I've been a regular performer at the Whitby Gospel Music Convention ever since the first weekend back in 2000. Sometimes I've sung by myself, sometimes with my wife Sue. I used to use backing tracks but tired of the inflexibility. The last few years I've sung solo, just me and my guitar.
However, I persuaded the organisers to allow me to bring some of the band members to the 2011 event and we went down really well. People were asking if I had any recordings by the band. I had to say no- but we began work on the new album just after Christmas. I'd not been in the studio since before my illness and had to relearn the technology.
Eventually we finished the album in time to take it to Whitby and the band and I played songs from the album over three nights.
Unfortunately our double bass player Dave could not make it as he was double booked, so we enlisted the help of Will Sherkle. He plays guitar and bass and has recently moved from Northamptonshire to Filey.
The audience loved the sound of the band and we picked up a few more fans. I recorded an interview with Branch FM, a Yorkshire based community radio station and that should be broadcast soon.
One highlight (of many) was on the final night when I asked some other artists if they'd join me on the band's last song, which was my version of "Amazing Grace".
We didn't have any time to run through the song beforehand, and having so many singers and musicians on stage could have been a logistical nightmare, but the guys who run the sound at Whitby are very experienced and took care of everything.
All I had to do was to get the musicians and the audience singing along. We raised the roof.
My thanks go to Sharon Gardiner and her son Aaron (who played cajon on a couple of songs), Samuel Purdy who played piano, and Colin Elliott and the boys from Live Issue.
Here's link to our version of "Amazing Grace". Enjoy.