I admit that I’ve left this place to gather dust and I apologise to you if you have tried to follow links that have progressively become broken or redundant over the past while. Anyway, I’ve spent some time repairing these and removing things that were out of date or no longer relevant and it should all work now.
In particular I have overhauled and brought up to date the notation and tabs to the songs on the CDs and some “Celtic” guitar things. I hope you will visit and enjoy these. I’ve also included links to my songs on Apple Music and Amazon Music. Also you’ll notice the Spotify widgets in the sidebar on the right!
I should have done all this ages ago but life got in the way.
I plan to make some more improvements as time allows.
My website analytics service shows me that, by far, the most visits my site gets from Europe is from Bielefeld in Germany where in the 1970s I spent a lot of time playing and making friends. That cannot be a coincidence so I must conclude that I still have friends there who remember me and are at least curious enough to visit here. To them, let me say again (because I’ve written about this elsewhere on this blog) that I remember you with fondness and think often of those golden days.
It would be a special pleasure for me if you would like to get in touch with me personally so that we can say “hello” again. If you would like that, please register / create an account here and leave a comment below and I will respond to your registered email address.
Well, kind of. It’s absolutely clear to me that doing a day-job in Aberdeen and my residency there during the week is incompatible with performing in Edinburgh – even at open mics and sessions at the weekends. My time when I’m at home in Edinburgh doesn’t allow practice and rehearsal time to do justice to playing out and about. I’ve experienced the discomfort of having to turn down a gig for lack of preparation and being just so damned tired and it’s really not the way I want to go. I hope to be able to come back to it when circumstances permit. I miss it.
I’m doing the feature set of about 45 mins. at Out Of The Bedroom tonight in Edinburgh (see link for address). Show start around 8pm and I think I’ll be on about 9.30, or so. Sorry for the late notice but I only got the invite very late on Thursday. Hope to see you there!
Furrowed of brow and stooped of shoulder. Was once a proto-song but I couldn’t bring myself to be so overcast on record or in concert. Ends with a real funereal tread. I’m not like this normally – honest, I’m not!
(Note: the mp3 is a virtual instrument rendered from music notation software and is NOT a recording of a live performance!)
What is this? Do we recognise it? I’ve heard rumours of musicians having been thrown out of sessions in Irish pubs because what they played wasn’t Irish enough. And that the display of a characteristic singing accent when rendering some northern English 19th century mining song is a badge of honour and evidence of authenticity of performance. Everything old-timey in the US is treated with nostalgic awe and reverence and with the utter conviction that the way things were played in the old days was the proper way – or, in any event, better. In all of this I smell a conservative tribalism and other instincts that make me queasy. It’s not a big step from sentimentalising the folk culture of a nation – or part of – and imagining a superiority in its “authentic” expression, to comparing others unfavourably to it.
But it might be that it is the taking a folk culture and corrupting it and making it “impure” by creating further Art from it that bestows upon it a lasting value.
When I’m too long in the company of “authentic” folk musicians I feel badly in need of fresh air!
This tune is very old (circa. 1979) and was made up when me and my partner were living with friends in Brackwede, Germany. I’m not sure what it is: a bit ragtime, perhaps? A bit of a swing-jazz tinge? It was originally intended to be developed into a song but it just doesn’t feel songlike (mind you, that hasn’t stopped me before!).