A thriving record label is looking to raise the national profile of new musical talent from across Wiltshire.
Rob Dady, 45, of 208 Records, of The Common, Holt, believes the county has a lot of great bands waiting to be discovered.
Musician Mr Dady, who moved the 208 label to the area last year, after working mostly in London, has signed bands from all over the country, but he thinks Wiltshire artists have more passion.
He said: “Since we’ve moved to Holt, we’ve seen a lot of great musicians.
“I went to Holt’s Old Ham Tree Inn, for an acoustic night, just after moving here, and I met two great guys Julian Pugsley, who records as Blake, and Terry Sheppard, who is like Wiltshire’s equivalent of Seasick Steve. They were top class.”
Mr Dady, whose label has released 14 albums for a variety of musicians, has already helped the two artists he met at the Old Ham Tree further their music careers.
He now backs Mr Sheppard on live gigs and has helped Bradford on Avon singer-songwriter Blake with his forthcoming album, Being Human, which is due for release on April 15.
Blake’s album was inspired by, and dedicated to, Italian peace activist and journalist Vittorio Arrigoni, who was murdered in the Gaza Strip.
Mr Dady said: “Discovering untapped talent like Julian is what this label is all about.
“His music is well-written, produced, played and sung, and above all has integrity.
“It’s good to find artists who are engaging with what is going on in the world right now. That political edge seems to have been lost in a lot of modern music.
“I came into music in the mid-1980s, inspired by the Mod revival from the film Quad- rophenia, listening to bands like The Clash and The Jam, and I think mainstream music has lost a lot to TV talent shows. I hope a golden age will return.
“But this is what is so refreshing about music in Wiltshire, in particularly Bradford on Avon and Holt.
“The artists are playing because it’s their passion and they love it, rather than expecting everything to come to them.
“I’d be so happy to hear from more local artists who want to send me CDs, or links to their music, as being in this part of Wiltshire is the most I’ve enjoyed myself musically for a long time.”
For more information, visit www.208records.co.uk.
Blake review in the week's Wiltshire Times