THE SOUTHERN COMPANION
Genre: Country and Americana
Band: Darren Hodson (Vocals/Guitars), Simon Johnson (Guitars/Vocals), Stuart Ross (Bass/Vocals), Lee Maycock (Keys) and Olly Richmond-Jones (Drums/Vocals)
Location: Lymington, Hampshire. UK
Discography: Short Stories & Tall Tales (2011), 1000 Days Of Rain (2015)
Record Label: Streets Productions Ltd (Independent)
Awards: BCMA album of the year 2016 and BCMA Horizon award 2016 (Best newcomer)
Although The Southern Companion is a new name to most people, the band's collective CV is long and varied. Their sound carries with it the weight of extensive touring and studio experience gained through years as session players for a wide range of other artists such as Rumer, Lana Del Rey, James Morrison, Lulu, Pete Townshend (The Who) and Jon Allen.
Following on from the debut album "Short Stories and Tall Tales', the latest record "1000 Days of Rain" sees the band comfortably established in their own British take on the Americana and Country genres.
When asked about the band's sound Darren describes it as "a big old blending up of all the great music I love, Americana/Alt Country Folk & Roots meets classic British Pop Rock, a Mid-Atlantic sonic whirlpool where the US&UK currents meet." Influences include Tom Petty, Del Amitri, Jason Isbell, Ryan Adams, Ray Lamontagne, Jackson Browne, The Allman Brothers, The Band, The Black Crowes, The Beatles, The Stones, The Faces,.....we could be here all day!!!
Darren is honest about why it's taken him until well into his 30's to record his "own" material after many years as a sideman/back line member in various different bands.
"As a younger man I thought of myself as a guitar player that sings a bit, I loved singing but never had much love for my voice or my writing. The songs I've always gravitated towards sound like they come from a genuine place, from people who have lived a little. It feels odd to say that now, after many years performing everywhere from intimate "house gigs" to 20 strangers, in noisy, packed bars where you have to fight for every pair of ears, to a sold out 02 Arena opening for Bon Jovi, I've got to a place in my life with enough years and experience under my belt where I have an unfamiliar confidence in my songwriting and my ability to deliver the story. I write about real life, I feel like I have something to say that real people will relate to"
That "something" in Darren's own words.. "Countless shows, endless miles, hundreds of songs, changing bands, plans, vans and aching hands. Near misses and death wishes. False starts and broken hearts, blank pages and lonely stages. Blind faith and blind drunk, hangouts, hang ups and hangovers. Self doubt and not selling out. Blood, sweat, tears and beers. Cheers everyone, mine's a large one".