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Devils Water is a small, picturesque river winding through Hexhamshire in Northumberland and joining the River Tyne at Corbridge. That's where we got our name. So you could call us a sort of tributary band, perhaps... The core line-up is Richard Ridley (voice, guitar, guzuki and other stringed devices) and Raymond Greenoaken (voice, banjo, concertina, guitar, harmonium, percussion), and Patrick Walker (violin, viola, mandolin, guitar, electric guitar, voice), supplemented on occasion by trusted and gifted musicians of our acquaintance who don't mind not getting paid.

delis water live

Though Devils Water have been active in one form or another since 2010, Richard and Raymond have played together off and on since the late 1960s, sometimes with gaps of several decades between songs. Primitive recordings exist as proof of this, and can be heard by arrangement with the National Sound Archive. Devils Water started out as the trio of Richard, Frank Lee (melodeon) and Brian Bell (voice, bass), quickly supplemented by Corrie Shrijver (violin, Northumbrian small pipes). Raymond was lured in after a year or two of stout resistance, and when Frank and Corrie tiptoed away to tie the nuptial knot, Robin Jowett (melodeon, voice) stepped in to supply the needed bellows action. In 2015 the fourpiece contracted to two when Brian and Robin enlisted in the splendid Hadrian's Union. These things happen. You can see Frank, Corrie, Brian and Robin captured on Devils duty on the Gallery page, and you can hear their silky skills on the Videos page. In 2017 the abundant skills of Patrick Walker were added to the pottage. Over the the years, in these various formations, we've played at festivals in the North of England and Ireland as well as the usual round of clubs, concert halls, absinthe dens and witches' sabbaths. Where can you hear us this year? Just check out the Gigs page.

So—what sort of stuff can you expect if you find yourself in a Devils Water gig after all the doors have been locked? Songs and music from here, there and elsewhere is the short and unhelpful answer. Some detail, then... There's traditional songs from both sides of the Atlantic, and a generous measure of old popular songs of Tyneside from the likes of George Ridley and Joe Wilson, given a bit of a Devils Water twist. We also feature the occasional contemporary song from writers of the calibre of Tom Waits, Dan Fogelberg and The Men They Couldn't Hang, and a puckle of Richard's own compositions, many of which have a strong North East flavour. We've recently whistled up a programme of little-known songs from Cumbria and Northumberland, many of which have found their way onto our 2017 CD Treading The Marches. And if you're in the mood to cut a rug, we'll do you some high-octane dance tunes too.

And naturally, we have CDs for sale. Doesn't everyone these days?Small Pictures : Tall Tales (2013) features the Richard–Frank– Brian–Corrie–Raymond line-up; The Channels (2014), a maritime-themed collection, captures the Richard–Raymond–Brian–Robin incarnation at its smokin' best; and Treading The Marches brings Richard, Raymond and Patrick together, along with stout support from Rick Kemp on bass, Ken Nichol on electric guitar, and George Hutton on drums. It rocks! Allegedly...

BREAKING NEWS:Treading The Marches has been getting a satisfying amount of play on the great array of folk-flavoured internet radio broadcasts and podcasts. Most recently, it's turned up on Marc Gunn's Irish And Celtic Music Podcast, and Liz Franklin's Folk Garden on Blues And Roots Radio.