Jez’s new album and book – a few details.
As well as recording the new album of traditional songs – see below – Jez is also putting final touches to his new book, a novel, the story of which references several traditional folk songs from North East England, hence the accompanying new CD. Jez has announced the publication of his first novel at several gigs in the last week or so, citing a publication date as late November, and saying that it was written about three years ago. Kari MacLeod, sometime fiddler with The Bad Pennies and a well-known portrait painter around Tyneside, has been commissioned to come up with the cover of the book, and it’s likely to be used on the CD as well. Both will share the same title. Jez has been recording tracks for the new album throughout the summer, and was in the studio with Bad Pennies bassist David De La Haye last week, along with Newcastle-based singer Rachel Hamer, who has added backing vocals to some of the tracks. At solo gigs last weekend, Jez included the traditional song BOBBY SHAFTO in his set, and said it would be on the new album. It’s a song he’s been doing for some time, and is featured briefly on the DVD film that was included in the “Northern Echoes” album in 2008. He also referred to the new album as being a “folk mash-up”, which we take to his meaning that, as we suspected, it will be one long, continuous piece of music rather than individual tracks, presumably corresponding to the flow of the story in the novel. It sounds both ambitious and intriguing… Jez has solo gigs in Sunderland and Hull this week, and then he sets off for his American tour next week. (Pic shows Jez and David at a recent Bad Pennies show)