JJ’s End of Year Song – The Ties That Bind

JJ says: “I started this song during lockdown when enduring friendship seemed a distant hope and finished it this year when it has seemed more important than ever.”

Click on the image below to listen to the studio recording of the song:

Benji Kirkpatrick accompanying JJ when they debuted the song at the end of the Rising Road set at Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2022.
Photo by Kerstin Maier

Click on the image above to watch the full Rising Road set at the Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2022 – Ray Cooper, Dil Davies, Benji Kirkpatrick, Al Scott, John Jones, Tim Cotterell, Lindsey Oliver and Boff Whalley.

My Rising Road set at the Shrewsbury Folk Festival

Time now to focus on the Shrewsbury Folk Festival and what promises to be one of the highlights of my year. I am bringing together an amazing gathering of musicians to help celebrate my 10 years of walking and gigging through this country; a gathering that will be as poignant as it will be uplifting without the wonderful voice of Rowan Godel. 

I am so pleased to have Ray Cooper ( Chopper) with me, for 22 years the wonderful cello and bass player who shared the musical journey of Oysterband and also Dil Davies, whose drumming lifted Oysterband albums Ragged Kingdom and Diamonds On The Water to a new level. 
Welcome back chaps. 

They were both part of of the original Reluctant Ramblers who along with Al Scott and Tim Cotterell took the first faltering steps into the unknown as we set out from the Welsh Border to walk across England to the Big Session.

Add to that the drive and creativity of Benji Kirkpatrick, the wonderful stand-up bass and singing of Lindsey Oliver and the songs, stories and humour of Boff Whalley. 

I am privileged to have everyone with me. Expect a new song from me and a song started by Rowan and finished by Boff with a wonderful arrangement. You can also expect a very special atmosphere in the Bellstone Tent, Saturday afternoon, Shrewsbury. 

I hope you can join us. JJ

Walking tour starts on Sunday!

JJ writes “Join us on the Malvern Hills, through hidden Herefordshire hamlets with ancient Norman churches and inspiring border landscape as we cross 100 miles westward to finish in Kington below Hergest Ridge. Join us for a day, half a day, a pint at lunchtime or just a gig in the evening. Walk us through your local area or just meet us to say hello. See you on the road. JJ ”

Walk details here:jj-rr.org/hereford-100-the-homecoming-tour/

Gig details here: jj-rr.org/homecoming-tour-gigs/

The week will see 1,000 miles completed since the walking tours began in 2009. See here for John’s fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/John-Jones-Oysterband – now on £4,634 and aiming for at least £5,000 by the end of next week – please donate if you can!

Gigs across Herefordshire on the Homecoming Tour!

JJ writes:

Sat 10th September: Oysterband headline Bromyard festival to start the week.
Sun 11th: Get-together, Nag’s Head, Malvern. No music, just recovery after a long walk.
Mon 12th: first Reluctant Rambers gig of the tour at the 15th century Royal Oak, Ledbury – following a wonderful walk along the length of The Malverns. 
Tues 13th: The Barrels, Hereford. The great Wye Valley Brewery pub, Hereford’s local and a great live venue. We played here on our first ever Walking Tour 7 years ago.
Weds 14th: no gig.
Thurs 15th: A concert in the beautiful surroundings of Yarpole Church – a wonderful community space and building.
Fri 16th: Session at The Sun Inn, Leintwardine – one of the county’s great and iconic old pubs. Come prepared to sing and play .
Sat 17th: The Burton Hotel, Kington. Where we started 7 years ago and where we finish, 1,000 miles later and countless gigs. This will sell-out as will some of the others. Last gig of the year for JJ and The Ramblers.

As Oysterband celebrate their 40th anniversary next year, John will be incredibly busy so there will be no organised Walking Tour in 2017.

Keep Rambling.

Click here for gig details

JJ’s Monday update #7

A good day gathering song lyrics, playing tunes and compiling a set for the Walking Tour. Many of my songs have no definitive recorded version yet and I love sharing them and hearing them evolve with playing. There are new songs…strange ones involving hangmen, mysterious birds, chalk-white horses and stories heard in the pub. Songs of the roadside which need telling. Who knows whether they will stand the test of time like some of the sweeping traditional songs we will sing…big songs from a small island. I have Rowan’s voice next to mine and one of the greatest bands that ever had the bottle to walk all day, and then gig. It is my craziest week of the year…certainly theirs…and hopefully yours. Meet you there. JJ