Jerry’s fiery guitar crosses seamlessly over from blues to jazz with a burning rock edge. He creates incredible textures with his trademark use of the guitar synthesizer, and his vocals are filled with soul and commitment, all together creating impressive interpretations of cover material and original songs.
Jerry has recorded and/or toured with:
Below are some of the artists that I have been lucky enough to work with on stage or in the studio (in no particular order):
Procol Harum, Chris Rea, The Beach Boys, Barbara Dickson, Tony Hadley, Ray Davies,
Peter Green, Sherman Robertson, Andy Fairweather-Low, Sarah Jory, John Parr, Love Affair, Jan Akkerman, Miriam Stockley, Duanne Eddy, The Grants, Ike and Tina Turner, Elaine Paige, Cliff Richard…
Production, recording or C.D. mastering work:
Dr. Feelgood, Miriam Stockley, Chris Rea, The Hamsters, Sax Appeal, Dave O’Higgins, Barbara Dickson, Lance Ellington, The Jazz Sluts, The Minipops, Spitting Image, Gillette, Tony Hadley…
Jerry Stevenson – Biography
I started to play professionally in the early seventies and did what most young players were able to do at that time, which was plenty of jingle and demo work as well as gigging in several bands. Eventually I played on some tracks for an IKE and TINA TURNER album alongside Albert Lee.
I then joined a recording band called KING HARRY and was signed to EMI in 1974. The band recorded one critically acclaimed album but they never toured. I was then asked to join ENGLISH ASSASSIN with ex Mott the Hoople singer Nigel Benjamin, and we recorded one album for Arista. We also did a tour supporting ‘Judas Priest’ (blimey – that was ROCK!), I wrote or co-wrote most of the material for the album and also co-produced it. Nigel left, and the group eventually became THE UMPIRES a three-piece band performing my songs. We recorded a single for Warner Bros. under the name of ‘Tusk’ and toured as support to Paul Young’s band ‘The Q Tips’ to promote the single at the time. This was about the period that I got my first guitar synthesiser., a love affair that has stayed with me! We also had the pleasure of playing a couple of gigs as PETER GREEN’s band during one of his planned comebacks.
Mainly concentrating on my song writing, I continued to play some sessions for people like RAY DAVIES (the Kinks) and record a lot of demos for my publisher Bright Music, both of my own and other writer’s songs. I also co-wrote quite a bit of material with STEVE HILLAGE, which I don’t believe has ever seen the light of day. During this time a recording contract had been set up with Nick Mobbs’ company ‘Automatic Records’ for my own material, but the company unfortunately crashed before the album was finished.
From about 1982 until 1991 in addition to my other work, I was also continuously gigging (sometimes eight shows a week!) with my old friend Barry Sibbett on drums, firstly Pete Shaw and then Kevin Miller (from the Style Council) on bass, in ‘Gambler’ another three piece playing all kinds of cover material.
In 1983 Pete Shaw and I joined CHRIS REA’s band. Pete left but I stayed on, touring and recording extensively for 18 months or so, and I appeared on his album ‘Wired To The Moon’ and the single ‘I Don’t Know What It Is But I Love It’ amongst others. Chris recorded many of his demos with me in my home studio at the time. I then played guitar and recorded many of the tracks in my studio for the children’s cover albums ‘The Minipops’. They perhaps seem a little dodgy now, but they went double platinum at the time! It was a very interesting project, as the originals had to be copied in every last detail.
In 1987 I was recommended to BARBARA DICKSON, and toured and recorded with her almost continuously for many years, appearing on several albums and her ‘Live at the Albert Hall’ video concert, which I also helped to mix. She later recorded one of my tunes for her album ‘Coming Alive Again’. In 2002 I also played a private concert with her in front of the Royal family and friends as a surprise for the Queen’s birthday. It was an acoustic show accompanying Barbara and ELAINE PAIGE.
Around 1989 I was asked to record and produce DR. FEELGOOD, and I mixed their single ‘Milk And Alcohol’ as well as their album ‘Live In London’.
In 1990, BE SHARP was formed with Bob Jenkins and Dave Bronze from Barbara’s band so that we could continue to play together when Barbara was not touring. Our first live album came to the attention of GUS DUDGEON Elton John’s producer. He asked me to play guitar for THE BEACH BOYS on the ‘Two Rooms’ album of Elton’s songs and later the whole of Be Sharp (with Andy Brown on bass) went on to work with him on several projects.
Be Sharp has performed or recorded with quite a few different artists over our time together. Notably blues man SHERMAN ROBERTSON, ANDY FAIRWEATHER-LOW, SARAH JORY, JOHN PARR and guitar legend JAN AKKERMAN, who toured Holland with us as his musicians.
In 1991 I went to Los Angeles to record the album ‘State Of Play’ with TONY HADLEY from Spandau Ballet and worked with famous producer Ron Nevison. I ended up playing alongside STEVE LUKATHER on some of the tracks, which was great! In 1992 bass player Dave Bronze left B#, but he asked me if I would be interested in working with PROCOL HARUM as he was also playing on their latest recording project. I ended up doing the entire ‘Prodigal Stranger’ album with them playing all the guitar and mandolin parts, with ROBIN TROWER putting on a few solos at the end. Dave also introduced me to legend DUANE EDDY who he had toured with sometimes. Albert Lee had been doing his gigs, but was unavailable as he was working with the Everly Brothers, so I took over for a time, playing on the same bill as legends The Crickets, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. Around about that time I started engineering and producing for ‘THE HAMSTERS’, and since then have recorded and/or mastered most of their output over the last 18 years.
During all of this and continuing up to the present day I have played sessions for many performers like Cliff Richard (for his musical Heathcliff), Michael Ball, and session work with Quo producer Pip Williams for The Grants and Richard O’Brien amongst others, either on my own or with the other guys from Be Sharp. I have also appeared on albums by wonderful singer MIRIAM STOCKLEY, and have done quite a bit of mixing and C.D. mastering work, both for her and for other artists, for example: Lance Ellington, Sax Appeal, Dave O’Higgins and The Hamsters. The recording and engineering work interests me greatly, and I continue to play sessions when asked, but live performance is still my absolute favourite.
I play a unique guitar that my father and I built rather a long time ago. It has the Roland GK2 synthesiser pick-up installed. I also sometimes play a Fender Strat plus Deluxe, but I have changed the pick-ups and tremolo. It also has a custom shop neck and a Roland GK2a synthesiser. pick-up that I fitted myself.
I used a Roland GP100 preamp for ages, but I am currently using a Boss GT Pro processor. I have recently got a Fractal Audio Axe-FX2, and at the moment I am working to incorporate this. The guitar synth I’ve been using forever is an ancient Roland GR50. This rack gear is all switched by a Rocktron ‘All Access’ midi pedal with various controllers. My wah, distortion and other effects are all generated by the GT Pro and controlled by midi. I am either using a Soundman Stereo 50 watt valve power amp into custom made cabinets fitted with 15″ JBL speakers, or 2 valve combos that I built years ago fitted with the same JBL drivers. I have also recently been involved in the development of some fantastic guitar software called “S-Gear” by Scuffham Amps- creating patches and recording sound clips. Check it out at www.scuffhamamps.com …
The band uses an RCF P.A. system with 15” subs and 12” + horn tops with a total power of around 2200 watts. We use a Yamaha 01V digital mixer and Shure Beta 58a microphones.