takeaway (Friel - Cop Con) 3.23 Track 2. Across (Friel - Cop Con) 3.17 
Track 3
. James Joseph Alphonsus (Friel - Cop Con) 2.46
Track 4.
All The Lost Things (Friel - Cop Con) 2.35  

Musicians: Eddie O’Donnell: Arrangements, Guitar, Piano, Bass & Mandolin
Marie Clarke: Accordion Liam Bradley: Drums & Percussion
Recording & Mastering Rory Donaghy at Blast Furnace Studios, Derry, N Ireland
Artwork: Caitlin Friel  Design: Michael McCarron  

Takeaway - The story behind the single ‘Takeaway’ as told by Eamon Friel 
It was the year I did my A levels. I went to London looking for a summer job. It was the first time I’d been away from home on my own. But I did have someone to go to. My cousin ran a public house in Clapham and he put me up for the duration. There was a man who dropped into the bar now and then. He was called Mister Woo. Everybody called him Mister Woo. He was London Chinese and the owner of a nearby takeaway. He was also the cook and he needed a chief bottle washer! That was me.   

Mister Woo had one major eccentricity. When he was cooking, he sang. He sang all sorts of songs - pop songs, show songs, even bits of opera, but his speciality was little jingles he’d make up about the menu. I’d be out at the counter serving. I’d hear Mister Woo’s Cockney tenor drifting in from the kitchen, so I’d join in just for the laugh:-  

 “Chicken and sweetcorn soup, soup that’ll be nice              
 Singapore noodles ooh ooh oodles of spice
 Chilli king prawn and broccoli ...”          

The customers seemed to enjoy the fun of it all. Mister Woo didn’t mind either. He’d never had an assistant who sang before! We even tried a routine, a little song and dance act, out front when things were slow. It was a way of drumming up a bit of business. He was a great dancer, more Gene Kelly than Fred Astaire. The less said about my dancing the better. Passers by would stop and there’d be laughter and even the odd burst of ironic applause. I was pleased as punch I remember  

At this point I should also mention Jasmine, Mister Woo’s daughter. She helped out at the weekends. She was a little older than me, about a year or so. I had just turned 18 that July.
To quote the song:-            
“I was in love. She was called Jasmine, she was beautiful. 
I was so young. I couldn’t tell her. Maybe she knew it. I think she knew it.” 

I sat down at the piano one morning in spring and started to write the song.
I hope you like it    

Eddie O’Donnell
has done a delightful arrangement, full of charm and warmth, not to mention his own instrumental virtuosity. “Does it need anything else,” I asked him. “Let’s see what Liam can add,” he said. Liam Bradley has a house full of percussive devices that he has collected on tours around the world supporting lots of big names. His drums and percussion make such a difference. I love that moment where the beat comes in on the phrase, “keeping the beat.”   

We had lots of craic recording it at Blast Furnace in Derry and my thanks to Rory Donaghy there for his diligence and talent. And let’s not forget Caitlin’s artwork for the cover and
Michael McCarron’s design work.   

: I still have a few EPs (Extended Play) from my youth and it’s comforting to hear the four track single still referred to as an EP in these challenging times. ACROSS is a cut from my album SMARTER. It is one of my best songs but it seemed to go unnoticed at the time. It deserves a second outing I think.

Its setting is the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal. I’m skimming stones across Mindoran Lake up at the Minches, one of my favourite places in the whole world.
The river is the Mill River that races down to Buncrana.   

is a new song, very much in the Irish comic song tradition. Thus we have the dominant mother and her long suffering child. I bet he loves her all the same. Marie Clarke’s accordion playing is featured and she has been a stalwart of my albums over the years.   

is a sad song. Out for a walk one afternoon in winter I saw a tattered leather jacket up in a tree. How did it get there? Who owned it? What’s the story? That’s how the lyric got started. It’s a track off my album HERE IS THE RIVER.   

About Eamon Friel: Broadcaster, Singer/Songwriter Eamon Friel is the son of a Mayo mother and Derry father. He writes about his life, experiences and his observations of the ever changing world that he sees around him.  

Friel’s writing is mystical painting pictures with his word play which could be compared with that of the landscape artist; each word carefully chosen and lovingly placed upon the page. Mountains and hills become people in a place where animals talk and the soul and being are more important than time itself. The landscape of Ireland its churches, rivers and towns entwined with the effect it has had on a troubled people; it’s all there in the songs. 

Born in London’s Stockwell with childhood summers spent in Ireland, the family left Stockwell and returned to his father’s troubled hometown of Derry, Londonderry, Stroke City call it what you will.  

It was the youthful experience of cultural change and upheaval that left a lasting impression on the mind of a young man that would later emerge in songs penned in W.B Yeats like mystical imagery from a place in time and a time in place.  

If proof of his ability as a songwriter were ever needed we need look no further than recent song covers by Sean Donnelly, The Fureys, Johnny Coppin, Pete & Jan, Bill Jones, Sean Tyrell and the Japanese band Brahman. 

Eamon broadcast’s on BBC Radio Ulster via his much lauded and very popular programme ‘Songbook’ where he celebrates some of the world’s finest songs past and present, taking in the popular, the influential and even the esoteric. The show is a labour of love with each song hand picked, fully researched and weaved into a running order that is a piece of broadcasting excellence. 

Friel is one of the few artists around that can say he was actually paid by radio to write topical, comic and satirical songs to order. He was at one time commissioned to write songs for BBC Radio Ulster’s “Talkback” the lunch time inter-active news programme.
A task he often had to carry out at the drop of a hat to meet the changing political and social demands of the day.  

Eamon Friel’s Album Catalogue - Thran Records
In My Time (2016) THRCD 1011
The Streets Forget (2012) THRCD 1008
Smarter (2009) Thran THRCD 1006
Here Is The River (2006) Thran THRCD 1004
Waltz of The Years (2003) Thran THRCD 1003
Word of Spring (2000) Thran Records THRCD 1001
Stepping Stones (1993) Spring Records SCD 1028
Logrhythms (1985) Spring Records   


New paragraph

Single CD Cover  'To The End'

To The End is the opening song taken from Track Dog’s new CD entitled
“Serenity Sessions” and was the last track to be recorded for the album.

The single “To The End” deals with the issue of bullying in schools and also the harassment and bullying of the elderly and the vulnerable. “We wanted to lend our voice to the already important issue of bullying.” The song also addresses the subject matter through its anti-war and anti-abuse sentiments.  

Most of the tracks on the album feature the bands trademark four-part harmonies and multi-instrument arrangements whereas “To The End” features the band's classic line up of cajón, guitar, bass, trumpet and lead vocals in a scaled down ‘less is more’ style of presentation.

You Tube Video Link & ImageSee the video of
To The End
at You Tube

Release Date
6th Jan 2017

The video for To The End utilizes strong imagery throughout the film to convey its message along with the simple yet direct lyrics from the song.  

Words and Music by Garrett Wall/Robbie K. Jones/Howard Brown/Dave Mooney
(Cop. Con IMRO/SGAE 2015)  

Catalogue Number MGR0616 ISRC Number ES86A1500022 Release Date 6th Jan 2017

Track Dogs are a Madrid-based acoustic-folk band with members from Ireland, England and the USA.  

Track Dogs:
Garrett Wall from Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, Ireland - Vocals/Guitar/Ukulele/Piano
Dave Mooney from Bray, Co Wicklow, Ireland – Vocals/Bass/Ukulele/Mandolin
Howard Brown Sheffield, England -- /Vocals/Percussion /Trumpet/ Cajón/Ukulele
Robbie K Jones Vermillion, Ohio, USA – Vocals/Cajón/Banjo/  

Serenity Sessions (2016)
All Roads (2013)
Track Dogs (2011)
Hands & Imperfections (2009 as Garrett Wall Band)
Sky Pointing (2007 as Garrett Wall Band)  

To The End (2016)
Whatever Happens (2016)
Love Me Like You Used To (2016)
Bon Scott, He Rocked (2015)
Find my second home (2011) 

Forever You'll Be EP (2015)
La Banda EP (2014)
Rainbox  EP (2014)
Dust Devil  EP (2013)
Show Me the Sun  EP (2012)
How Christmas Was Meant To Be (2011)  

Label: Mondegreen Records https://www.facebook.com/mondegreenrecords/  


It’s been twenty years since Canadian quintet The Bills first formed, and the collective spirit of this wide-ranging, globally-inspired roots ensemble remains as vibrant as ever. Originating from a kitchen-jam exploration of traditional and modern styles, they've forged a sophisticated, down home blend of global rhythms that has been celebrated in dancehalls and festivals across the western world. If it's not abundantly clear from the smiles of their devoted fans, take a look at the five beaming faces on stage when the full band joins force, and you can see how much love The Bills have for making music together.  

With their new album, Trail of Tales, via Borealis Records, The Bills are poised to release their most compelling set of music yet. To make the album, the band gathered together in the picturesque wooded splendor of tiny Mayne Island, an artists’ enclave just off the coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. With the wind in the trees, a view of the Salish Sea, a wood fire for heat, and an old farm house wired up with vintage microphones, they set out to create a truly collaborative record. “There’s never been a Bills album with five songwriters, that’s a first in the history of the band” says singer/guitarist Chris Frye. “Hopefully it’s bringing out the best we have to offer because we’re truly together as a unit.”  
Part of what makes the new album so cohesive comes from how well each of these musicians know each other. “The Bills have an almost chamber music vibe at times, especially instrumentally” says fiddler Richard Moody. “It’s caused me to really listen to the people I’m playing with.” You can hear this on the tracks — how they can turn on a dime as an ensemble, effortlessly weaving complex and beautiful melodies behind captivating vocal lines. Despite the closeness, it was still a healthy challenge for band member fiddler/accordionist Adrian Dolan to produce the album. A fixture in Ruth Moody’s touring band, and engineer for The Wailin' Jennys, Dolan drew from years of experience recording contemporary roots music and an intimate knowledge of every band member’s strengths to shape the final product.  

The new album highlights the band's commitment to compelling lyrics and themes; often drawing inspiration from their regional geography and culture. A diversity of influences can be heard with each song — from Frye and mandolinist Marc Atkinson’s anthemic title track to the forward-motion funk of Moody’s “Jungle Doctor”. Bassist Scott White’s carefree vocal pop song “Happy Be” shows listeners a gentler side, while “Hittin’ the Do” uncorks a Western Swing dance party. Throughout Trail of Tales, the songs are tied together with remarkably detailed arrangements. It’s a testament to The Bills’ musicianship that the music always sounds so uplifting and effortless.  

The Bills continue to hold court as one of Canada’s premiere roots acts. Two Juno award nominations (Canada’s Grammy) and countless tours haven’t changed The Bills’ basic formula: combine stunning vocal harmonies, poignant lyrics, sophisticated and captivating instrumental arrangements, and a healthy dose of good times, British Columbia style, and you have a band that proves there’s a surprising amount of power to be found in acoustic roots music today.  

The Bills are:
Marc Atkinson - mandolin, guitar, percussion, vocals
Adrian Dolan - fiddle, accordion, piano, vocals
Chris Frye - guitar, vocals
Richard Moody - violin, viola, mandolin, vocals
Scott White - upright bass, vocals  


Track Listing: 1. Roll, Roll, Roll 2. Over The Moon 3. Labrador 4. Love Lives On
5. Chasing The Song 6. Man Of God 7. Gonna See My Love 8. Write Me Back In
9. Heart For Sale 10. Molly And Me 11. Good Nite Nova Scotia

All songs by John Wort Hannam -- Produced by Leeroy Stagger

Musicians: John Wort Hannam + John Ellis + Bob Hamilton + Kyle Harmon 
Brady Valgardson  Tyson Maiko + Kurt Ciesla + Geoff Hillhorst + Daniel Lapp
Russell Broom + Leeroy Stagger + Michael Ayotte + Adrian Dolan
Vocalists: Natalie Gauthier + Matt Robinson + Karla Adolphe + Ben McKay  

John Wort Hannam is a Canadian singer songwriter from Fort Macleod, Alberta. Born in the Channel Islands and raised in Alberta, John earned a degree in Native American Studies and taught on a reserve for five years. Since leaving his teaching post for music in 2002 he's been nominated for a Juno, three Western Canadian Music Awards, a North American Folk Alliance Award, and three Canadian Folk Music Awards - winning Contemporary Album of the Year in 2010.  

John is well known for his story telling through music. Themes which are central to his music include life in Western Canada, and the human experience as seen through the eyes of simple working folk. He has performed at music festivals in Canada, the United States, Great Britain and Australia and he appeared at the 2006 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. In addition to singing, John plays guitar, tenor guitar and harmonica.  

"People are starting to sit up and notice this singer-songwriter in his appearances from Montreal to Australia." — Edmonton Folk Festival

It's a long, hard road - figuratively and literally - from being a school teacher on a southern Alberta First Nation's reserve to a Juno-nominated roots music career with performances at The Kennedy Centre, The Smithsonian, and Trafalgar Square, but he wouldn't trade the journey for the world.  

Born in St Helier on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands and raised in Southern Alberta, John earned degrees in Native American Studies and Native Education and taught Grade Nine on reserve for five years. He decided he wanted to pursue a career in music after hearing Loudon Wainwright III in 1997.  

Now a prize-winning songwriter and performer touring internationally, John Wort Hannam is known for his unique take on the simple day-to-day dramas of common folk through songs that map the landscapes of both the human heart and the vast landscape of Canada.  

With a keen eye for the quirky and lyrics that create stories behind the songs, this born storyteller shares the personal and the profound. Thriving on live performance, John Wort Hannam is truly happy when he is on the road playing and connecting personally with an audience.  

Since leaving his teaching job, he's released five albums, performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and written official song for the 2011 Alberta Winter Games. 

He won the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Award in 2007. He's been nominated for three Western Canadian Music Awards, a North American Folk Alliance Award, and three Canadian Folk Music Awards - winning the Contemporary Album of the Year in 2010. He also earned a 2010 Juno nod for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year Solo, and he has won the Grand Prize in the Calgary Folk Festival Song Competition on three separate occasions.            

Love Lives On - 2015
Queen's Hotel - Sept. 15, 2009
Two Bit Suit - April 10, 2007
Dynamite and ‘Dozers - June 16, 2004
Pocket Full of Holes - July 17, 2002  

Music Awards: 2013 Triple Canadian Folk Music Award Nominee
2010 Contemporary Album of the Year Winner -­ Canadian Folk Music Awards 
2010 Juno Award Nominee -­ Roots and Traditional Album of the Year
2009 Grand Prize Winner -­ Calgary Folk Music Festival Songwriting Competition 
2008 North American Folk Alliance Award Nominee
2007 Double Western Canadian Music Award Nominee
2007 New Folk Winner - Kerrville Texas New Folk Songwriting Competition 
2007 Grand Prize Winner -­ Calgary Folk Music Festival Songwriting Competition 
2005 Double Canadian Folk Music Award Nominee
2005 Western Canadian Music Award Nominee
2004 Grand Prize Winner -­ Calgary Folk Music Festival Songwriting Competition

"Like Tom Russell, Hannam’s narrative, achingly resilient writing approach hooks the listener immediately. The real deal." — Shindig UK     


Track Listing: 1. Rocket 2. A Box Of Everything 3. Tink (I Know It's You)
4.The Trans-Slambovian Bipolar Express 5. Sunday In The Rain 6. Very Happy Now
7. Lost Highway 8. A Very Unusual Head 9. Good Thief 10. Pushin Up Daisies
11. Living With God 12. Talkin To The Buddha 13. Light A Way 14. Alligators

Musicians: Joziah Longo (vocals/guitar/harmonica)  Sharkey McEwen (guitar/mandolin) Tink Lloyd (accordion/cello ) Felipe Torres (drums/percussion)

The Slamvoian Circus of Dreams ‘A Box of Everything is a compilation of the ''Greatest Hits'' you've never heard. It is intended to introduce new listeners to the world of The Grand Slambovians. For those who already know the Slambovians music, the album contains newly re-mastered versions of previously released fan favourites as well as two completely new tracks (2 & 8) and a beautiful studio version of Alligators.  

The Slambovian Circus of Dreams www.slambovia.com were formed in Sleepy Hollow,
New York over a decade ago, they pioneered the alt-folk circuit, staying on the fringes of the music industry. Winning support from indie radio and press since their inception, fans fuelled their career from the ground up, achieving international status.  

The Slambovians charm from the first note with thought provoking lyrics, creating interest and intrigue for their audiences. Having headlined major music festivals and venues across the USA, Canada and UK, this band has developed a devoted cult following 

The Band: Joziah Longo (songwriter/vocals/guitar/harmonica) “Soothing and bewitching as a snake oil tonic, the entire root system of Rock Family Trees is embedded in Longo’s voice.” – The Big Issue, and joined by Sharkey McEwen (guitar, mandolin), Tink Lloyd (accordion, cello, etc), and Felipe Torres (drums, percussion).  

About The Band:
The Slambovian Circus of Dreams have been called “The Hillbilly Pink Floyd,” which is an apt description, particularly if you throw in elements of The Incredible String Band, Neil Young, The Band, Dylan, and maybe even some Frank Zappa as well.   

In 2015 the band finished a long tour that included the UK, USA and Canada where they spread their contagious brand of quirky Americana promoting their album ‘A Box of Everything’. The album which includes three previously unreleased tracks is a collection of classic songs beloved by the band's ever growing international fanbase. ‘A Box of Everything’ is described as the greatest hits you’ve never heard and serves as an excellent introduction to the world of The Grand Slambovians and the songs of Joziah Longo.  

The ultimate DIY’ers, the band runs its own label and has previously released four critically acclaimed studio albums and one ‘greatest hits.’ They have started work on their next studio album entitled “A Very Unusual Head.” Joziah Longo, describes the new bundle of songs as, “a notebook of music about those go-to topics:  meta-physical science and religion, poking fun with scorching humour at the state of the world, and a few anthemic beauties that will hopefully sweep everyone off their feet for a moment… the sound may be more adventurous this time – we’ve always had a bit of psychedelic grit that steals from our British cousins.” 

For the uninitiated, the band’s all over the map melodic avant folk conjures Tom Petty, Dinosaur Jr., and a fuller Buffalo Tom. Equal parts Washington Irving and Woodstock, the band taps a broad palette of styles ranging from dusty Americana ballads to huge Pink Floydesque cinematic anthems. Playing art school roots-rock, trad folk and a moody but uplifting Americana, they possess an extensive instrumental arsenal (accordion, cello, mandolin, theremin).  

Together since the late 90’s where they met in art school, they settled in Sleepy Hollow, New York, and formed Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams. Known for their electrifying live performances, and critically acclaimed original music, they have built a world wide fan base by touring extensively.   The band produces Halloween shows every year at moving locations – in 2010 they brought their legendary Halloween show, ‘The Grand Slambovian Extraterrestrial Hillbilly Pirate Ball’ to London’s Electric Ballroom  and also New York City’s Gramercy Theatre. 

In 2010 bandleader and songwriter Longo, (known for tall tales and philosophizing) began work with Broadway theatre legend Theodore Mann writing the musical score for two productions performed at Broadway’s Circle in The Square Theatre in New York City from 2010 to 2012. – More at www.slambovia.com

The Slambovian Circus of Dreams

Joziah Longo (lead vocals, guitars, harmonica), born in Philadelphia, grew up playing traditional country, folk and mummers music with his father. Performing professionally from the age of thirteen doing Dylan covers, he moved to New York to pursue his muse. Playing venues ranging from CBGB’s to Carnegie Hall as a headline performer, Joziah was also the first American musician invited to perform in mainland China in the early 90’s ending a decade-long ban on Western music. 

Tink Lloyd
(accordion, cello, flute and theremin) comes from a long line of feisty Irish musicians which brings a unique spark to the band’s music as well as performance. Tink has worked with Joziah and Sharkey on previous projects.   Sharkey McEwen (guitars, mandolin, backing vocals), longtime musical partner of Joziah, has Louisiana roots but grew up in L.A. where he cut his teeth on the club circuit before coming to New York in the early 90’s. His inventive, evocative playing is a strong counterpoint to Joziah’s songwriting and performance. He has been the band’s engineer and main producer with Joziah for all their albums.  

Felipe Torres (drums, percussion, backing vocal) has been a musician and teacher for nearly twenty years. Having toured extensively throughout the USA, Canada and Europe, performing in a multitude of musical genres, Felipe aims to bring a variety of drumming and colourful sounds to the Slambovian world. His approach is directed and inspired by the mood and lyrical imagery conjured by the newly found musical kinship in Joziah and the band’s work.  

Back Catalogue
A Box of Everything USA 2014/UK 2016
The Grand Slambovians 2010 
The Great Unravel 2008
Flapjacks from the Sky 2004
A Good Thief Tips His Hat 1998  


Simon Mayor - The Mandolin Albums

The Mandolin Albums A special 25th anniversary double album reissue of Simon Mayor's first two solo albums. The Mandolin Album (1990) and The Second Mandolin Album (1991)  Sparkling originals and inventive adaptations of the classics from one of the world's leading mandolin virtuosos featuring the mandolin, mandola and mandocello.

The Mandolin Album Tracks: 1. Reels - Jump The Gun/Reelin' Over The Rooftops
 2. Two Seagulls Call From My Birch Tree 3. Maple Flames
4. Download:  The Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba  5. The Exchange 6. When Summer Comes Again Concert for Mandolin - 7. Allegro 8. Largo 9. Allegro  10. Villanelle
. Tune for a Mop Fair 12. Jericho Waltz 13. Wheelin' And Dealin' 14. Sarabande
. Double 16. The Mosstrooper Medley    

The Second Mandolin Album
Tracks: 1. Hungarian Dance (No 1)
 2. Download: The Buttermere Waltz  3. The Hoppings 4. Finale Spirituoso
Three Part Invention 6. Pipped At The Post 7. Two Days In Tuscany
The Great Bear Concerto for Two Mandolins - 9. Allegro 10. Andante 11. Allegro
The Old Man Of The Mountain 13. Sonata 14. Hornpipe 15. Dead Sea Dances

Hilary James writes: "When Simon Mayor and I first conceived the Mandolin Album we approached major labels, then the smaller independents, then numerous arts funding bodies. Back came the answer, “A mandolin? Who’d be interested in that? There’s no repertoire for it."  So we decided to go it alone.

We had analogue recording equipment not dissimilar from that used by The Beatles to record Sergeant Pepper, but armed with this, a family of mandolin instruments and the patience to record countless overdubs, Simon set about creating a mandolin orchestra...by himself.   

The CD was a brand new format and digital technology was about to transform the record industry so we had our analogue master tapes made into a thousand CDs. We'd acquired the details of every radio producer named in the Radio Times, and once we took delivery of the CDs we drove into London and deposited a hundred in the BBC internal mail, more or less one for every producer in the building.  Fingers crossed: maybe one of them would play a track… the next day we went to the Channel Islands for a tour of primary schools!!  

We'd just played to the entire school age population on Sark, seventeen three to eighteen year olds, when we found Sark's only public call box and managed to page into our answer machine. There was an ecstatic message from a certain Mrs Mayor of Sheffield  “Oooh, Love! You’re album of Week."  

Simon Mayor's debut CD was BBC Radio 2 'Album of the Week' some twenty five years ago. His folk inspired originals and inventive adaptations of the classics for the family of mandolin instruments: mandolin, mandola and mandocello (the mandobass wasn't even a twinkle in Hilary's eye back then!) struck a chord with broadcasters and the press and soon popped up all over the media from classical to pop.

Hilary James & Simon MayorSimon Mayor
Hilary James

About Simon Mayor Simon Mayor's reputation as one of the world's most renowned mandolinists (in any genre) has taken him on an impressive and diverse twenty five year journey. With his debut The Mandolin Album, he embarked on a series of recordings to realise his longstanding intention to give the mandolin a uniquely British voice. The CD was immediately made Recording Of The Week on BBC Radio 2, followed by huge popular and critical acclaim across the media from BBC Radio 3 and 4 to stations all over the USA, Canada and Europe.  

The Second Mandolin Album followed soon after, underlining his signature mix of sparkling original compositions alongside arrangements of some of the great orchestral classics, all delivered with sensitivity, drive - and more than a little humour. His later albums, both solo and with his quartet The Mandolinquents have continued to garner accolades from BBC World Service (Recording of the Week) to stations all over the USA and Canada and magazines as diverse as Q, Cosmopolitan, Living Tradition, and Sing Out .  

Simon’s passion for the mandolin led to a wealth of teaching books and DVDs, including New Celtic Mandolin and The Mandolin Tutor, which is now widely regarded as the standard work for the instrument.  

His off-beat humour surfaced in his own series for the BBC, Marooned with a Mandolin - "the best programme on Radio 2 this week" in The Independent on Sunday. In 2006 he became a regular columnist for Acoustic Magazine.  

In May 2000, in a landmark move for a mandolin player, he entered the UK's Classical Artist Top Ten with a major 'best of' release of his own compositions and classical works for Universal Records. 

Since 1990 he has performed and given seminars at an array of international engagements from Vancouver Folk Festival and The Stephen Leacock Humour Festival (Canada) to Rudoldstat World Music Festival (Germany), Festival International Mandolines de Lunel (France), Cheltenham Literature Festival (England), and special guest appearance at the Classical Mandolin Society of America’s Annual Convention.  

Aside from the mandolin, he played swing fiddle on the original cast album of the stage show Five Guys Named Mo. Oh... and something he's won't tell you ..... he played mandolin on a hit line dancing album from the illustrious cast of TV's Emmerdale and also Simon appears on two singles by Mr Dracula himself, the late Christopher Lee.

Simon Mayor with Hilary James & Simon Mayor’s Mandolinquents:
2015     The Mandolin Albums                             CDACS 071 (Double CD Dec 2015)

2007     Music From a Small Island                    
2007     Dance of the Comedians                        CDACS 056      

1998     New Celtic Mandolin                               CDACS 035     
1997     Mandolinquents                                     CDACS 034     
1995     The English Mandolin                             CDACS 025
1992     Winter with Mandolins                            CDACS 015

1991     The Second Mandolin Album                  CDACS 014      

1990     The Mandolin Album                              CDACS 012

Hilary James: (Simon features on Hilary's albums)
2011     English Sketches                                   CDACS 059       Solo
2004     Laughing with the Moon                          CDACS 047       Solo

2001     Duos                                                     CDACS 042       Duo

1999     Bluesy                                                  CDACS 041       Solo

1996     Love, Lust and Loss                               CDACS 029       Solo
1993     Burning Sun                                          CDACS 016       Solo

Record Label:
Simon Mayor’s Mandolin
website includes numerous books and mandolin tutors
Hilary James:


Krista Detor 'Barely'

Track Listing: 1. Can I Come Over 2. Box Of Clouds 3. Castle In Wales  4. Barely 5. From The Pedestal 6. All The Calls 7. For All I Know 8. Too Fast  9. The Coming Winter 
Sweet Comes The Sound

YouTube demo of 'The Coming Winter' featuring Mary Dillon. Recorded in Derry, Ireland, May 2015 at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin

Tube video of Castle In Wales recorded at @42 house concerts in Edinburgh   

A collection of songs that are spare, pared-down; the new album utilizes only one or two instruments to give ground to the work. The title reflects the content: close to the bone, no ornamentation, bare.

Produced by Krista’s partner, David Weber, at Airtime Studios in Bloomington, Indiana, the album itself speaks to the Indiana countryside, and embodies a strong Americana and roots bent.

Guest vocal artists include a handful of the most talented women in music: Moira Smiley of Solas, the brilliant Amanda Biggs, and Northern Ireland’s stunning Mary Dillon with whom Detor has collaborated on a duet about the human cost of war entitled, 'The Coming Winter'.

The songs are at times vulnerable, at times mournful, yet always hopeful – in Krista’s inimitable style. With the help of a few of her friends, the vocals are gorgeous. David Weber brings a variety of backing guitar & vocal lines to the pieces, as does Krista’s long-time cellist, Anne Hurley.

"She is not just a songwriter, nor accomplished musician, nor poignant entertainer - I have been awed by the soul-punching talent of Krista Detor.." - WNC Magazine (Feb. 2015)

MusicDish magazine calls her work: "..like Richard Wright’s 'Manchild in the Promised Land' or the musical equivalent of Akira Kurosawa’s 'Dreams';"  

The Allmusic Guide calls her “An artist of rare ability with a deep poetic gift,” and Rolling Stone, "A small miracle."  

Krista Detor’s solo albums have reached national and international prominence, including #1 on the Euro-Americana Chart, and placement within the top 10 of the U.S. Folk and Independent Music charts, but she is no ordinary songwriter: Detor has been involved in several award-winning collaborations, including the highly-acclaimed 'Wilderness Plots,' (PBS national), for which she and fellow writers, including American College of Arts & Letters inductee author Scott Russell Sanders, were recognized by the Indiana Legislature for contributions to the arts (2010), and which resulted in (2) Emmy nominations and a Golden Eagle award.

She was the only American woman invited to The BBC's Darwin Songhouse Project, Shrewsbury England (2009); Says Neil Pearson, Producer of the project: “Krista is one of the very finest modern songwriters at writing within character; and her ability to convey the emotions of the people that inhabit her songs is utterly convincing and believable.. The compelling way the narratives are delivered make one of the most flexible and empathetic writers. Her understanding of the human condition and her ability to express the motivation for her characters give her songs real impact and resonance with the listener.”

 See YouTube  Clock Of The World filmed at Shrewsbury.

She has been commissioned to write musical theatre for The U.S. Dept. of State in New Delhi, India (2012); For the Indiana Arts Commission ('The Breeze Bends the Grass,' Musical Theatre collaborative project, 2013); and has written commissioned choral pieces for several national and int'l choirs. In addition, she's been a returning presenter at Stanford University, wherein, her album, 'Chocolate Paper Suites' was a multi-year ‘required reading’ assignment for the literature course, "The 'isms of Modernism," in which students sought to explore modernism's impact on, and negotiation with, contemporary culture and art.

Krista Detor at the window

SaysDr. Rod Taylor of the album, “This album provides an excellent example of howthe most salient elements of modernist art and philosophy persist in postmodernculture. Its poetic and intertextual lyrics, captivating melodies, meaningfulorganization, and complex narrative thread will undoubtedly lead to richdiscussions among my students.” She has conducted songwriting seminars,performances and presentations at universities and arts centres throughout theworld, including Ireland's prestigious IMRO performing rights organization.

Most recently (Feb. 2015), she was Artist-in-Residence at the prestigiousHedgebrook foundation. Krista will tour Europe and the UK with her new album,'Barely,' beginning Sept. 30th, 2015, and continues to tour the U.S. all thewhile. She's shared stages with Victor Wooten, Chuck Rainey, Loudon Wainwright,The Neville Bros. and Suzanne Vega, among many others. Krista lives inBloomington, Indiana.  

Discography: Solo

Barely                           Tightrope  255114          October 15, 2015
Flat Earth Diary              Tightrope  255113         January14, 2014
Chocolate Paper Suites   Tightrope  255102         March15, 2010
Cover Their Eyes             Corazong 255102         October 12, 2007
The Silver Wood              Tightrope  TR1107         November1, 2007
Mudshow                       Corazong  255087          May 5, 2006
A Dream In A Cornfield    Tightrope KD0130          March 14, 2003 

Discography: Compilations
The Darwin Project - Shrewsbury Folk Festival      SFFCD001  August 31 2008
Wilderness Plots                Rosehill   RH111          March 2, 2007  


Eamon Friel 'In My Time'

"Eleven new songs from pen and piano. Here they are on one album. I dreamed of a better world. I walked a street of childhood. I gave a new ending to an old story. I went to Oz with Dorothy and Toto. How have things been in my time I wondered. I remembered a long ago summer. I wandered through my winter city. I despaired of modern technology. Wind and rain came to visit me. The musicians showed me the meaning of music. I wondered when shall the meek inherit the earth. Eleven stories. They took time. They brought me great joy in their writing too." Eamon

Track Listing 1. Brave New World 2. William St 3. A Year And A Day 4. Because Of Oz 5. In My Time 6. The Well  7. If I Knew 8. Phone Tapping 9. How Can I Refuse 10. The Silence Between 11. It Hasn’t Happened Yet

Eddie O’Donnell (Guitar, Piano, Organ) Marie Clarke (Accordion) Frank D Robinson (Saxophone) Ciaran O’Donnell (Bass) Liam Bradley (Percussion) Tracy McRory (Fiddle) Bryan Morgan (Trumpet)  

Choir: Brave New World
Diane Greer, Paddy Nash, Caitlin Friel, Rory Donaghy, Colum Friel Eddie O’Donnell,
and Philo Sandeen  

The Rathmore Four: 'Phone Tapping'
Rory Donaghy, Eddie O’Donnell, Heidi Wilson
and Philo Sandeen

About Eamon Friel: Broadcaster, Singer/Songwriter   Eamon Friel is the son of a Mayo mother and Derry father. He writes about his life, experiences and his observations of the ever changing world that he sees around him.  

Friel’s writing is mystical painting pictures with his word play which could be compared with that of the landscape artist; each word carefully chosen and lovingly placed upon the page. Mountains and hills become people in a place where animals talk and the soul and being are more important than time itself. The landscape of Ireland its churches, rivers and towns entwined with the effect it has had on a troubled people; it’s all there in the songs.

Born in London’s Stockwell with childhood summers spent in Ireland, the family left Stockwell and returned to his father’s troubled hometown of Derry, Londonderry, Stroke City call it what you will.  

It was the youthful experience of cultural change and upheaval that left a lasting impression on the mind of a young man that would later emerge in songs penned in W.B Yeats like mystical imagery from a place in time and a time in place.

If proof of his ability as a songwriter were ever needed we need look no further than recent song covers by Sean Donnelly, The Fureys, Johnny Coppin, Pete & Jan, Bill Jones, Sean Tyrell and the Japanese band Brahman.   

Friel is one of the few artists around that can say he was actually paid by radio to write topical, comic and satirical songs to order. He was at one time commissioned to write songs for BBC Radio Ulster’s “Talkback” the lunch time inter-active news programme. A task he often had to carry out at the drop of a hat to meet the changing political and social demands of the day.

Eamon FrielEamon Friel

Albums Catalogue - Thran Records
In My Time (Nov 16, 2015) THRCD 1011
The Streets Forget (2012) THRCD 1008

Smarter (2009) Thran THRCD 1006

Here Is The River (2006) Thran THRCD 1004
Waltz of The Years (2003) Thran THRCD 1003
Word of Spring (2000) Thran Records THRCD 1001
Stepping Stones (1993) Spring Records SCD 1028
Logrhythms (1985) Spring Records     

Singles Catalogue
- Thran Records
Brave New World (2015)

Phone Tapping (2014)

The Music Makers (2011)

In For The Day (2008)
You Tube
   King & Queen + Farewell Mayo + Waltz of the Years


Reprobates CD Cover by Blackbeard's Tea Party

On 'Reprobates' their third full-length  album, Blackbeard's Tea Party have mined history books and the folk canon for stories of wicked and nefarious characters. Be they murderous pirates, blood-thirsty executioners or rebellious slave-traders, each has in common a dubious morality. Musically, 'Reprobates' follows the band's eclectic recipe of gutsy folk rock with elements of funk, dance and classic rock bringing a contemporary edge to traditional source material. Live, Blackbeard's Tea Party have earned a considerable reputation for pairing a frenetic energy with accomplished musicianship, and Reprobates' captures this dexterous party sound.

About Blackbeard's Tea Party Playing together since the summer of 2009, Blackbeard's Tea Party have become firm favourites on the English folk scene. An independent band with three albums to their name, Blackbeard's Tea Party have also completed a number of successful UK headline tours. 

'Reprobates' was produced by Dave Boothroyd at Reel Recording Studios. Barn-storming folk tunes rub shoulders with narrative folk songs, telling dark tales of wicked and nefarious characters. The album shows off the band's imaginative arrangements, accomplished musicianship and dark sense of humour. 

'Reprobates' follows the 2009 mini-album 'Heavens to Betsy'; the band's first full-length album, 2011's 'Tomorrow We'll Be Sober'; and 2013's 'Whip Jamboree' which R2 magazine called "the best party going on five inches of plastic."  

The title 'Reprobates' doesn't just give the album its theme. It's also a nod to the band's reputation for musical mischief, frequently breaking folk-rock's conventions. Blackbeard's Tea Party combine fiddle, melodeon and voice with the interlocking grooves of two hand percussionists, a distorted electric guitar, and funk-inflected bass patterns. Though their music often takes traditional tunes and songs as the starting point, it's clear that Blackbeard's Tea Party is not for folk purists.  

Theirs is a gutsy take on folk which aims to renounce the trendy twee of bands like Mumford and Sons in favour of folk's darker and more primitive origins, all by way of classic rock, funk and dance music. The resulting arrangements are often quirky and boisterous. This playfulness - along with their anarchic and ebullient stage show - has won Blackbeard's Tea Party a small legion of fans.  

Reception for the band has been phenomenal over the last two years: the Huffington Post called Blackbeard's Tea Party the 'THE band to see at Glastonbury 2014' and, after they played to their biggest ever crowd at Fairport's Cropredy Convention, they were overwhelmingly voted the best band of the festival by Fairport Convention fans.  

Autumn 2015 sees the band on another UK headline tour in support of 'Reprobates', plus Blackbeard's Tea Party are already lining up another string of festivals for summer 2016.

Blackbeard's Tea PartyBlackbeard's Tea Party

Folkcast Logo

The Band
Stuart Giddens: melodeon, sumptuous vocals
Tim Yates: bass, melodeon, trombone, sousaphone
Martin Coumbe: electric guitar, Lidl acoustic guitar
Dave Boston: djembe, congas, shakey things, bells, faux bells
Liam  'Yom' Hardy: cajon, drums, tambourine, miniature cymbal
Laura  Barber: fiddle, cello

Reprobates CD Oct 9 – (2015)
Whip Jamboree  CD (2013)
Tomorrow We'll Be Sober CD (2011)
Heavens to Betsy Mini CD (2009)  


Hilary James CD Booklet 'You Dont Kow'

Track Listing:1. Last Show Tonight 2. Say No To The Devil 3. Need Your Love So Bad
4. The House Is Haunted By The Echo Of Your Last Goodbye 5. The Old Music Master 6.Skylark    7. Deep River Blues 8. Frankie & Johnnie 9. Separation Blues
10. Rock Salt & Nails 11. New Orleans 12. They All Laughed
13. You Don't Know What Love Is

Musicians: Hilary James (Vocals, Double Bass, Mandobass) Simon Mayor (Mandolin, Guitars, Mandocello, Violin, Harmonica & Vocals), Phil Fentimen (Guitars)
Frank Kilkelly (Guitars) Dave Mattacks (Drums) Simon Price (Drums)
Brendan Power (Chromatic Harmonica) Andy Baum (Vocals) Jeff Chambers (Vocals)
Janet Giraudo (Vocals) Simon Jones (Drums)
Produced by Simon Mayor & Hilary James

You Don’t Know is the ‘other side’ of Hilary James. Her last album, English Sketches, celebrated the English landscape, weather and seasons through traditional song and new settings of English poetry, but her formative years were influenced as much by the blues, the Great American Songbook, and singing with a big band.

Nods to her folky side are still evident here. Deep River Blues is as beloved of ragtime guitar pickers as of bluegrass and old-time bands, but done here as its title requests, Hilary’s voice competing with Brendan Power’s soaring harmonica and Simon Mayor’s violin. It’s performed here with a new bridge section written by Hilary. The granddaddy of ragtime guitar pickers himself, Reverend Gary Davis, wrote Say No To The Devil, in an effort no doubt to guide his followers towards his religious world view; it’s arguable his massively influential guitar playing earned him far more secular disciples. Frankie & Johnnie is the only narrative song on the album: the age old story of love, betrayal and revenge, with a doubly tragic ending.

A long love affair with the music of Hoagy Carmichael surfaces here with three tracks. Skylark and The Old Music Master are both collaborations with Johnny Mercer. Mercer was said to have written the tender lyrics of Skylark with Judy Garland in mind, a stark contrast to the ‘roll-over-Beethoven’ themed flippancy of The Old Music Master, but both display his lyrical genius to the full (how many could rhyme spinet with infinite?). Carmichael’s own, brief but fondly affectionate lyrics to New Orleans witness once again the predilection of American writers for ‘songs called cities’.

The words to the throwaway Separation Blues were actually written by a man; it’s a song not wholly typical of Patrick Sky, a product of the 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene who became infamous for biting political and social satire. His album Songs That Made America Famous was rejected by numerous labels before eventually gaining publication. Utah Phillips, a man also prominent on the 20th century American folk scene, wrote the enigmatic Rock Salt And Nails. Like Sky, he took a strong political stance, but was more protester than satirist. 

Gershwin’s They All Laughed, a favourite from the Great American Songbook, has been a lifelong part of Hilary’s repertoire, dating from her days with the big band. It featured in the 1937 film Shall We Dance and incorporated a classic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance routine.

A few years ago, an old recording by Gracie Fields of the rather long, but intriguingly entitled The House Is Haunted By The Echo Of Your Last Goodbye featured on the long-running BBC radio programme Desert Island Discs. After the broadcast, the phone began to ring with friends and relatives suggesting it would suit Hilary’s voice - so here it is! Need Your Love So Bad has achieved the status of a standard among blues-rock artists, similarly in the jazz-blues scene with You Don’t Know What Love Is

Hilary James & The MandobassHilary James

Last Show Tonight is a song Hilary first wrote some twenty years ago, dusted off, polished up, but decidedly not to be taken literally...!  

About Hilary James:
With a background as much in art as music (she studied fine art at Reading University), and despite notions about devoting half her time to each pursuit, it was music that won the early battle for her attention. Teenage influences - spells as vocalist with a big band, an occasional classical lesson, and a love of British and Irish folksong - all left their mark on a vocal style variously described by the press as “quintessentially English”, “one of the most stirring female voices in contemporary British folk music”, and “a superb voice that defies categorisation”. Hilary James’ voice is certainly one that easily crosses the great musical divides.

Despite albums and countless tours with long term partner Simon Mayor, it wasn’t until 1993 that her solo debut Burning Sun appeared, a mix of British folk ballads, evocative originals and a nod to the classics. The follow-up, Love Lust & Loss, was a collection of mostly traditional songs, and a collaboration with the remarkable improvisatory pianist the late Beryl Marriott. It wasn’t until her third album, Bluesy, that Hilary returned to her other, earlier influences and explored her, well…  bluesy side.

With Lullabies With Mandolins in 2004 she and Mayor briefly returned to their early work with children. The duo had previously presented music education programmes for the BBC for six years, were among the last hosts of the iconic BBC TV programme Play School, had written over fifty songs and released five Musical Mystery Tour albums for children. The new CD was a bedtime collection of traditional songs and classical tunes, and like their previous recordings for children, proved just as popular with adults. “Exquisite, magical, delicate, intriguing” said Roots Review; “Get two copies” raved Irish Music Magazine (one for the nursery and one for the adults).

Eventually, paint brushes were retrieved from the loft, new canvases appeared, and so it was no coincidence that her 2011 album was entitled English Sketches, a celebration of English rural life. It was her best received album to date, gaining a place in The Sunday Times ‘Best ten world music albums of the year’. The sleeve features - of course - sketches by Hilary. Which brings us by a rather circuitous route to the album you hold in your hand, and a return by Hilary to the bluesier side of her repertoire. 

Hilary James:

2011       English Sketches                    CDACS 059          Solo

2004       Laughing with the Moon            CDACS 047          Solo

2001       Duos                                      CDACS 042          Duo

1999       Bluesy                                    CDACS 041          Solo
1996       Love, Lust and Loss                CDACS 029          Solo

1993       Burning Sun                            CDACS 016          Solo  

Simon Mayor with Hilary James & Simon Mayor’s Mandolinquents:

2007       Music From a Small Island      
2007       Dance of the Comedians          CDACS 056         
1998       New Celtic Mandolin                 CDACS 035         
1997       Mandolinquents                        CDACS 034        
1995       The English Mandolin               CDACS 025
1992       Winter with Mandolins               CDACS 015         

1990       The Mandolin Album                 CDACS 012

Books (Tutors)

Great Traditional Tunes for Guitar             ISBN: 978-0-9522776-6-8
Great Tunes for Mandolin Vol 1                ISBN: 978-0-9522776-4-4
Great Tunes for Mandolin Vol 2                ISBN: 978-0-9522776-5-1  

Hilary James:
www.hilaryjames.com + Record Label: www.acousticsrecords.co.uk Simon Mayor’s Mandolin Website: www.mandolin.co.uk


Gem Andrews Vancouver Booklet Cover

Vancouver   Track Listing: 1. Calling (Gem Andrews) 2. Your Fathers Diary (Gem Andrews) 3. Dead Weight (Gem Andrews) 4. Edges (Gem Andrews) 5. Mother Dear (Nicky Rushton) 6. Heart Like A Wheel (Anna McGarrigle) 7. Crimson Tide (Gem Andrews) 8. Please Forget Me (Gabriel Minnikin) 9. Ten Thousand More (Nicky Rushton) 10.Vancouver (Gem Andrews)  

Musicians: Gem Andrews (Acoustic Guitar & Vocals) Nicky Rushton (Piano & Vocals) Sarah Van Jellie (Bass & Vocals) Sue McLaren (Vocals) Bernard Wright (Fiddle) Gabriel Minnikin (Vocals) Martin Stephenson (Guitars, Tambourine & Vocals) Colin Mee (Vocals & Hand Claps)  

Producer: Martin Stephenson
Market Square - Catalogue Number MSMCD169
UK Distributor:
Proper Music Distribution    

Gem AndrewsGem Andrews

About Gem Andrews: Singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gem Andrews was born in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton, Merseyside in 1985. Her earliest music influences were to be found in her own home; Mum was into country and folk music whilst Dad preferred jazz. 

At six years of age Gem started playing the guitar and listening to Sandy Denny.
Growing up in a musically rich and diverse city such as Liverpool she had the opportunity to explore a wealth of music and lyrics during her formative years.  

At fifteen she started performing Neil Young and Townes Van Zandt songs at ‘open mic’ nights across the city, appearing at venues such as The Unity Theatre, Pogue Mahone’s and the Cavern Club.   

While studying at Liverpool Community College Gem regularly attended poetry slams at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre and eventually at the tender age of seventeen started writing songs and playing her own music.  

A chance encounter in Manchester with Emmylou Harris would both inspire and enhance her growing desire to write songs and compose her own music. Gem recalls ‘I was accidentally caught up in a security breach at the Bridgewater Hall and ended up being ushered into a room with Emmylou Harris. We had to stay there for an hour whilst the area was secured. I used the time to ask her for songwriting advice.’  

Gem moved to Newcastle upon Tyne to study contemporary music & composition and also to hone her songwriting skills; she remained in Newcastle for the next eleven years. 

Following on from her time in Newcastle, Gem decided to move to Vancouver to pursue her music on the Canadian folk and roots circuit. Whilst in Vancouver she immersed herself in the songwriter scene, and played all over the city at different venues several times a week. It was during her time in the city that Gem befriended The Be Good Tanyas’ songwriter and performer Sam Parton. This led to Gem being invited to perform at Canada’s NXNE showcase in Toronto in 2014.                

The time Gem spent in Canada’s rich music culture inspired her to return to the UK and write and record her debut album ‘Scatter’ (2012). The album features musicians such as pedal steel player Chris Hillman (Billy Bragg) and Nicky Rushton (And All Because the Lady Loves) and gravel voiced Canadian troubadour Gabriel Minnikin (The Guthries).  

Gem Andrews writes alt-country music with an honesty and rawness that takes the listener by surprise and cuts to the quick. Her new album ‘Vancouver’ is a dark and melodious meditation on the forces pushing us from home and pulling us back.  

With a new found confidence and maturity and guided by legendary songwriter and guitarist Martin Stephenson, Gem and her heartrending tones take us with her on many journeys; across countries, continents and oceans, seamlessly blending the shifting landscapes with the movements of her own heart.  

Vancouver features a cover of Kate & Anna McGarrigle's song Heart Like A Wheel (Anna McGarrigle), which inspired Anna McGarrigle to send her approval saying ‘Gem’s cover of our song is gorgeous, well done’.   

Vancouver’s poignant lyrics are wrapped in delicate harmonies and uplifted by a skilful and intuitive eight-piece band. The album is deeply rooted in alt-country, with Gem’s fiercely independent voice carrying inflections of Patsy Cline, Lucinda Williams and Kate & Anna McGarrigle.  

Earlier this year, Gem moved to Berlin, Germany where she plays regularly at songwriter nights and cafes across the city.  She has toured Germany several times already, most recently with Canadian musician and performance poet, Tanya Davis.  

The low-cost bohemian lifestyle of Berlin makes pursuing music possible in this current economic climate. Gem Andrews is constantly inspired by the expansive art and music scene in Berlin and the constant flow of new and old artists collaborating and supporting each other within the community.  

Vancouver (2015)
Scatter (2012)

Hungrytown 'Further West'

FurtherWest is the third album from Hungrytown. Recorded in their home state of Vermont over a two-month period between tours of Europe,North America and New Zealand, it was made possible through agrassroots network of fans that raised over $15,000 in a “Let’s Put HungrytownOn the Map” crowd-funding campaign. Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson, otherwiseknown as Hungrytown, are joined on this latest recording by long-time collaborator,cellist Suzanne Mueller and celebrated Vermontfiddler Lissa Schneckenburger.

Hall’slead vocal introduces the album’s title track, a haunting waltz that makessubtle reference to many subsequent songs, all of which suggest progress towarda destination that may not be measurable in miles.

Travelcan invite unforeseen, and occasionally tragic, events. “Don't Cross ThatMountain,” co-written with fellow Vermontsongwriter Gene Morrison, employs a twangy guitar riff and reverb-drenched vocalsto tell the true story of a disastrous 19th-century mountainjourney.
In “Hard Way to Learn,”a young mother runs away, only to be filled with regret when life fails to meether expectations: “Tell me how your bright ideal/Measures up to a life so real.”Schneckenburger’s driving fiddle and Anderson’sclawhammer banjo help reflect the desperation imparted in the lyrics.

“Day forNight” ponders our beleaguered, climate-changed landscape and the struggle toget by, set against an American dream mythology about as unconvincing as an oldB-movie: “Like day for night, you know it looks wrong/You know it's toobright/Naive, they say/So easily fooled by shadows and light.”

Perhapsthe most striking moment occurs midway through the album, when Hungrytown presentsWoody Guthrie’s classic dust bowl ballad, “Pastures of Plenty,” as a stark acappella harmony duet.

Thereare two odes to night driving, the childlike “Highway Song,” in which familiarobjects assume fantastical forms when seen through the window of a car, and“Static,” a noise that symbolizes disconnection: “The radio just crackles, onlystatic, anytime I think of tuning in/I know just how it feels to think you'velost whatever signal you once had.” Mueller’s soulful cello graces the outro,and provides the perfect counterpoint to Anderson’shypnotic guitar.

Muelleris also responsible for writing one of the most poignant songs on the album,the elegant “Ramparts and Bridges,” which references Edna St. Vincent Millay’ssonnet “On Hearing a Symphony of Beethoven.” In this song, Mueller reflects onthe power of music to connect people to, or barricade them from, one another.

Thealbum concludes on a note of alienation in “Troubles in Between,” which beginswith an evocative solo rendering of “A Child’s Bedtime Prayer,” maintains thetheme of escape through sleep and ends with a vocal and cello duet that echoesinto the distance.
UK/Europe:July 1, 2015
Listen Here! Records
Cat. No: LH503 UPC: 889211342884


Hungrytown: Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson 

Any Forgotten Thing (2011)
Hungrytown (2008) 


Rebecca Hall (Solo) 
Sunday Afternoon (2002)
Rebecca Hall Sings! (2000)

Ken Anderson & Rebecca HallKen Anderson
Rebecca Hall

After more than a decade of world-wide touring and three album releases, Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson - otherwise known as the folk duo Hungrytown -- have earned a reputation for the quality and authenticity of their songwriting: “It’s great to hear an act eschew sentimentality in favour of honesty and to prove that you don’t have to go raiding the memory of others to find the stuff that really good songs are made of,” writes Jedd Beaudoin of Popmatters.

Lyricist Hall is credited with compositions “that sound as timeless as any traditional songs”(Northern Sky, UK) while producer/multi-instrumentalist/husband Ken Anderson is lauded for his “remarkable affinity for instrumental embellishment” (No Depression) and for crafting Hungrytown’s “gorgeous vocal harmonies” (Folk and Roots, UK).

Hall and Anderson met in New York City, where they had already been performing regularly--Hall as a jazz singer, and Anderson as a drummer for a variety of garage bands. Their introduction to folk music came later, when a close friend -- who died young due to a tragic misdiagnosis -- entrusted to them her collection of 1960s folk albums and her guitar (which has since been featured on all of their albums).

Inspired by the grit and true-to-life experiences she heard in these traditional ballads, Hall was inspired to write the lyrics that later became her first songs, aided by Anderson’s flair for musical arrangement. Soon afterwards, Hall released two solo albums, Rebecca Hall Sings! (2000) and Sunday Afternoon (2002), both produced by Anderson. In the winter of 2003, the duo quit their boring desk jobs, moved to the green hills of Vermont, and decided to pursue a full-time career as touring musicians.

They released their first CD, Hungrytown, in 2008; Any Forgotten Thing in 2011; and Further West in 2015. The couple continue to spend more than half of each year on the road, especially roads in North America, Europe and New Zealand. Hungrytown’s music has received extensive radio airplay worldwide and has appeared on several television shows, including the Independent Film Channel’s hit series, Portlandia.