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Genres You Will Love
Moods: Featuring Guitar Folk: Fingerstyle Rock: British Blues Moods: Type: Vocal Avant Garde: Sound Art

By Location
UK - England - Yorkshire United Kingdom

Links
Official Website My Space page

Julian Socha

The first time I picked up a guitar I was maybe six or seven. Being left handed I played it upside down for a while, nevertheless from then on I was completely hooked. I played on and off for a few years until eventually I found myself a weekend job so I could take guitar lessons.

At fifteen I joined my first band: Wild Hooch. We played mainly classic 60's and 70's tunes but also some blues. Blues has always been my first love, especially delta blues. I was very inspired by slide players such as Blind Willie Johnson, Robert Johnson and Charlie Patton. Also the music of the Mississippi blues players such as Fred McDowell and RL Burnside.

By the time I was eighteen I was playing professionally in a band called Muffin. We played extensively in the UK and Europe. We played bars, we played working men's clubs, we played military bases and we played night clubs. We were supporting veteran bands such as Jerry And The Pacemakers, an invaluable experience and an excellent way to learn my craft.

In my mid twenties I moved to Sheffield and joined a band called Precious who were managed by ex Simply Red bass guitarist Shaun Ward. We gigged all over the UK and supported bands like Corduroy and The Lighthouse Family. We also opened for Wet Wet Wet at Sheffield Arena.

To broaden my experience further during this time I was also regularly working with innovative solo artists, DJs and musicians such as Future Loop Foundation. I was regularly playing live while also gaining valuable experience in the studio. This was an essential learning curve for me and really encouraged me to develop my own writing.

I then headed for Liverpool where I joined the band ManBreak. This turned out to be another major opportunity and a real honour to work with some great musicians. We toured Europe with bands like Smashed Mouth. At some of the larger European festivals we found ourselves on the same bill with artists as varied as Beck, Run DMC and Chumbawamba.

In 1999 we recorded our second album 'Asphalt Culture' on the seminal label One Little Indian (one time home of Björk). The album was jointly produced by Bill Laswell (Sly & Robbie, PiL, Axiom Records etc.) in New York and Stephen Lironi (Altered Images, Creeping Bent) in London. We received many favourable press reviews. The single Dark Age was single of the week in The Guardian newspaper while also gaining prolific Radio 1 airplay. Round about this time I was also working for Granada TV, writing and producing title and theme music for a variety of programs and ads.

Sadly ManBreak decided to call it a day so I then spent sometime playing guitar professionally on cruise ships. I played a wide variety of styles including pop, jazz and solo guitar. It was at this time that I decided to develop my career as a solo artist.

In 2005 I made a trip to the Dobro Festival in Slovakia and completely fell in love with the place, the people and the music. The music in particular had a huge impact on me and began to influence my own writing and direction. In 2008 I moved to Slovakia and formed a lasting friendship with the esteemed blues musician Peter 'Bonzo' Radványi. He invited me to play with his band: Bonzo And The Resonator – which included a number of established musicians from all over Slovakia. I was fortunate enough to build a fan-base for myself on the Slovakian blues scene and was able to play all over Slovakia at venues and festivals large and small.

Although I am now back living in the UK I still maintain strong ties in Slovakia and play there often, along with The Czech Republic.

Around 2009 I recorded my first solo album 'Hiding Place', a collection of acoustic instrumental pieces which was shortly followed by my second album 'Light Exposure', again a collection of acoustic instrumentals.

I recorded my third solo album 'Who Is The Man' in 2012. This album started off as an acoustic project but grew to include many new finger-style guitar pieces, along with some vocal numbers and some songs I produced with a full band treatment. My aim though was still to keep the overall feel minimal and, organic' sounding.

My fourth album is called 'I'll Never Know' and is a collection of blues and country both vocal and Instrumental, with touches of the seductive sound of Slovakian folk.

Living back in the UK has enabled me to establish myself on the thriving acoustic live scene. Although I love recording, playing live has always been my first love. The immediacy and intimacy are vital to organically develop as a musician.