Mick yan & Pete arris

In this inspired pairing, Pete is well known in both folk and blues circles, while Mick is the originator of (and always a principal singer with) the series of Folk Operas culminating in The Navvy's Wife.

Mick Ryan is known on the folk scene as a fine singer of traditional and original material. Folk Roots described him as "definitely the most underrated singer in the country". Pete Harris (guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, mandola, bass guitar, whistle) has worked with a number of successful bands including The New St. George and Bursledon Village Band and is also a fine solo performer. Mick and Pete have released five (soon to be six) albums, "Drink up the Sun", "Another Place, Another Time", "The Widow's Promise" (a CD compilation of the best of the previous two), "Hard Season", "The Long Road" (Jan 2002) and the follow-up album to "The Long Road" entitled "Something to Show" and featuring the customary mix of Ryan originals and traditional songs, plus one by Graham Moore. Just out (January 2007) is "The Island of Apples", featuring seven items from folk musicals and the remainder from either Graham or Mick with two traditional.

Guest musicians on "Something to Show" are:

  • Paul Burgess (Old Swan Band): fiddle
  • Paul Sartin (Dr. Faustus, ex-Belshazzar's Feast) oboe
  • Tim Van Eyken (Dr. Faustus, Waterson/Carthy) melodeon
and there is a similar selection on "The Island of Apples". All titles are on the Wild Goose label - follow the link to see more detail and to buy online.

Just to bring you up to date with recent developments:

Contrary to rumour, Mick and Pete are not splitting up, but Pete has decided to cut down seriously on the amount of travelling and time away from home he is prepared to accept. In practice this means he will be doing fewer folk gigs and more blues in future, as most of the blues gigs are within 40 miles of home. It also means that we will not be chasing gigs for Mick and Pete any more, but if anyone contacts us with an offer of a gig, we will consider it on its merits. Mick will be concentrating for the time being on promoting his new show "The Navvy's Wife", which Pete's not involved in, and also doing some gigs with Paul Downes (again, see the relevant Wildgoose web page).

Sad news is that our great friend John Prince (for whom "Song for John" on "The Long Road" was written) died after a long battle against ill health. John was a true gentleman who managed to remain positive despite his many health problems. He was an example to us all and will be sorely missed.

Many of the CDs are all described in more detail on the Wild Goose Records website. Mick & Pete asked Steve Faux (fine musician and ex-fellow-member of "Crows" with Mick) to add fiddle and Paul Sartin his oboe on selected tracks of "The Long Road" There are several Quotes from Hard Season reviews below, and the Folk On Tap, Living Tradition and Folkwrite reviews by are reproduced in full on a separate page.

Mick Ryan's Songbooks are published by Jacaranda Music.

"Tanks for the Memory" Mick's new musical drama about a real WW2 event just along the coast from Swanage at Tyneham was first aired at Swanage in September 2001 and featured in the giglist for 2002. The CD has now been released. Featuring all the music (Mick Ryan, Pete Harris, Sarah Mallinson) plus selected readings, it is available (price £10) direct from Mick at 31 Grantham Rd, Boscombe, Bournemouth BH1 4NW (tel. 01202 392239) or from Doug Bailey at Wildgoose Studios, May Cottage, Wherwell, Hants SP11 7JS.

Mick & Pete's
Current Giglist

Pete Harris Blues Band


The Navvy's Wife

Mick Ryan's latest Folk Opera with star-filled cast now touring
Go to website for dates and venues

Mick and Pete may be contacted at p.harris40@ntlworld.com,

(+44) (0)1202 737216 (Mick) or (+44) (0)1489 600268 (Pete)


The Island of Apples

A collection of songs in traditional style mainly written by Mick himself but including some traditional and some from other writers. Nearly all the songs are accompanied by a full range of instrumentation.
Released January 2007 WGS339CD

See Track List and some excellent reviews on the Wildgoose website


Something to Show

Released by WildGoose as WGS 318 CD in June 2004, Mick and Pete's new CD features the customary mix of Ryan originals and traditional songs, plus one by Graham Moore. Mick's fine singing is accompanied by Pete Harris with vocal harmonies (plus one solo song) and a rich set of instrumental backings on guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, mandola, whistles and electric bass.

Guest musicians on the latest album are:

  • Paul Burgess (Old Swan Band): fiddle
  • Paul Sartin (Dr. Faustus, ex-Belshazzar's Feast) oboe
  • Tim Van Eyken (Dr. Faustus, Waterson/Carthy) melodeon
Reviews have been excellent - follow the link


The Long Road

Mick Ryan and Pete Harris' CD "The Long Road" was released in January 2002. Also containing the customary mix of traditional songs and Ryan originals, the album features guest appearances by Steve Faux on fiddle and Paul Sartin on oboe. It has been getting airplay as far afield as Australia and the States. Another piece of good news is that one of the songs from the album, "The Wrong Side of the World", appeared in prestigious American magazine "Sing Out", and the track featured on the accompanying cd.

'This is contemporary folk music at its best....Some CDs I like as a source of new songs,some are pleasant to listen to while driving and working, and a very few uplift you and make you feel better for hearing them, this manages all three.'

(Jerry Bix, 'What's Afoot')

'What a delight yet again......superb instrumentation....inventive harmonies....an almost perfect range of accompaniment to Mick's firm voice...well done Doug Bailey at Wildgoose Studios'
(Derek Gifford, 'Folk Northwest')

'Mick's distinctive talents are reiterated here: not only is he an idiomatic and deeply sensitive songwriter but also one of the very finest singers on the folk scene.....Mick is again blessed with spirited and well-judged accompaniments from the formidably talented Pete... ..This album's stamp of quality proudly proclaims that modern English folksong is well and truly alive and kicking.'
(David Kidman 'Rock 'n Reel')

'.....even better than their last recording...this magnificent piece of work.....Hugely entertaining, beautifully played and sung, this is going to be a hard act for anyone to follow.'
(Phil Aldridge, 'Folk on Tap')

All current albums are available direct from Mick and Pete at gigs (See Current Giglist) or online from by mail order from Wildgoose website

Wildgoose Studios, May Cottage, Wherwell, Hants. SP11 7JS tel 01264 860412 or e-mail info@wildgoose.co.uk or from Musikfolk, or in the States from Elderly Instruments.


 

Mick Ryan is well known on the folk scene as a fine singer of traditional and original material. Throughout the eighties he was seen at clubs and festivals as lead singer with the very popular "Crows". Reviewing the band's second album, Folk Roots described him as "definitely the most underrated singer in the country".

Having written both comic and serious songs for the band and having been co-author of a stage musical performed at the Barbican in London (1987) and the lyrics for a Radio 4 drama, Mick continued writing and singing after the band split up in 1988. Subsequently he was author/co-author of songs for the hugely popular folk musical "A Tolpuddle Man", this with Graham Moore, with whom he formed an acclaimed performing and writing partnership

Mick's songs have been sung and recorded by performers on both sides of the Atlantic. His 1995 folk opera, A Day's Work, has been widely performed by his folk theatre company, Fieldwork Productions, both in England and on tour in Ireland, to rave reviews. "Altogether a brilliant production, and wonderful songs." Folk on Tap.

The response to his most recent show for Fieldwork Productions, The Voyage has been equally enthusiastic. "Moving and thought provoking, it held me spellbound throughout... Once again Mick Ryan's words and music are superb. . This new musical is a must." Folk on Tap. "A fine production with wonderful songs." South Tipp Today (Ireland).

Mick has also been working with talented multi-instrumentalist and singer Pete Harris (guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, mandola, banjo, bass guitar, whistle). On the folk scene Pete has worked with a number of successful bands including 'The New St. George" and "The Bursledon Village Band" and is also a fine solo performer. Outside the folk scene Pete has featured as singer and lead guitarist with a number of blues and R&B bands, most notably "The Bob Pearce Blues Band" with whom he performed throughout the U.K. and on the Continent, recording a "live" album on the Blue Horizon label. Pete is currently leading the 6-piece "Pete Harris Blues Band" .

As might be expected given their backgrournds, Mick and Pete combine traditional, original, comic and blues material with solo, unison and harmony singing that is by turns powerful sensitive and arresting.

Since their formation as a duo in 1993 Mick and Pete have played at folk clubs and festivals throughout England and have recently released their fifth album "The Long Road". Of their second album Another Time Another Place, the prestigious U.S. folk music magazine Dirty Linen said "There are some terrific songs on this album .... All the playing is marvellous and perfectly supportive of the songs. Couldn't ask for more in the world of English Folk music."

In Spring 1998 their CD, The Widow's Promise, was recorded at WildGoose and released on the Terra Nova label (Terr CD0011). Folk on Tap said "Mick Ryan's superb song writing is perfectly complemented by the delicious, shimmering acoustic playing of Pete Harris... this continuously unfolding spiral of delights is essential for anyone who loves beautifully crafted folk "

Hard Season was released in summer 1999. Derek Gifford of Folk Northwest said "Putting two people together with such illustrious pedigrees should produce the 'goods', and indeed this is a very crafted and professional album both lyrically and musically. Needless to say you only have to listen to their renditions of 'The Leaves of Life', or 'Night Visiting Song' to realise just how competent these two are. Mick's voice lies somewhere between Bob Fox and Tony Rose which gives some idea of its quality! Pete's instrumental style is harder to pin down, probably due to the fact he plays seven instruments (!), but his guitar style has definite Nick Jones/Martin Carthy influences say no more. In fact I need say no more except to highly recommend that you add this classic album to your folk collection as soon as possible."

Reviews in Folk on Tap, Living Tradition and Folkwrite are reproduced in full on a separate page.

Several songs from Mick's shows plus many traditional songs and other original compositions by Mick are featured in Mick and Pete's repertoire.


Mick & Pete's Current Giglist

Tanks for the Memory CD

The CD of Mick's latest show has now been released. Featuring all the music (Mick Ryan, Pete Harris, Sarah Mallinson) plus selected readings, it is available (price 10) direct from Mick at 31 Grantham Rd, Boscombe, Bournemouth BA1 4NW (tel. 01202 392239)

or from Doug Bailey at
Wildgoose Studios, May Cottage, Wherwell, Hants SP11 7JS DougBailey@wildgoose.co.uk


A SCoFF web page, © SCoFF and Mick Ryan & Pete Harris 1999-2004

Constructed and submitted by Trevor Gilson

Back to Southern Counties Artistes




Mick & Pete - the publicity pic