Live from Common Grounds again !!

On Wednesday 7th April I’ll be broadcast a 30 minute “Live ” solo set as part of the Common Grounds weekly open mic on .The set was recorded in a single take in my Shepherds Hut in Herefordshire so is complete with mistakes etc but felt that was the best way to capture it. The songs range from a re-vamp of the first song I ever wrote through to some less familiar tracks and a couple of older favourites .

As the show is broadcast in the middle of the night in the UK, I’ll put the show up live on my YouTube page the day afterwards through the following link :

Moving On and Perfect Mistake

A couple of new Demo recordings this month :

Way back when I first started out playing music and songwriting as a teenager in Bath I wrote my first song “Moving On ” as a straightforward electric blues song .

I’ve played with it periodically over the years and recently rewrote and updated it some 45 years later.

I recorded this track in a more acoustic style , to try to create an “old time ” feel with Ted Fordney on bass.

Moving On 2021

As lockdown continues here I’ve carried on my recording projects and tried to try different things . This is a new song which grew out of an instrumental developed on my newly built tenor guitar

The song and title “Perfect Mistake” came from an interview with John Prine that I listened to a couple of months ago, after his sad passing due to Covid. He was a fantastic songwriter who I only re-discovered 3 or4 years ago, although he featured on the 2nd album I ever bought back in the 70’s .

This recording features Tenor and acoustic guitar along with Ted Fordney on Double Bass.

Perfect Mistake

A Little bit of History

One thing that the periods spent in Lockdown has enabled me to do is to revisit my computer hard drives and music archives and re-look at tracks that might be of interest .

I initially transferred my oldest band recordings from some very old cassette tapes into a digital format . After cleaning them up I re-mastered a few of the most worthwhile tracks and this is one of them, and I think it still captures some of the energy of that period.

Loving You isn’t Easy was recorded a studio in SouthHill Park in Bracknell in 1978 by Stolen Goods . This was one of two tracks from that session and featured the lineup of :

Alan Maskell : Guitars and Vocals

Alison Mountjoy : Vocals

Linda Allen : Piano, Vocals

Jan König : Bass

David Key : Drums

I wrote this song during the summer of 1976, and although I began a brief difficult relationship at that time, I’m not sure it actually refers to it.

Loving You isn’t Easy

Just to add some embarrassment and illustrate the fashion failures of the time here is a band promo picture from that year . This was just before punk really became an influence.

The second track I rediscovered was much more recent and from a session in 2003 although I don’t actually remember where we recorded it . At the time it was shelved and personal circumstances took over for a while and by the time we re-grouped in 2004 to record the second Ulterior Motives album “Simple Schemes” it was forgotten.

Anyway Sleepless Nights as a song dates back again to the Summer of 1976, and had formed part of the Stolen Goods live set . This recording features :

Alan Maskell : Guitar, Vocals

Pete Young : Piano, keyboards , Vocals

Gus Mills : Bass

This was 3/4 of Ulterior Motives , but our drummer had recently suffered a serious heart issue and was on a compulsory rest , hence the use of a machine on this recording .

Sleepless Nights 2003

Lockdown Recordings

As we started the new year with another lockdown in The UK , I’ve continued the demo recording process for new songs .

50 Shades of Grey :This song was written at the end of 2020 , but doesn’t mention covid or lockdowns, instead focusses on tolerance and equality , which I hope will be given much more consideration ( particularly in the USA ) in 2021. It’s also about debate and the fact that many things are not black and white but have nuances ,and opinions should be open to influence rather than remaining entrenched .

Apart from that it’s a jolly pop production, and I’m joined on bass by Ted Fordney , socially distanced in the Florida sunshine .

50 Shades of Grey

For those that missed the live broadcast , my set recorded for Common Grounds is available to watch/listen to on YouTube :

New “Live” Set from Common Grounds

This Wednesday 13th January I have a new set which will be airing as part of the Common Grounds open mic on KDW radio in Northport Florida.

I recorded my set in advance here in the UK , as I’m not able to attend in person , but it will be a 30 minute set including some brand new songs . My set will close the show at 8:30 pm ET . Please try to listen in and continue to support this venue which was an oasis for acoustic music in this part of Florida .

It should be live on on Facebook :

or go and listen on

Live Video

It’s hard to believe it was 12 months ago that I played my last gig in Florida , when we took over JR’s Old Packinghouse for the evening . It was great to be joined on stage by  Ted Fordney and Rico for the evening plus lots of individual guests . Big thanks to Roman, Wendy, Kate, RJ, Rick , Joe , Bob and Stretch, and to Stretch and Gail for organising the evening for me it was great fun, and I won’t forget it. This has seemed like a long 12 months at times, and yet this night seemed like only yesterday . Here are a few fabulous pictures from the night taken by Josie


About a month ago, in the absence of the likelihood of a trip to Florida for the foreseeable future I recorded a set for the Common Grounds open mic , which for technical reasons hasn’t made it to air. So here is a 30 minute live set which I’ve called CG at Home with a mix of old and new songs recorded in my hut in Herefordshire.  If the video starts part way through, please rewind to the start !!!

CG at Home

If you like this a number of these songs are on  my latest album “Wildflowers ” , available on Bandcamp   plus all of the usual streaming and download services  .

Wildflowers Album Released


This Album was conceived in early 2018 and most of the new original songs were written during late 2017 -mid 2018. This was personally a very difficult period for me as after undergoing surgery I also endured 7 months of Chemotherapy, in the middle of which I relocated from the USA to the UK.

It was a time to reflect on life and the things that were important and also look back on some periods in my early life.

It is intended to be played as an entity with an intro and an outro, which is not cool in this time of streaming, but ultimately that is personal choice.

In the main we recorded the tracks initially as a live “one take” acoustic recording adding additional parts over time in a variety of locations  in the UK and in Florida .

I need to say a big thank you to a few people who were involved in this project:

Andy Boyd : I have worked with Andy for almost 40 years now from early recordings in a living room in Faringdon to this album. Andy provides a massive amount of support and technical expertise to the recording process . We spent a number of long days taking over the living room at the barn and converting it to a studio with its own clear acoustics. Andy also supported me on a personal level during my difficult period of treatment and I am forever grateful to him for that.

Ted Fordney : Ted worked on the tracks from Florida and spent many hours working with my quirky songs and then sending back often 2 or 3 different bass parts to choose from .He also adds some great backing vocals and a ghostly voice on Nightmare !  We haven’t had the chance to play together in person for almost a year now , but I look forward to that day immensely .

Tessa Mapp : Once again I roped in Tess to add some beautiful cello to a number of tracks . We were lucky to be  able to capture these just before lockdown struck.

Pete Young : Along with Andy I’ve worked with Pete for nearly 40 years and he played the fabulous piano part on Wildflowers , bringing to life my idea for that  track.

Rick Hardeman : Rick and I have played together on a number of occasions during my time in Florida including on this track Taken Away.  He very generously agreed to give me the time to record his flute part on my visit to Florida last year.

Corey Blanchette : Corey helped me in the recording of Ricks flute part as well as providing an electric guitar solo on Sunrise which stretched me in another direction.

Josie Maskell : For the fabulous photography and artwork

Wildflowers is available to download from my Bandcamp site

It’s also on all the major on-line music sites to purchase , and can be streamed on Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify etc. I have produced a short run of CD’s which were planned for sale at  gigs, but if you’d like a physical copy message me and I will try to arrange it.

I’m not looking to make any money from this album, but in the current climate would encourage you to give your support to the many talented songwriters and musicians who rely on this for their income and are currently suffering due to the effect of Covid .

Track lyrics and notes are available on this website if you click on the tab and download the file, you’ll be able to understand the background to each song , or just sing along if that’s your thing!!

Breaking The Silence and Lockdown recordings

It’s been a busy few months and I decided to take a break from any on-line presence .There was just too much negativity around this summer .

In May ,following the first relaxing of lockdown, we moved into our new home in the English Countryside in Herefordshire. This was followed by the sale of our barn where we’d lived for 22 years , and we finally moved everything out at the end of August.

I now have a new music room/studio in a Shepherds Hut in the garden , where I can get back to writing and developing my playing .

I’ve really missed playing live and it looks like it will be a long time before  we’ll be back to any sort of normality in live music venues. Somehow playing to a video camera/phone with no audience doesn’t give the same buzz.

As we (hopefully) avoid going back into Lockdown again, I’ve decided to make available the 3 tracks I recorded during the original lockdown in early Summer.

All three tracks were a bit of an experiment with recording techniques and styles and I was joined ( safely socially distanced by more than 2000 miles) by Ted Fordney on bass and backing vocals and general useful suggestions.


This is a jangly pop song , written back in February and demo’d very differently at that time . Tried to get a 60’s psychedelic pop feel.

Country Flowers

An alternative take on the title track to the new album. A chance for me to experiment with the Lap Steel guitar and try to achieve an intentionally country folk feel .

Twelfth Night

Another brand new track demo’d acoustically in January. This is intended as a sort of chilled, percussion driven mix for a song about post Christmas blues.

These songs are very much early versions and over time and playing live may well develop and change but the recordings at least capture a period in time.

The new album Wildflowers  is about to go live on streaming services and on my Bandcamp site . Will Post all the launch details next week  . Watch this space


Different Times

I didn’t manage to post in March for a number of reasons and also have no new song to add this month , but I’m sure we’ll catch up in a few weeks !

March began badly with the news that our good friend from Sarasota , Tony Neubroch sadly lost his battle with Cancer after more than 7 years. Tony and I shared a certain camaraderie 2 years ago as I was going through my treatment and I am honoured to have known him. For those  who didn’t know him, he was a poet and would often appear at Open Mics to read  a selection of his work. To quote from Tony’s 2015 book :

” It has often been said that our time here is short and to make it as meaningful as we can. We cannot know what lies beyond today or all our tomorrows. With this thought I am reminded that our life is nothing but a feather’s touch”

The latter part of March saw the world change with plans altered and lives put on hold as we face the biggest global crisis of our lifetime . It’s a time of great stress, hardship and worry for so many people and for an ever increasing number personal tragedy.

We have limited ability to change things personally , and it times feel pretty helpless. I have resorted to playing music to keep me sane during this period of “lockdown” and whilst not writing new songs , have been revisiting old ones, and started recording the occasional live video to put out on facebook and Youtube, to stay in touch with people both in the UK and US . The Four songs posted to date are:

Rose Tattoo

Learn to be Still

Labour Day


I decided to delay releasing the Wildflowers album for a while as I certainly won’t be playing live anywhere soon ,although I may make it available on-line only in June as a starting point. All the tracks are recorded , mixed and mastered and Josie is finishing off the artwork so we’re pretty much good to go.

As an additional pastime I’ve been recording some bonus tracks with Ted Fordney ( with 2000 miles social distancing) and at some point soon studio versions of Twelfth Night, Gemini, and an alternative take on Wildflowers will appear here.  This has given me the chance to learn bit more about the lap steel guitar and play the recycled lap steel I built in February which has been good fun .

This was built from a 25 year old plank found in my garage, plywood, aluminium angle and a pickup and controls from an old electric guitar. It sounds suitably sweet and is great fun to play.

That’s all for a while but a new post will follow shortly with the stories behind some of the songs from the new album.

Stay safe and for now at least stay home !