Tell us about:
Your latest single you have released:
“Willie You’re the Well”. It’s a bit of a tribute song but it’s also a fun meandering groove that is meant to celebrate anybody that the listener feels is an inspiration. The song should also pay a bit of homage to the good people of Austin, Texas USA – a tip-of-the-hat since they are a great audience and gave me a fez at my last show there (seen on the single art).
Your first single and how you felt when it was released:
This Highway Ends – Produced and Mixed by The Animal Farm, London UK. After more than 20 years performing LIVE it was terrifying to step into a studio sound booth and make a proper performance without the energy of an audience. I’ll tell you that I focused on the vibe and spirit the session musicians and producer put into the mix which made it rather easy to capture an authentic take.
Your favourite song that you have created that is an album track:
Here In Your Heart (Remembering John Prine). I spent Christmas Eve 2020 in a little flat far away from home with a Christmas tree made from a whisky bottle with green food dye and USB lights on it. It was a little rough but I thought about how John Prine’s widow Fiona and the boys were managing – this being the first Christmas without John (he LOVED Christmas). Then I wondered what John would tell me at that exact moment…The song wrote itself in about 5 minutes and at the end I went to my computer and Fiona had posted a snow heart picture because Nashville TN, USA (located in the warm south) got a little snow. It’s on the single cover. I can’t help but think that John was involved somehow.
Your favourite song to play live:
That’s The Way It Shall Be. Especially if there are footballers or rugby players in the pub. It’s high energy and people just love it.
Your most emotional track:
Find Some Gold. It’s about a gal who goes out to the bar by herself to get a change of venue and gain some perspective. It’s a true story – there was a rather attractive woman who came to one of my shows and sat alone at the bar. I saw her breaking down during some of the slow songs. At the after show table, she waited until everyone was gone and she really did ask the opening line to the song. Several people have told me that they put the song on repeat if they are in a particularly bad place because there is a bit of a hopeful message in the painful lyrics and they like the ringing bell like ending that seems to toll.
The best lyric you have ever written:
The whole last verse to “Down Here”. As my fans know, I’m a Dentist and I had the pleasure of practicing for 14 years with the late, great Dr. Bob Wilson. Bob was 30 years my senior and I can’t tell you how much I have learned from him and also how much I pass along to younger Dentists. The highlight of the verse is “When you get to Heaven – I will teach you how to fly” and it just brings me a lot of comfort.
Describe the feeling you get when you walk on stage to do a show:
There is nothing like it. It’s so exciting that so many people have chosen to spend their evening with you and support what you do. It’s 100% fun and our shows are no-stress sing-along/dance-along events.
The hardest track to play live:
It’s not one I wrote but “Scotch and Soda” is it. I’ve played with the Kingston Trio and that is (the late) Bob Shane’s most requested song and absolutely no-one does it like Bob. Frank Sinatra even refused to do a cover. It’s a great song, people always request it and I’ll do it any night.
Essential items you always take on tour with you?
(HA! my road manager is laughing as I read it out loud). My retainers (to keep my teeth straight). I had orthodontics when I was 40 and I’m committed to keeping my teeth where they are! Also a travel bicycle (folding or break-down). The best way to see any area is by bicycle so that you can be a part of the local environment.
Describe your fans in three words:
Diverse, Fun-Loving, Adventurous
A song by another artist or band you wish you had written:
“Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine” by (my favorite living songwriter) Tom T. Hall. I’ve actually re-written that song of his 3 different times and have thought about publishing a version (or 2). Each time I play Tom T’s version I’m reminded of just how simply sweet it is, how much I love it just as it stands…and how those alternate version just keep gathering dust.
What we can look forward to from your band this year:
The good people at The Animal Farm have already put the finishing touches on my next single “House Always Wins” and the Summer touring schedule has been set for the intermountain western states of the US. I’m planning on getting a CD production run completed before the end of the year and as always, turning the weeks songwriting into new material for our fans.