Dirty Dozen: James McArthur and The Head Gardeners

Burnt Moth is the second album from Welsh-born folk singer/songwriter James McArthur. Having acquired years of experience as Paul Weller’s stickman, he moved frontstage to create his debut album “Strange Readings From The Weather Station” which was met with much well-deserved attention from the likes of Uncut, Prog and Record Collector. Now comes ‘Burnt Moth’ assisted in the making of by Joel Magill from the brilliant, Syd Arthur.

James McArthur’s sincere yet tranquil vocals guide the wandering melodies of this album through the different folk scenes of the past, while the playful lyrics cast a contemporary feel onto a perhaps previously dusty setting. Songs as soft as sunlight trickling down through autumnal leaves are grounded by the sheer musical skill of McArthur and his intricate Jansch-like guitar plucking.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
We are a three-piece band based in London. For the last few years we’ve been playing Live shows, developing our sound and recording albums.

How would you describe your music?
It’s the audio equivalent of Gardening, aiming to make a sonic view. The combination of Acoustic guitar, Pedal steel and violin makes a hypnotic sound.

Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?
Here there and everywhere. The songs come observations of day-to-day life, the natural city soundtrack. Listening wise, Captain Beefheart, Beatles and Bach, all the B’s. And The Bees!

What are you currently promoting?
Our new album Burnt Moth – out on January 20th 2017h.

Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?
Well we were all happy with Glitch kids and we had a great time recording the songs on Burnt Moth.  We don’t really dwell on what we’ve done; just try improve on the next batch…

What are you currently listening to?
Beyond The Wizards Sleeve – Door To Tomorrow feat Euros Childs – that’s a good one.

And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?
Ah, there are so many great albums. It would have to be a top ten, starting with Neil Young – After The Gold rush…

What are your hopes for your future career?
To Continue doing what we do, and get the chance to realise our ideas.

If money were no object what would be your dream project?
Ah, I’ve thought about this one.  Buy a Massive piece of Land and have it a Human Free Zone while it recovers…

What’s the best thing about being a musician?
A creative lifestyle

And the worst?
Ha! A creative meltdown…

Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?
Well, have a good 2017, and keep listening!

Author: Rudie Hayes

Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.

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