The North East meets the South West, as acclaimed County Durham songwriter Jez Lowe calls on Devon's top folk duo Show of Hands to assist him with his 14th collection of original songs, and his first solo album since 1988. Producer Steve Knightley steers Jez through eleven new songs, including three from Jez's contributions to last year's acclaimed BBC series The Radio Ballads, with assistance from The Bad Pennies (Kate Bramley on violin and vocals, Andy May on piano and tin whistle and David de la Haye on bass guitar) plus recording engineer Phil Beer on slide guitar and violin, Jenna on vocals, and Dave McKeown on clarinet. Jez's Radio Ballads role as wordsmith and musician, interpreting the lives and attitudes of the working men and women of Northern Britain, is further explored in this set of songs, harking back to his own family roots in Ireland and in the coal-mining community of East Durham. The cover photographs show Jez back in the streets where he grew up, recognisable to many of us from the hit movie "Billy Elliott", which was filmed in this very location, and the story of which mirrors closely the overall concept of this album the conflict between the artist and his working class beginnings, whether applied to Billy Elliott, to Jez Lowe or to Jack Common, the hero of this collection of songs. Jack Common was a writer and novelist from Newcastle Upon Tyne, who's most celebrated work "Kiddar's Luck" portrays the adventures of a boy growing up in North East England in the early 20th Century. Jack Common himself went on to work and write in London, forming a strong bond, artistically and personally, with the writer George Orwell, but never gaining the latter's fame or success. He ended his life in obscurity in the late 1960's but enjoys a cult following among many political and social commentators to this day. In the two songs that "bookend" this album, Jez guides the character known as Jack Common back to his roots and observes the changes that perhaps he would observe as North East England, and the whole world moves into a new century.