Down In The Hole - Shakin' Stevens
Our next LCM featured artist will be well known to most of you. The best selling singles artist of the 1980's and a very highly regarded platinum-selling British rock and roll singer. In the UK alone. Shakin' Stevens had 33 Top 40 hit singles including four chart-topping hits "This Ole House", "Green Door", "Oh Julie", and "Merry Christmas Everyone". His brand new album 'Echoes of Our Times' released in September of last year is a departure from his previous albums. It's a great piece of classic rock and blues & roots Americana. Our LCM #TrackOfTheDay is one of our favourites on the album 'Down In Hole'. With it's driving rhythms and a folk feel it remind us of 'Show Of Hands'. The song was written about perils and harsh conditions of Cornish mining.
This album has grown from Shaky’s realisation that, like most of us, he knew so very little about the background of his family - the stories of his ancestors’ loves and lives lost, and their struggles to survive. Research revealed tales of poverty and strife in the Cornish copper mines, of bravery and loss in war, of philanthropic preachers and stoic Salvationists, of children suffering and of family secrets and feuds.
In the 1890's, photographer J.C Burrow captured on film for the very first time what it was truly like within the depths of a Cornish mine. Even the miners themselves had never seen the mines with such clarity, and for some, it was too frightening. Tales are still told to this day by ex-miners of the many men who refused to set foot in the mines ever again after seeing this realistic portrayal of the place they had worked in, in total darkness.
Today, these images serve as a haunting reminder of the harsh and dangerous conditions that took the lives of so many young cornish men, but also as a testament to their strength, determination and ingenuity.
Shaky will shortly be embarking on a full UK Tour with the wonderful Danni Nicholls as his support. His London date is at the O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire on the 2nd May. Highly recommended by us :)