I first met Stevie Jones at one of the Oysterband’s Big Session festivals at De Montfort Hall. I blagged a compering slot in the beer tent, despite having very little qualities to fulfil such a role. I suppose I was, at least, energetic, friendly and a good advert for how drunk the ale in the tent might get you.
Stevie (along with his long term musical collaborator, Mark Gill) was one of the acts that I introduced. I remember that he was so enthused about this experience. It was easy to banter and joke with Stevie. He seemed to have an encyclopaedic knowledge about music and conveyed that with charm and good grace.
When he played on stage, there was a definite ‘Americana’ angle to his art. This was a time when magazines such as ‘Uncut’ were piling praise on the likes of Ryan Adams and Stevie was clearly drawing influence from that.
Since that introduction, I’ve got to know Stevie a little better. It’s mostly true that the music scene here in Leicester and its immediate beyond is one where we all try our best to encourage and support each other. It’s a broad church, not always devoid of schisms, but for the most part we all get on. There’s very few who do more to achieve that than Stevie. A tireless promoter, performer and supporter of live music, it’s always a joy to randomly turn up at one of my local pubs to be entertained by his acoustic performance.
Following a successful pledger’s ‘soft release’ last autumn, Stevie will launch his new album nationally this spring. Recorded with his full band, The Wildfires, ‘Stratigraphic Heart’ is a collection of very personal songs. The title track of the album brings his love of archaeology to the fore; the forthcoming digital single, ‘This Is My Church’ gives insights into Stevie’s life via glimpses of the music he’s loved and the experiences he’s had.
He’ll be playing shows across the East Midlands and further afield to support this launch. In a world where karma should rule, it’s well worth giving something back to Stevie.