Joe (left), John and KennyJoe Wright (no relation)John WrightKenny Speirs

The last gig of the original John Wright Band was 10 February in Holland, and Kenny, John, and Joe are no longer playing together. Kenny and John are touring with new bands, John with a new JWB and Kenny with Real Time (with Judy Dinning and Joe Wright).

Initially the band consisted of John (vocals), Kenny Speirs (guitar/vocal) and Wattie Robson (fiddle). They quickly consolidated their reputation as a "class act". At the end of 1995 Wattie left to pursue a solo career. In 1996 Kenny and John produced the first "John Wright Band" album "The Things We've Handed Down", which featured Wattie on fiddle. Almost immediately following the CD's release they were joined by Stewart Hardy from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

Kenny and John were joined for the last few months by Joe Wright (no relation) a young fiddle player from Norfolk, after Stewart moved on.

To mark the occasion of the band splitting, they have released "John Wright Band Live". This is a live CD, recorded at various concerts in the UK and Europe. The CD marks the early collaboration between Kenny and John and features tracks such as Never Be The Sun, Queen of all Argyll, Winds of Freedom, Lock-Keeper, Angel Flying To Close To The Ground, and Kenny's lovely version of Broom o' the Cowdenknowes.

New CD's are also in the pipe line from both John and Kenny.

Stewart, who left the band recently, will concentrate mainly on teaching, some session work and in time, will be performing at some concerts.

This web page will be kept as a record of the John Wright Band, from it's formation, to the split early in 2002. Information on the new bands etc will be made available on the Info / links page, only if they can still be considered as "Local".

Published CDs

(Ride The Rolling Sky)(The Thing's we've handed down)(The Rocky Shore)(Other Roads)(Fyre & Sword)(Pages Turning)(Bordersong)(A Few Short Lines)(Language of the Heart)(John Wright Band Live)

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Ride The Rolling Sky (John Wright Band without Stewart Hardy)
Fellside - FECD97

Ride the Rolling Sky

  1. Never Be The Sun (Long)
2. Granemoor Hare (McMahon arr. Wright)
3. Chisel Hill (Rea)
4. Wail O’ Flodden / Floo’ers O’The Forest (Grant/Murray)
5. Rising For The Moon (Denny)
6. Little Pot Stove (Robertson)
7. Bonnie George Campbell (Trad. arr. Wright)
8. Bright Blue Rose (McCarthy)
9. Caledonia (McLean)
10. Down Too Deep (McLean)
11. Adieu, Adieu (Trad. arr. Wright)
12. The Lock-Keeper (Rogers)
13. Sheep Crook, Black Dog (Trad. arr. Wright)
14. Dunbartons Drums (Trad. arr. Wright)

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The Things We've Handed Down (John Wright Band without Stewart Hardy)
Fellside - FECD106

The Things We've Handed Down
  1. You Decide My Love (Eric Barlow)
2. So Much Love (Lorraine Jordan)
3. All The Lies (Christy Hennessy)
4. I'm A Dreamer (Sandy Denny)
5. Waste The Paint (Jim Hunter)
6. The End Of My Pirate Days (Mary-Chapin Carpenter)
7. Only Love Can Do (Donagh Long)
8. The Things We've Handed Down (Marc Cohn)
9. Late Night Grande Hotel (Nanci Griffith)
10. Blue Old Saturday Night (Julie Matthews)
11. Glory Dayz (Kieran Halpin)
12. Reconciliation (Ron Kavana)

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The Rocky Shore (Jed Grimes and Stewart Hardy)

The Rocky Shore
  1. Sergeant Early's Dream / Fahey's Reel No. 1
2. To Your Hand (John Hiatt)
3. Anyway The Wind Blows (Rod Clements)
4. Jig O'Slurs
5. Dark Eyed Sailor
6. You Can't Resist It (Lyle Lovett)
7. McCarron's / Tam Lin
8. Maid On The Shore
9. Condor
10. Texas Girl At The Funeral Of Her Father
11. Sergeant Early's Slight Return
12. What Kind Of Life Is This (Rab Noakes)

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Other Roads (John Wright Band: John Wright, Kenny Speirs, Stewart Hardy)
Fellside - FECD121

Other Roads

  1. Naked To The Eyes (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
2. Whats The Use Of Wings (Brian Bedford)
3. Winds Of Freedom (Lorraine Jordan)
4. Ghost Of The Chair (Ian Bruce)
5. All The Answers (Kieran Halpin)
6. The Snows Of France And Holland (Brian McNeill)
7. Keep Your Distance (Richard Thompson)
8. What You Do With What You've Got (Si Kahn)
9. Weakness In Me (Joan Armatrading)
10. Bigo Market Lasses (C. Ornston)
Queen Of All Argyll (Andy M.Stewart)
Keep It Up (Trad arr. John Wright Band)
11. Angel Flying Too Close Too The Ground (Willie Nelson)
12. All Used Up (Utah Phillips)
13. Family (Pierce Pettis)

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Fyre & Sword (Various Artists including John Wright on tracks 1, 7 & 14 - Kenny Speirs on 1, 7 - Stewart Hardy on 8, 11 & 14
Fellside - FECD131

Fyre & Sword

  1. Border Spirit (Pigg) / Lock the Door Lariston (Hogg) / Jackie Latin (Trad)
7. The Foray (Adams/Trad)
8. Sleep My Babe (Adams/Trad)
11. The Battle of Otterburn (Trad)
14. Peace on the Border (Kemp)

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Pages Turning (John Wright Band: John Wright, Kenny Speirs, Stewart Hardy)
Greentrax - CDTRAX 177

Pages Turning

  1. Was It You ? (Ewen Carruthers)
2. River Run (James Keelaghan)
3. Hermitage Water of Kinzigtal(Stewart Hardy / Kenny Speirs)
4. Middle Time (Allan Taylor)
5. Sand And Water (Beth Nielsen Chapman)
6. Past The Point Of Rescue (Mick Hanley)
7. Hungry For Love (Dave Mallet)
8. Love Is Our Cross To Bear (John Gorka)
9. Knee Deep In A River (Jones / McDill / Lee)
10. Not A Matter Of Pride (Mike Silver)
11. How Weak I Am (Clive Gregson)
12. Hold On To That Heart (Pierce Pettis)
13. Hermitage Water To Kinzigtal Reprise (Stewart Hardy/Kenny Speirs)

Pages Turning
CDTRAX177 (1999)

Produced by Brian McNeill and including the talented musicianship of Ian Lowthian (accordion), Dougie Pincock (pipes, whistles and sax), Brian Shiels (double bass), Mike Travis (drums and percussion) and Brian McNeill (bouzouki, mandolin and concertina).  The carefully chosen songs are from the pens of some of the best songwriters around the world, including James Keelaghan, Allan Taylor, Mick Hanly, John Gorka, Mike Silver and Clive Gregson.

"Certain voices are best regarded as a spiritual gift: this man's voice qualifies."
Living Tradition

"Beautiful versions of classic songs."
Dirty Linen Magazine

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Bordersong (Kenny Speirs)
MVB Recordings - MVBCD1


  1. When I Get To The Border (Richard Thompson)
2. The Broom O' The Cowdenknowes (Trad.)
3. Both Sides The Tweed (James Hogg / Dick Gaughan)
4. Leaving Leithenside (Kenny Speirs)
5. The Twa' Corbies (Trad.)
6. Parcel O' Rogues (Robert Burns)
7. Jock O' Hazeldean (Sir Walter Scott)
8. Minto Hill (Kenny Speirs)
9. The Rolling Hills O' The Borders (Matt McGinn)
10. The Floo'ers O'The Forest (Trad.)
11. My Borderland (Kenny Speirs)

Bordersong was launched to an enthusiastic packed audience at Denholm, Scotland on Friday 27th August 1999. Backed by none other that Stewart Hardy on fiddle and several other excellent local musicians, there is a good balance of traditional songs local to the Scottish Borders (some with a slightly tenuous link!) and three of Kenny's own compositions.

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A Few Short Lines (John Wright)
Greentrax - CDTRAX 194

A Few Short Lines

  1. Lord Franklin (Trad.)
2. Raglan Road (P Kavanagh)
3. Hills of Ardmorn (Roy Williamson)
4. The Kerry Recruit (Trad.)
5. Song (Heaven to be near thee) (John Clare / Gordon Tyrrall)
6. Starry Night (Trad.)
7. Ned of the Hill (Trad.)
8. Helen of Kirkconnell (Trad.)
9. Black is the Colour (Trad.)
10. Rout of the Blues (Trad.)
11. Galway Shawl (Trad.)
12. Carrickfergus (Trad.)

John Wright on this album demonstrates superbly that the voice is one of the finest instruments available to mankind. This is an excellent album and proves in addition that somewhere in the tidal wave of new instrumental releases there's still room for a wee boat carrying good songs well sung. (Taken from the review in The Living Tradition - Issue 40)

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Language of the Heart  (John Wright Band: John Wright, Kenny Speirs, Stewart Hardy)
Greentrax - CDTRAX 201

Language of the Heart

  1. Show the way (David Wilcox)
2. Hold on (Kieran Halpin)
3. How can I tell you (Cat Stevens)
4. We lie (C While & A S Hutchings)
5. Good noise (John Gorka)
6. The ballad of Mary Magdalene (Richard Shindell)
7. Black cloths / Black jacket reel (Robin Laing / Stewart Hardie)
8. Language of the heart (David Wilcox)
9. If I could see (Lucy Kaplansky & Rick Litvin)
10. Raven in the storm (John Gorka)
11. Fragile peace (Mavis taylor & Mike Silver)
12. Fishing (Richard Shindell)
13. Not for the love of the money (Tim Harrison / Cop.Con.)
14. Time for leaving (Mike Silver)

With a truly compelling voice, both strong and expressive, John Wright has established himself as a major vocal talent. Add two formidable musicians in the shape of Kenny Speirs (guitar and backing vocals) and Stewart Hardy (fiddle and backing vocals) and the result is a hugely popular touring band. The songs are contemporary and written by some of the world's best songwriters.

Additional session musicians add breadth to this excellent studio album which was produced by Mike Silver.

"John's voice has a powerful but mellow sensitivity - fiddle and guitar offer a smooth and sympathetic accompaniment" (Dave Dewar, The Living Tradition)

"The John Wright Band just keeps improving with age and it doesn't get any better than their new album" (Drew McAdam, Edinburgh Evening News)

"They specialise in the art of subtly memorable balladry and must have few, if any, equals in their field today" (Kevan Bryan, Retford Press)

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John Wright Band Live  (John Wright & Kenny Speirs)
Big Sky 101

John Wright Band Live

  1. Lock-keeper
2. Rolling Hills of the Borders
3. Snows of France and Holland
4. Keep your distance
5. Broom of the Cowdenknowes
6. Whats the use of Wings
7. Winds of Freedom
8. Angels Flying too Close to the Ground
9. Dumbartons Drums
10. All the Answers
11. Family

1. Never Be The Sun
2. Naked to the Eye
3. All the Lies
4. Down too Deep
5. Everything Possible
6.I'm a Dreamer
7. Things We've Handed Down
8. Queen of Argyle
9. Weakness in Me
10. All Used Up
11. Reconciliation

Latest release. Featuring (but strangely not mentioned on the sleeve) Stewart Hardy on fiddle.

This collection of songs charts the first five years of the collaboration between John Wright and Kenny Speirs. They began performing together in the pubs and clubs of the Scottish Borders, and took their music to audiences across the UK and Europe. It's been quite a journey, and they hope this special (limited edition) release captures the unique atmosphere of their live concerts.

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Last Updated: 8/8/17 19:57