|Dimensions||12.5 × .10 × 12.5 cm|
Nigel Foote – Biography
Nigel Foote was born in London to an English mother and an Australian father. He grew up in Sydney from the age of four, in a home filled with laughter, music and candlelight.
Nigel played piano as a child and can remember his grandmother, Dorothy (one of the Fuller Sisters), singing folk songs in the garden.
Perhaps Nigel’s “easy mastery of melody”, as Judy Small puts it, has come from hearing those beautiful tunes at such a young age, or perhaps it’s simply in his blood – but whatever the reason, his Celtic heritage gives his songs a melodic strength that places him amongst Australia’s finest contemporary songwriters.
Nigel married Dawn Egan (a traditional folksinger), and in 1983 they settled in the Blue Mountains where he began teaching guitar.
The couple found they were in demand for their atmospheric music, and established themselves as full-time folk musicians, playing more than one thousand gigs over the next few years.
During the International Year of Peace (1986), Nigel released an anti-nuclear “single” in association with Greenpeace. Although the record gained modest airplay in Australia and Germany, both songs on the disc won songwriting awards – including a prestigious Pater Award – critical acclaim that prompted Nigel to release his debut album Dangerous Game.
The record marked Nigel as an original and evocative singer-songwriter and an outstanding acoustic guitarist, adding another Pater Award, plus the Australian Songwriters Association’s Rudi Brandsma Award to his growing list of credits.
The music from that album is woven through the fabric of the Blue Mountains community, with songs such as 83 Ordinary People (The Granville Song), used in the music curriculum at the Blue Mountains Grammar School, and Dangerous Game adopted by the Damien Trimmingham Foundation for its healing effect.
In 1986 the Blue Mountains City Council invited Nigel to place his anti-nuclear record and lyrics in a time capsule, now buried at Echo Point, as part of the International Year of Peace celebrations – to be unearthed next time Haley’s Comet orbits the Earth in 2061.
Nigel has always been involved with the Blue Mountains folk scene in one way or another – as a performer, event organiser, songwriter and guitar teacher. However, as a nontouring artist he is relatively unknown outside the mountains – a man who stands in the wings, quietly weaving another thread in the tapestry of the Australian music scene.
Nigel won the Folk Award in 2006 and 2007 at the Blue Mountains Music Awards for songs from his latest album Home By Dark. The album was produced by Andrew Knight and features some of the Blue Mountains finest musicians.
The great marriage of words and music is too often discarded for the lure of making quick money in today’s lucrative music market. But if you are willing to explore further beyond the tease of commercialism, there are still artists in this world writing and performing works of a truly exceptional standard, songs that inspire and touch us, melodies that will echo through the years. Nigel Foote is one of these artists.
Paul Jarman, Stix
This is what good songwriting is all about. Beautifully crafted songs … wonderful musicianship … worth the wait!
Nigel Foote’s long-awaited second album, Home By Dark, is exceptional. Nigel is a gifted folksinger and songwriter and consummate guitarist. The songs were written over the past ten years, and each one is inspired and beautifully crafted. One of our finest musicians.
Radio BLU FM
As the water smoothes the stones, time has honed Nigel Foote’s songwriting skills. A beguiling album … highly recommended!
In the style of Iron and Wine and the great Americana folk artists, Katoomba’s own Nigel Foote is carving a spot for his own name in the wordsmith world that is the folk scene.
Home By Dark is a collection of tales of lovers lost, secret rivers and gypsy laughter. Gently infused with stirring fiddle, slide guitar and low-breath harmonies, Home By Dark quietly matures to surprise you in it’s depth and intricacy.
Recorded at Windwood Studios with producer Andrew Knight, and featuring Blue Mountains musicians such as Pete Drummond, Al Ward, Simon Watts and John Stuart, to name a few, the album is Foote’s second release. Respectful of the past, yet always lyrically inventive,
Home By Dark is beautiful, subtle and intimate.
Nigel Foote – Home By Dark Review
by Paul Jarman
The great marriage of words
and music is too often
discarded for the lure of
making quick money in today’s
lucrative music market.
But if you’re willing to explore
beyond the tease of commercialism,
there are still artists in this world
writing and performing works of a
truly exceptional standard – songs
that inspire and touch us, melodies
that will echo through the years.
Nigel Foote is one of these
It can be diffi cult at times for
performers like Nigel, as there is
really not a large enough audience
of sophisticated listeners and
promoters anymore to give good
songs the chance they deserve, as
was the case from the 40s to the
70s when the recording industry
was administered by entrepreneurs
who really loved music as much as
making money out of it.
I can only applaud Nigel for
realizing his vision and sticking to it
through the years.
You can’t go wrong with this
The first ingredients, good words
and the right music are all here.
Through this album, one thing I
noticed is that although the verses
are very well written, Nigel just never
writes a bad chorus!
My favourite track on the album,
‘The Ballad of C F Martin’ has a
classic chorus which begins, “And
the wind in the pine still sings
beneath my fingers, to a moon that
sails an ebony sky”.
This could possibly be Nigel’s
The album touches on many
folk traditions, at times Celtic
melodies, country, blues, haunting
road songs, lyrical ballads and yet
always reminds us of our homeland,
The next ingredients are a good
studio and good production.
Nigel made the right decision here
by recording at Windwood Studios
in Hazelbrook with Terry Cox, a fi ne
engineer and studio.
Andrew Knight’s production is
honest and warm.
I did however feel that
occasionally the violin was buried
slightly in the mix.
It is nice for the producer to be
part of the performance team.
Obviously, Andrew shares Nigel’s
passion for songs and the special
touches they require.
In addition, Don Bartley is really
the guru of mastering in Sydney
and as usual his ear for quality is
The fi nal ingredients are
good performers and the ‘right’
On this record there are some
beautiful moments, including
John Stuart’s sweet and subtle
slide guitars, Andrew Knight’s
smooth guitars, Pete Drummond’s
sensitive percussion and a fantastic
guitar performance by Al Ward on
‘Sleeping Like An Angel’.
Dawn Egan’s and Lisa William’s
harmonies are a lovely addition to
the rich tone of Nigel’s voice, and
the fi ddle playing of Simon Watts
also gives one the feeling that they
just got the ‘right take’.
My only thought was that on
a couple of tracks, it would have
been nice to hear more of Nigel’s
guitar and voice solo in the early
verses then bring the ensemble in
as additional colour.
Also, I felt that some songs suited
acoustic bass rather than electric
bass, but hey, I am being really
picky here – this is an excellent
Nigel’s voice is very true.
At times he possesses this deep,
haunting resonance and yet his high
register is very sweet and clear.
He has a lovely understated
diction and skilled attention to
phrasing which communicates his
His songs are good, all of them
You don’t have to pick out the
Nigel knows his art, and he has
successfully recorded a document
which has the stories and tells them
There is so much fi ne music in
the Blue Mountains.
I’m going to have another listen
Nigel Foote – Home by Dark
by Chris Spencer
Where has this man been
hiding for nearly 20 years?
He released his fi rst album in 1988
called “Dangerous Game” and here
we have his 2nd album released in
2007 – it’s only taken another two
years to land at Trad & Now’s desk.
While based in the Blue Mountains
area, Foote has been teaching guitar
and has been an active infl uence on
fostering folk music in the area.
However the wait has been worth
“Home by Dark” is an album of
laid back music, gentle, unforced;
restrained yet delicate and exquisite
I can visualise people listening
to Foote sing and play, with their
eyes closed, a smile of contentment
on their faces as the melodies and
acoustic playing washes over them.
Foote’s voice is smooth, at times
quite deep but never extended.
Most of the songs were written
during the 1990’s; one in 1986, the
most recent in 2005.
They tell of a man’s love of his
family, songs written for his children
All of the songs are of a similar
high standard and my interest is
sustained over the whole album,
because of subtle changes in
arrangements and instrumental
Stronger songs are “Dark on the
Wind”, “Shadows of the Moon”.
The title track is an instrumental;
“The Ballad of CF Martin” is about
a guitar maker and is perhaps the
keystone of the album at over 7
“She Wore no Shoes” is about
unrequited love and features the
harmony vocals of Dawn Egan.
Other musicians to guest on the cd
are Al Ward (guitar), Pete Drummond
(drums) and fi ddler Simon Watts.
Readers who like their music
mellow, smooth, unfettered and well
produced will enjoy this album and
should add it to their collection.
9 in stock (can be backordered)