the ballad of hawkwood

An old traditional tune I learnt from Rachael Dadd called ‘Two Sisters’ set to new words of my own.

Written about the Hawkwood nursery run by my friends at Organiclea.

There is a fine gent christened Ru Litherland
Mulch, sow and then reap
There is a fine gent christened Ru Litherland
And he has green fingers on both of his hands
I’ll be good to the land and the land will be good to me

With the vicar’s fine daughter he dreamed a bold dream
To grow food for his kinsmen as nature decreed.

By the edge the forest they spied a fair patch
And to grow fruit and veg there a plan they did hatch.

The men of the hour dreamed of buildings not plants
A development would far more there profits enhance.

Our forefathers fought for this fair forest land
So now against the law was the businessman’s plan.

After two years had past did the council relent
So now we’ll work the earth as our forefathers meant.

Now if you past by here you may hear a tune:
Mulch, sow and then reap
Now if you past by here you may hear a tune,
The melody is old and the words will be soon.
I’ll be good to the land and the land will be good to me

the russian connection

A while ago I had a few reviews in Russian which I was finding very hard to get translated – luckily a fellow called John just came across them on my site…

“In a previous existence I was a Russian translator, so I thought he might appreciate knowing what that mysterious internet write-up was about. It’s rather pompous (in a music-writerly kind of way), and I’m a bit rusty but the gist is:

“Only the Missile”
For his influences Robin has made discerning choices of true folk icons, but not icons who are usually associated with “genuine” folk per se. Chief among them Leonard Cohen and Ani Difranco.
Overall, if this had been a “commercial” release it would have been hailed as an “album of the year”. That has been said about “non-commercial” artists whose work rarely approaches this quality. This doesn’t just just apply to Robin himself, who plays numerous guitars, keyboards and percussion instruments, but also the guest musicians on a couple of tracks. Excellent performances all. 5/5
There then follows a lighthearted debate in the comments about whether he’s English or American (because of his singing accent), before someone tracks down the myspace page and they agree that he’s either from London, or based there.”

J’s Live Journal

Стиль: сонграйтерский фолк.

В качестве образца для подражания Робин выбрал настоящие иконы фолка, но иконы специфические, которые и с “настоящим” фолком-то обычно не связывают – в первую очередь, Леонарда Коэна и Эни диФранко. По большому счету, если бы этот альбом попался мне среди “платников”, он вряд ли попал бы в “альбомы года”, но заметным явлением стал бы наверняка – что уж говорить о “бесплатниках”, среди которых работы подобного качества попадаются крайне редко – причем здесь стоит отметить как самого Робина, сыгравшего на многочисленных струнных, клавишных и ударных инструментах, но и о его приглашенных на одну-две песни соратниках: молодцы все.


Thanks John!

album launch party

robin grey image

On Friday 12th March 2010, Robin Grey and The Looking Glass Band present an evening of music featuring the talents of

Barbara Bartz on violin
Iain Macleod on banjo
Amy Bowles on bass
Joe Allen on percussion
Ben Oliver on keys

with support from Theo Bard

…think candles, cake and acoustic music.

Tea by Pukka and Yogi Chai, Banana Cake by Whole Foods and Vegan Truffles by Booja Booja

Facebook page is here.

Unit C, 25 Belfast Road, Stoke Newington, N16 6UN – from 8pm

Tree design by Caitlin Hinshelwood