checkout the
NEWS index

Lake Songs From Red Waters : The Best of Gay and Terry Woods has finally been released by Hux Records. The album is the culmination of over a year of effort by the label to extract the tracks from the licence holders Polygram who issued them originally on  Polydor back in the 1970's.This big twenty track compilation features the very best cuts from the first three albums - 'Backwoods', 'The Time Is Right' and 'Renowned' as selected by John O'Regan, the Irish journalist and writer in conjunction with the duo themselves. John, a lifetime fan of Gay and Terry's music,  has also added some very extensive and incisive sleeve notes and the CD is illustrated by the photographs of an old friend of the couple. The cover image portrays the two walking by the 'red river' of the title.
The release of the disc is a major step for the pioneering folk/rock duo, not least because it covers the early part of their career that has not been available anywhere on CD before. The remastering of these classic tracks leaves them "naked and raw" according to Gay Woods herself and listening to the album should be a whole new experience to those used to the lower grade vinyl records originally released. Both artists are thrilled with the reissue - Terry Woods (now back on the road again with the original Woods Band line-up) admitted he had personally tried to make the catalogue available but unsuccessfully." Since these recordings were made, much has changed and I've been suprised at how well the tunes still sound. Hux have done a very good job with the mastering". The fact that both artists had a big input into the release and that a high profile writer and fan like John O'Regan was prepared to give the project his support shows how well the collection has been handled. Hux, as they did previously with Gay's Auto Da Fe reissue, have taken infinate time and care both with the recordings themselves (in selection and remastering) and the packaging. This is a long-awaited compilation and no one will be disappointed.june2003
To celebrate the arrival of the album, we have put together three pages about it with comment from John O'Regan and Gay herself.

Check out the tracklisting and buy CD online
Read Gay's memories of the times
Read John   O'Regan's memories of Gay and Terry
With Gay less active in the music industry than previously there are correspondingly less stories to report. However, it is hope that this site will increase in size as a resource celebrating her great career. We are therefore constantly on the look-out for your old pictures, record sleeves, memories etc from any of the bands she has been in. Please keep sending them in. Gay personally checks the guestbook as well so please feel free to leave your messages for her there.

The long-awaited BBC series on the history of  folk music has been screened on BBC4 over three weeks. 'Folk Britannia' told the story of the emergence of the genre and its influences from the dust bowl singers of thirties America to the present day. It included many luminaries including Martin Carthy, the Watersons, Roy Harper and Donovan but coverage of Gay Woods and her influence on both the Irish scene and Steeleye Span was absent.
The first episodes were reasonably factual in bringing folk upto its most recent revival as it emerged from the pub scene to mass appeal. There was great footage of Davy Graham, Jackson C Franke and memories of the Dylan/Simon era. The format of the show meant that these clips were merely tantalising glimpses but immediately afterwards a 'Folk at the BBC' compilation aired fuller performances of many of the songs - a great idea !
Unfortunately though, when it got to the major revival of the late sixties and early seventies, the period was sadly neglected with only Fairport Convention being given any serious coverage and Steeleye virtually none at all. The programme pointed out that traditional music was marginalised by the emergence of electric folk without mentioning that Gay and the first Spanners were recording one of the definitive albums in that genre at the same period !
The third and final part brought the history from the seventies to the present day with the arrival of punk being considered as a response to the 'medieval' feel of the big folk shows at the time (cut to a few seconds of Steeleye). Members of the band past and present would no doubt be pleased to hear they played such a part in music's change of direction especially as it had previously been ascribed to the rise of stadium rock bands. It might be worth suggesting most fledgling punks wouldn't have even heard of Steeleye Span or the genre ! There was a brief attempt at considering Irish folk but it was limited to a biopic of Shane McGowan and the Pogues.The rich vein or earlier material was glossed over - better to have not included it in the remit rather than showed it so in-effectually. Billy Bragg and the Levellers were included to bring the history upto date.
In conclusion, it was nice to see a history of folk shown on, if not mainstream, then certainly a non-subscription TV channel and the idea of showing longer clips of archive performances and those recorded just for the shop was very welcome. Where the series fell down was when it was called upon to assess the wealth of material available from the sixties and seventies and place it in the correct context. All to often, programmes rise and fall on an editors own personal choice and this was no exception.Too much time was spent on indiviual acts with the contributions of others neglected or ignored. When you're making a history you have to include all the integral characters otherwise you might as well not bother.February 2006

The long-awaited follow up to the controversial 'Folk Britannia' series was aired by BBC4 this weekend. Titled 'Hibernia' its brief was to follow the development of folk in Ireland using bits left over from  last year. Fans of Gay Woods were hoping to see the interview shot by the Beeb for the initial series and then never used but again it did not make the final edit. This is bound to be a disappointment to those who felt the selection of acts reflected the personal taste and limited research of the programme makers rather than any overview of the genre. The ninety minute documentary spent nearly an hour on black and white footage interspersed with news of the day before getting onto Christy Moore and, rather predictably The Pogues. The latter at least gave us a minute or so of Gay's former partner and husband Terry but missed the chance to mention the groundbreaking Woods Band first album or their subsequent career. This was a shame because Gay, who was there from the Sweeney's Men period onwards, would have had a lot to contribute and certainly several of her friends from the time were mentioned and spoken to. The period from the seventies and after was dealt with by referencing Thin Lizzy and later Sinead O Connor - ironically a singer who freely acknowledges her musical debt to Gay. All in all, another chance lost ! Another worthy programme of social comment but one that, given its inclusion of U2 and emphasis on only a handful of acts, could hardly be trusted to give a valid account of a fascinating period of Irish musical history.
The intermittent outfit that is Dr Strangely Strange have played live again in London with a show to commemorate the release of their 'Halycon Days' album. All but three of the tracks on the record are 'lost' recordings gleaned from their early period and as soon as we can, we'll get confirmation of whether that includes any Gay or Terry material. The band have had occasional reunions and even continued their album making career  over the last three decades with a line-up that still consists of three original members.A write-up in 'Music Maker' magazine pictured the group as it was with the Woods in it - a nice early shot and we are indebted to writer Simon Jones for bringing it to our attention. You can see this and catch up with the Woods connection on our page dedicated to the group.sept2007

news archive
march 06 -
oct 07