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Troy Redfern on new album 'Invocation,' Touring with Philip Sayce & More | Interview

Published 3 months ago on May 4, 2024

By Jonathan Graham

Troy Redfern on new album 'Invocation,' Touring with Philip Sayce & More | Interview

Hot on the heels of his superb 2022 release, 'The Wings of Salvation,' blues-rock slide guitarist and singer-songwriter Troy Redfern returns with a sneak peek of his upcoming album 'Invocation.' With a release date yet to be announced, Jonathan Graham sits down with Troy at his latest London show in this exclusive Guitar Interactive feature.

From the outset, Troy Redfern's approach to the guitar and blues music has been characterized by authenticity and a profound understanding and respect for its rich heritage. Growing up listening to iconic blues artists such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Robert Johnson, he absorbed the essence of the genre, internalizing its emotive storytelling and expressive guitar techniques. This early exposure laid the foundation for Redfern's own musical exploration and development.

Taking up the guitar as a teen, Troy quickly absorbed his musical influences of the early blues pioneers and the energy of the 70s and 80s rock icons. The turning point came when he discovered open tunings and slide guitar.

"I immediately felt like I'd come home the moment I put a bottleneck on my finger and started playing slide; it instantly felt completely natural to me. This style of playing helped me find my true voice on the instrument."

His talents quickly realized; he received endorsements from Ernie Ball Strings, Magnatone Amplifiers, and Airline Guitars, and even has his own signature glass blown slide made by world-renowned slide manufacturer Diamond Bottlenecks, whose roster includes the who's who of slide guitar luminaries, including the likes of Mark Knopfler.

Redfern's breakthrough came with his debut album, 'Backdoor Hoodoo,' which was released in 2015. The album served as a powerful introduction to his distinctive style, blending gritty blues riffs with a contemporary sonic palette. The title track, "Backdoor Hoodoo," exemplifies Redfern's ability to channel the spirit of the blues while injecting it with a modern vitality. The album received critical acclaim, establishing Redfern as a rising force in the blues genre.

As Redfern continued to evolve as an artist, subsequent albums like 'Dirt Blues Ritual,' (2016) 'The Fire Cosmic' (2019) and 'The Wings of Salvation' (2022) solidified his reputation as a formidable blues-rock guitarist. 'Dirt Blues Ritual,' in particular, showcased his ability early on to navigate various blues subgenres, incorporating elements of delta blues, slide guitar, and even hints of psychedelia. The album's raw, gritty sound and Redfern's impassioned vocals drew favourable comparisons to blues legends while also establishing his unique voice within the genre.

'The Fire Cosmic' marked a further exploration of Redfern's sonic palette, incorporating elements of rock and alternative blues. Tracks like "Waiting for Your Love" and "Sanctify" demonstrated his versatility as a songwriter and performer. The album received praise for its rich production and Redfern's ability to seamlessly blend genres — creating a sound that was both nostalgic and contemporary.

One of the defining aspects of Troy Redfern's artistry is his commanding presence on stage. His live performances are electrifying experiences that captivate audiences and showcase his exceptional skill as a guitarist. Armed with a resonator guitar and a soulful voice, Redfern delivers each note with passion and authenticity, creating a visceral connection with his listeners. His stage persona reflects a deep reverence for the blues tradition, coupled with a desire to push its boundaries while bringing it into the contemporary music landscape.

Carving out a name for himself by relentlessly touring and blazing a trail across the main stage festival circuits in the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, and Russia, and sharing the stage with the likes of Robert Plant and Dr Feelgood, Troy has worked tirelessly to build a strong following of diehard fans who gravitate towards his passionately honest, fiery performances and visceral slide guitar playing.

Beyond his solo work, Troy Redfern has collaborated with various artists, contributing his signature guitar work to diverse musical projects. His collaborations highlight his adaptability and willingness to explore new musical territories while remaining anchored in the blues tradition.

In addition to his musical achievements, Redfern's commitment to the blues extends to his advocacy for the genre. He actively supports initiatives that promote blues music and its cultural significance, recognizing the importance of preserving and passing on this musical heritage to future generations.

Featuring what is expected to be his strongest material to date, Redfern's album, 'Invocation' will drop in 2024, following his successful Kickstarter Campaign late last year to coincide with the powerful new single, "Getaway." Produced by Dave Marks and mixed by Jo Webb. The new single features Troy Redfern (guitar, vocals), Paul Stewart (drums), and Dave Marks (bass).

On "Getaway" and the forthcoming album, Troy explains, "I wanted to write and record songs that were bigger and ballsier than what has come before," says Redfern. "The new songs embrace more of the rockier elements of my writing and playing. I've also given myself the creative freedom to explore and feel out other styles or aspects of my writing that have not been heard on any of my other albums."

"As an artist, I feel it's important to keep pushing and striving to refine your art while staying true to your vision, Continues Redfern. "It is important to know who you are as an artist, and on Getaway and the upcoming album, I think I have finally perfected my own contemporary signature sound."

Getaway is a slide guitar, rock 'n' roll tour de force. Lyrically, it deals with themes of freedom and knowing when it's time to leave a bad situation. It's undeniably Troy Redfern full circle blues rock and roll! "Getaway is about cutting yourself some slack," adds Redfern. "It's about transforming your life, even if there are difficult decisions to be made. As they say, from the mud grows the lotus."

On the successful Kickstarter campaign, the British blues guitarist and singer also shared the following message:

"After the overwhelming success of the Kickstarter-funded 2022 "Wings of Salvation' album, and the incredible support I received from 'you' the backers of that project, I decided to waste no time in getting to work on the follow-up record.

My amazing experience working with producer Dave Marks, drummer Paul Stewart ( The Feeling ) and mixer Jo Webb on 'Wings of Salvation' meant that these guys were the logical choice to work on the new record. I knew that as a team, we could really build upon the stylistic foundation we'd created making 'Wings' and would be able to take that to the next level in terms of writing and production.

Now that the album has been completed I can say without a doubt that we've upped the game in every respect! The songs are stronger, the production is dialled in, and I absolutely can't wait for you guys to hear it! This album feels like an evolution from 'The Wings of Salvation'."

If the new single "Getaway" is anything to go by, the rest of Troy Redferns Invocation album will be a true blues-infused powerhouse — and we, for one, can't wait to hear more.

For more information on Troy Redfern, visit:

troyredfern.com


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