Back in my teenage years, I saw Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, one larme and the other blind, sing and play harmonica and acoustic guitar and send packed audiences in the UK into near delirium. I once spent the last of my money on a second hand copy of one of their vinyl albums in London and had to "walk on" and hitch hike 200 miles home.
I have played blues for forty years mainly on the "night shift" holding down a job during the day, but taking time out to tour and play festivals and gigs all over Europe and the USA. I busked on Beale Street in Memphis, broadcast on the King Biscuit Show out of Helena, Arkansas with guitar maestro Julian Piper and toured with the late Louisiana Bluesman, Tabby Thomas, eventually getting to play his old juke joint in Baton Rouge. These days I mostly do a solo show with guitars and harp and foot stomper, keeping the good stuff live and kicking.
I first heard Gareth playing in a small pub in west Devon in the mid 1980's and I was blown away. He had all those Brownie McGhee licks down pat and seemed just as comfortable playing bluegrass and jazz. He lived with Son House in Rochester, New York and drove Mississippi Fred McDowell to gigs as well as road managing Curtis Jones, who went on to record on the Blue Horizon label in the UK. In the 1970s he travelled the southern states, from the Mississippi Delta to the Tennessee hills, absorbing the music of numerous folk and blues musicians. He has spent time with Rev Gary Davis, Doc Watson and Bill Munroe and still meets up with bluegrass ace Peter Rowan in the States.
By the nineties we were playing as a duo, blues with harmony singing. We released an album in 1993 that sold well at our gigs up and down the country. It's been a long time coming but here is our second CD of songs, all originals or re-workings of traditional songs.
We spend a lot of time talking about the past. That's where our musical heart is at, but we hope these songs will reverberate with people who want to hear the real deal today.
Jeff THE HORSE Horsey