Blues Matters is sad to report that musician John Cee Stannard passed away on 17th March 2020.

John first came to note as a founding member of folk group Tudor Lodge who released their first album in 1971. Self-titled and on the legendary Vertigo label it is a highly collectable record as is the single The Lady’s Changing Home and saw them appearing at a number of prestigious festivals. The line-up was John, Lyndon Green and American singer and flautist, Ann Steuart. Ann then left the band and was briefly replaced by Linda Peters (later Linda Thompson) for some live shows before the band disbanded.


The album line-up briefly reunited in 1980 but with John the sole founder member, Tudor Lodge continued to tour and record. Alongside this, John started to write blues-based songs which led to The Doob Doo album arriving in 2013. Then followed a series of excellent blues albums – Bus Depot Blues, Stone Cold Sober, the It’s Christmas Time EP, To The River, and Moving On, which saw him singing the blues about his hometown of Reading. Surely a first!


Away from music he also wrote a novel called The GRiPPENHAM TalesThe Hidden Truth, published in 2017, which he described as “Harry Potter meets The Famous Five”.  Very appropriate as if you look closely you will see him appearing as an extra in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. He was also a well-known voice on local radio both on Blast Radio 1386 and on BBC Radio Berkshire.

Having survived skin cancer in 2004, last year saw the cancer return, spreading to his liver and lungs. Before he passed, he completed work on three new albums.  A folk album called Folk Roots Revisited, a blues album, When The Time Is Right, and a final Tudor Lodge record, Life Goes On.

His widow Angie says that John was delighted that he could complete the three albums and he remained happy and contented to the end. He passed away peacefully and at home surrounded by his loved ones.

Our thoughts are with Angie and all of his loved ones at this time.

Obituary by Stuart A Hamilton


album cover for john cee stannard

JOHN CEE STANNARDWhen The Time Is Right – Released on Cast Iron Recordings

This will sadly prove to be the last album from folk circuit veteran John Cee Stannard, who sadly passed away in March following a long illness. But he bows out with an intelligent set of lo-fi blues and jazz-based originals, strikingly delivered in a middle-class English accent more redolent of a home-counties driving instructor than a sharecropper in the 1930’s Mississippi Delta.

Much of the subject matter centres on the usual love ‘n’ stuff, with some lyrics hinting at what it must feel like to be living with a cancer diagnosis and being grimly aware of what comes next. That’s most obviously the case with Biscuits At 2.00. The track is ostensibly a witty ditty about the craft of songwriting itself, somehow managing to rhyme ‘reverse engineering’ with ‘pioneering’.

But once you are aware of Stannard’s medical condition, the references to both conventional and alternative treatments suddenly make sense. Late In The Evening is a straight-ahead 12-bar devised as a showcase for the nifty harmonica work of Howard Birchmore, while Go Now is a minor blues about a relationship breakdown, which offers some restrained but emotive soloing from an unspecified guitarist.

Upstate New York is a duet pastiche in the Great American Songbook style, to good effect. The closer, Still Wild, rocks out. Stannard’s musical career dates back to the late 1960’s when he was a founding member of Reading folkies Tudor Lodge; his death leaves the folk-blues scene down a distinctive voice.

Album review by David Osler

For More Info – John Cee Stannard