BLOG – recording new album Magna Carta

Finally after nine years it is going to happen. Magna Carta is recording the long awaited album,
‘The Fields of Eden’ in Will Jackson’s ‘Sound Works Studio’ in Leeds.

Chris Simpson put together a great band:

Wendy Ross: electric and acoustic violin
Laurens Joensen: guitar, mandolin and banjo
Douglas Morter: guitar
Alan Thopmson: bass
John Shepard: drums

We rehearsed one day, exchanging ideas and to get a feel for the songs. Then we recorded the basic tracks (the bedrock) in only three days, playing together live to get the real band feeling.
Here is the blog of our wonderful and magic time in the studio.

Laurens Joensen, Amsterdam 2014

Chris and Laurens entering the vault

Our Solid State Workhorse

Producer Will Jackson and his young apprentice Mike

John Shepard, the timekeeper

The lovely Wendy Ross

Facing me Alan Thompson, who played with John Martyn for over 30 years, in Pentangle and the Hellecasters and now with Magna Carta. What a player. He is officially from Glasgow, but hearing him play he could be a Nashville Cat.
Looking at me in the mirror the infamous Doug Morter, who plays with Jerry Donahue and countless other groups now returns to the old nest…Magna Carta.
The mirror is there so we can have eye contact while playing.

Me in my cosy guitar corner.

‘The Mike’

The old Maestro, doing the guide vocals, he sings along with the band, so we can get the feel. He will do his final lead vocals next week.

Doug and Chris telling hilarious ‘on the road’ stories

Keith is watching over us, with a good word of advice

Modern art

The only kind of deskwork I could ever do.

Not only is Alan Thompson a great fretless bass player, he also plays a mean slide guitar.

After one day rehearsal and three days of recording together we nailed the basic tracks.
There was a great chemistry between the musicians, it was simply cooking.
It sounded like we played together for years.

After 4 days of hard work Doug and I went shopping. It was time to unwind and have a nice picking party at Chris and Cathy’s place. We drank tea and orange juice all night and woke up bright and early.

Chris and Cathy took me and Doug, who was in a very cheerful mood after our little party the night before, to the Yorkshire Dales. Good inspiration for the album, as it is mostly about that area, where Chris was born and raised.

Who…? Doctor Who.

The Heartland

Then we paid a visit to Lord Fancarl’s house.There also lives a ghost called Edgar.
He comes round every Thursday ( I’m not kidding).

Lord Fancarl’s ghostly whippet William

The watchcat of the house. “What do you want?”

“Get out of here”

And back to Leeds for recording Chris’s vocals and additional parts

The most charming, skilled and relaxed producer. It’s an honour to work with Will Jackson.

After nailing five songs in a row almost in one take, Chris says cheerfully, ” Shall we pop on a couple of more songs?.” Stamina!


Recording the title track Fields of Eden, it’s going to be good…

It has been a great experience for me to work with and learn from this wonderful group of people.
Will and Chris will continue finishing the album. I have to return to Amsterdam. Wish I could stay longer.

Sitting in the airport lounge waiting for a plane, with a rainbow over my head.

Goodbye beautiful Yorkshire, see you in June