Featured Label: Hands On Music

Hands On Music began life’s as the in-house label for Show of Hands in 1996 with the release of HMCD01 ‘Live at the Royal Albert Hall’. This was followed by the studio album ‘Lie of the Land’, originally recorded and released on the Isis label in 1995. The first studio album release was ‘Dark Fields’ in 1997 featuring the now classic track ‘Cousin Jack’. In the meantime the albums ‘Live 1992’ (Road Goes On Forever label), ‘Backlog’ and ‘Beat About The Bush’ (Isis label) were re-released on Hands On.

A catalogue of more than 30 Show of Hands releases on CD and DVD plus solo ventures by Steve Knightley, Phil Beer, Miranda Sykes and associated artists such as Paul Downes, Jackie Oates, Jim Causley, Faith Folk & Anarchy, Western Approaches (Knightley, Lakeman, Jenna) is a remarkable achievement from this self-sufficient Westcountry cottage industry.

Hands On Music release two new albums on the 19 February, The Watchmaker’s Wife from Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston and Jim Causley’s Forgotten Kingdom.

The Watchmaker’s Wife, although not a parable of their personal lives, is most certainly a reflective, powerful and moving collection of tales of love and loss; some traditional and delivered in a way that maintains the dignity of the old songs; some original and with very modern arrangements; some are covers; all with a vibrant, immediate and edgy feel. The pair didn’t set out to create an album with love and loss as a theme, but in the thick of it all, when they just sat back and let out what came naturally, that’s what they got.

Jim Causley’s fifth solo album, ‘Forgotten Kingdom’, marks ten years since the release of his début recording ‘Fruits of the Earth’ in 2005 (WildGoose). It is also Causley’s first album of entirely self-penned material. Remarkably, given the prominence of his native West County in his music, Forgotten Kingdom is the first occasion Jim has actually recorded an album in his home county of Devon! It’s something he has long dreamt of doing.