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Chris Conway - Earth Rising
Chris Conway Earth Rising

Life, Magic and Love


City Breakdown


Age of Miracles
To The Four Winds
A Little Bit of Loving
Earth Rising
Run By You
Love on the Run
The Real You
Gathering of the Kindred Spirits
Blueprints/Preparing for Departure
Before I Go

Chris Conway -
vocals, guitars, keyboards,
tin & low whistles, kalimba, zither, bamboo flute, samples, programming, percussion
Sarah Burt - appalacian dulcimer - 5
Neil Davenport
- samples - 9
Clare Johnson -
flute - 5
Dave Everitt - electric guitar - 15
Simon Styring -
electric guitar - 2, 9
Steve Cooke - double bass - 3, 5
Neil Segrott -
bass - 1, 7, 8, 11, 14
Dan Britton - bodhrans, guitar - 2, 13, 15
Clive Bunker
- drums, percussion - 1, 7, 8, 11
Andy Fitzsimons -
congas - 5, 14
Mike Burnham - violin - 14
Roger Wilson -
violin - 1, 7, 11
- The Strung Out Sisters -13
Kate Easton - viola
Sally Ramsey -
Anne Mee -

Sally Barker - 5, 12, 14
Dan Britton - 2, 13
Vikki Clayton - 2, 9, 12
Kate Easton - 12, 13
Caroline Eling - 12
Jodi Krangle - 6, 10, 12
Debbie Robinson - 1, 8, 11, 12
Neil Segrott - 8
Linda Shanovitch - 5, 12
Baluji Shrivastav - 5, 12
James Lee Stanley - 3, 12
Simon Styring - 9, 12
Roger Wilson - 8
Zorpinda Zorpin - 12


Chris Conway
A masterpiece. A tale of a grand departure of dreaming people.
Brilliant songwriting, HUGE harmonies, awesome arrangements and that Conway trademark big sound. Yes this is the BIG album.

"Here folk makes friends with African, and Indian influences and produces plenty to enjoy
" - Q Magazine

A feeling of rebirth and moving out of the darkness of Storming grew as the Earth Rising project went on and as the concept took shape. CC was taken up in a kind of creative fervour which makes this album such a special one for him.

As recording progressed a concept formed - of special creative dreaming people gathering together and leaving on a journey.

Musically and critically the album was a huge success. Earth Rising marked several jumps in CC's technical and production skills and remains a landmark album.

Paul Kantner, Alan Stivell , David Crosby, Graham Nash, Vikki Clayton, Brain Wilson, Jimmy Web, Terry Riley, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Donal Lunny, The Moving Hearts

Clive Bunker is best known as Jethro Tull's first drummer. At the time he was playing with CC in Vikki Clayton's band.

Sally Barker is perhaps best known for her work as one of The Poozies.

Roger Wilson is perhaps best known for his work with Martin Carthy.

Jodi Krangle is best known as a memebr of Urban Tapestry and for runnign the MusesMuse songwriters resource site. She co-wrote Wherever with CC.

Baluji Shrivastav & Linda Shanovitch are memebers with CC of Jazz Orient (aka Re-Orient)

The title Age of Miracles comes froma book of the same name by John Brunner.

Wherever is dedicated to the memory of Chris's father who had passed away not long before work on the album started.

Gathering of the Kindred Spirits is an collage of all the vocalist guests - Chris asked them to imrprovise fro a minute or so in a common key. Others he sampled from recorded tracks on the album.

Part of the payment Chris made to the key musicians was a curry.

CC's fave track -Before I Go

track by track
Chris Conway
1. Life Magic and Love
This came out of a recurring dream I had a while back. A grey spooky-but-nice ghostly lady turned up in the dreams and persuaded me to leave the city and once in the country she told me that this is where I should be. I've written a few songs about it/her - Earth Child (on Sounds Like Rain) and Call of the Wild (on Just Be Real & Live!) ) The green message got woven in later. Style-wise I suppose Paul Kantner and the 70s era Jefferson Starship was the big influence here...
2. City Breakdown
I wrote this whilst walking round a particularly disfunctional London, ankle deep in rubbish and more than a little pissed off with city life. London just didn't work any more. It was written a while ago and only really came into it's own when it became a kalimba based song.
3. Age of Miracles
This is a song about many things - mostly about dreamers. I got the chorus from a sci-fi novel by A. Bertram Chandler, the title from a sci-fi novel by John Brunner. The first verse is about the 3rd World seeing few of the C21st wonders, the 2nd verse is about old love, and the 3rd about non-standard, "bohemian"-type people.
4. Premonition
A little waltz tune I'd fooled about with for years which recurrs at the end. I wasn't well practised on the zither at the time and it took quite a few goes to record it.
5. To The Four Winds
I wrote this a few years ago but rarely played it live. It mixes each direction with personal memories. East Wind is the cold wind in the UK. West Wind represents the wind that took me from the USA to the UK as a child. South Wind is memories of holidays in southern Europe. North Wind a fictional lost love from Scotland perhaps...
6. A Little Bit of Loving
I can't remember much about writing this song to be honest. i know I wote it originally on the guitar and tried it at some folk clubs - it was in the wrong key for a while then was put to one side, whereupon Vikki Clayton said she liked it when she heard me play it on the piano and the song was back.
7. Earth Rising (earth magic/bobby caseys/brittany rising)
The middle Bobby Caseys and 3rd Brittany Rising sections used to be played at the end of the song I Want Something when I played it with the Talking Fish some years ago. When the song was recorded I dropped these sections thinking they were better heard on their own. I wrote the Earth Magic section much later.
8. Run By You
This song just came out of the air - it wrote itself instantly - to me its about two people with big problems who come together despite it all. Somebody told me it was one of the saddest songs they heard - another that it was really romantic.
9. Love On The Run
A riff song which mostly came about because of the new "upside down" tuning I was experimenting with. The song is about how love used to be forever , now a lot of folks have to find it when they can and make the most of it. I had such a fun time playing the guitar solo!
10. Wherever
A song written with Jodi Krangle by email - I sent her the tune, she sent some lyrics back, I changed about half of them and so we carried on. To start with I thought I was writing a love song whereas she was giving me the chance to write about my then dying father. The song was played at his funeral.
11. The Real You
A song about a being with a partner with changeable moods. This wasn't about anyone in particular. Roger Wilson has a great violin solo here. Alan Stivell was probably the inspiration for the Celticness.
12. Gathering of the Kindred Spirits
I got guest vocalists to record or send me 1 minute of accapella solo vocal in A minor. I wove them all together over some wafty synthesiser. I love the result - I can hear them all individually.
13. Blueprints/Preparation For Departure
The song came out of a batch of weird chords that suggested to me it might be fun giving it a kind of Brian Wilson treatment. The verses refer to phases of my youth - 1st verse - my first house as a child in Michigan. The 2nd - coming to the UK on a boat from the USA. The 3rd - idealistic student days. The Preparation outro is a tribute both to Terry Riley and Jimym Webb.
14. Before I Go
The instrumental melody was used in The Autumn Land from my Storming CD - at the time of recording that the songs wasn't quite finished so it wasn't recorded then. The words just came from nowhere... It's one of my favourite songs I've written. Sally Barker does a great job on this.
15. Going...
This little tune I wrote at a restaurant piano years ago. I suggested it to Dave & Dan as a joke and we played it first take. I'd kept it on tape from the Storming sessions and it seemed to find a home on Earth Rising as the departure theme.
Q Magazine - Rob Beattie
*** Genre Crossing roots rock multi-instrumentalist spreads his solo wings
Already establishied as something of a boundary-breaking accompanist with the Vikki Clayton Band, Chris Conway's fourth solo album takes inspiration froma wide range of sources. Here folk makes friends with African, and Indian influences and produces plenty to enjoy, from the kalimba driven chant of City Breakdown and the dancey jive of Love On The Run to the swaggering title track. The backing vocals are a joy (particularly Sally Barker on Before I Go, and Vikki Clayton on Love on the Run) and Roger Wilson's violin gives the whole affair a pleasant kick.

Rock n Reel Magazine - Dave White
Available for the first time, on the other hand, is Chris Conway's self-described "magnum opus so far", an even more ambitious work entitled 'Earth Rising'. Its themes of gathering, celebration and departure are delivered in a kaleidoscopic patchwork-quilt of sounds, vivid, articulate and moving.
If Conway's debut album was an assured artistic statement, then 'Earth Rising' is supremely confident music making.
It's to his credit that despite the scale of his ambition, embracing a variety of fashionable and less-fashionable styles - Celtic roots, rock, pop, eastern drones, an ecologically aware singer-songwriter's concerns for his home planet - the sheer class of his arrangements, and the performances from Conway and his numerous guests (including Vikki Clayton, Sally Barker, Clive Bunker, Jodi Krangle and Dan Britton) results in a sound which is nothing less than exhilarating. It's no mean achievement, for such a musical potpourri can all too easily fall flat.
Conway's vocal is the thread which connects all the contrasting styles and moods, though the variety is consistently complementary. There are some glorious harmonies, thought-provoking lyrics and plenty of impeccable playing. A splendid collection which hits the spot, time and time again.

Traditional Music Maker Magazine - David Wardle
CHRIS CONWAY - EARTH RISING Now and again, a CD comes along that just seems to ‘fit’ into whatever groove you’re into at that time. That feeling depends upon a wide range of variables all coinciding at the same point in time, space, mind, or wherever. For this reason, such an experience is very unusual, and the moment must be relished and savoured. This is an exceptional record.
The music fits such a range of moods, emotions and settings that it is impossible to categorise - and why should we want to? The overall feel of the music is so positive in its general outlook and perspective on life that so far, I cannot tire of hearing it.

Chris Conway has succeeded in creating a record that is inspirational and complete and I would recommend it to any-one who has a taste for quality music. Conway plays a multitude of instruments himself, including guitars, keyboards, tin whistles, zithers and bamboo flute. He is ably backed by a talented array of musicians and vocalists, including Roger Wilson, Vikki Clayton and Clive Bunker. The resultant sound is one which is full and yet is not cluttered or overbearing in any way. Conway, who also produced the record, has managed to concoct a fine balance between making a CD which is eminently listenable and yet challenging enough to be thought-provoking.
Conway’s material, which is almost all self-penned, shows a diversity and sensitivity which adds to the experience. There are mystical and spiritual influences, alongside songs about nature, and a critique of modern city life.
Highlights for me are ‘Age of Miracles’ - which sets the achievements of the human race against the needs of those who do not share in the fruits of that progress, and ‘Before I Go’ - which has the line: ‘And I don’t know if it’s worth talking anymore, when we can read each other’s minds...’
But it is Conway’s love songs which are the most touching. ‘A Little Bit of Loving’ is sung from the heart and benefits from a simple delivery - with vocals by Conway and Jodi Krangle, accompanied only by Conway’s piano (Just a smile, would tear down the wall....). ‘Love on the Run’ is a song which gives some hope to lovers everywhere - ‘Let me know that you need me, but don’t ever tell me why...’
Chris Conway deserves to achieve considerable success with Earth Rising. The problem is, that set against the insipid bulk of current musical outpouring, it is just too good. It will probably fail to be noticed because it does not form part of that mass-produced, and yet utterly marketable mediocrity that all too often passes for musical talent. Let’s hope I’m totally wrong.

Living Tradition Magazine - Dave Beeby
CHRIS CONWAY - "Earth Rising" A New Day ANDCD33
Chris Conway hails from the USA but I think he has been resident in England for some time now. The list of people who have worked with him includes Vikki Clayton, Jo Freya, members of Jethro Tull, Fairport Convention and Jazz Orient - as well as leading world musicians including Dr. L. Sunramanium and Talvin Singh.
He's played many of the large festivals and had some media exposure. I mention this just to give some idea of the diversity of Chris's influences and music. These two albums are very different in feel, atmosphere and content.
Earth Rising is, I suppose, what is called a concept album - whatever that means. It's his fourth and pretty good it is too, although on first listening I found it much too complicated to understand. Perseverance and repeated plays though have paid off as I find the curious mixture of sounds somehow hypnotic. Celtic flutes interweave with Indian vocals and Irish bodhran. Irish reels mix with ethnic vocals or Chris's delicate voice. Electric and acoustic guitars mix seamlessly but that's only the surface. He has obviously called in a few favours as the list of guests runs to nearly thirty!!! For me this is one of the more interesting albums I've heard for some time, as each some is packed with comment and meaning. Definitely worth a listen.
Finally about Chris himself. Let's just say that the tag multi-instrumentalist is one of the great understatements. The list is nearly as long as the guest list on "Earth Rising". Well worth a listen.

Sounds Alive Magazine - Les Macliammóir -
Chris Conway - 'Earth Rising' - Macliammóir's "Album of the Year"
I was recently standing at the bar during a Chris Conway and Dan Britton pub gig in the wet and mysterious borderlands of Northamptonshire, when the landlady came up to me and said "Why aren't these boys famous?" (boys indeed!) Well, after now listening to this latest album of Chris's on many occasions and in numerous situations and frames of mind, I can honestly say that in an enlightened world, it should bring both fame and, yes, perhaps even a little fortune for the BOY!
So, is it really that good? I would say so, in fact, I would say even better! I would say it's seminal. As in fresh, new, different, innovative, the music ejaculates out of the hifi, provoking, inspiring, pre-empting thoughts and feelings about things in general and life, magic and love in particular. Sounds too new-agey? Not a bit of it! It works on every level. I shall explain.
The title - Earth Rising - and the album cover itself tantalises and invokes Celtic mystery, brooding anticipation. Open the cover and discover the cast of thousands providing the musical support (well about 30 or so) - Dan Britton, Roger Wilson, Sally Barker, Vikki Clayton, Simon Styring, Zorpinda Zorpin (!) to name but several, top notch musicians you may have heard of already. And then others, like Debbie Robinson, James Lee Stanley and Jodi Krangle, top notch vocalists you will hear about soon I declare.
The first track sets the scene -
Life, Magic & Love. An ascending modal arpeggio leads into a craftily structured composition beautifully punctuated by Roger Wilson's understated violin ……. and an inventive lyric hinting deeper themes of shamanism and neophytic conversion.

City Breakdown
starts with what sounds like a jew's harp (no attribution for it) coupled with a Kalimba - how's that for innovation? Dan's bodhrán backing and Chris's low D whistling conjures up neo-Afro/Celtic nuances addressing issues of social degradation and homelessness - powerful words set against a strident melody.

Age of Miracles
, my favourite track - the chorus line is taken from a science fiction short story - is a classy thought-provoking ballad with truly beautiful underpinning classical guitar accompaniment and awe-inspiring harmonies from James Lee Stanley. You will play this and weep!

pre-empts the final track, Going - a pint to the first person who can explain the conundrum contained therein. (Conway excluded, of course)

To the Four Winds
gets the full Celtic treatment with lots of female 'arr-ing' and 'ohh-ing' a la Clannád, together with an almost Arabic middle eight chant and electrical storm special effects that had me reaching for my Barbour jacket! Lucid lyric with hidden allegory, English weather and Celtic charm - what a combination!

A Little Bit of Loving
, a big busty ballad introducing a luscious new voice that you would die for, (Jodi Krangle's) really hits the spot. If her voice could be bottled you would rub it in every night to ease all the aches and pains!

Surprisingly, Earth Rising, an amalgam of traditional Irish whistle tunes and Conway originals is my least favourite, simply because I miss Chris's thought-provoking lyrics - but then, you can't be using your brainbox all the time 'cus it hurts! Yet maybe a clue to the conundrum lies within the sub-title?

Run by You
left me lukewarm the first time of listening, but as is often the mark of a great song, it has become one of my favourites. And one of the reasons is the great, wondrous harmonic voice of Debbie Robinson - she's around Leicester at the moment, so look out for her.
For me, Love on the Run is made monumental by Chris's cracking guitar solo and Vikki Clayton's haunting backing vocal, but listen carefully to another great thematic lyric.

will make your hair stand on end, especially when you know that it is dedicated to the memory of Chris's father. This song says it with elegance and unfettered emotion for all departed dads of the world. It must stand alone as the greatest anthem to fatherhood - ever, ever ……. ever!
If The R al You was recorded directly after Wherever, it would explain Chris's rather tight constricted voice on this one, which has echoes of a sixty's hit you may remember. (I do, so I couldn't have been there!)

Gathering of the Kindred Spirit
s is 'cosmic man' and you'd expect it with the likes of Zorpinda Zorpin singing a cappella!

for Departure is another driving ballad punctuated by sighing female harmonies that somehow remind me of the Bangles - remember them? And finally,

Before I Go
alludes once more to the essence of the album, the underlying theme of an impending great journey and the enigma contained therein, wistfully echoing the opening arpeggio.

So what's it all about? Chris won't ever say, but I think I know what it is! And, as with all great enigmas, it hides just below comprehension, teasing, intriguing, yet still eluding. Unless you know different

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