Tim Hunter - On The Road With Blind Jack

by timmusicworld

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about

This album features a series of songs which are inspired by the life of John Metcalf (1717–1810), also known as Blind Jack of Knaresborough, who was born in 1717 in Knaresborough, in a thatched cottage near the Parish church. ‘On The Road with Blind Jack’ is a personal view of Blind Jack’s life told in song, and was released in 2017 to coincide with the Tricentenery of Jack’s birth on 15th August 2017.

Metcalf led a hugely varied and colourful life, which included working as a professional musician and also as a pioneering road builder. Metcalf designed and helped to build around 180 miles of road across Yorkshire, Lancashire and Derbyshire. Many of his routes still survive today, for example as parts of the A59 and the A61.

At the age of six John lost his sight after a smallpox infection; he was given fiddle lessons as a way of making provision for him to earn a living later in life. He became an accomplished fiddler and made this his
livelihood in his early adult years. Though blind, he refused to let his disability limit his activities.

He enjoyed life to the full and was a ‘bon vivant’. He took up swimming and diving, fighting cocks, playing cards, reputedly enjoying drinking, riding and even hunting. He knew his local area so well he was paid to work as a guide to visitors. In his youth, Metcalf also eloped with Dolly Benson, the daughter of the landlord of the Royal Oak in Knaresborough. They married and had four children.

In 1745 Jack help recruit men for the ‘Yorkshire Blues’, a 64-man militia raised in the district by Captain Thornton to fight Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite rebels. He led the ‘Yorkshire Blues’ into battle and was present at the Battle of Culloden, which saw the decisive defeat of the Jacobite rising by the Duke of Cumberland. In Scotland, Jack had a narrow escape after being captured by the Jacobites. The long hard journey back to Knaresborough, on appalling local roads, gave Jack some ideas for the future.

By 1752, Jack was operating a stagecoach company between York and Knaresborough and realised he had to do something to overcome the limitations of local roads. Soon after a new Turnpike Act in 1752, the
enterprising Metcalf took up the challenge and moved into Road Building. He obtained a contract for building a three-mile stretch of road between Ferrensby and Minskip with his gang of workmen. This would begin Jack’s successful career of professional road construction.

Competition from canals eventually cut into his profits and Jack retired to Spofforth, where he died in 1810. Blind Jack’s epitaph (set to music on this album) is on his headstone in the churchyard of All Saints Church, Spofforth. His life is an example to us all in how to overcome adversity, and the story of his life deserves to be more widely known.

credits

released June 18, 2017

Musicians:

Tim Hunter: Lead and Backing Vocals, Guitars, Synthesiser,
Keyboards, Sequencing, Drums.
Lead Vocals: Jasmine Isa Butterworth (7,10); Eddie Lawler (4,11)
Backing Vocals: Jasmine Isa Butterworth (3,4,6,9,11); Sarah Marie Gayle (6)
Drums: Dan Mizen (12)

Cast:
Tim Hunter is John Metcalfe
Jasmine Isa Butterworth is Dolly Metcalfe
Phil Jackson is The Jacobite Officer
Eddie Lawler is Bill (Jack’s friend)

Recorded, Produced and Mastered at
Northern Soundscapes Studios,
Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, UK
Additional Vocal Recording (Track 6):
Smokehouse Studios , Shadwell, London
(Engineer: Rohan Budd)
Additional Recording: Active Audio Studios,Harrogate (Track 12)
Cover Artwork: Simon Goodway
Booklet design: Tim Hunter.

For details of sound effects used visit:
timmusicworld.com/projects/otrwbj-info

Copyright © 2017 Tim Hunter.
All rights reserved. This work is registered with the UK Copyright Service: Registration No:284704936

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timmusicworld Knaresborough, UK

Northern Soundscapes is Tim Hunter's music label. He is a singer/songwriter/producer. His musical compositions range from ballads through to classic rock and have been enjoyed by audiences both in Europe and the United States.

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Track Name: On The Road
On The Road
(Lyrics & Music: Tim Hunter)

The light has gone from my life
Seems like music is my only friend
Won’t you join me on the road
Join me to the end
When I’ll see the light again
Won’t you join me on the road my friend
When I’ll see the light again
Track Name: Jack Fights Back
Jack Fights Back
(Lyrics & Music: Tim Hunter)

Jack fights back, Jack fights back
I’ve got an inner light that shines the way, that lets me fight another day
That turns my night into day

Jack fights back
I won’t give in to adversity
Jack fights back
Won’t let it disadvantage me

Jack fights back, Jack fights back

Wine , Women and song is what keeps me strong; Wine, Women and song is what keeps me going on.

Join me on the road, Join me my friend
Join me till the end when I see the light again

Jack fights back, Jack fights back

Jack fights back
I won’t give in to adversity
Jack fights back
Won’t let it disadvantage me

Won’t you join me on the road
Join me to the end
When I’ll see the light again
Won’t you join me on the road my friend
Join me on the Road
Track Name: How Do You Do It
How Do You Do It?
(Lyrics & Music: Tim Hunter)

Bill: You win again Jack, how do you do it?
Jack: That would be telling. Do you want another game?

You can ride your horse like the wind
You’re the King of Violin
I wanna know just one thing
Maybe Mother Shipton cast her spell on you
Down at the Dropping Well?
Please tell me true

How do you do it? I wanna know
How do you do it?
How do you do the things you do?
I guess your music gets you through the day,
Maybe that’s how you do it.

Your unseeing eyes seem to hypnotize
You gamble and you womanize
What’s the secret? I can only theorize
Maybe you’re some kind of Superman
How do you do it? I wanna know
How do you do it?
How do you do the things you do?

I guess your music gets you through the day,
Maybe that’s how you do it.

Music gets us through the day
Music gets us through the day
Music gets us through the day
Music gets us through the day

How do you do it? I wanna know
How do you do it? I wanna know the secrets of your mind,
How do you do it? I wanna know, How do you do it?
Track Name: I Remember The Blue Skies
I Remember The Blue Skies
(Lyrics & Music: Tim Hunter)

I remember the blue skies and the golden sunrise,
Please don’t be blind to the beauty before your eyes 

I remember when I was young 
I remember the light of the sun 
Now I can only feel its warmth on my face 
As I sit in the market place 

I remember the blue skies and the golden sunrise,
Please don’t be blind to the beauty before your eyes 

I can still smell the fragrance of the lilac trees,
I can hear the sounds of the summer breeze,
When I play my violin, somehow it sets me free,
Sometimes I still think, if only I could see 

But aren’t we all blind to our feelings? 
Blind to all that is around 
Let’s not close our ears to the beautiful sounds. 

I remember the blue skies and the golden sunrise,
Please don’t be blind to the beauty before your eyes 
Track Name: Tales Of Fell and Dales
Tales of Fell and Dales
(Lyrics & Music: Tim Hunter)

And we tell the tales of Fell and Dales
Sat in the Taverns while we’re drinking the beautiful ales

The Nidd winds its lonely way
Through fields of golden hay
Down through the Dales
Till it reaches Knaresborough

Where we tell the tales of Fell and Dales
Sat in the Taverns while we’re drinking the beautiful ales

The magic river keeps on flowing
And the nature all round keeps growing
Down through the hills the river flows
The Green Man is still the one who knows
The secrets of the forests and moors
And the secrets of Nidd Gorge

And we tell the tales of Fell and Dales
Sat in the Taverns while we’re drinking the beautiful ales
And we tell the tales of Fell and Dales
Sat in the Taverns while we’re drinking the beautiful ales
The beautiful ale

Tales of Fell and Dales
When the day is done
Tales of Fell and Dales
An the Harvest's in
Tales of Fell and Dales
Sitting in the setting Sun
Tales of Fell and Dales
Waitin’ for the next day to begin
Sat in the tavern waitin’ for the next day to begin and drinking
And we tell the Tales of Fell and Dales
Bill: Lets have another ale! Jack: Good Idea!
Dolly ‘I thought I’d find you in here! John - you’re coming home with me’
Track Name: Love Is Blind
Love Is Blind (Lyrics & Music: Tim Hunter)

All your drinking and your gambling
Don’t think that I can take any more
All the worry, that you cause me
When you’re walking out the door
So many tears, so many concerns
But I fear I’ll just never learn

‘Cos Love Is Blind
Love Is Blind
I must be out of my mind

When you go on your adventures
Far away from home
People ask how do I cope
Why did I elope?
Just to end up all alone
I say I know you’ll come home safely to me
And there's so many things that you cannot see

No matter what people say
But love will find a way

‘Cos Love Is Blind
Love Is Blind
I must be out of my mind

I say I know you’ll come home safely to me
And there's so many things that you cannot see

‘Cos Love Is Blind
Love Is Blind
I must be out of my mind
Love Is Blind
Love Is Blind
Track Name: Yorkshire Blues
Yorkshire Blues (Lyrics & Music: Tim Hunter)

Jack: Will join The Yorkshire Blues? Youre country needs you.
Bill: Of course Jack, you know I’d follow you to the World’s End!

I have come here today and I’ve just one thing to say: Join me as a Yorkshire Blue
We’re recruiting men to go to Culloden
To fight the Jacobite in the fields and the glens
Defend your country, defend your sovereignty
Join me as a Yorkshire Blue

Will you Stand up for the Crown and Fight for the King?
Don’t let us down we have to do something

I have come here today and I’ve just one thing to say: Join me as a Yorkshire Blue

Stand up for the Crown and Fight for the King?
Don’t let us down we have to do something

I have come here today and I’ve just one thing to say: Join me as a Yorkshire Blue
Track Name: On My Way Back To Knaresborough
On My Way Back To Knaresborough
(Lyrics & Music: Tim Hunter)

Jacobite Officer: I think we’ve caught an English spy! In the name of the Jacobite Army I arrest you. You’ll be Court Martialled in the morning.
Jacobean Officer: State your name, rank and intention
Jack: My name is John Metcalf. I’m not a soldier, sir. I have no weapon, just my violin. I’m here to offer my musical services to you.
Jacobean Officer: Hah! Play us your Violin then, Metcalf!
[Jack plays some violin]
Jacobean Officer: Good! You’re free to gang, you’re nae threat to us

Close call, now I know why they built Hadrian’s Wall
Close shave, I was captured I had to be brave

But the Lord he saved me, he made sure I went free
Now I’m on my way, yes I’m on my way,
On my way back to Knaresborough

Out of jail, somehow I lived to tell the tale
Scot free, I managed to restore my dignity

But, the Lord he saved me, he made sure I went free
Now I’m on my way, yes I’m on my way, back to Knaresborough

On my way back to Knaresborough
On my way back to Knaresborough

Take us home Jack!

On my way back to Knaresborough
Track Name: The Road To Your Heart
The Road To Your Heart
(Lyrics & Music: Tim Hunter)

Dolly: John, I’m so glad you made it back safely.
Jack: I could have made it back in half the time if we had decent roads! That’s my next task, Dolly. I'm gonna build roads!
Dolly: You’re going to build roads?

[Dolly] You are a kind man, But you are a Blind Man. How will you build roads? I don’t understand
[Jack]
I’ve got the vision I’ll make it my mission
To build all the routes that end isolation

Like the road I built from the start
The Road To Your Heart
I made sure we’d not be apart
With a Road To Your Heart

Didn’t I build that road? A Road to your Heart
Didn’t I build that road? A Road to your Heart

[Dolly] You’ve got the ambition so maybe you really can,
build the roads to connect Northern England

[Jack] Yes, I’ll employ men and I’ll direct them
I will measure and design from start to end

Like the road I built from the start
The Road To Your Heart
I made sure we’d not be apart
With a Road To Your Heart
Didn't I build that Road?

[Dolly] Yes you built that road,
The Road To My Heart.
Like the road you built from the start
The Road To My Heart
You made sure we’d not be apart
With a Road To My Heart

[Jack] I built that road The Road to your Heart.
Track Name: Here Lies John Metcalfe
Here Lies John Metcalf
(Lyrics based on John Metcalfe’s Epitaph & Music: Tim Hunter)


"Here lies John Metcalf, one whose infant sight
Felt the dark pressure of an endless night;
Yet such the fervour of his dauntless mind,
His limbs full strung, his spirits unconfined,

Here lies John Metcalf, Here lies John Metcalf

That, long ere yet life’s bolder years began,
The sightless efforts mark’d th’ aspiring man;
Nor mark’d in vain—high deeds his manhood dared,
And commerce, travel, both his ardour shared.
’Twas his a guide’s unerring aid to lend—
O’er trackless wastes to bid new roads extend;

Here lies John Metcalf, Here lies John Metcalf

And, when rebellion reared her giant size,
’Twas his to burn with patriot enterprise;
For parting wife and babes, one pang to feel,
Then welcome danger for his country’s weal.

Reader, like him, exert thy utmost talent given!
Reader, like him, adore the bounteous hand of Heaven.
Here lies John Metcalf, Here lies John Metcalf
Here lies John Metcalf, Here lies John Metcalf

Bill: Jack was our inspiration, The Inspiration to win.
Track Name: Blind Jack (The Inspiration To Win)
Blind Jack (The inspiration to win)
(Lyrics & Music: Tim Hunter)

Blind Jack laid the tracks
That showed the way for roads
That we’d find hard to build today
Blind Jack was another character
From Old Knaresborough
He was an entrepreneur

And he’d sing and play the violin
Walking into battle, only he could bring
The Inspiration to win
Determination don’t give in
Inspire us all to achieve
Take it higher and let’s all believe in
Blind Jack, Blind Jack, Blind Jack

Blind Jack, always achieving
He never stopped believing
He could do anything He just kept working
And he’d sing and play the violin
Walking into battle, only he could bring

Blind Jack, Blind Jack The Inspiration to win