A new album from veteran blues guitarist Bernie Marsden is about to hit the turntables.
Buckingham-born Bernie, whose name already appears on roughly 100 albums, sees his new compilation, Shine, released on Monday.
In addition to a long-running solo career, the 63-year-old Tingewick resident has been a recording musician since the early 1970s via membership of such groups as Whitesnake, UFO, Wild Turkey, Babe Ruth, Paice Ashton & Lord, Cozy Powell’s Hammer, Alaska, M3 and many more.
Though there’s a tendency to pigeonhole him as a blues-rock guitarist, each of Marsden’s acts had its own individual flavour.
While Shine is released on Provogue Records – home of Joe Bonamassa, Eric Johnson, Robert Cray, Jonny Lang, Walter Trout and others – Bernie insists Shine is not a dyed-in-the-wool-blues album.
Bernie said: “To me, it’s a classic rock album with a modern feel.
“When I asked the bosses at Provogue what type of album they wanted from me, they simply replied: ‘Make a Bernie Marsden album’.
“And that’s what I did.”
The light, airy commercial feel of Shine is largely attributable to producer Rob Cass, who pieced together its contents in Studio 3 of the legendary Abbey Road facility, though the backing tracks for three of its selections were cut at Riverside Studios in Somerset.
During the 1980s Cass actually spent six months as the lead singer of Marsden’s group Alaska before carving a career as a successful producer with a wide range of rock, pop and classical artists.
It was Cass who sought out Marsden, emailing him to suggest they catch up over a reunion lunch at the home of his production company, located at Abbey Road Studios.
“Rob wanted to thank me for having sent him an air ticket to come to London from Ireland [to join Alaska] and helping to get his career under way,” said Bernie.
“Coincidentally, I was looking for a producer because I’ve been writing, playing and producing for too long.
“I really liked the sounds that Rob gets, and that’s how the whole thing came together.
“If people think I was recording at Abbey Road because Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again made 18 gazillion quid then they’re quite wrong. Though it did make 17 gazillion quid!”
Bernie believes the famous facility has a very special atmosphere, and the album’s final instrumental song is titled NW8, after the studio’s postcode.
“The Beatles recorded Revolver, my favourite album of theirs, in Studio 3, so it has that sense of history,” he said.
“But I honestly believe Abbey Road to be the best studio in the world.”
Shine features some very well-known names, from Joe Bonamassa to Whitesnake singer David Coverdale and the Deep Purple duo of Ian Paice (drums) and Don Airey (keyboards).
Jimmy Copley of Jeff Beck fame is behind the drumkit and Mark Feltham of Nine Below Zero supplies some breathtaking harmonica playing.
Bernie said: “I can’t help it, I’ve got a lot of mates – and quite a few of them are guitar players.”
Bernie is touring extensively in 2014