New Release: Locust Ridge Saints

Posted on: June 16th, 2014 by grahambarthram No Comments

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Locust Ridge Saints are Joe Reynolds (vocals/ guitar), Pawel Ciecierega (lead guitar/banjo/slide), Steve Archer (bass) & Wolsey White (drums). Drawing heavily from the Delta Blues and Honky Tonk music of the Deep South of the US, Locust Ridge Saints have found something new and fresh and distinctively their own. Singer and lyricist Reynolds was originally in The Lost High Rollers who recorded and played in 2002/2003 under the mentorship of one of Ireland’s great songwriters Bap Kennedy. An EP was recorded and produced by Kennedy but the tapes were lost and this, twinned with a cancelled tour, left the band disillusioned and they went their separate ways. Reynolds then moved away from music for a time.

Thankfully, salvation was at hand for Reynolds after a chance meeting with Pawel Ciecierega. Pav, originally from Poland, learnt to play blues guitar whilst tuning into US forces radio and Radio Free Europe (The Communist regime was not keen on Western popular culture). As a 15 year-old kid he took the biggest independent music festival in Eastern Europe at the time, Jarocin, by storm and later played in a number of bands all over Poland and neighbouring countries. The two dug out all their old 45’s – artists like Johnny Cash, Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Lee Hooker, and Hank Williams amongst others, and started jamming.

Fast forward some years and Reynolds was attending a family funeral, where he met long lost relative – Stephen Archer. Archer had been in a band, Contempo, with his younger brother Rich (Hard-Fi). The band signed a major label record deal, and stardom beckoned but the dream turned sour and everything fell apart. Archer, with massive debts, was forced to sell off all of his gear and quit music. The Hard-Fi connection brought about the introduction of the bands fourth member. Enter Wolsey White; Hard-Fi co-producer, and Staines face. White’s last foray into live music was with kraut-rock band Supermodel but after that he’d given up live performance to concentrate on studio work. But he, like Archer, was inspired by Reynolds and Ciecierega’s passion for their work and so jumped on board. The story continues…

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