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Tommy Hunt: He may be old, but he ain't cold

The day this blog goes live, Mr. Tommy Hunt turns 85 years young. Tommy is a legend, pure and simple. A certified member of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame for his work with the Flamingos in the 1950s, and one of the premier figures to emerge from the Northern Soul scene in the 1970s. His voice was rich, effortless and powerful, and his stage presence electrifying. His 'Live at the Wigan Casino' album is a landmark Northern Soul statement, and stands proud in stark contrast to those who believe the 'scene' should only be about baggy trousers and collecting scratchy old 45s (and there's a conversation for another time). Tommy has called England his home for many many years now, and is the hardes

How Do You Play Guitar Like That?

At the time of writing this, I am 47 years old, and have been playing the guitar for 33 years. I have been asked this question or ones just like it hundreds of times, by many many people all seemingly looking for a simple answer...and the truth of it is, that there really is one, and a very simple one in fact. However, before I get to that; let me preface that simple answer with a little context. Now, my natural discomfort when being complimented highly about my playing notwithstanding; I will say this: I play guitar ALL THE TIME I may not have as structured a practice regimen these days as perhaps I could, but I do practice. Whether it's driving my wife crazy noodling up and down scale and

Bittersweet Symphony: A Cautionary Tale

Bittersweet Symphony: As subjective an opening statement as this is; I think most people are at least vaguely aware that The Verve's massive 1997 hit song 'Bittersweet Symphony' had at least 'something' to do with the Rolling Stones. But far fewer people are aware of the real story behind it, or the exact nature of the link between the song and the Stones, or how it cost The Verve...well everything. So allow me to tell the sorry tale as best I can. Back in 1997 when The Verve were writing and recording the song, and encountering a little creative plateau; producer Youth (Martin Glover), suggested to Richard Ashcroft and co. that perhaps the inspiration they were looking for might come from l



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