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Boo Hewerdine (b. 1961, London) is an English singer-songwriter. His work includes lead singer and creative force behind The Bible, formed in the 1980s, and reformed in 1994, as well as solo recordings and work for film. He lives in Ely.
Hewerdine (born Mark Hewerdine) moved to Cambridge as a child, and as a teenager formed the short-lived Placebo Thing with a friend. He left Placebo Thing to join The Great Divide. They were signed to Cambridge Independent Label Wimp Records by local entrepreneur David Gowar, and recorded and released their debut single "Who Broke The Love Bank". They were heard by Mike Scott of The Waterboys, who recommended them to Ensign Records, who bought out their contract with Wimp, and they subsequently cut three commercially unsuccessful singles on Ensign. In 1985 Hewerdine, working once again in a record shop in Cambridge, formed The Bible, recruiting jazz drummer Tony Shepherd. They released an album of songs through the independent Norwich label Backs Records called Walking The Ghost Back Home.
The Bible became a fairly successful independent band, with a cult following spread mostly through word of mouth and live performances. Two tracks from the first album, Graceland and Mahalia were released as singles, but did not achieve very significant sales. The album however was very well received by music pundits, and this brought the band to the attention of Chrysalis Records. Signing to Chrysalis, Graceland and another track, Honey Be Good were (re)released as singles, and reached the lower end of the UK singles chart. A new album, Eureka followed, but failed commercially. In 1990, Hewerdine decided to leave the group and pursue solo projects. Calum MacColl and Neill MacColl from the group went on to form Liberty Horses.
At around this time Hewerdine met US "new country" singer Darden Smith, and this set him off in a new direction. Working together, he and Smith released a collaborative album, Evidence. Hewerdine also worked simultaneously on new solo songs, largely based on his earlier traumatic experiences in London. Eventually these were distilled down to produce the Ignorance album, released in 1992. Invited by Tori Amos to play support promoting these songs, Hewerdine managed to find a new audience and Ignorance and a single from the album, History, did relatively well commercially.
As Hewerdine's star rose, he started to write for other artists, among them Eddi Reader, Clive Gregson and Christine Collister. The Bible reformed for a tour in 1994. Further solo album releases followed, such as 1996's Baptist Hospital and 1999's Thanksgiving. Meanwhile Hewerdine was asked by long-time friend Nick Hornby to contribute music to the soundtrack for the movie version of his book High Fidelity, whose subject (working in a record shop) was also very close to Hewerdine's experiences.
Hewerdine continues to write and perform his own songs.
Harmonograph was released on MVine/Red Grape Records in February 2006, is a collection of his songs written for other artists such as Eddi Reader and Hepburn, recorded by Hewerdine for the first time.
Toy Box Parts I and II are two EP CD's released in 2008.
God Bless The Pretty Things, was released in 2009. Recorded in Glasgow these are effortless, simple folk-ish tracks with a some Boo applied.
In 2011, Boo teamed up with US guitar legend Brooks Williams to form the band, State Of The Union. Their plan was to record an album using vintage mics and equipment live in just 5 days. After a day and a half they realised they had finished. Recorded in the order you hear on the record, the aim was to capture the sound of two guitarists and singers from completely different backgrounds working together in harmony. The result was even better than they had hoped for. They had gathered and written material over last summer when their busy schedules allowed. Hewerdine has had his songs recorded by such artists as Eddi Reader, kd Lang, Jerry Douglas, Kris Drever, Heidi Talbot (more than 400 of his songs have been recorded). Over the course of 17 albums Williams has secured a peerless reputation as a songwriter as well as being recognised as one of the world’s best guitarists. They found that they had a natural writing chemistry and material came in abundance. In fact plans are already afoot for a second album.
State Of The Union played their first gig to a very enthusiastic crowd at the 2011 Ely Folk Festival, and they've just confirmed a date at next year's Celtic Connections on 24 January 2012. The album is being released in April 2012 on Reveal (Joan As Policewoman, LAU etc.) and Boo and Brooks will be touring from April to June 2012.
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