A SEASONED PROFESSIONAL
Gareth Davies-Jones - singer, songwriter, story-teller and producer has been writing, recording and performing as a professional musician for twenty years. From community halls to concert halls, from rural backwaters to the heart of the city he has travelled the length and breadth of the UK armed with a rich distinctive voice and now two decades worth of perceptive and compelling songwriting spanning some fifteen albums and song-writing collaborations. Having garnered a loyal following on the independent roots/acoustic scene, his performances are known for gathering people together and inviting audiences to travel with him into a world of landscapes, history, characters and causes all underpinned with the warmth and vibrancy of a beautifully played array of stringed instruments and an assured vocal delivery. From stories of heroism on the Irish Sea to gentle praise for a beguiling Loire Valley village, from insight into the lives of pitman painters to the moving response of nineteenth century Belfast women to deadly famine, Gareth’s music is rich in variety and sets out to share an intriguing life in song-writing.
“Rich, soulful vocals, a fine ear for melody & masterful acoustic guitar playing” R2 Magazine
An Experienced Performer
Raised on the shores of Belfast Lough and now living in the Tyne Valley in Northumberland Gareth has been writing and playing his own songs since his mid-teens. After studying at Newcastle University and cutting his musical teeth busking, playing in local bands and working through his twenties, he turned professional in 2004 and set off on a solo singer-songwriter career which has been steadily gaining momentum ever since. Over the years he has patiently worked his own mailing list and played everywhere from house concerts to established venues like The Sage in Gateshead, from local halls to international events like The Queens Festival in Belfast. Across that time his music has been featured on BBC Television, national and local radio, and he has performed in a variety of unique settings - from marking the WW2 Arctic Convoy veterans Artic Star medal ceremony live on BBC National News to collaborating with Gamo tribal musicians in Arba Minch in the south of Ethiopia. The broad variety of the subject matter addressed in his songs continues to captivate and engage audiences at live shows up and down the country - odes to iconic Lighthouses, tales of maritime daring and tragedy, tributes to tunnellers in WW1, the landscape of Northumberland’s National Park, songs of hope, love and longing…. and everything in between. Over the years Gareth has collaborated with many well regarded artists such as Megson, Jez Lowe, Landermason, Yvonne Lyon, Calum Stewart and supported musical luminaries such as Phil Beer, Waterson Carthy, Spiers & Boden, Karine Polwart, Paul Field and Andy Flannagan.
“..an accomplished live performer – taking me back to a time and mood. You remember the days when you’d go to a folk club every week, irrespective? Occasionally, you’d go along one week (because that’s what you did) where you knew nothing in advance about the person who was playing ... and then you were wowed by what a great evening you’d had? That’s what this album (Truth, Tradition, Prophets & Loss 2021) reminds me of. It’s observant of traditional music but builds on it; it’s played and sung elegantly; above all, it’s an hour in the company of someone you’ve just come across – and you’re rather glad that you have.” Mike Wistow, Folking.com
Songwriter & Producer
After winning a Sony Radio Award with writer and producer Mary Colwell in 2009, Gareth went on to work with the Farne music archive at Sage Gateshead for ‘North By East’ with Calum Stewart in 2011. Not long after he received song commissions from highly regarded local organisations Traidcraft and The People’s Kitchen. In 2014-15 his song-writing was recognised with a prestigious Arts Council England funded residency at The Mining Institute, Newcastle Upon Tyne. ‘The Seam’ project resulted in an album of original songs and a critically acclaimed North East tour of former pit communities telling stories from the Institute’s world renowned archive covering the history of mining engineering and the industrial revolution. In 2017 he was commissioned by The Auckland Trust to help a variety of local community groups respond through song to the opening of the new Mining Art Gallery. Prior to the pandemic in 2018-20 Gareth worked with CNTW NHS Trust on ‘Inspire’ a major project helping young people explore their mental health through songwriting. Since early 2020 he has also been working with Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership (TVCRP) using music to explore public experiences of rail travel.
“The Seam…instantly memorable melodies & superb musical accompaniment. Gareth's voice is faultless throughout…Essential listening.” FATEA
“The Seam is not only an innovative and entertaining approach showcasing a unique collection, it’s also a fitting tribute to the history of mining and mining communities which speaks to our times.” The Morning Star
Gareth released his tenth solo album “Truth, Tradition, Prophets & Loss” in October 2021 and is currently working on “All Things Come” a collection that features a re-working/re-mastering of some of his best regarded songs spanning a twenty year career in music. It follows his latest collaborative release “Howay The Lasses” (launched in October 2022) which showcases original songs written to celebrate the lives and achievements of notable North East women. After meeting during lockdown of 2020 “Howay The Lasses” is a group featuring Gareth, pianist & singer Annie Ball, singer-songwriter Bronwen Davies-Jones and cellist Katie Tertell. Alongside gigs and tours throughout the year, Gareth continues to work on local songwriting projects in the North East of England, collaborates with other writers and has recently signed a new publishing deal with First Original Music Ltd. He has been one of Directors of Wylam Winter Tales Festival in Northumberland since 2016 and is currently working towards their 2024 programme.
“Some artists often sing in the name of one cause or another without conviction, but that is not the case here. The legacy of well-written, descriptive music laid down by Woody Guthrie, still lives on here in the UK” Maverick Magazine (5 Stars)
“..intelligent songs which make a point gently and invoke sympathy……..someone to be taken seriously” fROOTS