Adapting the classical guitar technique that he learned as a youngster to the traditional music of the United Kingdom, Paul Downes has gained a reputation as one of England's top acoustic instrumentalists. Together with fiddle/mandolin/guitar player, songwriter and vocalist, Phil Beer, a childhood friend, Downes provided the instrumental strength behind the Arizona Smoke Revue. Formed by ex-New Christy Minstrels and Limelighters banjo/guitar player and vocalist Bill Zorn, in the early-1980s, the Arizona Smoke Revue's 1981 album, Thundering On The Horizon and single, "All Fall Down" b/w "Border Song", featured Richard Thompson on guitar. Downes and Beers continued their collaboration as Downe And Beers, a folk group with whom they toured throughout Europe and the United Kingdom and contributed to countless recording sessions. Active in rugby, soccer and cricket as a child, Downes spent hours studying classical guitar. Although he performed his solo recital at Westminster Abbey shortly after his sixteenth birthday, he turned his attention to British folk music soon afterwards. Downes currently works with Anglo/Irish roots band, the Joyce Gang. He also continues to perform as a soloist. Working with producer Mick Dolan, he recorded his debut album, Directly, at the Manor House in Lympstone.
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