Raven Folk Club
I am very grateful to hosts Chris and Debbie Lee and Nick Mitchell and everyone at the Raven Folk Club. I hear a variety of wonderful music and get to perform covers of others' songs as well as my own. My thanks too to Mark, fellow volunteer and Brengineer at the Bren Project, whose lifts make it all possible.Below, Mark assists me with a 'live' performance of Amy's Alphabet Song at the Raven on 23rd July 2023.
Here, we feature songs from others, friends and who encourage my own song-making. First, fellow-Chester songwriter and good friend, John Every. Then, Andy Harding's song about the young Bob Dylan's visit to Woody Guthrie in hospital, a perfect partner for my Song for Bobby which is on the House of Song page. There too is my This Time Round, which goes with Suzanne Harper's beautiful Frost on the Fields (right). I know Suzanne through Talent is Timeless (TisT).What is there not to love about these songs? Nothing, I assure you.
What They Say...........
"I put your 5 CDs in the player....and Wow!....I was floored by how consistently excellent your songs are.....right up there with my favourite songwriters."
"I bought one, and I'm hooked". (The Beggar and the Sand)
"Your music was the perfect soundtrack for a long drive to Scotland”.
"I like very much your music, your lyrics, your performance, your simplicity and beauty in your works.""The essential is there: songs that go right to the heart......he has taken particular care to scribble the history of each song, their date of genesis.....we measure the long path travelled to arrive at this secret and intimate realisation". (The Beggar and the Sand)
"We listen to melodic folklore outpourings, which are very intimate and lyrical. I, here, under them effectively sank". (The Beggar and the Sand)
ATKINSONGS - THE STORY
Time held me green and dying though I sang in my chains like the sea.
From Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas, pastel.
I call it my very own book of life,
I have been song-making for over half-a-century, since my late teens. There are more than 460 songs, some 200 recorded, the majority at home, initially on quarter-inch tape, then cassette, latterly digitally. There are 21 albums, including one of covers of Atkinsongs by other artists.
The singer-songwriter scene today is very different to the one when I started out. Back in the late 1960's, it seemed that there were the people who paved the way for me - Dylan, Mitchell, Browne, Simon, Cohen, Kristofferson - and me. Today, the relative ease of recording and releasing a song means that there are many thousands of us, some doing it just for enjoyment, others seeking a piece of a 'success' cake that stays the same size however many want their slice.
I have not been 'successful' in any commercial sense but my music has raised over £2,000 for various good causes.This owes much to the discovery that early-1970's vinyl LPs Atkinsongs and The Beggar and the Sand are valued in the £100s as 'rare vinyl'. More recently, Mister Wulf's cover of A Reason in the Rain has had over 39,000 streams on Spotify, raising over £100 for West Cheshire Foodbank
But more than the 'stars', the people who matter are those who have listened to me, encouraged me, sang my songs, played them on their radio shows, streamed them, bought my CDs and vinyl, featured - knowingly or not - in them. My songs open a window onto the person, the place, the moment, that generated them, yet the best are not anchored there. They live again as life goes on and they reflect new moments, relationships, experiences.
A book of life, my Autobisongraphy, indeed.
"It's the best folk/SSW album (First Take) I've heard in along time. I'm so happy to have this album!!! The price was expensive but the pressing is top notch (it's rarely the case nowadays). It is worth every penny".
"Great work Dave, I will continue play and enjoy it for many months".