Thursday, September 5, 2024

William Topley

8 pm

$20 in advance, $25 at the door

21 and over

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William Topley

Blues & soul from the UK

William Topley

William was born in London in 1964 and has been fronting bands since 1983.

Through recording Alexis Korners radio programme on the BBC he was exposed to a selection of blues, country, soul, gospel and rock-n-roll.
Chance opportunities to visit Jamaica, the Bahamas and Bermuda cemented his love of reggae and West Indian culture.

He went to Spain and joined a covers band and worked the hot late nights of Iberia with relish.

An extended stay in New Orleans' Vieille Ville began a lifelong love of the South.

A labyrinthine progress through the pubs of south London allowed the Blessing to perform their own material live and to hesitantly begin recording. Signed to MCA records they made two albums: Prince of the Deep Water (MCA 1991 - with Neil Dorfsman ) and Locusts and Wild Honey (1994 - with Jimmy Miller).

Highway Five was a radio hit in Europe and took the band around Holland and Germany.

Delta Rain was the most played record of 1991 on KBCO in Colorado although William had not visited Denver. He finally did in 1998 and found a lot of enthusiastic listeners from his first show at Cherry Creek Mall.

A trip to America with Jimmy Miller led to a solo deal with Mercury Records Nashville.

Williams first solo album Black River (Polygram 1997) was produced by Muscle Shoals veteran Barry Beckett in Nashville and was followed by a serious spell of US dates; 250 over two years.

Further Albums followed: Mixed Blessing (Polygram 1998 - various producers), Spanish Wells (Mercury 1999 - various producers), Feasting With Panthers (Lost Highway 2002 - produced by Brian Tench).

Back in England William was joined by Mark Knopfler on the title track of the next record, Sea Fever (Warner Bros 2005), and was subsequently asked to open for Mark in the USA and Europe, including shows at Red Rocks, The Greek Theatre LA and the Ryman Auditorium as well as the Royal Albert Hall and La Bercy in Paris with his acoustic band the Sea Gypsies.

The Sea Gypsies went on to release their own record Water Taxi (2009).

Safely back in the English countryside William made two albums: All in the Downs (2007) and South on Velvet Clouds (2011) with Nick Davis (Genesis) producing.

William continues to tour as of 2024 and has appeared on the bill with acts as diverse as The Who, Mark Knopfler, Sting, The Wailers, and Steve Winwood, and has co written with Dominic Miller, Colin Vearncombe and Delbert Mclinton as well as his Blessing associate Luke Brighty.

William and the Sea gypsies (Luke Brighty and Dorie Jackson) host an annual event in Harbour Island in the Bahamas to provide fans a look into the backstory of the songs.

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