Mike's second solo album IMBOLC is now almost complete and in the mastering stage. There is a mixture of material from four part recorder and crumhorn dances from the16th century Danserye published by Susato in 1551 to traditional songs such as Searching for Lambs and John Barleycorn and more recent songs by Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson, Tir na n'Og's Sonny Condell and Purple Gang legend Joe Beard. Session musicians include Joe Beard, Maartin Allcock (ex Jethro Tull and Fairport Convention), Sonny Condell and Leo O'Kelly of Tir n'a n'Og, Mike Harding, Phil Davenport, Joe Roberts, Shelley Rainey and Karen Dyson (Bailey Sisters), hurdy-gurdy supremo Rory Scammell, Imogen Seal, Nicola Smalley, Mickey Van Gelder, Iain Bowley, Willy Simpson and the Bulgarian singer Yanka Rupkina. Mike plays guitar, Appalachian dulcimer, bowed psaltery, soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorders, soprano, alto, tenor and bass crumhorns, oboe, dyoyanka, dudy, Swedish sackpipa, Bulgarian dour gaida, keyboard and percussion. Soon to be available from the Epona shop. www.eponarecords.com Recording has also commenced on album number three etitled UISCE.
Epona Records whose first album was the Corvus debut album now has a website to publicise other albums available on the label. See www.eponarecords.com for more details.
Mike has teamed up with Joe Beard who was the leading light behind the 1960's cult band The Purple Gang. Joe wrote a series of songs called The Edge which tells the story of the legend of Alderley Edge where a farmer, on his way back from Macclesfield market, is persuaded to sell his horse to the wizard to team up with King Arthur's knights under the Edge of Alderley. Mike did the narration for the production back in the late 1990s when the project was broadcast on BBC Radio Manchester. Mike will also be playing recorders, crumhorns and bowed psaltery as well as narrating for the new production. The band, called RADNOR also includes Rosa Sheard (vocals) Andy Stark (keyboards) and Sean Brennan (fiddle) and, of course, Joe who plays guitar and sings. Any organisation wishing to book RADNOR to perform this event, which includes the suite of songs telling the myths and legends of Alderley Edge with narration and an impressive slide show should contact Mike via this website.
Bill and Mike have teamed up with Paul Woods (melodeon), Nicola Smalley (violin) and Colin Froggatt (guitar, mandola and mandolin to form the new ceilidh band MAGGOTY See the new website for more details. www.maggoty.co.uk
Mike Billington's first solo album Sol Invictus is now ready and can be obtained from the Epona website at www.eponarecords.com. The album is a mixture of traditional and contemporary material ranging from Long Lankin, The Snows that melt the soonest, Bonny at Morn and Flowers of the Forest to contemporary songs such as Up like the Swallow by Bob Stewart, Closing Time by Mary Asquith and Bide a While by Tom Yates. Mike sings and plays guitar, bass guitar,Appalacian dulcimer, ukulele, recorders, tin whistle, glockenspiel, melodeon, Spanish bagpipes, Highland bagpipes and percussion. Session musicians include Phil Davenport, Mickey Van Gelder and Jozeph Roberts on guitars, Nicola Smalley on violin, Ruth Spargo on 'cello, Rebecca Millington on clarinet, and backing vocals provided by Mickey Van Gelder, Fiona Simpson, Bram Taylor and Shelley Rainey and Karen Dyson of The Bailey Sisters. Furthermore, Maartin Allcock (ex Fairport Convention and Jethro Tullmakes an appearance on sampled string bass and concertina on the Tom Yates' song Bide a While. There's also a bit of Chaucer in there as well!
CORVUSis currently planning the follow up to gloves of the skin of a fish and rehearsals are underway to hopefully record in the summer.
CORVUS can now be heard on Myspace. The link is www.myspace.com/corvuseponarecords Please let us know what you think.
Corvus' first album is now ready. Bill and Mike recorded over December 2008/January 2009 at Epona Studios Manchester. Post production work was done by Caroline Churchill www.carosnatch.com and the final mastering was done by Steve Boyce-Buckley at Gracieland Studio in Rochdale.
The CD gloves of the skin of a fish is now available and comprises ten tracks, five of which are Bill's own compositions.
Mike Billington: vocals, alto, tenor and bass recorders, bass crumhorn, 'cello, Indian harmonium, Tibetan bells, rainstick, thunder drum, wind chimes, kalimba, tambourine, drum, ghatam and Spanish bagpipes.
Bill Pook: vocals, guitar, mandolin, piano and dumbek.
The track listing is.....
New The Corvus interview with Johnny Adams on Phoenix Radio 96.7 broadcast on Sunday 24th May can be heard on the station's podcast by going to the link: http://www.ryburn3step.org.uk/radio.html