Pete Dodds & Rudy's Music Shop

The Colour Blue

CD: The Peter Donegan Band - Live at the ElephantRoad Goes On Forever Records is proud to introduce RUDY’S MUSIC SHOP, a new project which features two very experienced musicians whose past includes involvement with such names as The Beatles, Sting, Madonna, etc., and an as yet unknown young music graduate.

Individually, Pete Dodds is a singer/songwriter/guitarist from the North East who was a member of Half Breed, a group who were managed by Apple Corps, and more specifically by Mal Evans, tour manager of The Beatles. When The Beatles stopped playing live, Evans became involved with Badfinger, and his next project was Half Breed for whom, with Sir George Martin, he produced a number of demos which sadly remain unreleased. Half Breed effectively broke up when Mal Evans died in California, although a later line-up with only one original member released an LP for United Artists. Among the other members of Half Breed were vocalist Bill Elliott and songwriter Bob Purvis, who subsequently formed Splinter, who signed to George Harrison’s Dark Horse label and scored a 1974 UK & US hit single with ‘Costafine Town’. After leaving Half Breed in the mid-seventies, Pete Dodds continued as a singer/songwriter, releasing a series of critically acclaimed albums during the next 25 years, and opening Uncle Sam’s, a Newcastle studio where Jimmy Nail recorded ‘Crocodile Shoes’. Dodds also provided studio time for the then unknown Lighthouse Family to record their multi-million selling ‘Ocean Drive’ album in 1995 before he and John Hedley re-met in 2003.

John Hedley is a highly accomplished guitarist who is probably best known for his work with The Phoenix Jazzmen and Last Exit, bands which also included Gordon Sumner, better known as Sting. John Hedley, whom Sting calls “my boyhood hero and mentor” in his ‘Broken Music’ biography, remains very friendly with the great man. Hedley had previously played in such groups as Every Which Way (formed by Brian Davison, ex-The Nice) and with Carol Grimes. Sting describes John Hedley as “a delightful person and an extraordinary guitarist” who “looks like a blond Hendrix with his shock of frizzed-out white hair framing the long lugubrious features of his face”. When Tyne Tees launched the hugely successful TV show ‘The Tube’, Hedley was a member of the “house band” which backed many international stars including Madonna, Elvis Costello, Eddy Grant, Billy Preston and Eartha Kitt. Hedley also worked on cruise ships, including the QE2, backing such stars as Kris Kristofferson, Anthony Newley, Neil Sedaka, Petula Clark and many others.

The youngest member of RUDY’S MUSIC SHOP is vocalist Kelly Brownell, who studied for a B.Mus. degree at John Marley Centre in Newcastle, and also for a Music Tech degree at South Tyneside College, where she received vocal training as well as learning piano and guitar. As well as these instruments, she also plays penny whistle and trumpet.

RUDY’S MUSIC SHOP includes a rhythm section of Colin Mason on drums (another Half Breed alumnus who has also played with The Pretty Things and The Ray Jackson Band, among others) and 24 year old Joe Hedley on bass, who has played and recorded with local ‘Indie’ bands Corridor and ONA-K, worked the pub circuit with rock band The Roosters, and studies under local bass doyen Neil Harland, who has himself also contributed to the RUDY’S MUSIC SHOP album, as has producer and engineer Tony Davis, who plays keyboards. A third guest musician on the album is violin virtuoso Rachael Rhoades, a member of the highly rated Peter Donegan Band. RUDY’S MUSIC SHOP’s stunning debut album features 13 original tracks.

John Tobler, 2007

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