Ron and Jeff gigs:
Cheltenham Folk Festival (Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th February, including the album launch on the Saturday afternoon;
Oxford Folk Club on Friday 28th February;
Swindon Folk Club on Friday 7th March;
The Cellar Upstairs, Camden Town on Saturday 17th May
Maidenhead Folk Club on September 18th.
Sharpe's to follow early next year.
Ron has been singing folk songs since the late 1960s. He first sang semi-professionally with The Songwainers, the Cheltenham-based vocal harmony group, with whom he made one album for Argo in 1971. He then branched out as a solo performer, before teaming up for more vocal harmony with Regal Slip, whose studied and precise arrangements were the antithesis of the Songwainers' approach. What both groups had in common was inventiveness and enormous vocal power. Regal Slip's album, Bandstand was released on Dingle's Records in 1981. When half the group relocated to the north of England, Ron carried on working with Sue Burgess, still specialising strongly in traditional song. When he and Jeff began performing together, it was something of a departure, in that most of Ron's previous work had been unaccompanied (although a guitar was featured in some of the early solo gigs).
Jeff's background had been more diverse, involving experimentation with many styles and forms most notably and eclectically in the short, happy but unrecorded (and largely unheralded) life of The Penultimate Straw. As well as being a solo performer, for over twenty years Jeff has played in concerts and ceilidhs around the Gloucestershire area. His first ceilidh work was with Rough Music. Following on from that, for many years he has worked with, encouraged and helped to provide musical inspiration for The Downfielders, a ceilidh band, run by caller Pete Hendy, consisting of pupils (and the occasional teacher) at Marling and Stroud High schools in Stroud. Many former Downfielders are now playing folk music in different groups up and down the country. Some have returned to Gloucestershire and have been reunited with Jeff in Fubar (whose name, like the band, sounded vaguely Irish, but wasn't) or, more recently, the like-minded Malarki. Fubar made one CD: Beyond All Recognition (Recognition Records, 2000), which combined inventive arrangements of traditional Irish songs and tunes with the bands own compositions. Jeff is also a composer beyond the folk idiom, and has recently set all of William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience to music.
Jeff and Ron made two previous recordings with the then Salford-based Dave Howard's label, Redwood: Take Off Your Old Coat (1992) and Fair Length and Share (1995). These were only available on cassette. Both Shine As One is their first album on Wildgoose.