I’m David Harley (or David A. Harley, to reduce confusion with other musicians), a Shropshire Lad by birth, born near Atcham and educated at the Priory School for Boys, Shrewsbury. That said, I’ve spent longer living outside the county than in it and have no strong opinions on the ‘right’ way to pronounce Shrewsbury except that I despise people who insist that theirs is the only right way and that anyone who thinks differently is either stupid or a social climber. My last spell in Shropshire – to be precise in Ludlow – came to an end in 2016, and I now live in Cornwall, not far from the mine workings that give their name to this blog. Until 2019 most of my income came from research into and writing about security, but it’s unlikely that the content of this blog will ever be much influenced by that, since I’m now retired.
To my slight bewilderment, there is a Wikipedia article about me here, but it’s mostly about my former daytime job(s) in IT security. However, I did play guitar for a (far from luxurious) living long ago, and never quite grew out of it. In the early 1970s I played with a number of bands in Wales and the Midlands, and worked with guitarist John Crosswaite as a duo, then with Sally Stevenson (now Sally Goddard) who is still giving it some welly with the Canadian band Atlantic Union. In the later 70s and 80s I worked with various bands and artists including Kathy Bowen-Jones, Nick Warman (as a trio we called ourselves the Flying Piglets – not my idea), Lyn (Anna) Thompson, Don MacLeod (often heard in recent years playing with the Julie July Band though we’ve gigged together occasionally), Rick Brandon (currently with punk/folk/indie band The Dicemen), and poet and songwriter Bernard Puckett. There are some miscellaneous recordings (mostly from the 80s) on Soundcloud and on a blog site imaginatively called David Harley Songs, which also includes some more recent demo recordings. I’m currently going through my 1980s studio recordings doing some vigorous remastering/post-processing (where practical), and some of that material is now available on Bandcamp.
- Tears of Morning is an album of Shropshire-related material, including some settings of verse by A.E. Housman.
- View From The Top is a collection of a few recordings from the 80s of songs written and/or recorded with Don MacLeod in the 1980s and includes the single One Step Away (From The Blues).
- The single Moonflow VI is an extended version of an instrumental from Tears of Morning.
- Hands of the Craftsman is a collection of songs and verse from the 1980s revue Nice (If You Can Get It), for which I wrote most of the original music.
In recent years I’ve been much more engaged with songwriting than with performing (as a guitarist or as a singer), but until Covid upset everything, I did inflict myself from time to time on audiences, occasionally around Shropshire but mostly in Cornwall. Sometimes solo, sometimes with ceilidh bands (most recently with Commoners Mock), though I doubt if I’ll do the ceilidh thing again now. And sometimes (but not nearly often enough) with the fine American (but Ludlow-based) singer Ann Merrill Gray or my long-time singer/songwriter/guitarist buddy Don MacLeod. And even with some of the more musical members of the security community: that tended to take me further afield (the most recent session was in Sydney). As I tend to avoid security conferences these days, that isn’t likely to happen in future, though. I am spending more time in what I grandly refer to as my studio, however. Current projects include albums of more settings of verse by Housman, Yeats and Kipling interspersed with some of my folkier songs.
As a soloist, I tend to play my own material (on acoustic and electric guitars) with an occasional leavening of blues, especially slide. I have been known to play other instruments, but only in bands or in the studio: I know my limitations as a soloist.
If you want to know about me (go on, you know you want to…), my other personal site is here but I’m paying more attention currently to this one, and both are undergoing some refurbishment.
- David Harley’s Songs (Song lyrics, recordings and demo recordings, related info.)
- Dataholics: the IT addiction (Ravings of a security-obsessed internaut, with the occasional cartoon…)
- David Harley’s Verse (This site is going from bad to verse.)
- Parodies Regained (Parody and pastiche.)
- Shropshire Blues (Various aspects of living in Shropshire.)
- Shropshire Laddishness: my settings of Housman’s verse and other Housman-related articles.
- I run the Sabrinaflu blog site, which tracks musical events and such along the course of the Severn, even though I now live almost the full length of Cornwall away from the Bristol Channel (let alone Shropshire). I also write a column on Shropshire folk stuff for Folk Life Quarterly but since I’m not spending much time in Shropshire any more, I’ll probably bow out of that at the end of 2020.
My own security and other blogs are (mostly) listed here:
- Anti-Malware Testing – AMTSO, anti-virus product testing, the universe and everything… As I still have an interest in product testing, something else may yet come out of there.
- The AVIEN blog (Andrew Lee’s Anti-Virus Information Exchange Network is pretty much dead as an organization, but the site may still have some use as a repository for vendor-neutral information on tech support scams and ransomware.)
- Check Chain Mail and Hoaxes – Information and commentary on hoaxes, spam and scams. Not being maintained currently.
- ESET blog (This was my primary outlet for security blogging until ESET and I parted company at the beginning of 2019: obviously, ESET has many other bloggers too, some of whom still work there…)
- Geek Peninsula Originally PR stuff, now used as a resource with information on and storage of my articles, conference papers, and books.
- Mac Virus (Focused on Apple – Mac and iOS – malware and security, and by extension other mobile platforms. Pretty much abandoned now, but left up for reference purposes.)
You’re welcome to mail me via the Contact Page.