Two Halves, the new album from Richard Trethewey, was first imagined for vinyl. It presents one side of songs and music inspired by stories from Cornwall’s wonderfully evocative river estuaries. The second half is more akin to his debut album ‘Dig Where You Stand’ and tells stories associated with Cornwall’s industrial heritage. Richard is joined by a selection of wonderful musicians and friends that he has worked with over the last few years.
The first side contains songs inspired by tales of smuggling and piracy to wonderfully eccentric royal visits, forgotten castles that overlooked the estuary and the harvest of the kea plum trees growing along the banks of the River Fal. The second half starts with the true story of Tretheweys who left the Clay Country to seek their fortune in Canada before moving onto a song inspired by and featuring the various sounds involved in the mining industry. As well as the sound of hammers being struck underground, Richard once again revisits his Brass Band connections and is accompanied by St Dennis Band Quartet on this track. From the story of an ice skating vicar taking to a frozen clay pit in the 1930’s to exploring Cornwall’s diaspora connections and ending with a lullaby (featuring Richard’s father singing in Cornish) inspired by Richard’s work as a Music Therapist for Children’s Hospice South West.
Richard has reunited with Dig Where You Stand producer Phil Innes as well as working with Iain McKnight again on the brass arrangement to produce this follow up album eleven years on. They do say Cornishmen do it ‘dreckly!
Born in Cornwall’s Clay Country, Richard Trethewey is a singer, fiddle and cittern player delivering his distinct take on Cornish music, giving Cornwall a truly authentic voice. Passionate about unearthing near forgotten gems of Cornish history, Richard breathes life and emotion into what might otherwise be overlooked.
Richard completed the Newcastle based Folk music degree in 2011, released his debut album Dig Where You Stand in 2012 and has been involved in many line-ups and projects since, however Two Halves marks only his second solo release.
In the intervening years Richard has performed and recorded with The Rowan Tree, Didjan (with Bec Applebee), The Grenaways, Kesson, Brother Sea, with Harbottle and Jonas, Jim Causley, Leski, Crowd as well as with Cousin Jack’s Theatre, performing the Mousehole Cat yearly in Mousehole itself but also touring in the USA and London. Richard also qualified as a Music Therapist in 2017.
As a member of The Rowan Tree, Richard and the band delivered arguably the most ambitious Cornish diaspora project undertaken to date. In 2020 the band released the fruits of their yearlong project Kolar’s Gold, an album collaborating with Indian musicians across the globe, which told the stories of the Cornish who emigrated and started new lives working the Gold Fields of Southern India. In 2020 Richard was made a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedh, taking the name ‘Kaner Drollys’ meaning Singer of Stories. In 2021 Richard released a song and tune book ‘Story Singer’, a collection of many of his self-written songs and tunes. It is precisely this, singing and protecting stories which drives Richard’s passion for and pride in being a voice for Cornwall and its unique history and people.
“Richard has a velvety voice and is a talented instrumentalist” Bright Young Folk
“This album is really story-telling at its best and a fine debut album from a young Cornishman” Folking.com
“Pride and passion and entertainment throughout” Fatea
Artist’s website: https://www.richardtrethewey.org
‘Frenchman’s Creek’ – official video:
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