March 2017 Update

A quick update this time… My 2010 under-the-radar album Titanium Flag will be reissued nationally in expanded and remastered form by Market Square Records, run with exquisite taste and aplomb by bon viveur, renaissance man, public relations guru and all round good fellow Peter Muir.

This new edition exists because of a steady stream of positive feedback on the back of the album’s original hundred copies in card wallet and digital availability, and similar generosity towards my mostly instrumental 2016 album Sunset Cavaliers (also released by Market Square), which shares some of Titanium Flag’s DNA.

The original Titanium Flag was 44 minutes of instrumental music, mastered by Cormac O’Kane. This edition enhances that original in three ways. Firstly, it is remastered by the legendary Denis Blackham. Secondly, it adds four contemporaneous recordings (four vocal items from the original sessions). Thirdly, it adds three newly-recorded pieces within the theme of the original album and featuring the same musicians, specifically reconvened: Alan McClure (violin), Rachelle Stewart (clarinet), Linley Hamilton (trumpet/flugelhorn), Jim Cuthbertson (drums) – the strings, woodwind, brass and percussion sections of the Titanium Flag orchestra. They are joined by pianist Scott Flanigan and bass maestro Ali MacKenzie, along with Jan Akkerman, to whom the album was originally dedicated – a dedication repeated here. Two of the new pieces were originated in Belfast and recorded by Cormac O’Kane with some additional recording by ‘Late-NightTony’ Furnell; the third was originated in Newcastle, Australia, by writer/musician/producer Mark Tinson and was a happy accident. The three new pieces open this new edition of Titanium Flag, followed by the nine tracks that comprised the original album and then the four contemporaneous bonus tracks.

I’ll sort out links to buy the album when it becomes available (well, I’ll ask Uncle Spike to sort that out…). Meanwhile, we’ve updated the Titanium Flag page within the ‘Musical Projects’ area of the site with the new artwork and text. The physical edition, limited to 500 copies, comes with a 12 page booklet and a second fold-out insert of two vintage Arctic maps.


In other news, two Mike Westbrook reissues due in April have had some involvement from me in terms of happening, although I’m not involved in annotating either. Live, on Hux, is a fabulous 5-piece live recording from 1972, with two extra tracks from the concerts, with remastering from Jon Hiseman, a new note from Mike and a splendid new cover design. Marching Song, from RPM, is a sumptuous 3CD version of the 1969 2LP original. Duncan Heining provides the notes and 51 minutes (five tracks) of rare or unreleased music, spanning 1966-70, has been added on a bonus disc. I supplied a few period reviews and adverts. A 4,500 word feature by me on Mike should appear in Record Collector in their April issue (though they might have cut 500 words). It was a huge undertaking, research-wise. Phew…

The next issue of Mojo 60s – probably in April or May – will include an edit of my feature from 2000, originally published in parent magazine Mojo, on Bert Jansch & Davy Graham.

Record Collector have also received a 4,000 word feature from me on the career of Big Pete Deuchar– encompassing Trad Jazz, R&B, Country & Western, round-the-world cycling and other adventures. I have no idea yet when it will appear but I would hope in the next three or four months.

I continue to work on revising/enhancing the e-book bonus content of Bathed In Lightning for a short-run hard-copy edition sometime this year, and I’m also working on a monograph on Big Pete Deuchar, covering his adventures with the Vieux Carré Jazz Band, the Professors of Ragtime, Dougie Richford’s London Jazzmen, Pete Deuchar & his Country Blues, the Moonshiners and his amazing world cycling trip. I’ve done a lot of print research thus far and spoken to several hugely helpful associates of Pete – not least Brian Bennet, Toni Goffe, Bill Hales, Mike Deighan, John Coles and Colin Coe. If anyone else out there has interesting recollections of Big Pete, do please get in touch via the site!

There’ll be another update along soon, with links to Titanium Flag on sale…

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