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Press Release

RAFT    Nigel Mazlyn Jones  IOL 0238 CD

Release date March 3rd on Isle of Light Records … independent label since 1976 

Nigel Mazlyn Jones is a musician and songwriter who since the mid 70’s has been quietly making some of the best acoustic 12 string guitar music in the UK creating a unique sound woven with atmosphere. A well-known figure on the live gig and festival circuit since 1976 his first two albums Ship to Shore and Sentinel are collectors favourites and have been re-released.

Both albums originally appeared on NMJ’s Isle of Light imprint. “I knew of musicians who were in a mess and not creating because of record deals gone sour,” he explains. “Some musicians I knew lived on music biz promises never fulfilled which messed up their creativity and I wanted to make sure I never killed the inspiration to write and play.”

Raft is NMJ’s tenth album, all have been released independently. A collection of songs and instrumentals ruminating as the sleeve notes tell on the idea that ‘Rafts are fragile, not permanent, and held together with hopes and dreams.’ 

This album has NMJ specialising in his trademark 12 string guitar picking woven with the wide dynamics of his guitar sounds and Glissando styles. Lyrically there are emotions and edge. Sonically Raft is very much about the guitar playing and the sounds he creates that have entranced audiences at live shows for decades.

Guest musician friends on the album include Guy Evans the drummer-percussionist with Van Der Graaf Generator, Rog Patterson on Chapman Stick and fretless bass and Dave Reeves on searing harmonica. NMJ and Guy often gig as an esoteric duo and released a live album in 1997 on Voiceprint. NMJ has often toured in the UK and Europe as featured support act to many great bands and collaborated with Steve Hillage, Banco de Gaia, Roy Harper, among others.

NMJ music has featured on many TV and radio programmes. These include Planet For $ale, commissioned by BBC2 TV Scotland. Planet for $ale eventually became an album and a project.

Although born in Dudley in the Black Country, NMJ has resided near the inspiring Cornish coast most of his life and once worked for Gerald Durrell in wildlife conservation. These influences shine through in his music. “The planet gives the raw materials and we give nothing but garbage back,” he says. “All the answers to our survival lie in nature yet we abuse and destroy it. These issues have not improved in my brief lifetime and still influence me.” 

“A Raft is whatever we construct to carry us away. 12 string guitars and the layers of sounds in acoustic guitars have always carried me away just like the seascapes that surround this isle we all live on.”


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