Christmas is nearly upon us, and acclaimed Gloucestershire singer/ songwriter and Radio Gloucester presenter, Johnny Coppin is currently on his annual tour taking the All On A Winter’s Night Christmas concert to various place in the country. Johnny has been doing a run of Christmas concerts in December for a number of years, with various musicians in his band such as Paul Burgess, Dik Cadbury, Karen Tweed, and Geoff March. Sadly missing is the guitar playing of Mick Dolan, who died in 2014, and who had played in bands with Johnny for a number of years, going back to his Decameron days.
Johnny decided to put some of the lovely songs which are played at these concerts on an album, and it has now just been released. All of the above artists play on the new album with the addition of Steve Trigg on flugelhorn and trumpet and percussionist David Pickering-Pick.
This album is a real treat to listen to, a selection of songs that warm you for the Festive season and midwinter. Johnny has a lovely melodic voice that brings out the best in all these tunes, whilst playing his haunting keyboard in his own inimitable way. I’m not a big fan of Christmas, but love this album, as it takes us back to the true value and meaning of Christmas. Not about rushing out to feed retail outlets and less meaningful things. It’s about the true tradition and anticipation of Christmas, of family and reunions, of loved ones not present, The Nativity and all things of midwinter including warm fires!
The tracks included on the album are ‘All On A Winter’s Night’ – a lovely intro, that conveys the joy of anticipation of Christmas, ‘Counting The Hours To Christmas’ – a song of reunion, ‘The Christmas Star’ ( by Kimmie Rhodes) which is one of my favourite tracks, ‘Halsway Carol’ (by Nigel Eaton) named so after Halsway Manor – the National Centre for Folk Arts based in Somerset, ‘Welcome In Another Year’ (by Zoe Mulford), ‘A Connemara Christmas’ written by the late Mick Dolan, especially for the Christmas shows, ‘Snow In The Street’ (from a poem by William Morris), and classics like ‘God Rest You Merry Gentlemen’, the traditional carol ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ (to Gustav Holst’s tune ‘Cranham’) which we all know and which is a fabulous version on this album, ‘Gabriel’s Message’ (A Basque carol with English words by the Reverend Sabine Baring Gould from Devon), and ‘O Holy Night’ – which you may not know – is a 19th century carol.
All the photos on the album are by Martin Fry, who does the amazing pictures for the Christmas shows and the album is on sale at the Christmas concerts in December 2016. Alternatively purchase through Johnny’s website where you can also find out where Johnny is out on tour.
Artist’s website: https://johnnycoppin.wordpress.com