I am delighted that our last album, Stripped Back, released in April 2021, has come in at no 6 in the UK Independent Blues Broadcasters chart of Most Played Albums 2021. Stripped Back featured six tracks from our previous studio album More Sinner Than Saint and four from our second studio album Believe, each reimagined and re-presented in a laid-back style, together with the two previously unreleased tracks Blues For Us and Washing All Over My Heart.
The album was a product of the pandemic and might not have been produced had we not faced the shut down of live music for all of 2020 and the first half of 2021. Furthermore, the circumstances presented the opportunity for a different approach to the recording process. Steve Birkett, my co-songwriter and a talented multi-instrumentalist, undertook the vast bulk of the playing and recording, as well as the arrangement, production and engineering. The musicians who make up the gigging band – Neil Ablard, Nigel Darvill, Aidan Goldstraw and Vince Yarrington – contributed ‘remotely’ to the track Hurts, but the rest of the music is Steve’s. And, keeping it in the family, the album was mixed and mastered by his son, Steve Birkett Jnr. Even three of the images that are used on the album artwork were shot remotely by Adam Kennedy (the fourth is one of mine). And the album sleeve and an accompanying lyric and story booklet were composed by manager Colin Speller to complete a real in-house project.
The album on CD, together with related products, is available from our shop and can be found on all streaming services. We will be performing the music from Stripped Back at Pizza Express Live, Birmingham later this month.
My thanks to all the IBBA DJs who have played this and all our previous albums. (If you are a DJ and would like access to our repertoire, please email us).