Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Music Box (Rob and Colin Armstrong & Pip) - Songs of Sunshine

MUSIC BOX - Songs of Sunshine

Music Box - Line up
Rob Armstrong - Six, Twelve String Guitars, Vocals
Colin Armstrong - Six String, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Pip - Glockenspiel, Recorder, Organ, Percussion, Vocals

The album was released on the Westward label in 1972 and the tracks were - 
1. Songs Of Sunshine - 4:18
2. Caillavie - 3:53
3. Harmonium Joe - 3:21
4. Leezie Lindsey (Traditional arr. by Rob Armstrong) - 5:29
5. Calico Shoeshine Boy - 2:45
6. The Happy King - 4:58
7. The Magic Cloak - 2:34
8. Seaside Sunshine (Colin Armstrong) - 2:58
9. Tom Thumbs Blues (Bob Dylan) - 6:34
10.Downstairs On The Floor - 3:24
All titles by Rob Armstrong unless as else stated.

Music Box were a Coventry folk threesome consisting of some of the top Coventry folk singers of the time. I first saw them at the Plough club (London Road Coventry in 1971) and in 1972 they made the Songs of Sunshine album. I tried to book them for the Umbrella Club before it closed down and got to know Colin Armstrong pretty well. Colin was a good supporter of Hobo Magazine and Workshop and played at the Holyhead Youth Centre gigs in 1974.

About the album 

An extract from the above site says - "Here is an album about a more intimate, predominantly acoustic music. Flutes, chimes, and gentle organ sounds. It spins tales of faraway lands, sand, sea, castles, kings, queens and even Peter Pan.
Bet you thought only Donovan made 'em like that? Songs of Sunshine is incense & innocence, folk rock 'n' flowers! Well played, tastily arranged... and overlooked.

Rob Armstrong
"Rob Armstrong, the leader of the group, became a renowned luthier after the short-lived Music Box project." Before Music Box, Rob had played with Rod Felton in the New Modern Idiot Grunt Band.

As luthier has made guitars and other instruments for the likes of Bert Jansch and George Harrison and many more. There will be a full article on this blog about Rob Armstrong later on.
Here is a picture of Rob Armstrong with Bert Jansch with an Armstrong guitar!

Colin Armstrong
The above post (also on this site) is about Colin Armstrong. Although it may sound like it, Colin and Rob weren't related. "Colin was not Coventry born, the Scottish accent is a prime giveaway" says Pete Chambers in the Coventry Telegraph  http://cv5.coventrytelegraph.net/2008/10/colin-armstrong-opens-a-new-ch.html
He goes on to tell us " "I was at a party one night; I got drunk and banged my old Gibson guitar off the wall. Someone suggested I take it to Rob Armstrong who made and repaired guitars. We ended up having jam sessions and the music seemed to spark, so I joined as singer/guitarist in the band Music Box with Rob."

The album has now made it on to CD and even download with even American and Japanese sites selling it!
Colin went solo after music Box folded.

Pip - "Pip, a young lady who played glockenspiel, recorder and keyboard."

Read More http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/2002/03/14/penguin-puts-smile-on-singers-faces-92746-11701012/#ixzz2LMOaP8Fw


Rob Armstrong recalled in the Coventry Telegraph

"We called ourselves Music Box, and found quite a following among local folk-music lovers. Songs of Sunshine was our first disc. One of the pieces was composed by Colin and entitled Seaside Sunshine, I had written the title song and there were Scottish songs and a Bob Dylan number. We recorded it on a Saturday afternoon at a house in Cheadle Hulme (Greater Manchester). Rob and Colin, owner of Armstrong's Collectables, in Earlsdon, played as Music Box on the local folk circuit for nearly two years, performing at the Belgrade Studio and Lanchester Arts Festival, as well as several pubs."

They met up after an eight-year absence to talk about their highly sought-after record, listed in the Penguin Price Guide for Record and CD Collectors. Guitar maker Rob, of Stratford Street, Stoke, said: "I was shocked to find it in the Penguin list in the first place, never mind the price. Most of the discs listed in an international record catalogue are valued at a mere tenner but Coventry-produced Songs of Sunshine has soared to a phenomenal £125 !"Read More http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/2002/03/14/penguin-puts-smile-on-singers-faces-92746-11701012/#ixzz2LMPtCMYU