Jake Walton

Vocal/Guitar/Hurdy Gurdy/Dulcimer

Silver Muse Cd/download

The Definitive collection from singer/songwriter

Jake Walton.

"These songs have spanned four decades. I have re-recorded some old favourites along with more recent compositions.
My inspiration has come from the Celtic lands with their myths and legends, the cycles of nature and our place in it"

Jake Walton Silver Muse CD

Jake Walton: Guitars/Vocals/Hurdy-Gurdy/Dulcimer
Eric Liorzou: Guitars/Mandola/Samples/Programming

Special Guests:
Bryony Holden (Harmony Vocals)
Jez Lowe
Pete ‘Peewee’ Coleman
Alex West
Erin Holden
(Dulcimer, Shaker)
David De La Haye
(Bass guitar)
Kathryn Wheeler
Athene Roberts

Track List:

This is an adaptation of O Shaughnesy’s most famous poem. I first recorded it in the early 1980s but this version was recorded after a 30 year reunion tour with Jez Lowe in Germany in 2011 where we were joined by David De La Haye on bass. The song captures the spirit of Ireland for me and the wildness of faraway places. I sing it to thank all the old minstrels, troubadours and keepers of the sacred songs for the inspiration they have given us.

2/ THE WEST WIND (4.00)
I decided to remix the version which I recorded on my Emain CD with the addition of Athene Roberts on fiddle and Bryony Holden on harmony vocals. The poem has a special poignancy for me as I think of the West land as Cornwall which is my home now and which has always been my spiritual home.

A poem by George Russell, (A.E) the famous Irish mystic and seer and friend of W.B Yeats. The Great Deep is said to refer to the “Great Mother” known by many names including Isis

4/ EMAIN (4.40)
The story of Emain dates back to the 6th or 7th century. The Irish king Bran is visited by a strange woman holding a silver branch from an apple tree. She sings a song calling Bran and his company away to her island home although not all of those assembled here are called. This story for me echoes the Celtic people’s deepest desire to penetrate the otherworld.

This for me is a deeply heartfelt poem of which there are many versions. Tom is driven insane by his love for the muse; yet she destroys only to quicken. After confronting the dark side of his psyche he regains his wits and becomes wise. He is an archetype of the “wounded healer”.

6/ SILVER MUSE (3.48)
This song was based on an old Celtic blessing for the new moon. The “Lady of the silver wheel” also known as Arianrhod was said to hold the threads of life and the keys to immortality.

In today’s world we seem to have lost touch with the “unseen”. This song harks back to a time when it was still possible to walk between the worlds.

Sunlight & Shade was the title track of my 2nd solo LP. I have simplified this version using just guitar, mandola and hurdy gurdy. The song was written for a Romany Gypsy called Ceth, who travelled and lived in a horse drawn wagon in the North West of the UK before the days of motorised vehicles. He was a musician and free spirit.

9/ TRISTAN’S SONG (4.09)
I started to play in the Cornish folk clubs during the summers of the late 1960s. Brenda Wootton ran one club, “The Pipers”, which was situated on the cliffs at Botallack. I remember sitting on the stage gazing out to sea towards the lost land of Lyonesse, watching the sun go down. It wasn’t hard to feel inspired by the story of Tristan and Isolde. I recorded this song first on my solo LP, The Gloaming Grey.

10/ TREES (4.42)
This song is based on a folk tale about how the oak and elm tree were old friends and that if the elm died, the oak would also die. In fact, now that the English elm has almost vanished due to English elm disease, the oak is also threatened by disease along with several other species

Taken from the poem St Eval by Elizabeth J. Coatsworth. The sight of seagulls following the plough and freshly turned earth is a common one in the South West. This Cornish poem captures for me the reflective moods of autumn. It was suggested I revive the song which I hadn’t played for 30 years !

Innisfree is a small island on Lough Gill in Ireland. It is said Yeats wrote this poem in London when feeling homesick for his beloved Co Sligo.

I wrote this song in the late 1960s after a period of travelling. It was friends, Erin and Bryony Holden who suggested that I revive it.

14/ ALL THAT’S PAST (3.33)
The rose is a goddess symbol for the Celts and this poem reflects the passing beauty and transience of life. A reminder to look on lovely things as if we may never see them again.

15/ WHITE WAVE SEA (3.06)
I found a fragment of an old Irish prayer and with the addition of a few words of my own tried to turn it into a song. This was the result.


LIVING TRADITION: Silver Muse - Celtic Monkey CM0001
"I’d been wondering why I’d not heard much of Jake of late. Readers will most likely know him as a hurdy gurdy player par excellence, who collaborated with Jez Lowe on the 1986 album, Two A Roue. I recall interviewing him around the turn of the millennium and was enchanted to discover his other work, original songs and tunes composed over a career which even by then had already chalked up over two decades of music-making.

Given that virtually all of Jake’s previous albums are long ‘discontinued’, the arrival of this CD will be judged very good news. Silver Muse is a representative collection of Jake’s songwriting spanning four decades. By my reckoning (and I stand to be corrected here), of the disc’s 15 tracks, two-thirds are re-recordings of old favourites. Interspersed among these we find five compositions of more recent provenance, which fit snugly here and prove the consistency of Jake’s vision and his writing over the years, the latter heavily inspired by the Celtic lands – their myths and legends – and informed by the cycles of nature and man’s place within the scheme of things. Several of the songs take their cue from literature, including a setting of Yeats’ Lake Isle Of Innisfree and creative adaptations of O’Shaughnessy’s Ode (The Music Makers), Elizabeth J. Coatsworth’s St. Eval (After The Plough) and an old Irish prayer (White Wave Sea).

Jake’s is a style that doesn’t date, although it might be considered ‘old school’ in that his music is both mellifluous and melodic, flowing and genial and commendably easy on the ear even when tackling less than comfortable topics (Trees, Tom O’Bedlam’s Dream). Jake also benefits greatly from the contributions of long-time collaborator Eric Liorzou and other musical friends including Jez Lowe, Bryony Holden, Alex West, Kathryn Wheeler, Athene Roberts and David De La Haye. You can take it as a recommendation that within a short time of placing this disc in the player, you’re bound to fall under Jake’s spell. The accompanying booklet and contents are most attractively presented too".....David Kidman

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