Dirty Dozen: The Most Ugly Child

The Most Ugly Child are a 6-piece country powerhouse, with rabble rousing fiddle breaks and pedal steel swells to make you weep. They can have you dancing on the tables or break your heart with a song. Centered around the songwriting partnership of Daniel Wright and Stevie-Leigh Goodison, the band is made up of some of the finest musicians in the Midlands. Current line up includes Matt Cutler and Max Johnson (The Broomhill String Band), Nicole J Terry (The Rip-Roaring Success) on fiddle and ‘Big’ Jim Widdop (The Sadies, Los Pacaminos, Cold Light Of Day, Buck Shot Soup) on pedal steel and dobro.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
We’re just a bunch of musicians who happen to have been born in the wrong era and probably wrong country! We’re from various parts of Nottinghamshire and for the past few years we’ve been making our way around this green and pleasant land making music that we love and sharing it with some amazing people along the way.

How would you describe your music?
It’s hard to pinpoint and one of the reasons we arrived at our name! If Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt and Hank Williams had a baby…

Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?
Well I think I’ve gone through many phases over the years, some I wouldn’t like to admit to! All have shaped the way I think about music now. For me, in terms of songwriters the big three are Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. I feel certain you can learn everything you need to know about life from listening to the words of these guys!

What are you currently promoting?
We have a new album called ‘Copper & Lace’ which we’re pretty proud of. It’s been a long time coming but glad it’s finally here and ready to throw out into the ether for folks to hear!

Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?
There are a couple of tracks on the album that I’m pretty proud of, ’Roses’ and ‘My Pony’. More often than not the songs I write tend to be stories that I’ve dreamed up or about the lives of people I’ve met over the years and not usually very personal. Those two songs, however, are very much rooted in the coal mining towns of England, places I’ve lived around all my life. A lot of my family members were coal miners, including my Dad so I really wanted them to come out well on the album. ‘Roses’ also has a colliery brass band on it!

What are you currently listening to?
I tend to get really obsessed with one particular person for a long period of time and ultimately end up trying to immerse myself in everything they’ve done. At the minute, it’s a fella called Daniel Romano! In my opinion he’s just about the closest thing to Dylan I’ve seen since Dylan… a chameleon in tight trousers! You won’t be disappointed.

And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?
The Band – The Band!
I just love it to bits, the band, the writing, the camaraderie, the squeaky chairs and the sound is incredible. The Band were the first ‘Americana’ band, hell they invented it! I remember my Mam bringing me home ‘The Last Waltz’ when I was 14-15. She’d found it in a cheap DVD bin in Woolworths. It changed my life!

What are your hopes for your future career?
I’d love to be able to make a steady living from this music game! Failing that, being able to play my own songs to people and having them come up to me to tell me how much particular songs might mean to them is good enough for me.

If money were no object what would be your dream project?
To take the band away to some beautiful and remote part of the world with a recording studio to write and record an album together. Sometimes life gets in the way of things and it’s harder than it should be to do this kind of thing so that would just be perfect.

What’s the best thing about being a musician?
The people you meet along the way. I’ve made some of my best friends through doing this!

And the worst?
It’s stressful trying to juggle life and music, but I wouldn’t give it up for a gold pig!

Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?
Well we hope you’ll check us out after reading this and maybe make it out to a show sometime!

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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