Billy Maher’s Weekend Inn BBC Radio Merseyside

We’ve been very privileged to have been on BBC Radio Merseyside with our friend Billy Maher many times and each time have an opportunity to play some songs live. He has us back thanks to those people who tell him each time that they like to hear us chat and play which is very humbling for us and very much appreciated. It’s like a big family with people listening locally and from around the world, Canada, Florida, Australia and Earlestown! Here’s a link to last night’s programme which will be available for a month Billy Maher’s Weekend Inn 30 July 2016.

Many thanks to our friends around the world, wherever you are! Barry &Ronnie xx

Narrowboat Sessions

The Narrowboat Sessions are just that, recording sessions on a narrowboat, a wonderfully simple concept developed by Mark and Sue Holdsworth. Travelling the beautiful canals of the UK, Mark and Sue invite musicians onto their home and get them to play a few songs which are videoed and recorded for future charity CD’s. Southbound Attic Band were recorded during a warm sunny day in July in Chester in 2014 and the videos of the three tracks are now included in video form on our Music/Video page. The track the Ballad of George and Maude has been selected for the first of the CD collections (Launch date TBA) which also includes, amongst many others, tracks by Henry Priestman and Les Glover, Steve Tilston and probably the last ever recordings by the late, lovely Maggie Boyle. We consider it a real privilege to have been involved and I’ve included here a video from the same sessions of Steve and Maggie and their rendition of Silver Dagger, for no other reason other than I love it and it always brings a tear to my eye (in a good way!)

Steve Tilston and Maggie Boyle-Silver Dagger

Billy Maher’s Weekend Inn 6 Feb 2016

Here’s a link to last night’s Billy Maher’s Weekend Inn show on BBC Radio Merseyside. Ronnie and I are there chatting to Billy and making a general nuisance of ourselves from the start, then our music slot starts 58 minutes in with 5 live songs, including Valparaiso Bound(Additional vocals by B. Maher!) from the Willows Suite especially for our antipodean friend Ken O’Flaherty. He’s a lovely man that Billy Maher. with Billy Maherphoto by Ken O’Flaherty

Christmas Has Come Around EP


Christmas Has Come Around CD

Christmas is here and we’ve released a Christmas EP. Entitled Christmas Has Come Around the EP also features the Southbound Attic Band  version of The Fair and a new song Give Me A Sign, a jug band/skiffle type song with Ronnie ‘s versatility coming to the fore on washboard. The EP is available for £3 including P&P in the UK from or through the site contact page. You can hear the title song Christmas Has Come Around Here.  Or see a video Here. Many thanks to everybody who has played a track or a video or been to see us play or who has heard us on the radio and been in touch and to all those who came to the  revival of The Willows Suite or who came to the Acoustic Dustbowl sessions. Chris, Mark and I have decided to suspend the Acoustic Dustbowl nights for now, after 3 years so many thanks especially to all our regulars who we now count as friends. An extra special thanks to our friends overseas who we’ve met through Billy Maher and Ken O’Flaherty and the Bushwackers Club on BBC Radio Merseyside; have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Barry and Ronnie,

Southbound Attic Band

Folkscene 22 November 2015 BBC Radio Merseyside

Folkscene with Stan Ambrose 22 November 2015 Once again we are indebted to Stan Ambrose for featuring The Willows Suite by Southbound Attic Band  and an interview with Barry about the writing of the piece, for a full hour on his BBC Radio Merseyside programme. We are really fortunate and grateful to have had the support of Stan and Billy Maher as well as Billy Butler and Spencer Leigh and Geoff Speed before he retired. Add to that the support we’ve had from Michael Hooton at Mon FM on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey Ian Tinsley, Sally Tapia Bowes and Tony Higginson at Halton Community Radio and Billy Kelly at Mersey Radio and we really do feel privileged. Many thanks to you all.

Billy Maher’s Weekend In, BBC Radio Merseyside

SAB with Billy Maher SAB with Billy Maher pic. by Ken O’Flaherty

As well as great support from Stan Ambrose and Folkscene, we’ve been very lucky to have the support and friendship of Billy Maher and last night Ronnie and I were privileged to be invited into Billy Maher’s Weekend In(n) programme on BBC Radio Merseyside to meet Ken O’Flaherty all the way from Queensland, Australia,and his Brother-in-law, Alan, to have a chat and to play a few songs.  Ken has a regular slot on Billy’s programme on the phone from Australia, but is on his travels at the moment and has been on the programme in person. You can hear the programme again here; we’re there from the start in the background and our music slot starts around 01:01 in, and it will be available for a month. We played four songs including three from the Willows Suite, with some of the background stories. It was a real treat for us to be there and get a chance to communicate with Billy and Ken’s friends from the Bushwackers Club Downunder, a Facebook community with members from all over the world which you can find here; . We have  had renewed interest in The Willows Suite following on from two recent successful performances at a new independent bookshop Write Blend; on South Road, Waterloo, Liverpool, thanks to Tony, Bob and Sally-Anne. Ian D Hall of Liverpool Sound and Vision came to the first night and gave us a wonderful 5 star review for which we are eternally grateful. You can read that here;

SAB with Ken OFlahertySAB with Ken O’Flaherty, (pic by Alan)


Folkscene with Stan Ambrose

Stan Ambrose has been producing and presenting Folkscene on BBC Radio Merseyside for something like 49 years now, and has featured all 3 of our earlier CD’s, The Willows Suite, No More Tears and Living The Dream, and on 2 August 2015 featured our latest CD Our Day In The Sun. We feel privileged to know Stan and very, very lucky to have his support of our music. The hour long programme is available on I player until the end of August.

There is a film about Stan’s life which is very interesting and illustrates what a lovely man he is, now 86 years of age. If you get a chance it’s worth watching, you can find it here.

A few weeks ago we played at The Scarisbrick Marina for a charity event and Brian Conlan from Ormskirk Hospital Radio was there and interviewed Barry and recorded a few Southbound Attic Band tunes for an interesting half hour programme which is now available on Soundcloud. You can find that here; .

The Fair

Partly thanks to the song being played on Billy Maher’s Radio Merseyside programme and partly thanks to Ronnie and I playing the song live over the last few weeks, there has been some demand to make this song easily available and so I’ve added this link in again.

It’s last year’s entry to the Liverpool Acoustic Songwriting Challenge, but still seems to be attracting some plays on the Soundcloud player, for which I am profoundly grateful.

sept2014download 043And this is the work of art which inspired the song.

On the topic of Spring

prague09 004crop50A Prague shop window, Photo Barry Jones


He stepped out of the door and locked it behind him. He knew it couldn’t be so long ago, but he saw the blue sky for what seemed like the first time in months.

The daily dog walk was probably the only reason he went outside most days, but the appeal had waned as the winter rolled interminably on.

This early March day was different; as he walked towards the beach in a still thin wind he could smell the sandy earth and he remembered how much he loved that smell.

And the brown fields and bushes seemed to have a pale green aura.

When he reached a spot where he could see neither houses nor the sea, just dunes and trees, he turned to face the low morning sun.

He took off his hat and felt the slight warmth on his head and, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, he slowly turned his face until the sun shone directly on his eyelids, and all he could see was bright orange.

Exhaling slowly he felt a surge of renewed hope that he realised had been missing from his daily life, and as he and his dog turned for home he thought to himself, “Come what may, today is a good day!”

Barry Jones,  March 2015

Liverpool Acoustic Festival 2015

SABJuly L1312 Delighted to be playing at The Unity Theatre on Friday 20 March 2015  on the Liverpool Acoustic Stage. We’re doing a 30 minute set at 7.30pm and then a 20/30 minute Q&A on songwriting at 8.15pm. There are some great local acts on as well as Marketa Irglova and The Lost Brothers. Get all the details here;