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“[ALMOST ALWAYS NEVER] follows on from the two


previous albums as it’s still in the raw pop-blues vein that I love, but my producer Mike McCarthy really pushed me out of my comfort zone and explore new…musical areas… do you know what I mean? Mike comes from a completely different background to me; he’s a lot more Indie (Spoon, Patty Griffin, You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead) and he really made me work hard in the studio and with my songwriting.” “Late last year I developed an ear infection, which meant


that I had to cancel some gigs because I couldn’t fly. So, being a good girl, I used the time wisely at my home in Detroit and wrote a stack of new songs. I had so much free time I just wrote for fun some days! Because I tour so much, I usually write in hotel rooms or airports, so this was the first time I had actually sat down with the goal of writing new songs and I’m really pleased with how they sound on the finished album. I really stretched myself, but the songs still sound like me and are still Joanne Shaw Taylor songs, which was really important to me as an artist.” “I wrote all but one of the songs on ALMOST ALWAYS


NEVER and some are autobiographical and some are about things I’ve seen happen to people around me, but I’ll let the listeners decide which are which. I’ve never really been a fan of cover versions but when Mike (McCarthy) suggested that I should listen to Frankie Miller’s Jealousy and consider recording my version, I jumped at the chance as it has always been one of my favourite songs. It’s turned out just as I’d imagined and hoped for—twin guitars in a Thin Lizzy kind of way and I think I’ve really done it justice.” “Don’t worry; the whole album’s not like that! Some


songs are quite melodic. I was brought up listening to great blues players like Luther Allison and Albert Collins so their influence has definitely rubbed off on a few songs, but that’s all it is—an influence. After being on the road for over ten years now I’ve developed my own style of playing and I think that comes through on this album much clearer than the previous two. We’ve set the songs out on the album with a performance in mind. There’s a deliberate flow to the choice of songs that we’ve never done before and everyone who’s heard it has been very complimentary so we must have done something right.” “The last 10 years have really flown by, and it’s three


years since WHITE SUGAR came out. So much has happened in that time; I’m no longer just a guitarist that sings in the band, and all of that constant touring has had an affect on my voice. I never wanted to be the best singer in the world but I’m a lot more confident and comfortable singing my own songs now, and Mike really pushed me to try new things and he has really helped develop that area for me and I hope that comes across on the album.” “It seems a lifetime since I actually recorded the album


and I can’t wait to get on stage and play the songs live in front of an audience, but after seeing me outside Buckingham Palace with Annie Lennox I just hope no one comes along to see me thinking the show is going to be huge set with laser beams. It’ll just be the band and me with a couple of guitars playing tracks from all three albums. We’ll change the set around most nights to keep things fresh, but I guess we’ll still get through everything on the new album as well as our favourite tracks from WHITE SUGAR and DIAMONDS IN THE DIRT too.” Alan Harrison


ON TOUR Bob


Cheevers


both Los Angeles and Nashville but now calls Austin, Texas home…so that’s all four of America’s premier music cities. After writing over fifteen hundred songs, releasing around ten albums and music videos for two of his songs (which won a total of eight Emmys including Best Musical Composition) Bob was named Singer-Songwriter of the Year at Texas Music Awards 2011. And he is now gearing up to start his mammoth 2012 UK tour staring at the beginning of November through to mid-December in support of his new album, SMOKE AND MIRRORS, due to be released to tie-in with the tour. Bob Cheevers is something of a modern-day troubadour,


O


who can hardly be accused of being a ‘nine-to-five’ writer of bubble-gum music or a paid up member of the Nash pop- country brigade. Apart from just two years after leaving college, when he held a couple of ‘proper jobs,’ he has spent his life totally immersed in his music. There have been many twists and turns along the way, many opportunities, many dark stretches, but he has survived, and today he is at peace with himself, having found that ‘inner core’ for which he spent years seeking, sometimes dangerously. He grew up in Memphis and got a soul full of music, not only from the icons of his youth such as Elvis, Jerry Lee and Johnny Cash but also from his mother, who was a radio star during the Great Depression, performing with the big bands of that era. From an early age, Bob’s creative feet were firmly planted in Mississippi Delta mud, and his songs began to feature characters whose lives reflected the life style along the rivers of the South over the past hundred years. After starting his first band during college, Bob and his


musical direction migrated west following a dream that took him from the pop field in Hollywood to country and roots music in Nashville with stops in between to gather the tools and trophies of his career, Among his statues and certificates of accomplishment is an Emmy for the song Big City Gambler which was voted Best Musical Composition of 1986 by NARAS. Several decades as a writer saw over a thousand songs born. Since moving to Texas, Bob has found a new route for his


music spinning rootsy, country-flavoured tales of South in a conversational language of the heart. A seasoned performer, he is on the advisory board of the Austin Songwriters Group inspiring and advising a surprisingly large and ambitious group of young up and coming local songwriters, showing that even with a heavy touring and recording schedule he still finds the time to pass on his knowledge and experiences of the music business to youngsters keen to learn key skills. Alan Cackett


Maverick 19


f all the visiting singer-songwriters that America has to offer us, one in particular tours year after year to keep his legions of UK fans happy. Bob Cheevers grew up in Memphis and has lived in


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