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Distant England (revised mix)


by

DWL

 Genre: Folk-Rock

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My apologies for the mess up on this. Len kindly pointed out that there was more than a degree of clipping on the original track I posted. Paul was kind enough not to mention it! I've included their comments at the end of this pre-amble.

Hopefully this is a little better.

Well for better or worse this is the 8th version I've tried of this song. Everything from acoustic to full blown orchestra to electronica and somehow back to my folk rock roots again.

This is part of the Distant England cycle of songs. It's Graeme's view of England after 14 years in Spain. His lyrics and original melody with my music.
Mr Grimsdale is a character from Norman Wisdom films. A gentler time perhaps.

The tune at the end is the Eton Boating Song which is from Eton College, part of our public school system where most of our politicians and the people who run the country come from. Why they're called public schools when the majority of the public can't get anywhere near them unless they can afford £30k a year fees I don't know.

The bell is Big Ben (also known as the Westminster bell from the Houses of Parliament) one of the most iconic British sounds.

The beginning of the song has a vinyl record and medium wave radio effects to reflect a time that (perhaps wrongly) was perceived as more innocent.

K. Yairi acoustic 6 string, Yamaha acoustic 12 string, electric 12 string, Ibanez bass, Strat, adapted drum loops all done in Logic X

Distant England © 2013 Hobbs/Langford

Can you hear me Mr Grimsdale, am I getting through at last?
I'm the voice of Distant England, speaking from the past
There's monuments and statues to those honoured by the Queen
Which most of us in truth have never seen

Little men and little women, just trying to get by
Not the land of milk and honey we've been fattened on a lie

this ground on which you're walking, this land that holds your roots
is owned by very ,very few should you want to hear the truth
Centuries of servitude centuries of pain
But it's not you that ever saw the gains

Can you hear me Mr Grimsdale, am I getting through at last?
I'm the voice of Distant England, speaking from the past

this country that we irrigate with blood and pounds and pence
and our hopes and dreams are trivial and of little consequence
The church kept us in our places as we served their every need
and the lord and masters worshipped at an altar of their greed

The fear of hell's damnation kept the masses all in line
and working for his lordship used to take up all our time

Can you hear me Mr Grimsdale, am I getting through at last?
I'm the voice of Distant England, speaking from the past

Len said :
Absolutely
love this Dick.
Heard it a few times now and it totally grows. You and Graeme are a fantastic team and should be famous. Loving the mixture of styles and the mix is absolutely stellar.
Loving the bells at the end.
Cheers
Len


Paul F Page said :
What a commentary!
...and condemnation of the rich, powerful, entitled...Powerful lyrics. It is commentaries like this that take years and years to seep into the public consciousness, but they are important to voice, nevertheless. You do so with the characteristic grit in your voice and the edge you spin into the orchestration, too. Graeme's lyrics tell a devastating tale of the historical deconstruction of a thousand years of history in just a few, well-pointed words. ... That bell (from Westminster? or the Windsor Chapel near Eaton?) strikes me as a death knell. How beautifully placed in this wonderfully rich track. Not a lot of hope here, but honestly laying your guts on the table for all to see. Congratulations to both of you for this musical/lyrical slice of a sad reality. The piece absolutely communicates — the distinct mark of those who know how to tell a story well.
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Song Stats
Hits: 2830
Comments: 68
Fans: 43
Plays: 280
Downloads: 22

Uploaded: Mar 01, 2014 - 03:05:38 PM
Last Updated: Mar 01, 2014 - 03:05:38 PM Last Played: Feb 21, 2017 - 05:32:40 PM
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Comments
paul f. page said 1271 days ago (March 1st, 2014)
What a commentary!
What a commentary!
...and condemnation of the rich, powerful, entitled...Powerful lyrics. It is commentaries like this that take years and years to seep into the public consciousness, but they are important to voice, nevertheless. You do so with the characteristic grit in your voice and the edge you spin into the orchestration, too. Graeme's lyrics tell a devastating tale of the historical deconstruction of a thousand years of history in just a few, well-pointed words. ... That bell (from Westminster? or the Windsor Chapel near Eaton?) strikes me as a death knell. How beautifully placed in this wonderfully rich track. Not a lot of hope here, but honestly laying your guts on the table for all to see. Congratulations to both of you for this musical/lyrical slice of a sad reality. The piece absolutely communicates — the distinct mark of those who know how to tell a story well.
Check out my latest song called 194
DWL said 1270 days ago (March 2nd, 2014)
You are too kind Paul
I wish I could express my own thoughts so succinctly and with such clarity.

Very much appreciated.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
lengold said 1271 days ago (March 1st, 2014)
Absolutely
love this Dick.
Heard it a few times now and it totally grows. You and Graeme are a fantastic team and should be famous. Loving the mixture of styles and the mix is absolutely stellar.
Loving the bells at the end.
Cheers
Len
PS: Final production is superb too!

Check out my latest song called Decent Girl
DWL said 1270 days ago (March 2nd, 2014)
Famous?
As should many of the musicians on this board (including you).

Many thanks Len, much appreciated :-)

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
davisamerica2 said 1271 days ago (March 1st, 2014)
Well done, guys!
Love the way the music cradles this story. This is poetry set to music. I enjoyed it a lot.
Check out my latest song called Road to Yourself/with Abandon Style
DWL said 1270 days ago (March 2nd, 2014)
I like the poetry connection
Thanks Terry, that means a lot to us.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Brian D said 1271 days ago (March 1st, 2014)
Nice One
This reminds me of Full House-era Fairport Convention. Lovely.
Check out my latest song called Crying in the Dark
DWL said 1270 days ago (March 2nd, 2014)
I had Fairport Convention
very much in mind for this version so I'm pleased you made those comments Brian.

Thanks a lot for stopping by :-)

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
bud said 1271 days ago (March 1st, 2014)
strong stuff and as it should be
so sad that a song like this is timeless - as true to today as it was 400 years ago. how long will the order stand? they're certainly fortifying the barricades. great attack on the lead when it first comes in with traditional pride a glory - then the gates crash open and the fury's unleashed. well done - pulls at my old celtic bones.
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DWL said 1270 days ago (March 2nd, 2014)
Thanks Kevin
When I first got involved as a union rep I was determined to see both sides of the story but the longer I was a rep I realised that it really is them and us. Always was and, sadly, probably always will be.

I really appreciate your listen and comments. I think we're coming from the same place.

Cheers

Dick

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
PeterB7858 said 1271 days ago (March 1st, 2014)
Distant England
Powerful lyrics. Powerful story telling. The way the backer develops as the story progresses really hammers home the disillusionment and despair. How unusual that religion turns out to be the puppeteer... Fine vocals, Dick, and a touch of the Richard Thompson's in the arrangement to me, too. Wonderful post. Thanks, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Ships In The Night (w Sam D)
DWL said 1270 days ago (March 2nd, 2014)
Puppeteer

Religion was the main control and fear of some damnation (as Graeme said) was the driving factor. Now we are much more subtle but fear is still very much part of the control that is exercised. Fear of the unions, immigrants, benefit cheats, Islam or pick your bete noir.

It's all so fucking wrong it makes me cry.

Thanks for the listen and comments Peter.

Cheers

Dick

Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Charday said 1271 days ago (March 1st, 2014)
Yo Dick
this is stellar man, I love it! everything about it, awesome vocal!!!!!!
Just sooooo gooood musically and production wise, this is inspiring sir! bad ass! perfect solo! I could go on and on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT AN OUTRO!!! You are the man!!! I hope one day I could come close to something this freakin' good!! I know I'm gushing but I am dead serious this really blew me away! By far one of the best posts I've ever heard here, Maybe the best! Amazingly well written/crafted song!!!! Hats off gents!!!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Jd.
Check out my latest song called Payin' The Piper w/Awigze
DWL said 1269 days ago (March 3rd, 2014)
Blimey jd
I'm almost lost for words!

Thanks for the very fulsome praise. Most of the credit goes to Graeme for giving me an excellent set of lyrics and the original melody to work with. I have to work hard to do justice to it and I hope I have.

Thanks again.

Cheers

Dick


Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Marino_Experiment said 1271 days ago (March 1st, 2014)
Distant England
Outstanding track.....Love it...!!!!
Check out my latest song called The Traveling
DWL said 1269 days ago (March 3rd, 2014)
Thanks!
Very much appreciated and I'm looking forward to hearing your song when it's approved.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
woofer3 said 1270 days ago (March 2nd, 2014)
Distant England
Excellent though I don't remember much untoward with the first version. This is very clear and I was impressed as I always am with your music.
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DWL said 1269 days ago (March 3rd, 2014)
You are a gentleman sir!
Thanks for your support John.

Cheers

Dickl
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Bob Rodgers said 1270 days ago (March 2nd, 2014)
An
amazing song with powerful lyrics. Love how the song builds with some fine instrumentation and playing, especially the guitar parts.
An excellent performance and production Dick, one of your very best.
Hats off to you and Graeme.

Bob

Check out my latest song called The Lonely Man
DWL said 1269 days ago (March 3rd, 2014)
Thanks Bob
This song was really hard work for some reason so I'm glad it all finally came together!

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
KCsGROOVE said 1270 days ago (March 2nd, 2014)
distant England
cool song, really fine songwriting
and the last part is great
Is it me or are the drums slightly out of sync here and there?
very much enjoyed
KC
Check out my latest song called HEARTS ON FIRE
DWL said 1269 days ago (March 3rd, 2014)
Drums?
They are mostly adapted loops so it's probably what Im doing over them that may be out. I'll try to listen more critically as I tend to get hung up on small parts and miss obvious glitches.

Thanks Cees, I appreciate the listen and the comment.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
kingbee said 1270 days ago (March 2nd, 2014)
good old blighty
Didn't get a chance to listen to the original so first time ears for me.
Great start to the track and love the way it builds up.
Great lyrics from Graeme and great delver from you.
Guitars at the end brill.
Kick drum maybe just a touch high in the mix but apart from that all good.
I'd never though about your comment on public schools but that's so spot on..apart from the occasional patronised poor kid they give a grant to .
I'm always amazed at the still prevalent feudal 'tugging of forelocks' that people still display to the royal family..especially what I'd considered intelligent people who go all subservient when they get given an OBE.
Thank you M'am.
Off with their heads, I say!
Anyway.
Great track Dick.
cheers

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DWL said 1269 days ago (March 3rd, 2014)
Orf with their heads indeed!
I get mix blind very easily and I've lived with this track and its myriad versions for so long I'm incapable of noticing what's wrong with it (as I said to Cees!)

Forelock tugging is still with us. It seems that us poor kids still want to be liked by the rich ones and will do anything to ingratiate ourselves with the blokes wot has the privileges.

So it was and always will be. One day we'll learn perhaps....

Thanks for stopping by mate. About time for a new song from you isn't it?

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
magnatone said 1270 days ago (March 2nd, 2014)
Distant England
Dick, this is just sensational! I think this is my new fave of yours - incredible mix .... just WOW! (and thanks so much for the D/L!!)
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
DWL said 1267 days ago (March 5th, 2014)
Thanks Karen
always good to get a comment from you :-)

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
TommyBlueBoy said 1270 days ago (March 2nd, 2014)
Powerful
Wow, this is a great song. I really like the way you build it up to the climax...really sounds like you are marching off to war! Well done.
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DWL said 1267 days ago (March 5th, 2014)
War?
Great idea but who controls the manufacture of the weapons? It ain't us!

Many thanks for the listen and comment.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
stevel said 1269 days ago (March 3rd, 2014)
Excellent folk rockin'
Great track Dick, the songwriting and musicianship are to notch. Love the guitar work.
Cheers
Steve
Check out my latest song called Broken Toy
DWL said 1266 days ago (March 6th, 2014)
Thanks Steve
This is weird I thought I'd answered this a couple of days ago but ....

Back to my roots :-)

Thanks again

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
sammydix said 1269 days ago (March 3rd, 2014)
agreed
about those lyrics, up there with the best. what captured me most was the way the song started quietly, then built up, then returned to calm--covering a whole range of moods. texture lives!
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DWL said 1266 days ago (March 6th, 2014)
I'm not so good on many things
but I like to put some texture in the songs so many thanks for the comment Sammy :-)

I appreciate the the listen and taking the time to leave a message.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
davisamerica said 1269 days ago (March 3rd, 2014)
meet the new boss...
... strong full on track guys... indeed.
Check out my latest song called ok char2(Vic and Flatrock mix)
DWL said 1266 days ago (March 6th, 2014)
The new boss
is really the old boss in different clothes.

Thanks for stopping by Jack, much appreciated!

Cheers

Dick

Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Vic Holman said 1269 days ago (March 3rd, 2014)
Distant England
cool lyrics and you deliver them so well. i like the mix of traditional folk style and the rocked up adds a cool spin with some cool melody riffs
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DWL said 1266 days ago (March 6th, 2014)
Thanks Vic
As I said to Steve, back to my roots :-)

Thanks for the listen and comments

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Narad said 1268 days ago (March 4th, 2014)
Distant England
A tasty and classy song ! Highly enjoyed ! :)
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DWL said 1266 days ago (March 6th, 2014)
Much appreciated Harald!
Thanks for the listen and comments.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
J.A.Stewart said 1268 days ago (March 4th, 2014)
The Green Machine
"Money (and Power) makes the world go round, the world go round, the world go round..." --- "Cabaret"

This is a powerful piece of socio-political commentary that cuts to the quick. Yes, our civilization was built on the bones of Everyman and the rich and powerful have cherry-picked the fruits of our collective labor.

Thanks to both of you for this sobering reminder. ;)

--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
DWL said 1266 days ago (March 6th, 2014)
Got it in one Joe
Religion is no longer the opium of the people as it's been replaced by reality TV.

Not a lot changes. Here are some lyrics from an old music hall song

It's the same the whole world over,
It's the poor wot gets the blame,
It's the rich wot gets the pleasure,
Ain't it all a bloomin' shame?

Thanks Joe, much appreciated!

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
finkeldink said 1267 days ago (March 6th, 2014)
Awesome work Dick
I am a real sucker for classical sounding guitar.

I usually don't like to compare artists, but Ian Anderson is one of my favorites and I could easily see this being done by him.

Epic song writing. Definitely one of my favorites of yours.

I like that it sounds like it was recorded onto tape. That gives some nice warmth.
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DWL said 1263 days ago (March 9th, 2014)
Ian Anderson will do!
Thanks my friend!

No idea how that tape sound happened. I wish I di.

Thanks for the listen and comments.

Cheers

Dick

Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Philip18 said 1265 days ago (March 7th, 2014)
Distant England
Love the song - it's a powerful narrative. Excellent arrangement - you really build it up well. Atmospheric in the folk-rock style. Impressive and highly entertaining.
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DWL said 1263 days ago (March 9th, 2014)
Thanks Philip
Graeme's lyrics for this were excellent so I hope I did justice to them.

Thanks for stopping by.

Cheers
Dick

Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
jiguma said 1265 days ago (March 7th, 2014)
Is this the one ........
........ that I commented "Fairport meets Billy Bragg" Dick?
I love how you evoke another time in this (although it is of course very contemporary as well). This also brings out feelings of my ancestral connections to England, and strangely emotional connections to "the old Dart".
Graeme definitely has a way with words, and you do them great justice in your musical and vocal performance.
I love this sort of stuff!
Thanks, and
cheers from Oz,
Neil
Check out my latest song called We End Up Being All The Same (42)
DWL said 1263 days ago (March 9th, 2014)
It was the Billy Bragg song
Graeme certainly does have a way with words. As I've often said about him, his lyrics come from something primal. I spend hours working on one line whereas he has the ability to just pour out this stuff.

Thanks for the listen and fulsome comments Neil.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
groovehounds said 1265 days ago (March 7th, 2014)
Distant England
What a warm recording ... sounds analogue. I hear Tull a bit when the electric kicks in. Just love the lead riffing ... this is some strong writing.... just love that celtic influence especially at the end ... Got to get me a 12 string ...Fabulous tune!
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DWL said 1263 days ago (March 9th, 2014)
Thanks Stan
As I said in an earlier reply I have no idea about the sound. Sheer luck I guess! Yes, get a 12 string they're fabulous :-)

Thanks for the listen and comments.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Moviz said 1265 days ago (March 7th, 2014)
Fantastic
work Dick.....you got it all spot on lyrics, vocals, expression accompaniment as well as the mix....top work....really, regards M
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DWL said 1263 days ago (March 9th, 2014)
Hey, nice to see to you Maurice!
Many thanks for the listen and comments. I'm pleased you enjoyed it.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
egobandit said 1265 days ago (March 7th, 2014)
Such serious lyric
but its so true, that why we write greatness like this song tops!
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DWL said 1263 days ago (March 9th, 2014)
I wish ot wasn't true
then again what we write about?

Thanks for the listen and comment Tim.

Cheers

Dick

Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
rok41 said 1264 days ago (March 8th, 2014)
Distant England
Excellent! I love the way the vocals sit in the mix. Interesting, poignant and motivated. I dig it!
Check out my latest song called Long Day 2015 (w/awigze)
DWL said 1263 days ago (March 9th, 2014)
Thanks for the compliment
means a lot coming from such a good vocalist.

Much appreciated and I'm pleased you enjoyed it.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Jarvoid said 1264 days ago (March 8th, 2014)
I remember reading the CJ Sansom novels recently
based on a lawyer living in the latter half of the Henry VIIIth period.....this was a few months ago....and I thought ...
you know ,absolutely f**k all has changed has it?

This encapsulates it in a nut shell....mate ...this is superb on so many different levels..
Mr Grimsdale ..'The Man for All' Seasons everyman character speaks to all of us normal nobs ...

There is nothing not to like about this ....I was more Steel-Eye than Fairport but hell, they did the same job....

Not enough superlatives to express my sheer joy at this....really...

Chris


PS Oh deep joy ...I just caught the Eton Boat Song reference in the chimes at the end...Third run through ...I missed it by stopping it too soon and replaying...(shades of 45 rpm behaviour there my old !!)
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DWL said 1263 days ago (March 9th, 2014)
Spot on Chris
As it was and always will be.

I'm really pleased you enjoyed the song and I think there probably is a bit of Steeleye in there as well.

You're right that Graeme really nailed it for this song (not that he doesn't nail it for his other songs but this was quite special for me)

I'm also pleased you got the other references ;-)

Thanks again Chris, much appreciated!

Cheers

Dick

Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
VicDiesel said 1264 days ago (March 8th, 2014)
Distant England
A fine collaboration. Great song.

Eh, what happened to that acoustic guitar? For instance under the whole of the guitar solo from 3:55 it plays a large fraction of the beat ahead of the beat. There are some other rhythmic problems too.
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DWL said 1263 days ago (March 9th, 2014)
Magic ears Vic!
I can't even hear the acoustic in that final section and had to go back to the original project to see what I did. You're right, that whole section is out of sync. I've discovered with Logic X simply clicking on a region can drag it ever so slightly. I will listen more closely next time.

I'm pleased it didn't spoil it for you and appreciate the comments.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
peacepiano said 1263 days ago (March 9th, 2014)
Powerful build up
I like the way the sound builds up intensifying the critical tone of those lyrics. You always find the mood of the lyrics and drive it home well.

On a side note, this is the first time the music player worked correctly on my iPad.

Cheers
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DWL said 1263 days ago (March 9th, 2014)
Thanks Bill, much appreciated
When in doubt I build up a track ;-)

I haven't tried the music player on the ipad yet so I hope it works for me as well!

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
Franciscus_Henri said 1260 days ago (March 12th, 2014)
very thoughtful song
The colony of Australia knows your sentiment well.
Check out my latest song called Sweet Hearts Wait On Every Shore
DWL said 1258 days ago (March 14th, 2014)
Thanks Mr H!
I think there's a little of the sentiment for many countries...

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
mfwmiles said 1255 days ago (March 17th, 2014)
i LOVE your style
so smart and well recorded, love your voice, and a little like Ian A.
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Doug Somers said 1255 days ago (March 17th, 2014)
Full on
You economically pack so much power into these tunes it's really quite staggering Dick. You and Graeme are a force to be reckoned with. The rural folk flavour of the piece harkens back to earlier times and holds up a mirror to let us see how we have tended to be so that perhaps we can decide a change is in order. Let's hope so anyway, and if a change is coming, let it not be in your collaborative prowess! Brilliant production and performance and thanks for the dload.

Cheers Dick.
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thetiler said 1250 days ago (March 22nd, 2014)
First
DWL I want to thank you for being such a stellar member of MJ! Like the celtic feel to this. Like the accent, it seems that style of vocal is a real shoe in for this type of music. Cool words seem so real ! I think that works over here in America as well. Thanks for sharing!
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Doadars Uncle said 1249 days ago (March 23rd, 2014)
Epic!
Nicely designed and expressed! Awakened!
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grah3am said 1242 days ago (March 30th, 2014)
Folk roots
suit this best. Fairport/Albions style is hard to beat. Was Mr Grimsdale really that ghastly? It's ages since I've been to Albania. Also, I had to join in with the guitar at the end. Terrific stuff.
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say said 848 days ago (April 28th, 2015)
.
this is so GREAT!thankyou, listened to some of your songs this morning & am back again, you made my day so much brighter (:
Artist Info
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Name: Dick langford
Location: Everywhere and nowhere baby
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10 years here (at time of writing!) - it doesn't seem that long ago I wrote "it doesn't seem that long ago I wrote 5 years"... Older but no wiser. The musical projects that make up Amokopera are now complete and Distant England (the story of... [see more]

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Folk-rock is a musical genre, combining elements of folk music and rock music. In the original and narrowest sense, the term referred to a genre that arose in the United States and Canada around the mid-1960s. The sound was epitomized by tight vocal

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