A prolific tunesmith with an uncanny knack of tapping into the ‘traditional’ psyche, Dave Whetstone has achieved far more than you might realise. Many of Dave’s tunes have quickly passed into the common repertoire without anyone realising they are in fact freshly-penned. Very much a musician’s musician, the list of Dave Whetstone’s collaborations speaks for itself. Fronting the cult Cock & Bull Ceilidh Band in the 1970s and 80s in collaboration with French Piper Jean-Pierre Rasle, Dave went on to join Ashley Hutchings in The Albion Band, writing much of the material for the Light Shining and Shuffle Off albums. In the late 1990s he recorded, toured and played his own songs and tunes to great critical acclaim with Maartin Allcock and Pete Zorn as WAZ. Armed with a trio of Castagnari melodeons, Dave has been inspired to revisit and rework some of the material from his seminal album, The Resolution and to arrange and play these tunes plus other personal favourites with his old chums Martin Brinsford and Paul Burgess.
Some musicians have a high profile and lead from the front – while others drive the creative process without actively seeking the limelight. Martin Brinsford has played mouth-organ and percussion since he was a boy and has been giving the Old Swan Band its distinctive swing for 45 years, honed in part by his time dancing with the Gloucester Old Spot Morris. He has collaborated extensively with John Kirkpatrick, playing on the classic 1976 Plain Capers CD and most recently with Brass Monkey for whom his mouth-organ/tambourine combination became a trademark. Along with Paul he was a founder member of Edward II & the Red-Hot Polkas and The English Country Dance Band. Currently also playing vintage Quebecois dance music with Paul in Pigeon Swing, he lives in the Gloucestershire countryside and is upset by squirrels.
Paul Burgess comes from a family of dance-band musicians stretching back at least four generations. He plays English fiddle and recorder and is currently a member of the Old Swan Band (40 years plus) as well as playing with Johnny Coppin and others. He was also a founder member of the Mellstock Band and John Kirkpatrick Band, and has provided music for radio, TV and film. He has tutored regularly at the Folk South-West Easter school and the traditional Carols weekend.