Making ‘The Year, She Turns’ – October
October 23, 2017. No comments.
I remember talking to Mike Cosgrave one windy day on a Pembrokeshire cliff after the bonfire night celebrations at The Druidstone Hotel (which is quite possibly my favourite place in the world…) where he had been playing a gig with ‘Daily Planet’. The conversation went along the lines of ‘we should get together and have a play sometime’. That was years ago, and it was some years later we actually did. Needless to say Mike has been a trusted collaborator ever since.
Mike’s Twitter description reads: Dad. Also musician. No bells and whistles there, but I can tell you he is an incredibly versatile, skilled and creative musician. We have travelled all over the UK and Scotland together, and in the haphazard world of music Mikes is a gem and a true professional. And then there’s that sense of humour. Whilst I sing about love and hope and heartache and stuff… he adds a welcome dose of down-to-earth dry wit when the moment arises (whether that’s on stage, or when we are stuck in the rain at a motorway services and about to lose the will to live…). Savvy with a sat nav, great packing skills, and Joni Mitchell in the CD player for the long drives home – I regularly thank my lucky stars I had the sense to follow up on that conversation.
Mike lives in Devon, as does my dear friend Miranda Sykes. Miranda played a significant part in encouraging me to have the confidence to perform my own songs. Back in 2004 I did a spot in the club tent at Cambridge Folk Festival. Miranda loved what she heard and came up to Bath to try out some bass and harmonies to my songs. We formed a duo and did a couple of tours together and became close friends – discovering music we both loved and sharing special times. Miranda recorded a song of mine called ‘Killing Time’ on her first band album, and in March this year when she was recording her solo album ‘Borrowed Places’ it was an absolute delight and honour for me to write ‘Sea Glass’ – a song inspired by her personal experience around losing a good friend and living in Devon.
I was already imagining her wonderful double bass playing on the song I was writing for October last year and a brilliant plan came together to record it in Mike’s home studio. I drove down to Devon on a fine autumn morning and got busy recording my parts. Miranda came for her session the following day, and Mike added his guitar and accordion. After 4 months of recording on my own it was great fun to be working with these two. We got everything done just in time and I headed off…. only to discover one of my tyres was in dire need of replacing and had to search for a garage that was still open. The nice man had never seen one that bad! With that sorted, I took the opportunity to visit some friends and played them the song. They loved it. I returned home with ‘October Road’ in the bag, and the rest of the year just sped by…
As the song says “the only thing that’s keeping me from what the future holds is down October road”. Last year, as this, the only thing we can do is “keep on walking….”
Lyrics and buy link: OCTOBER ROAD
- Mike will be performing with Jennifer at ‘Schtumm’ at The Queen’s Head in Box on 27th October and Chapel Arts Centre in Bath on 2nd November.