Andrew McKay and Carole Etherton Web Page CD Page Song Writers Page
Andrew and Carole live on the Gower Peninsula, near Swansea in South Wales. Both are experienced and accomplished singers and instrumentalists. Andrew plays the somewhat obscure Crane Duet concertina, while Carole favours the even rarer Cornamuse, a gentler relative of the Crumhorn. They sing mainly in the British folk style, including recently-composed songs which sound like they're traditional, many of which they write themselves. Also some Music Hall songs, and . . . well, anything they like, really.
They have a growing reputation not only as performers but also as writers of songs which are being taken up and recorded by other singers. Their songwriting has been described as ‘reminiscent of Rudyard Kipling and C Fox Smith’ with the added bonus that they ‘do all the tunes themselves’. More than one ‘authority’ has discovered too late that what they thought was a traditional song from long ago was actually written quite recently by this duo.
Having both served ‘before the mast’ in various shanty groups it is inevitable that much of their repertoire comes from on, in, under or at least near the sea. Swansea was a busy port in the days of sail, and the sea can’t be ignored in such a place. They also have a wide range of songs about land-based topics, both traditional and self-penned.
Most of their own songs are based on the social history, legends and humour of their home area but are proving popular worldwide, with versions reportedly being sung throughout the British Isles and in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. Their songs are recorded on three CDs currently available from their website www,cranedrivinmusic.com.
An evening in the company of Carole and Andrew is entertaining and time well spent. I commend them to you. Mike O’Connor, Padstow, Cornwall
I'm glad to know, at last, who wrote “Dead Reckoning”, as I've heard it several times, and greatly admired it. I'm going to have a long session reading through all your stuff. Ron Baxter, Fleetwood, UK
I find Andrew's concept very interesting, and I'm certain a lot of folk would be sure they were listening to 'real' trad music. Colin Wilkie, Germany
Lovely to see and hear Andrew and Carole over here again, natural and apparently effortless songwriting and performance. Chris Clarke, Canberra, Australia
. . . the old sea shanty “Who here drinks at the Cuba?” . . . ‘Copperopolis’ exhibition on the copper industry, Swansea museum (“Drinks at the Cuba” was written by Andrew in 2004!)