Road Goes On Forever Records (RGF) was launched in 1991, but its second (and current) incarnation began in late 1993, when the label's current direction was established by RGF's proprietor, author, journalist and broadcaster John Tobler. Tobler and his wife, Lynda Hugen-Tobler, who takes care of promotion, now run the label.
Where previously RGF had dabbled in progressive rock, since the release in 1993 of Ralph McTell's 'Alphabet Zoo' (no longer available), it has been dedicated to roots music - folk, R&B, country and jazz. Among its currently available releases are eleven items (six single CDs and five double CDs) by the legendary Steve Gibbons, which include the original versions of his UK hit singles, 'Tulane' and 'Eddy Vortex'. The latest Steve Gibbons release is There And Now Volume 1' (a two CD package containing Steve's own selection of 42 of the best Steve Gibbons Band tracks, several previously unreleased, released in the year Steve became a septuagenerian).
While the copyright in the vast majority of the RGF repertoire belongs to the artists involved, we are extremely pleased to now own the copyright in three albums by The Dylan Project, a band of seasoned musicians playing a repertoire of songs written by Bob Dylan, apart from one song in praise of Bob Dylan written by vocalist/rhythm guitarist/harmonica man Steve Gibbons. Steve fronts the band alongside the revered Fairport Convention rhythm section of Dave Pegg (bass) and Gerry Conway (drums), longtime SGB associate P.J.Wright (guitar, pedal steel) and SGB keyboard star Phil Bond (who replaced another Fairport alumnus, Simon Nicol). This band is dynamite – don’t miss their annual winter tours.
RGF's first American artist is Carolyn Hester, the Texas-born folk diva who has recorded with Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan and Nanci Griffith (among others). RGF has released four of her recent albums on CD, as well as reissuing an album she made in 1961. Like virtually all the artists on RGF, Carolyn Hester is a personal friend of John & Lynda Tobler.
RGF has also released three albums by singer/songwriter/guitarist Wes McGhee, who has toured as MD with Butch Hancock, Billy Swan, Rosie Flores, Gail Davies, Chuck Prophet and even once appeared with Garth Brooks when the latter was in London on a promotional trip. McGhee produced 'Smaller Circles', an album released on RGF by our second US artist, native American poet Roxy Gordon, which was highly praised in the 'Sunday Times'. Gordon sadly died before he was able to complete another album.
Scottish blues/R&B practitioners Blues 'N' Trouble entrusted RGF with the reissue of their first two albums (with guests Robert Cray and Ian 'Stu' Stewart), and subsequently (when they found we were honest) with their first new album in ten years.
Our third American artist is the highly rated troubadour, Tom Pacheco, who made two double albums for RGF. Pacheco lives in Woodstock (which gave its name to the famous Rock Festival), and his songs have been recorded by The Band, Ritchie Havens and... Daniel O'Donnell, among many others.
RGF is similarly pleased to be the label which has released single and double albums by the John Mayall of Folk-rock, the indefatigable Ashley Hutchings. Among the famous names on one or more of these albums are Simon Nicol, June Tabor, Ric Sanders, John Tams, Cathy Le Surf, Phil Beer, Dave Mattacks, Pete Zorn, Clive Gregson and many more, Two other folk artists with RGF albums who have worked with Hutchings are Barnsley-based Dave Burland and the extraordinary Julie Matthews. Burland's album features him interpreting the songs of Richard Thompson, who himself plays on it, along with Clive Gregson and Julie Matthews, whose stunning first solo album is also available on RGF.
Another thread in the complex history of British folk/rock is also released by RGF, the first ground-breaking album by Home Service featuring the great John Tams, with bonus tracks of both sides of the band's debut and non-LP single. John Tobler first met the outstanding female vocalist, Patty Vetta, through Wes McGhee, and she then produced a demo tape of her work with journalist and songwriter supreme Alan Franks. RGF is proud to have released the first two albums by the duo of Vetta & Franks (who, by the way, performed at the wedding of John & Lynda Tobler). Fairport Convention recorded a cover version of the Alan Franks song, 'Wishfulness Waltz', on their 1997 album, 'Who Knows Where The Time Goes'.
The first new album by singer/songwriter Bridget St. John since the 1970s was released by RGF, and the label also released 'Fretwork', an acclaimed compilation by Celtic rock innovator Jackie McAuley, and McAuley's next album, 'Shadowboxing'.
Since our move to the North-East of England in 1999, RGF has released the debut album by Sunderland-based jazz trio, Bicycle Thieves. We also released what will sadly be the only album by Rudy's Music Shop, a group formed by noted North-East singer/songwriter Pete Dodds. Their debut album, 'The Colour Blue', also features then 22 year old songbird Kelly Brownell, who plays keyboards, guitar and pennywhistle, North East guitar legend John Hedley, perhaps best known as Sting's mentor and role model when both played in Last Exit (Sting's band before The Police), and on occasion, the rhythm section of Joe Hedley on bass and drummer Colin Mason. Unfortunately, despite the promise shown on the album, the band broke up…
Dodds also appears on 'Angels Of The North - Tyneside Talent 2002', an 18 track CD also featuring such noted North East acts as The Caffrey Brothers, Prelude, Steve Daggett (ex-Lindisfarne), The Happy Cats (led by another ex-Lindisfarne member, Marty Craggs) and Tony McNally.
Our newest artist is Jarrow-born singer/songwriter Bill Stewart, whose ‘On Top Of The World’ includes several brilliant renditions of country blues classics by Robert Johnson, etc., as well as Bill’s own impressive original songs, many of which concern the North East.
Every label proprietor is allowed one nostalgia trip every few years, and John Tobler is no exception, which accounts for what Tobler says is "the excellent album by House", a folk/rock group from Guildford. We are pleased to reassure readers that this has nothing whatsoever to do with the rather sad genre known as house music (no disrespect, honest!).
An addition to our "distribution only" catalogue is 'Rock'n'Roll Heart' by Ian Gomm. A longtime member of the celebrated Brinsley Schwarz group, Gomm enjoyed a US Top 20 hit, 'Hold On', in 1979, and with Nick Lowe, co-wrote 'Cruel To Be Kind', a Spanish version of which has topped the charts in Spain. This new album includes guest stars Nanci Griffith and Russell Smith of The Amazing Rhythm Aces. Also available from the RGF website is another delightful album by Dave Burland, ‘Rollin’’, which has not been available for some time until now.
RGF is pleased to have released the first mini-album by the charismatic Aaron Bayley, and also ‘Rivertown’, the first fully realized album by Smith & Jackson, which has received excellent reviews in the country music press. Watch this space for more info!