23rd - 25th AUGUST 2019
1 GREAT FESTIVAL
JACK J HUTCHINSON’S Q&A
Jack J Hutchinson curates the Little Theatre stage at the Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival 2019… and he grew up just down the road in Burnley.
Q: What can you tell us about your role in this year’s Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Jack?
A: I am curating the Little Theatre stage on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival. It’s a great venue that I previously played last year, when it was curated by Lucy Zirins. After I’d finished my set she sprung a surprise by asking me to take on the role, which I was really pleased to do. So I’ll mainly be compering the event, but also maybe sitting in on a few sets as well.
Q: What helped in your decision process when choosing the artists to perform at your acoustic showcase at the Little Theatre?
A: I wanted a good mix of new, upcoming acts, as well as those that play what might be considered more traditional blues. The most important thing for me was that they write their own material, because that’s where I am coming from as an artist. When it was announced that I was curating the stage I had a lot of messages from blues cover bands. That’s not really my cup of tea. I chose the artists who were doing something special with their own material.
Q: Who do you look up to as an artist?
A: My biggest influence is Neil Young, both as a songwriter and guitarist but also in terms of attitude. He’s so focused in his approach to his craft and isn’t afraid to change paths based on his gut feeling.
My biggest influence as a guitarist is Jimmy Page, who got me into a lot of the old blues guys like BB King, Muddy Waters, Elmore James and Charlie Patton. I’m also into heavy stuff, like Zakk Wylde and Metallica. It all feeds into what I do.
Q: What is your musical background?
A: I’ve been playing guitar for about 20 years, since I was a little kid but it’s probably only in the last 5 years that I’ve taken it seriously. I hadn’t actually really sung… but about 4 years ago I sort of fell into that role after a succession of singers buggered off! It’s a different kind of release to playing guitar and allows me to express myself in other ways.
Things really took off with my last solo album ‘Paint No Fiction’, which hit #1 on the Amazon blues chart and led to me performing at Ramblin’ Man Fair alongside acts like ZZ Top, plus tours of Russia, Spain and the Czech Republic. I also had two singles make Classic Rock’s Tracks of the Week, which was really cool.
Q: Which one of your songs means the most to you?
A: They all mean something in different ways. But the one I enjoy playing the most live is my track ‘Deal With The Devil’, which is a quick three minute blast of southern rock with a Black Crowes-Blackberry vibe. It’s probably the most difficult to sing of my tracks, but I like the challenge.
It deals with a number of topics, namely liars and cheaters, but also the search for a strong leader – which I think we can all relate to right now.
Q: In terms of your shows, what is your favourite track to perform live and why?
A: As I mentioned, ‘Deal With The Devil’ is a blast. At the moment though I’m really digging playing the new stuff from my next solo album, which is due out later this year. The first single is called ‘Justified’ and will be out later in the summer. It’s heavier than anything I’ve done before and is just pure energy. That’s a lot of fun to jam on.
Q: What kind of music were you brought up listening to?
A: My dad was a massive Rolling Stones and AC/DC fan, so that has had a lasting effect. But my mum was always into Motown and spinning those records, which definitely gave me a sense of melody and strong choruses.
Q: What’s been the most memorable time of your musical career?
A: Right now. It feels like everything has been building to this point and all the experiences I’ve had over the last five years, both good and bad, have been for a reason. Let’s hope it doesn’t come crashing down!
Q: What else do you have in store for the rest of this year?
A: My band will be heading to Brazil on a three week tour in support of my new album, plus dates in France, Germany, Spain, and the Czech Republic. I’m also playing at Planet Rockstock in December which will be a blast.
Q: Where can people find out more about you and your music?
A: Check out my website www.jackjhutchinsonmusic.com
Q: What does the J in Jack J Hutchinson stand for?
A: That would be telling…
Find out more: Jack J Hutchinson’s Acoustic Blues Showcase