The Class System >
Bye Bye Blackbirds >
Melody for Prague >
Stooky Blues (from Stiffkey in Norfolk) >
Poor Old Fred >
Les Jumeaux (for Thomas and Pat) >
< A Morning Air
< The Policeman’s Song
< Big Bad Jackaroo (for Big Bad Jack)
< Echo Lake
< Look at Flowers
The Pursuit of Obscurity
Copies of this CD are available from Steve at £10 including p+p.
Very Zen. Recorded and mixed by Greg Tempest at his studio in Mountsorrel
1 The class system
I used to write these sort of songs for theatrical performances by the Lansdowne theatre group and they are great songs. They are sort of comic and slapstick. On this album there’s this song and the Policeman’s song..ooh yes and Poor Old Fred [better not forget him].
2 ByeBye Blackbirds
This already appeared on Til the Indian but I liked it and thought it would stand a bit of production
3 Melody for Prague
I wrote this in my early 20’s and it was hanging about and since I had access to Stefan Pratt I got him to arrange it for string quartet. I think it's lovely.
4 Stookey blues
These are in fact cockles, I think, that come from Stiffkey in Norfolk but I thought now there’s a title for a blues if ever I heard one and it’s a great little blues with many a non 12 bar twist.
5 Poor old Fred
This is another song for a musical. One I did with Ian Cray years and years ago but its stood the test of time and its more relevant now than it was then.
6 Les Jumeaux My twins
This is an instrumental for Tom and Pat, my twin lads. I have a song almost ready for them but so far I’ve not quite been able to find the right second part for it. Watch this space. Oh, by the way, these kids are amazing. Take my word for it. They have taught me all I know!
7 A morning Air
Well here it is again but this time the amazing Stefan has arranged it for string quartet and played all the parts himself.
This is a sort of concerto thing I wrote for the guitar. It's odd but lovely and keeps you guessing. I doubt I could even begin to play it now. It came about because I became a bit obsessive with the classical guitar for a few months.
9 The Policeman’s song
Ello Ello Ello
10 Big Bad Jackaroo
This is the old instrumental but I always felt it had the potential to become a song. I’ve tried to show how much Jack has taught me about being a better human being and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for that.
11 Echo Lake
In Vermont there is a lake called Echo Lake. How good is that? It's beautiful too. Just imagine it in winter frozen over and reflecting the moon, which is how I remember it. Anyway I wrote the first part of this and then when I next went to see Graham and Camille I got Graham to do the second part. Graham now has a sailing boat which he keeps on lake champagne and I’ve just written Echo’s sequel [Champagne lake] and am close to being able to play it on the mandolin. When I can I will record it.
12 Look at flowers
This was really my first attempt with Greg at trying to really produce a piece and layer voices and instruments over an original idea. It's also a spoken piece and lyrically delightful. See what you think. I have written about thirty flower poems over the last few months and it is my intention to orchestrate each one and use Look at Flowers as the title track.