A potted history (In Graham’s words…)
“As a child music was always played in our house, my Dad was signed to the Decca Record label and recorded several singles at Abbey Road and other famous studios in the early ’60s. Our home was graced by numerous celebrities when we were kids, people who we saw as just ‘ordinary’ people coming over. A perspective I have appreciated more as I have grown older.
My own love for music started when I would accompany my dad on his gigs as a roadie. I became turned on by the rhythm and blues music of the day. My earliest musical influences were indeed Bluesmen like Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson and later the Beatles, Stones, and The Kinks. Growing up in England ensured I was baptized into some great music! Looking back I would say that I have always been drawn to songwriters and especially good melodies. I can remember hearing pop songs like ‘Honey I miss you’, ‘All I need is the air that I breathe” and ‘Unchained Melody’ on the radio and being deeply moved by those haunting melodies even as a young child.
At the age of 14, I took up the guitar and began to play in the local youth clubs and later in the working men’s clubs and local bars with my Dad. I was originally taught by him and later by a pottery teacher at our school who also loved the kinks! My school books became places to write songs rather than physics and the like!
Ironically the Punk explosion of the late 70’s helped me a lot, because it meant that kids could get on a stage, hardly being able to play, and so long as you leapt around people loved it! As a teenager, I left my home in Wales and went to London to try my hand at the star thing. I began performing as a solo artist supporting bands like Roots Jackson and the JB blues Company and others in the North London blues club scene. I had some auditions at Chrysalis records and touted my demo tapes to countless other labels of the day in search of that illustrious deal. Later I formed a band with my brother Dougie on drums called ‘Prussian Blues’ and we played the London club scene for a few years having a lot of fun but not much commercial success. We then formed a band called The (Incredible) Wesley Brothers and for 3 or 4 nights a week for 12 years or so we slogged it out in the North London pubs and clubs with a few trips to Eastern Europe and a small tour of America too. We played several prestigious festivals including Green Belt, Soul Survivor and Cross Rhythms festivals in the UK. We were signed to the newly formed Alliance Music label and released ‘Fill Me Up’ which charted in the UK (Co-produced by Martin Smith of Delirious).
During this time I also worked on some other noteworthy projects: I recorded a live CD with John Wimber and Vineyard Music Group at the famous Manchester trade hall (the last concert ever recorded there). I picked some guitar for a young Matt Redman, recording the harmonica part for his version of ‘The Happy song’! I also played guitar and mandolin for Kevin Prosch on his British tour, the hi-light of which was playing at the enormous 12,000 seat Docklands arena in London. And then my song ‘The Lord is gracious and compassionate’ was recorded by Wendy Whitehead on the Vineyard music release ‘Come now is the time’ in 1998.
That same year I relocated to Vancouver BC and began working as a solo artist touring from coast to coast in Canada as well as in Austral Asia, Europe and all over the USA making numerous TV and radio appearances along the way. I recorded two more CDs with Vineyard music Canada ‘Believe’ and ‘All I Need’ both produced by Brian Doerksen, and have been proud to co-write songs with Rick Colhoun (Hokus Pick) and Dove award winner Andy Park among others. Together with my live concert appearances, my work as a session musician has continued to thrive, with recording credits with the likes of Lianna Klassen, Cheryl Bear, Twin Peaks (Western Canadian Music Award for Roots Duo/Group Recording of the Year) Tiger Moon, among many others.
To date, I have recorded eight solo CDs which I have released through my own Record label Knewsense Records distributed in Canada by CMC.
Since relocating to Kelowna BC I have been involved with a number of music projects and bands. I recorded two CD’s with the Bluegrass band The Trips. We were also honoured to perform for the Canadian Prime Minister and the BC Premier. I also recorded “Bouquet of Kindness” a collection of songs, instrumentals, and spoken word, with my Son Aaron Ord (Celtic Harpist). Our video was voted the ‘Not TV best video award’. I currently also perform with the Blues/Soul band Swamp Honey and occasionally with Blues Harmonica player Sherman Doucette’s Tank Full Of Blues. Around the festive season, I tour with “Christmas Tales’ with Russ Rosen and various other musical guests. Then there’s my solo and duo work with Aaron Ord.
So there you have it, the potted history of my musical life so far. Thanks so much for taking an interest in my music. I sure hope I get to see you somewhere on the road this coming year.