News

December 2015:

It is with much sorrow that we mark the passing of our friend, the actor and singer       Brian Withstandley (1940-2015). Brian performed as Mr Mipps on Dr Syn & The Scarecrow and as The Narrator / Captain Worsley on Shackleton's Endurance.

In rehearsal at The Royal Festival Hall - Summer 2015:

Dr Syn & The Scarecrow (aka The Scarecrow Musical) is now available as a double CD from Talking Elephant Records.  Alternatively I can mail you a copy for £12 + postage.  Please contact me on info@chris-lea.co.uk.  It will also shortly be available on ITunes.  The album represents a mixture of material reworked from the 2012 Scarecrow project and brand new songs.  The result is a two hour musical marking the life and times of Russell Thorndike's infamous clergyman and the smugglers of Dymchurch and Romney Marsh.

Eggibred appears on the new album 'Festival of Folk Volume One' released by Talking Elephant (www.talkingelephant.co.uk) . Details below.

 

What the experts say:

Various Artists - Talking Elephant’s Festival Of Folk: Volume One

Probably the best recent folk collection

Talking Elephant has, for many years now, amassed a rich catalogue of folk and folk-rock issues from many of the best in the business, and this new collection kicks off what will become a four-disc set sampling the best of their fare.

What’s immediately striking here is the fine ordering of the tracks, mixing newer artists with well-established folk acts. We start with Mary Jane’s bold and confident Eve, which precedes the first of two tracks each from Fairport Convention and the rougher-hewn Little Johnny England. Phil Beer’s Blind Fiddler is a strong story-song, while Andy Steele’s This Year’s Summer Progress is a delightfully light evocation of summer. Elsewhere, Ashley Hutchings’ professorial influence is felt on both The Rainbow Chasers’ Brambles On A Hill and The Albion Band’s live cover version of Big Yellow Taxi.

One of the strongest tracks comes with Kimber’s Men’s Don’t Take The Heroes, which has all the qualities of a mature song that will last, while the wonderfully named Eggibred make a fine fist of Ralph McTell’s Hiring Fair. Each of these 14 tracks are sheer quality, and whet the appetite for future volumes.

Scarecrow Animation

My recent dabblings with Photoshop have produced a short animation to accompany Mr Brackenbury's Engagement, taken from Scarecrow and the musical Dr Syn & The Scarecrow:      http://youtu.be/zpDhHxc6OYs                                  

New Solo Album

The new album His Stories is about to be released.  It has 14 original tracks and focuses on my historical story songs such as:

Route A2;  Mary Rose;  Richard III;  Harry Paye;  Off To St Helena;  Superman v The Klu Klux Klan;  Private Woytek;     The Lancaster;  After The Armada (The Goose Song);  Before The Colour Separated From The Grey;  The Ghost Of Blue Bell Hill.

A Folk Opera in progress?

I have also started work on a folk opera set in the time of the Norman conquest.  More info to follow.