Well back at the start of this year 2005, I made a ‘New Years’ resolution to keep this website up-dated and here I am in the middle of July with an update of events of this year so far!!!!

At this moment of updating we are in France at La Jeusseliniere having just finished John Dipper’s Adult Beginners Fiddle Course. John bought Mike Beeke along with his English Pipes and we had some truly memorable impromtu sessions, even a special Monday evening session just for our French neighbours who due to Farming commitments missed the Friday evening concert with the students.

Each week we have had so far has just been great hearing the songs and music that are coming out of La Jeuss. It is such a joy for us and we are looking forward to all the forthcoming weeks. We have had many people coming back for the 3rd or 4th year, and indeed there is a La Jeuss gathering in Shropshire this October 21st – 23rd being organised by Harvey Andrews and Stan Graham, both tutoring here again at La Jeuss in August, for details of this event see the La Jeuss website [LINK REMOVED – NO LONGER ACTIVE]

The Song Links projects moved on to phase 2 with the launching of the Song Links 2 Double CD ( English Traditional songs and their American versions) at a Concert / CD launch at Cecil Sharp House, London on April 17th this year. Shirley Collins did a terrific job researching the songs for Song Links 2 with her knowledge and first hand experience of the American songs, wonderfully illustrated in her recent book America Over The Water, (SAF Publishing, ISBN 0-946719-66-7) and she wrote superb, informative accompanying notes which form the 80 page booklet that is part of this package. Malcolm Taylor of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library was also of invaluable assistance.

The performers on the English CD are: The Copper Family, John Copper, Mary Humphreys and Anahata, John Kirkpatrick, Benji Kirkpatrick, Emily Portman and Lauren McCormick, Bill Whaley and Dave Fletcher, Jim Causley, and myself with Iris Bishop, John Dipper and Gary Holder as No Man’s Band.

On the American CD are: Jean Ritchie, Jody Stecher, Tim Eriksen, Cassie Franklin and Southern Brew, Sara Grey, Kieron Means,  Skip Gorman, Sheila Kay Adams, Bruce Molsky, and Jeff Davis

This followed on from the success of the first Song Links ( English Traditional Songs and their Australian versions).Both of these Double CD’s are available through Fellside Recordings and this Website, more about Song Links on the Link.

See also review by David Kidman of the concert.

This year along with the highs have been the lows such as the sad passing of Cyril Tawney, who had such a great influence and impact on many singers and songwriters. I so well remember being mesmerised on hearing his recording of the ‘Seeds of Love’ back in the 1960’s and also hearing at the same time ‘Sammy’s Bar’ sung by a sailor in Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

I am looking forward to being at the Sidmouth Festival and sharing a concert with Emily Portman and Lauren McCormick who along with Jim Causely I regard as some of the finest of our young English singers, we were delighted to have them featured on Song Links 2, just listen to their version of the Cuckoo.

Iris Bishop will be with me and also John Dipper, such inspirational musicians, Iris will also be with me at sunny Whitby, another great Festival celebrating traditional as well as the all important contemporary songs.

‘Oceans in the Sky’ which is to be my next CD, has been recorded and is in the final stages, there have been a couple of hold ups, but it should be on the way soon. It is all contemporary songs as I feel that it is such an important part of the folk process, and such good songs are being written.

I have chosen a mix of songs from England, Australia and one from America.

The songwriters using my Trojan method are Jane Coombs, Eric Bogle, Lawrence Dean, Stan Graham, Cyril Tawney, Miggy Campbell, Steve Peters, Derek Moule, Mike O’Connor, and John Beavis.

As always I am pleased to have Iris Bishop, John Dipper and Gary Holder as No Man’s Band accompanying me, they are such great and sensitive musicians.

As for family matters, Dan had to go back to England between two of the La Jeuss courses to be with our daughter Jess at the birth of our 5th grandchild, Amelia, sister to Harriet and Tom, in England, our other two grandchildren Tess and Jack are in Australia with our daughter Charlotte. Our other daughter Lucy, is extremely busy with some very exciting projects at the moment, watch this space.