February 2013: BANDCAMPING IT UP
Good Day Mr. Magpie is available online at last! You can download it from most major online retailers, including Amazon, iTunes and Google Play. For those who prefer streaming, head to Spotify.
Or better still, cut out the middlemen and visit benavison.bandcamp.com where you can choose your own price (or stream it for free).
Thanks to Wilful Missing's Albert Freeman for the digital media tips.
December 2012: MAGPIE SPREADS ITS WINGS
The initial recording session for Good Day Mr. Magpie took just 4 days in February 2011 when Ben's guitar and vocals for all the tracks were laid down. The rest of 2012 was spent carefully adding additional instrumentation before mixing and production – and now, Good Day Mr. Magpie has finally flown the nest.
"I'm very pleased with the end result, thanks to the fantastic production skills of Sam Lawrence and the superb musicianship of all the contributors. I'm really looking forward to playing the songs live and finding out what listeners make of it."
The first live performance of Good Day Mr. Magpie, which takes place at Poppies Café in Settle North Yorkshire on 27th December, sold out in record time. There's a nice piece about the gig and the album release that you can read by clicking here
NEW ALBUM – GOOD DAY MR. MAGPIE
Ben Avison's debut solo album is now available to order on CD. Due for release on 15th December, Good Day Mr Magpie, produced by Wilful Missing's Sam Lawrence and released on Little Attic Records features 10 original, previously unreleased songs and includes a special guest appearance from Rise Kagona of the Bhundu Boys and original artwork by Sam Dalby.
The influences are wide ranging – the delicate fingerpicking brings Nick Drake to mind, the thoughtful lyrics recall Cat Stevens or Paul Simon while some of the rhythms recall the music of southern Africa – and the clear English voice is all its own.
What they say about Ben Avison:
"Really quite excellent" – Cambridge Folk Club
"Tasty guitar work" – RRR Radio, Melbourne
"Guitarist Ben Avison is a master of many styles" – BBC Leeds
You can listen to some sneak previews using the souncloud box or head over to the shop to buy.
HOME ON THE WATER
Ben is moving to a boat in Oxford. "It's a real shame to leave Cambridge," he says. "I've played with so many great musician friends here and learned a lot – and I will miss having the Cambridge Folk Festival on the doorstep. But I'm sure I'll feel at home in Oxford!"
The narrowboat is appropriately called Harmonia. "Let's see how harmonious life is on a 7' wide boat," he says.