COUNTY Durham songwriter Jez Lowe takes a stairway to Devon, calling on folk duo Show Of Hands to help with his 14th collection of original songs.

Producer Steve Knightley and sound engineer Phil Beer guide Jez through 11 new songs, including three from The Radio Ballads - last year's acclaimed series for BBC Radio Two.

The title track comes from the work of Newcastle author Jack Common whose best known book, Kiddar's Luck, is about a north-east boy growing up in the early 20th century.

Poet Seamus Heaney and femme fatale Marilyn Monroe inspire two other songs, but perhaps the highlight is The Sea And The Deep Blue Devil about a woman who has to choose between a sailor and a Bevan Boy collier during the Second World War.