Giles Hedley:

A message from Giles Hedley himself, mailed to us on Aug. 25 1999:

I play: with the Aviators: twin-neck (bottleneck and lead) and lap steel guitars, harmonicas (including two at once: bass C Marine Band with mouth and ordinary Lee Oscar C with nose), acoustic: 1934 Emile Grimshaw archtop for bottleneck, Suzuki 12-string, harps as above.

I've been playing since the sixties - played support to Son House, Mississippi Fred Mc Dowell, Juke Boy Bonner and others in 70s, and clubs, bars and festivals in Holland, where I released an LP. Formed "Really the Blues" in the 80s, then "The Aviators" in early 90s.

I've done most of the major UK festivals either acoustically or with the band or both, clubs and pubs anywhere I can scratch a gig, here and in France.

Band: the Aviators, which is more of a funky, roots-blues outfit than the jazz-tinged "Really the Blues". Aviators based heavily in delta blues and the early Chicago work of Wolf and Muddy (which is of course the same thing, but electric), plus Afro-Caribbean influences. With the inimitable Sam Kelly on drums and Richard Sadler on bass (nowadays better known as writer, musician and engineer for jazz-funk label Internal Bass Records - his last CD topped Jazz FM polls for two years! - but he still plays bass with us). Apparently I sing like Wolf, which just goes to show what 30 years of hero-worship can achieve.

Roots: Son House; Kokomo Arnold; Blind Willie McTell; Robert J, Sonny Boys I and II, The Wolf.

Current events: just done my second live appearance on Paul Jones' s Radio 2 programme (and, to my surprise, session harp on next Wishbone Ash CD). Still playing the Station Tavern and the usual blues circuit. Headlined Wallingford Blues Festival using my eldest son Peter on drums (four encores: not bad for a 13-year-old!).

Next CD already in the can, recorded live in France and featuring genius blues guitarist Christophe Pélissié.

Ambition: to get lots more work.

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