Darren Hayman is back, with a second volume of songs resulting from his Thankful Villages project. The sixteenth village is Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire.
I love Fairport Convention. I love all of the different line ups of Fairport Convention. I love their strange and compelling first album with Judy Dyble singing. I love Judy Dyble and her following albums with Giles, Giles and Fripp and Trader Horne. I always wish she’d made more albums.
Judy agreed to go with me to Upper Slaughter, not far from where she lived. We took Betty, her greyhound, with us. It was a pleasure to have someone else to break the ice in the village. Judy understood the project immediately. We had only been in the village five minutes before Judy had started talking to a stranger and got us invited to the village soup afternoon.
We ate delicious soup underneath group pictures of the village. Judy and Betty charmed the locals. Talk was of the plight of the village. Upper Slaughter has an older population and a high proportion of holiday homes. We left a donation and sat by the River Eye.
I recorded Judy strumming chords on her auto-harp and drew a picture of Betty.
Later when I got home I constructed Judy’s chords into a tune whilst Judy wrote lyrics at hers.
If the accidental theme of Thankful Villages Vol. 1 was the church, then the theme of Volume 2 has been the river. The river has slowly woven its way through the songs and it snaked its way into Judy’s beautiful lyrics too.