Included on this CD is \"TAKE US DOWN\", which is a GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the prestigious 2008 JOHN LENNON Songwriting - folk category.
For more information, please see interview at AMERICYMRU, an American Welsh online social network - http://americymru.ning.com/
Winner 2007 - \"New Folk\" competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival.
Winner 2008 - W. C. Handy Music Festival, Muscle Shoals.
Finalist 2008 - U.K. Songwriting Competition - Folk/Country category.
This CD marks a departure from Davidâ€™s previous work as a singer/songwriter based in Nashville with one foot in the folk genre, the other catering to Countryâ€™s Music Row, to a more trans-Atlantic performer drawing from his cultural roots and up-bringing in the heart of the coal mining valleys of South Wales.
Although first and foremost a stage performer with that undefinable Welshness in his voice, his 16 years in the music scenes of Austin TX and Nashville have undoubtably honed his songwriting and lyric writing skills.
This craft and focus is demonstrated clearly in these songs which range from the stark realities of coal mining, the rigors of the ocean going sailing ships, a tribute to the beloved Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, tales of denial and yearning, and honor and fair maidens, and of course where would this collection be without a heartfelt love ballad or two.
â€œIn the end, you have to write what you know. The moment I looked back over my shoulder, the words, the stories, the Celtic melodies just started to pour out. In some ways Iâ€™m glad I waited to hopefully now have the necessary tools to do these songs justiceâ€. Wanting an authentic feel to this CD, David recorded the vocals/guitars live - no tricks, no Autotune, just hit the button and go. The instrumentation is sparse allowing Davidâ€™s rhythmic guitar playing to dictate feel and tempo, and his voice to sit center stage. John Mockâ€™s distinctive Celtic playing is the perfect counterpoint.
Engineered, mixed and overdubs recorded by John Mock at -
New England Sound, Nashville TN
John played whistles, mandolin, acoustic guitar, concertina, bodhran, djembe, bouzouki and harmonium.
All songs written by David Llewellyn except \"Gentle Waters\" - cowritten with Sally Barris, who also sings the duet \"Bugeilio\'r Gwenith Gwyn\" - a traditional Welsh folk song with additional English lyrics by David.
Introductions for the songs -
1. TO WALES Being a trans-Atlantic traveler, I feel the tugs on the heart from both sides of the pond. This song goes out to Karen who moved to the States with me in 1991, only to find that she could not quite let go of home and family.
2. TAKE US DOWN Go back three, maybe four generations, and it was not uncommon for young children and even wives to work alongside colliers in the Welsh coal mines. But if that first day working underground by the light of a candle on his dad\'s helmet was surely terrifying for an eight or nine year old boy, it must have been heartbreaking for his dad. I am forever thankful that I was part of the first generation not to go \"down\".
3. THE GREY MISTS OF LAUGHARNE A fond homage to the greatest Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas (1914 - 1953). I lived for awhile two doors down from where he was born. Walked a hill or two in his shoes. Please check out his wonderful poem \"Fernhill\" or his play for voices \"Under Milk Wood\".
4. GENTLE WATERS (Bring Me Home) I wrote this song with Sally Barris after reading some of my father\'s letters to my mother. They had split up, and he owned and ran a hotel in Bequia, St. Vincent, in the West Indies (The Windward Isles). He died at the age of 49. I was 15 at the time. In the days of the large sailing ships, church bells were rung to signal their homecoming. In some romantic way, this could have been a love note to my mother . . . a late reconciliation.
5. THE BALLAD OF GEORDIE AND MAGGY What the eye doesn\'t see, the heart doesn\'t grieve? And sailors\' wives rub against lonely . . . and sailors hide their new tattoos.
6. SILENT ABERFAN October 21st, 1966. A half million tons of coal slag slipped down a mountainside onto a small mining town in South Wales crushing a school full of young children. It changed the British coal industry forever.
For details please go to -
7. THIS MINER\'S WIFE (verse) A coal miner\'s wife. Her voice, her nightmares.
8. EVERYONE\'S FOR YOU Some songs seem to write themselves. I guess this one never got the memo about the mandatory repeating chorus or even a catchy hook or title . . . still, I really like this song.
9. BUGEILIO\'R GWENITH GWYN (duet with Sally Barris) This beloved Welsh folk song dates back to the 1700\'s and recalls the tragic true story of Ann Thomas, a wealthy heiress, and Wil Hopcyn. The original lyric is the actual love poem Wil wrote for her while she was being \"kept out of mischief\'s way\" in her mother\'s cellar. The whole story is on my website - www.davidllewellyn.com (see lyrics)
10. THE FEY OF WYNTERBOURNE After the Romans left, England fell back to the old Druid ways, the Dark Ages. A time of gallant knights and fair maidens, a time of honor where you were measured by your word. Once given, it was binding. But there was also the dark side. Wizards and witches, and trickiest of all, the elves.
11. LOVER\'S SPOON My twin sister Sue made me one of these for our 50th birthday. I wrote her this song in return. The Welsh lay claim to the Love Spoon. The oldest one in existence dates from 1667. It\'s in the Welsh Folk Museum at St. Faganâ€™s, Cardiff.
â€œBut it isn\'t the spoon itself . . . it\'s the love that goes into itâ€.