Reg Meuross BW at Roots Doncaster 12 Dec 2014 CROPAward winning singer-songwriter Reg Meuross is bringing his beautiful new album ‘December’ to Priston on Saturday April 30th, drawing attention to and raising funds for the lovely annual music festival of which he is the Patron. “Sounds like a forgotten, American 60s classic with echoes of Dylan, Tom Paxton and Leonard Cohen.” Robin Denselow, The Guardian; “The gentle enchantment and genius of Reg Meuross” David Kidman, Fatea Magazine; “Meuross is, quite simply, is one of the best” Malcolm Carter, Pennyblack Music.
Reg will be joined by a very special guest – his daughter Lily, who also writes and sings her own songs.
Folk presenter Mike Harding has said of Lily’s music: “…beautiful – as they say in Ireland – the fruit never falls far from the tree.” I agree, she has a remarkable talent, and people are bound to draw parallels between her and her well established and acclaimed father, of course, but Lily strikes me as a very independent spirit and her music has its own flavour.
Here father and daughter have answered the same questions, completely independently, about their own songs and about each other’s music, and about what makes them tick.
How long have you been writing and singing, how did you get into it?
REG MEUROSS: I wrote and made up lines to poems from when I was very young, like 5 or 6. I started playing guitar at 15 so that I could do a gig at Yateley Folk Club (where I grew up), and carried on from there.
LILY MEUROSS: I’ve been playing guitar for two years, but writing songs for as long as I remember, and singing the same, I’ve been singing and writing songs since I was a very little girl, all my family are musicians, so I think it was in my blood!
lily liveWhat is the greatest drive behind your music?
REG: To prove to everyone who ever said to me ‘When are you gonna get a proper job?‘ that this is a proper job. Also I love doing it and if you can make your passion your work, then I think you should.
LILY: The greatest drive behind my music is experiences and emotions, I’ve had a lot of heartbreak for my age! And writing it all down and singing it has been a really good way of expressing it for me, before I learnt to play guitar and had more freedom to write my songs alone, I felt repressed, it was almost a big relief when I could start putting it into music.
What else is important to you in life?
REG: My family and friends, and the freedom to live and express myself; something we take for granted but in these dangerous times we really shouldn’t.
LILY: My family is very important to me, there aren’t many of us and we are very close. I’m very passionate about animal welfare. I also think its of great importance to have fun! And enjoy life while you can. It’s never been about big money for me, but about doing what I love and not regretting anything. Music is my biggest passion, not just singing but listening, I’m into a really wide array of music, I listen to a lot of electronic as well as bands and acoustic.
What’s your favourite song by someone else and why?
REG: Favourite song is a tough one.. ‘favourite’ questions are hard because my mind is always changing. All i can say is that at this moment the two songs that come to mind are Dylan’s Positively 4th Street because it opened the door for me to songwriting, and the Beatles “Penny Lane”. It brought the imagery of poetry home and convinced me that I could do that too.
LILY: Hmmm favourite song. That’s a difficult one…. I have so many, but probably the one that sticks out is “A Case Of You” by Joni Mitchell, I have so many favourites, but my Mum and Grandma would always listen to Joni when i was growing up, and when I hear that song it always gives me chills! Joni is a strong influence and definitely made me want to get into writing my own songs.
Pick one of your own songs and tell us the story behind writing it. What gave you the idea and how did it evolve into the song it is now?
REG: “And Jesus Wept” is about Harry Farr, a shell shocked 1st World War soldier wrongly executed for desertion. I got the chorus lines for the song ‘The hand of god came down last night, and Jesus wept’ after playing in a town called Areley Kings and meeting an original member of Clifford T Ward’s band there, who told me how the town had lost its industry and about Clifford’s struggle against the long debilitating illness that killed him. I wrote the original song with a lyric about those two stories but it dint feel right, then when I got home I read the story about how Harry Farr’s family had, after 90 yrs of campaigning, received a pardon for him having been executed as a deserter. Harry was actually suffering from shell shock, and should have been sent home to his family as an invalid. I rewrote the song just keeping the original chorus. It seemed to make much more sense.
LILY: “I Feel Old Today” is a song I wrote when I was 23, and quite clearly not old yet! But at the time I had just moved to Bristol, my boyfriend had just broken up with me, I didn’t know anyone in a new city and I was feeling particularly drained, working all the time, but never having enough money to do anything. It’s a subject close to my heart and I think a lot of people can relate to, one of the chorus lines sings “I keep watching time fly, while I serve the rich and make their tea” this refers to me working as a nanny when I was living In London, and just being so fed up of serving the upper class, but not seeing a way out, and as an outcome, working one’s ass off, can make one feel old, I’m sure anyone agrees! Hehe.
What are you looking forward to about the gig on 30th April?
REG: The fight… but seriously, it’s a wonderful experience for any father to watch his daughter follow in his footsteps (but then I did try and teach her to drive, and that didn’t go so well..). Really looking forward to it!
LILY: I’m looking forward to supporting Dad, it’ll be the first time this has happened! We’ve played the odd song together but never a proper gig, it will be nice.
Do you have a favourite song of each other’s? If so what is it and why?
REG: Lily is a prolific writer with a lot of really good, focussed and emotionally raw songs. The one that stands out for me at the moment is ‘I Feel Old Today it is sharply observed and painfully honest.
LILY: I have a few favourites out of my Dad’s songs, but to be honest my favourite album was his first, and “Goodbye Hat” is my all time favourite! I think all his music is amazing, but for me that first album reminds me of being little again and seeing daddy up on stage and dancing around! “Goodbye Hat” has a special place in my heart.
You can see Reg & Lily perform Saturday April 30th. Priston Village Hall TICKETS & INFO HERE 12525295_10156644423200304_9051012360489082794_o
REG MEUROSS – My Name Is London Town

REG WITH LILY – If Love Is A Red Dress