The stage is set…

…and the sweetest of reunions is finally here. Long travelled and bleary eyed, the US half of Mark’s band arrived this weekend narrowly dodging the chaos of the latest winter storm. Five Northeastern US states declaring a state of emergency moments after the boys took to the air. Glenn, Richard, Jim and Greg Leisz, our welcome guest for this album, all landed safely at a grey, mild Heathrow and were soon being ushered into the cocoon that is British Grove re-uniting themselves with their instruments…and us.

There have been many get-togethers over the years and they are always gratifying but this one is special. After a difficult two years, we have all felt the painful effects of the pandemic particularly those associated with the studio. It’s still difficult to comprehend the sudden loss of David Stewart, our studio manager in the early weeks of the pandemic. He will forever remain a part of this studio and his legacy lives on in the wonderful facility he helped create.

Many of our friends, musicians with whom we’ve recorded and toured with, have kept themselves busy with remote sessions and recording projects without ever leaving their own homes or studios, it’s far from ideal but it works and for most musicians, this has been the bulk of our work over the last two years. This month things are different.

Suddenly finding ourselves here in a band situation, recording Mark’s songs once again is joyful yet as soon as we begin playing, the time since our last times together disappears. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of playing live in a band situation even without the audience. Mark and I have been sculpting his songs in demo form off and on for of the last year in studio 2, all in preparation for this next four weeks of recording in the main room. After postponing the sessions last November, it is a great relief to get these sessions up and running.