“I had a discussion with my good friend, Jackie Morris, a writer of enchanting words and an illustrative artist of exquisite paintings, about where magic happens. She gave me the title and the rest of the song came from wherever words hang about and wait to find their new home…’Between a breath and a breath is where the magic lies.’” These are the words of the late Judy Dyble, talking about the album’s title track.
There is indeed a magic in this marriage of musical generations. Judy Dyble was part of the original line-up of folk rock legends Fairport Convention in 1967, before turning her back on the music business, while over 40 years later David Longdon’s arrival changed the fortunes of Big Big Train, now one of the leading names in the rock genre.
There is also a deep poignancy. The songs were written – Dyble’s words and Longdon’s music – before Judy was diagnosed with cancer, an illness borne with great courage to see the project through. Her death, in July of this year, has added a sad note to an artistic triumph with Judy’s performances possibly the finest of her career.
“(Judy’s) cool, clear vocals and his (David’s) richer tones, combine beautifully in inspired arrangements.” Mojo – Mike Barnes
The album contains seven original compositions with all lyrics by Judy Dyble and music by David Longdon. The songs are, at times, haunting and, at others, beautifully fragile.
Two additional Dyble Longdon tracks are also to be released as free digital downloads via Bandcamp and streaming services. ‘Crossbones’ is to be released on 30 October 2020 and ‘The Daguerreotype’ will be available from 13 November 2020. Listeners will be invited to make a donation, for these tracks, to Judy’s favoured charity, the Barley Greyhound Sanctuary http://www.barleykennels.co.uk/
“Judy and I set out to make a vinyl length album. Happily we ended up with more material than we needed,” David explains. “All of the seven songs that we ultimately selected for the album featured intensely personal lyrics for Judy. By contrast ‘Crossbones’ and ‘The Daguerreotype’ are outliers thematically. Judy and I were equally proud of them in their own right and agreed before her death that they needed to be heard, hence the digital releases in October and November.”
This collaboration with David Longdon is something Judy Dyble had hoped for some time.
“I first heard David sing with Big Big Train at King’s Place in 2015 and immediately decided that I really wanted to sing with him someday. And here we are with a collaborative album, which I think is wonderful!” she said.
David Longdon reflected: “Judy and I became friends during the writing and making of this album. Along the way, there was much laughter and joy – but also challenging moments. She was a woman of a certain age and she wrote articulately and unflinchingly about the autumn phase of her life.”
“She dealt with her illness with incredible courage and fortitude. She suspected this album was her swan song and she gave it her all. Judy reassured me that she’d had a great life. Which indeed she did. And I miss her greatly.”
“Between them David and Judy have gifted us with a graceful poignant and touching record that is a fine testimonial to the unique gentle talent of Judy Dyble and one that is brought to life by the great skills of David Longdon, the members of Big Big Train and a few others. This is an album that you must listen to or you miss it at your peril.” Progradar – John Wenlock-Smith
Between A Breath And A Breath was recorded at Real World Studios in Wiltshire and Playpen Studios in Bristol. The album was produced by David Longdon and mixed by Patrick Phillips (Elbow, Kate Bush and Sir Paul McCartney). The artwork for the album is by Sarah Ewing.
Artist’s website: http://judydyble.com/
‘Astrologers’ – official video: