“BLUE BLOODED” BLUESMAN Todd Sharpville Leaves the Porchlight on Bright With New Double Album that Walks an Emotional Tightrope` January 14, 2011Posted by David W. King in Blues, New Releases.
Tags: Porchlight, Todd Sharpville
Features Special Guests Duke Robbillard, Kim Wilson and
Joe Louis Walker
ATLANTA, GA – UK-based bluesman Todd Sharpville’s new 2-CD set, Porchlight, is already generating rave reviews and significant radio airplay around the world since its release in November on MIG Music, with national distribution by E-1 Entertainment.
Todd will also be performing on the upcoming Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, which embarks later this month.
Produced by the legendary Duke Robillard, Porchlight also features guest appearances on guitar from Robillard and Joe Louis Walker, plus harmonica wizard Kim Wilson (who plays on four tracks). All songs are Todd Sharpville originals, with the exception of his unique take on Shel Silverstein’s “If That Ain’t Love What Is?”
Early reviews of Porchlight include this telling quote from UK-based newspaper giant, The Independent: “A mature yet still challenging album from a British bluesman who has paid his dues and deserves to be in the forefront of the British blues scene. Others may offer their version of the blues, Todd Sharpville gives you the real thing.”
As a musician and performer, Todd Sharpville has been lauded by many of the legends in blues. “What a talent!” said the legendary B.B. King about Sharpville; while Hubert Sumlin calls him “the best British player I’ve heard since Peter Green.” And Duke Robillard says: “Todd Sharpville’s talent as a singer, songwriter and guitarist is genius.”
Todd Sharpville is literally a blueblood who plays the blues. He was born into one of the UK’s oldest, titled aristocratic families, which spans well over 1,000 years of privileged history. His father was the late Viscount St Davids, and Todd is the current “Heir Presumptive” to these family titles. Blues great Joe Louis Walker took a 15-year-old Sharpville under his wing and mentored him over the years in the fine art of being a blues performer.
Todd launched his career in 1995 by winning “Best Guitarist” in the British Blues Awards. Later recognition came from playing with the likes of Van Morrison, Mick Taylor, Peter Green, Brian May, Georgie Fame, Leo Sayer and a host of others, including re-formed classic blues/rock band, the Yardbirds.
Late 2004/early 2005 marked a pivotal time in Sharpville’s personal life, being the year his marriage collapsed, and unable to cope with the separation from his two children, he subsequently suffered a nervous breakdown. Diagnosed with “reactive depression,” he was hospitalized for a month, during which time he wrote three of the songs that would eventually appear on his new Porchlight CD. This period also marked the beginning of a four-year court battle for contact with his children, which caused an organization called “Fathers 4 Justice” in the US to stream a pertinent song he wrote for his children, “Just Because” on the homepage of their website for an entire year.
In 2008, Sharpville began re-connecting with a number of his blues guitar friends, which resulted in him guesting on two albums by Joe Louis Walker (Witness to the Blues and more recently his Blues Conspiracy: Live on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise CD). It was during the sessions for Witness to the Blues, which was produced by Duke Robillard, that the seed was planted for Duke to produce Todd’s next album. In the meantime, Todd could be seen opening up on tours in Europe for Joe Cocker, B.B. King and the pop diva Pink.
Todd soon found himself in the midst of another writing spree, which resulted in the recording of the new double album, Porchlight. The pre-production was sadly interrupted by the unexpected death of Sharpville’s father, which became the source of inspiration for the title track and the ethos for the album. Once the recording commenced at Robillard’s Rhode Island recording studio, many of the resulting songs on the album proved to be a form of cathartic musical therapy for Sharpville. This includes the humorously-titled “Lousy Husband but a Real Good Dad,” and several others that deal with the emotional aspects of what he’d been through over the past six years (“Why Does It Rain?” “Busted in Pieces”). Todd’s scathing political indictment in the song “Can’t Stand the Crook” affirms a popular opinion of the Bush-Blair era. Indeed, prior to Britain’s recent general election, Todd declined an offer from the UK Conservative party to stand as a proposed member of parliament in Wales (the British equivalent of receiving party backing to become a US senator).
Most importantly, Sharpville is one of those genuinely soulful musicians who doesn’t play to impress; he always plays to express…
Todd Sharpville is managed by David Jones of Cathouse Music, LLC (913.262.4898 / firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information, visit http://www.myspace.com/toddsharpville