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Under The Neem Plum Tree


My Nan and ‘Papa’ - Philip Ivor Gallyot were born and grew up in India, predominantly, Chennai (or Madras as it was then) and descend from the colonial Europeans who immigrated there in the 17th and 18th centuries. Over that span of time the Anglo Indian culture developed and evolved and something that has come to permeate it was a love of Country & Western and American roots music of the 50s and 60s which likely came through the wirelesses via All India Radio.


This is the music my family in India grew up with and which I, in turn grew up with and came to find a sense of home, comfort and belonging in from Bedford, UK.


A few years ago, Nan gave me an old, worn and well loved notebook which was a collection of handwritten lyrics to my family’s favourite classic country songs. They would gather round this book at parties, sometimes with a 4 track recorder rolling and sing together to the old country records. Receiving it sparked the idea of recording some of these songs myself in the traditional style, bringing the story full circle.


This collection of family favourites, reworked songs from my catalog which fit the style and sentiment plus the new title track paying homage to the journey my Grandparents took across the ocean with my nine month old mother to build a new life and which ultimately gave me mine; make up this album.


Producer Sarah Peacock and I hired some vintage mics, the likes of which Patsy and Elvis would’ve used (RCA 44 & Neuman 47 for the gear heads!) and brought one of Nashville’s finest pedal steel players to present these songs in a stripped back, pure way, distilling the country essence down. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed making it. Pairs well with a nice scotch!


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