Mick writes: My first solo album and very important for me. I'd tried forming my own band while I was in the USA in 1979 but it didn't really work out. Returning to the UK I worked with Stevie Smith again in a new version of SALT, which was great, but I still wanted to express myself in my own way.
Eventually I booked a demo session at Elephant Studio in East London. I called around and Lou Martin, Rod DeAth and Steve Waller each volunteered to come and play on the demo - all unpaid and I thank them for it - none of them with us any longer. We had a fun evening jamming the blues, with a trip to the pub thrown in (of course).
My first attempt at singing was rotten, and I nearly gave up, but after a while I tried a new overdub and it was adequate. So I started sending the demo out to record companies. Nothing. 21 attempts later I was running out of record companies! But I had been playing some casual gigs with British blues legend Shakey Vick, and he had an album out on an Italian label, Appaloosa. A few weeks later I got a letter back from Milan offering an album deal.
I went back into Elephant Studio with the drums and bass from SALT - Len Davies and Ron Berg of Blodwyn Pig fame. Lou was there on piano. Another British blues legend, guitarist Dave Peabody took the cover photo down a back alley in South London on a cold winter's day. The album took a year to come out but finally a box of LPs arrived.
I'd wisely added a PO Box address to the back of the album, and through that and other sources, offers started to come in from Europe. Notably the Peer Belgium Blues Festival with Robert Cray and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, work in Holland through The Jukejoints. Peter Kempe, and a date in Switzerland through Markus Gygax which lead to a hug amount of work in central Europe.
I was off. And always eternally grateful to Franco Ratti at Appaloosa and the guys who came down and jammed with me that night at Elephant Studio.
Copyright Mick Clarke
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