James Taylor/Sweet Baby James https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K0ScTc4a68
Stan "I've loved James Taylor from the minute I heard his first album in 1970, the following year I saw him at the Lincoln Folk Festival and was knocked out by his playing and mastery of the art of cool. I haven't forgiven him for losing his hair but he still has the voice and the charm. We put together a CD as a gift to the guests at our wedding and included Sweet Baby James. It's still a part of our set now, so many people love that song, just a simple cowboy waltz, perfect"
Jarrod Dickenson/California https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UM__s0VQQ8
Ann: "We went to see Jarrod Dickenson at Fibbers last year. I was at the bar, Stan was sitting listening and when he played California we separately both had the same thought – ‘what a brilliant song!’. We checked it out again later and it too has become part of our set, albeit in a different form. And it always makes an impact on people.
Bob Dylan/Tangled Up In Blue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwSZvHqf9qM
I have been absolutely besotted with Dylan and his music for as long as I can remember listening to music. He's a huge influence on everything I do musically. It's impossible to pick one song from his massive catalog but I've decided to go for this version of Tangled Up In Blue. The song is off the brilliant Blood On The Tracks with the video clip from the magical Rolling Thunder Revue. Mesmerising stuff. He keeps changing the words (and sometimes the melody/music) as he performs it year on year. Always remains a pure gem.
Lucinda Williams/Drunken Angel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cckroKLPsqg
First got into Lucinda with her Essence album which a friend played to me. Such a great album, amazing arrangements/sound. I then explored her other stuff to find that it was pretty unrepresentative as she's much more of a cut-back, rootsy singer. Ann & I saw her at the Sage, Gateshead a few of years back. Just her, a guy on guitar and bass. It really showed how good the songs were. Probably influenced our move to become a duo.
I’ve only been writing song lyrics for a couple of years but I’ve been studying hard in that and I’ve picked a couple of artists who encapsulate some of my ambitions as a song writer.
Rachel Ries/Ghost of a Gardener https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAdTZCW3K7s&index=3&list=PLDGxtcj--Hhusw7_MjaRCq33yeVfQzZTb
Joni Mitchell led the way writing songs based on personal experience and laying her soul bare and I could have easily included any number of tracks by her. Instead though I’d like to introduce you all to Rachel Ries, a songwriter who writes deeply personal songs. She is a great solo performer and we’ve seen her a number of times now, but her album Ghost of a Gardener is just fabulous and it’s great to hear her songs filled out with other musicians. The title track is probably my favourite song of hers - but it really is so hard to choose.
Jason Isbell/Speed Trap Town https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ghXad3cWnY
Jason Isbell’s songs are a great combination of autobiographical detail with story-telling too and everything told in a cut-back, quiet way. I love the albums Southeastern and Something More than Free and play them constantly. It was quite easy in the end though and I’ve gone for Speed Trap Town which leapt out at me the very first time I heard it –a song all about nothing and everything and what an opening couple of lines!