"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." So said some other guy named John* and I guess that’s been true in relation to me getting my music out to the world. But that’s OK, life has been kind, a family has been raised and it’s reached a point where music can, at last, take centre stage. Not that I haven’t been doing it – there’s a few decades of experience racked up!
Like so many, it was the Beatles who first got me wanting to play – my first guitar cost £10 (a lot of money back then), was made in Russia and virtually unplayable. But I persisted and despite shredded fingers found myself in a band at the tender age of fifteen playing bass and all the classics of the 60’s: Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Animals, Chuck Berry, Small Faces, Spencer Davis Group and early soul.
And then came the blues, via a familiar route of the time, a chance exposure to Clapton playing on the John Mayall ‘Beano’ album – and life was transformed! It was pretty much all the blues through the late 60’s, 70’s and 80’s but now informed by the great originals: Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, BB King, Howling Wolf and, of course, Robert Johnson. Not that other musical trends passed me by – well, maybe glam rock – and, if I’m honest, punk didn’t float my boat – but reggae, funk and jazz crept into my playing and writing.
So there are two strands to what I do, the blues stuff with John Denton’s Blues Raiders and my own stuff with the Midnight Band. I'm also part of The Very Grimm Brothers, which is a collaboration with poet and cultural entrepreneur, Adrian Mealing. Whatever I’m playing I endeavour to do it with heart and soul - please come and join me sometime!
* John Lennon, of course