Whistle While You Walk [demo]

Whistle While You Walk (Harley)
Copyright April 2017

Sometimes – you look into her eyes
And all you want to do is talk
Sometimes you have to see her
Other times you just have to walk

Just walk away
Walk away
A shrug, a sigh
And whistle as you walk away

Sometimes you’re the heartbreak
Sometimes you’re just broke
And all your songs are lost
In the space between the notes

Just walk away
Walk away
A shrug, a sigh
And whistle as you walk away

Sometimes you know you love her
Sometimes you feel so cold
Sometimes your heart is empty
And you turn back to the road

Just walk away
Walk away
A shrug, a sigh
And whistle as you walk away

Sometimes – you look into her eyes
And all you want to do is talk
Sometimes you have to see her
Other times you just have to walk

Just walk away
Walk away
A shrug, a sigh
And whistle as you walk away


CD Review: Keith James, ‘Tenderness Claws’

One of my reviews for folking.com:

KEITH JAMES – Tenderness Claws (Hurdy Gurdy HGA2926)

Settings of poems by Lorca, Kerouac, William Blake, Allen Ginsburg, Dylan Thomas, and Keith James himself. Plus a nice cover of White Room (the words for which were written by the beat poet Pete Brown, so on topic…)

Folking.com has already reviewed his ‘Always…’ CD from 2015, but I got a copy along with ‘Tenderness Claws’, so I may review it for this site.

David Harley

Test mailto

Please ignore this for now: I’m not offering an information list at the moment, just trying something out for someone else. And there’s a link to follow blog articles by email on the right hand side of this blog, anyway, and you can also contact me via the contact form here, of course.

Mind you, now I’ve had the idea, maybe I will. Watch this space. But you have plenty of time to blink.

Contact me to register for news by email.

Brain Damage [demo]

Roger Waters’ song for Pink Floyd probably isn’t the most obvious candidate for an old-timey treatment (and frankly, this isn’t very old-timey at all), but I thought it would be interesting to do it with some mandolin and banjo behind the acoustic guitar, and just a little electric guitar. Unusually for me, that really is a banjo, not a guitar pretending to be a banjo. I do intend to come back to it, and the instrumentation might well be different.

Alternate take (but still very much a demo): without the mandolin, banjo and electric guitar, but added some slide (resonator, not electric). Definitely not old-timey. Oh well.

David Harley

New Ends and Sad Beginnings [demo]

I’m actually reasonably happy with this version, but as it was recorded to try out a different recording/mixing configuration, it’s tagged as a demo for now.

One of my earliest songs, written in the late 60s (though it’s been through a few changes since then: haven’t we all?)

David Harley

CD Review: Emma and the Professor’s ‘Old Black Crow’

[CD review by Keith Whiddon (of The Flying Toads and Bouzatina): thanks, Keith! A Shropshire connection rather than a Cornwall connection,  so also posted at Sabrinaflu, but it sounds like an interesting album (which I hope to be able to review myself in the near future).]


Old Black Crow – (OWN LABEL) http://www.emmaandtheprofessor.co.uk

Old Black Crow is the latest high-energy musical offering from Shropshire couple Emma Heath (guitar and vocals) and Mark Davies (bodhrán and Cajon). The duo is joined by an impressive array of guest musicians including Benji Kirkpatrick (banjo and bouzouki); Ben Walsh (fiddle); Jack Rowe (fiddle) and Marion Fleetwood (fiddle and string arrangements).

Many of the songs are self-penned and inspired by the ancient history and beauty of the couple’s native Shropshire. Emma has a rich and powerful voice and driving guitar style while Mark’s no-nonsense bodhrán playing roots the music and sets its direction. The end result is an uplifting and exciting listening experience.

Right from the opening title track it is clear that this is an album of full-throttle songs! ‘Old Black Crow’ is a rockin’ bluesy romp, driven along nicely by Benji Kirkpatrick guesting on banjo.

Mark’s ‘Battle Of The Marches’ features Kirkpatrick on bouzouki and tells tales of the mysticism that lies in the hills of the duo’s native Shropshire. This is no wimpy fairy story, more a full-on battle of Middle-earth epic proportions!

The beautifully sensitive ‘Servant Slave’ is of marked contrast. With its Middle-Eastern overtones reinforced by Kirkpatrick’s bouzouki, here Emma’s voice is showcased to good effect.

The traditional American murder ballad ‘Rain And Snow’ is given a makeover, with impressive fiddle provided by Jack Rowe. The concluding ‘Rivers’ is like an Indian Raga, Emma harmonising with herself across Mark’s driving rhythm section.

Old Black Crow radiates with the energy that lies within the ancient lands of the Welsh Marches. Here are tales of sorrow, loss, hope and love all delivered with deep passion and soul.

Keith Whiddon

Talking of Atlantic Union…

…one of the band’s members, Dan Rubin, contacted me in search of some information. It’s a bit outside my sphere of knowledge (and a bit too far East for me geographically), but perhaps someone who reads this blog – there must be someone! – will have some ideas.

… I live in Pouch Cove now,  a small community north of St. John’s, which is the closest town in continental North America to Europe.

The influence of Devon is strong here. I bought and now live in a house built by Henry Langmead, whose family arrived from the West Country in the late 1800s, or perhaps earlier. Henry (known locally as Harry) was our last traditional mummer who practiced a tradition known as the Ribbon Fools. These people dressed up in white clothes adorned with multi-coloured ribbons, and created ornate and very scary masks to hide their faces. Unlike the Irish Jannies who went from house to house during Christmas, often cross-dressed, disguised and playing instruments, the Ribbon Fools would appear between Christmas and Old Christmas Day (the eighth of January) and would chase anyone they caught down the road, trying to whip them with the end of a rope.

I helped start our town’s Heritage Society, and have been trying to research this tradition for some years. But the leads are few. I have seen pictures of Morris Dancers with similar costumes, including some in a book that Sally lent me. But I would like to know more specifically where this tradition originated, and whether it has roots in Devon and the surrounding area.

If you can assist me in finding out more, that would be wonderful. It would be another strong link between Devon and Newfoundland.

If you have any ideas, I’d be grateful if you would leave a comment to this post or use the contact form. 

David Harley

Marianne [demo]

I wrote the words (more or less) in the late 60s. The original tune was later used for something else, so I was kind of making a variation up as I went along on this demo. Of its time, but I like it. Sketch for a better version later, when I finally learn it.

Marianne: Words and Music copyright David Harley, 1969

In the intimate oblivion of collusion
I see you dancing with another man
And I know that you’ll tell me it’s a really groovy scene
But I never much liked dancing, Marianne

So go take your problems to a new confessor
Perhaps he’ll listen while he holds your hand
But don’t expect him to provide you with the answers
It’s not a caseload that he’s after, Marianne

I’ve tried to talk it over as a lover
But I can’t seem to make you understand
You’re not the kind to be content with me the way I am
And I like to make my own scene, Marianne

I’ve got a little story I should tell you
How sometimes a woman needs a man
But I don’t think you even need someone to need you
And I don’t think you’d believe me, Marianne

And you tell me that I’m fettered by illusions
And you’ve had all the chaining you can stand
I’d hate to be the one to block your freedom
But I’m not into two-timing, Marianne

And you’ll tell every word I say is empty
And I know that you don’t need my helping hand
I’m not the one to say I didn’t love you
But I never really liked you, Marianne

This song’s not over [demo]

A very rough demo: it’s hard work revisiting even simple songs you haven’t sung for decades.

This Song’s Not Over (Words and Music by David Harley, copyright 1974)

This song’s not over
We’d best take what we’re owed
So pack your bags
And let’s get on the road

We’ve had our share of bruising
We drank some bitter wine
But I’m sick and tired of losing
So let’s try one more time

I guess we broke too easy
I know I dragged my feet
But hold on, and we’ll make it
Right back to Easy Street

We were building up too much
To let the pieces drop
If we both try some humble pie
We can take it from the top