Ffynnon is a trio from Wales, performing songs deeply rooted in the rhythms, traditions and landscapes of the British Isles. Their repertoire includes traditional songs sung in Welsh, as well as music from Scottish, Cumbrian, Breton, and other Celtic and English sources. The band is based around the singing of Lynne Denman and Stacey Blythe, accompanied by keyboards, fiddle and accordion. The late Dave Reid was a third member, contributing masterful six-string bass to Ffynnon’s Celtic Music from Wales album on Green Linnet Records.
Ffynnon has toured in America, Brittany (France), the Sudan (funded by the British Council), and all over Britain. They have appeared at the Chicago Celtic Festival, and on S4C TV (Welsh-language TV), BBD Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, and Radio Wales. They performed at the national and International Eisteddfodau (Welsh Music, Literature and Arts Festivals), and headlined on ’Gwerin y Werin’ program on Welsh-language TV channel S4C . Ffynnon was voted the ’best band’ at Gwyl Glyndwr, Machynlleth (festival in mid-Wales).
Lynne Denman (vocals)
Lynne is in the vanguard of the new, exciting breed of singers emerging in Wales today from the older tradition. She has sung and performed throughout Britain and Europe and NE Africa and appeared regularly on Welsh national television and radio. She acted as researcher and advisor in modern Celtic music at the Celtica Interpretive Centre in Machynlleth. She performed at the Festival de cinema de Douarnenez and the Kann al Loar, Landerneau, Brittany with Sanfferian and sings on a regular basis for the National Museum of Wales.
Stacey Blythe (accordion, cello, harpsichord, recorders, piano, vocals)
Playing a wide variety of instruments, Stacey studied at the Welsh College of Music and Drama where she now lectures and runs workshops. Recent collaborations include: research on traditional ballads with Frankie Armstrong, work with Meredith Monk and premiering a new work by her at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. She is currently working as composer on a new independent film.
Dave Reid (bass guitar)
Dave Reid plays a six-string bass guitar, and was a popular and active figure on the jazz scene in Wales and London. He also worked regularly for TV and radio, both as a musician, a presenter of music programmes, and as a writer of satirical sketches and radio scripts. Dave worked for six years with Welsh artist Meic Stevens a’i Fand, touring regularly in Brittany and Wales and recording ’Life and Death’ with in 1989.
Quotes From the Press
Mae ffynnon yn perfformio ganeuon gyda’i gwreiddiau mewn rhythmau, traddodiadau a thiroedd yr – Ynysoedd Prydeinig
“Ffynnon, one of the great new folk bands from Wales” – Folk Roots (England)
“Ffynnon combine energy, skill, sensitivity and musical understanding in equal measures. Working with them was a rare treat and a lot of fun.” – Richard Boothby, Fretwork
“Lynne Denman’s ethereal, multilingual voice and Stacey Blythe’s cross cultural versatility with the piano, recorder, accordion and cello means that Ffynnon are able to sing from a European songsheet and provide an affirmative sound track for the new Wales.” – New Times
“A fine singer”, “a gorgeous voice” – Taplas (Wales’ foremost folk music magazine)
“Ffynnon has a haunting way of updating the traditional songs on Celtic Music from Wales (Green Linnet). The old songs, in Welsh and English, maintain their death-haunted dignity.” – Jon Pareles, The New York Times
“…with Denman’s vocals soaring effortlessly, the effect is downright magical.” – Sarah McQuaid, Hot Press (Ireland)
“The centerpiece is mellifluous soprano Lynne Denman” – Rob Weir, Sing Out
“The splendid performance….was an occasion which will long be remembered by all who attended” – Lillian Craig Harris, British Embassy, Khartoum
“An open hearted performance” – The Western Mail
“Mae hi’n canu o’r galon” – Tim Lewis, ’Clychau’r Cwm’ (Valley Bells)
In Memory of Dave Reid
By Lynne Denman (Ffynnon), with Dianna Griffin (Island Heart Music, USA)
David Reid, member of the Welsh group Ffynnon, died of a heart attack in New York on Monday, 13th January 2003. Dave was a six-string bass guitar and piano player, composer, arranger and poet.
According to Dave’s Geordie granny, he was a “skitty bugger”* like her. From the time he was sent to Dan Dare School (school for the blind), until his death, he never stopped creating great music, literature and humourous havoc to the inspiration of all of his friends.
Arriving in sunny New York from damp Wales, his home for 30 years, to showcase traditional and new Welsh music at the Arts Presenters conference in January 2003 with his band Ffynnon, he said “Ah my loves, my place is in the sun!” He was thrilled to be in New York and have a chance to listen to jazz. But Dave was always in the light, never in the dark, because while most blind people “see” darkness, Dave interestingly enough always “saw” only light.
Dave was a valued member of Ffynnon, who are the first Welsh band signed to Green Linnet Records. He played on Ffynnon’s recent Green Linnet release, Celtic Music from Wales (GLCD1221).
Dave had two volumes of poetry published, Fox Horizon Blues and Truth Street, the latter of which is available through Lighthouse Publishing in Cardiff. He was working on a novel entitled Late Afternoon at the Entrophy at the time of his death. He performed on numerous albums and with many bands. He played recently with Meic Stevens throughout Wales, but particularly at Meic’s 60th birthday concert at the National Eisteddfod. Meic’s new CD, which Dave played on, was launched there- Ysbryd Solva (The Spirit of Solva – Meic’s home village on the Pembrokeshire coast). He also played on Meic’s album ’Life and Death’. He was a member of the Cardiff Jazz Society and also performed with the Paul Hampton Trio.
Dave Reid’s Ffynnon bandmates and dear friends say that, He has left a huge hole in the fabric of our lives. His sudden and unexpected exit has denied us a river of jazz-inspired, intelligent guitar music and left us in the dark.
*Newcastle City Library: ’skitty bugger’ is someone who likes a laugh and a joke.