Nigel Slater - a brief history.
Nigel started playing guitar at the age of 9 after his father brought home a Harmony Rocket semi acoustic in 1975. As a curious child, musical instruments could not be walked past without Nigel trying to get a tune from it - be it a keyboard or stringed instrument. He pestered his parents for music lessons at a local guitar studio which specialised in classical guitar.
As the lesson was on a Saturday afternoon at 4.00pm, Nigel soon lost interest in reading music as it interfered with wrestling on World Of Sport. Mick McManus won as Nigel's parents bank balance lost to the tune of £200 for a classical guitar.
The next couple of years went by and he didn't touch the guitars in the family home, but Val and Bill (Mum and Dad) were big fans of country music and weekly watched groups on the scene such as Bakersfield from North Manchester, Royston Jones and Easy Listening and a very popular Liverpool group called The Hillsiders.
Nigel soon found his ear again and would be trying to copy the tunes from his record player to his fingers with as most players did. It wouldn't be long before Nigel got asked to perform the popular tune Apache by The Shadows on stage with the group Bakersfield, as they had become good friends of Bill and Val.
His Father had become part of a duo at this point (Alan Ford country duo), and played lap steel in the pubs and clubs around East Lancashire. Nigel helped out on occasional gigs with the duo playing bass on the old Harmony which wetted his appetite more for the stage.
Bill took Nigel to see an early 70's Gibson SG at a shop and he shook his head and pointed to the Fender Stratocaster in the corner and still to this day is his preferred maker of instrument. Nigel's love for country music left him into his teenage years and Squeeze (Cool For Cats) soon replaced the twang of a Telecaster in his life.
The music took a back seat as Nigel turned 21 and took his class 1 driving licence, and the career as a HGV driver took him to various destinations of the country as it still does working mainly night shifts for 27 years. In 2002 Nigel contacted a local singer who was looking to start a duo and Blue Rodeo was born with Paul Taylor singing lead vocal and Nigel playing lead guitar and backing vocals. The lure of the country twang hadn't left Nigel and soon found himself enjoying being back on stage.
Truck driving commitments and an ever increasing diary made Nigel take the decision to take a back seat again in 2006 until in 2012 he decided to go it alone solo after the encouragement from his partner Joanne that he has a voice as well as a guitar player.
Nigel hasn't looked back since going solo and the diary is filling daily thanks to Black Cat Promotions.