Jez Lowe and The Bad Pennies - Wotcheor!

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Music samples


(September 2010) 18 tracks: Barnstorming * A Tonic For The Toffs * The Lost Piper * Weather * Watter's Coming Annie * Darling's Other Daughter * Sport * It's A Champion Life * The Ex-Pitman's Pot-Holing * The Judas Bus * All Clear * Back To The Land Girls * Bare Knuckle * Cobblers * Hand's Feet * Sale * Gramophone Dancing * Why That's It Folks.

New songs written by Sony Radio Academy Award winner Jez Lowe, inspired by the people and culture of North East England. Presented in a 'radio cabaret' style, in homage to the legendary 1950's BBC Radio show 'Wot Cheor Geordie'.

'Wotcheor' was a much-used greeting used in North East England (as in 'What cheer?', 'How are you?' and the cockney 'Wotcha!') until not so long ago. It was adopted by the BBC in the late 1940s as the title to their popular weekly radio series 'Wot Cheor, Geordie'. This programme, broadcast from Newcastle Upon Tyne throughout the 1950s, showcased comedians, storytellers, and local personalities, alongside singers of Geordie folk songs, fiddlers and Northumbrian pipers, and did much to maintain the interest in North East traditional music and culture prior to the start of the so-called 'folk revival' in the latter half of the decade.

In 1999, when Jez Lowe was researching his BBC Radio Two series A Song For Geordie, he was continually being told by a certain generation of musicians on Tyneside about the influence cast by 'Wot Cheor, Geordie', and in recent years has set up two touring shows inspired by its format - A Song For Geordie in 2007 and The Winter Almanac Radio Roadshow in 2009. Now, on this new album he presents a set of new songs in that same style.

Featuring The Bad Pennies - Kate Bramley (fiddle, vocals), Andy May (Northumbrian pipes, keyboards) and David De La Haye (fretless bass) with special guests Benny Graham, Louisa Jo Killen, Hinny Pawsey, The Young 'Uns, Bert Draycott and The Tyneside Maritime Chorus.

Jez has invited some of his favourite local folk artists to make cameo appearances, a cast list that spans the generations of singers and musicians that make North East England one of the most vibrant music scenes in the whole of the UK.

Louisa Killen has been active in the folk music world, both here and in North America, since the very start of the revival, and Benny Graham follows not far behind, with a wealth of songs and live performance experience to his credit. He is also the leader of The Tyneside Maritime Chorus, whose stirring vocal support is a highlight of this new album.

Bert Draycott has more of a Music Hall background, and was not only a fellow resident with Jez at the Trimdon Folk Club back in the early 1970s, but also worked alongside Jez's father as a coal miner at Horden Colliery at that same time.

The new generation is represented by Hinny Pawsey, one of Tyneside's finest young fiddle players who often plays in the ranks of The Bad Pennies, and by Hartlepool close-harmony group The Young 'Uns, who provide vocal interludes between the main songs the album.

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