Kelvin Henderson

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b. 6 August 1947, Bristol, England. In the early 60s Henderson was influenced by Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Pete Seeger and, more specifically, Johnny Cash’s album, Rid This Train. He worked in Europe,…
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b. 6 August 1947, Bristol, England. In the early 60s Henderson was influenced by Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Pete Seeger and, more specifically, Johnny Cash’s album, Rid This Train. He worked in Europe, often busking on the streets, meeting his wife, Britta, and making two albums for Polydor Records in Sweden. Back in the UK in the mid-70s, he and his band built a reputation both in their own right and by backing visiting American performers such as Vernon Oxford, Red Sovine, Dick Feller, Jimmy Payne and Slim Whitman. His slow Movin’ Outlaw, for a supermarket label, Windmill, sold an estimated 100, 000 copies. Although Henderson is versatile, he is at his best with deep-voiced story songs such as ‘Pamela Brown’, ‘Saginaw, Michigan’ and ‘Hello In There’. His singing voice, which is far removed from his Bristol speech, combines Derroll Adams’ bottom range with Waylon Jennings’ cutting edge. Ironically, he recorded both ‘He Went To Paris’ and ‘Clyde’ before Jennings. His television showcase for UK country, Country Comes West, was hampered by a limited budget and his syndicated radio show, My Style Of Country, for the BBC in the southwest is amongst the most popular regional shows. He also promotes concerts of acoustic country music and, in 1991, he toured the UK with US country singer, Joey Davis. Henderson is an excellent interpreter of modern country songs and his own compositions such as ‘Big Wheel’ and ‘Scarlet Woman’ are not dwarfed in his well-chosen company.