Ronnie & Paul
In the 1980s Ronnie was working in Oman. Having played harmonicas since the 1960s he joined up with a folk collective The Ruwi Workshop as a sideman. From there he moved to front an army band Strait Bends as vocalist. Returning to Portsmouth in 1986 formed Weather Permitting; a trio which sparked his interest in song writing.
Career moves meant time out from the late 80s until late 90s when he returned to play in the street with the then infamous Flash Company of Otley, playing jazz, blues and rock for Morris Dancers. In-between Ronnie would back Adrian O’Connor on gigs in County Claire. A highlight was gigs in O’Connor’s Bar in Doolin! On one particular gig Adrian and Ronnie were joined by Steve Grainger the sax player. It was a memorable occasion to hear jazz sax, harmonica guitar and voice covering popular Irish songs!
Recently, he moved back to his home in North Yorkshire, and has acted as sideman for several local players, particularly *Stan Whalley whose brand of country music is always well chosen and challenging. He has recently played with Doc Noir, a Saltburn based band.
Deciding to learn guitar he went to *Paul Cornwall. After several months, Paul gave him some chords and said to go away and write a song. He wrote The Gate. Paul encouraged the song writing and added his brilliant guitar work to the album Poverty Lane. Alongside this is the superb keyboards of *Ian Sidgwick at Big in Heaven studio. As Ronnie said afterwards the mistakes are mine!!
*Ian Sidgwick has worked as a session keyboard/piano player and singer among various musical luminaries and shared the same bill with some of then world's rock legends including Phil Collins, The Rolling Stones and Suzanne Vega to name a few.
*Paul was born in Haslemere Surrey and raised in Sussex and Hampshire. From the age of fourteen he played professionally and semi-professionally and went on to study music at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
In 2005 he made an album “Fortunes Wheel” with accompaniment from Emily Portman, Jim Causley, members of Bellowhead, Broom Bezzums, The Shee and The Kate Rusby Band.
Teaching music now occupies most of his time.
*Stan worked with rock and dance bands from the early 60’s through to the late 70’s, playing mainly in the North of England. After a time in the Home Counties playing bass with a rock band and later with a six piece band who had ventured into the fairly unknown genre of folk rock, he returned home to Teesside. Family and business commitments took him off the road for over 30 years. When he finally returned to music he met up with Ronnie and together they worked creatively on some unique country/folk arrangements.