Notes on my music

August 2020 – Still a work in progress  to link to the two albums going on YouTube but what follows should  be of use as a general guide

  • Anji Revisited 

 I bought the disc and music when this first appeared in the mid-1960s. As Anji it is a classic composed by Davy Graham. After playing it for 50 years I think I have changed it slightly and therefore the title.

  • Weeping Willow 

This is a guitar piece composed by me in the 1970s under the influence of guitarists such as Davy Graham, Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. This was meant to be a song but didn’t get past a first line – ‘Weeping Willow why don’t you weep for me’.

  • Metronom Blues  Inspired by my Danish pen pal’s metronome  (there is no e ending in the Danish spelling). The metronome on the recording was provided by legendary Sunderland musician Barry Hyde (q.v.) and played and edited admirably by recording genius James Hutchinson.
  • Feeling A Little Seedy (C-D) A silly title but the tune simply relies on those two basic chords! I’ve added a little piano in the background in this recent recording.
  • No More Sun A group of modern Sunderland musicians like this early 1970s song of mine. Strangely it isn’t about actually losing a love but the fear of what might happen if I did – but I didn’t and we are now closing in on 50 years together.
  • Friday’s King One of two earlier recordings cleaned up by James as he felt they were worth keeping. This is about the French Revolutionary Robespierre but could be about just about any short-sighted and basically self-seeking politician – and there are plenty of those around today. The ‘tumbril’ was the French cart used to transport prisoners to the guillotine.
  • The Man Who Could Not Sing Composed just after I started teaching in 1971 and based on a story in an R E book. According to the historian Bede, Caedmon – the Whitby monastic cowboy, (who lived in Saxon times), was the first person to write a song or poem in English. This is his story as Bede told it.  I now suspect the last two songs were inspired by the work of a wonderful band of the 60s and 70s called the Strawbs.
  • Eustace Percy Washhouse Blues The second song I wrote – ( in 1968 in this case) about life in the original Eustace Percy Hall of residence at Newcastle University – a huge large bungalow knocked down soon after to make way for the Freeman Hospital. Students live in the lap of luxury today! This is a new recording with me on vocals, guitar and piano and James Hutchinson on brushes.
  • The Taing of Houss Written by me for the fiddle but played here on the whistle. The Taing of Houss is a small spit of land at the bottom of Shetland’s Burra Isle. My great grandfather Thomas Pottinger was married from the only croft on the Taing in 1878 and both his parents died there a few years later. I have played this tune in the ruins of the croft. Listen to Jenny Keldie’s recording of this on YouTube.
  •  Playa Joyel This is a wonderful beach at Noja in Cantabria, Northern Spain. The tune was composed recently over a few evenings while sitting outside a tent overlooking the beach. It is my first attempt at a ‘classical’ piece and now also a video on YouTube.
  •  Up The Durham’s/Come On The Durham’s or Jamie’s Song  A song composed while researching ‘The Ashbrooke Boys’. Jamie is a fictional character based on a number of the members of Sunderland Rugby Football Club – and especially those who gave their lives during the First World War. A video of the song under this title is now on YouTube.
  • The Magic of Morning or Katelios A song composed on a veranda in Katelios, Cephalonia and set to a lovely tune called ‘Magic of the Morning’ composed by two fellow folk campers – Bob and Elaine. The mandolin is a new addition.
  • Magic of the Morning  A separate arrangement of Bob and Elaine’s tune for solo mandolin – November 2018.
  • Mist Over Malham A whistle tune I wrote early this century and which is much requested. It is supposed to describe the rising of the sun through the early morning mists around Malham Cove in Yorkshire. This a recent recording with shades of mist in the background provided by James Hutchinson. See it on YouTube – Keith Gregson ‘Live at the Dun Cow’.  
  •  Oxfordshire Morning  In memory of a dear and much missed friend – Jean Carter. Jean and husband Bob encouraged me to write this while we were on a canal trip – and they didn’t want me to drive. Bless you, Jean.
  • Their Normandy For a number of years I led a Folk Camp based in the lovely village of St Denis Le Gast in Normandy. Many of the villagers were youngsters during the Second World War and there was a special bond between villagers and campers. When we had joint events they would always sing their local anthem -a 19th century song called Ma Normandie and we were told in no uncertain terms that they would not have been able to sing it had it not been for D Day. This inspired me to a song based round the nineteenth century tune and I have placed it on my juke box for the 75th anniversary of D Day in 2019. 

If you would like the words or MP3 versions for any of the songs please contact me.