Artery cover
In order to clear some cupboard space at Spinney Towers, many of our CDs are now available at a bargain price of £5 plus postage and packing. What's more all UK orders cryptocurrency will be free of postage and packing. This applies to all of the following albums:

Artery "Afterwards"
Vashti Bunyan "Just Another Diamond Day"
Kevin Coyne "One Day In Chicago"
Barry Dransfield "Barry Dransfield"
Hank Dogs "Half Smile"
Jack "Pioneer Soundtracks"
The Memory Band "The Memory Band"
The Memory Band "Oh My Days"
Transcargo "Momentum"

Also the following 7" vinyl items are also reduced to £2.50:

Anthony Reynolds with Vashti Bunyan ; Charlotte Greig "Bees Dream Of Flowers" EP
My Brightest Diamond/Dayna Kurtz "Postcards From Downtown/Gone Away"
The Memory Band "Fanny Adams" EP

Get them while you can!
The Memory Band (Small)
The third album by The Memory Band will be released on CD only by Hungry Hill/Spinney on 7th February 2011. It is available to buy from this site for £8 plus postage and packing. Just click on the Releases button to be directed to the store.

In a decade which has seen a wide ranging and fruitful revival of interest in folk music, Stephen Cracknell's The Memory Band has established itself in that fine English tradition of slightly schizophrenic projects pointing in several directions at once which manage to find their place in the ever exciting independent music scene, popping up at several influential moments and though the marvels of technology finding audiences all around the world.

From the outset The Memory Band has embraced change and for its third album, Oh My Days, the ever-fluid line-up of The Memory Band has shifted once more, with a fresh emphasis on rhythm courtesy of the powerhouse team of bassist Jon Thorne from Lamb and drummer Tom Page of Rocketnumbernine, as well as an all-new vocal frontline featuring Jess Roberts, Jenny McCormick, Hannah Caughlin and Liam Bailey (whose debut album is out on Poyldor later this year). Sam Carter, winner of this year's Horizon award at the Radio 2 Folk Awards, plays and sings on a number of songs, while there are contributions from names new and old; Nancy Wallace, Dot Allison, Sam Genders on vocals, guitarists John Smith and Pete Greenwood, bassist Jonny Bridgwood, string players Quinta, Rob Spriggs, Jennymay Logan and Laura Moody, Sarah Scutt on accordion and recorder, and Serafina Steer on harp. Oh My Days is a warmly-textured, delicately-balanced blend of the best elements from its predecessors. Low-key electronic pulses and loops purr away gently beneath material that radiates a quiet strength, having expanded its palette to embrace soul, gospel, Laurel Canyon rock and country blues alongside the folk and jazz elements of the earlier albums. It's a beautifully-poised piece of work, with the usual handful of inspired covers – Sandy Denny's By The Time It Gets Dark, Graham Bond's Love Is The Law and Jeff Alexander's Come Wander With Me (from the TV series The Twilight Zone) – nestling amongst ten originals, several of which are already live favourites.

The Memory Band began in 2003, when a brace of well-received, quietly influential EPs were released on the Hungry Hill imprint, run in conjunction with Spinney and Cracknell set about assembling a band that would put living flesh on the loops, beats and drones that were to form the basis of The Memory Band's eponymous full-length debut. Upon its release in 2004, several observers were quick to place the band within the then-emerging “folktronica” movement, whilst others drew comparisons with library music, The Penguin Cafe Orchestra and even cosmic jazzers like Pharoah Sanders. A now prescient cover of Arthur Russell's This Is How We Walk On The Moon was an early indicator of a singular approach to non-original material that continues to this day.

With a line-up that included Radio 2 Folk Award-nominated singer/guitarist Nancy Wallace, multi-instrumentalist Al Doyle (Hot Chip/LCD Soundsystem), Jennymay Logan (Elysian Quartet/Basquiat Strings) on violin and session wizard Rob Spriggs on viola, the in-the-flesh version of the band played numerous shows throughout 2004 and 2005. At festivals like The Green Man, The Big Chill and the Homefires weekender (curated by occasional member Adem), they'd display a taste for thrilling improvisations around traditional and original material alike, with the live band's more muscular dimension leading to them once being memorably described as sounding like “an acoustic Mogwai”. It was this core septet, later augmented by Adem and Black Ghosts bassist/vocalist Simon Lord, that Cracknell led into the studio in 2005 to begin work on a second album, Apron Strings. Released in 2006 by Peacefrog in the UK and DiCristina Stairbuilders in the United States, it featured the stunning arrangement of the traditional song I Wish, I Wish that had become the centrepiece of the band's live shows.

After Apron Strings, Cracknell took a sabbatical from Memory Band business and took the opportunity to turn a mutual appreciation and friendship with Tunng's Sam Genders into a fully-fledged collaboration. London-based singer Hannah Caughlin was brought in to contribute vocals to the sessions alongside Nottingham's Liam Bailey, and The Accidental was born. Cracknell's network of collaborators expanded further still, via contributions from cellist Laura Moody of the Elysian Quartet and harpist Serafina Steer. An album, There Were Wolves, was released in 2008 on Full Time Hobby to warm reviews, and the band's numerous live shows were equally well-received.

Before resuming work on a new Memory Band album, Cracknell revisited an earlier project. Shortly after the turn of the millennium, he'd assembled a scratch band to perform a live soundtrack to showings of The Wicker Man at the ICA and The Big Chill. However, following numerous requests for repeat performances, he took the idea a stage further and developed a live show which would feature all the music and songs from the film performed as a live show. Calling upon his ever-widening pool of collaborators, friends and musical acquaintances, he gathered together a company of singers and players under the banner The Memory Band Perform Music And Songs From The Wicker Man and undertook a series of festival shows and club dates that received widespread acclaim. It's from this company that the present configuration of the band has grown. More recently Cracknell formed The Balearic Folk Orchestra in conjuntion with director Kieran Evans, once again pulling together a group of diverse musicians to reinterpret classic tracks from a golden age of dance music through the filter of contemporary folk. Their debut show at the 2010 Green Man festival creating quite a stir.
MBD/Dayna sleeve
Spinney is back with this lovely split single by My Brightest Diamond and Dayna Kurtz covering each other's songs. Both women have startling voices. MBD is the brainchild of Shara Worden who has performed with Sufjan Stevens (in fact MBD are signed to Sufjan's Asthmatic Kitty label) and more recently with The Decemberists on their "Hazards Of Love" tour. Dayna is a bit of a star in Holland, has co-written with Moby and has treated many European towns to her take on folk-soul-jazz-blues.

I have a very small quantity of these hand-numbered 7" singles (with artwork by fello Asthmatic Kitty artist DM Stith) so get them while you can. There are available here at £4 plus postage and packing ahead of the release on 29th March 2010.
Posted on 19/08/08 at 19:56
Due out soon is an EP by Anthony Reynolds entitled "Bees Dream Of Flowers And Your Summer's Meadow Breath" that features Vashti Bunyan and Charlotte Greig. Available only as a 7" in a picture sleeve with a lyric insert and limited to only 500 copies or as a download with a different tracklisting, this EP is a companion piece to Anthony's album "British Ballads" that came out late last year.

The version of "Just So You Know" (from "British Ballads") that appears on the EP is sung by Vashti Bunyan and has been re-worked by Anthony together with Anthony Whiting (who has produced M.I.A. and Animal Collective amongst others).

"Like The Sun Feeds From Flowers" was co-written with Charlotte Greig especially for this release. Charlotte is perhaps more well known as a distinctive interpreter of traditional song (and curated the compilation of Lal Waterson's songs called "Early Bird" for Honest Jon's Records) but has released several albums of her own material too.

The third song on the vinyl is a demo of a song that was initially included on the album demos provided to Hungry Hill but Anthony chose not to pursue recording it at the album sessions. Shame. Perhaps we'll see an album of those demos released one day?

The two songs that will only be available digitally via itunes were outtakes from the actual album sessions. "Now It Begins" was a personal favourite of Hungry Hill honcho Boots but Anthony has his reservations whilst "Girls With Glasses" was one Anthony supported and Boots did not. As neither could entirely agreed upon it was decided to remove them both from the final tracklisting (together with a feisty track called "Get Me To My Mind On Time" but that is another story!).

The tracklistings to both formats are shown below and the 7" is available to order via Paypal or cheque (made payable to "Spinney") exclusively from the Spinney site for £4 plus postage and packing.

7" tracklisting:

Just So You Know (featuring Vashti Bunyan)
It Isn't So
Like The Sun Feeds From Flowers (featuring Charlotte Greig)

itunes download tracklisting:

Just So You Know (featuring Vashti Bunyan)
Like The Sun Feeds From Flowers (featuring Charlotte Greig)
Now It Begins
Girls With Glasses
Posted on 05/11/07 at 14:49
December 10th will see the release of Anthony Reynolds' album "British Ballads".

After several albums with the bands Jack and Jacques, this is Anthony's debut solo record. It was produced by Julian Simmons and features contributions from Vashti Bunyan, John Howard, the author Colin Wilson, Dot Allison and Simon Raymonde. Lyrically the songs on the album reflect Anthony's removal from the city (London) to the country (rural Staffordshire).

You can order it from this website for £8.50 plus postage and packing.