Peace And Freedom - The New Album
Peace And Freedom
Peace And Freedom
Available Now
11 + p&p
It is over 20 years since I released my first album, "Believe It So", on cassette (remember them?), so I felt the time was about right for a second. "Peace And Freedom" was recorded by Doug Bailey at WildGoose Studio, Hampshire, in September 2007, and includes 16 tracks, ten of which are my own compositions.

Also included is Maggie Holland's "Salt Of The Earth" and a new song by Andrew Smith, "Once More (Joe, Tom, Francis and Bill)" written about some of the characters on and around the farm where his father Bill Smith worked in Shropshire.

There are three traditional songs, one of which ("Six Pretty Maids") I learned from the singing of the above-mentioned Bill Smith. Andrew and I have been friends for almost 30 years, and his father's songs have been in my repertoire for all that time. Some of them might have been ignored by the collectors, had any come his way, as he had quite a few sentimental Victorian ballads and music-hall ditties among the more traditional songs, but that was true of many singers of his generation; these days, the descendants of those who carried these songs down to us are singing Country and Western songs as often as not.

The original songs span the 20 years between albums. "None Of My Business" was written only a few days after recording "Believe It So"; "The Temple of Heaven" is about the trip that Jo and I made with some friends to Beijing and the Great Wall in late 2005.

In the time I was away from clubs and from singing, I wrote "Dunblane" as a poem, to express my grief and anger at the senseless murders of 16 children and a teacher in 1996. After I had returned to singing, I found the text file on a floppy disk (remember them??) and made the tune to fit.

Mick Ryan once gave me a very good piece of advice - in the context of songwriting, "Never throw anything away". I probably never have, anyway, but more than once I have found that to be true. The first song I wrote in 2004 used a line which had been lying around in my brain for 17 years, waiting for the right vehicle. So take heed, all you budding songwriters - collect mountains of scraps of paper with scribbles on them, and one day you could be as famous as me - or Mick Ryan.

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