Simplicity; that is the key, and also; honesty. If you take those two things and merge them together something very profound and beautiful is what will result. The music of, Albatross, (29 year old Adam Stockdale) focuses around this idea. In a world full of people trying their hardest to out-do each other in whatever way fashion dictates in that week, Albatross’, heartfelt and often philosophical songs offer some well needed relief. The masterly crafted tunes cut straight to the heart with lyrical themes rushing from love and life, but with added poignancy being brought to the table by the optimistic and inspiring message throughout. Often performed completely solo, accompanied by his astounding ‘finger-picked’ acoustic guitar, Albatross’ music is as real and honest as it comes. Like his heroes, John Martyn, Nick Drake and co. he understands that a truly great song will shine without fanciful dressing up.
“I have used a Para EQ for years and it has never let me down. Reliable quality at a reasonable price.”
The past couple of years has seen Albatross travelling the world over, playing a host of shows to audiences all over the world, many of these dates have been as support act for, Mumford and Son’s; a band with whom, Adam, feels a great kinship and on whose 2011 E.P "The Wedding Band" he guested on pedal steel. He has also been seen supporting the likes of Chris Thile, Johnny Marr, Ben Howard and performances at Telluride Bluegrass festival. His first release "Out From Under" was recorded in Cairns with Mark Myers from popular Ozzy band "The Middle East", (whose 2011 release "I want that you are always happy" Adam also played lap steel on). Out From Under features a number of guest performances, from local talent there and from both Nashville and London. Most notably Levi Lowery on fiddle, Matt Menefee on banjo, Bree Suzanne Tranter's vocals and Nick Etwell and Dave Williamson on trumpet and trombone. It was released just in time for Christmas 2013, and received a great deal of praise, form American Songwriter, The Bluegrass Situation, Communion Records and Daytrotter. It can be found on iTunes.
“The M1 is the best sound hole pickup on the market, warm and tight low end, easy to avoid feedback.”
Last year saw Albatross follow in the footsteps of so many British musicians; out to the States. Attracted by the musicianship and quality of records coming out of the town, he based himself in Nashville and has already played on a number of albums in town, and can be found regularly performing and collaborating with other artists in town (look out for The Whistles and The Bells). His pending release "Desperate Times Best Forgotten" (Set for release around the holidays once again) will be his first LP release and no doubt one you will surely be adding to your record collection. True to his British Singer/Songwriter roots, it is another delivery of articulate acoustic songs with thoughtful lyrics and ear pleasing melodies, but has captured the Americana/Bluegrass elements so akin to the town. Evolving from primarily solo performances, Albatross is more prone to Duo (Stand up Bass) and Trio (Fiddle and Banjo) performances. Keep your eyes peeled.
All this aside, I will end the way I started. We live in a world awash with fakery, confusion and pretence. Our lives have become whirlwind emotional rides that often leave us seeking and desiring pure and simple truths; enter, Albatross, with some of the most heartfelt, direct, hopeful and above all, incredibly beautiful music you are likely to hear these days. Spread the word and free the bird!
Written by English poet/playwrite/musician Derek Meins