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For songs: www.reverbnation.com/JDandtheLongfellows
JD and the Longfellows are primarily:
Josh (JD) Davis: Singing, gesturing, bellowing, song-writing, guitar and
triangle (ex Macavity's Cat, Buc Buc Bucket Band)
Clare McDonald (nee Portman): Singing, guitar, piano, whistle, percussion,
washboard, tie washboard, eggs
Gemma Gayner: Violin and singing (ex. Greg McDonald, Sur les Docks, Dealers
with Pierre Vincent, Irrepressibles, Baba Luck)
Jo Honey: Piano, singing and operatics
JD and the Longfellows formed in SE London in 2005 with the aim of creating a musical cocktail of original dynamic folk music, perfect for every bar, flea pit, or festival. The songs have been likened to the musical equivalent of mini-disaster movies, with an over-indulgence of country, a splash of skiffle, and a flagon of harmonies. They’ll get any audience dancing and singing along, and most importantly for landlords – drinking in celebration! Having played over 250 gigs, over the years the line-up has changed, although Clare, Josh and Gemma have been ever-present.
JD and the Longfellows recordings
Confessions (2006) is a 14-track JD-penned ‘homage’ to the often calamitous ramifications of the art of drinking (titles include: Another Drink, Another Round, Another Bar, Another Town, Wedding of the Year, Another Glass of Whiskey, Women and Alcohol bring out the Devil in Me). It still receives regular USA Celtic-themed radio play and was voted one of the Top 10 albums of 2006 by a New York radio station and just outside the top 10 by another in Boston.
Happy Hour Again! (2008) draws on the some of the alcoholic themes of Confessions (Welcome to the Morning After), while dragging the band on an angst-ridden trail of Zombie Love, and Revenge, while enjoying a Stereotypical Night out in Stereotypical Town. The album contains 12 songs and finished 3rd on a Boston radio station top 10 list of 2008.
“Some of the best music to come off that little island empire in a while.”
With a slight change of line-up and direction, Swinging for England (2011) contains 10 songs perhaps reminiscent of Musical Folk Theatre due to the vivacious lyrical exchange between JD and Clare, and Gemma’s often orchestral string arrangements.
“Put this on at a bash and you’ve got a guaranteed knees-up, and sing-a-long classics like “Swinging for England”, “Losers, Cruisers and Dirty Rotten Schmoozers” and “Good Time” will sort out the poseurs from the party animals”
The band has also been recorded live at the BBC’s Broadcasting House and they have played London clubs including the 100 Club, Gypsy Hotel, What's Cookin', Stranger than Paradise, the 12 Bar Club, and the Green Note Cafe. Festivals have included Rochester Sweeps, Basingstoke Live, Clennell Hall Festival Northumberland, Hampshire Octoberfest, and Bergues, France. Their biggest audience was when warming up 20,000 London Irish Rugby Club fans at the Madejski Stadium, and they have even entertained 250 primary school children.
With the introduction to the line-up in 2014 of the multi-talented pianist and singer Jo Honey, the band are particularly looking forward to releasing a brand new acoustic-flavoured album to celebrate their 10th anniversary in 2015 and they all solemnly promise to keep up their reputation to: -
“Sweep the place with joy, with their off-the-dial feel-good factor”
All this has only been possible with loads of help from a bucketfull of very talented musical friends...
Robbie Fraser RIP
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