The music world loves a good story and Finlay Morton has a cracking one: he's a former audio engineer at 10 Downing Street whose first job was Margaret Thatcher's leaving speech in 1990. As stories go, this one must be unique! Following that, Morton travelled the world with subsequent prime ministers including Tony Blair, John Major and Gordon Brown before concentrating on his first love, music.
Born and raised in Aberdeen, Morton taught himself to play his brother's guitar at the age of ten before playing in several hometown bands as a teenager, moving to London "dreaming of stardom and large recording contracts". When neither materialised, Morton decided to get "a proper job" which is where the number 10 connection comes in.
Having recorded some demos, Morton met Pip Williams, a producer for The Moody Blues, Status Quo and Kiki Dee, resulting in his first album, 2006's Interpret This. This was followed a couple of years later by Back To Basics which was well received in the US, resulting in three headline tours and a host of ideas for the new album, Harvest The Wind, which receives it's UK release on 16th March. Radio 2 presenters have been getting behind this with comments from Huey Morgan ("Finlay makes great music") and Alex Lester ("My audience loves Finlay's music".
Harvest The Wind brings together Morton's rock, folk and blues influences to create a classic sounding album shot through with gospel and country music. The largely guitar led tracks complement Morton's gravelly voice - you can't help noticing the similarity to the voice of Chris Rea. As mentioned, the album is a mix of classic rock tracks and some country style blues. The stand out rock track is Don't Cry for Corporate America, a scathing critique of what we would call fat cats, which has a great hook, you'll find yourself singing it for days. Another great song is Do You Believe in Ghosts which features Genesis's Steve Hackett as guest artist. Morton says that recording with Steve was the high point of his career so far.
However, for me, the best tracks on the album are those with a country / blues twang; the best is the classic country story song Babe You Can't Have My Guitar and here is Morton performing this a few years ago:
This video is from 2009 and shows that the songs have been around for a while which is evident from the polished sound of the album, remixed by Adrian Hall of Simply Red, Alicia Keys and Ray Davies fame.
Harvest The wind by Finlay Morton is released on 16th March 2015 and is available on iTunes and Amazon.