Newsletter February 2012


Hi folks!

Well here I am writing my first newsletter as a "professional folk singer"... Feel free to roll around laughing! No gigs to announce yet - just started working on that part - but I do now have my debut album available on CD and I've set up my own label and web site, Quantock Records, to market it and future releases.

My wife, Jenny, and I are travelling to Australia for the last week of March and all of April. We will be attending the National Folk Festival in Canberra (5th to 9th April) and St Albans Folk Festival (20th to 22nd April) near Sydney. We were married at St Albans FF in 2010. We will also be doing a 20 minute spot at the Loaded Dog Folk Club in Sydney on April 28th.

The new album is the first volume in a series containing songs from around the Quantock Hills in West Somerset. I will be making the rest over the next few years.

The title of the series is "Outstanding Natural Beauty": a reference to the fact that the Quantock Hills was the first officially designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England.

The CD has a total playing time of about 68 minutes and contains 17 wonderful songs from the repertoire of Jane Gulliford of Combe Florey, Somerset. These and a further 20 or so were given to the Hammond Brothers in 1905 and are now available in manuscript form on the EFDSS "Take Six" archive web pages.

I decided to make the album in June 2011. I quickly came to the conclusion that I wanted to work with someone like John Kirkpatrick, and since I know John from my time with Hammersmith Morris in the early '70s, I button holed him at Priddy Folk Festival and, lo and behold, he agreed to work with me. I also knew that I wanted to have some brass instruments in a few of the songs, and I asked around until I found Tom Crane of the HMS Heron Volunteer Band based at Yeovilton. Tom was wonderful and came up with great arrangements for 3 of the songs and a fanfare to use in a 4th. He even played cello on one track. All I needed then was a female singer to lead a few songs that were more appropriate for a woman. I asked Judy Bland to help as I knew she could sing and she lived quite near. Judy agreed and along with my wife, Jenny, who also sings on the album, I had my team.

The recording and mixing were done at ActionTrack in South Petherton with the help of their brilliant recording engineer Nick Brace.

For more information, go to my web site and Quantock Records' web site

Click here to view this newsletter online.

Best Wishes,

Rob Williams
Last modified: Sun Mar 4 16:54:07 GMT 2012