Robb Johnson

Pennypot Lane

Image of Robb Johnson - Pennypot Lane

About this item

January 2024 looked endless; I needed to do some recording to cheer myself up. The studio I usually use was booked all month, but before the disasters of Brexit & Covid I’d met pianist Yves Meerschaut in Gent, and he’d shown me his recording studio, Room 13, and that did have a couple of days free in January…

I decided to make a record of old songs that other people have liked, and / or that I play differently now, and / or that haven’t appeared on vinyl before. So, here, there’s:

“Pennypot Lane”, a fox song that people like, “Winter Turns to Spring” that was Tony Benn’s favourite song, “The Blue Sea Says Yes”, a song about how the sea welcomes us all, heroic or fragile, equally in our mortality (something like that anyway) , that I had forgotten about till people started saying how much they liked it, “More Than Enough”, that Roy Bailey and Martin Simpson have kindly rescued from the obscurity of its previous appearance on a CD in 1992, “Babbecombe at the Closing of the Day”, a song about going to Babbecombe model village, “At the Siege of Madrid” which quite a few people like, but is one of those songs that always somehow eludes a definitive performance, “A True History of Couscous”, a song I like that is more or a less fictionalized autobiography, and lastly..

“You Don’t Have to Say Goodbye”. This is a song from my first CD; Thames Valley folk-stalwart Terry Silver used to enjoy performing it so that afterwards he could shock audiences who’d been happily singing along to it by revealing it had been written by that dreadful lefty Robb Johnson, It’s also, more recently, a song our son Arvin likes very much too, and he graces this version with his characteristically modest tasteful Spanish guitar playing. He also nagged me into doing the artwork for the cover.

Three of these songs are lucky enough to have Yves’s breathtaking, exquisite piano playing embellishing them, and Sian Allen gifts “Madrid” some beautiful trumpet accompaniment too. But primarily, for good or ill, it’s mainly me with an acoustic guitar. Robb Johnson, May 24.


Side A
Pennypot Lane
Winter Turns To Spring
The Blue Sea Says Yes
More Than Enough

Side B
Babbecombe At The Closing Of The Day
At The Siege Of Madrid
A True History Of Couscous
You Don't Have To Say Goodbye

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