Moody Blues Frontman Justin Hayward

Justin Hayward

Justin Hayward, songwriter and lead singer with the Moody Blues, takes a rare turn away from the band with his new release Spirits of the Western Sky, his first solo effort since 1996′s The View From The Hill. Some 10 years in the making, Spirits of the Western Sky is appropriately cinematic, touching on the Moody Blues’ signature classic rock-meets-classical sound — something Hayward himself had no small part in constructing — even while it takes in fresh new elements from bluegrass to dance music.

Hayward's career as a solo artist began in 1977 with the release of Songwriter, which displayed a somewhat leaner and more lively, acoustically textured sound than his work with the Moody Blues. He followed this up in 1980 with Night Flight, a major departure from his work with the group, with very much of a belated disco sound. During the next several years, Hayward devoted much of his attention to the revived Moody Blues, who had a full touring and recording schedule in front of them. His Moving Mountains (1985) was strongly reminiscent of his earlier work with the band from the start of the 1970s. Since then, when he is not working with the band and writing new material (his "Your Wildest Dreams" reached number nine in America in 1986), Hayward seems to devote his time to reviving older Moody Blues songs in solo settings, as on the 1994 release Classic Blue in which he sings Moody Blues songs with orchestral accompaniment. A guitarist of great skill and a unique sound, Hayward has remained one of the few stars of the 1960s who retained a devoted international following into the present.

Mike Dawes is a young steel string guitarist from the South of England.

Since discovering the music of Pierre Bensusan at an early age, Mike has been completely dedicated to the guitar (along with the more obscure music that comes with it).

Currently residing in the South of England, Mike has been stunning audiences and critics with his guitar playing since 2008. His music often defies description, taking influence from Celtic, Rock, World and Popular music.

"I've always been inspired by open tunings and fingerstyle players. My earliest musical memory was my Godfather playing Bensusan on his lovely Lowden O35."
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Mike Dawes - Acoustic Magazine 2010

Mike has performed alongside, and in support of some of the world’s most highly respected musicians, including:

Seth Lakeman
John Renbourn
Tommy Emmanuel
Pierre Bensusan
Erik Mongrain
Julie Felix
Thomas Leeb
Antonio Forcione
Guthrie Govan
Martin Harley/Martin Harley Band
Pino Forastiere
Trace Bundy
Petteri Sariola
Chris Wood
Robin Williamson
Jon Gomm
Karima Francis

....and many more!

Mike's debut single with CandyRat Records went viral instantly, with the likes of Gotye, Beardyman and Andy Mckee reposting the video. His music has been featured on the front pages of Reddit, Gawker and Collegehumour whilst MSN.com featured Mike at the top of their homepage, sandwiched between The Queen and Barack Obama.

Performance highlights include the International Guitar Festival, The Komedia Theatre and a headline concert on the Acoustic Stage at Tommy Emmanuel's 'Tommyfest', where he shared the bill with the Frank Vignola Trio, Gordon Giltrap and of course, Tommy Emmanuel.

He has been featured in numerous international publications including Guitarist, Acoustic and Acoustic Guitar magazines. His music has been played on BBC Radio, whilst being featured on international airwaves from Canada to Japan. 2010 saw Mike embark upon a 44 date UK tour, including shows at the Acoustic Festival of Great Britain, Exeter Guitar Festival and Arts Centres nationwide. Keep up to date with his busy schedule online via the 'Live Shows' tab.

Armed with a slightly less-than-sane attitude towards music, 2 wooden boxes and an ever persistent attitude, Mike Dawes is a world class musician with a fantastic reputation. Watch this space for news of his upcoming solo release, new videos and exciting tour dates.

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Rams Head On Stage

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Moody Blues Frontman Justin Hayward with Mike Dawes

Saturday, August 3 · 8:30 PM at Rams Head On Stage

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