The brand new album by Nigel & Julie

Released Dec 2023

' J O U R N E Y '

"Superb musicianship, great songs & tunes.

These folks are top notch in the Celtic field.

I recommend getting this Album." Godfrey Birtill

T h e   N e w   A l b u m

O U T   N O W   O N   C D 

Produced as ever with help from Chris Smith and Nic Burrows of Raindance Studios, the album features many layers of epic sounds from Iona's Dave Bainbridge with a special guest appearance from his 'LifesigJns' band mate Jon Poole on bass. 


Musical contributions also from Phil Hart (guitar), Russ Sargeant (bass), Gareth Davies-Jones (mandolin, mandocello & guitar), Kevin Burns (Uilleann Pipes), Arild Stav (saxophone), Shirley Richards (violins), Richard Williamson (viola), Rebecca Whettam (cello), Geth Griffith (double bass) and James Stevenson (drums) 


Thanks to all these wonderful musicians and also to Gareth Hill and Wytze Valkema for giving us permission to use their songs and to Peter Richards for arranging stings.

Unboxing Video : 

Promo Video : 

A Journey through the Songs

On every journey, wherever we are, thoughts of home and family always accompany us. This Longing for Home is symbolised by the American folk song, Shenandoah,  whose melody bookends the album.  The right time for every activity in life, it seems, is everything, and during the first global pandemic ‘lockdown’ in 2021 many songs were birthed including There is a Time, Julie’s setting of these familiar verses from Ecclesiastes 3. We have discovered that we can always be peaceful on our journeys when we realise that  we move in God’s ‘perfect timing’ and the lyrics of Christ be with Me, based on St. Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer, remind us also that we do not journey through life alone. Dance of the Trinity continues this theme; a prayer for God’s accompanying presence on earth and the hope of His return….with a joyful burst of praise!    'Voice of Wisdom’  honours a great leader of our faith, St. Hilda of Whitby whose life held trauma, loss and much challenge, yet her path was one of humility, love and selfless service. A hero of Julie’s, she was a wise and hospitable leader and mentor, who by giving voice to the poor, raised up gifted artists, one of whom was the poet Caedmon whose first significant work was a song about the Creation story. Care for Creation is one of the waymarks we try to live by, and so Julie was inspired to write her own Creation Song to the tune of the wonderful traditional folk song Arthur McBride.

As I Roved Out’  is Nigel’s story from a dark time in his life, when after being challenged by a friend to take daily early morning walks, he found a special place of peace in the beauty of the morning sun in County Down and believes that turned things around on his journey.  In the Bible, ‘Jerusalem’ represents home - the ultimate destination and place of peace. However, we could not have known when we recorded words from the Psalms referencing Jerusalem in the song Longing for home (Jerusalem)  that events in the Middle East would make this prayer more resonant than ever. Longing for lyrics that would fit the traditional tune ‘Homes of Donegal’, Nigel discovered a perfect fit in When Mountains Crumble (a hymn written by Gareth Hill in response to 9/11) and felt the words were so relevant to current times and were particularly powerful using that melody. We set our own lyrics to another beautiful melody by our guitarist friend Phil Hart, who (as ever) gave us permission to create the track You are the Path (through the storm) - a moment of reassurance and peace as we encounter the heartbreaks. We have learned that times of rest and retreat are vital to us for our journey. One popular place of retreat for Christian pilgrims, which we have yet to visit, is the Scottish island of Iona. Island of my Rest is our adaptation of a prayer attributed to St. Columba of Iona (set appropriately to the tune ‘St. Columba’), which reflects the joy of seeing God in nature. In Matthew 6, Jesus also challenges us to take inspiration from ‘the birds of the air’ and ‘the flowers of the field’. Nigel was drawn to this passage when looking for lyrics to honour the title ‘Carefree’ that Phil had already given to another of his guitar instrumentals. Unbelievably, the words and music perfectly matched and Carefree (Do Not Worry)’  became a musical exploration of Matthew 6: 24-34, reminding us that we get to travel light!  The familiar tune of the Belfast street song ‘Black Velvet Band’ is Julie’s joyful setting of Psalm 100 (with a bit of James 1 in the chorus) to sing along to. It is always with Thanksgiving that we come to the end of any journey, not least the journey of creating this album which has taken well over a year, and huge steps of faith for provision along the way. Often at times when we longed to bring this album home, we have been busy on other projects and have had to trust in God’s perfect timing for its eventual completion. Fittingly, 'Longing for Home (reprise)’ concludes the album with the added lyric: “As we journey to our home, we praise the Name of the Lord.”  We are so grateful that ‘Celtish Journey’ has finally reached its destination!  We pray you enjoy sharing it with us.

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