It is a triumph of sweetly fingerpicked, warm folk – unhurried, thoughtful and with a rare ability to grab and hold your attention without needing to holler, shout or pull at your coat-tails. It is a timeless record in the very best sense of the word – it could slip as smoothly and easily into the 60s or 70s without a backward glance and be welcomed there like an old friend.
So settle down, see what he has to say in response to our 5:1 questions and then take some time to listen to some tracks from each of his albums.
Worth exploring? You bet! His own Bandcamp page is here.
Five words to describe your music:
Fragile, lonely, intimate, self-indulgent, Anglo-Saxon.
One book you’d recommend to an alien:
Civilisation, by Kenneth Clark.
Five bands (or albums) that have most influenced you:
(Not necessarily in this order)
Pour Down Like Silver (Richard & Linda Thompson)
Live at Sin-é (Jeff Buckley)
Pink Moon (Nick Drake)
Didn’t It Rain (Songs: Ohia)
Sweet Baby James (James Taylor)
One moment in time you’d like to have witnessed?
Strange and sad, but I wish I could have seen the football game between the Germans and the British troops on Christmas Day, 1915. A triumph of humanity and civility over fear and hatred.
Five people (living or dead) you’d love to share a stage-jam with:
Are they all on stage at the same time? Hmm, well, Jimmy Page would be there, and Kristian Matsson. That takes care of guitars. Unless Richard Thompson was there too, but then I only have two people left. Oh dear. Sandy Denny? But then Sandy and Richard together would be half of Fairport Convention, which would be fantastic, but I’m not using my five very wisely. Can I have Van Morrison, too? And Kate Bush? Oh, and Peter Gabriel. And Morrissey. Yeah, Morrissey would definitely be there.
One biggest regret in your career (to date):
Not making more records with my father at his studio in England before I moved to California.
Five things on your perfect rider:
I’ve never had a rider, so I’m not sure how it works. Probably some chamomile tea and aspirins. A sofa? If I wanted to be all rock n’ roll about it, I suppose a bottle of gin and some tonic and limes. And some gummy candy.
One hour to live – who would you spend it with, and why?
My wife and my son and daughter. And my dog, Rufus.
Five perfect songs:
(This would be my perfect playlist for today. Tomorrow it will most definitely be different. Often my perfect playlist is just Astral Weeks all the way through.)
1. The Obvious Child (Paul Simon)
2. Maya (The Incredible String Band)
3. Beat The Retreat (Richard & Linda Thompson)
4. Mermaid Parade (Phosphorescent)
5. From The Morning (Nick Drake)
One song of yours that you’d most like to be played in 50 years time:
Damn you for making me choose. I’ll be 84 years old, so probably ‘I’ll Go Easy’, from my 2010 album The Boy In The Back. Hahaha!