Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron and Nobody Knows You when You’re Down and Out are a couple of songs we’ve been singing in the sessions and folk clubs lately – so we thought it was time to share them.
Dashing is a bit of a departure for Julie, who usually leaves traditional songs to others (but may sing a few more now). I gather from our pal Barbara Brown that it was collected at Minehead by Cecil Sharp – and that he got it from a Captain Lewis. That makes a nice connection, so thanks Barbara!
Nobody Knows You is a prohibition era song about how life can go all wrong for the black market booze dealer. Well, if he or she don’t like their friends, perhaps that’s something to do with the sort of people they hang out with…
Frankie drew back her kimono, pulled and old 44
Then it’s rooty-toot-toot through that bar-room door…
I guess this is what you get when a guitarist of four decades takes up the melodeon – a crazy old American song, with a bit of triplet-blues feel creeping in!
One of the important things I’ve found about being a multi-instrumentalist is that all the instruments inform each other. I’m already beginning to find out how playing the melodeon is influencing my fiddle playing, for example.
Our friend Neil Gledhill of the Old Swan Band asked for this, and by gosh he’s got it. Curiously, it’s one of our most requested numbers; I guess most people feel they have a secret Uncle Walter somewhere about their personalities…
●'Sweet and earthy! A warm, nostalgic blend of Julie's songs from between the wars and Gavin's English traditional songs and tunes on duet concertina and melodeon. Julie's fine, clear voice is shown off by swing-style chords on the Jeffries.
'Gavin's singing is sometimes humorous, sometimes thoughtful, and always has an authentic traditional ring' - Valmai Goodyear, Lewes Saturday Folk Club organiser
●'I sang all the way home' - Dan Quinn, musician and singer
●'An evening unlike any other... songs from the twenties and thirties beautifully sung with a backing of consummate artistry on concertina or melodeon... and then maybe a compelling traditional ballad, or a tribute to the sausage... you never know what to expect, but you can be sure it's going to be worth listening to' Bob Kenward, noted singer-songwriter
●'Julie sings songs from diverse backgrounds while Gavin provides great accompaniments on a range of instruments and contributes some excellent singing himself' Vic Smith, Folk at the Royal Oak, Lewes
●'Julie's interpretation of some well-known songs from a bygone age sits well with Gavin’s accomplished box playing; the music could be the soundtrack to one of those BBC period dramas where the world was a slightly better place, and it leaves the listener with a warm nostalgic feeling' Kim Headley, Broadstairs Folk Festival