2020 and the world around us may be in chaos but Epona Records is carrying on regardless.
Our newest release is the long awaited new solo album from Joe Beard, he of the cult band The Purple Gang best known possibly for the single Granny Takes a Trip, banned by the BBC due to the word “trip”. The BBC moguls didn’t listen to the lyrics; if they had they’d have realised the innocent nature of the song. The song was recorded by Ralph McTell for his very first LP. This new album Joe’s is called Balloons on a String and comprises mostly new songs never before released.
Another recent release is a double album from Eddie Baird who is perhaps best known for his work with Amazing Blondel in the early 1970s on the Island record label. Eddie was one third of the band who recorded three albums for Island before John Gladwin left the fold leaving Eddie and Terry Wincott to carry on as a duo. They recorded one final LP for Island before moving to DJM Records where they had a further four LPs released.
Eddie continued as a solo artist and his two albums Also ….. and Abbey Cottage were brought out as self-released CDs in 1998 and 2003 respectively. Both albums were of a limited run and sold out some years ago.
Epona is proud to announce that both albums have been remastered by Darryl Ebbatson and, in collaboration with Darry’s smallCogMUSIC, both albums will be available as a two albums on one CD project and the release date has been set for 1st November 2020 and will carry the catalogue number EPO 024. See also www.smallcogmusic.co.uk The CD, being a double album, will retail at £12
Epona, in collaboration with Tom Yates’ widow, has, over the years, released Tom’s three studio albums plus his posthumous fourth album. We are now proud to announce the release of a new collection of songs of Tom’s; the album is to be called A Walk In Other Shoes and will carry the catalogue number, EPO 025. The material comprises songs written in a Christian vein to reflect Tom’s engagement with the Christian faith in his latter years. Also included is his unfinished suite about John Ball. His single on PYE records, Rattle of a Toy is included as a bonus track. The release date will, hopefully, be 1st December.
Mike Billington’s third album Uisce is nearing completion and will hopefully be completed next year, 2021. Session musicians include Suzie Adama, Helen Hockenhull and Eddie Baird (ex-Amazing Blondel).
Mike is also working on an album of traditional Hungarian music with the Hungarian singer and instrumentalist Ildiko Csige. Instrumentation will include the duda (bagpipe), tekero (Hungarian hurdy-gurdy), furulyas (whistles), citeras (zithers) and utogardon.
After a quiet 2018 Epona have a busy year to celebrate our 10th anniversary, 2019.
Farewell He ….. another collection of old crams (EPO021) is a tribute to the late Trevor Crozier who died tragically in a road accident in Malawi in 1995. Released on 1st March 2019.
Joe Beard played as a duo with Trevor back in the 1980s and he and Mike Billington have put together a 25 track album with contributions from musicians who performed with or admired the music of this eccentric and talented musician. Artistes contributing include Maddy Prior, Vic Gammon, Lea Nicholson & Naomi Randall, Mike Harding, John The Fish, The Druids, Liz Dyer and Joe hard and Gerry Robinson (both ex-Purple Gang).
Harry Boardman’s Golden Stream, originally released in 1978 on AK Records has now been re-released on CD. (EPO022) There are two bonus tracks. release date was 1st April 2019.
Continuing with the re-release of Keith Hancock’s back catalogue, his second album Madhouse is now available.
Liz Dyer performed as a duo with her ex-husband Dave Goulder and they released two albums. Liz’s very first solo album will be released by Epona possibly next year.
Epona are proud to announce a new artist to the roster; Tony Nyland, a singer/songwriter of high pedigree. His new album, Slowly To The Moon, (EPO019) a collection of ten new songs with just Tony and guitar (and occasional keyboard) was released at the end of January 2017. There are also plans to re-release his No More Bleeding Hearts with The Bilious Brothgers, previously only available on cassette, in the very near future.
Mike Billington’s new album Imbolc was released on 1st February 2017 with a catalogue number of EPO018. Imbolc is a collection of teraditional songs and tunes on which Mike plays guitar, Appalachian dulcimer, bowed psaltery, oboe, recorders, crumhorns, dudy, Bulgarian djura gaida, Swedish sackpipa and varoious percussion. Session musicians include Maartin Allcock, Mike Harding, Phil Davenport, Rory Scammell, Mickey Van Gelder, Karen Dyson, Shelley Rainey, Iain Bowley, Willy Simpson and Sonny Condell and Leo O’Kelly of Tir na n’Og.
Furthermore, Joe Beard’s gothic masterpiece telling the stories of the myths and legends of Alderley Edge has been available in two separate recordings; one by Joe Beard and Friends and the other by folk rock band King’s Ransom. These are available in the shop for the normal price of £10 each but can now both be purchased as a pair for £15.
A second Corvus album has been completed and titled shoes of the skin of a bird. The title, as with the first album gloves of the skin of a fish (EPO 001) is a line from the Irish 8th century poem Donal Og. Bill Pook of Corvus is in the process of recording his first solo album.
Mark Sutcliffe is also nearing completion of the follow up to Pig Boy Rides Again (EPO 012)
John Constantine is currently working the remainder of the Tom Yates tapes with a view to releasing an album that will include the unfinished John Ball suite and his religious songs.
Other releases during 2015 are How Do You Do? by Tom Shepley’s Band (EPO 014), Standard Settings by Pat Knowles (EPO 015) and the Live album by the Keith Hancock Band; Keith with Martin Carthy, Dave Swarbrick and Ruari McFarlane (EPO 016)
Epona is breaking new ground with an exciting rock album by Mark Sutcliffe titled Pig Boy Rides Again. (Epona EPO 012) Release date 27th April 2015.
Keith Hancock‘s Compassion album has now been released with the catalogue number EPO 013. Release date 20th April 2015.
Keith Hancock‘s first LP This World We Live In (EPO 007) has been released on Epona and is available from the shop.
EPO 010 THE EDGE. Originally released in the 1980s on cassette only, this album features Harry Boardman as the wizard and musicians Joe Beard, Gerry Robinson, Di Robinson and Pat and Jamie Knowles. Narration is by Harry Ogden who at the time produced and presented the folk programme on Picadilly Radio in Manchester.
EPO 011 LEGENDS OF THE EDGE. Recorded in 1988 by Cheshire based folk rock band King’s Ransom. The wizard is played by Richard Hemingway and narration is provided by Mike Billington who at the time produced and presented the folk programme on BBC Radio Manchester.
Other CDs for release in 2017 include Mickey Van Gelder‘s lovely Jewish songs which range from the psalms to more recent film composers Gershwin, Sondheim and Bernstein.
The second CORVUS album is currently in preparation and provisionally titled “shoes of the skin of a bird”.
A second solo album by Mike Billington is also in preparation.
Hurdy-Gurdy supremo Rory Scammell is currently recording his first solo album which, hopefully will be avaiable on Epona in the near future.