Gypsy Jazz guitarist Robin Nolan's new album Gypsy Blue will be released on July 30 via H.O.T. Records Ltd, the record label run by long-time Nolan musical admirer and friend, Dhani Harrison. Following a chance encounter with George Harrison's former gardener, who introduced Nolan's music to the Beatles legend, Nolan was invited to play at the Harrison family's Friar Park estate. The two guitarists hit it off immediately, both sharing a love of the music of Django Reinhardt. Nolan has gone on to become a staple at Friar Park parties over the years and with Dhani's shared appreciation of Robin's music it was only natural for Harrison to want to release Nolan's new album.
Gypsy Blue features twelve songs ranging from the upbeat title track, which opens the album, to the more contemplative jazziness of a song like "Snow", even tossing in some Spanish flamenco on "Paquito". The album also features a range of takes on established classics, including Led Zeppelin's "Rain Song" and Bob Dylan's "Buckets of Rain".
One particular highlight of the album is a track called "Ravi", a Beatles-esque composition which Nolan says is not just a tribute to the legendary Ravi Shankar, but also a nod to the Harrison legacy.
"Even though it's called 'Ravi' it's a whole melting pot of the feeling I get at Friar Park. I met Ravi there and played with him at George's wake, which was an intense evening, very emotional. So that song is inspired by Ravi, but is a blues basically and reeks of Harrison-there's a couple of things in it that sound very George. I do this kind of Indian slide, which is heartfelt and a mix of those two worlds," says Robin Nolan.
Robin Nolan has been around the world and back to find his wide-ranging musical style. His story begins in the psychedelic 60s no less, in an evacuation hospital in Vietnam, to be precise, where he was born in 1968, before spending his formative years in Hong Kong with his Liverpudlian father teaching him to play guitar. He eventually ended up at the Guildhall School of Music in London before having his entire perspective on music changed forever by a trip to the annual Django Reinhardt Festival in Samois-Sur-Seine, France.
1. Gypsy Blue
3. Dream of You
4. The Rain Song
5. Mokum Swing
8. Sweet Georgia Brown
9. Anniversary Song
11. Buckets of Rain