The Hallicombe Sessions

by Tony Hazzard

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Tim Walker
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Tim Walker Since penning hits for the likes of The Hollies, Manfred Mann and Cliff Richard in the 60s, Tony Hazzard has continued to record and perform his songs in the UK and beyond. This album sets his compositions in an intimate acoustic setting.
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about

In August 2012 I received an email via my website from Juan Soroeta Liceras, Professor of International Law at The University of The Basque Country in San Sebastian, Northern Spain. He told me he’d bought my third album in San Sebastian in 1977, the second one in England some time after later, and that he’d been listening to my songs with ‘friends and lovers’ for almost 40 years. He was very complimentary and I was very touched. He immediately bought my then recently released album, ‘Songs From The Lynher’.

In January 2013 he emailed again to ask if I’d be willing to play at a music club he and some friends were organising to promote small concerts for visiting artistes. So, at the end of August 2013 I flew to Biarritz (the nearest airport) where Juan met me and whisked me off to his house. I played the concert the next evening and another a few days later at his home. His kindness, enthusiasm, and generosity were overwhelming and I was wined and dined like a king before I flew home to reality.

While I was there I met Matt Harding, a singer/songwriter/producer from Utah, USA, who had been living in San Sebastian for several years. Matt and I hit it off immediately, both musically and as friends. Despite the age difference, his life experience of made him seem older than he was and, although from very different backgrounds there were many similarities. I loved what he was doing and vice-versa. At the concerts he acted as interpreter. The following year I returned to San Sebastian for another concert and Matt and I talked about working together somehow.

Early in 2015 Matt contacted me and told me he intended to move back to Utah, so we decided it would be good for him to come to the UK (for the very first time) to see what might happen. His original plan was to return to the US in May, which meant we hadn’t much time, so on 9th April 2015 I met him at the ferry port in Plymouth, he having sailed from Santander in Spain. We had ten days before he returned......

After my last album, which had taken a long time to record, partially because I’d played everything myself and done all the tedious admin work, it took me a long time to summon up the energy to start recording more tracks. I recorded a couple of songs in the same way as before, ie. with quite a lot of self-played instruments and fairly complex arrangements, and had one song mixed twice elsewhere, but still wasn’t entirely happy with it. At the back of my mind I hankered after a producer to take some of the responsibility but hadn’t voiced it to anyone. At the same time, Matt was thinking that we would concentrate on my songs and recordings but hadn’t told me. Accordingly we went with the flow in order to see what happened, neither of us knowing what the other was thinking.

What happened was that Matt naturally assumed the role of producer and I naturally assumed the role of artiste. It was the right decision. Matt was very clear about he wanted to achieve, which essentially was capturing a week in April 2015, a live performance, raw and real, without artifice; flaws and all: essentially, as Matt said later, "with all the cracks", quoting Leonard Cohen: “There is a crack...a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”.

The Recording

There are certainly cracks in this album, which form part of its reality: the initial organic uncertainty of purpose; the time limit, which resulted in a spontaneous and raw performance; the stripped down accompaniment; but I think they all contributed positively in a strange way. What was ideal, as Matt remarked when he first walked into it, was that my all-purpose work/livingroom/office/studio was acoustically perfect, apart from the occasional birdsong outside...

The other ideal aspect was our relaxed working method: we’d record a take then go outside, sit in the sun, and chat (it was in the middle of two weeks of glorious sunshine). Inevitably, some time was given over to having fun, during which Matt fell in love with Cornish beer, Cornish pubs, and the British sense of humour.

Recording was mostly live, using three mics: simultaneous lead vocal and guitar/ukulele, in several cases in one take, with occasional harmonies/percussion/guitar overdubs.

Tony Hazzard, August 2015

"Hallicombe, Arable, 2 acres, 2 rods, 31 perches, £0 8s 10d."
(North Hill Parish Tithe Map, 1841)

credits

released February 29, 2016

Tony Hazzard: Acoustic guitars, ukulele, harmonies, percussion.
Matt Harding: Acoustic guitar, mandolin, bass, percussion.
Cat Leonard: Background vocals on ‘The Spice Trader’

All songs written and composed by Tony Hazzard.
c. Tony Hazzard 2015

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about

Tony Hazzard UK

This legendary songwriter wrote hits for Manfred Mann, The Hollies, The Tremeloes, Herman’s Hermits, Andy Williams, The Yardbirds & Lulu. His song, ‘Fox On The Run’ has been recorded by all the major bluegrass artistes. He also sang backing vocals on three of Elton John’s albums: ‘Elton John’, ‘Tumbleweed Connection’ and ‘Honky Chateau’.
Altogether he has 62 tracks available on iTunes.
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Track Name: The Spice Trader
THE SPICE TRADER

My name is William Kempthorne; fine spices are my trade;
and I ply that trade on a merchantman, and the seven seas I’ve sailed.
I’ve carved the waves of the Persian Gulf; I’ve skimmed the Sunda Strait; but I never dreamed, as I plied my trade, that a spice would seal my fate.

Well, I’ve chased the sun and been drunk on rum in the brothels of Beijing; bought sandalwood and cardamom for the price of a diamond ring. And I’ve shared my spoils with the Ottoman Turk and the Arab drovers, too; and I’ve lain my head on a harlot’s bed in the house of a Syrian Jew.

It was a warm night in the middle of spring when I sailed into her world; and I caught sight of her cinnamon skin as her silken dress unfurled in the warm wind; and the moon was high as it glistened on the shore. I could taste the sweat on the back of her neck and it thrilled me to the core.

I said, “Come with me and we’ll sail the sea all the way to Plymouth Sound; and you’ll be my bride; by the morning tide in marriage we’ll be bound.” So we settled down in a country town where she served my bed and board, and she gave delight to my body and soul and I gave thanks to the Lord.

And then one day, having been away, I returned to find her gone; but I tracked her down to London town, in bed with a minister’s son. So I took my knife and I stabbed him twice and I watched his life-blood flow. Then I kissed her once, while I slit her throat, just because I loved her so.

So here I sit in Newgate gaol, but tomorrow I’ll be free, when they take me hence to that tricorn fence they called the Tyburn Tree. And as I draw my dying breath and contemplate my sin, my final sight, as the noose pulls tight, will be her salty, cinnamon skin.

c. Tony Hazzard
Track Name: Loving On The Run
LOVING ON THE RUN

I heard some people say “Love lasts forever”,
but wiser folk maintain it can't be done.
The latter live their lives like desperadoes,
and choose to take their loving on the run.

They know that permanence is just illusion:
a trick of time that blinds you like the sun;
a sleight of hand that adds to life's confusion,
unless you take your loving on the run.

So give me a smile: though sorrow comes with parting,
it's the only truth when all is said and done;
and each sad end means something new is starting
for an optimistic lover on the run.

I met a girl from Milner, Colorado;
a Rocky Mountain maiden full of fire.
She stole my heart and shot it through with rainbows
and multi-coloured arrows of desire.

And then she said: “The time has come for leaving;
we’ve had our fun and it’s time for me to go;
but breaking up is not a time for grieving;
and that’s a truth that you will come to know.”

“So give me a smile: though sorrow comes with parting,
it's the only truth when all is said and done,
and each sad end means something new is starting
for an optimistic lover on the run.”


c Tony Hazzard
Track Name: Journey's End
JOURNEY’S END

I’ve got fly suicides on the windscreen;
Empty bottles of wine on the floor.
I’ve got gas in the tank; I’ve got cash in my bank account
Keeping the wolf from the door.
I’ve got a Martin guitar sleeping on the back seat,
And a song flying round in my head;
And I’m doing my best, ‘cos I’m heading out west,
Trying to find my journey’s end;
Trying to find my journey’s end.

Well, I’ve travelled the length of this country:
I’ve been north; I’ve been south; I’ve been east.
I’ve been down in the depths; I’ve been up in the clouds,
Happy doing my piece.
I’ve said “hello” and “goodbye” to a good many folk,
And there’s some that I’m proud to call friends;
But I’m doing my best ‘cos ‘m heading out west,
Trying to find my journey’s end;
Trying to find my journey’s end.

So if you find yourself travelling up country,
Seeing friends that I knew long ago,
Well, buy them a drink, and tell ‘em I think of them:
Tell ’em that I said “hello”.
Say I’m living out west where the sea air is sweet;
That they’re welcome to visit their friend.
Say I did what was best when I headed out west,
‘Cos I found my journey’s end;
I found my journey’s end.


c Tony Hazzard
Track Name: Angela Finkleman's Eyes
ANGELA FINKLEMAN'S EYES

Angela Finkleman twinkled her eyes. At first
I was surprised, then it soon became clear.
We were eleven then, and I was in heaven when
Angela F kissed me in my ear.

Now Angela's kisses, though quite delicious,
became a recurring theme in my life:
A frisson of passion was worth all the cash in
the world, but it harboured a double edged knife.

Ah ah, those jet-black Jewish eyes!
I'll not see their like again.
Ah ah, a lesson in disguise
That I'll be learning till the very end.

Christmas was party time: jelly and pantomime,
back in the fifties, those innocent years.
Angela, party dress, sensual sweet caress, when
Angela F kissed me in my ear.

Now she's nearing seventy with grandchildren at her knee,
hair turning white now - isn't life strange?
That girl's long departed, but I'm not downhearted, 'cos
one thing's for certain: the eyes never change.

Ah, ah, those jet-black Jewish eyes!
I'll not see their like again.
Ah ah, a lesson in disguise
That I'll be learning till the very end.

c Tony Hazzard
Track Name: Shipping Lanes
Shipping Lanes

She drives a pick-up truck; he sails a boat.
He keeps a weather eye; she makes a note
of all the times he leaves her to sail the sea,
and how she longs for company.

She tends her garden in the winter time;
he steers a southern course for warmer climes;
eyes on horizon as his compass points the way,
his marriage in total disarray.

She wants to stay; he wants to leave and sail away.
She wants a home; he wants his freedom.
He wants a life; she wants to be a loving wife.
He wants to sail across the shipping lanes to freedom.

There's oil and water in the mixing bowl,
a dark nigredo deep inside her soul;
a realisation and a painful lesson learned,
with almost all her bridges burned.

Now he's withdrawing from her day by day;
he's fitting out the boat to sail away
to far horizons and a new-found promised land,
while all she wants: to hold his hand...

She wants to stay; he wants to leave and sail away.
She wants a home; he wants his freedom.
He wants a life; she wants to be a loving wife.
He wants to sail across the shipping lanes to freedom.

c Tony Hazzard
Track Name: She's Not You
She’s Not You

The weather’s fine; or so they tell me.
It’s Sunday morning out in the fields;
and in the church the bells are pealing
for all the people on their knees.

The sky is cloudless, but to me it looks like rain.
My hope are groundless: I know I won’t see you again;
and all the birds are singing out of tune;
and she’s to blame, ‘cos she’s not you.

Your smile was like a summer morning:
it brought refreshment to the mind.
Though all around me day is dawning,
I think that life can be unkind.

The sky is cloudless, but to me it looks like rain.
My hopes are groundless: I know I won’t see you again;
and all the birds are singing out of tune;
and she’s to blame, ‘cos she’s not you.

The clock strikes ten, and once again you’re on my mind.
The church bells ring and people sing.

The sky is cloudless, but to me it looks like rain.
My hope are groundless: I know I won’t see you again;
and all the birds are singing out of tune;
and she’s to blame, ‘cos she’s not you.


c Tony Hazzard
Track Name: Old Wave
Old Wave

Some people like to travel; some people don’t.
Some people need to get away.
Some people rush around, while others won’t:
they live to fight another day.

Me, I like to take it easy and slow:
not for me an early grave.
I ease the tiller and my boat, she sails free,
sliding by on a slow, old wave.

Some folk are into fashion: they live in style:
they change their colours with the breeze.
They’re into glamour rock, or reggae for a while:
they’ve got the media’s disease.

Me, I like to take it easy and slow:
not for me an early grave.
I ease the tiller and my boat, she sails free,
sliding by on a slow, old wave.


c Tony Hazzard
Track Name: Seventy, Not Out
Seventy, Not Out

Well I’m seventy, not out: I wanna sing and dance and shout.
I wanna rock’n’roll, writhe round a dancer’s pole till I’m all shagged out.
I wanna kiss those ruby lips: I mean the ones between your hips.
I wanna play ding-dong with you all night long
‘Cos I’m seventy, not out.

It’s been a long time getting here: it’s taken all of seventy years.
There’ve been ups and downs and smiles and frowns
And, of course, the occasional tears.
And I won’t say I’ve no regrets, ‘cos I ran up emotional debts;
But I tried my best, and with my genes I’m blessed,
‘Cos I’m seventy, not out.

Well I’ve played this game for a long, long time,
But I never quite learned the score.
Tried to keep a straight bat like they taught me to,
But the bowler came back with more.
And I nearly got caught, and I nearly got stumped;
I nearly ran out of time;
But then I fought back with all my might
And I knew that life was mine.

Well, I’m seventy, not out: not a clue what it’s all about;
Just wanna play guitar beneath the stars
And watch Ruby blow them out.
Then one sunny afternoon I’ll be sitting here singing this tune;
The Grim Reaper will come and say: “Hey, my son,
You scored eighty five and you’re out.”
But until that day I’ll continue to play,
‘Cos I’m seventy, not out.

c Tony Hazzard
Track Name: I'll Be Still In Love With You
I’ll Be Still In Love With You

Now, the world, it turns; people live and die;
and the stars are shining in their rightful places.
At the evening sun, and the morning dew,
I’ll be still in love with you.

As the years roll by, and our troubles too,
and we smooth the edges off life’s complications;
if we’re far apart, or together too,
I’ll be still in love with you.

And the rolling years make it plain to see
that I’m an ordinary man in many ways;
but the thought of you still possesses me,
and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

When we’re old and grey, and our children grown,
and the mark of time is written on our faces;
when the evening comes, and the night is new,
I’ll be still in love with you.


c Tony Hazzard
Track Name: Another Day For Me
ANOTHER DAY FOR ME

Night falls; owl calls; and mist clings round my house walls.
Sleep’s descending; heaven’s sending
Another day for me.

Sky glows; eyes doze; the sun is rising. God knows
How this world keeps turning, bringing
Another day for me.

I remember moonlit nights, and scaling walls
To reach the heights of wonder;
And trying to plunder
The love you hid away from prying eyes,
Behind your enigmatic smiles,
Down all the years and ocean miles since then.

Child grows; life goes; and old age creeps on tip toes,
Unrelenting, yet still presenting
Another day for me.

Heart aches; heartbreaks; this game of life has high stakes.
Aces high, with luck, might buy
Another day for me.

c. Tony Hazzard