New album available to buy... Band of Joy ... Acoustic Avalon

Our new album ‘Three Fires’ is finally here and available from the ‘Buy’ page on this website. Some of the sleeve notes can be read on the ‘Albums’ page where you can read about some of the tunes on there and where you can also find a track listing. It is currently being digitalised so you will be able to download it from the usual suspects in a short while for the peeps who prefer virtual versions. Feedback from the people who pre-ordered and have already received it has been fab, and thanks to all those who have gone to the trouble of getting in touch and saying such nice things. We’ve put a couple of MP3s for you to listen to on the ‘Music’ page with more sound clips to follow in the near future. Listen out for the James McKeefry's Celtic Fringe programme on BBC Leicester tomorrow night (Wednesday 3rd November) at 7.00pm, where he will be playing ‘Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)’ on his show.

October proved to be a very eventful month, we’ve had some fantastic village hall gigs and our thanks goes out to all the committees and people who have helped and supported live music enabling us to do what we love doing! Special thanks to Tom for sending us an album by Jerry Douglas (who we know as a member of Union Station who play with Alison Krauss), Russ Barenberg and Edgar Meyer entitled ‘Skip, Hop and Wobble.’ Like us they are an instrumental trio and they play a combination of traditional and self penned tunes. The sleeve notes of the album really struck a chord with us too!

We managed to make it over to the Birmingham Symphony Hall to watch Robert Plant and The Band of Joy last Wednesday and it was a complete inspiration. Fantastic musicians who looked to be really enjoying the wonderful music they were collectively making.


A great review of the night can be read at the Tight but Loose website – a website dedicated to all things Led Zeppelin – which Char lives on! If you can, check out the BBC red button next week where the performance and interviews from last Friday’s Electric Proms will be screened to see what we mean. Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara played set beforehand and introduced a whole new instrument to us, a ritti, a one-stringed fiddle and West African ancestor of the violin. It makes the most amazing sound and really interweaves with the electric guitar. The album is ‘Soul Science’ is well worth checking out and we are currently playing it and grooving along as we set up all the gear for our gigs. Fantastic evening all round.

Last Sunday, we found ourselves travelling up the M6 to spend the day at Leicester Racecourse where a fantastic guitar shop called Sheehans of Leicester were staging a festival called Acoustic Avalon. It was heaven for two of the band members. If you are into acoustic guitars it is a must to go there. It happens each year and runs over the whole weekend. As well as shipping all their beautiful stock of guitars over there, representatives of all the guitars stocked are on hand so you can actually chat to the people who make or distribute the instruments. Steve’s Taylor 314CE had a fret dressing and overhaul by the fantastic Taylor technicians and now plays even more like a dream. He also discovered a truly beautiful instrument – a Taylor 8 string Baritone guitar, it mesmerised everyone as soon as it was played. Many thanks to David Hosler from Taylor Guitars for introducing us to such an amazing instrument, it will take whalebone in a new direction once we start to write music on it! Every home should have one.

Radio listen again... Theatrical Winterval... New Vid... Social Networking...

We stopped by to do a little interview and play a live tune on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire last Friday with Mark Powlett - the interview starts about 1 hour 21mins into the show - click HERE to listen again (available until Friday 15th October).

This weekend also saw the first rehearsal of the joint Whalebone/Bridgnorth Players show for November and December, titled 'Theatrical Winterval'. There's all sorts of exciting things in the show, from humorous sketches and monologues to some eerie ghost tales, with suitable musical accompaniment from us. We'll also be playing some of our music, including a few tunes from the new CD, which should be with us any day now. Bridgnorth Players are a great bunch, and we laughed throught the whole rehearsal,..except when we discovered we were going to be part of one of the pieces! We don't have to act much, but we fully expect an Olivier Award nomination for out performance...or maybe not.


We have added a video page to the website where we currently have a video for Herman the Carpenter - the first track off the new album 'Three Fires'. You may also notice we’ve gone uber interactive with the website. You can now leave comments on any of our blog articles as well as the Guestbook and you can also share the content of any of our website pages using a variety of social networking websites by clicking the ‘Share’ buttons on the relevant pages. Talking of which, we now have links to our Facebook page, Myspace page, Twitter page and our Youtube Channel – so feel free to follow/tweet/subscribe :-)

New Album title... ‘Three Fires’... will be here very soon!

We have decided upon a title for the new album – ‘Three Fires’. It is one of the new tunes on the CD written earlier this year - and we thought it nice enough to become the title track. Here is a sneaky explanation of how we arrived at the song title which is taken from the sleeve notes:

‘From the 13th century in Great Britain, Midsummer was celebrated on Midsummer’s Eve by the lighting of bonfires and celebrations. In the late 15th century a man called John Mirk recorded reports of three fires being lit at Lilleshall Abbey in Shropshire to mark the date. The first fire was made up of clean bones called a Bonnefyre (where we get the term Bonfire from), the second of clean wood called a Wakefyre (because people celebrating would stay awake by it all night) and the third fire would be made of both bones and wood and called 'St John’s fyre’ in order to worship St John the Baptist.’

And here is a preview of the front cover:


There is a real mixture of tunes, some traditional, some covers and alot of original songs that reflect all our influences and has been inspired by Shropshire, the county where we all live and where we recorded the album. It clocks in at just under 60 minutes and is currently being mastered and produced in Scotland with an expected delivery during October.

MP3 Review and New Album Update

The very nice people at the Celtic MP3s Music Magazine (see our links page) have posted a review of our tune September Reel which you can see HERE. The site offers a great range of articles, reviews and downloads and is a great way of finding out about a wide range of celtic music and is well worth checking out.

Below is a pic taken at the concert we played at the very atmospheric Yarpole Church in Herefordshire last week. Thanks to David Cheshire who took lots of lovely pics on the night (if David reads this, we tried to email to thank you personally but the email address bounced back). Unfortunately, Strange Folk, the festival that was due to take place in Hope Bagot at the start of September has had to be postponed until next year due to unforeseen circumstances.


We’re currently mixing and producing the new album. We still haven’t settled on an album name (any suggestions get in touch!) but we have decided upon a tracklisting but not necessarily in the order below: 

  1. Herman the Carpenter
  2. The Gathering 
  3. Wenlock Hare
  4. Three Fires
  5. The Boxer
  6. Red Moon
  7. November
  8. Hooty Mullock
  9. Cordon Morning
  10. Sweet Child O’Mine
  11. Wildcat
  12. Stairway to Heaven
  13. Londonderry Air
  14. Wait

It’s going to be the largest album we’ve produced so far.... The artwork is coming on nicely and will be a lot more colourful than previous offerings with lots of photos. Off to have a mini holiday now, then back to play Chorley Show. You can see what else is going to happen at this years show by visiting their website HERE.

Distant Radio and Sky TV

Had some radio play on a couple of stations in Canada and America. Andy Donnelly on CKUA played our version of Sultans of Swing on his Celtic Show. The show plays a wide range of Celtic influenced music broadcast on a Friday night and you can listen online and check out the website at The Celtic Show.

Cindy Funk on WYSO (a radio station in Ohio) played King of the Faeries off our live album on her show the Dear Green Place. Cindy plays a wide range of Celtic inspired music each Saturday and details of the show can be found by clicking on the link above.

Also had a production company get in touch wanting to use some of our music for a television programme so we said 'Yes'. The programme focuses on inland waterways and boating and is broadcast on Sky channel 166 Mondays, repeated on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm. It is produced by Serious Lesuire TV and there are four episodes planned to air over the next month.

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