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"im not a big one for anniversaries' says chris jagger, 'but in the brew ha ha revolving around the Rolling Stones and 50 years i realised it's 40 years since my first record came out.Not that he recognises that was a earth shattering event, but the point is that he has stuck by it with various digressions over the years and is ready to show he ain't finished yet with a new collection of songs entitled Concertina Jack.
'The character in the saga happens to be an old rellie of mine who upped sticks from Dartford leaving 12 children behind and took a sailing ship down to Australia. He entertained people between being a baker, by playing the old squeezebox, down at the pub and out in the hop fields of Kent so he sounds interesting, and I thought i would write a song about him.my Uncle Horace reckons he might have been running away from creditors, but thats not definate.....'Whatever the case Chris enlisted brother Michael to sing the chorus about their ancestor and he also willingly sings in another tune called 'Pearl of a Girl."
The album was recorded in France at said brother's place because, as Chris puts it, ' I knew the band would be down there like a shot enjoying the atmosphere and making a good record into the bargain.' Chris and Charlie Hart wrote the songs, aided by drummer Malcolm Mortimore and his son Jim Mortimore who produced the record as well as playing bass and guitar.Other notable appearances are by their old guitarist in Atcha' Ed Deane who now lives in Ireland and Bobby Keys and Tim Ries who play horns with the Stones.
'I grabbed them right before the Stones appeared at the O2 as Charlie lives in Lewisham right next to the O2 and I drove them there just in time for the soundcheck!' Chris recalls.The old records made in the 1970's have recently been re issued on CD and contain songs which are not entirely shabby. 'One tune was called 'yesterday's sun' about our dependence on oil and the problems caused, so not much has changed there in forty years' Chris remarks.
In the USA record man David Geffen released the albums so Chris was on the same label as Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell. Faces manager Billy Gaff had signed Chris up and for a while it looked like there might be some good progress, blues singer Long John Baldry recorded one of Chris's tunes and Rod Stewart was thinking about it too, but it was not to be. Chris carried on all the same and its a testament to his belief in himself and by other musicians who supported him that he can look back on some seven albums with some satisfaction in that they contain songs that many people including his brother, Bob Geldorf and Dave Stewart have admired for the lyrics and content.Chris continues to play a lot across Europe, in Germany, Austria, Italy and Holland where people like the music he presents and his on stage show, altogether different from his brother but entertaining and humorous in the Jagger tradition. 'Its quite a name to live up to' Chris admits, 'but then it's a good benchmark too and many people forget that my brother is a good songwriter above else.I write different songs because we are really quite different personalities. Musicians like new tunes to play because that gives music an originality. A cover band is OK but too predictable. It's hard to come up with a new twist but we have done our best with 'Concertina Jack' and I think it succeeds in parts.The new record made last summer by the band featuring 11 new songs and titled Concertina Jack after a great uncle of Chris' who left his home and children to sail to Sydney, Australia around 1880. It also has brother Michael on backups and on another track 'diamonds and pearls.' the record is quite bluesy and zydeco influenced, many tracks recorded live.concertina jack ready for pre xmas release.....finally.All things being equal....says chris, we should have this record out in the beginning of december and a short video to go along with the title track, so thats a good start.He admits the process has taken time but at this point it does need to be right.'Most everyone I have played it to thinks its great so hopefully that will be the general response.Chris hopes it will make a good stocking filler and knock One Direction off the top spot.