One of the greatest blue-eyed soul voices, a distinguished front man and an ever in-demand musician's musician, Paul Carrack is striding into 2016 on a hot streak of creativity that shows no signs of slowing down. He plays Cardiff's St David's Hall next week as part of his current tour, performing classic hits The Living Years, How Long? and Over My Shoulder as well as material from his new album, Soul Shadows.
Soul Shadows follows directly from Carrack's starring role as a member of Eric Clapton's touring band, handpicked by the guitar legend just as he has been over the years by everyone from Elton John to B.B. King. Soul Shadows features no fewer than ten brand new Carrack compositions. Most of the albums instrumentation is by Paul himself, working in his newly-refurbished home studio, with his son Jack once again joining him on drums. It was the perfect setting for songs to burst spontaneously into life.
Andy Howells recently put questions to Paul.
I attended one of your shows a few years ago, it was a fabulous concert, but it must be hard for you to know what to leave out?
It is. We have a lot of songs to choose from but we try to keep a balance between the new songs from 'Soul Shadows', which we are all excited about, and the songs which the audience are more familiar with. Fortunately the new songs are all working great live and going down well but we would be hung drawn and quartered if we didn't play How Long, Over my Shoulder, Living Years and Eyes of Blue for instance.
Do you feel you’re in a good place with your music career these days?
Very much so. I am in an enviable position that many good artistes and musicians would love to be in . The main thing is I have a platform to continue making music, performing, writing and producing new music and earning a crust which is all an artiste really wants. It didn't come on a plate though. Takes a lot of work and attention to keep the show on the road. I've no desire to be famous, just the opportunity to keep doing what I love .
Are there any new recordings or projects you are working on at the moment?
I have a new album 'Soul Shadows' which seems to be doing well at radio. Our focus is on our 40 date tour which takes us into March. In April I will be back with the Eric Clapton band for a short tour of Japan.
Who do you like to listen to when you’re relaxing and do you have a particularly favourite recording you always return to for listening pleasure?
I tend to go for the tried and tested . as we speak I'm listening to a Bobby Bland compiulation from the 60's. I'm not really up to speed with the modern scene.
What do you remember about your first live performance In Wales?
Blimey! It's so long ago I can't remember when it was. I know it's always a pleasure to play St Davids, Cardiff because so many great artistes have played there. Same with The Grand, Swansea. I think the audiences try to outdo each other to be the most welcoming which is great.
What can fans expects from your forthcoming Wales dates?
Hopefully a great show, a six piece band and a cross section of the material from my career old and new. Some big old hits and some new material from Soul Shadows.
- Paul Carrack plays Cardiff's St David's Hall on February 10. Visit www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk for details.
- Andy Howells is a freelance entertainment writer. A version of this Q&A appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on February 5, 2016.
- Read Andy Howells 2012 interview with Paul Carrack