I recently received a heads up from my pen pal, Des Horsfall. Des is a musician, producer and sound engineer and has his own recording facility (Valve Studios) up near Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire or as it’s otherwise known: God’s own country. My family’s from Humberside, so I can say that, in case you were wondering.
Any road, Des has worked with a load of Roots/Country-Rock band line-ups and as an opening act for, among others, Steve Earle, Joe Ely and Emmylou Harris. These days he has a new Rustic Rock ‘n Roll outfit: Des Horsfall’s Kuschty Rye.
Des’s great hero was and indeed still is the late, great Ronnie Lane, of Small Faces fame. A couple of years ago, to honour the legendary song writer, Des produced his terrific album The Good Gentleman’s Tonic. Taking in folk, country, blues, rock and pop influences, it’s reminiscent of Ronnie Lane’s own post-Faces work.
Des and I became pals through my sis, a music agent. Des had read one of my books and wanted a signed copy and so we did a swap. One of Hawkwood’s adventures for a copy of TGGT. We’ve kept in touch ever since.
The album was the first in an intended trilogy. The second instalment - The Bastard’s Tin – is now available and among the musicians featured on it are some of Ronnie Lane’s old comrades. Well, not that old but you know what I mean.
The lyrics for the leading track – Chameleon – were given to Des by Ronnie Lane’s second wife, Kate, who penned them as a love letter to Ronnie, shortly after he was diagnosed with MS. The music was written by Who legend Pete Townshend, who also plays guitar and performs the song in a joint vocal with Des.
The track is due for release as a download on December 11th via the usual outlets.
The Bastard's Tin is set for general release on April 1st, 2016 - it would have been Ronnie Lane's 70th birthday - but there are limited editions available, through only one outlet, the utterly brilliant Muse Music and Love Café in Hebden Bridge. Take a look at the website to see what I mean!
Meanwhile, if you’d like to check out Des’s work and music and listen to the song performed by Des and Pete, you can visit both their sites via the following links.
Hope you enjoy the music as much as I do.
Oh, and if you're scratching your heads and wondering what on earth a Kuschty Rye might be, the name comes from one of Ronnie Lane's songs. It's a Romany term and, loosely translated, it means a 'good gentleman', someone in touch with the Romany ways.
So now you know..!