Fingers Crossed (RGF/BWCD 055)
Brian Willoughby Leaves The Strawbs
In August, 2004, much-admired guitarist BRIAN WILLOUGHBY left Strawbs, the band for which he has played since 1978. Willoughby began his professional career with Mary Hopkin in 1971, and has recorded and toured with a wide range of artists, including The Monty Python Team, Brian Connolly (of The Sweet), Joe Brown, Jim Diamond, New World and Roger Whittaker.
Willoughby was lead guitarist with Strawbs and is featured on the following albums: 'Greatest Hits Live' (CD/VCR/DVD), 'Don't Say Goodbye', 'Ringing Down the Years', 'Halcyon Days', 'The Complete Strawbs' (CD/DVD), 'The Best Of British Folk Rock' and 'Blue Angel', as well as the 'The King' (a single featuring Maddy Prior). .
As a duo, Dave Cousins & Brian Willoughby released two albums, 'Old School Songs' and 'The Bridge'. The opening track, 'Ringing Down The Years', to the Sandy Denny tribute album, 'Georgia On Our Mind', was also a Cousins & Willoughby performance. In 2001, Cousins, Willoughby and Dave Lambert, as The Acoustic Strawbs, produced the album 'Baroque & Roll' and toured internationally until August 2004. Their 'Live In Toronto' DVD is due for release soon.
Brian also featured as lead guitarist in Strawbs-associated bands High Society and The Monks, whose 'Suspended Animation' won him a gold album award in Canada. Playing acoustic guitar on the Nanci Griffith album, 'Other Voices Too', he also toured with her in 1998 (British concert Video/DVD available on Elektra). In January, 2000, Nanci and Brian recorded again and appeared together on British TV's 'Gloria Hunniford Show'.
'Black & White', his first solo album, showcased Willoughby's songwriting skills, co-writing with Nashville's Cathryn Craig, Michael Snow and Bill Lloyd. The album features Cathryn Craig on vocals, with a guest appearance by Mary Hopkin.
Cathryn CRAIG & Brian WILLOUGHBY have toured the UK eleven times and their composition, 'Alice's Song' is the featured CD single from 'Baroque & Roll' by The Acoustic Strawbs. Brian appears on Cathryn's current record, 'Pigg River Symphony', which, like the duo's first joint album, 'I Will', is on Goldrush Records.
Their song for international peace, 'Rumours Of Rain', with participation by such American and British Folk celebrities as Tom Paxton, Nanci Griffith, Ralph McTell and Martin Carthy, will be released as a single in October.
Brian Willoughby's second solo album, 'Fingers Crossed', featuring his guitar interpretations of melodies he has written, will be released by Road Goes On Forever Records in September, 2004. An instrumental album by this supremely tasteful guitar maestro has long been requested by fans of Brian's work, initially with Strawbs, and latterly with Cathryn Craig.
WILLOUGHBY comments "Working with Strawbs has been rewarding and enjoyable, but it became impossible to commit to the band and further my career with Cathryn. She and I perform our own material and this is far more satisfying than merely being part of a band. Strawbs is like a family and I feel sure there will be collaborations Further Down The Road.
John Tobler of RGF Records comments Brian has been a chum for about 15 years, and RGF has released four excellent albums on which he features, so were delighted to be working with him again on this ground-breaking guitar album.
visit Brian's official website: www.brianwilloughby.com