Dirty Dozen: Robert Vincent

Award winning Liverpool native Robert Vincent is set to release his second album “I’ll Make the Most of my Sins” on 27th January. After his performances at the AMA showcases in Nashville last September, Rolling Stone magazine named Vincent as “Best Brit” in an article entitled “AmericanaFest 2016: 20 best things we saw”.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
I’m a Liverpool songwriter, since releasing an album in 2013 I’ve been mostly touring around the U.K. promoting and pushing that, I’ve spent a little time in U.S. as well.  The songs I had for this new album had been largely ready to go, but I thought it was fairly important to work on building a fanbase that might be interested in a new set of songs. In August 2015, I got involved in an event in Liverpool called The Bluebird at the Bluecoat, which brought over Nashville songwriters such as Don Henry, Jim Lauderdale, Kim Richie & Beth Nielsen Chapman to play a show in the round, this was all tied in with Bob Harris as the compare for the evening. A great surprise. They asked Artists to get in touch to play a song to the panel of songwriters, from this Bob Harris has been a great supporter of my music and given me his 2016 inaugural Emerging Artist Award for the Americana Music Association Uk. This has obviously been a huge help to my music being heard by a new audience.

How would you describe your music?
I would describe my music as a mixture of a lot of things I grew up listening to. I have brothers older than me, so they introduced me to Pink Floyd and the British rock scene. My Dad listens to Classic Country and Blues so I had that around me. And then being from Liverpool, you can’t really escape The Beatles, but I’d say It was my music was an Americana sound. A mixture of all the above.

Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?
I’m a huge fan of Pink Floyd, I’d say they influenced my musical direction much more than anything else really. I for some reason connected on a big scale with Roger Waters lyrics and the sound of the band in general when I was growing up. If you listen to Sam Stone by John Prine and then Southampton Dock by Pink Floyd or indeed most songs from The Final Cut, you can see what a huge influence John Prine was on Roger Waters, there is more of an Alt-Country Americana sound in later Pink Floyd than most people would like to admit. Friends of mine were into Oasis, The Stone Roses and Blur – I never really got that scene, as a lot of it was a throwback to that late 60’s psychedelic music which I was already listening to in early Pink Floyd. I always loved the bands coming out of the U.S. in the 90’s, like Pearl Jam and Nirvana. I like to think there is a huge crossover in the musical styles I was subjected to, I suppose that’s what it is, either you accept it as an influence or not. I’m just glad I grew up listening to great songwriters if I’m honest.

What are you currently promoting?
I have a new album that will be released on the 27th January called ‘I’ll Make the Most of my Sins’.  Myself and the band (Michael Gay, Etienne Girard & Jim Kimberley) went in the studio here in Liverpool to record, I then took myself over to mix the album with Ray Kennedy in Nashville at his studio Room & Board.

Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?
The large majority of my songs come from a personal point of view, not always about me or my life, it may be people around me, but I get more of a buzz from people’s reaction to the songs. There is a song called ‘Demons’ on ‘Life In Easy Steps’ that seems to connect to the majority of people when they hear it which is great. But I don’t take a song resonating with someone for granted, it’s one of life’s mysteries as to why is does, so I’m always happy with that really.

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve gone back to The Beatles recently, you can take it for granted how good they were and not listen so hard sometimes. By my computer right now is John Prine, The Avett Brothers, Son Volt, David Bowie. I went through a Jackson Browne marathon, which is always great. David Gilmour’s new album, also Peter Bruntnell’s new album, which is album of last year for me.

And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?
“Animals” by Pink Floyd.

What are your hopes for your future career?
To keep playing to more people and recording, the relief and pleasure of writing another song never goes away and playing to people is, 99% of the time, a lovely experience that is a privilege.

If money were no object what would be your dream project?
To record an album with the surviving members of Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, and Neil Finn. There’s a ton of others but I’m already asking to much, there is isn’t enough money in the world.

What’s the best thing about being a musician?
Not being able to put your finger on why you feel compelled to do it, but loving it and I suppose in life that’s half the battle.

And the worst?
People asking ‘When will you get a real job?’ if I had a penny for every time someone said that to me, I’d have about….£19.63, Ridiculous question.

Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?
Hi, how are you? I hope you enjoy the album and don’t judge me to harshly, I’m just like you.

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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