Join The Mailing List

Feedback

This page is dedicated to those who have taken the time to email us with their comments. Thank you!

------------------------------------------------------------------

Keith, I just received the CD and wanted to thank you. It is more than I had expected. Apart from being passionate about Lorca and his poetry, I find that your music accompanies the intent of his poems so well. I really enjoyed listening to it and I can well imagine how effective it is live. Best wishes on your concerts. Please let us know when you come to the United States

Anna

------------------------------------------------------------------

With unintentional topicality, Keith and Rick have made a record based on Federico Garcia Lorca's visit to the New York of the great depression of 1929. Lorca disliked the city and decamped to Cuba before returning to Spain. Unlike its predecessor Poet in New York is less by Lorca and more about Lorca and other writers' responses to the city.

The record opens with the atmospheric 'Allude', an instrumental excerpt from 'Famous Blue Raincoat', before '1910', one of Lorca's earliest New York poems though the key track is probably 'Federico'. This is a percussive, jazzy composition with strangely distorted piano and words derived from a poem by Pablo Neruda. Additionally, there is a song based on lines from Nabokov's Pale Fire, two of Keith's own songs, 'The Hands of Never Been' and 'The Circle Song', Leonard Cohen's 'In My Secret Life' and Suzanne Vega's 'The Queen and The Soldier', while at the centre of it all are Keith's voice and guitar and Rick's extraordinary bass-playing.

Lorca had a great impact but Poet in New York feels like a more complete work - subtle, literate and with more complex instrumentation. A triumph.

Rock'n'Reel ****

------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Keith and Rick,

I saw you guys at the Clapham Picturehouse a week ago, and I thought the show was fantastic, especially your version of 'Take This Waltz'. On another note, I was wondering if you could remind me of the name for people who are interested in Lorca was?

Thanks, Sarah

Lorcitas - Keith

------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Keith and Rick,

I was at your Nick Drake concert at Norwich and was entranced by both of your performances. I came away, surprisingly, with your Lorca CD (plus a copy for my cousin living in Spain). It has introduced me to his poems and I find the words, the singing, guitar and base playing in my head even when not playing the CD!! I have the date for your next Norwich concert and plan to gather friends to come along as well and to recommend to friends and family to see you both in Darlington, too. Rick’s playing is a joy to watch as well as listen to.

Trish

------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Keith,

Seeing you play in the Penrith Playhouse a couple of years back remains one of my fondest live music memories!

So when I saw that you had adapted the poems of a favourite writer of mine, I was naturally very pleased and have ordered the CD...

I though you may be interested to read a poem that I wrote, about Lorca, which I finished (or, as Paul Valery would have said, 'abandoned') just yesterday.

Also, having recently put down the pen and picked up the guitar, after a few years of letting it lie, I have become interested in adding music to my poetry but (as the example below shows) I am finding it difficult to get started - So any advice you can offer in this area would be much appreciated.

Anyway, I look forward to hearing you at the Brewery Arts centre in early April.

Best Wishes, Michael

------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Keith

I attended your performance of Lorca the other night at The Stables, and I thought it was great. Thanks to you and Rick for a really enjoyable evening.

I wonder if you would be interested in the attached? It's a collection of forty poems written by Arab writers in Andalusia between about the tenth and thirteenth centuries, which I have translated into English. Originally they formed part of a collection of 112 poems that were researched by a famous Arabist called Emilio García Gómez, who became the first Professor of Arabic Studies at Granada University. He translated them into Spanish in the late 1920s; the book was an immediate success, and influenced many of the writers of the Generation of 27, including Lorca himself.

To date my translations have not been published: I have been told by several poetry publishers that they think them worthy of publication, but not commercially viable. The market is simply too small to take the risk. At least they were honest.

However, after hearing you the other night, I wondered whether any of them might 'leap off the page' to you and make a good song or two? (In fact, originally they would have been sung at soirées.) Even if none of them do, you might find them interesting in their own right as background on one of Lorca's influences.

With very best wishes

Sean

Response:

Hi Sean, what you have sent me is amazing! It will take me quite a while to read through it – truly amazing!! Thank you very much

Best wishes - Keith

------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Keith,

I attended your gig at Clapham Picture House last week and introduced myself briefly whilst buying the CD.

Firstly congrats on a very enjoyable and intriguing evening.

You may remember I asked about the estate and how helpful they were to you and you mentioned you'd be happy to pass on their details and those of the rights solicitor. It would be great if you could.

I'm a theatre director and I'm passionate about 'Blood Wedding' and have a project I'd like to develop from it so it would be helpful. It would be great to speak to you guys about it also at some stage.

Anyway, thanks very much, hope all's well on the road and hope to hear from you soon.

Rob

------------------------------------------------------------------

The Poems of Lorca: St George's, singer/songwriter and guitarist Keith James and his collaborator Rick Foot have got form when it comes to re-interpreting the work of others.

They have been touring their Songs of Nick Drake project for several years now, but this performance was something different - the poems of Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca put to music.

Keith has a gorgeous, mellifluous voice that, along with his complex arrangements, was a perfect conduit for the verse.

The poems chosen were some of Lorca's earlier work, including Floating Bridge and The Feud, as well as some from his unhappy period in New York in the 1920s.

The whole concept could have felt like an academic exercise, but Keith's dry wit ensured it was always entertaining. To balance his new arrangements, he threw in a few old favourites including Joni Mitchell's Woodstock and Leonard Cohen's First We Take Manhattan.

Cohen was the first to put Lorca's works into song, and his Take This Waltz made the perfect bridge from the original work to modern song.

It is hardly a complaint, but both musicians' playing was so breathtaking that it took your attention away from the words.

Overall it was a delightful performance that inspired you to further investigate the work of both the long-dead writer and the very much alive musicians.

Helen Sloan, Bristol Evening Post

------------------------------------------------------------------

Keith James has the uncanny knack of reaching deep into the soul of others, and none more so than with his fine interpretation of poems by Lorca. Set to well crafted music beautifully played by Keith and double bass player Rick Foot , Keith's rich vocals offer an evocative insight into Lorca's work. Both the album and the live show are truly memorable .

Kim Headley, Artistic Director, Broadstairs Folk Festival

------------------------------------------------------------------

Federico García Lorca was a Spanish poet who was murdered by Franco's Fascists in the Spanish Civil War in 1936. The reasons for his death are murky but the fact that he was a brilliant poet and artist with a pronounced social consciousness was never going to find him any favour with the ignorant fascist bullies, and as a result, the world lost a brilliantly creative mind.

Lorca's surrealistic words stand the test of time and their power is undiminished by the decades. The exalted company of the chosen covers of respected singer songwriters of recent times only further serves to underline his genius.

It is a brilliantly executed performance that takes Keith’s acoustic guitar and haunting vocals and combines them with some breathtaking double bass work from Rick that really brings the poems to life and sets Lorca’s pop culture contribution into context, underlining how his influence has far outlived the disastrous and ignorant fascists who won the Spanish Civil War.

The two musicians have a great humility to their performance and the intimacy of the show makes it feel like a shared celebration. They are delivering a very difficult task - celebrating a long dead poet in a modern context - and succeeding, with flawless musicianship and spot on vocals.

If Lorca is a name you vaguely knew before you went, you leave the theatre with a headful of ideas - and that’s the real power of this show; not does it keep the flame alive of a humanistic poet genius but it passes it on through the generations. Genuinely inspirational.

BBC Manchester

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Keith,

I came to see you in St Ives when you did the Lorca evening and enjoyed it immensely, even though you were not very well that evening. I attach a flyer for my poetry in the hope that you find it of interest. The new book Siempre, Siempre, Siempre is inspired by Spain and has a number of poems that I hope you would like. My partner and I spent six weeks there last year and we are going back in April for 4 months. I am just starting out on my writing career despite being 53 (!) but I have been encouraged by the feedback /reviews I have received so far. The new book features photos and poetry and has some images courtesy of Tim Shaw the sculptor whose work I admire very much. I hope I can sell you a copy and please spread the word around for me !!

I wish you all the very best for your new tour and hope you can make it down to St Ives again in the Autumn /Winter perhaps ?

Best Wishes
Phil Ewing
Cornwall

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Keith - I met you last night in Bilston and wanted to say you have re-kindled an interest in Lorca. Fantastic evening! As I mentioned last night I have amassed a collection of several hundred paintings, drawings, prints, illustrations based on interpreting Lorca's works. We would love to combine your music with a gallery exhibition somewhere in southern Spain during the coming year. We will search out a location over Easter and contact you on our return if thats ok. Regards John B

-----------------------------------------------------------------

KEITH JAMES AND RICK FOOT: LORCA Farnham Maltings

Keith and Rick’s album, Lorca, was an unexpected highlight of last year. Unexpected because it arrived unheralded and because I, to my shame, knew little about Keith’s work and even less about Federico Garcia Lorca. For the benefit of others in a similar position the evening began with a short film about Lorca. It wasn’t an in-depth study, nor did it attempt to unpick the politics of Spain in the 1930s but its images of Granada and the surrounding countryside did much to set the poetry in context.

Keith and Rick played almost all the album beginning with ‘Floating Bridges’, a song which reminds me of Joni Mitchell’s wonderful Hejira. As an antidote to the gloom (and Lorca can be unremittingly miserable) they mixed the set with songs by writers influenced by Lorca and other “dead poets”. I have to say that I found their initial choices rather unimaginative – there are a dozen Mitchell songs I’d pick before ‘Woodstock’ – but in the second half, which was relatively more upbeat with ‘The Unfaithful Wife’ and ‘Going To Santiago’, the selection of ‘First We Take Manhattan’ to follow ‘Take This Waltz’ was more to my liking.

If you think that the double bass is a dull instrument listen to Rick Foot, the talk of the audience during the interval. On ‘Diamond’ he coaxed the highest notes possible from the instrument and then found even higher ones on Nick Drake’s ‘Three Hours’. He took stunning plucked and bowed solos in ‘The Feud’ and the second Leonard Cohen song respectively and his playing was the pulse of the music, perfectly complementing Keith’s acoustic guitars.

Dai Jeffries : Rock n Reel

Farnham Maltings: 20 February 2008

------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Keith,

Just a general message of support- in that my wife & I saw you in Halesworth, Suffolk (Songs of Nick Drake thingy). REALLY NICE!

I bought "Postcards" & "Lorca" at the concert. The 2 CD's have been almost worn out! (You know what I mean).

The Lorca project is superb & I would like to think something similar may be in the pipeline(?)

Anyway - KEEP IT UP! & we'll see you again if you venture as far as Sunny Suffolk again.

Graham

------------------------------------------------------------------

Who translated the Lorca poems? Was it Keith? I ask merely out of interest. Julie

- It was a mixture of Leonard Cohen, various established translators featured in the "Collected Poems" volume by Farrar Straus and Giroux and myself. Hope this helps.  Keith

------------------------------------------------------------------

I loved tonight's gig at the Lowry Salford. Please stop apologising for Leonard Cohen. He is a God and to aficionados like me his songs are uplifting and joyous!!

Bob M.

------------------------------------------------------------------

A wonderful album - every single track a work of art.

Mr. N Tucker (iTunes review)

------------------------------------------------------------------

We really enjoyed the Lorca evening at The Plough - we talked to you in the break and at the end, brought alive by the film. However the Nick Drake evening - with some John Martyn thrown in - was truly magical.

Thank you,
Jan and Fred

------------------------------------------------------------------

I had seen their live performance of the Lorca poetry set to music in The Glasgow Film Theatre and adored it. I so regretted not buying the CD at the time, as the music followed me home, like "The Wind". This is a MUST for all Lorca fans, Leonard Cohen aficionados and lovers of excellent guitar music laced with scrumptious bass playing. The sleeve is beautifully designed and shows some of Lorca's own art work. Complete with English translations of the poems, the package, as a whole is not to be missed. Keith James is a lovely, soulful guitarist, and has a bewitching tone to his voice that compliments these lyrics of nature and love.

ceplauskas

------------------------------------------------------------------

I recently saw Keith James and Rick Foot in concert. They were superb. This cd contains the songs they sang live. What an amazing feat to put Lorca's words to music and it was done beautifully. Rick play double bass like I've never seen before and Keith has an incredibly mellow voice that brings Lorca's poems to life while making them his own. I love it.

Linda Jabo

------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Keith

Really enjoyed the concert at Windsor Arts.

I can't stop listening to the Lorca album - it's absolutely terrific!! I really like the "Spanish" feel and the contrast between the hauntingly melodic songs and the more rhythmical ones. Floating Bridges is my favourite.

In case you didn't know, Radio 3 broadcast 2 programmes last Sunday evening about Lorca. The first was a play by Lorca (Blood Wedding, 8pm) and the second was about music and verse that Lorca would have known (Words and Music, 10.15pm). Presumably, these can be heard again via the 7-day repeat internet facility.

Good luck with the rest of the tour and thanks for all the beautiful music over the years.

Regards

Alan

------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi there Keith and Rick,

I know we did our thank you's earlier this evening, but just wanted to tell you how much your music is appreciated by both my Brother and myself.

Hopefully it is satisfying enough for you that those of us that came to see you enjoyed every minute of your performance, as a singer myself, I appreciate good music, so thanks once again, and we hope to see you again soon.

Geoff

------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello Keith,

I saw you play in Liverpool and fortunately got myself a copy of Lorca, and my enjoyment of it has grown and grown with every listen.

The songs upon hearing most of them for the first time live had an immediate effect on me – Very atmospheric and evocative of the culture and times you can imagine Lorca living in.

The Gypsy references with the Spanish guitar sound work particularly well for me.

I know as a songwriter myself that there is no greater satisfaction than when someone gains enjoyment or some connection to your music.

The songs speak strongly and emotively, capturing Lorca’s intent and breathing it into a living musical landscape with close warm production.

Rick’s extraordinary double bass work of course adds yet another dimension, giving a much greater depth for the music to live within.

I have been enthusiastically evangelising about the album to friend that have an interest in Lorca’s poetry, and those who merely know how to appreciate genuine good music.

In particular I have a Spanish friend that I am sending a copy to today (I hope you don’t mind, I hope it will spread your notoriety even further), and I will be interested in how she comments on the translations and your interpretation.

Best of luck with the rest of the tour,

I am sure you will only receive greater and greater support as the word gets round,

Hope to catch you next time you’re in the area,

(I am on the mailing list)

Best wishes,

Paul

------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Keith,
Long time coming BUT... it';s all very well coming up with a project but does it work as a piece of music ... Does it hang together as a collection of songs... The answer I'm happy to say is a resounding YES.
Keith Warmington BBC Radio in the West

------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello again Keith!

Do you recall that we met at your concert at the Cameo
cinema, Edinburgh, on Tues 9th October'07? I am that Spanish teacher who was there with her 6th formers and I asked you about the possibility of getting hold of a copy of the film as I teach Lorca's poetry + plays at George Heriot's School in Edinburgh. May I say that my charges absolutely loved your show as did I! I trust that your tour is still a success. I hope to see you back in Edinburgh again soon and look forward to hearing from you.

My Kind regards,
Dorothy Mullen.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Keith,

thanks for a really chilled evening at the Square on Fri, its such a magical place and as always its really nice to hear yourself and Rick play there, a great way to unwind on a Friday Night.

Thought I'd give you my thoughts on the Lorca cd.

I was impressed with the Lorca stuff on the night and thought the 3 stand out tracks from the Lorca set were the hypnotic opener Floating Bridges, the Unfaithful Wife and the Feud.

I have to be honest it is a brave move to take what a lot of people would say was a fairly obscure poet and set the translated verses to music.

I have listened a few times, as both background music and more thoroughly through headphones (with a nice Rioja!!!!!) and have to say I'm really impressed, I think you and Rick are right to be really proud. It would have been all too easy by interpreting Spanish verse to overdo the Spanish thing and make it sound "cheesy" or twee- I don't think it does. On the whole the music seems to compliment the verse really well, one does not detract from the other. As ever the guitar and bass arrangements are really quite special, they really balance out the tone of the piece, its not overindulgent, flabby or showy. I also like the sprinkling of Hammond and Wurlitzer on a couple tracks which makes it sound like one of your records. Congratulations to the other musicians, the piano is quite beautiful, never overstated, and the accordion and percussion add to the Latinesque setting.

Album-wise I don't think there is a bad track, some may find Dawn In New York a "challenge" (its one of my favourite places and I kind of see where the words are coming from, especially thinking what it would have been like in the thirties- nice blues touch to the tune that develops into something quite uncomfortable against all that anguish). I rate - unfaithful wife, the Feud, Limonar while other songs like Nocturne and the ethereal Preciosa are real "growers".

I hope the forthcoming tour is well supported by those that have followed the Nick Drake stuff, I would imagine that type of thing has a fairly loyal following with similar faces in similar places, and with the type of people that turn out for that sort of thing hopefully returning. Also it deserves to win yourself and Rick a new following via the Lorca perspective.

Congratulations on undertaking this challenge and succeeding where many others would have certainly stumbled and come a cropper, its something that could have sounded like a disaster. Good luck for the rehearsals/tour - we hope to catch you at Dorchester arts for another splendid evening.

Best wishes to yourself and Rick

Cheers Dan and Marcie Light (Weymouth)

------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Keith,

I am looking forward very much to attending your concert in Halifax at the beginning of February. After seeing it advertised, I looked at your website and am emailing you in connection with the following statement on the 'Concept' part of the site: "Two people have put Lorca's poems to music in the past, Paco Ibanez in 1964 and Leonard Cohen in 1988."

You perhaps didn't mean 'only two people', but if not, I must bring to your notice the beautiful music of the Greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis, set to many of the poems in Lorca's 'Romancero Gitano'. These were composed in the late 1960s. It was hearing them performed at the Cambidge Theatre in London c.1970 by Maria Farantouri and John Williams that first introduced me to the haunting poetry of Lorca. The concert was in protest at the Military regime in Greece following the coup d'état of 1967.

Here is a link to a website which has some audio extracts (the one accompanied by Williams is from a 1971 recording - not 1973, as stated).

I understand that the music in the extracts from Canciones Populares was composed by Lorca himself.

http://www.angelfire.com/music7/mikis/lorca.html

In fact, many composers and song writers around the world have set Lorca's poems to music.

Best wishes,

David Sellers

(Leeds)

.