Bobby Long, who plays the Upstairs Stage at the World Café Live at the Queen (500 North Market Street, Wilmington, 302- 994-1400, www.queen.worldcafelive.com) on January 24, is a young singer from Wigan, England who built up a solid fan base in America before he even released an album here.
Long, who now lives in New York, continued to add to his fan popularity with his two albums on ATO Records — “A Winter Tale” in 2011 and “Wishbone” in 2013. Now, he is ready to add more listeners to his ever-growing cache with a new album that is fresher than a tray of tea biscuits still hot from the oven.
“I just finished my new record five days ago,” said Long, during a phone interview last Friday from his home in New York. “I just got the masters back today. I did a pledge campaign to fund the album and then recorded it in Austin, Texas.“I did my last album in L.A. and the one before that was recorded in London. I’ve been lucky enough to move around. Recording in Austin was a bonus. I love the town. My manager had a client who recorded there and was really pleased with the result. So, he suggested I try it.”
Long cut his new album in Austin at The Congress House recording studios with highly-acclaimed producer Mark Hallman whose resume includes work with Carole King, Hot Club of Cowtown, Dale Watson, Ani DiFranco and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Long also has some of his songs in a new short film that’s playing the festival circuit called “See Seven States from Rock City.
“Mark is a great guy,” said Long. “He’s really good working with solo artists. He’s a multi-instrumentalist — drums, bass, any instrument. He was really good working with someone like me. I’d bring the song in and then we’d build it up together.
“I took 20 songs down there with me. I recorded my bit live and then we added to it. There was a connection there. We worked really fast — try this, yeah, let’s try this — we didn’t muck around. I played guitar, sang and did harmonies. He had a sound engineer who played slide.
“I was looking to play bass on the album but Mark is a great bass player. The big thing I really, really liked — when I have a brain wave, I have to finish it. He likes to focus on one track at a time until he gets that track nailed. So, I was able to concentrate on one thing at a time. I definitely felt he was on the same level as me.”
Not only is Long’s new album fresh, so are all the songs.
“I’d say 90 per cent of the songs were newly written,” said Long. “There is a diversity of songs. With the last album, we wanted to make sure there was a definite line running through — a thread.
“This time, there’s more versatility. We used a harmonium. We used a mellotron on another track — and a Hammond B-3. But, all the kids are from the same house. We cut the album in September in 10 days. We just announced the title — ‘Ode to Thinking’ — and are looking at an April/May release.
Long’s show is scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and $17.