• new album - The Lantern Has Fallen

    Well, recording my second album has been very exciting for me as most of the tracks were produced by one of my biggest musical heroes - Mr Martin Stephenson. I have to admit, performing in front of someone I've been in awe of as a musician for so long was pretty terrifying at first. But Martin is such a funny, zany, larger than life character that he made the process great fun. With my partner Mark (Lough) on engineering duties, we all worked really hard but had such a laugh too over the three days we spent at the Tolbooth Studio in Stirling. Martin gave me really good advice to put me at ease - he is very much into the 'spirit' being right to give a good performance. He also played some beautiful guitar - especially on a track called Listen to The Air - even now, whenever i listen to the song i almost choke up when the guitar comes in!

    Martin also brought in an amazingly talented fiddle player called Kenny Brady. Kenny's an equally sensitive player and can get right into the feel of a song straight away - he can be as inventive as anything - but always reflecting the emotion/mood of the song - which is really important to me. He actually used to play in The Fall and as well as fiddle plays mandolin and has the most beautiful singing voice. These days his passion is for Cajun music - watch out for his live appearances with Martin, and with his own band Kenny Brady and the Cross Eyed Gals. Stand out track for Kenny's playing was the song Footprints. It was great having Martin's advice on where the various instruments should be coming in and out, as, obviously with his many years of recording experience, he has perfect instinct for the arranging side.

    Other players on the album were Alex Irving, who added some sparkle with his lovely uke playing giving a nice rhythmical feel to a couple of tracks. Mark also contributed beautiful backing vocals on one of my favourite songs, Going Away For A While, which I wrote for my dad. He also plays guitar on the track, plus guitar, singing bowl and harmonium on other tracks. Like Martin, Mark has a great knack for adding something to a song in a really tasteful way, which enhances rather than overpowers it.

    I wrote all the songs on banjo and I would say the tone of the album is darker than my debut snowflake, but the songs are still from the heart.

    Well hope this has been of some interest and that folk enjoy listening to the songs - the track Going Away for A While was played on the Iain Anderson show the other day so fingers-crosssed it went down well with listeners,

    Hey, peace and love to ya all!


    ps check out the gallery for some pictures from the studio sessions

for diary2

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