"Tender Mercies" began with an invitation from legendary UK pedal steel guitarist B. J. Cole at an acoustic gig in London. B.J. liked what I was doing and suggested doing some work together along with some of his friends.... so began a band that became a cult name on the British country music scene.
Tender Mercies at Wembly Arena
Left to Right: B.J. Cole, Errol Walsh, Luce Langridge, Bob Loveday, John Bentley
The band consisted of some fine session players including Luce Langridge, drummer of choice for a huge range of touring American artistes like Don Everly, Floyd Cramer, Freddie Fender and many more..... as well as recording with UK guitar legend Bert Jansch.
Alongside Luce in the engine house was ex- Squeeze bassist John Bentley, and up front was myself, B.J. Cole on steel and Bob Loveday on fiddle. (Bob's credits include working with diverse artistes from Van Morrison & Jeff Beck to the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and Bob Geldof
Like my previous band, Coyotes, Tender Mercies fell between two stools to the extent that we couldn't get a gig in the mainstream country club circuit... 'too hip and bluesy to be country' and 'too country to be rock'n'roll'.
The nearest accurate label (I'm not a big fan of labels!) lay somewhere between 'Country Rock' and 'Americana'
(a label which later became fashionable and even cool!).
Tender Mercies' 'cult' reputation was pretty amusing for the band in that, despite playing notable festivals like Wembley etc, we were virtually pariah's in the mainstream country scene! The joke was that, in later years, hundreds of people claimed to have been huge fans and supported us en masse at gigs that we never played... funny in retrospect... but didn't help with paying the rent!
Consequently, other than a few lost demos, the band never recorded together... which was a real shame.
"Break for the Border" London