New Album- Coming Soon
For the last year or so I have been recording a new album and it seems remiss not to let you all know how I am getting on. The album is provisionally called With Wolves the Lamb will Lie and I have been recording it in a converted farmhouse on the outskirts of Sheffield in South Yorkshire. The producer of the album is Andy Bell, who has produced some of the best records I’ve ever heard. He won the BBC Radio 2 Folk Album of the Year award in 2014 for his work with ‘The Full English’ collective. He is also a great drinking partner and all round good guy.
Andy invited me to record my first foray in December 2013 and I sat in his wooden room laying down some acoustic and vocal parts as I watched the snow drift across the surrounding fields. Sheffield people hold a tradition of meeting every Christmas to sing carols specific and local to the Sheffield area. We head out on the second night to the nearby village of Dungworth to join in. I drink too much and we stumble back bleary eyed using the dry stone walls as a guide and the frosty stars above to illuminate our feet. We repeat this carolling for two nights: recording, drinking and singing Christmas in.
It is a little while into 2014 before I return, this time in the summer. The heat plays across the gravel paths and we keep the windows open when we can. Toby Kearney, a superb percussionist, visits us from London and we record and make alfresco lunches on the patio looking out at the herds of cows that are Andy’s constant companions. We walk along the reservoir to a pub where we meet my friend Neil McSweeney. We play a pub quiz and Toby wins £15 on the bingo afterwards. Later in the week Lucy Farrell travels up from Kent and she sings beautiful harmonies while Neil and his children play football in the field outside.
Weeks later we reconvene in a small poky room in an East Sussex village not far from Brighton. Ben Nicholls, who is Seth Lakeman’s bass player, meets us at his studio to lay down his parts. We drink tea and eat scotch eggs and watch Ben play heavy riffs through a gnarly Hi Watt amp that sounds like thunder. He breathes low end life into the songs. The session lasts a day.
And so I return one final time to the valley in Sheffield in November 2014. We play guitars and sing some newer songs. We add the icing. Days later Thomas Lenthall and Jack McNeill add clarinets and pianos and it’s nearly done, I swear....just a few more yards to go.