Dave ‘Bucket’ Colwell

Bad Company, Humble Pie, Samson & Bucket & Co.

Over a career that has spanned nearly four decades, Dave ‘Bucket’ Colewell has carved out a reputation as one of the world’s most respected rock guitarists, producers, musical arrangers and prolific songwriters, a reputation that by no easy road has recently earned him a place in the Harrod’s Guitar Hall of Fame.

Gear Magazine recently caught up with Bucket at the start of his UK tour to promote his new album Guitars, Beers & Tears, a testament to many years of hard work on the road as right hand man in the guitar seat for many of the world’s iconic rock and roll bands, including Humble Pie, Peter Frampton, Samson, and as a long-time member of Bad Company.

“After 35 years of playing for everyone else,” Dave explains, “I really wanted to write and produce my own album, and include some of the friends and peers who I’ve performed with. It took about three years to get everyone together but once we had a working schedule, I sat with a blank canvas and literally wrote all the songs in ten days. All the tracks are new except one, which I compiled for Iron Maiden some 20 years ago. I’ve just changed the timing here and there on this version.

«There are twelve lead vocalists guesting on this album, including Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden, Steve Conte from the New York Dolls, Edwin McCain — who’s worked with the likes of Steve Earl — Thunder’s Danny Bowes and Spike from the Quireboys. So I penned a dozen tracks, with each one to suit the style of each vocalist. All the songs have a great bluesy feel, which blends with my guitar style perfectly.»

Dave continues: «I’m really pleased as each song stands up on its own, and as I also produced this album, I could more or less do what I desired with the content. It’s certainly guitar influenced, with full-on arena rock songs, soaring vocals and rich harmonies. But I also wanted dynamics and some light and shade. Somebody To Love, for example, is a song I wrote in Nashville and features just two acoustic guitars with Robert Hart on vocals. He was in Bad Company during the mid ‘90s.

«A lot of these songs are anecdotes, really, of life on the road. I practically live from hotel to hotel, I’ve always got a guitar and a bag packed. I’ve just written a song called ‘I Sing My Letters Home’ which almost sums it all up. «While we were recording the album, I had an interesting call from the Berkeley School Of Music in Boston. They asked if I would consider using one of their students, one Seth Romano, as a guest vocalist. I was obviously a little sceptical, so asked for some vocal samples to be sent. I received a host of demos via YouTube of Seth singing a Led Zeppelin song.

«I was so inspired, I wrote a song that morning called Why Can’t It Be, hopped on a plane to Boston and recorded him straight away. It’s now one of my favourite tracks on the album”

Recording techniques have certainly changed with the force of modern technology, proving invaluable for ‘Bucket on the hoof’.

Vintage ICON V52MRBS
Vintage ReIssued VR100CR