David Nigel Lloyd

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David Nigel Lloyd is an English Colonial with Welsh/Irish ancestry. Born in the former British East Africa of the Mau Mau uprising, he lived in England, Germany, and the U.S. as a child, with his family…
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David Nigel Lloyd is an English Colonial with Welsh/Irish ancestry. Born in the former British East Africa of the Mau Mau uprising, he lived in England, Germany, and the U.S. as a child, with his family eventually settling in Canada. He returned to the U.S. in 1975. The late '70s saw his band BLaM (Bugbee, Lloyd, and Meehan) playing L.A.'s new wave rock scene. In the early '80s, BLaM broke up, and Lloyd went acoustic as a solo performer. This resulted in the 1984 LP Dark Ages, released on vinyl by Silk Purse Records, his own label. It consisted of original compositions, yet following that, Lloyd began performing traditional Celtic and American style ballads as well, sometimes overlaying them with his own words, new meanings, or additional verses. Stylistically, this is similar to the Welsh penillion singing, where new verses are improvised to older melodies. In early 1987, Lloyd wrote a sequence of poems, sung and spoken amidst musical and sound-effect settings, entitled Los Fumos Sketchbook, as a birthday present for his wife, Gita. This was the groundwork for his later release, Death in Los Fumos. 1987 also saw the release of An Age of Fable. With the fiddle, bass, and drums lineup of his Mojave Desert Ceilidh Band, that album was best known for Lloyd's "Poor Little Englishman!" and his musical setting of William Blake's London. At that time, David Nigel Lloyd & His MDCB was L.A.'s only Celtic folk-rock band. In 1988, Lloyd played William Butler Yeats in the Celtic Arts Center production of Country of the Young. The two-character play chronicled Yeats' fiery relationship with the Irish heroine Maud Gonne. During the play's run, Lloyd discovered he had a relative who had fought for Ireland in the 1916 Easter Rising and that he was related to Gonne by marriage. Later, Lloyd set Yeats to music, with the result, "A Ballad of Roger Casement," included on How Like Ghosts Are We. By 1990, the Lloyd family left Los Angeles, settling in a small community in California's Southern Sierra Nevada. From there, Lloyd went on a series of California tours, one with the Ceilidh Band and others, after the band's breakup, with bassist Dave "Ashley Planxty" Beltanovich III. He also became West Coast tour manager for his mentor and friend, the Scottish harper and bard, Robin Williamson. In 1993, Lloyd played Feste the Fool in Spike Stewart's Shakespeare's Plan 12 From Outer Space, an avant garde version of Twelfth Night. Lloyd also wrote new music for the play's six songs.

During the same time, Lloyd built a small home-recording studio. His first project was Death in Los Fumos. Released in 1994, it was an expanded version of Los Fumos Sketchbook. In March of 1998, Lloyd's music was heard across North America when his song "Rebecca Rebecca" was aired on the CBS show, Late Night With David Letterman. Ten days later, his album, How Like Ghosts Are We, was released. For many years, Lloyd toured throughout California, Nevada, and Oregon, accompanying himself on guitar and octar, an eight-string variant tuned much like a mandola. His Orca 2000 tour took him from Los Angeles, CA, to Eugene, OR, performing and teaching workshops on traditional songwriting. Lloyd continued on as one of Kern County's Artists in Residence, teaching British Isles folk music in the elementary schools.