New album “Autumn” available now.....



Autumn is an eclectic mix of tunes which hopefully displays some of the styles of music that have influenced me over the years. It features tunes from the past and present repertoire of the Joint Stock Ceilidh Band, the Champion String Band, Dealers Wheel, the RUB, The O’Boyle Band, CUIG, the North Country Dance Band, the Steel String Band & STEAMRADIO.
Various members from the aforementioned bands have helped, plus a smattering of the many friends made over the years at the music sessions at the Colpitts Hotel and the Elm Tree Hotel, Durham, The Cumberland Arms, Byker & The Tyneside Irish Centre, Gallowgate and folk Clubs and festivals around the British Isles and America. It is unfortunate that I couldn’t accommodate the many others who offered their musical assistance, but there is always the next time.
This album is made up of multi track recordings taken over the last six to seven years featuring me playing mainly my own compositions on a mixture of tenor banjo, acoustic and electric guitar, cittern, bouzouki and mandolin. I have been fortunate to play instruments by many fine makers including, Stefan Sobell, Paul Archer, CF Martin, Fylde, Bohee, Ibanez, Fender, Collings, Bourgeois, George Lowden and Ovation.
Various tunings have been employed, but as a rule, tenor banjo is tuned to the standard “Irish” tuning of GDAE, mandolin, the same, Guitar in standard EADGBE and CFCGDG low to high, cittern GDAEA and bouzouki GDAD
This album has been an awfully long time in the making. It was started over ten years ago, after the death of my father when feelings of my own mortality urged me to “set the music down”. That initial attempt at a solo album was enjoyably hijacked and led to the formation of CUIG. Perhaps this musically cathartic exercise should have been called “Get it off your chest”, but thankfully the intervening years have surrendered a few more tunes, and given me a greater awareness of other areas of music. Long may that continue as I sincerely hope other albums and collaborations will follow, inspiration and arthritis permitting!

I have many people to thank for their contributions to this album, especially my wife and family for their support and all the musicians who gave their time for no fee other than friendship. The most important musical contribution however comes from bassist, guitarist, keyboard player, percussionist, sound engineer and co-producer, Sean Taylor, who but for his skill, encouragement and perseverance, none of this would have been possible.