Stuart Warburton; singer/songwriter based near Manchester in the UK.
Hello, and welcome to my website. Please be a little patient as I'm attempting to build it myself and I'm no IT genius!
To give you some background information, I think it best to start with my influences as a songwriter. This is by no means a comprehensive list, I'm obviously influenced by a multitude of things, not just the music I consciously listen to, although that's a major part, but, as with most writers, there are other contributory factors, some conscious, some sub-conscious. It could be a snippet from an overheard conversation in a pub or on the bus, a news item, anything really.
I suppose that, musically, I'm largely influenced by what was, until recently, known as 'Americana,' ie, artists that didn't fit comfortably under the category of 'country' or 'folk' or 'rock 'n' roll' but whose work contained elements, either in terms of music, lyrics or attitude, of any combination thereof. I guess this tradition goes back at least as far as Jimmie Rodgers, Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams. Then through the great singer/songwriters of the 60s and 70s, such as Mickey Newbury, Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson, Guy Clark, Eric Taylor, Lee Clayton even Jimmy Webb (though I have to say that 'My Beautiful Balloon' was a bit of a 'glitch' Jimmy). Up through to more contemporary artists such as Tom Russell, Butch Hancock, Robert Earl Keen, James McMurtry etc etc. On this side of the pond, I'm a big fan of Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello (though some of his recent diversions have lost me a little) and anyone who's great with wordplay, be it Noel Coward, Jake Thackray or Professor Stanley Unwin. When writing I try, as much as possible to avoid the all-too-easy 'mid-Atlantic trap.' I try to remain faithful to my roots, lyrically at least, and, although I've spent time in the southern/southwestern US, I was, after all, born in England of mixed Irish/Welsh parentage. It's very easy to come across as something of a 'fraud,' (which is somewhat ironic when one considers that, with the exception of the African-American tradition and various ethnic genres such as cajun and tejano-conjunto, almost all American roots music can be traced back to the British Isles).
During my three years in the army (I served with a parachute unit and got around the world a fair bit), I'd managed to learn a few chords on a guitar that belonged to my late friend Glyn Roberts (poet, paratrooper and all-round Welsh mystic 1959-1997 RIP), and, on demobilisation, decided to attempt a career in music. My first ever gig was playing bass with the long defunct Manchester rockabilly quintet The Renegades, who, at that time, had John Maher of The Buzzcocks on drums.
I fronted retro outfit The Rhythmaires for a total of 22 years until, in late 2004 we decided that the band had run its course and went our seperate ways. We had a great time, releasing four albums, touring extensively and working with such legendary figures as Billy Lee Riley, Eddie Fontaine, Johnny Carroll and Rudy Grayzell. I've also done the odd session as a harmonica player, most notably for Manchester indie band Doves on their Mercury Prize nominated 'Lost Souls' album.
Since 'going solo,' I've been lucky enough to have been invited out to festivals at Vinstra and Seljord in Norway and have also played in southern Germany, opening for Tom Russell. I've also opened for a few visiting US artists on UK dates such as Tom Pacheco, Jason Ringenberg, Kim Carson and Tom Ovans. I'm still working towards my debut solo album, provisionally entitled 'Fragile Heaven.'
I welcome any correspondence at [email protected]