Paul Carrack

Great Britain

When Paul Carrack (photo credit: Lena Semmelrogge) left school at the age of 15, he had only one goal in life: to play in a band. In an astonishingly varied career, the singer, songwriter and self-taught multi-instrumentalist, born in Sheffield, England in 1951, has travelled millions of miles to realise this dream.

At the age of 19, Carrack founded the psychedelic rock band Warm Dust as an organist. They released three albums between 1970 and 1972. His personal development took place after he joined the band Ace. Here, Paul Carrack is not only to be found on the keys, but also appears as a singer and composer. His composition “How Long” was the band’s biggest hit in the mid-1970s, but the band broke up in 1977.

Zusammenarbeit mit Brian Ferry und Roxy Music

Carrack then worked for a while with the country musician Frankie Miller. His collaboration with Brian Ferry’s Roxy Music on their album “Manifesto” was a special engagement. Paul Carrack was a session musician on two further albums by the British pop icons. In between, he released his first solo album “Nightbird” in 1980. In 1981, he began another band engagement with Squeeze as keyboard player. Carrack sings their best-known song “Tempted”. However, this was only a brief interlude and was followed in 1982 by another self-recorded album, “Suburban Voodoo”.

While the solo projects were still characterised by limited success, Paul Carrack was gaining an increasing reputation in music circles. He worked with Nick Lowe, played keyboards for The Smiths on their debut release (1984) and the piano on “Learning To Crawl” by The Pretenders (1983). Carrack’s most popular career moment came in 1985, when he accepted a request from Genesis bassist Mike Rutherford to join his new band Mike & The Mechanics. Hits such as the Grammy-nominated “The Living Years”, “All I need is a Miracle” and “Over my Shoulder” followed, the latter written in collaboration with Mike Rutherford.

The single “Silent Running”, interpreted by Paul Carrack, developed into a worldwide hit. Not to mention the fact that the Eagles cover another song they wrote together, “Love Will Keep Us Alive”, and win a prestigious Ascap Award for Song of the Year. None other than Diana Ross covers Carrack’s song “Battlefield”, co-written with Nick Lowe, and as a sought-after studio musician, he works for decades with Elton John, B.B. King, Ringo Starr and countless others, culminating in an invitation from Eric Clapton to join his touring band.

In 1986, Carrack also worked with Roger Waters’ formation The Bleeding Hearts Band on the soundtrack for the film “When The Wind Blows”. This collaboration is supplemented on his 1987 album “Radio K.A.O.S.”, on which he takes on vocal parts and keyboard work. In the same year, Paul Carrack achieved his greatest success to date as a solo artist, with the single “Don`t Shed A Tear” reaching number 9 in the US charts. His albums “Winter Wonderland” and “A Soulful Christmas” were released with the SWR Big Band in 2005. At the end of 2006, the first compilation summarising Paul Carrack’s career stages followed: “The Story So Far – Greatest Hits” is a successful compilation that wonderfully documents the range, diversity and timelessness of this warhorse. Whether as a songwriter, singer or producer – Paul Carrack’s class is undisputed.

Paul Carrack and the SWR Big Band 

Paul Carrack’s new cover album “Don’t Wait Too Long” with the SWR Big Band & strings celebrates the era of 50s music and spans the spectrum from rhythm & blues, gospel and country to jazz. With songs such as “Trust in Me” (Etta James), “Crying Won’t Help You” (B. B. King) and the contemporary title track “Don’t Wait Too Long” (Madeleine Peyroux), the album offers great variety. Carrack on the collaboration with the SWR Big Band: “Over the past 15 years, I’ve had the pleasure of working on a number of projects with the SWR Big Band. It has been a great experience in many ways and has broadened my musical horizons. With this album, I wanted to bring the repertoire and feel a little closer to my own musical roots of soul, pop and classic R&B.” The production of the album took place during the 2021 coronavirus pandemic: The SWR Big Band was recorded in Stuttgart, Paul Carrack was unable to be present on site due to travel restrictions and was connected live from London. The vocals and Hammond organ were recorded using overdubbing technology.

Since the turn of the millennium, Paul Carrack has experienced a real upswing with the founding of his own Carrack UK label in 2000 and the release of “Satisfy My Soul”. He has quietly built up a huge, loyal fan base who not only buy his albums but also turn up in their thousands to his extensive tours: because they love his high quality, accessible pop-soul with unmistakable hooks and lyrics that say something about all our lives. The audience at the Blacksheep Festival finally has the opportunity to experience this versatile British musician live.

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