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5. The Jumbles

The Jumbles playing at the Deal Mayor's Charity Concert, Astor Theatre, February 2014.  Thanks to Stephen Wakeford for the photo. 

The Jumbles (a truncation of Jim-Mac-Bill) are Jim Bryden (vocals and guitar) Mac McKean (vocals, mouth-organ and guitar) and Bill Howarth (dulcimer and percussion).  Although we have crossed paths musically for many years, the main impetus for forming the trio came in 2012 when we were told (by the organiser) that some live music was needed for the Blean Village Fete, since the Fete Committee had decided that paying for a jazz band was far too expensive!  Since being 'thrown together' to perform at the Fete, the band have played at numerous events involving other village fetes, farmers' markets, pubs and various charity events.  We play the kind of lively and recognisable music that we feel that people will like to hear at community events, ranging from folk songs, country music and pop songs.  Although the material that we play tends to be fairly well known, we feel that we perform it in a distinctive way, but our listeners may be the better judges of this!

To promote the music of the trio, we have made two CDs: Giveaway One and Giveaway Two.  The latest of these was launched at Blean Music Festival on 27 June 2015 and at Crabble Corn Mill (Dover) Acoustic Music Evening on 28 August 2015.  Two tracks from the CD have been played on BBC Radio Kent Folk and the band were guests on the programme on 27 September 2015.  We are most grateful to the presenter of the programme, Doug Welch, for kind comments about the CD. 

The Jumbles at Blean Music Festival, 27 June 2015.  Thanks to Stephen Wakeford for the photo. 

The Jumbles launching their CD, Giveaway Two, with the final set at Crabble Mill, Dover, Acoustic Music Evening, 28 August 2015.  Thanks to Carol Sturgeon for the photo. 

A YouTube Video of The Jumbles playing California Blues at Crabble Mill, taken by Carol Bryden, is available at the following link.

A YouTube Video of The Jumbles playing Hesitation Blues at Crabble Mill, taken by Carol Bryden, is available at the following link.

Jim Bryden also plays with the Dover-based band Bottles.  We played for the Blean Fete this year as 'Jumbles and Friends', joined by Bottles father and son members Jim and Ade Dawkins.  Jim Dawkins is a skilful sound engineer and we are extremely grateful to him for recording and producing the Jumbles CD Giveaway Two

The 'Jumbles and Friends' in action at Blean Fete and Music Festival, 27 June 2015.  Jim Dawkins is in the foreground (sorting out the sound system) his dad Ade Dawkins (tastefully dressed) in the background and regular Jumble, Jim Bryden, in blue, in between. 

The Jumbles: Giveaway Two

Our second CD, Giveaway Two, was intended to be given away free of charge to people attending our launch performances or so long as copies last.  Some of the material from the CD has been put on Soundcloud and can be accessed below. 

The Sleeve Notes

Soundcloud Tracks (click on the title to activate the link) 

Shine (by Ron Truman-Border)

The following review of the CD appeared in Nonsuch News (Autumn 2015).




Email enquiries: justmacmusic@gmail.com

Jumbles features Nonsuch member Bill Howarth on HD, together with Jim Bryden (vocals, guitar) and Mac McKean (lead guitar, vocals).  This is their second Giveaway CD which is just what it says on the cover –free; the purpose being to generate interest and find places where their music will be welcome.  After the launch of the album, the tracks will be available on Soundcloud; email Mac for more information.  The eight well-chosen songs include three traditional, a couple of blues, and favourites by well-known singer/songwriters old and more recent such as Jimmie Rodgers, Tom Paxton, and Ron Trueman-Border.  Everything is delivered in a relaxed style –the trio are clearly enjoying themselves, their music is infectious and you’ll not be able to stop yourself singing along.  There’s a good balance between the three instruments throughout, with the dulcimer providing the bridge for most tracks –the exception being Over the Hills and Far Away where dulcimer takes the intro for a change.   The dulcimer bridges work very well with the lead guitar, a particularly good example of this being California Blues; it’s good to hear some blues being played on HD.  (If anyone out there fancies having a go, American musician Steve Eulberg has a HD lesson on the Dulcimer Crossing website which gives a good basic introduction to playing blues scales on HD!)  Overall this is a very enjoyable collection, and encapsulates what music is all about, certainly as far as I’m concerned: playing what you enjoy and having a good time with your mates!

Jenny Coxon

For enquiries about the Jumbles email Mac McKean or phone 07763945261

Please feel free to email me at bill.howarth@vfast.co.uk with any comments on the website.