John Howard has today released his latest EP Songs From the Morning, where he has covered songs from five artists who influenced him as he grew up in Bury and continue to have an impact on his writing as he prepares to release his eighteenth ‘solo’ LP later this year as he turns sixty-five.
John Howard’s 21st and latest single, a cover of Nick Drake’s From the Morning, will be available to download from next Friday, 1st December.
Occultation Records, 9/10
“What news from England, are they happy now they’re free?”
There isn’t much that needs to be said about the Granite Shore’s new LP Suspended Second that hasn’t been already. Whether it’s from band leader Nick Halliwell (it presents his – profoundly negative – feelings towards Brexit through metaphor and is released on his indie label Occultation Recordings), new recruit John Howard (it’s the band’s second album and this time includes backing vocals and piano from the Night Mail man) or the multitude of glowing reviews (it’s bloody good), most bases have been covered.
But if only to add to the chorus of positive voices, I think it might be worth me having a stab at explaining quite why it’s such a triumph.
Things are going well for singer-songwriter John Howard, who recently announced that his memoirs, Incidents Crowded with Life, would be published by Fisher King Publishing. Next month, John appears on The Granite Shore’s second LP Suspended Second. I asked him all about the album and how he came to be involved with the band, and The Granite Shore singer and guitarist Nick Halliwell, whose label Occultation Recordings released John’s latest solo album Across the Door Sill.
Whilst there have been some very questionable covers done in the past, there have also been some corkers. Here is a list, in ascending order, of my twenty-five favourite cover versions that I’ve discovered so far…
Just a quick heads-up today…
Keep your eyes peeled for some posts later this year in anticipation of the upcoming second album from thinking man’s indie band The Granite Shore. Lead singer Nick Halliwell has this time enlisted the help of a certain Mr John Howard on piano and backing vocals, signed last year to his label Occultation Recordings, also The Granite Shore’s home.
“Timing,” says John Howard, no doubt with a wry smile flickering into the corners of his mouth, “is everything.”