The Jack Clemo Project
As the saying goes; there is no rest for the wicked and hot on the heels of Forgotten Kingdom's release i am already getting stuck into my next project! After the success of 2013's Cyprus Well album where i set to music the poetry of my late relative, the poet Charles Causley, i have been comissioned by Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival to set to music a selection of poems by another wonderful Cornish poet and close friend of Charles Causley's; Jack Clemo. 2016 is the centennary of Jack Clemo's birth and with the excellent help of Clemo expert, author and poet Dr Luke Thompson I have set ten of Clemo's poems to music and have begun recording them with a fine selection of Cornish musicians. The finished product will become a cd which will be performed and launched at this year's Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival as well as some other exciting dates yet to be confirmed. We are recording in Brannel School, very near to where Jack Clemo lived in the Clay Country area of Cornwall and will be working with students from the school to be a part of the album. This project has been made possible by funding from FEAST whose excellent organisation specialises in bringing arts and creativity into education and the wider community throughout Cornwall. Keep an eye on my Live Dates page for more info on the Jack Clemo 100 project
New Album Update!
Helloo everybody, here's the latest news: as many of you will be aware, the new album has been somewhat delayed given that i did a "launch concert" at Sidmouth this summer with no CDs to launch!!! I won't go into details but due to myriad issues of delay on the production side of things we were forced to push the official release date back to 19th February. The lovely people at the Kings Place in London very kindly moved my September date there to the 17th February and so that has become my new launch date along with a somewhat more intimate gig earlier that same week here in Devon.
I cannot deny that i am hugely excited about this new album and simply cannot wait for you all to hear it. The delays have only served to concentrate the excitment, very much like a heavily shaken bottle of fizzy-pop! I've managed to get most of the Devon folk scene guesting on the recordings and a few neighbouring friends too. I've had the most lovely time recording it in the beautiful Blackdown Hills with the splendid Mark Tucker and i'm confident that all of that fun of making music with friends in such a beautiful environment has poured into the songs and will splurge out into your living rooms/cars/jacuzzis/dungeons and fill your hearts with joy!
Incredibly, this is the first record i've ever made in Devon! Sure i've done bits and bobs on friends recordings over the years but never one of my own! First three solo albums were recorded in Hampshire as was the Devils album, the Mawkin:Causley albums were recorded in a windowless warehouse in South London and Cyprus Well was of course recorded in Cornwall so this one has been a real treat in many respects. I also cannot wait for y'all to see the new artwork. As it is a bit of a decennary celebration i had to get David Angel back down to Devon like he did for 'Fruits of the Earth' back in 2005. We again, had a blast and i took him to quite an unusual location, deep in the foothills of Dartmoor, poor bloke, lets just say it gave him plenty of stories to take back up to London!
So i have some rather special guests joining me for the London launch concert, so take a peek at my gigs page to find out who they are. It really is going to be such a fun night and i feel so privileged to have such talented people helping my songs come to life. Oh yes the songs! That's the other little things i can't wait for you to hear. I greatly look forward to hearing all your feedback, unless of course it's negative and in that case i don't want to know! Actually my main concern now is that people will think i've taken my inspiration for the new album's title 'Forgotten Kingdom' from the current BBC drama 'The Last Kingdom'!! But believe me i've been sitting on that title for a good few years now and no, i've not read any of Bernard Cornwell's books! (Although after watching the programme i feel i might have to now, i'm hooked!)
So have yourselves a merry rest-of-2015 and if you're stuck for ideas of Christmas prezzies... oh and do sign up to my mailing list (see the contact page) and like/follow/friend me on Facebook & Twitter etc as i'll be posting up to the minute news and pictures all relating to the new album so don't miss a trick! Love & lozenges - Jim xx
'Song to the Tin' on BBC Countryfile!
xciting stuff folk fans; i had a phone call from a lady at BBC Bristol earlier this month saying that Countryfile were making a programme about Dartmoor due out later in June and that their researchers had come across my song 'Pride of the Moor' which i had been commissioned to write by Exeter's Spacex Gallery last year, celebrating the tin mining heritage of Dartmoor.
So last week myself and a trusty gaggle of singers i had gathered, ventured up to Crockern Tor on Dartmoor to meet the BBC Countryfile crew at Parliament Rock which was the old meeting place of Dartmoor's annual Stannary Parliament. I was interviewed by Mister John Craven (i was hoping for Matt Baker but one musn't grumble!) and it was very exciting chatting to the star of 'NewsRound' although i didn't let on to him that i wasn't particularly interested in the news as a kid and was always glad when Newsround was over so we could get on with the cartoons! After the interveiw filming was over we assembled all the singers and sang 'Pride of the Moor' (Song to the Tin) for the film crew. John asked me if it was available on an album and i had to admit to him that while it is due out on my new album this summer, i didn't have any physical copies yet! Good news is that you can pre-order the digital version of the album right now should you so wish, it will be my first ever album of entirely self-penned songs and it also happens to mark ten years since the release of my debut album 'Fruits of the Earth' back in 2005. It has been produced by Devon's Phil Beer of 'Show of Hands' fame and will feature some very special guest appearances from some well known Devon-based musicians, that's all i'm telling you thus far! One more thing...
After my interview with Mr Craven we had to move to another rock to get ready for filming the song, John stood up and moved on first then i picked up my accordion and proceeded to follow him. After only a few steps i suddenly felt/heard a crunch under my feet... i'd only gone and stepped on Mr Cravens spectacles!!! Of course i apologised profusely, John said "no no no, it's my fault for leaving them on the ground". Unfortunately he still had a few shots to film that day so the film crew were going to try and either film him from the side of the un-shattered lens or film him a little blurry from a distance... he won't forget me in a hurry!!!
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