December and the Mid-Winter Solstice Happenings

Mid-Winter Solstice Greetings and Felicitations
We wish you all the very best for whatever it is you celebrate at this time of year. We go for a little Christmas, a wee bit of Xmas, a happy New Year and a bit of Hogmanay. There’s touch of pagan mid-winter feasting thrown in there too. So whatever you do, enjoy it and be safe. We will catch you all again in 2018 which promises to be a transformational year in so many respects.

New Penguin Eggs Magazine Out Now!
Tim’s reviews of Usher’s Well, The Young ‘Uns and The Jeremiahs’ new albums are featured in the winter issue of Penguin Eggs, now the only folk, roots and world music magazine still in print in North America. Young Quebec band Les Poules à Colin are the cover feature. Other interviews include, Steve Earle, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Geoff Berner, Happy Truam, Dana Wylie and Ann Tivel. Also this edition features the 2017 Penguin Eggs Album of the Year and New Discovery poll.
www.penguineggs.ab.ca

Special Vin Garbutt Memorial Concert
Jez Lowe will be appearing solo on Tuesday December 19th at a special memorial concert for the late Vin Garbutt at The Normanby in Middlesbrough, along with songwriter Pete Davies. For 16 years the late, great Vin held a Christmas Concert at The Normanby in Middlesbrough. Jez and Pete have long been friends of Vin and performed on the same stage with him on many occasions.
For details go here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1147270565406550/

Beatle Week 2017
A review of Beatle Week 2017 in Liverpool features two versions of an original Beatle Week theme song written by Tim and his song-writing partner Alan Millen backed by footage of performers at the festival. The video footage is in chronological order of performance, with part 1 covering Friday and part 2 covering Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The song is from the CD Under The Influence by Newcastle Road.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x0EIcUoZBs&index=2&list=PLGfcvb3JYxpxOtchBfP6k4t9ky6iV-uo4
Beatle Week 2017 is also revisited in this photomontage combined with two theme songs from the CD “Under The Influence” by Newcastle Road.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFiYMIhp4Fc&list=PLGfcvb3JYxpxOtchBfP6k4t9ky6iV-uo4&index=3

Blintz Band Reunion
Following Tim’s 2014 show in England at the “40 Years After” reunion concert with The Kane Gang, Erik Shone and Mad Jack he has made contact with the members of his first ever band the Blintz Band. Although a band performed under that name at 40 Years After, Tim was the only original member. Now Kev Bainbridge (guitar and vocals), Ian ‘Ted’ Hay (drums) and Colin ‘Batty’ Barratt will be getting together later in December with Tim in Overall Studios, Washington, County Durham, England to play some tunes and the session will be recorded for posterity. It could be the start of something large!

BATTY and KEV

December 2017 … and We are Still Going Blue
We continue to get a tremendous response to our request for fans to send snaps of themselves with the cover of Go Blue for us to post on social media. There’s a new selection of photos below for your pleasure. As long as you keep sending the photos we’ll keep posting them!

November Update – Bright News for Dark Days

Sci-Fi Prog Rock Project Ahoy!
Baltimore’s Andy Cooke and Tim are now busy writing songs for their Sci-Fi Prog Rock project … with the working title Cuckoo Gene. Will it have a gatefold sleeve? Will it be a double concept album? Will the songs last at least 20 minutes? Oh yeah – probably!
Andy has recently released Black Light, a new Doom Metal album under the moniker of ‘Wizrds’, which we have been rocking out to at Big City Towers. You can listen to samples of tracks from Black Light here:
https://wizrds.bandcamp.com/releases
Andy is the mastermind behind Dataloaf who you can hear here and in various other places:
http://music.dataloaf.com/album/fear-of-small-round-objects
He also has a few other incarnations including Pine Tree State https://pinetreestate.bandcamp.com
and Electric Wave Inspection Bureau
https://ewib.bandcamp.com
Remember to tell your people-you heard it here first!

Halifax Disaster Song
We reported on our blog earlier about Tim and Alan Millen’s song about the Halifax Disaster – ‘Song for Kate and Anthony’. Now there’s the news that Canada Post have issued a Halifax Explosion commemorative stamp, which captures the moment after the ships collided. You can read more here:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/halifax-explosion-canada-post-commemorative-stamp-1.4388347
In case you haven’t seen it yet here’s the link to the video for the song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8GUVsstKd0
 

Coig
We got a nice message from Chrissy Crowley who we’ve known since Tim booked her at the Vancouver Celtic festival back in the late noughties.
“Some really nice people wrote some really nice stuff about the new record 🙂 Read the full review with links below. Can’t thank Penguin Eggs/Tim Readman enough for the positive words.”
In case you missed it Tim’s review is below … now go and buy the album!!!!
PENGUIN EGGS MAGAZINE
http://www.penguineggs.ab.ca/curr…/sample-reviews/…/422-coig
“This is the second album from this Cape Breton supergroup. They’ve lost one fiddler since their debut and haven’t changed their name to reflect their diminished number. No matter, because there’s nothing else that has diminished in any way. Quite the reverse, in fact—this is a walloping good set from these young lions of East Coast trad.
There are five songs and seven instrumental tunes on Rove, all wonderfully engineered and mixed by Dave Gunning. I’m really happy to hear them increase the singing this time around. Rachel Davis and Darren McMullen both have fine voices, and McMullen’s take on Peter Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill was a very pleasant surprise. The purity of Davis’s vocals shines on Down the Road.
Instrumentally, few can match these folks. Jason Roach, who is at his thunderous best on the fast and furious numbers, gives fine accompaniment to the superb fiddling of Davis and Chrissie Crowley. McMullen plays guitar, cello, bouzouki, mandolin, mandola, banjo, whistle, and flute—his choices of instrument perfectly complementing the rest of the band on every track.
There are plenty of reels, jigs, and strathspeys as you’d expect, as well as a surprise addition of a Dave Brubeck tune. That’s Three To Get Ready played by four, in a band called five in Gaelic. What’s not to like? Get it while it’s hot!”

 

Allison Russell
This article in Vancouver’s Georgia Straight caught our eye recently … mentioning Fear of Drinking alumnus Allison Russell.
Some of us spend our lives forever trying to recapture some kind of golden age—and if that’s what’s going on with Amy Helm, you can hardly blame her for trying. Especially since it’s not so much her star-studded upbringing that she most treasures, but her memories of a funky barn on her dad’s upstate New York property.
Helm’s father, of course, was Levon Helm, the Band’s charismatic and universally beloved drummer, singer, and mandolinist. Her mother, Libby Titus, is an underrated lyricist who was once Burt Bacharach’s songwriting partner. And Helm’s stepfather, for almost 30 years, has been Steely Dan main man Donald Fagen.
Award shows, movie premieres, private jets: Helm’s known them all. But when asked about her upbringing, the 46-year-old singer immediately zeroes in on the Midnight Rambles that Levon liked to organize on his Woodstock farm.
“I can certainly say that listening to ‘Black Friday’, sung by Donald and played by the Ramble band with my dad’s backbeat on it, was one of the cooler things that I’ve ever heard,” she says fondly, on the line from a Portland, Oregon, tour stop. “It was pretty great, I gotta tell you. It was just greasy enough.”
And while the avowed template for the new and as-yet-untitled album that Helm has just finished recording is Motel Shot, Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett’s warts-and-all impression of a postgig jam session with Leon Russell, Joe Cocker, John Hartford, and Gram Parsons, the spirit of the Ramble was very much present in the studio.
“The intention of the record was to sort of create a sound that sounded like community, that sounded like a whole bunch of people hanging out in a room making music—very live, very spontaneous,” Helm says. “The centrepiece of the album is a lot of keyboards, and lots and lots of vocals. I actually featured a singer who you may be familiar with named Ali Russell, from a band called Birds of Chicago, and another fantastic singer who I work with a lot named Adam Minkoff, and Ali’s husband, JT Nero. The three of them were my choir, so a lot of the songs have that sound as their centre.
Allison had previously messaged Tim to say she’d been jamming with Donald. Now we know how that came to pass. Small world!
https://www.straight.com/music/964011/amy-helm-aims-capture-sound-spontaneous-musical-community

Novel News from Jez Lowe
THE DILLEN DOLL – first novel and new CD from Jez Lowe
We’re pleased to let you know that Jez’s first novel, entitled “The Dillen Doll” will be published next month by Badapple Books in the UK. The scoop from Jez’s site is:
A new album of traditional folk songs, also titled “The Dillen Doll”, will be released by Tantobie Records to coincide with the book.
The novel is set at the turn of the nineteenth century, and brings together characters from various folk songs of the period, centrally a woman called Dolly Coxon, who is mentioned, albeit obliquely, in the well-known song from Newcastle Upon Tyne, “Do Li A”. This is her story, as imagined by Jez, going some way to explain why an impoverished woman from the Tyne quayside should have been celebrated in a song that has survived for over two hundred years.
The song itself is one of “around fifteen” that have been fashioned into a suite of songs to reflect the narrative and evoke the musical background of the tale. The album features The Bad Pennies, plus Rachel Hamer and Benny Graham on backing vocals, and with a cover painting by Kari MacLeod.
Track titles are as follows – THE WAGGON WAY / BENWELL LASS / BROOM BEZZOMS / FILL THE TANKARD / MARKET DAY / BLIND WILLIE / BYKER HILL / FOLLOW THE HORSES / TENDER / KEEL LAD / LUMLEY / BOBBY SHAFTO / SALTY SHIELDS / SAIR FAIL’D / DO LI A. Other songs and tunes are referenced throughout the continuous piece.

Watch www.jezlowe.com to find out when the book and the album will be available – mail-order facilities will shortly be set up for advance ordering through that website.

 

November 2017 … and We are Still Going Blue
We continue to get a tremendous response to our request for fans to send snaps of themselves with the cover of Go Blue for us to post on social media. There’s a new selection of photos below for your pleasure. As long as you keep sending the photos we’ll keep posting them!
 

September Fally Autumnal Notes

Tim Live at the Red Dragon on Main Street
Here’s another reminder that Tim is starting a series of musical pub nights at the Red Dragon on Main Street. Entrance to the pub is via the back alley behind The Cambrian Hall, 215 East 17th Avenue, Vancouver – just off Main Street. We had a great night last time in June with pub food, pub quiz and some very funny heckling! We are doing it all again on Sept 29th – so don’t miss it! Save the date!
Details of all gigs are here: http://timreadman.com/upcoming-shows/

Halifax Disaster – ‘Song for Kate and Anthony’
So pleased that Tim and Alan Millen’s song about the Halifax Disaster – ‘Song for Kate and Anthony’ – has now become part of the commemorations in Halifax via the “Halifax Explosion: 100 years, 100 stories” page on Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/100years100stories/
This special page is a powerful testimony to that tragic day in Canadian history. You can find out more via their wonderful website here:
https://100years100stories.ca

Novel News from Jez Lowe
Exciting news from our old pal and Tim’s fellow County Durham boy Jez Lowe. A little bird told us he has an upcoming album of traditional songs – to accompany the publication of his first novel in November. Those of you who’ve listened to Jez’s lyrics won’t be surprised that he has turned his hand to this more extended form of wordsmithing. We can’t wait to hear the album and read the book. There’ll be bidding for the film rights next!

Walter Becker
We were gutted to hear of the death of Walter Becker. His solo albums 11 Tracks of Whack and Circus Money are never far from the hi-fi at Big City Towers. His work with Donald Fagan in Steely Dan is simply peerless. He’ll be sorely missed. We missed Donald at his September Seattle show, which was understandably cancelled. Donald has vowed to continue touring with the Steely Dan band, which is at least some consolation. Walter Becker, R.I.P.

Interview with Ché Aimee Dorval | Proglodytes
We were pleased to see an interview with Tim’s former collaborator Che Aimee Dorval in Proglodytes. It’s great to see Che out there making it happen. Those of you who came to Tim’s ‘musical friends’ nights at Montmartre Café in East Vancouver will remember Che’s stunning voice, especially her amazing versions of Zero 7’s ‘Somersault and David’ Gray’s ‘Sail Away’. For more about that go here: http://timreadman.com/bandspast-and-present/montmartre-cafe-tim-readman-and-musical-friends/
In the interview she says:
We got our first computer with Garage Band on it, and I got heavy into writing and producing songs. One of those songs was “Lights Out” off of Vol. 1. Also, at this point, I was working with this amazing local musician, Tim Readman, who was teaching me guitar and the basics of songwriting. He had a weekly night at a French bistro in Vancouver and I sang at occasionally. It was with him and one of his producer friends that I recorded my first demo called Lights Out that I sold out of a coffee shop for a year before eventually losing the masters. So that’s gone for good.
The link to the whole interview is here but we had some troubles with it so we recommend you copy and paste it rather than clicking it. If it doesn’t work you can get to the interview via Che’s Facebook page or by Googling ‘Interview with Ché Aimee Dorval’.
https://proglodytes.com/2017/08/02/interview-with-che-aimee-dorval/
Meanwhile we are looking high and low to see if we can find our copy of Lights Out!!

The Exiles featured in The Magpie
There was a feature in the last edition of The Magpie magazine produced by the Newcastle United Supporters Club of London about the Exiles and their songs about the Toon. It included Alan Millen’s new regular column, which we’ve reproduced with links to some of our videos below.
THE EXILES
A regular column, Alan Millen, one half of The Exiles, a song-writing duo based in Switzerland & Canada brings us some more tunes and tales from their collection. Alan Millen & his musical partner Tim Readman as ‘The Exiles’ write songs about and inspired by Newcastle Utd. In total they have written around 50 songs about the highs & lows of supporting The Toon.
Way Back Home, from our second cd, celebrates the Toon Army travellers of the past season, during which the club set a record of 14 wins away from home. The video revisits each of the three-pointers.
https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=3t0hokg4AJI
We wrote and recorded this back in 2007 but with the record-setting achievement now in the bag I was inspired to round up the pictures and make something more out of the song. The camaraderie of away-day travel is at the heart of the song. On a personal note, my only away-day league experiences with NUFC have been at Craven Cottage, none of which resulted in the celebration of three points! However, I’ll never forget being at the San Siro for the 2-2 draw with Inter Milan.
Postcard From Newcastle – This video is for a song called Postcard From Newcastle … in which a homesick magpie recalls the early 1970s. I put this one together after my most recent visit in early February. The song is on our 2012 release “at St. James’ Park”.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOGmgR2AYGU
Until My Dying DayAs we prepared for the 2016-17 season I posted a video on Facebook in memory of my dear old dad, who passed away a few days after we narrowly escaped relegation at the end of the 2014-2015 season. His first visit to SJP was in 1935, when we were in the old Second Division. I believe the last time he saw NUFC play was at the 1955 F.A. Cup Final, together with his own dad. We were living in Hemel Hempstead at the time. Immigration to Canada in 1957 ended his days of seeing NUFC in person but he was a supporter until his dying day, just like the song says.
https://youtu.be/Q4xCXgOl4S8
The inspiration for this came within minutes of buying a 45rpm single of House of the Rising Sun by The Animals at a charity shop in Newcastle. I think it was in September 2002 because I was there then for the funeral of my auntie Rita, my dad’s older sister.

Dave Brewis – Autoleisureland
We received a new CD from Tim’s former Seaham schoolmate and (briefly) Kane Gang band mate Dave Brewis. Dave is a multi-instrumentalist who played most of the instruments on The Kane Gang’s hit records. He also produced and played with Prefab Sprout who were lead by Paddy MacAloon. Paddy went on to write the songs for Crocodile Shoes with Jimmy Nail. Anyway … Dave’s album is here – 12 tracks of Soul guitar music! It has been on the Big City hi-fi non-stop – in between Walter Becker’s albums – for the past several weeks now. It’s well worth getting hold of a copy.
http://www.autoleisureland.com

September 2017 … and We are Still Going Blue
We continue to get a tremendous response to our request for fans to send snaps of themselves with the cover of Go Blue for us to post on social media. There’s a new selection of photos below for your pleasure. As long as you keep sending the photos we’ll keep posting them!




August 2017 News

Penguin Eggs Tribute to Vin Garbutt
By Roddy Campbell
Few folk singers, if any, communicated with an audience like Vin Garbutt. A natural comedian with an insightful, laugh-out-loud view of the greater world that he frequently toured, Garbutt also drew criticism and admiration for his topical songs on such issues as abortion and sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. Largely, though, he poignantly wrote about his North-East of England and its pictorial valleys, picturesque fishing villages, and daunting industrial centres. These he complimented with songs and tunes from the British and Irish traditions by accompanying himself splendidly on acoustic guitar or tin whistle. His hilarious, passionate, highly accomplished stage performances earned him the first BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Live Act.
Vin Garbutt died June 6, due to complications related to heart disease. He was 69. He is survived by his wife Pat and their four children, Emma, Tim, Katie and Louis.
See the next edition of Penguin Eggs magazine for the full article.

Message from Pat Garbutt
“OK so I have not been on Facebook for a lot of weeks but now it is high time that I sent my thanks out to you all for the support that I have received since Vin died. The tributes and messages on the internet that immediately poured in from every corner of the world were an unbelievable flowing tide that comforted me more than you could imagine at a time when I could not even believe what had happened. My children constantly read excerpts to me as I could not read them myself. But I promise you that every one of them has been saved and I will read each one many times over. I have also received literally hundreds of cards and letters. I will also read these over and over again to imprint on my mind all the beautiful words that you have taken the time to write.
I cannot tell you about my feelings on the day of the funeral as I do not have the words. But to see the cathedral completely full and to hear your voices singing as we came in with Vin was beautiful. The service was everything we had hoped it would be and I was so proud of my children and my family and all of those who bravely got up to speak.
Vin would never have believed the things that have happened to honour him since that day although twelve years ago when he first became ill he received many many cards and letters wishing him well. He joked that it was like being at his own funeral even though he was OK. So he knew how much you all loved him because you had already told him and showed him by supporting his gigs where ever he went. Thank you for everything from myself and our children, Emma, Tim, Katie and Louis. Your words of comfort are getting us through this.”

Halifax Disaster – ‘Song for Kate and Anthony’
There was a nice write up in Halifax’s Chronicle Herald about Tim and Alan Millen’s song about the Halifax Disaster – ‘Song for Kate and Anthony’. As previously reported, it is a “love among the ruins” tale, with lyrics by Alan Millen.
Haunting love song tells tale of explosion
Two Canadian artists have released a haunting song about the Halifax Explosion for its centenary, told through the eyes of two lovers.
Titled Song for Kate and Anthony, the melody is set to a YouTube montage of black-and-white photos including ships in Halifax harbour, First World War soldiers fighting in muddy trenches a huge cloud of smoke from the explosion and its aftermath, and rows of coffins and ruined buildings.
“In our effort to commemorate the tragedy we have incorporated the historical facts into a story of love among the ruins, involving a nurse and gravedigger whose romance flowers in the aftermath of the tragedy,” said lyricist Alan Millen in an email to The Chronicle Herald.
Song For Kate And Anthony was written and recorded in Vancouver earlier this year by Millen and musician Tim Readman. The YouTube video was put together using public domain photos of the 1917 explosion and First World War.
You can read the full article here:
http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1492578-haunting-love-song-tells-tale-of-explosion
Here’s the link to the video for the song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8GUVsstKd0

Gigs
A reminder that in the fall, Tim is starting a series of musical pub nights at the Red Dragon on Main Street. Entrance to the pub is via the back alley behind The Cambrian Hall, 215 East 17th Avenue, Vancouver. We are starting on Sept 29th-so don’t miss it! Save the date!

Mission and Harrison Festival Photos
More photos, courtesy of official photographer and all-round good egg, Ben Shaevitz from the 30th annual Mission Folk Music Festival in July. Also some pics from Tim’s set with Jennie Bice at the Literary Café at The Harrison Hot Springs Festival of the Arts. There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to culture and the arts in the Fraser Valley.

August 2017 … and We are Still Going Blue
We continue to get a tremendous response to our request for fans to send snaps of themselves with the cover of Go Blue for us to post on social media. There’s a new selection of photos below for your pleasure. As long as you keep sending the photos we’ll keep posting them!

July 24th 2017 Update

Mission Folk Music Festival July 21-23
Tim MC-ed and played a couple of sets at the 30th annual Mission Folk Music Festival July 21-23. Tim’s first appearance was 24 years ago and by common consensus he has played at least 20 of the festivals over that time. Hats off to Michelle Demers Shaevitz and her amazing team at the 30th annual festival for a wonderful weekend of music and community. It was great to be there – here’s to the next 30!

Halifax Disaster – ‘Song for Kate and Anthony’
This is a “love among the ruins” tale, with lyrics by Alan Millen told from the perspective of the grandson of a nurse and a gravedigger whose romance blossomed in the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion of December 6, 1917. It is our collaborative commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the terrible disaster, which was the world’s most devastating human-made explosion prior to the detonation of the atomic bomb. Tim recorded it with Bill Buckingham, at Palace Studios in East Vancouver, with Alan sitting in on a special visit from Zurich Switzerland.
Here’s the link to the video for the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8GUVsstKd0
If you happen to know anyone in or from Nova Scotia or anyone else who might be interested, it would be cool if you could forward the link to them.
You can read more about the disaster here: https://www.damninteresting.com/the-halifax-disaster/

Summer of Love
The psychedelic relic himself has been sending this note around to make sure nobody misses out on the fun!
“I am writing to let you know about a song Tim Readman and I collaborated on recently. It’s called The Summer Of Love and was recorded in Vancouver in April. It’s a light-hearted, affectionate tribute to the summer of 1967, in which Tim gets in touch with his inner Clapton-Hendrix while I draw inspiration from the relevant lyricists of the time. If you know of anyone in the local media scene who might be interested in the song, we would certainly appreciate any assistance in that regard.
For the record, I am an expat Vancouverite living in Zurich. I spent my formative years on Vancouver Island listening to the hits of the day via transistor radio tuned into CKLG and CFUN. Fifty years on, it feels right to take a trip down memory lane, adopting the alter-ego of a “psychedelic relic” determined to let his freak flag fly one more time. The link below takes you to the song video I made using public domain material from the period along with some bits and pieces from my own personal treasure chest. Some chuckles are guaranteed.
https://youtu.be/MgXlQN2kRUU
Best regards from rainy Zurich.
Alan”

Gigs
Tim is taking some time off over the summer to do some song writing – we’ll let you know as gigs re-commence. In the fall he is starting a series of musical pub nights at the Red Dragon on Main Street. Entrance to the pub is via the back alley behind The Cambrian Hall, 215 East 17th Avenue, Vancouver. We had a great night June 16th with pub food, pub quiz and some very funny heckling! We are doing it all again on Sept 29th-so don’t miss it! Save the date!

May 2017 … and We are Still Going Blue
We continue to get a tremendous response to our request for fans to send snaps of themselves with the cover of Go Blue for us to post on social media. Some of the places we have featured on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are: Squamish, BC; Valencia, Spain; Dunedin, New Zealand; Vancouver, BC; London, England; Budapest, Hungary and Zurich, Switzerland. There’s a new selection of photos below for your pleasure. As long as you keep sending the photos we’ll keep posting them!