Details of our first CD together, released by WildGoose in 2005
with CD notes and additional information, song samples and sheet music to download and print 




'Parallel Strands' is now completely sold out.
We have no plans to re-press it at present - but watch this space 



This recording was a long time in the making. It had been on my 'To Do' list for at least 5 years and I had done some planning for a solo CD but those plans had not been translated into much action. In 2003 I started to sing with Shan and we had both enjoyed performing a growing repertoire of songs from the Baring-Gould collection. When Doug Bailey invited us, in the summer of 2004, to make a CD with Wildgoose Records, he wanted to do something that brought that traditional material together with my own songs. (Indeed, his provisional title for the CD was 'The Two Faces of Martin Graebe'!)  - and so the concept of 'Parallel Strands' was born. 

Initially we thought more of the CD might be unaccompanied but we were very pleased to find that a number of musicians, some old friends and some new, were keen to help. Working with musicians in this way was new to us and, it has to be said, some of the things that we naively asked them to do were a bit of a stretch. It has been a real pleasure to work with them and to learn together - we are both grateful to them and awed by their talent. So, my solo, unaccompanied, traditional CD has grown a bit. A number of the songs on this CD have not been heard since Baring-Gould noted them down in the late 19th Century. In the case of my own songs the arrangements are all new. 
Click on the links below (or to the right) to read the CD notes, download song sheets (which you can read, play and print) or to listen to samples of the songs on the CD. 

Sheet Music



 And you can have a peek at what went on in the studio here



Paul Burgess - Fiddle

Jeff Gillett - Guitar and Mandola

Keith Kendrick - English and Anglo Concertina

Barry Lister - Tuba and Trombone

Paul Sartin - Oboe

Paul Wilson - Accordion and Percussion (Granite, Slate and Tom-Tom)

Doug Bailey, Lynne Heraud, Barry Lister and Pat Turner - additional vocals




A number of people have been involved in this project in different ways and our thanks are due to all of them, particularly to the musicians and singers listed above. We would particularly like to acknowledge:

Doug Bailey for the invitation to record, for maintaining our will to live through the more difficult bits and for his vision, skill, patience and help. Also, of course, Sue Bailey for her hospitality and unfailing cheerfulness.

Paul Wilson and Jeff Gillett deserve particular recognition for the help and advice they have given us on the musical content. I have worked with Paul and with Wren, the community arts organization that he co-founded, for many years and I continue to be amazed at his talent and the way that he uses it to unselfishly support others. Jeff is someone else I have known for many years and one of the finest accompanists that I know. It is a great privilege for us to have had his talent at our disposal.

Sabine Baring-Gould for his vision and energy in securing and leaving for us 'a sweet cup for posterity'

And, since she delegated the job of writing the notes to me, I get a chance to thank Shan Cowan for her love, support and encouragement and for her willingness to push at the boundaries - and pull me along with her



Martin Graebe and Shan Cowan

December 2004