Bluestone Recordings is an Independent Music Production company founded by Jeff Ward and features new and archive recordings of the best in Folk, Rock and Blues.
Jeff began his musical career in the underground Heavy Metal band Iron Pig, during the NWOBHM era of 1979. The band recorded three demos, one of which was playlisted by Geoff Barton of Sounds and they played some high profile gigs, including Guildford University and London’s Marquee Club, before calling it a day in the summer of 1980.
In 1981 he formed The Hollow with Iron Pig vocalist, Graham Dundas. This band had a more folky/prog rock feel and recorded a limited edition cassette only album Winter in 1982. In 1984, he reunited with former Iron Pig members Simon Pengilly and Gerald Goff , along with former Static and Icemon vocalist, Noel Jones in the ambitious metal band White Lightning. This line up recorded the ultra-rare 7 inch single This Poison Fountain, financed by the band. They continued to gig and after the acquisition of their own multi track recording equipment, they recorded more demos.
In the summer of 1985, with White Lightning on hold, Jeff joined the cult Space Rock band Mournblade. They recorded the album Time’s Running Out for Flicknife Records, home of Hawkwind and gigged continuously throughout the year, still finding time to record the unreleased mini-album Ein Heldentraum.
In 1986, Jeff reformed White Lightning, bringing Richard Max Goddard from Mournblade on Bass. This line up recorded the self-financed album As Midnight Approaches. With rave reviews and the patronage of DJ Tommy Vance, who played every track on his legendary Friday Rock Show, the band were signed by Workshop Records, who re-issued the album in larger quantities in 1988. In 1990, guitarist Simon Pengilly was replaced by John Storey and White Lightning proceeded to lay down tracks for the album Paradise At A Price at Woodcray Studios in Berkshire, where Black Sabbath had just recorded their TYR album.
More high profile gigs followed including support slots to Japanese HM band Vow Wow and Meat Loaf. With the album in the can and things looking rosy, Workshop Records folded and the master tapes disappeared thus bringing the White Lightning story to an ignoble close.
1991 was spent mostly in the studio working on various projects, including The Complete Works by Skeleton Crew, an album that started a long association with Paul King and Colin Earl from the original Mungo Jerry line up.
In 1992, Jeff was asked to join the Ragged Boys a Blues edged rock band signed to London based Timbuktu Records. An album was recorded and a single Rat Tat (Who Are You) was released with a video to promote it.
In 1993, Jeff relocated to Co. Cork in Ireland to begin setting up an independent music production company, licensing music to various labels and TV companies around the world, including the ITV coverage of the Bruno/Tyson fight and two further releases with Paul King, the solo CD Houdini’s Moon and The Mill Is Gone by The King Earl Boogie Band, both on the ‘A New Day’ label. Jeff also appeared with legendary DJ Bob Harris, as guests of The King Earl Boogie Band at the 1996 Cropredy festival.
During his stay in Ireland, Jeff met Noel Redding, bassist with The Jimi Hendrix Experience and regularly jammed with him at the famous Friday night sessions in De Barra’s, Clonakilty. An album’s worth of new material was recorded, but due to contractual difficulties, it remains unreleased.
However, tracks were laid down for a proposed Blues album that eventually surfaced in 2002 on the Dutch based Provogue label as Pick It Up, Pass It On by The Barrelhouse Brothers and also featured contributions from Eric Bell (Thin Lizzy), John Coghlan (Status Quo), David Jackson (Van Der Graf Generator) amongst others. During this time, Jeff also recorded an album for folk legend and West Cork resident, Roy Harper. The Dream Society, considered by many to be Roy’s finest album in years, also featured Roy’s son, Nick Harper, top session drummer, Smiley (Joe Strummer/Robbie Williams) and Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull on flute. Jeff also engineered some tracks for Corky Laing (Mountain) and Eric Schankeman (Spin Doctors) collectively known as Cork, for their album Out There.
Jeff returned to his native West London in 2003 to record an album with Legendary Folk/Blues chanteuse Dorris Henderson. The resulting album Here I Go Again was released to great critical acclaim and reunited her with John Renbourn, with whom she had recorded in the 60s. A further album was recorded with her backing band, The Cohorts, before her sad death in March 2005.
After Dorris’s death, Jeff teamed up with fellow Cohort, Mac McGann, who also worked with Ralph McTell, Beverley Martyn and McGuiness Flint, for the acoustic blues album and recent Bluestone Recordings release, All Change.