Bruce john woke up one morning and thought: 'I'm dying! One day I'll be dead'. Panic set in as he followed this thought through and arrived at the realisation that, unless he got cracking, his songs would go to the grave with him. Thus was born the recording project that now revels in the name 'GEMS'. It is a collection of songs that have been hacked and hewn from the cold rockface of reality, stripped from the bones of despair by the biting winds of howling madness, and untimely ripped from the very womb of alienation. So you should enjoy them, then! All the music and lyrics are written by Bruce John [except Hard to Share, written by John Mayall] as are all the arrangements - except the strings on If you only knew which were arranged by Charles Beldom. All the recordings were produced and engineered by Bruce in his basement recording studio in North London, and mixed and edited by him as well. Special thanks go to Mike Skeet for his hands-on help and advice during the 4 years that this project has cleaved it's way through the jungle of vicissitude, and for his final intervention at the Mastering stage. There is a certain amount of satisfaction and relief in finally being delivered of one's offering after a long and tortuous labour, but for me the most enjoyable and exciting part has been meeting and working with all the very fine musicians that appear on this album. All of them gave of their best, and though they may not yet be feted and famed, I would defy anyone to show me more expert, more beautiful improvising than you can hear on the wide range of instruments on this album. One of the advantages of making music in this way [i.e. not writing everything down] is that you invite the musicians to contribute their own inspiration and character - I hope you can perceive that rich and varied musicianship in these recordings.