Helen Watson (singer-songwriter)


Helen Watson (singer-songwriter)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Helen Watson


Background = solo_singer
Origin = Manchester, England
Genre = folk, blues, soul, jazz, pop
Occupation = Singer, songwriter
Years_active = 1960s–present
Label = EMI, RCA Records, Building Records, Fledg'ling Records
URL = [http://www.myspace.com/helenwatsonmusic myspace.com/helenwatsonmusic]

Helen Watson is a singer-songwriter whose oeuvre encompasses blues, soul, jazz, pop and folk. Helen began performing on the folk-club circuit during the late 1960s whilst working as a teacher in Manchester. During the 1970s and 80s she was singer with blues band Loose Lips and a member of the Manchester quartet Well Knit Frames, which also included Martin McGroarty (who would become her regular writing partner). She was also a backing singer with Carmel on an extensive world tour.

Watson made a demo tape with McGroarty which found its way to Keith Hopwood at Pluto Music, who signed them, demoed their songs, and introduced her to music publisher and manager Deke Arlon. Soon after Helen signed with EMI, releasing her debut album Blue Slipper in 1987. Produced by Glyn Johns the record featured contributions from Bill Payne, Richie Hayward, Paul Barrere, George Hawkins, Michael Landau, Steve Lukather and Bernie Leadon. This was the first time since Lowell George's death that members of Little Feat had played together. A second album, "The Weather Inside", came out in 1989, again produced by Glyn Johns with the same stellar cast of session musicians and featuring Andy Fairweather-Low. Whilst signed to EMI Helen undertook notable tours supporting Joe Cocker and Black.

Helen signed to RCA for 1992's Companion Gal, which was recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales. Andy Fairweather-Low once again lent his talents, as did Brinsley Schwarz. In support of the album Helen played shows at the Half Moon in Putney, the Band on the Wall and London's Tenor Clef. Lack of interest at the record company meant Helen's days working with major labels came to an end shortly afterwards. She spent the next three years working with Christine Collister, Barb Jungr and Michael Parker as part of , which toured the USA, Canada and Europe (and released an album of songs from the show in 1993). Helen also formed a female supergroup called Daphne's Flight, (with Christine Collister, Melanie Harrold, Julie Matthews and Chris While), releasing an eponymous album in 1995.

In the ensuing decade Helen would release a number of mostly acoustic folk albums, touring the UK annually. She continues to work with other artists, notably Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt on their Western Wall album. Helen also produced Christine Collister's 1996 album Blue Aconite and appeared on releases by Ashley Hutchings.

In December 2006 Helen completed another tour of the UK's more intimate venues, including shows with David Hughes and Christine Collister. From March to May 2007 she will be touring as singer with Snake Davis's band Burden of Paradise [cite web|url= http://www.snakedavis.com/|title= Snake Davis] before returning to solo shows in July.

olo Discography

*"Blue Slipper" (EMI) (1987)
*"The Weather Inside" (EMI) (1989)
*"Companion Gal" (RCA) (1992)
*"Notes On Desire" (Building) (1995)
*"Somersault" (Fledg'ling Records) (1997)
*"Doffing" (Fledg'ling Records) (1999)
*"Lifesize" (Fledg'ling Records) (2002)

References

External links

* [http://www.myspace.com/helenwatsonmusic Helen Watson MySpace page]
* http://www.thebeesknees.com/?cat=8 Helen Watson biography and discography
* [http://users.bart.nl/~jad/watson.html J.A.D.'s Helen Watson Webpage]
* [http://www.soton.ac.uk/~hrw103 Helen Watson Biochemistry Career]


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