Long Time Coming
Been a while since I sat down & wrote a newsletter for the mailing list - July 2001 in fact if my computer is to be believed.

Whitchurch 2002
I would have liked to have got this newsletter out in time for Whitchurch to tell you all that Haze were playing on the Saturday afternoon and Treebeard playing on the Sunday afternoon, but I guess it’s a bit late for that. More importantly, what I did manage to get out in time for Whitchurch was the NEW TREEBEARD CD!

Heavy Wood
Started over two years ago, the Treebeard CD was recorded in dribs & drabs, first on 8-track & then transferred to computer, once I’d got the hang of this digital recording business. It includes a fairly representative selection from our live show of originals, pop & rock covers & traditional tunes. See the Treebeard site for the low down. The title comes from Twice Bitten, who the older amongst you may remember as an acoustic duo who used to support Haze and other prog rockers in the 80s. They described their mix of rambling announcements and endless tuning sessions as ‘Heavy Wood’, which seemed appropriate to what we're doing now. Of course, no sooner do we release a CD than we write a whole new crop of songs, so hopefully the next CD won't take quite as long, and will include such new originals as ‘Train’, ‘Hard Times’ (C McMahon), ‘Believe (C McMahon/G Walker), ‘The Barrister & The Bargast’ (P McMahon), ‘Tree McMahon’s’ (C, P & J McMahon), as well as our renditions of ‘The Ace of Spades’ and the traditional ‘Star of the County Down’. The album is currently available on top quality CD-Rs with full colour sleeves, but I am hoping to secure a licensing/ distribution deal before too long to release it on CD & make it more widely available than just gigs & mail order.

Baby Trees
On 25th June at 7.28pm fiddler Dr Gordon Walker’s wife Jacqui gave birth to a 6lb 3.5 oz bouncer named Oliver Sebastian Walker. So if he looks even more tired & grumpy than Paul at gigs - you know why!

Beer Festivals
We seem to have finally found our spiritual home, the CAMRA Real Ale Festival! Since being described as ‘the perfect accompaniment with beer’ by Newark, we’ve never looked back. We've played Newark the last 2 years and have shows lined up at Tamworth & Barnsley (Nottingham sadly never got confirmed), so if you want to see us, get on your CAMRA festival committee & book us.

The latest news is, there is no news! A brief recap if you’ve not been following the plot: Strongheart are a three piece heavy rock band from the States, who settled in Sheffield in 1988. Two albums & a fearsome reputation later, bass player Billy Evans quite for the bright lights of LA, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time, well, in the studio rehearsing with Satsuma! in April ‘98 actually. Last November guitarist Wilbur returned to the States to visit his folks, & didn’t come back! We had a tour booked for March/April this year, which drummer Bobby & me completed with Paul McMahon & Toastplant Nick standing in on guitar & vocals. We were hoping to get some recording done, but pressure of Bob & my workloads (Bob gives drum tuition & plays seminars all around the country), means that nothing has happened yet. Although it’s possible that Wilbur will return to the UK it’s not looking likely at the moment, but we’ll let you know if he does!

Things have been slightly livelier on the Haze front; in May we stood in for Chis’s band ‘Three Legged Cat’ at the Running Horse, Nottingham at a week’s notice & no rehearsal, & proved that what we can’t remember, we can still make up! Then as we started rehearsals for Whitchurch, Paul brought along two new songs ‘Over The River’, which we premiered at Whitchurch, and another, which we got no further than using as an overture to start the set with. We’re also about to start work on the remix of ‘Stoat & Bottle’ for CD release, which we’ve been planning to do for ages. Hopefully this will be out in time for the:-

25th Anniversary Show!
A frightening thought, but it’s due to take place towards the end of May 2003, probably at the Boardwalk, Sheffield. Book the week off work now! Also, if any one is still interested in the 2nd CD which was available as a limited edition CD-R with the 20th anniversary show CD, I can now supply these (in just a double CD tray, so it fits into the same jewel case as the single 20th anniversary CD) for just £5.

Is my Strongheart surrogate band (but don’t tell them that!). However the evidence is overwhelming; awesome musicianship, endless solos from the fastest guitarist in town, (and the occasional bass solo), powerhouse drumming from Bob’s drum tech Fred, and a distinctly jamming approach to a set of Hendrix, Cream, Purple, Sabbath & AC/DC covers. Originally called PRF, bass player Paul left (familiar story?) to be replaced by me, hence CRF - Chris, Rick, Fred. Guitarist Rick has toured the States & played 2nd guitar with Strongheart around the time of the Ritual CD & Fred has played with Stafford Galley, The Toastplant Project, Kingfisher Blue & Dead By Friday.

WWW dot stuff
OK I know the sites haven’t been updated for a while, but I’ve been busy right? Hopefully updates should be appearing over the next few weeks at:- and - for links to them all, or mail me at to get on the (virtual) mailing list.
I’m planning to get mp3’s of songs up on the net, possibly making whole albums available for download. Keep an eye on as I’ll put any links there.

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