She’s a brilliant storyteller, Judy Dyble, which is something you could expect from someone with a librarian bent and a band disposition. She might have been too shy to show it back in FAIRPORT CONVENTION or TRADER HORNE, yet pieces like “Harpsong” – found on the artist’s fabulous "Talking With Strangers" whose titles is quite telling, too – reveal a full scope of a narrative Dyble’s able to deliver. Progressively on the rise, public profile-wise, in the last years, Judy had to revisit her past in the interviews often enough to realize there was a need for an entire book to describe the happenings of a singer’s life, within music and beyond it.
So it is here, out now, “An Accidental Musician”: an autobiography co-penned by Judy and Dave Thompson. How did it come together, though?
Asked about that, Ms Dyble has the following to say:
“It had been suggested that I write the story of my life many times over the last few years and honestly, I tried! I started many times and got kind of lost in dead ends and ‘where do I go from here’s’. So lots of bits of writing got put to one side and filed away. But in 2014 when I decided to create the "anthology" of my musical life, I found I had to explain the whys and the whats and the whens to Dave Thompson, a prolific writer of books on music, who wrote the sleevenotes for the whole thing.
And when that was finished, Dave said, ‘Well, you’ve told me so much about your music, I think we should have a go at your autobiography’. So we did. I scrabbled about in the filing system of my computer and the real filing cabinet and the deep dark recesses of my brain and sent all that I had written to him. He came back with questions and ‘What happened to that?’ and ‘Where next?’ and it all began to make some kind of sense and have a cohesive thread.
Phil Godsell of Soundcheck Books decided that it would be a Good Thing to publish it and gave us deadlines to work to. So with much to-ing and fro-ing of information and diggings abouts and transatlantic phone calls, because although Dave is English and knew exactly what my references were, he lives happily in the USA with his wife and cats… and probably a vinyl record or two!
That was the beginning of the book. The title ‘An Accidental Musician’ appeared out of no-where but seemed fitting as I had never intended to be in the music business, it just seemed like a good idea at the time, and then to return to libraries.
So there is the reason for this book. Once Dave had untangled all the bits of writing and stitched them together, the book sort of appeared. And I am very pleased with it, and I couldn’t have done it without Dave. (Smiles.)
As it says on the back cover, ‘It’s all been a question of being in the right place at the right time and saying ‘yes’ to everything and hoping to be entertained and amused and not get into too much trouble!’“
Read the review here.