Dave Makins and I go back a long way, and nowadays I rely heavily on him to help me realise my music.
Like me, his main instruments are guitar, fiddle and mandolin, but he adds piano, keyboards, woodwind, brass and percussion to that list. Give him an instrument and he’ll probably get a tune out of it, but most importantly, if he can’t he’ll go off and find a sample library to replicate it. A useful chap to know.
Born in Kent, he went to school in Hertfordshire before returning to Canterbury to study and to and work as a teacher. Relocating to Milton Keynes in the 1980’s he became more and more musically engaged in folk music, and has played in several well-regarded ceilidh bands. He has also written and performed songs and music for local community projects based in north Buckinghamshire. In much of this Dave’s life and CV runs curiously parallel to mine!
Dave says of working with me, ‘…he’s a bit of a perfectionist, and very inventive. He’ll come up with an idea to add something to a song, and say to me, ‘can you play Flemish bagpipes or .. harp, or something, and usually, thank goodness, I’m able to say, yeah, I’ll give it a shot.’
Of the latest project ‘Leaf On A Windy Day’, he says, ‘I had to begin by recreating Kev’s original guitar, mandolin or mandola parts from the rough demos he presented me. We used the demos as guides, so tempo-wise everything breathes- although we did re-do a couple of things completely to a grid. Then I would throw whatever else he wanted at it, he would re-do the vocals and …’ Dave laughs, ‘…then we’d have to start stripping stuff away again ‘cos inevitably we didn’t know when to stop- ooh, let’s try some Tibetan temple bells!”