Archive for October, 2009

IAIN MATTHEWS A Complete (?) Discography

This discography attempts to list the original release of all the recordings which feature IAIN MATTHEWS. All catalogue numbers refer to UK releases unless otherwise noted. Subsequent reissues are only included if they include additional material. Please write if you spot any errors or omissions. Thanks.

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fled-3083-webFor singer-songwriter Iain Matthews Joy Mining represents a real career highlight. With a recording career as long, illustrious and industrious as that of Mr Matthews that is some claim. A few years he began working in Holland with the acclaimed Searing Quartet led by pianist Egbert Derix, their debut album is a very rare and beautiful collection. The songs are like exquisite jewels – intimate, introspective and deeply personal – set to the finest jazz arrangements and playing of the award-winning quartet. Having followed Iain’s music since What We Did On Our Holidays in 1969, we are very, very proud to have the opportunity to present Joy Mining on Fledg’ling.

“What Egbert, Peter, Norbert, Sjoed and I have created, is for me, beyond words. From a very special musical connection, that happens once, possibly twice in a lifetime, without rhyme, or reason came this disc. Love it, hate it, or show your ambivalence, this is beyond all doubt and discussion the best album of my career and I’m deeply indebted to all involved, for making a long anticipated dream a reality.” Iain Matthews, September 2008.

“Joy Mining strays off of the beaten path and therefore it’s absolutely worthwhile listening.”

“Joy Mining is an album with many layers. You have to peel away those layers like an onion. Everytime you listen to it, the music offers something new.”



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Iain Matthews was born Ian Matthews McDonald on June 16th 1946 in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, into a family with two younger brothers. After leaving school he started working as an interior decorator / signwriter before moving to London in 1966. As one of the vocalists in a British surfing band Pyramid he recorded a single for Deram Records called The Summer of Last Year in 1967. Prior to joining the band, Iain worked in Ravel’s shoe shop in London’s famous Carnaby Street. Through producer Joe Boyd he learnt of a vacancy for a vocalist in Fairport Convention, which he joined in 1967 before they had recorded (and before Sandy Denny joined them). He appeared on the group’s first single If I Had A Ribbon Bow, released on the Track label and on their self-titled debut album for Polydor. Fairport Convention then moved to the hip Island Records label. With Judy Dyble replaced by Sandy Denny, the group released their early breakthrough album What We Did On Our Holidays. Matthews left the group during the recording of mid-1969’s Unhalfbricking, because it had become obvious to everyone that the group’s new-found traditional folk-rock direction would involve him far less than its previous contemporary “underground” work.

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Many years ago, singer Iain Matthews agreed to be interviewed for the Hokey Pokey newsletter. With great kindness he answered all the questions from the cub reporter, effecting not to be disappointed by the reporter’s repetition of the same old questions. Hokey Pokey eventually led, in a round about fashion, to the Fledg’ling label. You can imagine how proud we are to be releasing Mr Matthews’ latest recording. In Iain’s opinion it is the best record of his career. Artiste’s often say that, but in the case of Joy Mining he may well be right.

Iain Matthew’s career has been a long and illustrious one, journeying from Pyramid, through Fairport Convention, Matthews Southern Comfort and Plainsong to a remarkable series of poetic solo albums. On paper, his collaboration with the Searing Quartet is a strange pairing. Egbert Derix is an established jazz composer, from the Netherlands and Iain Matthews’ roots, have taken hold in contemporary singer/songwriter circles. However, if we break down these borders, look deeper and think in terms of quality, rather than genres, it’s a musical marriage made in heaven. The pair first came together in 2003, touring with a live version of Matthew’s legendary 1970 solo album “If You Saw Thro’ My Eyes”. Plans were made at the time to forge a writing partnership, only for it to be capsized by other career commitments. But not before they had two new songs in the bag and the realization that an ease and understanding of the writing process existed between them.


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