Behind The Music with Garmonsway and Cunningham on Severn's Hidden Mysteries

On this Behind The Music episode, Jacqueline Jax speaks with Alan Garmonsway & Anne Cunningham in the UK about their new single Severn's Hidden Mysteries. The song talks about the beautiful yet dangerous Riverbank in Gloucestershire where two tanker barges fell victim to the dangerous tides colliding with the railway bridge. The shells of the ships are still there as a warning to others.

They also talked about social media marketing strategies for indie songwriters and how to use a song to make an impact locally.

Listen to the episode across all podcasting channels including: Anchor fm:


Band Name: Garmonsway and Cunningham

Alan Garmonsway - songwriter, keyboards, guitar, bass, percussion, (sometimes vocals).
Anne Cunningham - Vocals, guitar

Song name: Severn's Hidden Mysteries

Music Genre: Acoustic/Folk

Alan lives in Berkshire in the UK, close to Oxford, and Anne in Wiltshire, very near to Stonehenge.

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Wherever you are in the World, we wanted this song to make you feel you are right there in Gloucestershire, walking along the beautiful River Severn. The song started life as a set of great photographs taken by Anne on one of her frequent walks around that area. She posted them on Facebook with the title ‘Big sky over Gloucestershire’. 

Alan picked up on that and decided to write the lyrics and music that would complement the visual beauty of the photos. The Severn is Britain’s longest river, and has two very different aspects; its stunning picturesqueness but also its dangerous tides in the estuary. Some years back, two tanker barges, traveling together in heavy fog and strong tidal current, collided with the railway bridge. The shells of the ships are still there as a warning to others. The song captures all these aspects.

Alan’s songs often tell a story, whether serious or more anecdotal. On this occasion, Anne’s pictures evoked the vibe of a beautiful folk ballad, something that could be listened to live or on-air, and would take you straight to the place and the emotions of being there.

How do you think this release represents your current direction..

Alan and Anne have worked together for many years both as members of the same folk band, Badgers Sett, and also on several other projects, from being part of a worldwide cd project to writing and performing in a home-grown musical play. They also collaborated on an album of new songs ‘Ridgeway’ a couple of years back. 

At the moment, Alan is writing a wide range of material and if the song fits for Anne, they’ll record it. On Severn’s Hidden Mysteries, half was recorded in England and half in France, with Anne on vocals and Alan playing keyboards, acoustic guitar, and bass. A friend, Tom Wildy was also brought in on flute, and we also asked Ali Davis, whose paintings have also been used on Alan’s Northeast ep, to create a special cover painting to add to the atmosphere of the song.

What most inspires you?

For Alan, it’s writing great songs and using the studio and colleagues to get the best possible listening outcome (for technology, playing and arranging). For Anne, it’s singing songs that she loves in folk clubs, open mics, recording or practicing at home. Singing is something that takes her to another place entirely – great therapy!

Favorite Quote:

 A quote from Anne, which we both like: The best thing in the world about being able to play and sing is that there is always a music venue, folk club or open mic somewhere not too far away from where there is always a warm welcome from like-minded folk.

Website & social media links: (BestRoomSongs)