A MERRY CONVOY
My New album 'A Merry Convoy' comes out in November 2020
- copies can be ordered from me below -
The album was recorded at a secret location on Dartmoor
during September 2020
All the musicianship, production, singing, engineering,
mixing, and art design by myself
1 Flash Company - traditional - rollicking
2 Willy’s Lyke Wake - traditional - singalong
3 Two Bright Eyes - traditional - pensive, lyrical
4 Fare thee well Cold Winter - traditional - music hall
5 The Barleystraw - traditional - indelicate
6 Lowlands of Holland - traditional - plaintive
7 Captain’s Apprentice - traditional - doom laden
8 Copper Kettle - A.F. Beddow - instructive
9 Cruel Mother - traditional - pitiful
10 Singing Lovely Nancy - traditional - exuberant
11 The Swapping Song - traditional - puerile
12 The Greenmore Hare - traditional - mournful
Copies can be ordered through my email- £11.30 (which includes p+p)
‘A Merry Convoy’ is the third solo album from Si Barron. It represents a step forward in his music with intricate guitar arrangements and confident singing on a range of traditional songs over an album of twelve songs.
These are hearty songs full of meaning and narrative. The up tempo songs have all the robust choruses one would expect, whilst the slower more reflective songs comprise sweet melodies to beguile the ear.
“These are the songs I have been singing out in folk-clubs and festivals for a few years. I have a familiarity with them, and I think that comes across in the recording - an easy manner and a fluid performance. I felt like I could ‘step-inside’ these songs.
“The songs themselves are nearly all traditional and have been gathered from various sources. They have all been arranged for guitar by myself, although some of the arrangements are based on other artistes’ performances. I play a Fylde Oberon guitar tuned to CGCFGC (the lower equivalent of DADGAD) and it’s this tuning I use throughout.
“I was very fortunate to spend part of September 2020 (in between lockdowns) house-sitting a secluded Dartmoor farmhouse. The album was recorded there and I feel the vibes of the place helped enormously. Indeed, a certain amount of atmosphere bleeds through. A particularly apt instance is the (just audible) sound of a cock-crow after the line ‘she spent all night in the Tinker’s arms amongst the Barleystraw’ (The Barleystraw). Honestly, I couldn’t have placed it better if I had thought of it myself!
“The songs were recorded live with me singing and playing into one condenser microphone. I originally thought that for this album, for the first time, I would record the guitar separately and overdub the vocals in order to get that ‘perfect separation’. But I found it couldn’t be done. These songs are fluid in tempo, there are pauses and emphasis, there are extra beats and bars. It was practically impossible to get the guitar part recorded without singing the vocal with it. So, I gave in to inevitability. And the album is all the better for it in my opinion. What you lose in ‘separation’ is more than made up for in performance. The songs can ‘breathe’ when played live. Take ‘The Barleystraw’ again for a good instance of this. Each repeated refrain steps outside the rhythm of the song, and that’s not to mention the changes in individual verses. This song would be impossible to record in this arrangement without doing it as a live take.
“Of course, that’s not to say that one can’t embellish the performance after the live take is done. And here I have done so. Most of the tracks have added elements which takes them away from the raw ‘live’ sound somewhat. However, it is easy to see how these songs would sound in a folk-club situation.
I have layered up the chorus singing in a manner which I hope emulates a lively folk-club setting, and there are some percussion elements and harmonium, and an instance of keyboardism. These extra flourishes are minimal and I think improve the overall sound without detracting from the live feel too much.
I’m very pleased with the result and consider this to be my best album so far (thankfully).