Treebeard New Leaves CD

New Treebeard CD "New Leaves" out 28th July, order now!

Click the buy now button above to pay by PayPal, or send a cheque for 10 to Chris McMahon 25 Fir Street Sheffield  S6 3TG. The CD is released in a four page card digipack sleeve in full colour. It will be available soon online as a digital download from iTunes, Amazon and Bandcamp.

Tour Dates New Leaves CD
Biography Songs
Photos! CDs & downloads
Links & Reviews Videos
Gabadon Music  Treebeard Home

 

New Leaves - A History

Well, we're getting quicker! 8 years between the last two CDs, only 7 between these two! As ever, reality lags behind intention. After the 'Reel Ale' CD we concentrated on getting the Haze 'Last Battle' CD out, which finally materialised in 2013. I had hoped to quickly release a follow up Haze CD, things started hopefully enough with a handful of new songs (listen here on Soundcloud) & lots of ideas in the pipeline, but things got bogged down in Paul & Cat's family commitments, so I turned my attention to a new Treebeard CD. That should have been easy, there were lots of songs in the set that we hadn't recorded, so no delays writing material, and the (then) new line up of me, Ceri, Paul, Cat & Danny should have had no problem producing a great CD quickly. But we didn't. So in October 2016, when the new line up of me, Ceri, James Howe, Rob Lowdon & Paul Pearson came together, I was itching to get recording. We've also gone for a new direction, not so much in sound but in approach, we're now concentrated on original material, rather than our previous mix of contemporary songs & traditional tunes, with a few originals thrown in.

Track Listing & Lyrics

1    Lonely Troubadour 
2     Helena's Handfasting/Dusk 'Til Dawn 
3     The Stone And The Flute 
4     You Rattle Me 
5     Lady Of The Moors 
6     Turn To Gold 
7     Not This Day 
8     Days Of Still Cider
9     Emily's Jig/Llydaw
10   The Unbeliever 
11   Em tunes (Amhran Na Leabhar/Derwenna/Four Posts Of The Bed) 
12   Molly 
13   House Of The Rising Sun 
14   The Grove inc. Raven's Reel 
15   Matty Groves/Runio's

1 Lonely Troubadour (Rob Lowdon)
Ceri - flute, vocals. Chris - bass, electric guitar, organ, vocals. James - drums, frog, claves, vocals. Paul - shaker, vocals. Rob - acoustic guitar, lead vocals.

Alone and isolated Cold and neglected 
My only friend the bottle When I feel rejected 
My best friend the barstool The barmaid my lover 
In confession I'll tell all To anyone who listens 

That's you my audience 
That's you my only friend 
That's you, and the taste of alcohol 
That's you, won't you listen to my story? 

It's so easy to pretend and play With the glory that comes my way 
To be someone that you want to be A reflection of our yesterdays 
But don't feel sorry now, no Just buy me another round now 
And I'll drink to your health For there's nobody else 

Just you my audience
Just you my only friend 
Just you, and the taste of alcohol 
Just you, won't you listen to my story? 

Playing is my redemption Sharing contemplations 
Singing for my supper Of beer and bread and butter 
So don't feel sorry now, no Just buy me another round now 
I'll drink to your health For there's nobody else 

When I'm standing on the street With the people walking by 
Watching, waiting, hoping, playing 
Will you spare a few coins throw them in the guitar case
Counting, hoping, performing, denoting
Don't put me down like I'm some kind of slob
Don't walk past, tell me to get a job 
Hang around, gather round, Come on and have a dance 
Let the music take you Lose yourself in a trance 
As the rat race moves along Heads dipped to avoid the view 
There's no time to think about The likes of me and you 
We're just trying to get it right Cause we know it's going wrong 
Looking to the future For that's where we belong 
So don't be a victim of the systems fatal plan 
To make you all conform to them and then they'll start to ban 
All the fun, all the joy, all that makes life great 
Just listen to the music Don't live life like a mistake, Just dance 

Just you my audience
Just you my only friend 
Just you, and the taste of alcohol 
Just you, won't you listen to my story? 

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OK, despite what I said in the intro blurb, this is a pretty dramatic change in sound for us. A song that Rob wrote & was playing solo when he first moved to Sheffield in the Summer of 2015, it's the addition of James' funky drumming & falsetto harmonies that's really brought it to life. We made a video of the song for the 2weeks2 make it competition - have a look here.

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2 Helena's Handfasting/Dusk 'Til Dawn (Ceri Ashton)
Anna - fiddle. Ceri - flute. Chris - bass, electric guitar, mandolin. James - cahon. Paul - bodhran. Rob - bass, acoustic guitar..

A set of two Ceri tunes, Helena's Handfasting was written for her friend Helena's Handfasting, Ceri played it on fiddle at the ceremony in a stone circle somewhere in the Midlands! Dusk 'Til Dawn is an older Ceri tune that was part of our ceilidh set, I'm not sure if it was inspired by the Tarantino movie or not? For this and a few other tracks on the CD we are joined by Anna Hambleton on fiddle, formerly of Silverwheel & Kingfisher Blue & currently playing in Follow The Moon and A Rose Between. Anna is our part time 6th member of Treebeard, she joins us whenever other commitments allow.

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3 The Stone And The Flute (Chris McMahon)
Anna - fiddle. Ceri - flute, whistle, vocals. Chris - bass, 12 string guitar, electric guitar, lead vocals. James - drums. Paul - djembe. Rob - acoustic guitar, vocals.

I walk the woods you under open skies 
I'll meet you where sun & shadows fall
Blue, green and violet, reflected in your eyes 
Speaking in tongues were far from knowing all

Stone and the flute, nature and the muse 
Poet & Pan walking by my side 
Blue, green & violet the colours changing hues 
Passed onto you as the stone is your guide

Take me back to a time that I know 
When the song was more than the show 
Storms in our wake though we never arrive
No one gets out of here alive 

Haunted melody the power to command 
But not the wisdom or courage to restrain
Blue, green and violet, the cold sea strand 
Raiding riders on the open plain

Take me back to a place I can defend 
When the means were more than the end
Beauty and beast the piper rides the land 
So lock the door & take my hand

lighting cracks the sky, thunder rolls the earth 
reborn in flames in the pine on the ridge
Blue, green and violet, I wonder what its worth 
to know one day well cross the rainbow bridge

Stone and the flute, you still wonder why 
Blue, green and violet light the sky
Follow the tune cross the mountain side 
No one gets out of here alive

Originally written for Treebeard, then played by Haze, now back with Treebeard again, this was an attempt to write something in a Levellers-ish festival folk-rock style. The lyrics are based on the book of the same name by Hans Bemmann, a Tolkien-esque folklore epic translated from German & maintaining a wonderfully simple & direct style (the almost exact opposite of the books that The Unbeliever is based on).

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4 You Rattle Me (Paul Pearson)
Ceri - five string fiddle. Chris - mandolin, electric guitar. James - cahon. Paul - acoustic guitar, lead vocals. Rob - bass, vocals.


You've got a fancy way of talking
But it don't make you better than me
I've listened to all of your bullshit
You rattle me
You rattle me

You were once mama's little chauvinist
It's plain for everyone to see
You need to climb down from your high horse
You do rattle me
You rattle me

What was it that Benny once said
Made a lot of sense to me
Don't take that attitude to your grave
You sure do rattle me
You rattle me

Take real good care of your toxic tongue
You'll poison yourself one day just you see
You spit out so much venom every day
You sure as hell do rattle me
You rattle me

You've got a fancy way of talking
But it don't make you better than me
I've listened to too much of your bullshit

You sure as hell do rattle me
You rattle me
You rattle me
You rattle me

Those of you who've seen Paul performing, either solo or accompanied by Ceri +/or myself will know him as a dramatic re-interpreter of the, often obscure, works of others, but not so much as a writer. Well this is not only his first CD recording, but his first recording of a self penned song! But just remember, if you need to ask who it's about, it's probably about you!

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5 Lady Of The Moor (Rob Lowdon)
Ceri - flute. Chris - bass. James - cahon, shaker. Rob - acoustic guitar, vocals.


On a misty moorland morning
With the sun about to rise
The walker leaves his bower
And much to his surprise
The Lady's strewn the valley
With shades of golden brown
And with a chill deep in his bones
He knows that winter's soon around

So with a muffled groan he stirs the embers of his fire
Sets his traps and wanders back
Still feeding his desire
For the Lady kisses fondly
Through gentle breezes blown
The sun upon his face again
And on her verdant gown

The Lady of the Moors he cries
It's to you I sing this tune
I'll love you when the sun doth rise
And beneath the shining moon
Though my feet may stray from town to town
I'll never feel at home
Until back here on your breast I lie
On your lush and pleasant land

Now time and need have driven me
Far from your soft embrace
To work with man and make some coin
Much to my sad disgrace
But I'll be coming back to see you
When the factory whistle blows
Until then I must take my place
And work my fingers to the bone

But fate had different plans it seems
And now there's talk of war
So I'm leaving for a distant place
To fight on foreign shore
So if I die remember me
As the one who left his heart
Deep in your valleys of verdant green
But now from them I have to part

Oh the Lady of the Moors he cries
It's to you I sing this tune
I love you when the sun doth rise
And beneath the shining moon
Now my feet have strayed on no mans land
I feel lost and alone
My battalion gone along with my gun
I'm left longing for my home

Now the Lady of the Moors she cries
The rainfall falling down
To feed the streams and rivers
And to fertilize the ground
Whilst amid the smoke and blood and tears
A soldier takes his bow
To send his soul straight back to Her
Aye now he's going home

So if you go out walking
Through the valleys deep and green
Remember the tales I've told to you
And the lives the Lady's seen
So if you hear some voices
Calling on the breeze
They are the tales of different times
Just stirring through the trees
And they are the souls of soldier men
And now they're coming home
They are the souls of soldier men
And now they're coming home.

Another Rob original inspired by his move to Sheffield and the surrounding Peak District. It's probably one of the most traditionally 'folky' songs on the CD, featuring finger picked guitar & flute.

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6 Turn To Gold (Ceri Ashton)
Anna - fiddle. Ceri - whistle, lead vocals. Chris - electric guitar, acoustic guitar, organ, vocals. James - drums. Karen - clarinet. Paul - bodhran. Rob - bass, vocals. 

When the leaves turn to gold, turn to gold
I feel no sorrow as life unfolds
Its just another day, another week, another year
By your side I have nothing left to fear

I used to count the days 'til spring would come
Wishing winter nights would soon be done
Then when spring comes and flowers grow
I always find I miss the snow

When the summer sun begins to fade
Id wish the autumn could be delayed
Then when the leaves begin to fall
Isn't it the best time of all

In the early days youd buy me flowers
Wed just sit and talk for hours
Id worry that those days would come and go
Melt away like the snow

Now you dont buy me flowers and more
But you still smile when I walk through the door
The snow can melt, the leaves can fall
But isnt this the best time of all

A Ceri original, written for her band Follow The Moon. Their version is on Soundcloud & features Danny McMahon on drums & Kate Evans on bass. For the Treebeard version we replaced their parts with James & Rob, but kept Anna's fiddle & Karen's clarinet.

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7 Not This Day (Chris McMahon)
Ceri - whistle. Chris - bass, electric guitar, 12 string guitar, lead vocals. James - drums, vocals. Rob - acoustic guitar, vocals.

Revolution calling on the city streets we're punished for a crime that we didn't commit
We put our faith in promises they'll never keep We're holding out for answers that just don't fit

It's not like what we're asking for is so unfair, when the change we're looking for is you
Could you face someone from another world and try and justify your point of view?

some hide in religion abandon free will but I don't want to have to run to stand still

the skies are black the city burns, it's time to turn and make a stand
Cos I know lies when I hear your words and I can tell magic from sleight of hand

some hide in the past some fall for the spin but I don't want to have to cheat to win

A cancerous growth, is all we're told we need but how can we cure it with the politics of greed

So hold your ground, hold your ground
A day will come when courage fails One day we'll walk away
A day will come when it all crashes down
So hold your ground, hold your ground
One day we'll leave without a sound one day forsake our friends
One day they'll get it all their way We'll give up in the end

Oh no, no not again I can't believe it's true, You'd think by now we'd let the light shine through

So hold your ground, hold your ground
A day will come when courage fails One day we'll walk away
A day will come when it all crashes down
So hold your ground, hold your ground
One day we'll leave without a sound one day forsake our friends
One day they'll get it all their way We'll give up in the end
But not this day But not this day But not this day

My political song on the CD and son of 'Believe' from 'Reel Ale'. The chorus is based on Aragorn's speech at the black gate of Mordor (from the film, not the book, I had to get a Tolkien influence in there somewhere!) The rest is my usual lefty-green railing against growth & profit being put ahead of quality of life.

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8 Days Of Still Cider (Rob Lowdon)
Anna - fiddle. Chris - bouzouki, electric guitar, fretless bass, vocals. James - shaky egg. Rob - guitar & lead vocals.

Counted out thirteen roses
So red and so sweet
Took a bus ride to Lincoln
And whom should I meet
But a maiden so fair
With her long golden hair
At the start of a day of still cider

So we went a walking
Greetwell quarry to see
Came across an old kissing gate
Hey, said thee,
If we exchange a kiss
Then our bond we will seal
Here on this day of still cider

So we sat on a rock
And we started to talk
Of music and beauty and
What was wrong with the world
Then she reached in her bag
And she passed me a drop
My first taste of the good old still cider

I still swear to this day
That when it first passed my lips
Something inside me woke up
And the world then made sense
And I knew that the future would always be grand
Thanks to that day of still cider

Now the love that I've found
I thought it'd be there all my life
Til I was dead in the ground
And the beautiful maiden so fair
I thought that she'd become my wife
And she'd always be there and
At our wedding the toast would be made
With a glass of the good old still cider

Now between those grand times
There was still storm and stress
We were often apart
Much to our distress
But when we came together
A toast we would share
With a glass of the good old still cider

Then came the summers of festival fun
With much music and dancing all under the sun
So we moved in together and
The winter survived
Still sharing a glass of still cider

Now the love that we've found
I thought it'd be there all my life
Til I was dead in the ground
And the beautiful maiden so fair
I thought she'd become my wife
And she'd always be there
At our wedding the toast would be made
With a glass of the good old still cider

Now many years later
If we were happily wed
Old and infirm
Lying there on our bed
And when we were buried
One last toast would be made
To the days of the good old still cider

A beautiful ballad of love found (and lost) from Rob, with some delicate fiddle from Anna.

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9 Emily's Jig (Ceri Ashton)/ Llydaw (trad arr. Treebeard)
Anna - fiddle. Ceri - 5 string fiddle, clarinet. Chris - electric guitar, acoustic guitar, organ. James - drums. Rob - bass, acoustic guitar solo.

From The Outlandish Knights ceilidh band set, a Ceri original followed by a Welsh traditional tune arranged by Cat & Ceri. One of Anna's favourite tunes of ours, we started out recording it with just three repeats of each tune, then I decided to add in the bass & guitar solos to extend the 2nd tune. James liked this so much he suggested we extend it further, so we added in Rob's wonderful acoustic guitar solo, followed by my very Jon Lord influenced organ solo. I still thought the first tune lacked something (I always like to add something new to ceilidh tunes every repeat) so I asked Ceri to add clarinet, which she was pleased to do if only to up her instrument score!

10 The Unbeliever (Chris McMahon, Sue Cain, Peter Rophone)
Anna - fiddle. Ceri - whistle. Chris - bass, 12 string guitar, electric guitar, organ, pipa, vocals. James - drums, dumbek, didgeridoo. Paul - shaker, singing bowl. Rob - guitar, harmonica.

I've always been an unbeliever
Always I've had an outcasts soul
I never had time for easy answers
Cos only the dead go with the flow

I will walk alone with faith in contradictions
The paradox unfolds in white gold & blackened flames
I will find my peace in the silence of the mountains
The eye of the storm the Unbelievers shame

When the light is fading on the last day of the year
And all I can hear is ringing in my ears
The fire sheds no light in the darkness of the forest
This lepers absolution gives credence to my fears

I cannot fight, I will not surrender
This weakness is strength, though failure calls my name
I'm done with restraint, this doubt gives me purpose
Only the lost can find their road again

This has a long and convoluted history. In Silverwheel I came up with the idea of taking the Irish reel 'Kilarney Boys Of Pleasure' & setting it to a hip-hop/reggae/hornpipe beat. Peter helped with the chords & Sue sang The Grateful Dead's 'Black Muddy River' to her own tune over it. The band split before we finished recording it (though I have a pretty decent demo of it), and I'd always wanted to revive it, but felt we couldn't do it justice without a funky drummer. When Dan joined Treebeard I rewrote the lyrics, changed the key to suit my voice & we started playing it, first in Treebeard, then in Haze, but Paul felt that both the lyrics and arrangement were unfinished, so it got dropped until the new line-up congealed! The lyrics, as is my wont, are based on a book, or series of books, the Thomas Covenant Trilogies by Stephen Donaldson, very dark & densely 'wordy' books, almost the opposite end of the spectrum (in fantasy terms, at least) from The Stone And The Flute. During the recording I remained conscious of what Paul had said about it being unfinished, & when he declined to add a guitar solo to the mid section, inspiration struck & I asked Rob to add some very heavy bluesy harmonica instead. I was still looking for something to set the mood for the start of the piece, so James brought his didgeridoo into the studio, Paul fired up his Tibetan singing bowl and I brought out the Pipa, a four string Chinese instrument that I'd owned for years, but never made any serious attempt to play! Combined with a sound collage of over a dozen takes of Anna playing the chorus to the song I think we set a suitably epic expectant atmosphere.

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11 Em tunes (Amhran Na Leabhar (trad)/Derwenna (Ceri Ashton)/Four Posts Of The Bed(trad))
Anna - fiddle. Ceri  - flute. Chris - bouzouki, mandolin. James - drums. Paul - bodhran. Rob - bass, acoustic guitar.


I'd like to say that I leaned the first tune from a syphilitic blind drunk harper, but actually I got it from a book of Irish slow airs. I think the title means Song of the Books & it's about some books that were lost when a boat sank. The 2nd tune is a Ceri original & is named after one of her horses & we got the 3rd tune from the band Solace, which entirely blows out the Em tunes name by moving back & forth between A major & C major.

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12 Molly (Rob Lowdon)
Chris - bass, accordion. James - drums. Rob - acoustic guitar, harmonica, vocals.

Johnny had a six string
And a harp in his pocket
Played the blues on the corner
Next to the old market
He didn't ask for nothing
When the sun was shining
He just kept playing along

Molly was a poor girl
Living in the gutter
Tried to make a living
Through selling lucky heather
She didn't ask for nothing
Just a smile and a blessing
As she wandered along

How fate intertwined their lives
Well we'll never know
But when Johnny met Molly
There was something coming on
Sweet soulful music
Filled their lives with song
The love that they shared
It was so strong
So strong yeah

So they shared a bit of money
And they got a room together
Huddled up together
All through the wintry weather
Spent nearly every penny
But it didn't really matter
They just kept singing along

Then with winter nearly over
And spring was round the corner
Johnny got a phone call from the local night club owner
Would he like to play the night times and get the people dancing
They'd be singing his song

Now Molly is the singer
In an ob la di dah band
Heard along the line that
Desmond's grand
So Johnny be good when you take your stand
Tonight you are the leader of the band
The band yeah

Now many years later
They've got a little freehold
Chickens in the corner
They're pecking round their daughter
She's got the face of an angel
And the voice of her mother
They're all singing along

How fate intertwined their lives
Well we'll never know
But when Johnny met Molly
There was something coming on
Sweet soulful music
Filled their lives with song
The love that they shared
It was so strong
So strong yeah

A cheery little song from Rob, that we used to play in Jabberwocky, but haven't introduced to the Treebeard live set, yet. There's some cheeky Beatles references in the lyrics, which inspired the big Oohs & Aahs backing vocals, all sung by Rob. And of course it gave me my only chance on the CD to play accordion!

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13 House Of The Rising Sun (trad arr. Treebeard)
Ceri - flute. Chris - bouzouki, organ. James - cahon. Paul - acoustic guitar, vocals. Rob - bass.

There is a house in New Orleans They call the Rising Sun
And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy And God, I know I'm one

My mother was a tailor She sewed my new blue jeans
My father was a gambling man Down in New Orleans

Now the only thing a gambler needs Is a suitcase and trunk
And the only time he's satisfied Is when he's on a drunk

Go tell my baby sister Not to do what I have done
Spend your lives in fear and misery In the House of the Rising Sun

Well, I got one foot on the platform The other foot on the train
I'm goin' back to New Orleans To wear that ball and chain

Well, there is a house in New Orleans They call the Rising Sun
And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy And God, I know I'm one

One from Paul Pearson's extensive repertoire of songs, and one that I indulge in the gentle art of 'Bouzouki shredding'. For this & 'You Rattle Me' we abandoned my usual layering instruments one at a time recording technique & all played together in the studio, just adding solos & tidying up vocals later. This gives a much more natural & organic, if slightly less clean sound. Bob Dylan would probably approve! As a tribute to the best know version of this song I added organ, including Alan Price's Am9 chord at the end.

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14 The Grove (Ceri Ashton) inc. Raven's Reel (trad Grenish)
Ceri - whistle, vocals. Chris - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bouzouki. James - drums. Paul - bodhran. Rob - bass 

Come with me before the night Follow me through the fields
Climb over the rustic stile Feel the stream on your dove white feet

Past the crumbling careworn church down the stony coffin trail
Follow me through the ancient woods and down into the grove

Hear the luring melodies feel the droning drums
Let them carry your dove white feet Join in with the dance

Down in the Grove where the fair folk meet No one dies and no one sleeps
Down in the Grove where the fair folk meet You'll never leave on your dove white feet

Days, seasons and years go by men are born and men will die
But by my side you'll dance my sweet dance upon your dove white feet

Your clothes will fade and turn to dust your golden charms will turn to rust
But by my side you'll dance my sweet dance upon your dove white feet

Down in the Grove where the fair folk meet No one dies and no one sleeps
Down in the Grove where the fair folk meet You'll never leave on your dove white feet

A Ceri original that we play with Follow The Moon, but have hijacked for Treebeard. The fast tune 'Raven's Reel' is from the same Grenish source as 'Balder And The Mistletoe' on Haze's 'Last Battle' CD. The folk tale of being trapped in fairyland is set in the Welsh hills near Ceri's mum's.

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15 Matty Groves/Runio's (trad arr. Treebeard)
Anna - fiddle. Ceri - flute, vocals. Chris - bouzouki, electric guitar, vocals. James - drums. Rob - bass, vocals.

A holiday, a holiday, and the first one of the year.
Lord Darnell's wife came into church, the gospel for to hear.
And when the meeting it was done, she cast her eyes about,
And there she saw little Matty Groves, walking in the crowd.
"Come home with me, little Matty Groves, come home with me tonight.
Come home with me, little Matty Groves, and sleep with me till light."
"Oh, I can't come home, I won't come home and sleep with you tonight,
By the rings on your fingers I can see you are Lord Darnell's wife."
"What if I am Lord Darnell's wife? Lord Darnell's not at home.
For he is out in the far cornfields, bringing the yearlings home."

And a servant who was standing by and hearing what was said,
She swore Lord Darnell he would know before the sun would set.
And in her hurry to carry the news, she beat her breast and ran,
And when she came to the broad mill stream, she took off his shoes and swam.

Little Matty Groves, he lay down and took a little sleep.
When he awoke, Lord Darnell he was standing at his feet.
Saying "How do you like my feather bed? And how do you like my sheets?
How do you like my lady who lies in your arms asleep?"
"Oh, well I like your feather bed, and well I like your sheets.
But better I like your lady gay who lies in my arms asleep."
"Well, get up, get up," Lord Darnell cried, "get up as quick as you can!
It'll never be said in fair England that I slew a naked man."
"Oh, I can't get up, I won't get up, I can't get up for my life.
For you have two long beaten swords and I not a pocket-knife."
"Well it's true I have two beaten swords, and they cost me deep in the purse.
But you will have the better of them and I will have the worse."
"And you will strike the very first blow, and strike it like a man.
I will strike the very next blow, and I'll kill you if I can."

So Matty struck the very first blow, and he hurt Lord Darnell sore.
Lord Darnell struck the very next blow, and Matty struck no more.
And then Lord Darnell he took his wife and he sat her on his knee,
Saying, "Who do you like the best of us, Matty Groves or me?"
And then up spoke his own dear wife, never heard to speak so free.
"I'd rather a kiss from dead Matty's lips than you and your finery."

Lord Darnell he jumped up and loudly he did bawl,
He struck his wife right through the heart and pinned her against the wall.
"A grave, a grave!'' Lord Darnell cried, "to put these lovers in.
But bury my lady at the top for she was of noble kin."

Another one that started life with Silverwheel. In fact our first 2weeks2 make it video was of this very song back in 2007, check it out here. For a long time I didn't want to play it, as I felt I couldn't match Sue's vocals, but eventually came round to the idea of doing it if we could put our own spin on it. I'd always like the Musical style of different people singing the different characters, and of course much folk music just lends itself to this, so I sang the narrator & Lord Darnall, Ceri sang Lady Darnall and Rob played Matty Groves himself. Usually when we play the song live we finish it with the tunes 'Last Night's Fun' and 'The Merry Blacksmith' which we got from Fairport Convention & recorded on the 'Heavy Wood' CD, but Anna has this fantastic tune 'Runio's' that her dad taught her & no one else seems to have head of, so whenever she joins us live, and for this CD, we finish the song with this tune.

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CD Credits

Ceri Ashton - fiddle, flute, whistle, clarinet, vocals
James Howe - drums, percussion, didgeridoo, vocals
Rob Lowdon - bass, guitar, harmonica, vocals
Chris McMahon - bass, guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, accordion, vocals
Paul Pearson -guitar, percussion, vocals 

With:- Anna Hambleton & Kate O'Donnell. Recorded in Cellar Studios, engineered & produced by Chris McMahon. Artwork & photos by Nelly Naylor Photography & Chris McMahon. 
www.treebeard.org.uk www.facebook.com/TreebeardBand www.reverbnation.com/treebeard
c&p 2017 Gabadon Records 25 Fir Street Sheffield S6 3TG
www.gabadon.co.uk

CD images

photo by Nelly Naylor photography 

New Leaves back cover 

For more pictures from the "New Leaves" photo shoots have a look at my flickr page:- ChrisTreebeard

Audio Samples

You can hear our music & download the CDs on Bandcamp, or join us on Reverbnation.

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New Leaves - and Old Roots

As I mentioned way up there at the top of the page, when we started thinking about a new Treebeard CD in 2014/5, the songs we had in mind were very different to the ones that we finally recorded with the new line up. Many ended up being rejected as they were very much 'Paul's' songs that I felt we couldn't do justice without him - Iris, Witch's Promise, Solsbury Hill spring to mind. But there were other song that we continued recording with the new line up - Fisherman's Blues, Losing My Religion, This Is The Life, Galway Girl and You Shook Me, that seemed increasingly out of place as we continued to introduce more original songs & tunes. So we're putting them out as an online bonus EP-type thing, available free with physical & online CD orders.

Tracks included are:-

Fisherman's Blues (Mike Scott)

This has been our set opener for more years than I care to remember & was an obvious choice for the opening track on our 3rd CD, but to be honest, we're just so excited about all the new original material that we've got, that's it's finally ended up being sidelined. Still love the song, though! There's a formative version on Soundcloud that features Ceri on fiddle, James on cahon, Rob on backing vocals, me on vocals, 12 string guitar & mandolin & Paul McMahon on bass (left over from the abortive old line-up CD recordings). The new recording features:-

Anna - fiddle, Chris - 12 string guitar, mandolin, lead vocals, James - drums, Rob - bass & vocals

Losing My Religion (REM)

Another old favourite that still sometimes makes it into the set. The version on Soundcloud features Paul McMahon on bass (& I think mandolin) with Ceri on fiddle, James on cahon,  me on guitar & Rob on vocals. On this recording there's:-

Ceri - fiddle, Chris - 12 string guitar, mandolin, vocals, James - drums, Rob - bass & lead vocals

This Is The Life (Amy McDonald)

One of 2 Amy McDonald songs that Ceri would regularly sing, this still occasionally makes the set.

Ceri - lead vocals, Chris - bass, James - cahon, Rob - guitar & vocals

You Shook Me (All Night Long) (AC/DC)

One of our favourite 'party set' songs, we were going for a cross between the Hayseed Dixie bluegrass version and the original. It was in the recording of this that we realised what a spectacular falsetto vocal James was capable of!

Ceri - fiddle, Chris - 12 string guitar, lead vocals, James - drums & vocals, Rob - bass & vocals

Galway Girl (Steve Earle)

Often seen as cheese of the ripest variety, this was a party set favourite, that has been largely superceded by originals. I did, however, take the opportunity to add accordion AND banjo to the recording. James drops the beat to a very metal half time in the verse & choruses to contrast with the Oompah beat of the tune section.

Anna - fiddle, Ceri - whistle, Chris - mandolin, 12 string guitar, banjo, accordion, James - drums, Rob - bass & lead vocals.

All these tracks are included as bonus tracks on digital downloads of the album. Physical copies of the CD include a code to access the tracks on Bandcamp.

Click the buy now button above to pay by paypal, or send a cheque for 10 to Chris McMahon 25 Fir Street Sheffield  S6 3TG

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Last updated 05 August 2017