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8 Mar 2007:  JK SONGS IN NEW BOOK - "FOLK VOICEWORKS"
This month sees the release by Oxford University Press of "Folk Voiceworks". This is a collection of thirty songs arranged for harmony singing by choirs and vocal groups of all ages, aimed mainly, I think, at people who aren't necessarily folkies but don't mind having a go! It's been edited jointly by Peter Hunt, who is the overall editor of the Voiceworks series for OUP, and David Oliver, who has just left working full time for Folkworks at The Sage in Gateshead.

There are twenty-one traditional items, and songs by Francis McPeake, Mary Brooksbank, Matt McGinn, Karine Polwart, George Evans, Sarah Margan, and Vin Garbutt - and no less than two songs written, composed, and arranged by Mr K - "The Song of the Weaver" and "Chariots". With the book comes a CD with at least part of each song on it, so that you can get an idea of how it should sound.

ISBN 978-0-19-335573-6

20 Feb 2007:  LINDA THOMPSON SESSION
Recently I had the massive pleasure of playing on a few tracks for the forthcoming CD by Linda Thompson, due for release in the summer by Rounder Records. We'd hardly seen each other for about 25 years!

I was already expecting to overdub accordion on two songs Linda had co-written with son Teddy - "Never the Bride" and "Blue & Gold" - but we were going well, so not only did I add concertina on another song, but we also laid down a whole new track - the traditional "The Sheffield Apprentice" - which might make it onto this album, but more likely will wait to see the light of day later on.

It was a lovely cosy session at Oliver Knight's studio in Robin Hood's Bay, with just us, Linda, and American producer Ed Haber. The songs were great, she was in good form, it was great to see her, and a privilege to be involved with her work.

20 Feb 2007:  JK on FREE REED MIDWINTER BOX SET
Before hibernation set in, the eagle eyed amongst may have noticed three JK tracks on the Free Reed 4-CD box set released at the end of last year - "MidWinter" - FRQCD-30 - compiled by Nigel Schofield.

Amongst the dazzling array of hugely varied material you can find two tracks off the 1997 "Wassail!" CD - Fellside Recordings FECD 125 - which features JK + Rosie Cross, Gina le Faux, Jane Threlfall, Carl Hogsden, and Michael Gregory. The songs concerned are "Wassail Song" and "Chariots".

The third item is from the 1978 Free Reed LP "Going Spare", which they promise me really will come out on CD this year! This is the original recording of "Jogging Along With My Reindeer", a track which also made it onto the ADA Recordings 2003 compilation "Nowt so Funny as Folk" - ADA 105CD.

19 Feb 2007:  FANS DEVASTATED BY SNOW CHAOS
The recent bout of heavy snow across the middle of the country caused me to be snowed in here in my rural fastness in deepest Shropshire. Sally and I live up five miles of narrow country lanes that wind remorselessly through twisting hills and valleys before reaching a road wide enough to have a white line down the middle. It's lovely, but we are last on the list when the gritters are out, and though the local farmers do their bit, on this occasion the snow was up over the top of my wellies in places.

I had to miss appearances at Jingles Music Club in Ramsey, near Huntingdon, and Oxford Folk Club, on February 8th and 9th. The organisers of both venues were very kind and understanding, and we hope to fix replacement dates as soon as possible. Nevertheless, if you braved the elements on either of those evenings, please accept my apologies for not making it myself.

Ironically, the 4 4 vehicle that stands here for just such an eventuality was booked into the local garage for a repair on the morning of the 8th, and its delicate state meant we couldn't even get that far!