Hello and welcome to my site.
In April, I was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a good time was had by all who made the journey to Cleveland, Ohio. Which didn't include Mark Knopfler who stayed at home. John Illsley did an exemplary job of dealing with his absence. The attention and praise bestowed upon those of us who did attend - John, Guy Fletcher and myself - was humbling.
I've been working with Trevor Horn on a record he's producing, and we played a gig in his new Music Bank Village rehearsal venue, on July 19th, to launch both it and the new record - see below. It was an 11 piece band playing along with a pre-recorded orchestra.
I've also been back and forth to Rome, writing songs with Phil Palmer for an Italian megastar.
Most of last year was spent producing and writing an album for a band I'm a member of called LEGACY. We (myself and fellow producer Phil Palmer) recorded the initial tracks in Los Angeles with Steve Ferrone and Pino Palladino at Steve's Drumroll studio, then we moved to what has become my favourite studio: Forward Studios in Rome. The record is called 3 Chord Trick, it's available now on all digital platforms (iTunes etc), you can buy CD's and vinyl on Amazon, and it's also available on DSD (an ultra-high definition format that has 256 times the resolution of a CD).
LEGACY: the band records and plays songs written mostly by myself and Phil Palmer. The line-up is Steve Ferrone from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), and Dire Straits members Phil Palmer, Danny Cummings and Mel Collins along with legendary record producer/singer/bass player Trevor Horn, plus Primiano De Biase and Marco Caviglia. And me.
DSLegacy is the same line-up, the difference being DSLegacy plays Dire Straits' music. That said, since we made the Legacy record we've been adding tracks from it to the DSLegacy set with great success. In January, we played some shows and generally had a good time in Brazil, and in October/November we'll be playing in Italy, Finland, Romania and possibly also in the US in September/October. Check us out on:
Another reason I like recording in Forward Studios, Rome is I get to stay in the wonderful Villa Mercede hotel in Frascati. A big thanks to owner Luigi and also Gianluca, Gilda, Annalisa and everyone at the hotel for making it my home from home in Italy.
RELIGION: Some of the songs on the record have religious titles (Jesus Street, God's Land, Magdalene, Epiphany) and I've been asked more than once if I'm religious. I don't subscribe to any religion. Jesus Street is a street in Tarifa, Spain (Calle Jesus). God's Land is about Northumberland. Magdalene is... you figure it out. And then there's Epiphany.
In February I was in Newcastle performing on the Sunday For Sammy charity show - the "Geordie Command Performance" - at the Newcastle Arena. Since it began back in 2000, they've opened the show with a recording I made of the Geordie song Blaydon Races*, and this year Tim Healy also performed my song God's Land which also features on LEGACY's 3 Chord Trick album. Multiple award winning record producer (and now LEGACY bass player) Trevor Horn, who was born and raised near where I was brought up in County Durham, also featured in the show, performing the song that brought him into the limelight with his band Buggles: Video Killed the Radio Star.
* I recorded Blaydon Races originally to try to persuade Newcastle United to adopt it as their theme, instead of Local Hero which is actually a Scottish based song. Admittedly, it was a long shot.
When I'm at home, I have a lot of fun on this:
My mountain bike. It's a Scott E-Genius 700 Tuned, which means it's an E-bike with state of the art components that include a Shimano engine and electronic gear change, full suspension, hydraulic disk brakes and a bunch of other amazing stuff, and it's an absolute hoot - everyone who rides it wants one.. It excels in the worst off-road conditions but it's also a great bike around town. My association with Scott goes back to the early 90's when they first set up in the UK, and every bike I've owned thereafter has been a Scott. This picture was taken a week or so ago when I was riding the mountain trails around Lake Ullswater, one of my favourite places on this earth. In the background is Howtown bay where I learned to dinghy sail when I was 12 yrs old, and that led to a love of windsurfing.
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