I’m delighted to announce that my debut album is available today. I spent last weekend fulfilling the pre-orders before opening the availability more widely. The new album is available on Bandcamp either as CD with a digital download or as a digital download only. Bandcamp is one of the very few platforms which support independent singer/songwriters like me – unlike the other platforms (ahem) where it would take 1,000 streams to buy a cup of coffee or million streams to pay the rent. So Bandcamp offers a unique place for artists and fans to get the music their love in a way that supports the creative process. It also provides professional musicians with an income stream with gigs and merchandise that allows them to prosper.

I have so many people to thank today for helping me get this far. Firstly, I want to thank David Redfurn and Mel Supperstien of Cobbler Cottage Studios, Crich for their part in the production. That wasn’t just on the technical side, though that shouldn’t be underestimated – but for the moral support and belief in my music. Their encouragement and belief in the songs helped last year, as this venture morphed from being an EP project into an LP project. I’m planning on whisking them away for a slap-up meal and rinky-dinky restaurant as a personal way of saying thank you.

I’d also like to thank my Big Brother, Steven. It was his suggestion after writing a couple of songs back in February 2022 that if wrote a couple more songs I should create an EP. When he made this suggestion the “deal” was that he would become my manager. A promise that has yet to be fulfilled so let’s see if he holds good to the bargain. I want to thank Steven on another level as well – being a bit older than me – he was the person who introduced me to so much good music back when I was in my early teens. I was probably listening to “serious music” well in advance of my years. But it’s an input that I think has shaped my entire musical life. Now, we are good ‘gig buddies’ accompanying each other on many, many concerts and gigs around the country.

There’s another cohort of people I’d like to thank – and that’s my fellow musicians/sessioners in the local Derbyshire scene. Firstly, apologies for being persona non grata in the last couple of months – a combination of this project and ill health has kept me away from our scene. I hope that I will be back by the end of May. Our scene is incredibly important to me. When I first arrived in Derbyshire in the Autumn of 2013, I hadn’t sung or played in front of anyone for more than 20 years or more. I still remember turning up to Rob Gill’s session at the Red Lion, all a tremble due to nerves. It’s been turning up to our sessions each week over the last decade that got me to this point. And I know that today would never have been possible or even happen without our unique scene that welcomes all regardless of ability. And I myself have witnessed others grow and mature in the same space. I know our scene will last for decades to come so long as there are people out there who want to share their voices and songs with one another.

I’m releasing the album today because I just couldn’t sit on it any longer. The official “Launch Party” will be at the end of May. I hope to do a gig in Belper sometime soon after as well as a fundraising gig in Sheffield. The CD doesn’t come with a booklet of lyrics – I’ve got something better. If you visit Bandcamp there – together with the tuning used on each song and basic explanations of the chords used.