Marry Waterson – new album and tour

Marry Waterson - new album and tour

Marry Waterson returns with a brand new album made in collaboration with David A. Jaycock on 20th November. Entitled Two Wolves, it was recorded in May of this year and produced by guitarist Neill MacColl and multi-instrumentalist & arranger Kate St. John.

The seeds for the union were sown in 2013 when David was asked – via mutual friend and collaborator, James Yorkston – to rearrange ‘Yolk Yellow Legged’, a co-write with Yorkston taken from Marry and brother Oliver Knight’s 2011 debut The Days That Shaped Me. David had been struck by the character and warmth of Marry’s singing when he saw her performing with Yorkston in 2009. “It was earthy, dreamlike, warm, powerful and jagged. It had the capacity to be both melancholic and joyful, and it could tell a story – of course Marry Waterson could tell a story!”

When Oliver elected to take a break from music last year, Marry found herself without a musical foil (“I don’t play an instrument, my tunes are sung into existence.”) So she was intrigued when David – described by Yorkston as a “Cornish hermit and underground psychedelic freak-ball” (!) – renewed contact to see if she would be interested in working together.

Hearing David’s music was to prove revelatory.

“I felt like I had entered through a door hanging askew on one twisted hinge into a surreal world of cobwebs, all layered guitars and synths,” recalls Marry. “Sometimes it’s scary in there, but mostly it’s beguiling.” All the more so as Marry discovered that “I could sing anything into David’s tunes, the words just wrapped themselves easily around the melodies, though I had to be quite inventive sometimes to accommodate certain structures – and that gave me a different voice.”

Starting with what became ‘Sing Me Into Your Tune’ – completed in a matter of hours – Marry and David entered into an eager musical correspondence by email and by phone.

“What was coming back from Marry convinced me that we were on the right path. I felt a more tonal, but still dreamlike, surreal and at times dark sound was emerging. It was fascinating and exciting sending ideas and waiting to hear what came back. I could still experiment and be playful but always had an ear on keeping to a more traditional structure. Marry was interpreting the pieces beautifully. The lyrics were complete.  I felt we were working almost telepathically at times. Modern technology making it all possible.”

The match made, Marry went about assembling a team of musicians around her to best service the material. Having previously worked with Neill MacColl and Kate St. John on several projects including Hal Willner’s Rogue’s Gallery at Sydney Opera House, the Bright Phoebus tour and on the forthcoming Ewan MacColl tribute album Joy of Living (contributing ‘The Exile Song’), the pair were the obvious choice to produce the record, in turn enlisting the help of outstanding musicians Kami Thompson (The Rails), Michael Tanner (Plinth), Alison Cotton (The Left Outsides), Simon Edwards (Fairground Attraction) and Emma Black (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra).

“Neill is another brilliant musician who really listens and gives you space,” enthuses Marry. “His contributions are so tasteful yet subtle, his playing is awesome, he’s rock solid and I feel safe with him. Kate’s arrangements are so compelling and definitive, vividly bringing these stories to life. They are both inventive and intuitive players.”

The songs themselves cover a wide range of subject material from laments about disappearing village communities (‘Hoping To Be Saved’) to the title track’s reflection on the duality of human nature. Two songs explicitly acknowledge the Waterson legacy: The words to ‘The Honey and the Seaweed’ are fashioned from an original Lal Waterson lyric, written out of love for her friend and co-writer Christine Collins and set down in the late 60’s in a book containing early Bright Phoebus songs. ‘Velvet Yeller’ meanwhile utilizes Mike Waterson’s recording of ‘Tam Lin’ to startling effect. “I got to ‘sing’ with him one more time by weaving him into this tribute, which he read before he died,” says Marry of the song.

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist’s website: http://marrywaterson.com/

Tour Dates

25th November          York                            The Basement

26th November          London                       The Green Note 

29th November          Stroud                        The Convent  

30th November          Brighton                     The Greys 

01st December           Birmingham               Kitchen Garden Cafe 

02nd December          Sheffield                     The Greystones 

03rd December          Halifax                        Arden Road Social Club

DAMIEN BARBER & MIKE WILSON – The Old Songs – DBS Records DBS004

The Old Songs is the second album from Damien and Mike and follows the pattern of their debut, Under The Influence, drawing material from, in the main, two distinguished singers – in this case Peter Bellamy and Mike Waterson. None of the songs are really obscure although ‘The Charlady’s Son’ may have you scratching your head unless you have Mike Waterson’s solo album and Dave Dodds’ ‘Drinking Song’ may be unfamiliar unless you live in this corner of the Surrey/Hants border where Dave was a well-known figure thirty years ago.

That’s really the point, though. These are old songs engrained in the memories of old folkies – even Richard Thompson’s ‘Down Where The Drunkards Roll’. Hands up if you’ve sung it or along with it in a folk club. That’s pretty much everyone, then. The words of the title track are by Bob Copper, whose family also supplied ‘Come Write Me Down’, and its music is by Peter Bellamy who is also the source of ‘Rag Fair’, ‘A Pilgrim’s Way’ and ‘Santa Fe Trail’. One song comes from June Tabor and then there is ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’. Mike sings it with great tenderness but it isn’t a song I care for due to an embarrassing incident when I was seventeen. No, I’m not going there.

Two voices plus Damien’s guitar and concertina make for an uncluttered album that could be reproduced live at a moment’s notice in keeping with the nature of the songs: to repeat my point, they are part of our collective repertoire. Damien and Mike stamp their own style on them although Damien can’t keep a hint of Bellamy’s vibrato out of his voice by the time they reach ‘Santa Fe Trail’. This is grass-roots folk singing at its best.

Dai Jeffries

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist Web Link: www.damienandmike.co.uk