Richard Clarke and the Rafters
In June Dave introduced Richard Clarke and the Rafters, a group from Worcester that produced what has to be Dave's favourite album of 2012.
'Richard's a local lad and grew up locally, but after a spell living in London decided to move back to Worcester in 2009. After a jamming session with Dan Bramhall who's a drummer, they teamed up with Luke Elliot (bass and synth player) and formed a 3-piece band.
Over four or five years Richard had written a number of songs for acoustic guitar, the band's taken these and given them a really special sound for their album Hidden In Between The Trees. Its a lyrically thoughtful album, with heartwarming ballards with just a hint of alternative folk to them.
Much of the material on the album relates to Richard's return to Worcester, in particular track two, Where I Reside. If you listen carefully to the lyrics of the album's other tracks, you'll recognise more references to the city. The group recorded the album themselves, with help from James Willis, before it was mastered by Dave Draper, a producer who's well known on the local music scene.
I should just mention that the CD copy of the album is a work of art in itself. Richard studied fine art and designed a beautifully made cardboard fold out sleeve, with integral art cards that together create an image of the moon (if you buy it you'll see what I mean!) It was launched in March last year and went down well with the audience at the launch event.
The band perform regularly in and around Worcester and never disapoint, and have a couple of dates planned between now and the end of July. I've heard they may be performing at Nozstock, the Festival near Bromyard over the weekend of 26 – 28 July.'
You can get more details on all upcoming performances from the band's Facebook page. Their album 'Hidden In Between The Trees' is available to buy as a digital download for £6 or as a CD for £10. You can purchase it from his website, http://richardclarke.bandcamp.com/
You can hear Dave's full interview with Richard Clarke and The Rafters on Choice Radio at www.choiceradio.org.uk and clicking on Live! In the past. Choice is the hospital radio service for the Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester, a voluntary service broadcasting a wide variety of music and programmes for patients seven days a week.