New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Born in Wales but based in Manchester, guitarist Rowland Jones has long been winning friends and beguiling audiences with his magnetic, understated blues-influenced guitar playing and a nifty line in classic rootsy songwriting.
Rowland has gigged extensively - from legendary venues like The Marquee, and The Speakeasy, to festival stages throughout Italy - rubbing shoulders with artists as diverse as Oscar Peterson and Captain
Beefheart and touring with bands such The Exciters and Limmie And The Family Cookin'.
One thing he hasn't done is release a solo album - until now. Early in 2017 a cursory listen to Rowland's latest batch of songs persuaded noted producer Nigel Stonier (Thea Gilmore, Fairport Convention, Waterboys) that he wanted to work with Rowland. Pedal steel player CJ Hillman - voted U.K. Americana musician of the year 2017 - and legendary drummer Paul Burgess (10cc, Jethro Tull, Chris Farlowe) also stepped up to offer their services.
The result, recorded mostly live at Airtight Studios in Chorlton, Manchester over two weeks in early summer, is 'New Start, New Day, a record that marks the importance of this change of gear for Jones
It's a collection of ten road-honed reflections which touch on Country, Blues, Roots
and even a hint of Jazz, without ever being classifiable as any of the above. The twitchy restlessness of the title track quickly gives way to the hard won happiness of 'Grown-up love songs'. If the deftly sketched human failures and resignation of 'How Did It Happen' bring the tears welling up then the sheer exuberance of 'So Good' will see them off. And if the tragedy of the protagonist of 'If Not For Me' casts a dark sombre shadow, then the laugh-out-loud ruminations of 'God's Busy Changing Strings' will dispel it. Jones' own melodic lead and rhythm playing is expertly framed by ever empathetic contributions from Hillman, Stonier and Burgess, ensuring the record is a feast of top flight musicianship and understated virtuosity.
Nigel Stonier - Bass, backing vocals, guitar, keyboards, ukulele (Thea Gilmore, Fairport Convention, Waterboys)
CJ Hillman - Pedal steel, guitar, Dobro voted U.K. Americana musician of the year 2017
Paul Burgess - Drums, percussion (10cc, Jethro Tull, Chris Farlowe)
Hayley Philippa Williams - Backing vocals
"I'm absolutely thrilled by what we have achieved" said Jones "Working with fantastic musicians, together with Nigel's vision of where we were going, was an amazing experience . . . and it was great fun - I hope everyone who hears the album will enjoy the experience as much as we did making it!"
Live Dates (as a duo):
Oct 15, 2017 15.00 -18.00
Bakers Vaults, Market Place, Stockport SK1 1ES
Nov 09, 2017
Irwell Works Brewery, Irwell St, Ramsbottom BL0 9YQ
Nov 19, 2017 16.00-19.00
The Smithfield Market Tavern 37 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JZ
Nov 22, 2017 20.00 - 23.00
Hillary Step 199 Upper Chorlton Rd, Manchester M16 0BH