Hello. I hope you enjoy looking through my website. There is quite a variety of topics to browse through.
I'm a Tyneside singer and guitarist particularly interested in two separate areas of music making.
Local Dialect Songs.
I have a longstanding affection for our dialect songs. I was born in Blaydon and that's where my fascination started. The Blaydon Races Geordie anthem is the most famous of a quite astonishing and immensely varied repertoire of local song in dialect, a tradition of which Geordies worldwide are rightly proud. I think they uniquely encapsulate our culture, humour, history, emotions and language in a delightful way. This heritage of Tyneside and Northumbrian dialect songs goes back over centuries.
They range from old folk songs, handed down aurally, to Victorian Music Hall. From songs from the 1950s radio program 'What Cheor Geordie' to recent folk idiom and pop songs.
Jazz - guitar and vocals.
My teenage interest in pop music moved on into R&B and folk blues then jazz. I had played guitar in my teens but then became very interested in jazz guitar. I left my office job to study music 1992/95.
My jazz playing is mostly based around the 'American Songbook' repertoire. This is the music of Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rogers and Hart, Harold Arlen and so many more. They all represent a golden age in song writing.
In addition to my own playing, my involvement with Blaydon Jazz Club has been very important to me. I helped start the club which has run continuously since 1984. I've put a biography of the club (photographs + live music) on YouTube. Search for 'Blaydon Jazz Club' and you'll find it. There are ten parts.
I have examples of my music on YouTube so if you are interested check out my BlaydonAces channel.
As I've got older I've become more interested in our local history and culture. In particular the history of my home patch, the Blaydon and Winlaton locality, which, in several aspects, is truly remarkable. It is no exaggeration to say that. I have some Blaydon area historical information on the website which I hope you might find interesting. Check out the history of the Keelmen and early coal mining, Sir Ambrose Crowley and Crowley's Crew, The Cowens, Blaydon Burn, the Lead Road, Axwell Hall (the 'bad lads school'), the White City, and, last but not least, the chequered history of the legendary Blaydon Races.
Click on the headings below for more information on the various topics.
Click on 'Blaydon and Winlaton History' to access a sub-menu of essays.
Pictured left - the beautiful Path Head Watermill, Blaydon.