A week or so back I caught up with our old friend Ralph Jordan and obtained an update on Nic; given Mudcatters past interest in the subject I'm relaying that information here (with Ralph's permission, of course).
For "new readers" I'll add some background to the end of this article. In brief, Nic was one of the very finest young performers and interpreters of the UK folk revival, who produced some of the most outstanding recordings of arrangements of traditonal song.
In 1982 he had an accident when driving home from a gig, and has been unable to perform since. There are only two Nic recordings still available; Click_here for details and some bacground.
The second of those recordings, In Search of Nic Jones is a collection of material gathered together after his accident and published to provide income for Nic and his family - and as a service to folk fans (see the above "clicky thingy" for confirmation). For a while there's been talk of a second volume of this material.
The good news is that it's nearly ready! It will (almost certainly) be entitled Unearthed and will feature a rather macarbre cover design from Tony Hall - which, I hasten to add, Nic and Julia Jones have seen and had a good laugh over . . . The track order has now been fixed and it's "ready to go". However having missed the opportunity of getting the album out in time for the Festivals those involved in the project have decided to go for an autumn release so shop early for Christmas. Ralph is maintaining a list of those who want to be notified when its ready; if you want to go on that list then send me your email details [Click here to mail me] and I'll forward them to Ralph.
More good news is most of the material on Unearthed was professionally recorded, so the quality is generally excellent. Ralph's really excited about it, and he's a guy whose judgement can be trusted! As for why it's taken so long . . . well, the idea has always been to keep costs to a mimimum so as to maximise the benefit to Nic and his family, so it's had to be fitted in around peoples day jobs.
The bad news is that this is almost certainly the last of the unreleased recordings of Nic, so don't miss it!
On the personal level, Ralph reports Nic as being in excellent spirits, and playing a bit of guitar for his own amusement - Ralph said the two of them knocked out a few tunes. (Before anyone asks, there's no chance of Nic performing again - although Pete Coe did report a while back that he was joining in the choruses at the Banddogs reunion at the Ryburn Three Step club . . )
Oh, and sorry to be here so seldom these days . . . it's the pressure! I'll try to keep an eye on this thread, but sorry but I'll have to try especially hard to ignore everything else.
Very best wishes to you all, George
Some notes on the people mentioned: Nic is well-covered on the Mudcat; use the searches.
Ralph Jordan is one of the nicest guys I have the pleasure of knowing. He's also the best sound engineer I've met (I'd guess the highspot I've seen in this area is his work with "Andrew Cronshaw and . . (including June Tabor)", but he's also Stocai's favourite. He's also probably the most under-acknowledged performer in the UK folk scene; fine guitarist, McCann duet 'tina player, and singer. These days he's most likely to be seen as an honorary Fraser Sister.
Tony Hall works as a cartoonist for an East Anglian regional paper (and elswhere), and a very fine one he is (his works go under the name of Fieldvole). He's also an outstanding melodeon player. Club organisers - it's well worth booking him for the sight of his arriving by motorcycle with boxes strapped everywhere, but his performance won't disappoint, either. He emerged all too briefly from his usual obscurity to peform (on record and on tour) as part of the original Silly Sisters band. Out of that project also emerged his first recording, Fieldvole Music on which he had Nic Jones and Johnny Moignihan (sorry, I can't spell!) guesting for him. It is a classic recording - which, sadly, has been Bulmered. He made a second recording Mr Universe some 20 years later, which is excellent but doesn't match the earlier one.