Friday, 5 February 2016

Happy Blue: Released Today: February 5th 2016

The album is officially released today.
'Happy Blue' wouldn't be what it is without the help of many.
Marcus Cliffe produced, engineered, and played his socks off. He also humored and counseled me through the whole process. I couldn't have done any of this without him. Love that man...
Lucinda Drayton sang like an angel and happily wiped up my tea stains. Her gentle kindness was a much appreciated balm.
Melvin Duffy played Pedal Steel and Weissenborn with sublime, subtle clarity; he rings like a bell. He gives everything he plays on a luxuriant luster. His musicianship is as pure as his sweet benevolence: a lovely man.
BJ Cole also played Pedal Steel and left his indelible mark. His is a darker tone and style than Melvin's. It's impossible to undervalue this man's effect on one's music. Even when he sits back in the mix he adds an unmistakable depth. He swoops and buzzes. You never get what you expected with BJ: and it's always better than expected. He's very loud and I always want to turn him up, which says everything.
Enzo Zirilli played drums with subtly and élan. His jazz leanings added a lovely, learned looseness to the sound. A lovely, gentle man too.
Gustaf Ljunggren was the revelation of the album. I've know him a while having met him at the Aarhus Festival a few years back and have always admired his playing. We'd send mixes to Copenhagen and get them back the next day, adorned with his subtle brilliance. Gustaf has sublime, dextrous restraint and taste. Listening back to his offerings was like opening Xmas presents.
Peter Beckmann mastered the album and cut the vinyl. His musical instincts are unimpeachable, he also has the patience of angels.
Which leads me nicely on to Boo Hewerdine. An odd credit I know but Boo actually nearly produced the album. I'm glad that he didn't because it wouldn't be what it is. I do hope that we'll do something together in the future. Even though he's probably unaware of it he's a guiding light and a gentle mentor.
Boo also connected me with James Soars who promoted the album to press and radio, connecting me with some great new contacts.
And cheers to the journalists who have supported us throughout. I know that we've probably come to take some of you for granted in our expectations of your valuable column inches.
Di Holmes took the excellent photos which set the tone for Barry Cross's brilliant art work. You need to have the vinyl to get the full effect.

Thanks too to Del Sawyers at Proper for co-ordinating the release.
Special mention to Paul Woodgate, Tim Patrick, Meetwood Flac, Rob Hurley, Jerome Taheny, David Ashley and Phil Hogarth for their unfettered banner waving.
We have been lucky with airplay, meeting some lovely DJs notably Adam Wilson, Steve Morris and Alex Huskisson. Local radio is a hotbed of enthusiasts and not only have they supported my music but I've also been introduced to some wonderful new music whilst waiting for my 3 minutes to arrive.
Finally, thanks to all of the artists who have graced The Hat Club. Too many to mention here but I admire you all. Making a life from music is an uncertain endeavor; a commitment that could devour you. And yet you step out daily, valiant vagabonds leading with your chins, opening yourselves up to other folk's judgements. I admire your tenacity and talent; brave troubadours all. This has become a real pleasure for Di and I and we have loved meeting you and sharing a small moment of your journeys. Kudos!

Love to my immediate family, Betty, Katy, Gareth and Bex.
And of course a tip of the hat to Terry, my Dad.
Thanks again to all of you have supported Marcus and I throughout the travails. You know who you are.
Christ, can you imagine my Oscar acceptance speech?

I hope that you enjoy 'Happy Blue'.
It came from a dark place, I'm happy that it's finally seeing the light of day.
You can get the album directly from me here:
Otherwise you can get it through the usual channels.
Amazon reviews really help so... Help!
I'll leave you with a picture of me doing my best 'Bono on the Beach'.

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