Songwriting update 24/08/17: My new song ‘Girl in Umbrete’ is finished! That last verse took a long time to write, lots of word-juggling, but I’m very happy with it. Played it to singer-songwriter Alistair Pearson last night (and Julie and Jaine) and he absolutely loved it which is most encouraging. Hopefully I’ll find the time to record it soon but in the meantime the ‘Staverton Waltz’ is in progress…
Songwriting update 06/08/17: I’ve just finished writing a new tune for LowD whistle (and guitar) which Paddy and I are just learning to play. It’s called the ‘Staverton Waltz’ named after the village where Sandra and Paddy live here in Devon.
At the same time I’ve been writing a song based on a tune I made up whilst Jaine and I were staying with Inigo in Umbrete in April (in southern Spain). The lyrics are based on the image of a girl about 10-12 years old we saw standing in a gateway on the other side of the street. It’s called simply ‘Girl in Umbrete’. Two verses so far, one or two more in the pipeline. It’ll be arranged for Spanish Guitar and Portuguese Guitar, maybe with a bass line too.
Another new song on YouTube! 24/07/17: ‘Granada overnight’ is a little tune I made up during our visit to Spain in April and the side show is mainly photos I took at the Alhambra gardens in Granada where we did indeed stay ‘overnight’ with our good friends Inigo and Gemma from Sevilla. There are a few light-weight words and a lovely whistle solo by my musical companion Paddy Reardon. This is my first recording with my new Spanish guitar which I bought a few days after visiting the Alhambra from a 4th generation luthier in Sevilla Juan L Cayuela
Here it is! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-ECh6AzM7Q
New song on YouTube 28/06/17: ‘Come on Davy Crockett’ is a collection of childhood memories based around the fact that we didn’t have a car. I really struggled to find pictures to illustrate the song so ended up using a small selection of my own childhood photos with just three more which I found on the net.
When I was little, dad used to call me ‘Davy Crockett’ when he was encouraging me to keep up.
Songwriting update 12/06/17: I’ve recently finished a new song entitled ‘Granada overnight’ written specifically for my new Spanish guitar. It’s light-hearted little number. The slideshow will feature views of the Sierra Nevada (meaning Snow Mountains) which overlook the city, with lots of photos of beautiful garden flowers which I took at the Alhambra in April. Hope to record it this summer with a whistle solo by my good friend Whistling Paddy.
New Owly Dave video! 22/05/17: at long last, ‘Os Cisnes’ (The Swans) is now on YouTube with the wonderful Janna Bulmer singing the first soprano part I’ve written and with spoken words by the Portuguese poet Piedade Roque. Many thanks also to our good friend Inês Roque for words and sound effects, Jaine Ramsden for help with the slideshow, and Si Barron for showing me how to do simple audio mastering. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0ITzY3gWLg&feature=youtu.be
Guitar news 28/04/17:
I’ve just bought another guitar! While on holiday in Spain with Jaine, my good friend Inigo took me to several guitar shops in Sevilla where I tried out about nine different classical/flamenco guitars. In the end we went back to the first shop and I bought a hand made guitar from a 4th generation luthier name of Juan Cayuela who plays wonderfully. If you go to my Facebook page you can see a short video of Juan playing my new guitar! I chose a flamenco guitar rather than classical as I don’t particularly like the depth and sustain that good classical guitars have but I do like the lower action of flamenco guitars. To play, none of the factory made ones I tried in the ‘Postico’ and ‘Promusica’ shops were a patch on the handmade one from Juan Cayuela.
Gig report 13/04/17: What a night! Thanks to everyone who turned up we had a full house – standing room only! I’ve never seen Totnes Folk Club so packed.
Whistling Paddy played brilliantly including his first performance at TFC of the ‘Royal Belfast Hornpipe’ which includes a super-fast whistle phrase described as “falling down the stairs”. Paddy also duetted with Peter Stevens who played great fiddle and mandolin. My first public performance of ‘Peter’s Dream‘ with the wonderful Sophia Colkin on violin was very well received as was my duet version of ‘A Little Romance’ with the lovely Marianne Bryan. Special thank you to Andy Clarke for booking us.
First-ever cover of an Owly Dave song!
Last Thursday, top folk duo Barron Brady performed my song ‘Endangered‘ at the 10th birthday celebration event of Transition Town Totnes. Their performance has just been uploaded to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE25oDuoGnk
I have, in the past, written songs specifically for others to perform but this is the first time that professional musicians have performed a song in public that I also perform. I’m absolutely delighted that Ros Brady chose ‘Endangered‘ for this event. I love her version, especially with Si Barron‘s accompaniment.
Many thanks to both of you. xx
29/02/17: ‘Susie’s tune‘ is now on YouTube! https://youtu.be/4Q4pSdPOyNc
Recording news 24/02/17:
Lots happening! ‘Susie’s tune‘ (Harp / Portuguese guitar / and Paddy on low D whistle) should be mastered this weekend (thanks Steve!), I have re-recorded the guitar part for ‘Os Cisnes‘ and hopefully lined up a fantastic Bavarian soprano and a Portuguese poet to cover the vocal parts, and last night I recorded a live take of my new song ‘Come on Davy Crockett‘. Oh, and my recording of ‘Perfect wedding‘ is with Steve waiting to have some percussion added and should be mastered in March after his forthcoming gigs in Germany with Evi Vine.
Songwriting news 10/01/17:
Susie Trezise thought her Harp and my Portuguese Guitar would sound great together and suggested I write something for them. So, I did!
‘Susie’s tune’ is in fact a pair of waltzes in which the instruments take turns in playing the melody whilst the other provides backing. We’re currently learning our parts and hope to make a recording in a month or so. Watch this space!
Gig news: Owly Dave and Whistling Paddy will be the Guests at Totnes Folk Club on Thursday 13th April 2017. Our set will be a mixture of Owly Dave songs and traditional folk tunes and will include the first-ever public performance of ‘Peter’s dream‘ with the wonderful Sophia Colkin on violin. BIG thank you to Andy Clarke for inviting us.
Songwriting update 26/12/16:
Just putting the finishing touches to a new song I’ve written called ‘Come on Davy Crockett’.
It’s about being a kid in a family that didn’t have a car and it’s set in the 60’s. Rather than being a ‘story’ song (where the lyrics provide some kind of progression through time) this is more of a ‘situation’ song. The verses could be in any order – it really wouldn’t make much difference.
I’ve been listening to a lot of John Prine lately, with a healthy dose of Mary Gautier.
Guess I’m trying to slow the pace and turn up the poignance.
Three things: my recording of ‘Taken in your prime’ has now been mastered (thanks Steve!) – just need to create some visuals to go with it for YouTube. Anne Darby’s page is now up and running, and I’ve started writing a new song!
Recording update 26/11/16:
Working on the Anne Darby Music Page, work (Barn Owl Trust), and ill health has slowed progress lately. However, I did record Pete Furnish playing his double bass on my recording of ‘Taken in your prime’ (currently being mastered by Steve) and Dave Lupton is coming down to Folk Valley to add a little percussion to my recording of ‘Perfect Wedding’.
Recording update 22/10/16:
I recently recorded a new song Taken in your prime (a sad song about bereavement) and have just recorded a light-hearted little song I wrote (August 2015) called Perfect wedding. Both are waiting to be mastered.
Songwriting update 18th August 2016:
The wonderful Ana Roque has kindly agreed to sing on a new song I have written, inspired by Portugal, called ‘Os Cisnes’ which means ‘The Swans’.
Also, today I just about finished writing a new song called ‘Taken in your prime’. Yes, it is a very sad song but also very melodic, inspired by the recent sad loss of Anne Darby.
Songwriting update 23rd May 2016:
Last night at the Acoustic Warehouse (Passage House Inn) I played a brand new song for the first time. It’s called Down by the Teign and it’s all about… the Acoustic Warehouse!
Next Gig coming up soon: Barron Brady, Jim Watts, Harpingmad, Owly Dave, The Cornelius Family, Whistling Paddy, and John Brooks will be playing a fund-raising evening dinner in Bovey Tracey on Saturday April 30th. Prior booking essential at £12/head to include a multi-choice 2-course meal. Tickets: here
Hot news! Fantastic duo Barron Brady have kindly agreed to play at our Acoustic Cafe event on 30th April!
Tickets and details are now available on the Barn Owl Trust website http://www.barnowltrust.org.uk/acoustic-cafe/
Recording update 1st April 2016:
In the last few days I’ve recorded Dartmoor Rocks and Peter’s Dream. I’ve invited Paddy Reardon to add a whistle part to Dartmoor Rocks and Sophia Colkin to add a violin part to Peter’s Dream. Fingers crossed!
Songwriting update 23rd March 2016:
I have just finished writing a new song called ‘Peter’s Dream’.
Unusually, Peters Dream is an instrumental tune that contains or holds two little songs. The first is about Peter ‘told’ from the perspective of his young wife and the second is from the perspective of their little boy who is trying to get to sleep.
I shall be performing a 30-min slot with Paddy Reardon at the Teign House Inn, Christow, on Sunday 10th April 2016 from 4pm. One of my favorite singer-songwriters Dave Holliday will also be performing. Thanks to the organisers Ian & Jane Gardner (of fab trio 9lb Catfish).
I’ll also be doing a solo spot at the Acoustic Cafe charity evening event in Bovey Tracey aid of the Barn Owl Trust on Saturday 30th April. http://www.barnowltrust.org.uk/acoustic-cafe/. Tickets (£12) include a delicious 2-course multi-choice meal and performances from six different local acoustic/folk musicians.
I have great pleasure in presenting the first-ever video of Paddy Reardon’s wonderful whistle playing …
‘Off to California’ and ‘Harvest Home’
Recording update 4th February 2016:
Recording of The Devon Marches is well underway. So far – my guitar part, plus Graham Pickard on snare drum, Susie Trezise on accordion, and Paddy Reardon on whistle are all ‘in the can’. Next week I’m recording the amazing Sophia Colkin on violin.
Latest idea is to add a bass drum part and possibly a bass guitar too. Watch this space!
Songwriting update 9th January 2016:
I have recently written three little tunes which go together quite nicely. Just worked out the arrangement and made a first rough recording. I think they’ll end up being an instrumental called The Devon Marches – possibly with lots of different instruments.
Paddy Reardon’s 2nd whistle tune is up on YouTube 6th January 2016:
This a delightful little tune is one of Paddy’s favorites – Da Slockit Light written by Dr Tom (Tammy) Anderson in 1969.
New video upload 15th December 2015:
If you are ‘a man of a certain age’ this one might appeal to you! Owly Dave & Paddy Reardon – ‘Just can’t pee’ !!!!!
Songwriting update 5th December 2015:
I’m just putting the finishing touches to a new song called ‘Six kinds of love’.
This song joins ‘Perfect wedding’ and ‘Some folk’ in my little list of so-far unrecorded material.
Paddy Reardon’s whistle playing goes on the internet! 25th November 2015:
Although Paddy has been playing and performing for over forty years, he’s virtually never been recorded before. For his internet debut Pad chose two of his favorites: traditional English dance tunes originally collected by famous novelist and poet Thomas Hardy back in the 1800’s. I think you’ll agree the Paddy’s whistle playing is fantastic. Listen now
‘Endangered’ is finished and up on YouTube! 12th November 2015. Many thanks to Susie Trezise for playing and singing with me and helping with the musical arrangement. Many thanks to Jaine for producing all the graphics for the slideshow. Hope you like it! Watch now
Songwriting/recording update 30th October 2015:
I’ve more or less finished writing a new song for B♭ whistle and bouzouki with the working title ‘Just can’t pee’. Recording ‘Endangered’ with Susie Trezise has gone extremely well so far – the guitar, harp, and vocal parts are in the can.
New musical collaboration underway 23rd October 2015:
Lovely harpist Susie Trezise (of Harpingmad) has kindly agreed to play on my new protest song ‘Endangered’. We plan to start recording next week!
Another new video upload! 21st October 2015:
Featuring the lovely voice of Maz Bryan, ‘Nasty blue’ is proof that ordinary caring people are being radicalised by Tory policies, in this case: the lack of consideration for wildlife in the planning system, the secret issuing of licences to ‘control’ birds of prey, the badger cull, foxhunting, and fracking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eu0eJnEhGQ
New video uploaded! 12th October 2015:
‘Inner Peace’ is now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0EbPOQ8mg4. Thank you ever so much to Janna Bulmer for contributing her wonderful cello playing and Joules Jones for adding her lovely voice. I hope you like it!
Songwriting update 5th October 2015:
The uploading of ‘Inner Peace’ to YouTube is sadly delayed but in the meantime I’ve written a new song called ‘Endangered’. It’s another happy-sounding song with hard-hitting lyrics (in a similar vein to ‘Nasty Blue’).
So I have:
Inner Peace – recorded and waiting to be mastered
Nasty Blue – partly recorded waiting to record additional vocals
Perfect Wedding – waiting to be recorded
Some folk – I’m currently learning to play the cello part
Endangered – waiting to be recorded
My YouTube song/video ‘The little man who taught us how to fly’ has just been included in the latest eNews from the British Microlight Aircraft Association! It’s had 397 plays since being uploaded on 5th August. I’m hoping to meet up with Pete’s widow Pat Cummings this weekend. It’ll be the first time we’ve seen each other since Pete’s funeral in 2008.
Recording update 10th September 2015:
Today I recorded the wonderful Bavarian cellist Janna Bulmer playing on one of my new songs ‘Inner Peace’ and on Saturday I hope to record vocals by Joules Jones, a Welsh lady with a very lovely voice. Ben Whitehouse of Cellar Tapes UK has kindly agreed to master it for me. Thanks everyone!
Songwriting update 1st September 2015:
Rare event: I’ve written a song in a day. It’s a protest song called ‘Nasty blue’.
Songwriting update 31st August 2015:
I have a new song ‘Perfect wedding’ at final tweaking stage (final tweaking can go on for quite a long time!)
New LIVE video uploaded 24th August 2015: ‘The flying paramedic’
My new song has just been uploaded to You Tube! 5th August 2015:
‘The little man who taught us how to fly’ https://youtu.be/6CnCjkJNSG8
Recording update August 1st 2015:
I’ve just recorded my new song ‘The little man who taught us how to fly’ which includes my first-ever cello part. I’m currently collecting images for a YouTube slide show to go with it.
New LIVE video uploaded August 1st 2015 ‘Kissing on a train’
Recording update July 26th 2015:
Just started recording ‘Inner Peace’ which I wrote a few months ago. Strikingly different to all my other songs, I’m hoping to have two special guests on this one including the wonderful cellist Janner Bulmer.
Song writing update July 17th 2015:
I’ve written a new song! Rejoicing in the short snappy title of ‘The little man who taught us how to fly’, it’s a song about Pete Cummings who was my Flying Instructor at Eaglescott Airfield back in 2006/7. I’m currently working out how to play it on the Portuguese Guitar.
Saturday 20th June 2015 – my first gig in a commercial cafe…
…was a 70 minute set at the Blues Cafe in Teignmouth (during Teignmouth Folk Festival). Two of my favorites also played that evening: Harpingmad and Glenn Coggin. All three acts were well received and the place was packed virtually to capacity. Special thank you to Jaine, Jasmin, Jacob, Nathaniel, Nyree, Julie, Pam, and Ce who came especially to hear me! Thanks also to Jaine, Jasmin and John Lockwood for singing ‘The Flying Paramedic’ with me.
Song writing update June 2nd 2015:
Just putting the finishing touches to a new song called ‘Inner Peace’ – tried it out last night at the Acoustic Warehouse and someone said “… it’s going to become an Owly Dave classic”.
My 2nd newest song ‘Some Folk’ is waiting to be recorded, hopefully with the amazing Pete Furnish on double bass. The first time I played it Martin Sidebotham said “your song writing just gets better and better”. Thanks Martin!
Friday 22nd May 2015 – my first gig as a ‘support artist’…
…was at a Mike Silver‘s concert at the Ley Arms, Kenn, near Exeter. Big thank you to Peter & Maggie Cornelius for asking me and many thanks to the audience for their remarkably enthusiastic applause!
Mike Silver was great, Jaine and I had a lovely evening, and Maizie was extremely well behaved (as usual). x
Monday 18th May 2015 My ‘Featured Artist’ evening at the Acoustic Warehouse Devon was very well received indeed. A BIG ‘Thank You’ to everyone who came, to Martin Sidebotham and Rick Lawes for inviting me to do it, and soundman Nigel Dee. Apparently it was a record-breaking turnout. I hope to be posting some video footage of my set in the near future.
3rd May 2015. I have just recorded ‘English Summer’ a song I wrote in 2012 just after the wettest June since 1766. With backing vocals by Maz, Jas, and Jaine, this track will be on my new EP ‘Beautiful Ocean’ which will go on sale on 18th May 2015.
Latest DIY project – our new log-fired hot tub is finished! Made out of a cattle trough and two washing machine drums, a copper pipe coil, plus a few other bits and bobs.