EP RELEASE: Live 2014 Available Now

Today I released my new EP Live 2014. The EP contains three explosive live tracks recorded at shows I played earlier this year with my trio. They include a cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s Killing Floor and my original number, Tumblin’ All Night Long!

  1. Killing Floor (recorded at Native Tongue, Epsom – 10/1/14)
  2. Tumblin’ All Night Long (recorded at The Dublin Castle, London – 12/2/14)
  3. Got To Get Better In A Little While (recorded at The Good Ship, London – 15/3/14)

You can buy my EP for only £3 (roughly $4.50) at the following link, there’s also an option to pay more if you’re feeling generous. Thank you very much in advance if so!

https://tomcaswellmusic.bandcamp.com/album/live-2014

Time Out London: “Classic guitar blues from young virtuoso Caswell, in the mould of Freddie King or BB.” 

Bugbear Bookings: “Hotly tipped blues guitarist referencing B.B King. and Clapton” 

Zarathustras Live Events: “Blues guitarist Tom Caswell – unbelievable.”

Live EP3

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INTERVIEW: Will Wilde

Will Wilde is a 4 x British Blues Award nominated harmonica player and blues musician I recently had the pleasure to interview. Check out what he had to say right here.

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Why the harmonica? How did you get into it?  Who or what got you into the blues? 

When I was about seven years old my Dad played me Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Help Me”.  I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the moment I officially fell in love with blues harmonica.  There was something about his harp sound that felt like home.  It wasn’t until I was 16 that I actually picked up a harmonica and tried to play it.  I’d found a cheap plastic Guinness version on the table at a house party and stole it.  Of course then I had to figure out what to do with it.  I heard a track called “Work with me Annie” by Snooky Pryor, on an Alligator compilation CD.  It sounded to me like he was only playing a few simple notes, but with great effect.  So I figured if I could find the right notes on the harp, all I had to do was work out how to make them sound good too.  I found that came from how I felt just as much as hitting the right notes.  And that was that, I was hungry for the genre, searching out more blues, feeling with every record I was another step closer to where I wanted to be.  I spent hours playing along to Muddy Waters, particularly the “King Bee” album with Jerry Portnoy on harp and the “Hard Again” Album with James Cotton.  I didn’t listen to any other music; I was a purist, going deeper and deeper into the music.  For a year I lost myself completely, practising for ten hours a day until my lips were bleeding.  Before long I started playing harp as a sideman in my sister, Dani’s, band and later started singing myself and formed my own band.

Which blues artists have influenced you most? And how? 

I have so many influences it would be too difficult to narrow it down to just one.  On the harp I am inspired by all the greats; Big Walter, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Carey Bell, Junior Wells, James Cotton, the list goes on.  I think my style is much more aggressive than my peers, but it is still rooted in Chicago blues.  I also take inspiration from guitar players such as Buddy Guy, Albert King and Peter Green.  As a vocalist I am primarily influenced by soul singers like Sam Cooke and Bobby Womack.  Sam Cooke is my favourite singer of all time: I love his tone and the melodies he used.  Earl Thomas has been a big influence on me too.  I covered his song “Get Me Some” on my most recent album.

Your last album Raw Blues contains some great songs and individual playing both from yourself and your band. Tell me about the album and the musicians you had playing on it. 

As the title suggests “Raw Blues” pays homage to the stripped down Chicago blues that first inspired me to play.  It features Richard Newman on drums (Rory Gallagher, Steve Marriot), Stuart Dixon on guitar (Geno Washington, Marcus Malone) and Victoria Smith on Bass (Girls with Guitars, The Ramonas).  The album has a bite to it; rushes of adrenalin and an intensity that other records in the genre don’t often have.

You have quite a few tour dates booked for this year, especially in October where you’ll be touring Europe. Excited? And what is it about Europe and the blues right now? They seem to love it! 

The blues scene in Europe is incredibly vibrant and my band is always well received there.  I’m excited about going back to Germany in particular as it has an enthusiastic blues crowd and some fantastic venues to play.  I will be touring in Russia for the first time in August, which I’m looking forward to.  I’m not sure why the blues scene seems to be bigger in Europe at the moment; I think a lot of UK venues were hit by the recession which is a real shame because I love playing in my home country.

With all the tour dates this year will you be returning to the studio to record another album once you’ve finished? 

Yes.  I am writing new material all the time.

What are your fondest musical memories? 

On the last Blues Cruise I went on, I met one of my idols Earl Thomas.  I told him that I had covered one of his songs and so he invited me on stage to sing it with him.  I have a lot of great memories from that cruise including late night jams with Tasha Taylor and JP Soars.  I was also lucky enough to share the stage with Michael Burks before his untimely death.

Dani Wilde Interview

How influential has the blues been on your career?

Very. I identify as a blues and soul artist.

What got you into the blues?

My Dad brought me up on blues music and so from a young age I was grounded in delta and Chicago blues.. artists like Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and B.B. King. When I was 14  I went to Bishopstock blues festival in Exeter and saw for the first time young contemporary female blues artists… artists like Deborah Coleman, Sue Foley, Shemekia Copeland and Susan Tedeschi. I knew then that i would follow in their footsteps.

Which blues artists have influenced you most? And how?

As a guitarist I am influenced by finger style players like John Lee Hooker, Louisiana Red and Albert Collins. I love how Albert uses a capo and uses his thumb and forefinger… this is very similar a technique to how I play. Louisiana Red taught me some guitar when I was in my teens and that always stayed with me too. My favourite British blues artist is Peter Green… I love his phrasing, back in the Fleetwood Mac days his playing could just crucify you.. make you tingle till you cry. I also love Buddy Guy. He is just so full of character.. so exciting to listen too. As a vocalist I’m more inspired by soul artists and Motown.

What equipment do you use and was your decision to use it influenced by another artist or what you heard on a record?

I use a 1970’s Fender Super Reverb amplifier. I love my reverb.. thats the Albert Collins influence… bridge pick up, treble up, just like Albert. I use a Love Muffin pedal that Stuart Dixon (Eddie Floyd, Marcus Malone) introduced me to and my Fender Telecaster. I some times also play a 335 with hand wound pickups in.

When you write songs is there a certain way you go about it or does it change?

I tend to write chords and lyrics together. I cant seem to chose to write a song. More so I just feel sometimes I have something to say or an emotion to express and songwriting is my natural outlet.. it just happens.

Is there a blues player you haven’t played with that you’d really like to?

Buddy Guy…that would be a dream come true…or B.B. King.

Is there a song or album that has been influential in the way you write and play?

I could not list just one song or album… my style is inspired by a mix of blues and soul artists from Sam Cooke and Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin to Buddy Guy and Peter Green.

How influential do you think the blues has been on modern popular music?

Incredibly. That is where it all began. The Rolling Stones and Elvis were/are some if the most successful popular artists of all time and they were just young white guys taking the blues and making it into new and exciting pop hits.

In your eyes, how influential do you think Robert Johnson has been on the blues?

Well he was there at the beginning and his songs have been passed down through generations of blues artists ever since.

If you could name one blues player who has influenced both the blues and other genres the most, who would it be and why?

Willie Dixon… Just look at the list of songwriting credits he has to his name.. what a legacy. He was the blues.

What guitar techniques do you associate with the blues?

Well the obvious ones are slide guitar, pentatonic scales and the blues scale. Blue notes / seventh chords and for my that rugged fingerstyle that came out of the delta… playing with expression and feeling to make up for lack or technique/finding your own technique and your own style and form of expression.

Some people think the blues is basic and a lazy genre people just fall into when playing music. What do you say to that?

Well yes it is basic as in it can be just chords 1, 4 and 5 which makes it very accessible… but as with all genres there is a big difference between an average bedroom or pub player and musicians who have a great gift. Not many drummers can shuffle with great feel, not many blues bassists are bang in the pocket not over or under playing but just making the song full of feeling and groove and same goes for front men and women… the Bonnie Raitt’s and Susan Tedeschi’s of this world are phenomenal talents.. They have so much soul and feeling and their own unique sounds and approaches that set them apart.

Do you have a favourite blues period? If so, what?

Well the 50’s and 60’s were incredible. Leonard Chess made the scene back then. All the Chess artists were fantastic from Muddy to Little Walter to Etta James … so much talent… and the blues had just gone electric then… exciting times!

Albert King, Freddie King or B.B. King? And why?

Wow thats a tough choice. I chose B.B. King because I love his simple beautiful major pentatonic thing… so much feeling.. He can play just one note and you can hear it’s him. B.B. has an incredibly soulful voice too and is a great songwriter. He took lead from Motown and used strings to sweeten his sound helping him to become a huge cross over artist… He opened so many doors for all of us aspiring artists.

Modern music’s evolution from the blues isn’t that widely known, how important do you think it is that people become aware of it?

Its a shame. Most young people today don’t really know what blues is. I think its time the blues had a come back.. I guess Sea Sick Steve kind of did that.

DOWNLOAD NOW: Blues releases Live EP & Live EP2

Last year I released two Live EP’s containing explosive live tracks handpicked from a wealth of recordings from my 2012 shows. Both EP’s are still available to download now from my BandCamp page using Paypal. Each EP costs only £4 and as well as receiving the live tracks, each EP comes with a specially designed booklet with artwork and a number of photos.

As you’ll be able to hear from the track, my guitar playing influences include Freddie King, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy and B.B. King to name just a few. As well as specially chosen covers the EP’s contain originals songs written by myself.

Live EP

Live EP2

When you purchase the EP I will add you to my mailing list where you’ll receive an extra live track that doesn’t feature on either EP! Being on the mailing list also enables you to get all the news first regarding gigs, releases, recordings sessions and more!

Thank you very much for your constant support!

Tom

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Live EP2 Release Details

I’m HUGELY excited to announce that my NEW EP ‘Live EP2’ will be released on the 2nd December! Just like my first Live EP at the start of the year, it’ll be available to download from my BandCamp page for £4 (or more if you choose to!).

Live EP2 contains 5 outstanding live tracks and I can’t wait for you to hear them! They include a blistering rendition of Further On Up The Road and four original numbers including You Left Me Here Waiting and Archie Blues.

You’ll be able to download the EP on the 2nd December from the following link:

http://www.tomcaswellmusic.bandcamp.com

Thank you very much for your continuous support!

Tom

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‘Live EP’ – AVAILABLE NOW

I’m both happy and extremely excited to tell you that my ‘Live EP’ is now available to download from my BandCamp page!

http://tomcaswellmusic.bandcamp.com/album/live-ep

The price is £4 or if you are feeling exceptionally generous then there is an option to pay more for it if you feel like it! Payment is via PayPal which is nice and easy. If you don’t have a PayPal account they do an option where you can pay for it by inputting your details without creating an account. Simple!

I hope you enjoy my EP. There’s also a very special PDF booklet that I made which contains the tracklisting and a number of live photos.

Thank you

Tom

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