British Blues Artist Todd Sharpville Making an Impact With "Porchlight"
Thu, 02 Dec 2010 14:41:13
A publicist friend of mine recently tipped me off to the interesting story of British bluesman Todd Sharpville. I was intrigued, since blues is not a genre I cover as often as I'd like, save for more mainstream blues acts! Sharpville's Porchlight is out now.
That is all well and good, but Sharpville has an interesting back story. He was born into one of the UK's oldest, titled aristocratic families that spans well over a 1000 years of privileged history. No, really! His father was the late Viscount St Davids, also known as Baron Strange of Knockin, Baron Hungerford, Baron De Moleyns and Baron Picton, and Sharpville is the current "Heir Presumptive" to these family titles. Whatever the hell all that means, I don't really know.
But the musician's birthright automatically begs the question: How did someone from such a privileged background get involved in such a blue collar idiom? How can we believe his blues if he comes from privilege?
Of course, anyone can pick up a guitar and profess to play the blues, but in Sharpville's case, he's very much been accepted by the highest echelons of bluesmen as being one of the very best at what he does. From having the likes of BB King and Joe Cocker asking him to open up for their shows, to having worked in his younger days with the likes of Hubert Sumlin, Ike Turner, Byther Smith and Chuck Berry, to having been mentored from his early teens by Joe Louis Walker, to working on his current release with the likes of Duke Robillard, Joe Louis Walker & Kim Wilson, it is clear a privileged background certainly didn't earn him his blues stripes, though his life events of the last few years may well have added considerably to his maturity as an artist.
For Sharpville, playing the blues is based on the following credo: "When I was a kid I used to play to impress. Nowadays, I only play to express. My happiness depends upon it."
Do you want to check out Todd Sharpville and Porchlight? You should!