I first picked up the guitar at the age of twelve! My memories of singing go back further than that though, to the age of five when I found both faith and voice at the same time. I am a PK! (Pastors kid)
I am one of six children, born in London, England. My father’s family came from Cork, and my mother’s from Dublin. Everyone sang and/or played something. I am so thankful for that bedrock of musical experience, as it was a joy and also helped to train my ear.
One of my brothers introduced me to folk music from ‘across the pond’ and at the same time I was listening to classical composers such as Vaughan Williams and Debussy. Soul music was there too; for some reason the emerging U.K. chart music didn’t do it for me.
I don’t remember when I started to write songs, but I think it started with poems, and that is still true today; the words generally come first and the music follows. Words, melody, and a good bass line! I love all three!
I taught singing for a long while including teaching Ed Sheeran when he first started secondary school.
I have two beautiful children and 5 equally gorgeous grandchildren. I am blessed. I also married again recently.
On a personal level, I lost my mother at the age of 6 months, and had a difficult relationship with my stepmother. I became a rebellious teen, which I am not proud if, although I understand exactly where all that came from. My relationship with my parents suffered, but I am delighted to tell you, that we made our peace and the relationship was better at the end than before. I thank God and Godly counselors for wise advice and prayer ministry too. When my husband died of mesothelioma aged 59, it was another horrible time, not least for my children. God is faithful though, and through it all, He held me and gave me help and comfort. I am so grateful to have Him in my life. I love Jenn Johnsons song ‘The Goodness of God’ it resonates so much with my story.
WHAT INSPIRES AND FIRES ME:
People! The ever changing painting that is the world around. Beauty poured out like best wine, whether seen or unseen. A passion to know God better, in all His richness, beauty and diversity, and to understand His grace. I am still on a journey of discovery, which is at times painful and at times joyful, and if some of that can be entwined in a song, and be useful to someone else, then that is lovely.
I try to be honest about the tough stuff, in my writing/ speaking.
I am told that my songs have a healing and soothing quality, which I think we all need in these times, but please, if you can, listen for yourself. I am a folk singer/ story teller at heart. With a little bit of Gospel/Jazz thrown in too, occasionally!
I am working on a new E.P at the moment, which will include my lockdown song. …more news via socials soon!
I am also planning a Village Tour. I started it just before lockdown, and I am beginning to pick the threads up again.
No event is too small or too large.
I can provide anything from just myself and piano/backing tracks, to full band, depending on your budget/requirements.
I am also happy to be part of an event/conference, where my songs might be relevant to the theme. At Christian events I love to share my testimony, and at regular concerts I am sensitive to people’s differing views.
My first recording was part of an album called ‘Dance on Injustice’ for the Greenbelt festival. During the Kosovo crisis, I recorded a song called ‘Rockaby’. That song became part of ‘Journeys of the Heart’ which was an album recorded with Andrew Rayner, David Fitzgerald (Iona) and Tim Oliver, All proceeds went to a charity working in Albania, called A2B (aid to the Balkans)
I recorded a song called ‘Beauty for Ashes’ after the events of 9/11. These recordings are only available through this site.
‘Beauty for Ashes’ can be seen on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VSnTXsHPTs&t=42s