“A Folly Called Old John” by Kenny Wilson

Old John” is a famous “folly” at Bradgate Park, Leicester well known to people in the East Midlands. A great place to visit. It is built to look like a beer tankard!

Here’s a new recording of a song I have written and recorded about a building on a hill at Bradgate Park in Leicestershire, England. It is a strange building (known as a folly) that is built to look like a beer tankard. My friend Al Owens wrote the lyrics and I did the music. It was built as a memorial to a miller who’s name was “Old John”

A FOLLY CALLED OLD JOHN
Lyrics: Al Owens  Music : Kenny Wilson

Old John worked at the windmill 
On a hill in Bradgate Park.
John was there when the mill collapsed
In a storm; the night was dark.
Too long it took to lift the beam
That threatened certain death
And no-one in that howling gale
Heard John breathe his last breath.

Later on in that same year
The owner of the lands
Built a tower from the scattered stones -
He and his farmyard hands.
They stuck an archway on the side
Of that folly on the hill.
From the left and right Old John looks quite
Like a tankard you could fill.

Bradgate house has become a ruin -
Crumbling, ghostly, stark.
No Lords or Ladies dwell there now
And the public own the park.
Footprints of those darker days
Have faded out and gone.
Yet upon that hill upright and still
Stands a folly called Old John.

“Aint Misbehavin” by Parisian Swing Band

Here is a recording I have just made in my home studio of Fats Waller’s classic jazz hit “Aint Misbehavin'”. I actually played all of the instruments on this which turned out to be a bit of a trial and more difficult than I thought. A good learning experience though. I play with a band called Parisian Swing and look forward to recording with them in the near future. You can’t beat the feeling of playing with others but it can sometimes be hard getting people together!

Great Central Railway, Loughborough June 2016

This is a video I have made of the time I went on the footplate of a steam locomotive at the Great Central Railway, Loughborough, U.K. An amazing experience. The music is my recording of the Jug Band classic “Mobile Line”. I learnt it from a record by Jim Kweskin and his Jug Band.

My trip on the Great Central. It was a WW2 reenactment day hence the number of British and German troops!

Kenny Wilson and Mick Pini live studio recordings from Germany, January 2020

Here are some studio recordings of my songs with me and Mick Pini recorded in Ichenhausen, Germany recently. Recorded at the lb-studio (Tonstudio) by ace engineer Tobias.

“Sugar Man” and “Ever Reaching Out For You” are songs I wrote in the mid 70s when I played in a duo with Mick. We haven’t played them together since then but it all came back to us. A real nostalgic moment. I think the songs still stand up and I am so glad I have returned them to my repertoire. Thanks to Mick and Tobias for all their help. Below is a video of our performance of “Sugar Man” at a gig in Birkenried.

Live studio recording January 2020 Ichenhausen, Germany