Ashley Hutchings, the man often referred to as The Guv’nor’, who has become synonymous with the creation of the folkrock music genre in the 1960s will be celebrating his 70th birthday on Monday 26 January.
A musician, singer, songwriter, producer, talent spotter (most famously of Nick Drake), broadcaster, poet and most of all band leader – his has been a lifetime of creativity, inspiration and innovation. From his role as band leader kicking off the folk rock genre with Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, numerous incarnations of the Albion Band to that of collaborator, and mentor to his youngest and possibly most sophisticated band Rainbow Chasers he has worked tirelessly upholding and championing the English tradition. He’s played on festival stages large and small, and worked in seedy smoke filled clubs to speaking poetry on the stage at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and being a musical director at the National Theatre. Now in his seventieth year he shows no signs of slowing down with a plethora of projects in the pipeline.
He is following a very busy year that saw the re-issue and re release of some of his favourite projects as well as the publication of his first book, the reissue of his most personal album By Gloucester Docks and the release of an ambitious work Riot Of Spring.
The first of these to be given a new lease of life in 2015 is Twangin’ n’ A-Traddin’. Originally released in 1994 the album is a collection of many of the dance tunes from the 50s and early 60s that first inspired Ashley as a teenager. These were given a traditional arrangement by Hutchings and teamed with some folks songs given the rock pop treatment. The new release is enhanced with the addition of two songs performed by the Velveteens a trio of Yorkshire lasses and Hutchings’ emotive ‘Welcome To The World’ depicts images that anyone who spent time in the coffee bars of the 60s would recognise.
The album under a new title Twangin’ ‘n’ A-Traddin’ Revisited is due for release on 27 April by Talking Elephant Records. For the birthday boy it is well deserved trip down memory lane.
Artist’s website: http://www.folkicons.co.uk/ashley.htm
From 1979, the mostly unrecorded Albion Band with Barry Dransfield, Martin SImpson and Andy Roberts. ‘The Cuckoo’s Nest’ and documentary footage: