Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1089

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Rising British Blues Star Tristan Mackay To Tour

Tristan Mackay CD cover pic
Tristan Mackay CD cover pic

British Blues Award nominated song-smith Tristan Mackay is set to play six headline shows throughout June.

The newly announced shows follow the April release of Tristanâs highly acclaimed new album, "Wire & Wood,â" which reached number four on the iTunes blues chart, dove-tailing with his UK tour opening for Graham Parker.

Kicking off at Sheffieldâs Greystones on Wednesday 3rd June, Tristan will then play shows dates in Leeds (4th), Manchester (5th) and Taunton (6th) before two nights at Londonâs St Pancras Church on 25th and 26th June.

"Wire & Wood," is the follow-up to Tristanâs 2012 debut album, â"Out Along The Wire," which stayed at #number one on the iTunes blues chart in the UK and in Australia for eight weeks.

He worked on both albums with Grammy award-winning producer Martin Levan, who gave the Devon-born star his big break when he heard him busking in the street and invited Tristan to his studio to record some demos.

Despite Tristan subsequently receiving widespread national media attention, and his song "Wherever You Lay Your Head," being nominated for "Best Blues Song," of 2012, he admits there were times he doubted heâd ever release a second album.

âNot long after the release of 'Out Along The Wire.' I was broke and had to go busking again. A few of the people I used to see regularly gave me that 'sad face.,' look. Clearly thinking that my career was already over - and I was agreeing with them.â

However, the critical acclaim Tristan received for "Out Along The Wire," led to a flurry of offers for him to tour as both a headline act and as support for artists such as Beth Hart, Rumer, The Proclaimers, Billy Bragg, Nerina Pallot, Robben Ford, Eric Johnson and Jo Shaw Taylor.

âIâd gained new fans night after night on tour all over the country and I quickly sold over fifteen thousand albums!â

Such exposure enabled Tristan to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign for the recording of Wire & Wood, raising over £12,000 from his fans in just two weeks.

Tristan says his new album is pared right back to the roots of his music. "I hoped to capture the atmosphere of the best gig I could perform, drawing on all the live experiences I have had over the last few years. I have learned so much about where my strengths lie from those shows, and this is an intimate, emotionally raw and honest portrayal of my songs.â

Born in Tiverton, Devon and educated in Wellington, Somerset, Tristan first picked up a guitar at the age of fourteen after hearing the Eric Clapton "Unplugged," album. This started his lifelong love for blues guitar music and the storytelling songs of Dylan, Young and Springsteen.

In 2001, Tristan moved to Yorkshire to study at Leeds University. During his student days he would busk to pay the bills and it was to this pursuit he returned after leaving university in 2007, to promote his music. Mackay built-up a strong local following in Leeds, and the release of two self-produced E.P.s in 2008: "Tales From A Bedroom Orchestra," and "Live From The Lounge," got him regular appearances on local TV news programmes, press and radio, where he was hailed as "The Next Big Thing out of Yorkshire."

Looking ahead to his tour, Tristan says: âSince my debut album, I have experienced the highs and lows of the music industry. I have toured and jammed with my heroes and played in venues I only ever dreamed of, in the same week as busking the high street.

"Against all odds, I got my music out there and I hope this album allows me to continue that journey.â

Tristan Mackayâs UK tour dates:

Wednesday, 3rd June â Sheffield, Greystones
Thursday, 4th June â Leeds, Belgrave Music Hall
Friday, 5th June â Manchester, Deaf Institute
Saturday, 6th June â Taunton, Brewhouse Theatre
Thursday, 25th June - London St Pancras Church
Friday, 26th June â London, St Pancras Church
Words SIMON REDLEY

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