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REG MEUROSS The Stockfisch recordings SACD/CD

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Reg Meuross was invited to Germany by the innovative producer Gunter Pauler, director of cutting edge audiophile studios Stockfisch Records, to record this eponymously titled new release. The resulting album, out on Friday 13th July 2018, is a brand new retrospective; new recordings and arrangements of 12 songs selected by Pauler from the Somerset singer-songwriter’s extensive repertoire. This collection will be of interest to existing fans to are interested to hear fresh arrangements of some of their favourite songs and will give new listeners an opportunity to discover an artist whose work covers “Love, death, politics, social commentary,” as the music writer, reviewer and radio presenter Mike Davies attests in the sleeve notes, “these are all tools of the singer-songwriter’s trade and, whether drawn from life or imagination, Reg Meuross wields them with the best, crafting songs that touch the heart, stimulate the mind, leave you in a warm glow of contentment or a fire of righteous indignation in equal measure.” The UK launch of the album will be in Oxford’s prestigious Holywell Rooms, hosted by Holywell Music & Folk on Friday 13th July, doors 7pm – all details holywellmusicandfolk.co.uk

Honoured by Stockfisch’s invite, Reg says “It was a real pleasure to work with Gunther and his team, and to make these new recordings of some of my classics on some of the finest recording equipment in the world. Gunther had a clear vision of how he wanted the songs to sound and I gave him free range to achieve this.”

Gunther came across a recording of England Green & England Grey by chance at the end of 2016: “I was immediately impressed by his vocal and lyrics. I knew this would be a perfect fit for our Stockfisch label, so we invited Reg into the studio. The recording session was as good as expected and it was joy to work with Reg. It’s great that the songs of the final album span such a variety of different topics. We are very happy to include Reg on the Stockfisch label.”

SLEEVE NOTES by Mike Davies / Writer for "Melody Maker" and "Sounds" in the late 70s, has written for local, national and international music publications for over 40 years. Currently presents "Alternative Roots" on Brum Radio and is a regular music reviewer for various publications.

Love, death, politics, social commentary, these are all tools of the singer- songwriter’s trade and, whether drawn from life or imagination, Reg Meuross wields them with the best, crafting songs that touch the heart, stimulate the mind, leave you in a warm glow of contentment or a fire of righteous indignation in equal measure. That is certainly true of this collection of songs revisited from across his career.

Sounding a political note, England Green & England Grey details factory closures, corporate greed and the dismantling of the NHS to the backdrop of a hymnal tune that conjures the ‘green’ of a cultural folk tradition embodied in names such as John Bull, Cecil Sharp and Lennon and McCartney.

Two world wars find their way into the songs here. And Jesus Wept tells the story of Harry Farr who, in 1916, suffering from shellshock, was shot for desertion. It’s dedicated to Farr’s daughter Gertrude and granddaughter Janet whose efforts led him to become the first of the 306 British soldiers executed in such circumstances to be granted a posthumous pardon. Likewise, advancing the years to WWII, For Sophie (This Beautiful Day) tells another true story, that of Sophie Scholl, a young student at Munich University who, appalled at the activities of the Nazi Party, founded, along with her brother and friends, the White Rose movement dedicated to non-violent resistance and was executed for treason in 1943.

Another true story can be found with The Band Played 'Sweet Marie, a tender piano waltz about the violin bought by Maria Robinson for her fiancé Wallace Hartley, the bandleader on The Titanic, who, according to legend, played her song as the ship went down.

Looking for Johnnie Ray references another real figure, Ray being a massive singing star in the 50s, best known for his recording of "Cry" and dubbed The Prince of Wails on account of his performing style. The gently swaying song uses him to exemplify the ideal man for an unlucky in love woman searching for “a guy who’s not too tough to cry.” Ironically, of course, in real life Ray was both gay and an alcoholic.

Love, its questing, comfort, fallout and heartache, fuels several songs - the prospect of returning to a lover’s arms in A One Way Ticket To Louise, the pain of a broken relationship that aches through Jealous and I Need You and the longing and loneliness that infuses The Shoreline and the Sea.

There’s loneliness too in The Man in Edward Hopper’s Bar as, far from home, the singer sits watching the nighthawk barflies that haunt the early hours of a back street dive, while the poignant Good With His Hands sees a song relating memories of his carpenter father, ‘hopeless in love’ and broken inside after his wife leaves him.

But after all the hurt, all the sacrifices and all the injustices, Worry No More serves to remind that there is yet a still small voice, whether that be the god of your chosen faith, a friend in need or just the man in the moon there to listen, to support and to bring light in times of darkness. Just like these songs.