What I'm listening to for driving inspiration

I don't know about you, but I'm motivated by music. 

Working, dancing or driving, I love music.  I've been lucky enough to see my favourite singer-songwriters live lots of times, since heading to Blackpool for my first concert at the age of 11; almost missed seeing Shakin' Stevens as I was so ill with excitement the night before. But I struggled on, and remember having the best time.  Indeed, it was only two years ago I got to meet another childhood idol, Paul Young, as he played with the fabulous Tex-Mex band, Los Pacaminos, in Dorset. 

Beside myself doesn't do the moment justice. 

But I really, really, love loud music, which probably hasn't helped with my hearing - I'm almost deaf in one ear (have been since childhood, but I know the MP3 era hasn't done me any favours).  Still, after years of being scared of driving, I now can barely drive without music (unless I'm in a new place, then I need the sound of the silence). 

A lifelong writer, I probably appreciate country music more than most other artists, with a couple of rock storyteller exceptions.  I get a tingle behind my ear at a kick drum or steel guitar, but as long as the story is there, I'm hooked.  There's been a definite surge in my writing lately, which has something to do with the CD collection in my trusty Fiesta.

So, here's a little insight into who I can't stop driving and writing to: 

Kip Moore 
Kip Moore, Koko,London April 2016
Kip's first album, Up all Night has just gone Platinum, and with his Springsteen-esque approach to lyrics, it's not hard to see why.  I'm absolutely hanging off any teasers Kip throws our way – More Girls Like You, The Bull – in anticipation of his third album release, Slowheart, on 8th Sept. Also going to see him three times this year; not bad for an in-demand US singer-songwriter. 

Stereophonics, Plymouth Pavilions, 2013

I've never had a bad night with these Welsh rockers.  Saw them in Plymouth last month as they showcased their new music, #AllinOneNight, and celebrated their 20th anniversary of Word Gets Around.   I have their next album, Scream above the Sounds, on pre-order. How will I distract myself until 3rd Nov?


Fireroad: Flesh, Blood and Bone CD

Well, now, I can’t stop playing Flesh, Blood and Bone from this latest band of Welsh rockers. Fireroad supported the Stereophonics on their their gad-about-the-country, and I absolutely can’t wait to see this band perform again (maybe with the Stereophonics next year?) - when I'm not playing their CD I have the YouTube on listening to any of their performances.  Incredibly mature musicians, spot-on vocals and they sound like I'm listening to all my favourite rock bands (Foo Fighters, E-Street, Stereophonics, The Who), wrapped up in addictive originality.  I have Minute, Devil's Letter and Bones on repeat; They Got Sound.

Tom Chaplin
Tom Chaplin, of Keane, Plymouth Pavilions, 2009

I was lucky enough to see Tom play in Cardiff in May, and love his solo album, The Wave, an honest account of his battle with mental health issues.  You may know him as the voice of Keane, who I saw in Plymouth a few times, and I have much love for this piano-based music.  I now have my eyes open for child-friendly gigs; five year old Mini absolutely loves I Remember You, and has nailed most of the lyrics. 

Logan Brill 
Logan (is) Brill, London 2017

I got to chat with Logan at this year's Country 2 Country festival, and she's a fabulous singer-songwriter who I hope announces a large UK tour soon. She's over here twice in August and October, but both times she clashes with Kip. I'm beginning to wonder if it's a Clark Kent/Superman thing.  Logan's 21st century experiences are captured expertly. She's due to release Walk of Shame next year, and may or may not add (Stride of Pride) - as I explained this British addition to her in March. I play Shuteye frequently, especially love The World's Still Round. 

Please note: since uploading this post @HarvestCMF organisers have confirmed that Logan will play on the Sat at Westport. So she's probably not Superman to Kip's Clark.

Whilst I haven't bought any of the CDs from these guys yet, two bands I also play a lot on my computer are: 

Rock and storytelling is almost as addictive as country and storytelling, and this veteran band of the 21st century from Kentucky are loud and honest.  

It’s not often I can impress my almost 21-year old nephew with new music, but the rock-guitarist in him couldn’t resist Gasoline Outlaws - he's also known about Black Stone Cherry for far longer than I realised, so I'm going to nab his phone for inspiration next time I see him. 

I've discovered a lot of bands and singer-songwriters, whose names are too too new for me to remember, but that I want to spend more time listening to, thorough some fabulous Twitterati, including Guy Bellamy, host of The Rock Show on Meridian FM. Will pop another post on the blog when I've wrapped my head around the talent.

Who have you been listening to lately?  I'm always on the lookout for new music - drop me any suggestions in the comments below! 

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