The Spirit of Music - The Music of Spirits

Posted on April 30, 2020


From symphonies to The Stones, our founder Dan has a real appreciation for all kinds of genres. Learn all about Dan's love for music, and how you can tune in to our weekly Distillery Sessions below...

'I have always loved music in all its forms and its connection to culture, tradition and good times - letting one’s hair down, eating and drinking well and just having a good time. There is not a form of music I don’t enjoy; in fact, my favourite station which I listen to every day on the internet at home is FIP Radio in France which is known for having the world’s most eclectic playlist by far. I can listen to it all day as it segues from opera to reggae, from funk to French crooner, from hip hop to country & western. At work I stream Venice Classic Radio which gives me a more consistent and gentle backdrop all day, while after dinner it’s often TSF Jazz, an amazing all-jazz station from France. 

I grew up on rock, pop and soul with heavy doses of Beatles, Stones, The Who, giving over to 70’s prog rock, a bit of southern rock, much funk, quite a bit of top 40, 70’s FM radio including a guilty love of “yacht rock” as it’s now called, a brief but enduring love of the disco era, followed by New Wave, punk and 80’s music. Then I moved to Europe and there were lots of new discoveries including Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg and too many to name. 

As I got older I found myself spending more and more time listening to country, folk and blues. One of the things I loved about my years getting into whisky and travelling frequently to Scotland was Celtic music – I am a sucker for a good Ceilidh – which went so well with the landscape and with all things Scotch whisky. Same for American country music, and its relation with Southern culture and whisky drinking. 

When I settled in the North Cotswolds I began going to our local pubs whenever there was a musical act playing, and soon I came to know Tim Porter - whose family are the musical Von Trapps of the North Cotswolds, all of them accomplished musicians. Like me, Tim (a graphic designer) had turned to his passion – music – and had become a booker of acts into local pubs. He’d also had a hand in creating an annual summer music festival in nearby Shipston-on-Stour which had always punched well above its weight. What has amazed me over the 6 years I’ve been a full-time resident here is the outstanding quality – largely thanks to Tim’s efforts – of the local music which we are so lucky to have around us. I’ve seen acts that have blown me away, from a recent house concert at Tim’s place with Tennessee blues artist Mike Farris (check him out – please) to local talent such as Big Boy Bloater and even Oliver Darling, brother of our Social Media Manager, Tash. Our very own local celebrity Kenny Young, who sadly passed last week, was a well-known singer and songwriter. 

I’m certainly not unique in feeling that good times and music go together, often over a good drink, so it seemed a natural fit for a beautiful rural distillery to make a commitment to good music. We’ve done this through our two festivals, in 2017 and 2019, and now through our weekly Distillery Sessions, which started in our café and have now moved onto our Facebook page for the duration of lockdown. 

We are so lucky to have so much good music around us and to be able to share it with our friends – enjoy, and keep listening every Thursday at 8:30pm!'



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