On Monday 12 November 2012 I re-released “Sail Away with Me” having re-mastered the original and updated the artwork by using one of my own original oil paintings.
The release is not part of some grand plan it was simply born out of a desire to share the song once more with you having heard the re-mastered version as part of a ‘Best of….’ project – which may or may not see the light of day in the future.
In 2005 & 2006 I had been completely absorbed in researching my family history – collecting old photographs from family members, speaking to elderly relatives and looking up records on the internet. I hadn’t intended for the journey to inspire a musical venture but ghosts have a way of drifting into view. In the middle of all this my Father died suddenly on a beautiful spring day, driving his beloved MG motorcar and with his love by his side. The car he was driving quietly wandered to the side of the road on a country lane and stopped without a bump or scratch…. and in that moment he was gone.
Later that summer I released an album “Faint Signal”, which brought forth two radio singles – “In the Shoes of the Fisherman” and “Sail Away with Me”; the second of which hit No.2 in the UK Sounds download chart. I hope this BLOG will act as a doorway into, what will always be a very special album to me with all its Celtic leanings and echoes of the past with its sounds of Northern England, the Borders of Scotland and the Irish Sea.
Essentially, I had uncovered the fact that my ancestors on one side of the family were fisherman with their wives and children, making a living from the seas around Holy Island in Northumberland, England at a time before factory ships and over-fishing. They battled the elements and risked all to feed their families in wooden ships with white sails on icy seas in banks of fog.
I was drawn to the symbolism and imagery of the sea and as is my way – the romanticism. The ocean and the wild carefree abandon. Perhaps the main example of this approach is in the track “In the Shoes of the Fisherman”, where love across ‘the oceans of time’ is celebrated with an acoustic guitar. The VIDEO was shot between rising tides on the Causeway at Holy Island and it has a bleak beauty, which marries perfectly with the song.
“Sail Away with Me”, like many of the songs on the album, has a seafaring theme, the idea of escape and embarking on a journey – telling the story of a troubled soul adrift on life’s stormy seas but kept afloat by love.
“Dancing Horses” is another ode to the sea ….. “Sailors dive beneath the waves and dolphins dance on whaler’s graves”, and again in “Spittal Song” the narrative tells the tale of a sea voyage as a symbol for life’s journey where all our experiences only lead us to this one moment in time and this space where everything collides in the ‘now’.
Northumbrian Pipes, fiddles and mandolin work with the acoustic guitars and pianos to evoke the ghosts of the past, which at the same moment is the here and now. I hope you’re getting a flavour of the album.
I won’t embellish much more but I will mention my favourite song from the album – “Hollow” …. it’s a broken obsession, a shipwrecked heart, a pirate waiting to kidnap your heart – a fragile soul.
I hope you’re intrigued to find out more.
You can check out the full track listing and all the lyrics for “FAINT SIGNAL” via the DISCOGRAPHY page at ROJOR.COM – well worth a read if you have a few minutes.
You can BUY the CD album from ROJOR.COM, which includes some great photographs of the Holy Island causeway…. or if you prefer you can download the songs from I-Tunes.