Thursday, February 3, 2022

Iona’s Dave Bainbridge Releases 4th Solo Album “To The Far Away”

Despite all the traumas and uncertainties of 2020, it turned out to be a very busy year for Dave Bainbridge. As well as producing the epic 17 CD “Book of Iona” box set celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Iona, Dave contributed in various degrees to new albums by Kimmo Porsti, Cronofonia, Downes Braide Association, Lifesigns, Nick Fletcher, Glass Hammer, Celtish and Strawbs. However, in between all this activity Dave was also taking time out to put together the concept and music for his 4th solo album, “To The Far Away.”

Iona fans might recognize the title as a quote from the lyrics of the song “Edge of the World” from “Beyond These Shores” and there are definitely parallels in the themes of the two albums. “Shores” recounts the ancient story of St Brendan’s epic voyage across the Atlantic ocean, whilst “To The Far Away” tells a more contemporary story of lovers on opposite sides of the Atlantic ocean, separated for many months by the global pandemic. Both albums, however, end on a note of optimism. Brendan finally returns safely home, whilst our contemporary lovers are finally reunited after an epic trip across the same ocean.

The album’s 71 plus minutes of music draws upon the Celtic, progressive, rock and classical influences that have permeated Dave’s music since he started composing at the age of eleven and which he honed during his years with Iona and through his previous solo and many collaborative releases. Featuring his usual array of keyboards, guitars and assorted acoustic instruments, Dave also assembled a fantastic group of supporting musicians to bring the project to life:
Sally Minnear (Lord of the Dance / Celestial Fire) - Vocals  
Iain Hornal (Jeff Lynn’s ELO, 10CC, Three Friends, solo artist) - Vocals
Troy Donockley (Iona / Nightwish / The Enid / Maddy Prior) - Uilleann Pipes, Whistles, Voices Jon Poole (Cardiacs / Lifesigns) - Bass Guitars
Frank van Essen (Iona / Martin Garrix) - Drums, Violins & Violas
Jonas Pap (Epica, Cronofonia) - Cello
Nigel Cameron (Celtish) - Whistles
Julie Cameron-Hall (Celtish) - Violin
Martin Nolan (Iona) - Whistles  

Dave collaborated with acclaimed Canadian/Irish poet Lynn Caldwell on the album’s lyrics. “I’d read some of Lynn’s work and immediately felt that she would be the person to help me organize and bring an emotional focus to my thematic and lyrical ideas for the project. It was a hunch that paid off and I’m absolutely thrilled with what she came up with. Lynn, her husband Martin Nolan and friend Una Ní Cheallaigh were also able to put together the haunting Irish Gaelic lyrics, sung by Sally, which I’d wanted to include on several tracks.”  

Dave continues: “As with many artists and composers I know, 2020 was a bittersweet year. The complete shutdown of venues left us without places to play and income, but also paradoxically gave us the time and space to write, record and bring to fruition projects we may not have otherwise got around to finishing. For me it was especially bittersweet as I was due to be married at the end of March 2020 to Sharon, my fiance from Baltimore, on Cruise to the Edge, with my friends Neal Morse officiating and John Young (Asia/ Scorpions/Lifesigns) as best man. Not only was that plan put on hold, the abrupt shutdown of flights into the USA meant that Sharon and I were torn apart for 8 1/2 months. The thematic ideas behind ‘To The Far Away’ encompass thoughts, feelings and ideas I experienced, largely when I was doing my daily runs and walks on the rural country lane on which I spent so much time between March and October 2020.”

“As the music for this album evolved, I realized that the main emphasis was firmly on melody. Melodic lines and riffs that will hopefully stay with the listener, reflecting the emotions and sense of place in which I was immersed, as the seasons moved through spring, to summer and finally the rich colors of autumn under the vast skies of the Lincolnshire landscape. In some ways this is probably my most personal album to date and I hope that, as well as capturing some of the heartache of the time, it also leaves the listener with a sense of hope and optimism, that in the end, love will triumph.”

Despite being released late in 2021, “To The Far Away” still sneaked into a number of Best of 2021 Polls: No. 1 Best Album, Album of the Month, Cover Feature, iO Pages Magazine (Netherlands) No. 2 Best Album of 2021 Progressive Rock Central
No. 2 Best Album of 2021 Esther’s Rock Blog
No. 2 Best Album of 2021 Scotland Rocks Radio
No. 6 Best Album of 2021 Amarok Magazine (France)
No. 13 Best Album of 2021 Sonic Perspectives
Album of the Month Radio Xymphonia
In addition, Dave was voted 3rd in Prog Magazine Readers Poll Best Guitarist of 2021

Here’s what the press has raved about Dave Bainbridge’s “To The Far Away”:

In my opinion, this is his best work ever! I hear great, uplifting, melodies, wonderful playing and excellent singing.” - Paul Rijkens iO Pages

Absolute sonic perfection!!!” - Chris MacIntosh WCWP Radio New York

If you remember the band 'Iona' you will love this album. It's a masterpiece of Celtic Prog Rock.” - Nigel Cameron - Celtish

To The Far Away, just might be, well - the best thing he’s ever done – and with his years of output that’s saying a lot… A brilliant balance of vocal and instrumental tracks, To The Far Away will thrill and delight fans of both Celtic and ‘traditional’ prog-rock, and anyone open to more adventurous realms of music in general…If you’re a fan of Iona, Dave Bainbridge’s solo work, Celtic prog, classic prog-rock – whatever!  You need this.” - Bert Saraco -

“‘To the Far Away’ is a wonderful journey of the mind, full of captivating music throughout. This album is one of the best albums of 2021. It is definitely in the top ten progressive rock albums of the year…Please get this album, relax and enjoy the journey. Every song is captivating and full of the kind of music that made Iona famous.” - Professor Mark, Progressive Rock Central  

To get straight to the point, the music is of great, if not exceptional, class…the melodies Bainbridge presents us on this album are of very great, I repeat, very great beauty…It seems as if Dave has found the balance between say Celestial Fire (the symphonic) and the Celtic influences...There are not only great guitar solos on this record, but also wonderful keyboard moments...the more you play ‘To The Far Away,’ the better it gets. I could go on and on, but I think it is clear that lovers of atmospheric symphonic music have a pearl in their hands with this album. This is hashtag #heavenly.” - Jacco Stijkel -

Dave Bainbridge “To The Far Away” was released on Dave’s Open Sky Records label & distributed by Gonzo Multimedia, the album is available in 5 formats:
*DIGITAL DOWNLOAD 24 bit wav files
*2CD WITH BONUS DISK featuring over an hour’s worth of alternate mixes, demos and previously unreleased tracks recorded exclusively for this release
*LIMITED EDITION DELUXE PHOTO BOOK featuring the 2CD version, accompanying A4 size hardback book of 123 of Dave’s evocative landscape photos, 6 postcards of Dave’s photos & a signed and numbered certificate.

To purchase:

For more information:

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158 (US),

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