is an English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary popular music singers who write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the...
. His work includes lead singer and creative force behind The Bible
The Bible are an English rock band. The band released two critically acclaimed albums in the mid 1980s and are best known for the independent chart hits "Graceland" and "Mahalia"...
, formed in the 1980s, and reformed in 1994, as well as solo recordings and work for film. He lives in Ely
Ely is a cathedral city in Cambridgeshire, England, 14 miles north-northeast of Cambridge and about by road from London. It is built on a Lower Greensand island, which at a maximum elevation of is the highest land in the Fens...
Hewerdine (born Mark Hewerdine) moved to Cambridge as a child, and as a teenager formed the short-lived Placebo Thing with a friend. He left Placebo Thing to join The Great Divide. They were signed to Cambridge Independent Label Wimp Records by local entrepreneur David Gowar, and recorded and released their debut single "Who Broke The Love Bank". They were heard by Mike Scott
Michael 'Mike' Scott is the founding member, lead singer and chief songwriter of rock band The Waterboys. He has also produced two solo albums, Bring 'em All In and Still Burning...
of The Waterboys
The Waterboys are a band formed in 1983 by Mike Scott. The band's membership, past and present, has been composed mainly of musicians from Scotland, Ireland and England. Edinburgh, London, Dublin, Spiddal, New York, and Findhorn have all served as homes for the group. The band has played in a...
, who recommended them to Ensign Records, who bought out their contract with Wimp, and they subsequently cut three commercially unsuccessful singles on Ensign. In 1985 Hewerdine, working once again in a record shop in Cambridge, formed The Bible, recruiting jazz drummer Tony Shepherd. They released an album of songs through the independent Norwich
Norwich is a city in England. It is the regional administrative centre and county town of Norfolk. During the 11th century, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important places in the kingdom...
label Backs Records called Walking The Ghost Back Home
The Bible became a fairly successful independent band, with a cult following spread mostly through word of mouth and live performances. Two tracks from the first album, Graceland
were released as singles, but did not achieve very significant sales. The album however was very well received by music pundits, and this brought the band to the attention of Chrysalis Records
Chrysalis Records was a British record label that was created in 1969. The name was both a reference to the pupal stage of a butterfly and a combination of its founders names, Chris Wright and Terry Ellis...
. Signing to Chrysalis, Graceland
and another track, Honey Be Good
were (re)released as singles, and reached the lower end of the UK singles chart. A new album, Eureka
followed, but failed commercially. In 1990, Hewerdine decided to leave the group and pursue solo projects. Calum MacColl and Neill MacColl from the group went on to form Liberty Horses.
At around this time Hewerdine met US "new country
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...
" singer Darden Smith, and this set him off in a new direction. Working together, he and Smith released a collaborative album, Evidence
. Hewerdine also worked simultaneously on new solo songs, largely based on his earlier traumatic experiences in London. Eventually these were distilled down to produce the Ignorance
album, released in 1992. Invited by Tori Amos
Tori Amos is an American pianist, singer-songwriter and composer. She was at the forefront of a number of female singer-songwriters in the early 1990s and was noteworthy early in her career as one of the few alternative rock performers to use a piano as her primary instrument...
to play support promoting these songs, Hewerdine managed to find a new audience and Ignorance
and a single from the album, History
, did relatively well commercially.
As Hewerdine's star rose, he started to write for other artists, among them Eddi Reader
Eddi Reader MBE is a Scottish singer-songwriter, known both for her work with Fairground Attraction and for an enduring solo career. She is the recipient of three BRIT Awards and has topped both the album and singles charts...
, Clive Gregson
Clive Gregson is an English singer/songwriter, musician and record producer. He has toured in bands, provided backup for well-known musicians, and written songs that have been covered by Kim Carnes, Norma Waterson and Nanci Griffith.-Solo:At the end of 1984 Gregson released his first solo record,...
and Christine Collister
Christine Collister is a Manx folk, blues and jazz singer-songwriter. She was born and grew up on the Isle of Man and first came to public attention in 1986 as the singer of the theme song for the BBC's television adaptation of Fay Weldon's book The Life and Loves of a She-Devil.Prior to this, in...
. The Bible reformed for a tour in 1994. Further solo album releases followed, such as 1996's Baptist Hospital
and 1999's Thanksgiving
. Meanwhile Hewerdine was asked by long-time friend Nick Hornby
Nick Hornby is an English novelist, essayist and screenwriter. He is best known for the novels High Fidelity, About a Boy, and for the football memoir Fever Pitch. His work frequently touches upon music, sport, and the aimless and obsessive natures of his protagonists.-Life and career:Hornby was...
to contribute music to the soundtrack for the movie version of his book High Fidelity
High Fidelity is a 1995 British novel by Nick Hornby. It was adapted into a 2000 film directed by Stephen Frears and starring John Cusack. It also served as the basis for a 2006 Broadway musical of the same name.-Plot summary:...
, whose subject (working in a record shop) was also very close to Hewerdine's experiences.
Hewerdine continues to write and perform his own songs.
was released on MVine/Red Grape Records
Red Grape is a London-based independent record label and management company. It was set up in 2006 by musician and producer Calum MacColl and his partner Kerry Harvey-Piper. Artist currently on the roster include Icelandic singer Hafdís Huld, singer-songwriter Boo Hewerdine, dance producer...
in February 2006, is a collection of his songs written for other artists such as Eddi Reader and Hepburn, recorded by Hewerdine for the first time.
Parts I and II are two EP
CD's released in 2008.
God Bless The Pretty Things
, was released in 2009. Recorded in Glasgow these are effortless, simple folk-ish tracks with a some Boo applied.
In 2011, Boo teamed up with US guitar legend Brooks Williams to form the band, State Of The Union. Their plan was to record an album using vintage mics and equipment live in just 5 days. After a day and a half they realised they had finished. Recorded in the order you hear on the record, the aim was to capture the sound of two guitarists and singers from completely different backgrounds working together in harmony. The result was even better than they had hoped for. They had gathered and written material over last summer when their busy schedules allowed. Hewerdine has had his songs recorded by such artists as Eddi Reader, kd Lang, Jerry Douglas, Kris Drever, Heidi Talbot (more than 400 of his songs have been recorded). Over the course of 17 albums Williams has secured a peerless reputation as a songwriter as well as being recognised as one of the world’s best guitarists. They found that they had a natural writing chemistry and material came in abundance. In fact plans are already afoot for a second album.
State Of The Union played their first gig to a very enthusiastic crowd at the 2011 Ely Folk Festival, and they've just confirmed a date at next year's Celtic Connections on 24 January 2012. The album is being released in April 2012 on Reveal (Joan As Policewoman, LAU etc) and Boo and Brooks will be touring from April to June 2012.