11th May 2020 – new video uploaded to Facebook
Eight weeks into the COVID19 pandemic and over 30,000 people have died in the UK alone, many of them young. This prompted me to upload a new ‘live’ video of ‘Taken in your prime‘ and dedicate it to anyone who has lost a friend. It’s not a song to cheer anyone up but might help express the feeling of early-stage grief.
12th January 2020 – new Facebook page and dedicated email address launched for ‘Climate and Ecological Crisis? What’s all the fuss about?’
Future talks are listed as ‘Facebook Events’ linked to this new page…
Dates so far include:
31st January Chagford
20th February South Brent
4th March Whitestone
6th March Topsham
18th March Okehampton
25th March Crediton
For further talk enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org
8th December 2019 – new Talk! https://www.facebook.com/events/1460213410799365/
Two nights ago I delivered a new presentation for the first time. Although I’ve got 30 years experience of public speaking, my talks to date have always been given in the name of the Barn Owl Trust and, naturally, have mostly been about Barn Owls. This was the first time I’ve ever given a Talk in my own name (David Ramsden MBE) and also my first-ever full length presentation about the Climate and Ecological Crisis.
Thankfully it was very well received. I spoke for 80 minutes but several people said it felt like no more than an hour. I also distributed two handouts which Jaine helped me produce. So, my thanks go to Jaine but also to everyone who provided helpful comments as the presentation evolved: Jem Friar, Gill Gant, Bruce Garrard, Massimo Giannuzzi, Jacob Ramsden, Sandra Reardon, Barn Owl Trust staff & trustees.
The plan is for the Talk to be ‘toured’ free of charge around the south west, initially focusing on towns around Dartmoor and then further afield. I’m also happy to provide the talk as a PowerPoint Show for other speakers to present. To find out about organising a Talk by David, or presenting the Talk yourself please see: Organising a Talk by David 2020
My first anthem, written for XR, is now up on YouTube thanks to Jess Holliday, Helen Yeomans, Gordon Nicholson, Colin Moore, XR Totnes Pop-up Choir, and Glorious Chorus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGZzk3yx2gQ
04/09/19 – A new Choir will sing my new XR Anthem!
Choir leader Helen Yeomans has responded very positively to hearing ‘We’re standing here‘ on YouTube and is getting together a new Extinction Rebellion Totnes Choir for three rehearsal dates, the last of which will be with Helen’s own choir, the wonderful Glorious Chorus. Plans are afoot for the rehearsals to be filmed and the final version recorded for a short film on YouTube hopefully in time for the October International Rebellion.
Rehearsal Dates are 15th,19th, and 24th September. More info here
02/09/19 – My first anthem is on YouTube!
Just uploaded a ‘Words & Music’ video to YouTube so that people can learn to sing it at the October Uprising of Extinction Rebellion.
Here it is! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgFN0ntG5Hw
26/08/19 – Songwriting news
I’m just putting the finishing touches to an anthem I’ve written for the Rebellion called ‘We’re standing here‘ and I’m currently on the look-out for a choir(!) to record it with. Also, the second song I’ve written for Martin Scragg’s Radio Ballad on farming, called ‘Before the tractor came‘, has thankfully been well received by Martin along with ‘A farmer back then‘.
Court Statement delivered on 16th August 2019
Following my arrest in April at the start of the International Rebellion, I was charged and summoned to appear at City of London Magistrates Court where I read a brief Statement I’d prepared. To my utter amazement it has been shared on Facebook more than 1,800 times (plus re-shares). You can read it here: https://www.facebook.com/JNFClimate/posts/2122921271333919
Many thanks to everyone who came to hear Owly Dave & Friends play at Bitton House. The room was packed!
24/07/19 Gig Announcement!
Open Air Concert at Bitton House, Teignmouth on Saturday 3rd August.
Owly Dave & Friends (inc. Kathryn & Steve Collings, Lesley Stuckey, Whistling Paddy) will be playing a one hour set(!) from 1-2pm following on from Glenn Coggin playing 12-1. Coffee, other drinks and Crepes on sale from Lemon Jellie http://www.lemonjellievents.co.uk/
Click link for more info:
29/06/19 Barn Owl Trust Concert with Barron Brady
Big thank you to the c.70 people who came to hear Barron Brady with support from Harpingmad and Owly Dave & Kathryn Collings. A great time was had by all and over £500 was raised for the Trust.
16/06/19 New Powerpoint Presentation available to anyone who wants to present it entitled ‘An Introduction to the Climate and Ecological Crisis’. Anyone with a basic understanding of the subject could present it – no notes are needed as every slide is self explanatory. It’s 10 minutes long with an optional extra 5-min section with music (if your laptop/projector system has audio).
If interested please Message me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/david.ramsden.127 or drop me an email.
02/06/19 New protest song on YouTube!
Just uploaded ‘Climate Justice Now’ to YouTube. https://youtu.be/BuL6A8CaDAM . Many thanks to Eliza Kenyon for adding her Heartbeat Drum and wonderful voice. Special thanks also to the Denbury Folk for singing the refrain (and letting me record them) at the Union Inn. Thanks to Jaine for helpful comments on the slideshow and thanks to everyone whose pictures we have used.
30/04/19 ‘Lucky like me’ uploaded to YouTube:
Jasmin‘s encouragement spurred me on to record ‘Lucky like me‘ which I wrote last summer (2018). Here it is with a selection of family photos starting off with one of my mum and dad before I was born and, towards the end, an up-to-date family photo (April 2019).
In the face of the impending Climate Crisis and the current Ecological Crisis, what stops me being totally depressed is the feeling that I’m incredibly lucky to have lived through the best years on Earth (in our society) that there will ever be, and also the love and support of our family. These feelings are where the idea and lyrics originate. The slow and simple style of ‘Lucky like me’ was inspired by the music of John Prine and Mary Gautier.
In the 1958, ’62 and ’64 photos you can also see my sister Sarah, and in the 1962 photo the curly-haired boy is my cousin Steve Britton.
I hope you like it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp5sP2IKfiA
26/04/19 Owly Dave arrested(!) and wrote a new song:
At 1Oam on Monday 15th April, as part of Totnes and Area Extinction Rebellion Group, we took Waterloo Bridge in London and held it for six days in protest against insufficient government action on Climate Change and complicity in the 6th Mass Extinction Event. Here’s a short film about our action on the bridge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH6Ir0gxJLw
I was arrested around midnight on the first day whilst we were holding the Rebel for Life banner and taken, with others, to Walworth Police Station where I was held alone in Cell 2 for over 15 hours during which I wrote the verses of a new protest song using, as a chorus, the chant we were all singing at the time of my arrest:
Climate Justice now, people gonna rise like water. Turn this system ’round, in the voice of my great granddaughter
In the next few weeks I hope to record ‘Climate Justice Now’ and publish it on YouTube.
In the event I was about the 20th person to be arrested out of >1,100. Well done everyone! Here’s an interview I did for Sky News https://www.facebook.com/francesjaine/posts/10157295917430972
I’ve been deeply moved by the support I’ve received from family and friends, and the support we all received from the vast majority of passers by and from the police who were wonderful. Thank you all. x
30/03/19 Owly Dave Gig News:
Tuesday 2nd April, 20-min slot at the Barnfield Theatre in Exeter as part of ‘Down to the wire’ a songwriters event run by Creative Culture SW. I’m due on stage at 20:50. https://www.facebook.com/events/356869918436508/
Monday 17th June at the Acoustic Warehouse, Passage House Inn, Kingsteignton, 45-min ‘Featured Artist’ slot to finish the evening. Event starts at 7.15pm, I’ll be playing from 9.30-10.15.
Saturday 29th June at Ashburton Arts – Barn Owl Trust Charity Concert, I’ll be supporting Barron Brady along with Kathryn Collings and Harpingmad. Doors open at 7 for 7.30pm. Tickets £5, £8, £10. https://www.facebook.com/events/2132002727090503/
… and a recording update:
At Jasmin‘s request, I’ve just recorded my (fairly) new song ‘Lucky like me’ and tonight I hope to start recording my latest song ‘A farmer back then’ for Martin Scragg‘s ‘Radio Ballad’ project.
14/03/19 Songwriting update:
I’ve been working on a new song, one of two that I hope to write for Martin Scragg who is creating a ‘Radio Ballad’ on the subject of pre-war farming in Devon. This first one, almost finished, is called ‘A farmer back then’.
17/02/19 Songwriting update:
Just finished my new song, now renamed ‘Arctic warming’. It’s an easy to play, up-beat song which aims to increase environmental awareness.
10/02/19 Songwriting update:
I’m just putting the finishing touches to a new song, working title ‘I’ll tell you this’ – an up-beat environmental protest song.
08/02/19 Anne Darby update:
Thanks to Mick McAndrew, we’ve collected another song by Anne Darby! Just click ‘Anne Darby’ (above), scroll down a bit, and you’ll find a link to ‘Freedom Song’ on YouTube.
09/12/18 New song published!
‘Kiss Goodbye’ has just been uploaded to YouTube: https://youtu.be/GL09406TMxo.
Special thanks go to Kathryn Collings (vocal), Sophia Colkin (violin), Lesley Stuckey (cello), and to Jaine for helping with the slideshow.
08/11/18 Exciting new collaboration coming up:
Plans are underway to record my new song ‘Kiss Goodbye‘ before the end of the year with the amazing voice of Kathryn Collings, the lovely Lesley Stuckey on cello, and the superb Sophia Colkin on violin. I’ll just be playing Spanish guitar. Well that’s the current plan, who knows how it might evolve…
Kiss Goodbye is an environmental protest song in the same vein as ‘Endangered‘ (hard hitting lyrics, gently delivered).
04/11/18 Songwriting update:
I have a new protest song at ‘final tweaking’ stage, working title ‘Kiss goodbye‘. Written in less than 2 weeks from start to finish which is pretty quick for me these days. Oh, and, my previous new song ‘Lucky like me‘ is (thankfully) very well received when I play it out and Jasmin has asked me to record it. I might just do that.
22/10/18 ‘Dartmoor Rocks’ uploaded to YouTube:
Here’s the link to my new recording and video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpOObKK_Pk0. Thanks to Martyn Hillstead for drumming and to Frances Jaine for help with the slideshow timings. Also thanks to the Carpenter family for permission to use photos of their children on Haytor.
I decided not to travel to London for today’s ‘Peoples Walk for Wildlife’ protest march, opting instead for a more environmentally-friendly contribution: helping to increase environmental awareness through music – I played ‘Endangered‘ to an audience of about 30 at a Folk Evening in Coombeinteignhead Church. Thanks to Martyn Hillstead for the opportunity.
I have another minor gig coming up, this time at the Alice Cross Centre in Teignmouth courtesy of local folk legend Hugh Diamond. Paddy and I will be performing two 20-min sets to a select audience at 8pm on Monday 8th October.
I’m currently recording ‘Dartmoor Rocks‘ which I wrote around Christmas 2015 and have invited the one and only Martyn Hillstead to add some drum kit percussion to it – this rather rocky little number will be my next YouTube video.
My new Portuguese song ‘Devaneio-viagem‘ is slowly coming together. The lyrics, penned by Portuguese poet Piedade Roque are now ready (thanks Piedade!). Next step is to polish the musical arrangement with a nicer guitar part, possibly adding some bass, then to find a Portuguese singer who’d like to perform it in front of a microphone.
27/07/18 (thankfully) Another gig success!
According to Martyn Hillstead, organiser of Teignmouth Folk Club:
“Told you so… I said that I had a feeling in my water that tonight’s folk club was going to be a good night, and so it proved, in spades! The only way that I could have got more people in would have been to knock a couple of walls down! It was heaving, probably the best attended night in the club’s history. Lots of first time visitors, all of whom seemed to be having a great time. Obviously my thanks must go to our guests ‘Owly’ Dave Ramsden & ‘Whistling’ Paddy Reardon, who together with a few of their friends, provided a great evening.”
And this comment from wonderful singer/songwriter Julia Howe:
“A magical evening bursting with song! Wonderful sets from Owly Dave and Whistling Paddy ~ plus their guests singers Maz and Jules and harpist Susie and violinist Sophie – music is such a powerful way to convey so many emotions. Thank you for a memorable night x”
Huge thanks to Whistling Paddy, Maz who sang ‘A little romance’ with me, Susie who played harp and sang on ‘Endangered’, Jules Jones who sang on ‘Inner peace’, and Sophia who played violin on ‘Inner peace’ and ‘Peter’s Dream’. You were all wonderful!
… and a HUGE thank you to everyone who came. x
13/07/18 New LIVE video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QeB8sngOzE
08/07/18 Gig success! Thankfully our 45-minute set at South Brent Folk Day was very well received and our audience pretty well filled the venue – BIG thank you to everyone who came! Special thank you to Jake and Christine for taking some great photos and to Maz for singing ‘A little romance’ with me.
28/06/18 Songwriting update: Just putting the finishing touches to a new song called ‘Lucky like me’. It’s a fairly slow light-hearted little ditty – possibly a reaction to the last two which were both protest songs – inspired by the laid back style of John Prine possibly with a pinch of Mary Gautier thrown in there somewhere too.
Gig News! Owly Dave will play a 15 minute set, and also a further 15 minute set with Whistling Paddy as part of the Westcountry Traditions Festival at The Beach Pub, Exmouth, Devon, on Saturday 2nd June between 12:30 and 16:30. It’s near Exmouth Docks. Thanks to The Cornelius Family (Exeter Folk Club) for the invitation.
11/05/18 Another new song on YouTube! Here’s ‘Benny the Fox’. Thanks to Jaine for comments on the slideshow and thanks to Paddy for adding some great whistle playing.
05/05/18 Songwriting & recording update: Just recorded my new song (now called) Benny the Fox with a fabulous whistle part from Whistling Paddy. Currently collecting images for a slideshow for YouTube. Also, I’ve almost finished arranging the music for a new Portuguese-inspired song, working title Pequenos devaneios which means ‘Little daydreams’. Unlike ‘Benny the Fox’ which is a “pretty/unpleasant” protest song, ‘Pequenos devaneios’ will just be pretty (I hope). x
15/04/17 New song on YouTube: Causing of pain (a protest song) has just been uploaded. Many thanks to Jaine for comments and to everyone whose images we have used. https://youtu.be/aAqihiGAumY
Songwriting update 06/04/18: Just putting the finishing touches to another a new protest song! This one came really fast, no idea why, it just did. Working title ‘A fox’s tale’ – no prizes for guessing what it’s about.
Songwriting update 14/03/18: Just putting the finishing touches to a new protest song – working title ‘Spilling of blood’ or it may be called ‘Causing of pain’. I guess it’s a backlash against lightweight songs I’ve written about holidays (e.g. Granada Overnight), pretty girls (e.g. Girl in Umbrete), and protest songs that don’t sound like protest songs (like Endangered).
Spilling of blood / Causing of pain raises unpleasant topics and delivers (I hope) a powerful message.
Gig news! Owly Dave and Whistling Paddy will perform a 45-min set in the Old School Community Centre as part of South Brent Folk Day during the afternoon on Saturday 7th July 2018. Then on Thursday 26th July we’ll be the featured artists playing two 40-min sets at Teignmouth Folk Club from 8pm.
If you can’t wait that long, you can sometimes catch us at Totnes Folk Club (second Thurs. of the month), Teignmouth Folk Club (last Thurs. of the month), Exeter Folk Club (last Friday of the month) or at the Teign House Inn, Christow (third Wednesday of the month).
GIG POSTPONEMENT Sadly, the Owly Dave and Whistling Paddy gig at Teignmouth Folk Club has been postponed from 25th January to 8pm Thursday the 26th July (2018) for medical reasons.
17/12/17 New song on YouTube: Girl in Umbrete has just been uploaded. Many thanks to Paddy Reardon for arranging and adding a double bass part. https://youtu.be/cNSBY9zCr1k
16/12/17 Two new CD’s: My first full-length CD ‘Owly Dave‘ is finished and the first mail order copies have gone out. First copies of ‘Whistling Paddy & Owly Dave‘ are ready too. This features five traditional tunes, Da Slockit Light by Tom Anderson, two instrumentals I wrote, and three of my songs (all with Paddy playing whistle).
To get hold of a copy of either CD please visit MY MUSIC page
02/12/17 Forthcoming Owly Dave CD News: First copies should be ready on or around 9th December 2017. The playlist includes three previously unreleased tracks(*) :
Come on Davy Crockett
Perfect Wedding *
The little man who taught us how to fly
Some Folk *
Susie’s Tune (instrumental)
The flying paramedic
Girl in Umbrete *
24/11/17 Gig News: Last night’s gig at the Crabshell Inn in Kingsbridge seemed to be a great success! The place was packed and we are especially grateful to all those friends and others who came especially to hear ‘Owly Dave & Whistling Paddy’ and of course very grateful to the organiser Paul Rossiter for inviting us. Thanks to Christine Bovey for the photo.
Next gig for the two of us will be at Teignmouth Folk Club on 25th January 2018 where we’ve been invited to play two 40-minute sets.
19/11/17 New tune on YouTube: I’ve just uploaded my new instrumental called ‘Wandering through Evora‘. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6RXxMkjkAI&t=103s. My recording of ‘Girl in Umbrete‘ is still waiting for Paddy to add his double bass part. We’ve been rather busy rehearsing for our gig next Thursday.
18/11/17 Interview with South Brent Radio, 25 mins including 2 songs played live in the studio. Click this link and then scroll forward to 26:50 https://www.mixcloud.com/SouthBrentRadio/south-brent-primary-school-owly-dave/
03/11/17 My new whistle tune has just been uploaded to YouTube with many thanks to Whistling Paddy for (you guessed it) his whistle playing and to Frances Jaine for creating a great slideshow to go with it featuring pictures of the village. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=janeoLlWPZs
24/10/17 HOT news from Folk Valley! Jaine and I are planning to produce a new Owly Dave CD before Christmas! Currently trying to decide which tracks to include. Hmm, tricky…
PS. I’m currently writing a new tune that’s probably going to be called ‘Memories of Evora’
Gig news and other stuff:
Owly Dave and Whistling Paddy – Thursday 23rd November 2017, Crabshell Inn, Kingsbridge, Devon. 40 minute set starting at 8pm.
Owly Dave and Whistling Paddy – Thursday 25th January 2018, Guest Night at Teignmouth Folk Club, Oystercatchers Cafe, Teignmouth, Devon. Two 40 minute sets after 8pm.
Sorry for the recent lack of updates – We’ve been away in London and Portugal. However, lots in the pipeline – recordings of ‘Girl in Umbrete‘ and the ‘Staverton Waltz‘ are underway and waiting for double bass and whistle to be added.
I will also be uploading songs from the 1984 ‘Planet Waves‘ album Apocalypso Sunshine on which I played 2nd guitar, sang a bit, and help with mixing. ‘Planet Waves’ was very much the band of a fantastic singer-songwriter called DenRay – more news later this autumn.
The Barn Owl Trust has just launched 10 new short instructional films which we’ve been making for the past 18 months with our friend Robbie at Hill Tribe Media. Fantastic guitarist Si Barron kindly provided the music for all ten films. Find them here – https://www.youtube.com/user/BarnOwlTrust1/videos
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.