NEW ALBUM NEWS!
Jez is on the road again – he’s with Steve Tilston in Bristol tonight at The Folk House – and then this week he’s in the studio putting finishing touches to the upcoming album of traditional songs, ready for release to coincide with the publication of his first novel. As mentioned before, the album is being referred to as “a suite of folk songs”, and this seems to indicate that it is not a simple collection of tracks. The inference also is that Jez has used various traditional songs from the North east of England as templates for new arrangements and re-written lyrics and melodies. This is something he has done in the past, notably on a song such as THE LOST PIPER, from the “Wotcheor!” album, where he used a set of verses known as “The Piper at Capheaton”, to which he added a chorus and a new melody. Earlier songs like MY KEEL LAD and BEAUMONT’S LIGHT HORSE were similarly (re)constructed. The one song from the new album that he has performed so far, THE NEW BENWELL LASS, seems also to have followed this pattern, as no such song exists, as far as we can tell. The new album is being produced by David De La Haye, Bad Pennies bass-player, who has recorded most of Jez’s recent out-put. Jez will be at David’s studio in Newcastle for most of this week. There’s no word on who else is involved in the album. Title-wise, it’s likely to share the same one as the novel. Someone else from the Bad Pennies coterie has been asked to provide art-work for the project… Other news – famed BBC TV personality Mike Neville died earlier this week. He was an icon for people in North East England, reading nightly news bulletins from the early 1960’s until 2010. In 1992, Jez wrote the song MIKE NEVILLE SAID IT (SO IT MUST BE TRUE) when the British government closed the coal-mining industry. It was included on the “Bede Weeps” album, and Jez was invited with The Bad Pennies to perform it on Mike’s BBC programme “Look North”. A short video of Jez performing the song, informally, appeared on Facebook on the night of Mike’s passing, and Jez was interviewed by BBC Radio Tees the next day about the writing of the song. (Pic – another from last month’s White Horse Festival in Oxfordshire).