Band

Julie July – Singer & Songwriter

“The Lady she had, a silver tongue, for to sing she said, and maybe that’s all”

In 1996 I went to my first ever folk festival – ‘Fairport’s Cropredy Convention’ in a small village in Oxfordshire – where I camped and was captivated by an amazing collection of musicians & songs.  On the Saturday night I won the top prize in the raffle – a guitar signed by every performer at the festival.  I took it home and started playing “Who knows where the time goes?” (very badly…) It took some time but eventually I worked out the chord sequence and cracked it.  Then I tried other songs like “The Sea”, “Farewell, Farewell”, “Crazy Man Michael” and “One More Chance”.  I was hooked, I fell in love with the romantic and haunting songs of Sandy Denny.  They catch and hold on to you: the loneliness, the storytelling, the emotions, taking root in your soul.  Little did I know then that, 23years later I would be performing her songs at festivals and theatres around the country.   Her songs aren’t for everyone, they don’t have ‘mass appeal’ – they touch just a few…..but I feel so humbled and privileged to be one of them and singing evokes real feelings in me and I am moved and the audience that come to listen feel it too and they thank me for keeping her memories and stories alive. 

But that’s not all: concert audiences and fellow performers have often asked whether we perform material of our own work.  The answer is Yes! – I’m honoured and delighted to be working with such amazing musicians and songwriters.  Inspired by Sandy’s work and the wider folk, rock and blues movements of the Sixties and Seventies, together we have written ‘Lady of the First Light’ – the band’s new album of self-penned originals.  From dreamy acoustic folk songs to driving progressive folk-rock with passing references to psychedelia and country.  We’re very proud and excited about the Album, and about the songs….. and hope you will be too!


John Brunsdon Lead Guitarist

John has been playing guitar since his teens, influenced initially by the fingerstyle guitar of Mark Knopfler, and later by country, folk and blues greats such as Richard Thompson, Jerry Donahue, Jimi Hendrix, Albert Lee, Brent Mason and Chet Atkins, John has played in a variety of bands performing both his own material and covers. 

For the last ten years he has fronted top Dire Straits tribute band, Dire Streets, playing theatres across the UK and Europe. He is also lead guitarist with John Lennon UK, as well as working as a freelance musician and writer. 

John says: “I’ve always admired guitarists who understand the unique vocal quality of the guitar and its power to tell a story in music. Folk music, in all its forms, is about the story – both musically and lyrically – and its a real pleasure to explore the music of one of my biggest influences, Jerry Donahue, and to help this great band tell some musical stories of their own.”
 

Barry William – Acoustic Guitarist

Singer-songwriter Bas is returning to the band he co-founded with Julie to provide acoustic/rhythm guitar along with additional vocals and harmonies.  Bas brings his own individual style of songwriting and playing combining a dynamic rhythmic feel and a subtle picking technique.  “I believe that the most important aspect of playing in a band is that each member is able to express their personality and creativity but at the same time everyone works together for a good musical structure and balance…what I enjoy most is to combine with the drive of the rhythm section but also interact with the lead guitar to help creative affecting melodic moments within a song.  It’s really about listening to each other and the overall sound and responding to what you hear…I’m excited to be back”.

Mick Candler – Drums

“Ever since I first heard Sandy Denny with Fairport Convention on the John Peel Show, in 1969 I have loved her songs and Folk Rock as a genre, so I am honoured and excited to be performing with Julie July and her wonderful band.  Dik Cadbury and I are old friends and, having worked together on numerous projects, I am really pleased we are reunited once again.  With musicians of this calibre there is no room for showboating, so hopefully my minimalist style of pocket playing will be discrete, providing a solid foundation to serve the songs in support of Julie’s incredible voice.”

 Mick Candler began playing drums in the local beat groups of his home city of York in the early 1960’s, supporting leading music luminaries Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, Jimmy Cliff and Procol Harum before giving up the day job to join Roll Movement, a four piece group led by Cliff Wade who later became a composer of hit songs for Tina Turner and Pat Benatar.

Mick has an extensive list of album and TV credits for drums and percussion performing in bands including;- Decameron, Phil Beer, Johnny Coppin, Steve Knightly, and Magna Carta.  In recent years he has recorded two critically acclaimed albums with slide guitarist Kevin Brown and is a current member of his band “The Shackdusters”

Dik Cadbury – Bass Guitarist

Dik started his musical career as the only boy in the school choir at the age of 5. Took up violin at 9 and discovered the Beatles at 13, which derailed attempts to learn classical guitar! As school bands developed he moved from guitar to drums and finally settled on bass. He also played first violin in the Reading Youth Orchestra, trained as a counter-tenor and chose his universities by cathedral to sing the wealth of church music on offer. Arriving in Norwich, he also joined his first ‘folk-jug’ band Totem and then moved to Cheltenham to join ‘prog-folk’ band Decameron. When they disbanded in 1976 he opened Millstream Recording Studio before being recruited by ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett on bass to form his first touring band. They recorded 2 albums: ‘Spectral Mornings’ and ‘Defector’ before disbanding in 1980. He then formed a retro-‘60s band ‘The Teenage Idols’ with Decameron’s Dave Bell, formed The Mighty Quintet with Mike D’Abo (Manfred Mann) and then moved on to play with international party band Top Catz. He now joins Decameron’s Johnny Coppin for an annual Christmas show ‘All On A Winter’s Night’ alongside Paul Burgess and has a pub band ‘The Connection’ with D’Abo guitarist Steve Degutis, playing Rock, Pop, Soul, Blues and Reggae standards.
Dik has recorded two solo albums: ‘About Time’ and ‘Winds of Change’ plus a duo album ‘C-H’ (Cadbury-Hicks) with former Hackett vocalist Pete Hicks.
See: http://dikcadbury.com for more details.
 
 

Carol Lee Sampson – keyboards

Jersey born Carol Lee Sampson is a recent addition to the band, bringing melodic keyboards & backing vocals into the mix. A gifted singer/songwriter herself, with many years experience of live gigging, playing a whole variety of venues….ranging from 4,000 capacity filled Christian conferences, local pubs/clubs, and Dementia Units & Care Homes! 
She has recorded three solo albums over recent years,  and has also helped raise a significant amount  for Cancer Research & St. Richard’s Hospice through her Christmas Charity EP’s. 
Carol also had the privilege of featuring vocally on Gordon Giltrap’s ‘Peace Will Fall’ 2015 album. Many of her songs have been played on BBC H & W, & she has twice been featured as ‘Introducing’s Artist of the Week. 
‘I feel really privileged & excited to be part of this venture, playing these great songs,  alongside such lovely & talented people!’
See https://carolleesampson.co.uk for more details
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