Click play to listen while you read…
Inspired by our life on the road with the dogs and my guitar. Travelling Girl is a rolling, uplifting slice of rootsty americana – featuring pedal steel guitar legend BJ Cole, piano and vocal harmonies from North East songwriter Jen Stevens, and Richy Clarke on bass.
We left Newcastle to travel around Europe, finding cool venues, cafes and vineyards for gigs and writing songs along the way. In Västervik, Sweden, on day 100, as I prepared for a gig in the town, Bev handed me some new lyrics…
100 days from now, where will we be you and I?
1000 miles from here, what will we see you and I?
Over lockdown, I got to record the song and I’m really pleased with how it’s come together. It’s about freedom and adventure, chasing your dreams, and sticking together whatever happens. Some positive optimism – the perfect antidote to the COVID-19 lockdown blues!
Released November 2020, this is the first track from an album-in-progress called ‘Drifter’ – release date uncertain in the current circumstances!
From my first recordings – a collection of songs and tunes inspired the old blues masters, music from the movies and songs half-remembered from childhood. These were home recordings, captured in stolen moments of spare time, using basic equipment onto an old ‘Windows 98’ PC running Cubase.
This is Cold Wind – the first song I wrote, aged about 16. Still playing it regularly, 30 years on :-/
Brass Neck! came out late 2019 – 10 original songs, each arranged in a style loosely inspired by a different era or flavour of the blues from the last century. ‘Brass Neck’ is a reference to both my preferred choice of slide or bottleneck, and our cheerfully cheeky approach to finding gigs on the largely unplanned journey. 🙂
It starts out with Certain Something – a Delta inspired bottleneck blues song about falling for a long legged girl in the summertime. Fingerpicked on my roundneck Dobro.
New Ramblin’ Blues is my updated take on the classic guitar and harmonica folk blues duo – featuring the amazing Lyndon Anderson. I wrote those first two tracks way back in the summer of 2002 when Bev and I were backpacking around Italy.
I think 9 Miles To Rosedale has a vintage feel like an early blues combo back in the day – fingerpicked telecaster, Phil Moore on double bass, and Phil Muriel adds a brushed snare groove and harmonies.
Too Little, Too Late, Too Bad, featuring Phil Moore’s jazzy piano, is a laid back swinging blues for someone who’s had enough empty promises and wants to make a change.
Gary Grainger guests on bass, adding a driving groove to Journeyman, a song about life on the road, singing the blues, written by Bev. These three tracks are all new, written as we travelled around Europe.
Lost brings in Richy Clarke on bass. It’s about feeling lost and numbed in these strange times. I found an old, dusty Lorenzo organ in First Ave studios – my Granda taught me the basics on one when I was a kid – and you can hear it in the angsty instrumental section.
All Alone is an angry, angsty breakup song with a soulful blues rock flavour – first recorded a few years back with Gav Warrender on drums. I’m very pleased with how this one turned out, probably my favourite on the album.
More slide guitar on Low Down Dirty Crying Shame Blues, with Southern rock influences coming through. These three tracks are all regulars in the band’s live set.
Bev wrote Baby Oh Did Ya? about damaging doubts and suspicions in a relationship and What makes it blue? is my perspective on the perennial question: is it blues? These last two are brand new and have a more modern vibe, thanks to Dee at Ginger Music in Gateshead.