Label – Red Sky Records RSKCD120
Release date – 7th April 2014
Borderland is a new collection of songs from England, Ireland, Wales, and the USA. Included are the much requested song ‘Homeward’, ‘Joseph Baker’ (by Pete Coe) and ‘Safe Home’. In this Centenary Year, there are three songs of the 1st World War- ‘John Condon’, ‘Dream of England,’ and ‘Gloucestershire From Abroad’. The album also includes three traditional songs, ‘The Brazier’s Daughter’ with new tune by Johnny, ‘Mary from Dungloe’ – learnt from Christy Moore’s sister Eilish, and the Welsh song ‘Cariad Cyntaf (First Love)’ with new words in English written by Johnny. Also included is the superb ‘Moonlit Apples’ – a setting of a poem by John Drinkwater. Guest musicians include Karen Tweed – ex-Poozies, and ex-Swap on accordion, Paul Burgess – John Kirkpatrick Band and Old Swan Band on violin and recorders, Mike Silver on guitar and backing vocals, Geoff March, ex- Decameron on cello), and John Neilson on accordion and co-writer of the title track.
Johnny is a singer/songwriter and composer who began his career as a founder member of the folk band Decameron. After going solo, he went on to work for many years as a duo with Phil Beer (Show of Hands). He has recorded over twelve albums including The Winding Stair, Forest and Vale and High Blue Hill, Edge of Day (a collaboration with Laurie Lee), and Roll on Dreamer.
“The aim of the new album was to capture a solo performance, and get right to the heart of these songs of borderlands – about people and places, love and war.I had such a great time recording with fine musicians like Karen Tweed – and it’s wonderful that the CD design has artwork by my partner Katharine Neilson “.
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Johnny tours solo and also as a duo with singer/songwriter Mike Silver. Playing guitar and piano, his music is essentially English and always melodic and evocative. Johnny has performed at many festivals and was commissioned to write songs for the 2013 Cheltenham Festival. This year he will be launching the Borderland album on a tour in the Spring, and performing his tribute to Laurie Lee at his Centenary celebrations June 2014 onwards.
He presents an Acoustic Music programme every Saturday at 5.30pm on BBC Radio Gloucestershire. www.bbc.co.uk/gloucestershire listen again for 7 days. TV appearances include his own programme Song of Gloucestershire for the BBC, Stars in a Dark Night for Channel 4, and Between Two Rivers for ITV.
His original music for theatre includes ‘Songs on Lonely Roads’ (the story of composer/poet Ivor Gurney) and ‘Edge of Day – a tribute to Laurie Lee’ (both with David Goodland and Paul Burgess) as well as for all The Festival Players Theatre Company’s open-air productions of Shakespeare plays since 1991. This professional company has a 3 month tour every summer with all the music written and directed by Johnny. Productions of both “The Comedy of Errors” and “Macbeth” will be touring the UK during summer of 2013.
He has edited two poetry anthologies – Forest & Vale & High Blue Hill, and Between the Severn and the Wye, and his book, A Country Christmas, is a collection of prose, poetry, carols, songs and folklore based on his Christmas albums and annual Christmas touring show- All on a Winter’s Night.
“One of our most underrated folk artists”- THE LIVING TRADITION
“Eloquent, evocative and romantic” – BIRMINGHAM POST
Artist’s website: www.johnnycoppin.co.uk