top of page

2017 NEWS

(scroll down for older items)

A Busy Time!

5th September 2017 

It's been a while since I've found time to update the website, what with completing Adrian Snell's Alpha & Omega 30th Anniversary album (available now from ), working on the new Strawbs studio album 'The Ferryman's Curse' (available to pre-order now from and some great gigs with Sally Minnear. I've also played on a few tracks on the new album by great Dutch musician/composer Sjoerd Visser  and have a few other sessions coming up in the next few weeks. I also need to find time to mix the Dave & Sally promo video we recorded with Dave Brons back in July (phew!).  The Lifesigns album 'Cardington', on which I played a lot of the guitar parts will be in stock at Lifesigns HQ any day now - you can get on cd or vinyl at There are loads of gigs coming up in the next few months with various artists - see the Shows page for latest list and hope to see some of you there!  

Meanwhile, the Celestial Fire band 'Live in the UK' DVD/2 cd album continues to get some very positive reviews, including a new one in Highlands Magazine on France. For those of you who have yet to purchase the album go to where we still have some special bundle offers in which you can get either of my albums 'Celestial Fire' or 'The Remembering' for a reduced price when you order the dvd! (NB The dvd is NTSC, Region 0 format, so should play on all dvd players).


9TH APRIL 2017 

The brand new Celestial Fire band Live in the UK album is now in stock! The artwork (by Debbie Bainbridge) looks great and we're thrilled with how the whole thing looks and sounds. Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered the album - that really helped us cover the manufacturing costs. All the pre-orders have now been sent out and we're getting some very positive feedback. Please keep this coming - we love to read your comments. For those of you who have yet to purchase the album go to where we also have some special bundle offers for a limited time in which you can get either of my albums 'Celestial Fire' or 'The Remembering' for a reduced price when you order the dvd!


The dvd and 2cd's feature the full 2 hour concert filmed at Fibbers in York and dvd extras include rehearsal, studio footage and a rehearsal and tour photo movie. NB The dvd is NTSC, Region 0 format, so should play on all dvd players.

Check out the new official dvd promo below!



































12TH MARCH 2017

I recently put together a video for the piece 'Collendoorn Suite - part 2' from my solo piano album 'The Remembering'. I wanted to try to capture something of the dream-like quality of the music. See below. 












New Dave & Sally date confirmed!
9th April 2017

I'm pleased to announce that Sally and I will be headlining on the final night of the Holywell Music Festival in Elland, Yorkshire on 16th July. We're scheduled to be on at 10pm. There's a great line up of artists at this small community event at the Elland Golf Club. For tickets and further info go to:

We're hoping to add a few more duo dates this year and will keep you posted.

January 2017 News
30th January 2017

If you missed the recently released Iona statement on Facebook, here is an abridged version of it:

Things have been quiet on the Iona front for a while now and we are often asked when the next gigs/album will be. So we wanted to update you.


For some time we have been considering the future of the band, and during these discussions, it has become clear that, certainly for now, this chapter of Iona’s story, as a touring and recording band, has come to a close. Frank has decided to move on to pursue other challenges and projects. Jo, as well as having a growing need in recent years to prioritise family commitments, has also become increasingly involved in mission work with her home church and will be going on some short mission trips to refugee camps in the coming months.....

....We do not know what will happen in future years, whether we will get together again as Iona. The door will remain open, but for the foreseeable future, the next and exciting chapters of our journey will involve other avenues.

Thank you for all your support and enthusiasm over the years, we so appreciate it. We have had a wonderful journey since that first gig on June 24th 1989, working with so many special people, too many to mention here. We are so grateful for all of you who have listened to our music, attended gigs, bought the cds, promoted concerts, encouraged and supported us.

Do keep visiting the Iona page, where we will continue to post news of projects band members are working on. Dave & Debbie continue to run Open Sky Records and Iona’s cds (and other Open Sky releases) will of course remain available from the web
store (we are currently looking at options to make available the Iona albums that are unavailable at the moment).


For me, as co-founder of the band along with David Fitzgerald way back in 1989, it is very sad, though not unexpected, to have to make this announcement, , but on a positive note, I intend to continue to play pieces from the very considerable body of work that we created together whenever I can, including with Frank in Celestial Fire and in the duo format with Sally Minnear. Many great Iona pieces were either never or only rarely played live and this is one thing I want to rectify, as well as to create more music that I hope will  touch and move people.


After two great gigs in December, I'm looking forward to touring again with the Strawbs in March in the UK. Sadly the planned US tour in April/May has been postponed until either later this year or early next, but there will be more UK dates in October and possibly some in Italy in the summer (tbc).  The Live in Gettysburg DVD/CD, recorded last May at RosFest and is the first Strawbs recording to feature yours truly, should be out for the March tour. The full March tour gig list is on the Gigs page. For further details check with venues and also at:

After delays caused by work on other projects, I've now mixed the whole concert and I have to say that everyone in the band is very excited with how it's sounding. (NB See previous news for more details on the project). My good friend Frank van Essen will be mastering the music any day now and I'll be heading over to Leeds to see how our video producer Richard has got on with all the camera edits in just over a week. So we're getting very close to announcing a release date!

I'm very pleased to say that I am now an official Vintage Guitars endorsee! Many of you may already know about this UK based guitar company, who's aim is to make top quality guitars at affordable prices. I have to say that having played several of their acoustic and electric guitars on trips to the Vintage HQ near Leeds, I've been incredibly impressed with both their workmanship and sound. So much so that on my last visit there I came away with two beautiful 12 string acoustic guitars, designed by master guitarist Paul Brett. These have been incredibly inspiring instruments to play and have already resulted in a load of new composition ideas. I've also used them on two recordings so far - with Lifesigns and with master songwriter Chris Eaton. Here's the link to my official page:
Master Songwriter Chris Eaton, who's songs have been recorded by Cliff Richard, Janet Jackson, Sheena Easton, Donna Summer, Vince Gill, Colin Blunstone and many others, was up at my Open Sky studio just over a week ago. We were working on a song he's written for the National Trust for the Midlands beauty spot Kinver Edge. I played a number of instruments on the track, including the new Vintage 12 string Paul Brett acoustic, my lovely Fylde mandolin and bouzouki, electric guitar and some keys. The haunting vocals on the song are by Chris' wife Abby, and bass by Russ Sargeant.

Post production on this 30th anniversary remake of Adrian Snell's classic album is in full swing now at Open Sky studio, as I aim to transform the raw live recordings into what I hope will be an epic and dynamic new interpretation of the work. My great friend David Fitzgerald will be up at the studio next week adding some extra woodwind and sax parts. 

bottom of page