And early Spring 2001 it was when Proud Mary first appeared on the scene.Proud Mary’s first single Very Best Friend was just a small taste of the infectious songs that the band had to offer. Limited copies were released on one sided 7” vinyl and later followed by another limited single in the form of All Good Things.
The two singles were just a taster of the band’s glorious debut album The Same Old Blues which was produced by Noel Gallagher in just ten days and released on Gallagher’s very own Sour Mash records in the summer of 2001. Records these days are too often described as timeless but this debut offering was one which was truly that. The influences of Dylan, The Rolling Stones and The Faces were there to be heard yet at the same time the band had managed to create a rock’n’roll record that touched the heart and fed the soul of the current generation. Singer Greg Griffin’s vocals left you with hairs standing on the back of your neck and Paul Newsome’s song writing was so touching and personal that you almost felt part of the songs themselves. It was so easy to feel a true connection with what was a genuine rock’n’roll band playing songs about their lives and their dreams.
The album was well received and as a result the band went on to secure support slots with none other than Oasis, Neil Young, The Stereophonics, Paul Weller and Ocean Colour Scene. This not only introduced many new fans to the music of Proud Mary but it helped to shape the band into the formation that it is today, a class live act.
The 2nd album Love and Light included the indie chart hit Mexico and features work from Andy Rourke (The Smiths) and Gordon Raphael (The Strokes). A more experimental album than their debut, the tracks mix soul, blues, gospel and of course good old fashioned rock’n’roll, and if youve seen Proud Mary live then you’ll have to love Hats Off – right?
After relocating to Los Angeles and setting up a film, publishing and music company City of Angels, Paul and Greg recorded solo albums, Electric and Palms + Glass Bottom Boat respectively.
Since they first started out a lot has changed in the world of Proud Mary. Members have been and gone (but remained close), and travelled (and lived) in many different parts of the world but what has always stayed strong is the powerful nucleus of Paul and Greg. The passion to play and make quality music and to explore new directions have emerged to make new record “Ocean Park” another classic.
Shades of old are there to be heard along with more recent influences including… well, work it out for yourself!…
The superb new album is currently available on City of Angels via web website and iTunes.
As we write Proud mary are in rehearsals for their Spring/Summer UK tour and looking forward to catching up with old friends and making many new ones!