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2CameBy
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Image: 2CameByAbout 2CameBy

Named after the legendary Carthy/Swarbrick 1968 album, which itself was named from an obscure anonymous folk verse, 2CameBy comprise Rick Monaghan on mandolin and bass, and John Price on guitar and harmonica.

Rick and John followed a very different path in their musical journeys - Rick's introduction being the folk scene in the '60's and '70's and John's the blues bands of that time. Rick bought his first mandolin at the age of twelve in London's Petticoat Lane "it was one of those old Italian bowl-backed things - it had a huge crack running the entire length of the back" he recalls "and someone had glued a Tesco till receipt inside to hold it together, just next to the label that said Anno 1800! It was very hard to play, and it wasn't until several years later when he bought another one from a friend that they realised the action wasn't supposed to be around half an inch off the fretboard!".

"We used to play along with records by the Ian Campbell Folk Group - with that man Swarbrick on fiddle & mandolin - tunes like Rights of Man, Mason's Apron, that kind of stuff," A contract in Saudi Arabia led to a place in Riyadh folk band The Bishop Aucklnd Loose-Lipped Songsters, touring ex-pat compounds at weekends and providing much-needed entertainment. Their eponymous recording was marketed in the Middle East, but differing contract end dates caused the band to split in 1983.

Returning to the UK, Rick was invited to take up electric bass & joined The Charcoal Blues Band, where he met up with John, who was playing lead guitar and supplying most of the vocals. Another eponymous album followed and the band toured briefly in France and Germany, before the usual untimely demise - just as tracks on the album had been played on the Dave Allen radio programme!

Image: 2CameByThis was the start of 2CameBy - by this time John, originally from Stoke on Trent and Rick, from east London, were both living in Winchester and decided to form an acoustic folk/blues duo. Taking influences from the early blues recordings and from the folk world they set about trying the format in pubs around Hampshire. However, these venues forced 2CameBy down the line of playing mainly popular songs and playing them at volume, so the decision was made to record a CD and abandon pubs in favour of festivals and arts centres. This culminated in December of 2008 with a slot at the Winchester Discovery Centre supporting Dave Swarbrick

These days, Rick alternates between a David Oddy mandolin and a 1924 Gibson F4. "I came across David Oddy through listening to Show of Hands, and ended up buying a mandocello, an octave mandolin and a mandolin from him" says Rick. "I had been introduced to the playing of David Grisman by an American friend and this led to me playing higher up the neck than my old mandolin could cope with, so I went down to Exeter and there was David, a retired telephone engineer, producing these fantastic instruments from a garden shed!. Later, by complete chance I came across David Grisman and he had this F4 for sale.

It was a Loar period, and I prefer the sound of the F4 to the F5 so ended up buying it from him. I took it to David Oddy who managed to slip a contact pickup inside and I play it through a Bose LII which gives me a great acoustic amplified sound. If we do an electric gig, and I'm up against John's 335, I play a Chris Eccleshall eletric solid bodied mandolin which responds better to a back-line amplifier."

John plays a Martin 00028EC, again through the Bose LII, for acoustic gigs and a Gibson 335 for electric outings. "Most of the electric bookings come from the old Charcoal Blues band days" he says, "we end up playing anything from a full blues set with Rick on bass and a drummer, to blues guitar, mandolin & fiddle numbers like Everyday I have the Blues and Done Got Over It."

2010 will see the release of the CD album, and following the completion of this in early 2010 2cameBy will be back on the road, playing their unique mixture of folk, blues and own compositions.

Website: www.myspace.com/2camebyfriends

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