Celebrating 40 years as a professional musician Steve Tilston is one of our most celebrated song-smiths; widely recognised within the world of folk and contemporary music: the words, arrangements and subtle, quite superb guitar playing could be no one else.
The writer of the classic songs The Slipjigs and Reels, Here’s to Tom Paine and The Naked Highwayman, his song writing was praised by John Lennon no less.
Born in Liverpool and raised in the Midlands, Steve made his recording debut in 1971 with the classic An Acoustic Confusion and has been turning out quality albums ever since. Life by Misadventure, And So It Goes, Solo Rubato and Such and Such all featuring first-class song-writing, quintessentially English in style and typically Tilston, marking him out as one of this country’s finest writers. Whilst the instrumental Swans at Coole is testament to his guitar virtuosity. Though known as a songwriter, Steve has always had an ear for the tradition and included new interpretations of old favourites on his original recordings. Of Many Hands is his first “all-traditional” album paying homage to his roots, with unique arrangements of timeless classics. He’s also released a “best of” anthology, The Greening Wind and a live album Live Hemistry recorded on tour with Fairport Convention. On his 2008 album Ziggurat he deftly weaves his mastery on original songs of love, loss, war and gold, plus a couple of traditional gems, as only he can. His new album The Reckoning is out now.
He joined an illustrious band of guitarists including Martin Simpson, Michael Messer and Wizz Jones, when he was invited to contribute to the Guitar Maestro series of DVDs; a combination of live studio performance and interviews, revealing the real passion behind these talented musicians…If anyone ever deserved the moniker Guitar Maestro, it’s Steve Tilston!
A celebrated artist in Britain and abroad, winning accolades in Europe, Australia and the USA, his songs have been recorded by Fairport Convention, Dolores Keane, The House Band, Peter Bellamy, North Cregg, Bob Fox and John Wright. Here’s to Tom Paine is the adopted theme song for the Tom Paine Society of America and it’s been rumoured, has featured in Bruce Springsteen’s live set. His music has also featured regularly on radio and TV. Steve now lives locally and is part fo the Hebden Bridge folk aristocracy along with Becky Unthank.