Middlebrooks & Clifton

“A shared interest and passion for the ambient, experimental, improvisational and unusual aspects of guitar playing – as well as  FX innovations –  lead us to discuss making time to play and record together. As tends to happen during the busy days of working life, family commitments, work schedules and travel tend to take president over organising self-indulgent noodling and recording sessions! Good intentions sometimes take a little longer than planned to come to fruition, as most musicians will testify. Some four years after our initial discussions, we planned a rehearsal and playing time – and then had to cancel it due to illness. So we finally agreed that there was only one solution. Play a concert together and see what happens. In at the deep end, to say the least.

Jason Boardman, enthusiastic entrepreneur, promoter, musician and fan of all things experimental and left of centre, kindly offered us a show at Knoxville’s premier alternative music venue, the Pilot Light. And so it was that on a wintery November evening, we finally made it happen. Matt Honkonen took care of all the the live recording technicalities, the post production and mixing and mastering process. St. Thomas LeDoux did a great job mixing the live sound in the venue. And we would like to extend our grateful thanks to the enthusiastic audience, as well as to all fans of experimental ambient music.” – David. 18th March 2018

 

Brief Biography: George

George is a guitarist, songwriter, expert programmer, guitar maker, vinyl enthusiast and tech genius. He is the proud husband of Heather and delighted father of Naomi, his three-year-old office assistant. He’s always happy when he makes it across his office/studio in the half-light without terminally damaging his feet on small pink plastic children’s toys.

www.georgemiddlebrooks.com

Brief Biography: David

David is enjoying stepping out of his comfort zone, experimenting with new musical directions and exploring unusual sonic  territory. He is still resisting the temptation to dot the perfect quaver when song-writing and composing, and is greatly enjoying the vibrant musical life of  Knoxville Tennessee during his American sojourn.

www.davidclifton.com

Joanne Hogg

Joanne is the lead singer of the Celtic band Iona. She was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister and a nurse. She studied medicine at Queen’s University Belfast, and following an audition at an arts festival in Holland, was invited to join a singing group based in Denmark. She took a year off from her studies, and also recorded for Adrian Snell on his landmark Alpha and Omega project. She subsequently returned to Queens to complete her two remaining years of study, and then interned as a junior doctor at Belfast City Hospital to complete her registration.

Some six months into her internship, she was taken seriously ill and was consequently required to rest and recover. She eventually completed her registration as a doctor, but was advised on medical grounds not to continue in full-time medical practice. It was during her convalescence that she was contacted by Dave Bainbridge and David Fitzgerald, who were in the process of forming Iona and were convinced that Joanne was the right choice to take the role of lead singer and co-composer. She agreed, and the rest is history. Since then, Iona have toured all over Europe and America, and their recordings have become phenomenally successful worldwide, making them one of Europe’s best-selling Celtic bands.

Joanne recorded her first solo album in 1999, entitled Looking into Light a selection of newly arranged traditional hymns, with musicians from Iona providing the instrumental melodies. In 2001, Hogg collaborated with vocalists Máire Brennan and Margaret Becker and released an album of New Irish Hymns, the first of three in a series of similar projects.

In 2008, she released two solo albums, Raphael’s Journey and Personal. Raphael’s Journey is available only as a download and features friend Máire Brennan of Clannad. Her Personal album was also released alongside a press release designed to give fans an insight into the process and making of the album.

Her vocals have also been featured in videogames, most notably the Sony PlayStation role-playing video game, Xenogears. You can stay in touch with her latest recording and touring work at www.Iona.uk.com

Charlotte Smith

The new English folk song album (including an Irish one!) from Charlotte is currently in the final stages of production and editing, and all being will be mixed in the summer ready for a release during early Autumn. The working title is “The Tree In The Wood” and it is all sounding great!

Andy Piercy & David Clifton

Andy Piercy and David Clifton have been writing and recording together for over twenty years. They first met whilst working on the pre-production for an EMI  and Warner Chappell album project by Steve Booker, which Andy was  co-producing.

David and Andy both have a long history and  background in the British music industry. Andy was lead singer and songwriter for the rock band After The Fire, and toured with Queen, ELO and Van Halen as well as having a top 5 hit in the USA with ‘Der Kommissar ‘(Don’t Turn Around) in the 80’s. Andy then went on to produce artists such as Nine Below Zero, Gary Numann, and T’Pau. His recent production work has been for sacred music artists as diverse as Rita Springer, Kim Hill, Delirious, Martin Chalk, Graham Kendrick and Matt Redman. David was signed to Virgin Records with the indie band Sensible Jerseys who were championed by John Peel before going on to tour and record with some of the UK’s most respected artists, including Tanita Tikaram, Mary Coughlan, Julia Fordham and Steve Booker. Over the years his session recording work has encompassed many musical genres, including Madness, Mickey Hart, Pele, Paul Heaton (Beautiful South), Haley Westenra, Helen Watson, Delirious (Cutting Edge 1), Matt Redman, Robin Mark, Graham Kendrick and Kim Hill.

Their songwriting has mostly been in the sacred music arena; they were both on the music team at Holy Trinity Brompton, London where they helped develop the contemporary and renewal worship, and trained new church musicians and songwriters. Their own songwriting is often been praised for its strong use of scripture, Biblical texts and sound theology, within an accessible musical style that suits modern congregational singing.

David Clifton

After a childhood filled with music as a choral scholar at Peterborough Cathedral, and studies David Clifton signed first to Red Bus/EMI music, then to PVK records with soul/folk singer Harvey Morgan in Indian Summer, joining blues legend Peter Green who was also signed to the label. A few years later, an invitation to join indie rock band Sensible Jerseys resulted in a move to London. The band were championed by broadcasting legend John Peel, and were played regularly on his show and on Radio 1. They subsequently signed with Virgin records. Following this indie sojourn, David went on to play for WEA/East West singer songwriter Tanita Tikaram, recording and touring Europe and the USA with her. This was followed by European tours, radio, TV and promotion work playing guitar for the Irish jazz/blues artist Mary Coughlan.

In the early 1990’s he worked with EMI artist Steve Booker, recording a BASF award winning CD with him and touring extensively throughout Europe, opening for acts such as Bob Geldof, Suzanne Vega, Clannad, Steve Earle and the Dukes amongst others.

Whilst preparing for this project, David was introduced to one of  Steve’s producers, Andy Piercy, former lead singer of After The Fire. This led to a writing partnership developing contemporary sacred music and working with the music team at their local church, Holy Trinity Brompton. When not busy with music and production work, they began meeting regularly at Andy’s house in Notting Hill Gate to write, and then David’s home in Covent Garden to record and produce the new songs. This resulted in two ground-breaking albums of their time;  ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow’ and ‘Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs’, incorporating traditional Liturgy and Sacred texts  into a modern musical context.

During the early 90’s and through 2000 he recorded and toured with Virgin Records artist Julia Fordham, playing Japan, the Far East, Europe and the USA, touring with Sarah McLachlan on the Lilleth Fair events, and playing USA dates on Sheryl Crow’s world tour.

The rustic surroundings of a 16th century barn studio in Surrey were the location for writing and recording with Grammy award-winning producer Kipper for Esther Alexander’s ‘Long Way Home’ album. Late 2011 saw the completion of his first Hollywood ‘B Movie’ film soundtrack, and this has lead to more advertising and short film work. Songwriting trips to Nashville have given birth to new material co-written with Phil Keaggy and Phil Madeira. More recently he has been taking time out to write and record his own projects, and enjoying collaborative work with other international artists. You can hear the fruit of this work over the years in the Katie Targett Adams production ‘Hush’, the electronica albums ‘Pulse’ and ‘Flight’ with Mr. Don and the ‘Live Vol.1’ concert with George Middlebrooks. In downtime he’s been working on all he learned from Appalachian claw-hammer banjo genius Matt Morelock. July 2018 saw the release of a new Ambient Abstract guitar album.

Recording sessions over the years have included work for a variety artists, including Julia Fordham, Pele, Helen Watson, Madness, Micky Hart, Tanita Tikaram, Paul Heaton (Beautiful South), Martin Smith & Delirious (Cutting Edge 1), Matt Redman, Mary Coughlan, Robin Mark, Graham Kendrick and Kim Hill amongst many others.

Several new recording projects are currently underway. Charlotte’s traditional folk song album (which David has been producing) is now mixed and ready for mastering. The main tracking sessions for his own folk project were recorded at Scott Minor’s studio in Knoxville Tennessee utilising a restored vintage tape MCI tape machine and original vintage outboard effects equipment, including a Neve desk, and CLASP recording technology. A concurrent project is of sacred music was recorded at 5th Avenue in Knoxville with Will Reagan engineering the live sessions. David and engineer Ben McAmis are currently completing the production work via their cross-Atlantic partnership! It will showcase modern Liturgical sacred music. In addition, a classical string quintet and piano project ‘Fruit Of The Spirit’ was released in September 2019, and a new folk album, Marble City Skyline, in August 2020 and both can be streamed and downloading from all digital music sites. They are also available on CD from the Little Room Store. Fruit Of The Spirit is also released on limited edition 180 gram vinyl.