I've been thinking, for several years, about asking friends and fellow musicians to collaborate on an album of covers of Francis Dunnery songs. What caused the delay was how to manage permissions and royalties. Then, a friend and fellow It Bites fan, suggested making it a fundraiser for the CKDCF charity, set up by Francis to help local children in his home county of Cumbria. I contacted Francis to discuss the matter and he said he thought it was a great idea and wanted to help in any way he could. I had his permission to record and publish the cover album.
Once this hurdle was overcome, I began contacting musicians who were fans of Francis' work, to arrange for them to record their chosen songs. It's been a fun ride. We've had father and son collaborations, group and solo efforts, home and studio recordings, all going to make up a creative patchwork of songs. My only instruction was that it should not be a carbon copy but should somehow be different and individual. The results show the variety of meaning that a group of people can derive from the word different. Some practically re-wrote the songs, while others were happy to stick to the original arrangement, believing the difference would be achieved by the fact their voices, playing or production values would add enough uniqueness.
I waited with anticipation for the results and have been overjoyed by the love and attention to detail that has gone into these covers and to Nick's album artwork. All of the artists on the album were influenced in some way during their lives by the music of It Bites and Francis Dunnery and have been glad to contribute to this charity project and to reflect back the creativity and enthusiasm for life that Francis puts over in his recordings and live concerts.
I thank each and every one of the artists who contributed, including the ones that were eventually unable to meet the deadline due to other commitments. Francis Dunnery is a true man of the people, shunning the elitism that so many artists take on, following success. His Immediate buy-in to this project and permission to use his songs was evidence of that and I thank him with all my heart for his help and for the joy his music has given me over the years. Also thanks to Erica Brilhart and all who work for the CKDCF charity.