Headteacher adds sax appeal to night of ‘Pure Dirt’

Woodroffe’s Dr Richard Steward set to rock with Mary’s Pure Dirt Band at end of term concert

Woodroffe School’s award-winning headmaster will be adding sax appeal to an evening of Pure Dirt.

Dr Richard Steward is joining the country rock group fronted by the Lyme school’s popular computer-fixer, Mary Ball.

He will be playing saxophone in Mary’s Pure Dirt Band at the launch party for her album ‘All The Way’ during an end of term concert at the Woodmead Halls, on July 14.

It’s a ‘one night only’ performance, he insists.

Mary, who performs under the stage name Mary Land, will be swapping her IT lab technician’s coat for cowboy boots and a Stetson as she and her Lyme-based band perform the album which has already been hailed as a YouTube hit with fans from the USA.

She said: “I’m thrilled to be playing a gig with the Head. He’s a great musician and I hope lots of Woodroffe students will come and see this other side of him – and learn what I do in my night job.”

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Pure Dirt Band guitarist Gordon ‘Nomad’ Smith, who produced the seven-track album, which is winning rave comparisons with Fleetwood Mac, added: “I’ve been in and around the music business for all of my life and I’d say Richard Steward is one of the best saxophonists in the South West. He’s a really good player and the audience can look forward to a treat.”

The Pure Dirt Band are all from the West Dorset/East Devon area. Mary Ball, Nomad Smith and drummer John Hallett are from Lyme Regis, bass guitarist Ade Taylor is from Axminster and lead guitarist Phil Birkhead is from Colyford.

Among the highlights of the show will be the Uplyme Morris Men, ditching their traditional accordion and fiddle accompaniment to dance to one of the album’s tracks.

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