This is Alan Ibbotson’s second CD album release on the Rising Records label.
It features 14 tracks of excellent original folk rock. Inspred by real life events from young man through to the recent death of a father and on into the future. Memorable tunes and an honest performance mark this as a must play album.
Walrus and The Carpenter and Me Dec 70: Al, Richard and Philip wander around near home in an illegal state of mind, trying to find somewhere warm to hang out. They get a bus to a nearby village and the welcoming front carpet and stereo of their pal Mick.
Number Eight Dec 71: a house/hippy-commune in the village. A Sikh door-to-door salesman calls and is invited in for Ravi Shankar, a cuppa tea and a spliff. They buy a lovely tablecloth which is hung up as a flag. A few weeks later another knock at the door... and that was the end of the dream.
Garden an instrumental improvisation recorded on day in the garden - believe it or not...
Man of Wood Al's oldest friend Richard died at the end of '18 after a horrible struggle with cancer, He was the cleverest person Al ever knew, and he's known some! Could speak any language he felt like learning and was a master carpenter. Al wanted to remember him in a song so this is the story of a cold, dull day in March 72 at a mate's house, listening to “Benefit”, where they realised those bad things they had just been through might be at an end.
Mystery Girl Al met the love of all his lives (again!) in that same mate's front room. That was her “Benefit” album.
Hamfisted an instrumental in direct response to a critic who once said that Al was ‘hamfisted’. This improvisation proves he certainly isn’t when it comes to the guitar.
Jonny Seven Fast-forward to '93, when Al started his own band. He had an ambitious but realistic idea about what he would and could achieve and pretty much succeeded. In '10 it all fell apart after 20 great years because the lead singer, his best mate, left. He soldiered on for while with various stand-ins but it ddn't work, of course, because it was their partnership that had driven it all.
Tom, Dick and Dave Tom Petty, Richard and Dave (the first person Al met when he moved from the city to his village in '63) all died at the end of '17. What with that and all the other stupid bollox going on in the world, he was completely pissed off with life.
Headland During a short holiday on the Flamborough peninsula, taking a late walk under the stars to the cliffs with a spliff one freezing, Jan 18 midnight.
They Hate The World Jul 18, Ewden Valley. Al's old pal put up a bench in memory of his dad who loved the view. Al found it festooned with bags of dogshit, lager cans and fag packets. Bring on the apocalypse.
Weekend in The Country In Aug 18 a man was forced by family circumstances to spend a weekend in The Cotswolds with some middle-class Southerners. He coped with this by sitting on the patio and wariting this song while heroically drinking a bottle of Scotch, washed down with a few glasses of cider. He then went berserk. Al extends apologies to Billy Joe Armstrong, T.S.Elliot, Brian Cox, Dylan Thomas, William Wordsworth, Don McClean, Edith Piaf, Leonard Cohen and Syd Barrat.
High Plains Drifter “and behold, I saw a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him." - Luke 20 & 21
Not long before he died in Nov 18, Al's dad had been telling him tales of his life in Sheffield in the 30's; how he and his pals would think nothing of riding their bikes (no gears or brakes...) to the coast to get work fruit-picking and make a few bob. Watching his last hours in hospital, Al thought about how the only thing they both liked was watching old cowboy films on TV. He got a Johnny Cash CD to remind him of his dad and the quote from Luke was on there, just before “Streets of Laredo”. He had been thinking about all of this stuff when some days later he walked into the cathedral and saw the bible with the pages opened at that very quote for “Today's thought”. Very strange! So he brought these things together into a song in his dad's honour.
Brothers In Arms Set 100 years and based on the story in the film/book “Cloud Atlas”, where Earth has become uninhabitable after an environmental disaster and the survivors have escaped to a new world orbiting another star, many light years away.
Spacey an instrumental improvisation just to cap off the overall feeling of the album.
All Guitars and Vocals as well as the Bass on ‘Weekend in The Country’ are performed
by Alan Ibbotson,
Cellos on ‘Walrus and The Carpenter and Me’ by Pete Bangert,
Bass on ‘Number Eight’, ‘Man Of Wood’ and ‘Tom, Dick and Dave’ is by our friend Session Pete,
Drums are courtesy of Clatterfoot
You can listen to samples from these tracks above.