BRIAN WILLOUGHBY | ROTOSOUND

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BRIAN WILLOUGHBY

Guitarist Brian Willoughby began his professional career with Mary Hopkin in 1971 and has recorded and toured with a range of artists, including Monty Python, Sweet’s Brian Connolly, Joe Brown, Jim Diamond, New World and Roger Whittaker. Joining Strawbs in 1979, he played lead guitar on Ringing Down The Years, Don’t Say Goodbye, Halcyon Days, Greatest Hits Live (CD/VCR/DVD), The Best Of British Folk Rock, The King (featuring Maddy Prior), The Complete Strawbs (CD/DVD) and Blue Angel.As a duo, Dave Cousins & Brian Willoughby recorded two albums, Old School Songs and The Bridge. They provide the opening track Ringing Down The Years on the Sandy Denny tribute record Georgia On Our Mind.

Cousins, Willoughby and Dave Lambert as Acoustic Strawbs, produced Baroque & Roll and toured internationally. Their historic documentary DVD, Live In Toronto, was followed by the Canadian album Full Bloom.During this period, the Gibson guitar company hand-built a guitar for Brian, to his specifications.Brian featured as lead guitarist in Strawbs-associated bands High Society  and The Monks, whose Suspended Animation won him a gold award in Canada.

Nanci Griffith’s Other Voices Too and her Elektra British tour DVD feature Brian on acoustic guitar. Nanci and Brian have appeared as a duo and also with a 52-piece BBC Orchestra, on UK television.Black & White is a record of  Brian’s songs, co-written with Nashville’s Cathryn Craig, Michael Snow and Bill Lloyd, featuring Cathryn on vocals, with a guest appearance by Mary Hopkin. Alice’s Song, written by Craig & Willoughby, was released in the UK as a single by Acoustic Strawbs, in aid of The National Autistic Society.Brian plays on Cathryn’s Pigg River Symphony and their first joint album, I Will is on Goldrush Records.

Craig & Willoughby’s song for international peace, Rumours Of Rain, featuring US and British Folk stars Tom Paxton, Nanci Griffith, Ralph McTell and Martin Carthy, along with members of Lindisfarne, Pentangle, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and Strawbs, is available as a single, under the group name Folk For Peace, on the German label Hypertension.

Fingers Crossed, Brian’s first solo guitar instrumental album, was released on RGF Records and the British magazines Guitar,Guitar & Bass and Guitar Buyer published features on him. An interview with Brian appeared in the American magazine,Guitar Player.

Fender’s Frontline magazine ran his article on alternative guitar tunings and presented him with a Custom Shop Stratocaster.Mary Hopkin recently released Live At The Royal Festival Hall 1972, featuring Brian alongside bassist Danny Thompson and The Pop Arts String Quartet, with conductor Tony Visconti.Strawbs’ boxed set, A Taste of Strawbs, features Brian with several incarnations of the band.

He rejoined the band for their 40th. anniversary, which produced the album Strawberry Fayre.Acoustic Gold is a collection of tracks by Acoustic Strawbs past and present.

Craig & Willoughby released Calling All Angels, with Alice’s Song featured as the single which became BBC Radio 2 presenter Aled Jones’ Highlight of the Year. Their YouTube video of Cumberland, a song dedicated to the Nashville floods of 2010, received high acclaim.In March 2012, they followed up successfully with Whole Wide World, featuring Righteous Brother Bill Medley singing a duet with Cathryn. This song was takn from their forthcoming album Brit Americana.

Website www.brianwilloughby.com

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