Monday, September 8, 2014

BLUES VIDEO REVIEW & PROFILE * ANDY FAIRWEATHER LOW

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I first saw Andy Fairweather Low on stage with Eric Clapton back in the 90s at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena. As he walked on stage, and I recognised him, one question filled my head, “How can a pop singer be sharing a stage with Eric Clapton, and even more incredibly, start warming up a Fender Stratocaster like he knew what he was doing?” 

REVIEW BY WilfRaydo for CBBlues.com


The answer quickly became apparent. The man was an accomplished guitarist whose voice had an edge called, 'the blues'. 

At The Baloise Session in 2013, Andy Fairweather Low confronts 'Gin House Blues' the way a thirsty man fights for a drink, any drink. He injects the song with a religious fervour and the audience are locked in to the sermon. Clapton quietly compliments Fairweather Low's lazy, insistent rhythms and delivers a solo of fluid, urgent intensity. Enjoy this performance from a man who clearly knows the blues. 


 

PROFILE: Andrew Fairweather-Low was born 2 August 1948 in Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed, Wales.


This Welsh guitarist and singer took over Dave Edmunds’ sales assistant job at the music shop Barrett’s Of Cardiff in the mid-60s, which enabled him to mix with the musicians on the local scene. He recruited a number of these to form the pop outfit Amen Corner.

The band had four Top 30 hits – a sequence starting with ‘Gin House Blues’ in 1967 - on Decca’s subsidiary Deram label before leaving at the end of 1968 to join Andrew Loog Oldham’s pioneering indie, Immediate. Amen Corner were instantly rewarded with a UK number one, ‘(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice’ in early 1969 but, despite another Top Five hit with Roy Wood’s ‘Hello Suzie’, it seemed the band could not survive success.

By the following year Amen Corner had split, with Andy Fairweather Low escaping the teenybop grind by forming the simply named Fairweather, a band signed to RCA’s shiny new progressive label, Neon. Fairweather reached number six in the UK singles chart with ‘Natural Sinner’ during the summer of 1970. It was to be, however, the band’s only hit. One album later and Fairweather came to an end. Andy Fairweather Low then became somewhat of a refugee from the music business, eventually emerging three years later as a solo artist with an album called ‘Spider Jiving’ on A&M. And then in 1975 ‘La Booga Rooga’ ( Among the tracks was ‘Wide Eyed and Legless’, a Top 10 hit for Fairweather Low. )

Fairweather Low sang backing vocals on The Who’s 1978 ‘Who Are You’ album - the start of a relationship which also saw him playing guitar on the band’s 1982 album, ‘It’s Hard’, and appearing with Pete Townshend on his 1993 ‘Psychoderelict’ tour.

That work with The Who set the direction for Fairweather Low’s next moves. He became the ultimate Guitarist to the Stars, building an extraordinary reputation that has endured to this day.

Most notably, Fairweather Low has been a stalwart of Eric Clapton’s band since the early-Nineties, touring in Clapton’s bands right up until 2003 and recording the ‘Unplugged’, ‘From the Cradle’, ‘Pilgrim’, ‘Riding with the King’, ‘Reptile’, ‘One More Car One More Rider’, ‘Me & Mr. Johnson’ and ‘Back Home’ albums with him.

Fairweather Low was also a regular player with George Harrison, appearing on his ‘Live in Japan’ album and, in 2002, playing several of the lead guitar parts for the Harrison tribute, ‘The Concert for George’.

One of Fairweather Low’s longest musical relationships, however, has been with ex Pink Floyd Bass player Roger Waters.

Fairweather Low is also a regular member of Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings “The Very Best Of Andy Fairweather Low – The Low Rider” hits the shops on June 2nd and combines all the hits and more. An absolute gem, the title says it all.

To coincide with its release Andy and his band, The Low Riders (featuring Dave Bronze, Paul Beavis and keyboard player Richard Dunn), head out on a major UK tour which also encompasses Cambridge rock, Colne blues, Trowbridge and Glastonbury Festivals.