Woolly Wolstenholme

Woolly Wolstenholme

Infobox musical artist
Name = Woolly Wolstenholme

Img_capt =
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Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Stuart John Wolstenholme
Alias = Woolly
Born = birth date and age|1947|4|15
Died =
Origin = Chadderton, Oldham, Lancashire, England
Instrument = keyboards
Voice_type =
Genre = rock
classic rock
progressive rock
Occupation = musician
Years_active = 1960's – present
Label = Harvest, Polydor
Associated_acts = Barclay James Harvest, Maestoso, Mandalaband
Notable_instruments = mellotron

Woolly Wolstenholme was vocalist and keyboard player with the British progressive rock band Barclay James Harvest. [http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=655]


Stuart John Wolstenholme was born in Chadderton, Oldham, Lancashire on April 15th, 1947, and went to school at North Chadderton Secondary Modern. His first instrument was a tenor banjo, which he took up at the age of twelve, and he also played tenor horn for the Delph band. He met John Lees at Oldham School Of Art and Woolly played tambourine and sang with John in The Sorcerers, then The Keepers, where Woolly played whatever instrument was required, such as harmonica and twelve-string guitar. [ [http://www.bjharvest.co.uk/bjh-biog.htm#woolly Barclay James Harvest Biography ] ]

The pair then founded Barclay James Harvest, together with Les Holroyd and Mel Pritchard, in 1967. Woolly taught himself keyboards, first the Mellotron and then adapting to organ, piano and synthesisers. His musical influences range from Love and Vanilla Fudge through Mahler to UK and Radiohead. Woolly remained with Barclay James Harvest until 1979, when he became frustrated and unhappy at the direction their music was taking. http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=2654]

He recorded a solo album, "Mæstoso", in 1980, and toured as support to Judie Tzuke and Saga, as well as writing film and TV music. A projected second album, "Black Box", was shelved and Woolly lost interest in the music business, preferring instead to farm, initially in Lancashire and later in west Wales. Tapes from the sessions for his second album were finally issued in 1994, along with the complete "Mæstoso" album, as "Songs From The Black Box".

Woolly returned to the music business in 1998 after meeting John Lees again, and this resulted in the Eagle Records album "Nexus" credited to Barclay James Harvest Through The Eyes Of John Lees. The album was followed by live shows in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Greece and the UK, the first English concerts by any members of Barclay James Harvest for nine years, and Eagle released a live album called "Revival". A studio follow-up with the working title "North" was planned and recording began at John's Friarmere Studios, but after only a few days the project was shelved because John felt that due to a number of factors, the timing was not right to do justice to a new album.

A new CD of the Black Box sessions with previously unreleased material (including a brand new demo) was released in February 2004 as "Black Box Recovered", and a new studio set, "One Drop In A Dry World", followed in May 2004. A short UK tour was planned to promote the CD, but in the event only one concert, at London's Mean Fiddler, went ahead, on May 12th. The live set, including rarely heard BJH classics as well as Mæstoso material, was captured for posterity and released on a limited, warts and all live CD, "Fiddling Meanly", released in February 2005. On 27th November 2004 Mæstoso played again in London, this time as support to Caravan at the Bloomsbury Theatre. At this show John Lees also made a surprise guest appearance for two songs.

This proved to be one of Woolly's most creative periods, with another Mæstoso studio album, "Grim", appearing in October 2005, and a brand new album, "Caterwauling", released in November 2007. Most of the Maestoso band also found time between recording commitments to perform as part of John Lees' Barclay James Harvest, including a full-scale UK tour in October and November 2006.


* "Maestoso" Polydor 1980 (Released twice on CD (once in 2000) and Remastered and Re-released in 2006) Brimstone Records, Eclectic Discs
* "Songs From the Black box" 1994 Voiceprint
* "One drop in a dry world" 2004 Eclectic Discs
* "Fiddling meanly" 2004 Eclectic Discs
* "Black Box Recovered" 2004 Eclectic Discs
* "Grim" 2005 Eclectic Discs
* "Caterwauling" 2007 Esoteric Recordings (formerly Eclectic Discs)


* The Barclay James Harvest Story by Keith and Monika Domone.

External links

* [http://www.woollywolstenholme.co.uk Wooly Wolstenholme's Maestoso]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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