FEATURED ARTIST OF THE WEEK: ANDY WHITEHOUSE

Hi! Everyone, This weeks FEATURED ARTIST OF THE WEEK is the talented musician, singer-songwriter & psychotherapist ANDY WHITEHOUSE

1.Please introduce yourself
Photo Credit:Andy Welland & Grace Weatherburn
Hi. I’m Andy Whitehouse. I’m a songwriter, singer, guitarist and psychotherapist. I include my non-musical trade as really everything I do is about trying to establish or experience contact with others. We could all use a little more sense of connection.
2. How did you get into music?
I was fortunate to grow up with older siblings who were into music. So I started out with a good education in  Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, Sandy Denny, John Martyn and so on. I started writing poetry as a teenager and was encouraged by an English teacher, but no one wanted to listen to poetry so I started to play guitar. I didn’t really do much with it until I was in my thirties .Maybe it is in the last ten years, in which time I had a venue and was lucky enough to meet some amazing artists and make some good friends who encouraged me, that I have started to really stretch and challenge myself. 
3. What instruments do you play?
I play guitar. Most of my life I have played acoustic but I had a real turning point about three years ago when I switched to playing Epiphone Sharatons, hollow bodied electrics. I just love the sound!
4. Who are your influences?
I guess the Island label stuff I grew up with, Sandy Denny, Nick Drake and John Martyn, and Joni Mitchell is in a league of her own. A lot of people miss her album “The Quiet Hissing Of Summer Lawns” but I could listen to it endlessly.  Leonard Cohen’s first album is very special.  The Kinks, “Waterloo Sunset” would take some beating as a song that is so evocative of a time and place. It’s faultless and beautiful. In more recent times I find I listen to more jazz – Wes Montgomery and the incomparable Bill Evans, EST too and that first Koop album, and contemporary artists like Chris Wood and Lau. I’m a huge fan of Chris, and Aiden O’Rourke from Lau. They generate and communicate such depth of feeling.
5. Tell us about your latest release
The last thing I put out was the single “Drunken Sailor”. I spent an amazing couple of days recording at the home of Chris Wood, who with his partner Clare was so hospitable and generous. He pushed me to drop away artifice and the mask of performance and move more towards being present. When I first heard the mix it felt unbearably raw and intimate, but it was really where I needed to be, it was what I was looking for. Drunken Sailor seeks to further explore the question in the traditional song we all know in a short story. I meet a lot of women who’s lives are beset by men who promise all sorts of romance and adventure and deliver very little. My partner lives with one of them. I like stories that don’t end. Kurt Vonnegut used to finish paragraphs with the phrase “and so on”, to fight the notion that life had clear beginnings and endings. What will she do with the drunken sailor? 
The guitar sounds like a kora or something. Chris encouraged me to explore what you might call “prepared guitar” sounds using some twine from his allotment to dampen the strings. It worked a treat!
6. Whats your songwriting process? 
I used to really rush it. An idea would come into my head, a phrase or a couple of lines and I would just blast through it. If I didn’t finish it first time I would probably forget it. At the same time I would have tunes or chord combinations or just a chord I liked and when I was in luck the words and chords would fit together. Now it’s kind of similar but I take more time. I edit and re-write things so they go through several drafts before I feel they are finished. Rather than force things I try to hold onto ideas by making notes on my phone or little sound recordings so I don’t lose stuff but I don’t have to do the whole thing at once. Certain subjects enthral me so I find that a song emerges on those themes every now and again.  Having said that, there is little more satisfying than a well constructed three chord wonder with a killer hook line!
7. Which musician/ artist would you most like to collaborate with & why?
Do I have to pick one?!!! Well, I’m so lucky to play with the people I have played with and am working with now. I would love to work more with Chris Wood because he pushes me to become more honest as a musician and singer, and he understands where I am coming from as a person. I have a song called “Almost Home” which was inspired in part by Lau, I’d love to play that song with those guys! 
8. If you were on a desert island what 3 musical gear would you take? 
Assuming I have a power supply I would have my sunburst Epiphone Sheraton, Boss DD3 delay unit, and my Fender Hotrod amp. That particular Epiphone (I am lucky enough to play two) is very special as it used to be played by the legendary guitarist Peter Green. It’s a fantastic guitar.
9. Where can fans find your music (links etc)?
https://thesilverdarlings.bandcamp.com/  (with band – there are two albums of my material with a full band, The Silver Darlings)

I would like to say a huge thank you to ANDY WHITEHOUSE for taking part in this weeks 'Featured Artist of there Week'😀😀

Until next time

Law