Red Bird Sky

Red Bird Sky

 Birmingham, England, GBR
BandFolkAmericana

Red Bird Sky produce music you can dance and cry to. Bringing together an eclectic mix of Folk, Americana and Celtic influences they create songs of startling originality, depth and beauty, whilst being unafraid to look at the more difficult aspects of life in their songwriting. Bernie's sweet, yet mature voice, melodic instincts and searching lyrics combine with Mike's wonderful, virtuoso guitar playing, elevating their songs to a truly special place. A great show whether as duo or full band.

Biography

Birmingham-based band, Red Bird Sky are centred around the songwriting duo of Bernie Maguire and Mike Seal. 

Their second album, "The Unravelling" was released in September 2014 to critical acclaim including a four star review in R2. It was produced by Nigel Stonier (Thea Gilmore, Joan Baez, Waterboys, Fairport Convention, Lindisfarne). The album again showcases the lyrical musicality that marks out Red Bird Sky songs and sees Bernie and Mike further progression as songwriters and deftly traversing genres. The band are joined by Rod Clements (Lindisfarne) on several tracks who adds some glorious  Dobro, Baritone Guitar and Mandolin.

The creation of Red Bird Sky came about as one of those glorious chance occurrences when Bernie had placed an advert, on a musician's website, seeking a guitarist to accompany her to the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival in 2010. Mike answered the ad ...... some two months after the Festival had ended, asking if she was still looking for a guitarist. Their e-mail exchange probably toured the globe, whilst ironically it turned out that they lived within a few hundred yards of each other! Luckily, Bernie said "Yes" and, after an initial period of singing some songs from Mike's Jazz-infused back-catalogue, they started to co-write in July, 2010 .... and the songs have come fast and furious since then. Since then, Bernie and Mike have been back to Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival twice to perform and deliver workshops.

In October, 2011 the duo headed to Canada to record their debut album, "Every Lesson In Its Turn", with Juno-award winning Producer, Paul Milner, at his studio on Prince Edward Island. The 10 track album had a decidedly Folk/Americana feel, with some beautiful ballads and uptempo numbers adding additional hues. Featuring the talented Canadian musicians: Dan Cutrona (Piano / Keyboards); Gordie McKeeman (Fiddle) and James Phillips (Mandolin), the single "Stories" was issued in December 2012 followed by the album in March, 2013 (see press) and was released on the indie label, Treetop Records. Whilst in Canada, Bernie and Mike played gigs in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and on Prince Edward Island, where they found audiences, steeped in a culture of live music and world-class songwriting, who responded very positively to their performances and songs. Following their experience of recording in Canada, Bernie and Mike decided to expand their sound by adding musicians and growing from a duo into a fully fledged band. 

The backline has seen a few changes of personnel since 2012 but has now settled with: Bernie (lead vocals); Mike (guitars); Maighread (backing vocals); Mark Schlotel (Bass); Paul Miller (Violina) and Oliver Garrett (Harmonica/Keyboards). Opening the Moseley Folk Festival, in August, 2013, the band were also joined by Kostas Bechlos on drums.

Having performed at the Nantwich Words and Music Festival in October, 2013 Bernie and Mike were able to enlist the support of Nigel for the new album. Meanwhile, the songs just keep coming and Red Bird Sky continue to wow audiences with their live shows, managing to move effortlessly through genres and emotions ... from the most pared down intimate ballad, through to uproarious, stomping dance tunes. 

Lyrics

Stories

Written By: Maguire and Seal

Stories
Bernie Maguire and Mike Seal

Bring your life’s tales to my heart
Every one right from the start
Everything you have to share
Come and tell me if you dare
And I’ve a tale or two for you
If you’d care to know me too
You’re the one I need to learn
Every lesson in its turn

Lay your stories at my door
I want to hear them all

For you I’ll open up the book
Let you can take a closer look
And every page we each reveal
Will tell a story we can feel
I will listen like a child
Gripped by tales dark and wild
And all of the things of everyday
I’ll hang on every word you say

So, lay your stories at my door
I want to hear them all

Bring your life’s tales to my heart
Every one right from the start
Oh, lay your stories at my door

We’ll make new stories of our own
To warm our hearts when we’re alone
And when we're older maybe then
Look back and say "I remember when!"

So, lay your stories at my door
I want to hear them all
Lay your stories at my door
I want to hear them all
I want to hear them all
I want to hear them all

© Bernadette Maguire and Mike Seal (2011) All Rights Reserved

Flatlands

Written By: Maguire and Seal

Flatlands
Bernie Maguire and Mike Seal

Twisted branches silhouette
Against the Fenland sky
A Blackbird sits upon a fence
To watch as clouds roll by
And a silver mist that’s edged in blue
Shrouds over the grey
As the marshland comes alive again
At the dawn of the new day

Oh, the flatlands
Rolling on out of the sea
Oh, the flatlands
You can’t escape your history

Twisted branches silhouette
Against the endless sky
Clouds of fire hang in the air
As the sun is climbing high
And shadows dance across the land
When the moon comes into view
For the celestial waltz of mystery
Lovers’ passion to renew

Oh, the flatlands
Rolling on out of the sea
Oh, the flatlands
You can’t escape your history

On a beach upon an eastern shore
We watched the sky turn black
And sat to wait the Sun's return
As bees slept in the grass
Until the flaming light of rebirth
Shone in a pool upon the sand
And I felt the force of Nature’s pull
That will reclaim this magic land

Oh, the flatlands
Rolling back into the sea
Oh, the flatlands
You can’t escape your destiny
Oh, the flatlands
You can’t escape your destiny

© Bernadette Maguire and Mike Seal (2011) All Rights Reserved

Where The Wild Things Grow

Written By: Maguire and Seal

Where The Wild Things Grow
Bernie Maguire and Mike Seal

I went down to the place they told me I shouldn’t go
And I learned me some things they said I shouldn’t know
And I saw some things people ain’t supposed to show
When I went down to the place where the wild things grow

Down where I feel free
Oh something got unlocked in me
Down where I feel free
And I found out just how good bad can be

I went down to the place where they keep the lights down low
And the people there they all move real slow
And when the bees are buzzing that’s when the nectars flow
When I went down to the place where the wild things grow

Down where I feel free
Oh, something got unlocked in me
Down where I feel free
And I found out just how good bad can be

Down where I feel free
Oh, something got unlocked in me
Down where I feel free
And I found out just how good bad can be

So I’m staying down in the place they tell me I shouldn’t go
And I’m still learning the things they say I shouldn’t know
And loving the ones who are brave enough to show
It all, down in the place where the wild things grow
Down in the place where the wild things grow
Down in the place where the wild things grow

© Bernadette Maguire and Mike Seal (2011) All Rights Reserved

Moving

Written By: Maguire and Seal

Moving
Bernie Maguire and Mike Seal

Moving, moving
Wherever we go they keep moving us along
Moving, moving
We're just trying to find ourselves a home
But we're moving, moving
And wherever we stop they tell us we don't belong
Oh, they keep us moving on

Moving, moving
We'd like to rest but they keep pushing us on
Moving, moving
They say our kind, are just out to do wrong
So we're moving, moving
With dogs and Police they keep moving us along
Oh, they keep us moving on

Like a breeze that's always blowing
We move on across the land
They say we're rootless, constant travelers
Settled as the shifting sand
But to make sure they just help us along!
Yeah, they keep us moving on

So we're moving, moving
Telling stories that help to keep us strong
Moving, moving
Making virtues of necessities as we go along
Moving, moving
With just the clothes on our backs and carrying our peoples' songs

They keep us moving
They keep us moving
And wherever we stop they tell us we don't belong
Oh, they keep us moving on
Oh, they keep us moving on
They let us work for next to nothing
Then they move us on along
And say,"Your kind better just keep moving on!"

© Bernadette Maguire and Mike Seal (2011) All Rights Reserved

A Mountain Of Me

Written By: Maguire and Seal

A Mountain Of Me
Bernadette Maguire and Mike Seal

I'm like a rock at the shore
And the sea takes a little bit more
Of me everyday
Washing me away

With every turn of the tide
There's no way I can hide
I've got to stand right here
Until I disappear

Oh, I know eventually
We're going back to the sea
But right now
There's a mountain of me
There's a mountain of me

Sometimes the rain pours hard
Leaves tracks, my surface scared
It cuts me deep
Oh, and these wounds I keep

Pressure's building below
Something's gonna blow
But my Tectonic history
Somehow is lifting me

Oh, I know eventually
We're going back to the sea
But right now
There's a mountain of me
There's a mountain of me

And the view from here takes my breath away
As the waves crash in and wash over me
Ruled by the rhythms of the Moon above
Filling my heart with their Selenian love

I'm like a rock at the shore
And the sea takes a little bit more
Of me everyday
Washing me away

With every turn of the tide
There's no way I can hide
I've got to stand right here
Until I disappear

Oh, eventually
We're going back to the sea
But right now
There's a mountain of me
'Cos I'm a mountain you see!

© Bernadette Maguire and Mike Seal (2010) All Rights Reserved

Discography

The bands debut single 'Stories' is available to listen to at: soundcloud.com/redbirdsky or via www.treetopsrecords.com
"Stories" was premiered on Gashouse Radio in early December, in Britain and the USA; and was described by Antonia Bird on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire as "Simply Beautiful!".
The album 'Every Lesson In Is Turn', released in late March 2013 on Treetops Records, is a potent mix of powerful Folk, Americana, Celtic and Blues songs - all with Red Bird Sky's wonderful lyrical imagery and glorious musicality.

Set List

We play all originals. We can do sets of up to 2 hours or x3 sets of 45 minutes. We have over 50 original songs. We can also tailor the sets to Americana, Folk, Acoustic or Roots audiences.

We have all our own instruments, a full PA and a set of lights if necessary. We have our own transport.