“Awash with wit, lust and distraction... one of the most inventive Blues recordings ever made by a British artist.” MOJO****
“A rare combination of cleverness and craft.”
**** (Excellent) PENGUIN BOOK OF BLUES RECORDINGS
It has been said that had Siegal been around in the sixties he would today be accorded the same reverence as artists such as Van Morrison and Joe Cocker. Instead, he is a child of the seventies who dropped out of art college in the late eighties to go busking in Germany. From the streets of Berlin Siegal progressed to clubs around Nottingham, then to London and ultimately to major stages around Europe.
Two successive European tours (2003/4) opening for ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings brought him to the attention of a wider audience. Wyman also invitd Ian to record with the Rhythm Kings. This was followed by UK tours as a duo with Big Bill Morganfield (son of Muddy Waters). During this time Siegal was also capturing the hearts of audiences in Holland, Belgium, Austria and Hungary. In 2005 he topped the Soul/Blues/Jazz charts in Holland and in 2006 he debuted in the USA, appearing at major clubs and the Waterfront Festival, the largest music festival on the West Coast.
His 2005 album “Meat &Potatoes” has been universally praised and gained Ian a maximum four star (excellent) rating in the Penguin Book of Blues Recordings – one of only two living British Blues artists to gain this distinction. Meat & Potatoes has since been re-released as a double disc pack together with the DVD of his stunning performance at the North Sea Jazz Festival, where he played the main stage as one of three UK artists (the others being Jamie Cullum and Joss Stone).
Born in the deep south (of England!) in 1971, Ian's earliest musical memories are of the likes of Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis and Chuck Berry. This led him into a life-long passion for the Blues and all of its various branches, and most of all, the inimitable Muddy Waters.
“I cannot remember not knowing about Muddy Waters, even as a child,” says Ian. “His music and that of Howlin’ Wolf have been a huge influence on me.”
At 16 he began to roadie occasionally for his cousin's band and one night, quite unexpectedly, he was asked to sing. The result was a blown-away audience and a delighted (and rather surprised) young vocal talent with a career ahead of him.
It was 2 years later that he picked up a guitar and taught himself to play. At 20 he dropped out of art college and travelled to Berlin, busking for a living. This is where he says his playing dramatically improved as, if he didn't make money, he didn't eat! By the time he returned to England he knew that a career in music was the only one for him.
A visit to Nottingham resulted in a five-year stay and Ian's first band became one of the most popular on the local music scene. He quickly showed himself to be a gifted songwriter with a deep understanding of tradition, but with an eye on the future.
Moving to London to further his career was inevitable and Ian was soon an established part of the London Blues community. That’s where today’s Ian Siegal band was born.
Many gigs followed, along with a number of appearances with American artists. He has also sung with other bands, notably The Lee Sankey Group and can be heard on the album "Tell Me There's a Sun".
Appearances on larger festival stages followed - such as Edinburgh, Lugano, Peer, North Sea Jazz – establishing him as one of the most natural, exciting and vibrant talents on the scene today.
Each year the stages get bigger, but what sticks most in Ian’s mind is his guest appearance with 92 year old Pinetop Perkins and some of the other remaining members of Muddy Waters’ band. This was at London’s Jazz Café in 2005 to a packed house. Then at a festival in Norway, in a role reversal, these legends of post-war Blues spontaneously joined Ian on stage for what turned into a memorable hour long set.