With the release of my debut solo recording; the “Doob Doo” album, it is strange to think that this comes 42 years after the release of my first album with Tudor Lodge. And as we recorded that Vertigo album in the spring of 1971, we never imagined that decades later it would enjoy cult status and change hands for hundreds of pounds on e-bay. Mind you, the concept of e-bay would have been equally far fetched at that time. Phonogram had allotted just a few short days for recording, which meant that on a few occasions when we thought another take might be a good idea, we were told to move along. The fact that we had very little direct involvement in the production did not strike us as odd. At the time, that was the way it was. We were lucky to get the contract. Terry Brown our producer (who passed away in 2005) and our manager Karl Blore took care of business, and to be honest, they did a good job. With the rhythm section from Pentangle, a small ensemble of musicians drawn from the Royal Philharmonic, the result was bound to be special, if only for us. The fold out cover by sleeve designer Phil Dufffy was in itself a work of art. Harrods used a dozen or so copies of the cover as a huge display on the staircase leading to their record department. The album release coincided with our appearance at the Cambridge Folk Festival, and later in the year we played at the infamous Weeley Festival.
It was only six months from release of the album to Annie leaving the band for health reasons, but during that time we enjoyed playing tours of folk clubs from Teesside to Cornwall. It was a time when every town had at least one club, and by 7:30 they were heaving. After Annie left we did a short tour of Holland in early1972 with Linda Thompson, who then left for bigger and better things. After that we all went our separate ways until reforming in 1980. Annie left the country shortly after that, and Lynne Whiteland joined us. A few years later Lyndon also left the country and Lynne and I have continued playing as a duo ever since. We’ve had a great time together since then playing local clubs, small festivals, and producing another five studio albums. The latest “Stay” being launched at the same time as my “Doob Doo” album. We were lucky enough to spend a week in Nashville in 2006 recording a few songs for the previous album “Unconditional” and before that we played a couple of concerts in Tokyo for the release of our “Dream” album. Since 1971, the first album has been reissues over a dozen times. The most recent being a re-mastered and re-packages version on the Esoteric label. You can find more information about Tudor Lodge at www.tudorlodge.com and my own solo work at www.johnceestannard.co.uk. Both albums can be bought from our label web site; www.castironrecordings.co.uk .
For over forty years, Tudor Lodge kept music alive in my life, and has now brought me to a place where my own writing has taken me in a new direction and is launching me on a new journey. And it’s great fun and very exciting. My new page at http://www.reverbnation.com/johnceestannard has been seeing a lot of activity over the past couple of weeks – take a look at the video – leave a message if you like – I am currently listed at No.2 in the local blues chart and doing well nationally. With a bit more sharing we can get that No 1 spot locally – and maybe even push it further up the UK blues chart. Thanks for your support. JohnCee.