New album and book!

Dear all,

It’s been a rather lengthy break in bloggage for which I apologise and I can only say it’s because I’ve been ferociously busy! Work has been its usual mix of things but I’ve also moved out of Stafford would you believe and am now a resident of Shropshire! So all in all it’s been a rather fun time. I’ll bring you up to speed on all the giggage but firstly two very important announcements…


Yes I have a new album out and it comes with reinforcements. After two very solo-heavy records, this album is simply called ‘Trio’ and every track features the mighty Ciaran Algar and Nic Zuppardi. I’m really very happy with it and we’re touring it as we type – greetings from a travelodge somewhere near Cambridge…There’s one or two numbers that have been in my set for a while – the bluegrassy opener Late Night Drive and the bluegrassy closer One Eye Open – but largely this is brand new stuff and there’s a fair mix as usual with nods to my fondness for Eastern European and Indian stuff, Irish and Scottish tunes and some fairly optimistic songs (no, really!) about people and places. Check it out and get your copy here:

Our remaining tour dates are:

Tonight! Cambridge Folk Club

11 WOLVERHAMPTON Newhampton Arts Centre
17 ASHINGTON SUSSEX Music At The Buildings
22 STAFFORD Gatehouse Theatre
26 NORTH YORKSHIRE Swaledale Festival (Extra show added due to demand)
28 MALDON Blue Boar
29 MILTON KEYNES The Stables
30 LEICESTER The Musician
31 BRISTOL Folk House



My book is out and is available here:

I am so thrilled that this book is finally here. I’ve worked hard on it for quite a while now so I’m really pleased that it’s available online and from me very soon if you’re at a gig! It features tabs of tunes recorded across four studio albums including the new one. It’s aimed primarily at those of you who have been picking for a while rather than beginners, but it does include some helpful tips and guidance (I hope!) alongside the tabs.

So how’s it been going then? Well jolly well. Firstly the UFQ spring tour was a big success with lovely gigs around the country which even included a couple getting engaged at our gig in Church Stretton! That was definitely a first! In amongst the band gigs I was out on my own a few times too including a return to none other than the Market Vaults in Stafford. I never thought I’d be playing the old faithful again with the departure of Oli and the arrival of an absolute bonehead but thankfully bonehead has departed and thanks to the wonderful Ben the pub is back and in sensible hands. It was a great night 🙂

I’ve also been doing some work in schools and care homes which has been absolutely lovely. I watched a BBC show the other night about music and dementia. Hats off to Vicky McClure and her dementia choir for a wonderfully uplifting bit of television and a reminder to everybody of the sheer power of music to those suffering from this highly cruel disease. Music penetrates in a way nothing else does – I’ve never forgotten all these care home gigs where people barely able to speak anymore can still sing the whole of Sunny Side Of The Street and even learn new songs and be familiar with them. Amazing stuff.

Interesting to read about Danny Baker’s dismissal. Leaving aside the fact that I have always found him about as entertaining as touching a raw chilli and then inserting my hands in my eyeballs, I was rather astonished that a man who has been in the media for as long as he has never got the memo that it’s not ok to be a small minded racist idiot not to mention then blaming his entirely appropriate sacking on pomposity. Given that he managed to not post a picture of a chimp in relation to Kate’s children, I’m thinking his claim this wasn’t race related is a little thin…