Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Winter Wonderland

With the thaw due to kick in today I thought it worthwhile to post some phtos taken on the iPhone from around Houston taken over the last week or so.

“In The Bleak Midwinter” Bert Jansch

“Winter -Four Seasons” – Vivaldi

“Walk Out To Winter” – Aztec Camera


December 9, 2010 Posted by | Classical Music, Houston, Landscapes, Old Music, Photography, The Dugs | , , , , , | Leave a comment


Despite having a wide ranging taste in music you won’t find much progressive rock on this blog, therefore it is just as well that this track sounds more like Bert Jansch or Davy Graham than any wonderous story.

This Steve Howe composition and performance was featured as a live performance on the above 1971 album, this however is the studio version only available from 2005 from the extended and remastered version of the album.

“The Clap” – Yes

To buy the music of Yes click HERE

November 18, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Old Music | , , | 1 Comment

Family Lost

Bert Jansch

In the past week I have lost an Aunt in Australia and an Uncle in Bellshill, they say such things come in three’s and regretably this has been the case as my Uncle Jim passed away this morning in the Vale of Leven Hospital.

“Sweet Death” – Bert Jansch

Oh my sweet love, come to me
Take me in your soft embrace
Sweet love, please come closer
That I may touch your gentle face
Sing to me a love song
That will drive away my earthly fears
And when it’s all over
You can wipe away the tears

Sweet Death, please come easy
Help me end my suffering
Please hurry to my bedside
I cannot wait another day
Come quickly fill my being
Let no-one know that you are there
Then quietly light a candle
Walk ahead to show the way

Too long have I suffered
To carry on another day
Gently close my eyes now
Let hope and care fade away
Carry me across the water
Where the darkness meets the day
As I follow in your footsteps
Your candle lights the way

To buy the music of Bert Jansch click HERE

February 21, 2010 Posted by | Family, Old Music | , | Leave a comment

Nic Jones

nic jones

Nic Jones until recently had never really crossed my radar.

Folk music was and to a degree still is a genre of music that I tend to dip my toe into rather than dive in.

It has so many sub-genre be it geographical or otherwise, however a great deal of the music I do listen to on a regular basis has it’s foundations in the world of “folk” where the songwriter, like the blues, is that great writer “Traditional”.

The music of Nic Jones sits nicely beside my admiration for Davy Graham, John Fahey and Bert Jansch as he is recognised both as folkie and as an inspirational guitar player.

He is perhaps best known for his 1980 album “Penguin Eggs” from which this is taken

“Canadee – I-O” – Nic Jones

penguin eggs

Nic’s guitar style was unique in its day and has often been imitated since. He played with a plastic thumb pick but not his fingernails. Instead he opted to grasp and pluck the strings of the guitar which led to the slapping down onto the fingerboard with no small force. The off-beat, percussive ‘ping’ sound which became his signature on the later albums is produced by a technique known as frailing, used by banjo players. The middle fingertip of the plucking hand is held behind the base of the thumb and then quickly flicked out and back in, striking the D-string with the main part of the nail.

He was also frequent user of open tunings, particularly in C and G.

His early musical interests included acts like Ray Charles and The Shadows. He first learned to play guitar while at school. His interest in folk music was aroused by some old school friends who had formed into a folk band called the Halliard. When the members of the Halliard decided to turn professional, one of them left to pursue a different career and Nic was invited to take his place. Whilst playing with the Halliard, Nic learned how to play the fiddle, and also how to research and arrange traditional material.

The Halliard split up in 1968 as the members decided to pursue individual interests. For Nic, after a period at home with his family, this meant forging a career as a solo artist. At first finding work as a session musician, his solo career eventually took off and he recorded five solo albums, plus contributions to another album with the folk act Bandoggs.

In February 1982, he was involved in a serious car accident while driving home after performing at Glossop Folk Club. He broke a large number of bones and suffered some brain damage and was hospitalised for eight months. Although he survived, he still suffers co-ordination problems and feels he is unable to play the guitar well enough to perform and record. He can no longer play the fiddle at all.

Nic now lives in Devon and continues to play guitar and write songs for his own pleasure. He has also developed a passion for chess. His wife, Julia, set up the record label Mollie Music which has issued three albums of re-mastered live recordings from Nic’s early career.

To buy the music of Nic Jones click HERE

October 5, 2009 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Folk, Old Music | , , , | Leave a comment


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