Wasn't expecting THAT!

The album track 'Friends & Fathers' which is still available to download for free from the wonderful FATEA and appears on their Spring Showcase Session, 'Tides', continues to receive radio airplay and garner fantastic comments from many of the presenters playing it: "A wonderful, wonderful song and if the rest of the album is anything like as good, it'll be one to get hold of." (Gary Hazlehurst, Stafford FM) Another great supporter of my music, Sonic Bandwagon, played the track and said that it was "truly, truly stunning" with Andy Barnes kindly saying (Steve Pledger is) "one of my favourite songwriters of this moment... I think he's fantastic!". All of which has been hugely gratifying and a wonderful surprise!

Since the release of the FATEA download, the album has gone out to radio stations across the country and beyond, bringing further airplay and comment. I could never have imagined the reception it would get and it's all been quite overwhelming. Various tracks are being played (see the bottom of this blog for some airplay coming up this week) and radio sessions are being set up for the coming weeks. It's 'Album of the Week' this week on Gary Hazlehurst's Stafford FM programme and look out for further announcements to similar effect coming soon! Various interviews are coming up too (I'm on Curved Radio - who are based in Sydney, Australia - on Sunday afternoon!) and, again, more will be announced in the coming days. As ever, the best way to keep abreast of developments is via Twitter and Facebook.

"Listening to the finished mix of the new album by Steve Pledger. Only on track 4, but I've laughed, cried, reminisced and gone through a million different feelings already. This guy writes from the heart, and with such sincerity and passion, he really captures the point so succinctly. Please treat yourself to a copy of this album. I am greatly honoured to have been involved in a project of such lyrical and musical integrity."
(Lukas Drinkwater, double-bass player/musician extraordinaire who graces the album)

The genuinely wonderful Sonic Bandwagon have posted a wonderful review of the album on their website for which I am beyond grateful. You can click here to read it or find it at the bottom of this page.

Following some radio slots, I'll be playing a pre-launch gig in Hemel Hempstead on Thursday 12th March (details here) hosted by Daria Kulesh and also featuring Paul McClure. If you can make it, please check out the link for further info. And then it'll be the launch itself! Tickets are selling well but I'm pleased to say that you can still book yours here. I've mentioned before that there will be a few special guests, including my good friend and touring partner, Ange Hardy, who since we last spoke has secured a richly deserved BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nomination! It's a very exciting year so far!

Looking further ahead, I'm in the process of putting a tour together which I'll tell you more about as soon as I can. You can also come along and see myself, Ange Hardy and Black Scarr at an event organised by another great supporter, Brian Player, who has a fantastic and influential radio show, Acoustic Cafe. This will be a live gig recorded for future broadcast. Happening on 31st May in Farnham, Surrey, you can check out the details here.

Snippets of each track from 'Striking Matches...' can be heard on Amazon and you can, of course, catch full tracks played on various radio stations over the coming days and beyond. (Details below) The CD itself is also now available to pre-order from this very website!

Quite frankly, that's more than enough to be going on with, I think. I could say more but I think you get the general idea: it's going well.... and I'm very pleased!

Thank you for being at the other end of these ramblings and for your continued interest and support. I've no idea of where this is all going but I'm certainly glad to have your company on the journey.

Peace & good wishes...

Steve x

"My first exposure to the delights of Steve Pledger occurred in the depths of his adopted Somerset at The Village Hall in Curry Rivel, where he shared the bill with Ange Hardy.  His set that night revealed a passionate and opinionated artist with an intricate, yet unambiguous command of song writing.  After the performance I purchased his debut album ’14 Good Intentions’, which highlighted flashes of his ability, but proved over long and meandering in places.  It did however, along with new music showcased that night suggest much more to come, which ‘Striking Matches in the Wind’ wholly confirms, a much more concise and ultimately focused piece of work.

Steve takes snippets of people’s lives, from reading articles or simply by his own thoughts and personal experience alongside views on modern day society. He interweaves melodies and intelligent wordplay to produce subtly sensitive songs on the one hand ‘A Heart left With Nothing to Do’, and acerbic political comment on the other, ‘A Parable of Intent.’  In the grand scheme, these two opposites shouldn’t sit happily side by side, but in the hands of Steve Pledger, they appear obvious bed fellows. A dry sense of humour also never far away, which ‘This Land is Pound Land’ with its astute nod and a wink to Woody Guthrie attests,

“Cos we want it cheap and we want it now, we don’t care where from and we don’t much care how, it could be clothes, fridge freezers, CD’S, bits of cow…..if you’re lucky……..now that this, this land is pound land”

Lead track ‘Friends and Fathers', available via the latest excellent FATEA Showcase Sessions, is the perfect introduction to ‘Striking Matches in the Wind.’ Steve focuses on the affects war can have on family, producing surely one of the most heart-achingly beautiful tracks of the year.  If you don’t shed a tear while listening, you truly have no heart.

Rarely does an artist resonate with me on such a personal level as Steve Pledger. ‘Striking Matches in the Wind’ is an intense emotional experience of the most inspired kind. A touching record interspersed with humour and strong traditional socialist values almost extinct from today’s barren political landscape. Steve strikes me as a man unafraid to cry, both personally and more generally in response to social injustice. The world would simply be a better place if more of the male gender had a similar capacity to express this most basic of human emotion."

(Andy Barnes, Sonic Bandwagon)

Some radio!
ReadiFolk: on Blues 'n' Roots Radio Tues 10pm, Blast1386 Weds. 7pm, Friday 5pm. Available on Mixcloud from 7pm Friday
Stafford FM - The Folk Show Thurs. 8pm
Roots & Fusion on Pure 107.8 - Weds. 9pm
Radio Wimborne played 2 songs from the album earlier this week. Hear the show here. (24mins & 50mins 50)

Posted by Steve on March 3rd 2015

Loading... Updating page...