WHEN people of the calibre of Nanci Griffith cover your songs and invite you into her band you know you have made it to the top.
That is the privileged position Clive Gregson finds himself in these days.
The former frontman of Any Trouble and one-time musical partner of Christine Collister is a name to be reckoned with in the guitar-playing singer-songwriting world.
His song, I Love This Town, was covered by Griffith and received no fewer than 5,000 spins on Radio 2.
To further his place at the top of his professional tree, he can also list Mary Chapin Carpenter as a fan after she recorded We’re Not Over Yet.
But Gregson is a consummate perfomer and tourer.
And that wanderlust and desire to play to fans all over the world brings him to South Yorkshire in a week’s time.
He has written over 250 songs and has more than 20 albums of original compositions to his credit.
He is also listed as one of Guitar Player’s 1000 great guitarists.
While touring with Richard Thompson, Clive made a solo album, Strange Persuasions, with Christine singing backup.
The two began performing as a duo on the club circuit and created Home and Away, a mostly-live album that went on to sell more than 75,000 copies. It contains several of Clive’s classics: Home Is Where The Heart Is, Touch And Go and Northern Soul.
The album was followed by Mischief, A Change in the Weather and Love is a Strange Hotel before constant touring took its toll on Gregson-Collister and they decided to go their separate ways after one final album, The Last Word.
Since then, Clive has featured on countless albums and played as a session musician in the UK and America, while releasing a string of solo albums.
He has become as well known for his musical collaborations as for his solo work, working with Eddi Reader, Richard Thompson, Boo Hewerdine and, of course, Griffith.
Clive was also a member of Plainsong with Ian Matthews and Andy Roberts and has the distinction of having replaced legendary guitarist Albert Lee in The Crickets, for whom he wrote I Think I’m Falling In Love.
New album Bittersweet was recorded in Houston, Texas and Bournemouth and mixed in Manchester. Released on Fullfill Records this month, it features 14 new songs, ranging in style from rock to folk to country and ballads, all written and produced by Clive.
Recorded in Houston, Texas and Bournemouth and mixed in Manchester, it features Clive with Mark ‘Griff’ Griffiths on bass and Any Trouble’s Martin Hughes on drums.
Clive Gregson is at the Rock@Maltby, Wesley Centre, Blyth Road, Maltby next Friday. Tonight’s guest will be Martin Simpson.
THE acoustic scene’s leading duo Show of Hands visit our area tonight for a show at the Winding Wheel.
CHRISTINE Collister is at the Beehive, Harthill, near Sheffield tonight.
JEZ Lowe and the Bad Pennies are at Chesterfield Folk Club, next Friday.