Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Out of the Shadows

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Out of the Shadows

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan Nichol

This used as a pull-out quote: Ive got no complaints. I get to do what I love. How many people can say that? And thats worth more that anything!

Three musicians, all primarily but by no means exclusively guitar players who made their reputations with major artists, arrive on Tyneside this week.

Another similarity is that all three continue to ply their trade, making great records and touring just below the mainstream radar.

The first of them appears at the Northern Rock Foundation Room at The Sage tomorrow. Stephen Bruton (full name Turner Stephen Bruton) was raised in Texas, the son of a jazz drummer and record store owner. His close pals and fellow Texans, famed producer and ex-Bob Dylan sideman T-Bone Burnett and singer-guitarist/writer/harmonica-player Delbert McClinton, were inspired by music from Freddie King to Ornette Coleman. The breadth of Bruton's musical interests was made clear by his involvement in a bluegrass band by day, switching to a soul/blues outfit at night.

He stepped into the big time when his pal Kris Kristofferson rose to prominence in the early 70s and promptly asked Bruton to join him. Bruton worked with KK for about two decades, appearing in the film A Star Is Born and several others, but also had spells with Bonnie Raitt (he's just toured with her and Little Feat), Christine McVie, Carly Simon and Elvis Costello.

His songwriting, too, was in demand, with high-flyers like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Jimmy Buffett all picking his material.

With his session work and songwriting developed to a fairly effortless level, he then devoted time to production work and helped highly-regarded acts like Marcia Ball and Chris Smither.

His career was succinctly put into perspective when he said: "I've got no complaints. I get to do what I love. How many people can say that? And that's worth more that anything! I've been very fortunate to do what I do for a long time."

His craft has not gone unrecognised among fellow musicians, either. Jackson Browne described him as "a guitar player's guitar player, a songwriter's singer and the producer of some of the finest alternative country and R&B recordings I have heard". …

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