Sometimes a voice just has to be heard…
We first encountered Nick Cameron Jones at a singaround in an ancient village hall down by the River Severn, and there, in this strange archaic place, one singular voice shone through.
Nick sang a beautiful rendition of a familiar tune as we moved from one person to another, each offering up a little gift of song. I sang one of mine and NCJ commented in the break whilst supping tea and snacking on the cucumber sandwiches; ’…that’s one for the CD…’
So I gave him a copy of one of my CDs with the lyrics to the song he’d liked.
So there we were the following week and, blow me down - NCJ sang my song. He sang it with such passion and delicacy and he brought us all to tears. My song became his song. That very first recording is here. Change Of Heart.
And so began a long and deep friendship with this extraordinary creature.
Over the past few years NCJ has sung many of my songs and brought them to life in ways I could never have dreamed of.
Sandra’s ‘Fool Of Fools’ is another that caught NCJ’s attention. A song about Dickie Pearce, the last jester. The versions here were recorded in Berkeley church where Dickie is buried. Another emotional performance.
The songs here were captured during many of the acoustic evenings we have shared. Never intended to be anthologised, the sound quality is distinctly lo-fi. But that peerless voice shines through these primitive field recordings and somehow still touches the heart and soul.
The song of mine that NCJ first sang, ‘Change Of Heart’, forms the title of this collection. There are 24 performances in all - from unheard originals, to jazz standards, comedy songs, English Traditionals and one of NCJ’s own rare pieces - ‘A Summer’s Day’.
Nothing escapes NCJ - whether it be an electronic track or a piece of Victorian whimsy, NCJ simply takes a song and inhabits it with every fibre of his being.
NCJ is not a studio singer - his is the live experience. Some of these songs may never be heard again out there in the wide world, but in that old Lomax tradition, I record everything I encounter. Boy, am I glad of that old habit - because sometimes, magic happens!
We hope that you enjoy this first collection and that it touches your heart as it has touched ours…
Bless you, Nick…
David & Sandra Ireland