It’s been a busy year for Abel and Eade and I’m very excited to share that our debut album “Hope & Anchor” will be ready for release at the end of October 2018.
Having a few gigs in the south-east in May, including the Rochester Sweeps Festival, inspired us to book some time at Ranscombe Studios with the fabulous Jim Riley, where I recorded my debut album “No Fairytale”.
We wanted an album that showcased old and new songs from both Randy Abel and myself, and that captured our international connections and inspiration. An american and an English girl meeting in China at a Moroccan bar … and here we are.
The album cover was put together by Randy, inspired by the many jams we’ve had with the fiddling rock goddess Lesley Conquest on the top of her house-boat, who also features on the album.
Hope & Anchor is a song I’ve been meaning to write for a long time, ever since I first spotted the “Anchor and Hope” pub in Trowbridge years ago. It started off being about strong bonds between people who guide each other through rocky times, but then ended up stretching out to the world as a whole and the need to pull together as our Earth changes around us. A theme that pops up through much of the album.
Having met in China, it seemed fun to include some of Randy’s Beijing inspired songs. “Second Bar to the Right (then straight on ’til morning)” and “So She Stays in Paddy O’Shea’s” capture some great moments in Beijing, and have been performed at prestigious events and festivals across China, back in the hay day of the Randy Abel Stable. Moving forward to 2016, “Miss Exeter” was penned on his journey home from Beijing airport as I flew back to the UK after my first visit…
The China link was also the perfect excuse to finally record “The White Fin Dolphin”. Mark Lemon wrote the lyrics for this many years ago, when the Yangtze River Dolphin was first identified as being close to extinction, if not already lost. I wrote the music with folk-rock band Hedgepig in mind, in which both Mark and I played, but I think it fits very well into the americana genre of this album, and the theme of human impact on our shared world. In contrast, “Venice” reminds us of the vulnerability of cities to changes in economics and climate. We’ve given it a more country feel here, than the punk-folk version on my album No Fairytale. Other re-recordings of mine include “Your Face Smiles” and “The Fire”.
“Snow” is the first song I’ve co-written with Lesley Conquest, she writing the lyrics while snowed in on her boat in winter 2018, and me adding the tune while similarly, though less severely, snowed in at home in Devon. This is great fun to play live as we get people singing along. We have more collaborations up our sleeve, so watch this space.
One of the first songs Randy taught me was “Tecumseh Valley” by Townes Van Zandt, and this is the central cover on the cd, and a chance for us to sing in harmony throughout. We performed it at the annual Townes Van Zandt wake in January 2018 at The Old Quarter (Galveston) while we were exploring Texas. Gram Parsons is also a key figure in Randy’s americana music background, so we chose to open our cd with his track “A Song For You”. We end the album with a haunting version of the well known traditional americana song “Wayfaring Stranger”.
Album launch gigs from the South-West to the South-East UK – more on this soon!