IAN CAL-FORD & THE RAILMEN - OCTOBER 2008



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IAN CAL-FORD & THE RAILMEN - OCTOBER 2008

Postby wildrose » Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:03 pm

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Artist / Band Of The Month
October 2008
Ian Cal-Ford & The Railmen



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Ian Cal-Ford & The Railmen
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Ian Cal-Ford & The Railmen
Ian Cal-Ford and the Railmen specialise in the early sounds of Johnny Cash and many other artists from the late 1940’s thru the 1960’s.

Classed in a league of their own, they have played all the Major Festivals and clubs there are. Ian Cal-Ford has also extended his experiences to the USA.


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Ian Cal-Ford
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IAN CAL-FORD: Lead Singer and Rhythm Guitar
Ian Cal-Ford is the Lead Singer and Rhythm Guitar player with Britain’s Premier Roots Country Bands the Railmen. From an early age Ian was surrounded by big name musicians and their music. Whilst in this environment Ian began to pick up the sounds of Jimmie Rogers, Hank Williams through to Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard to name but a few. But it was Johnny Cash that made an impression on him as Ian’s Father, The late Cal Ford had experienced years earlier. Ian can still remember the first recollection of hearing ‘’Ring of Fire ‘’ in his living room as a young boy. Carl Perkins also played a big part in Ian’s musical development. The likes of Dave Edmunds and Mickey Gee would come to see Cal and play Carl Perkins songs until the early hours of the morning.

Glam Rock and Country Music
As a boy, all the kids of the time were listening to the 70’s glam Rock music but Ian stuck to what he liked and it was predominantly the Music of Johnny Cash and of course Cal Ford. As a young boy he would travel with his Dad around the country to watch his Father perform, often having to sleep in the back of a van or even a changing room or two. Ian recalls this being great fun at the tender age of just 7 years old. In travelling around the scene with his Dad he became familiar with the likes of Brian Golbey, Pete Stanley, The Wild Bunch, Al Docherty, Frank Yonco and the Everglades and many more. If Ian was not in school he would spend time with his Father as much as he could. If he was not on the road with him, his Father would bring home the supporting musicians from various shows to stay at their house. Ian quoted ‘’ these were amazing times, all the kids in our street would all descend on our house to listen to my Father play guitar to them’’ he was great. Ian also recalls watching his Father on TV many times and then having the kids in school getting his autograph. ‘’Those were precious times and ones I will always treasure’’ he says.

Growing Up
As time went on Ian grew up and at the age of 21 he joined the RAF and drifted away from what his Father was still doing. In 1996 Cal Ford succumbed to Lung Cancer having being diagnosed only fourteen days previously. This devastated Ian and of course his family. He had lost his hero and there was nothing to fill that huge gap. ‘’No-one to confide in and no-one to help me out in my troubled years ahead of me’’.Ian claims. Ian’s Wife Claire played a big part in the stabilising process that Ian had to go through after the Death of his Father. Ian decided that the name Cal Ford must go on and hence Ian Cal-Ford made a quick entry onto the Country Scene and has done his Father proud.
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Cal Ford with Johnny Cash

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Recording in the USA
He has recorded several very successful albums including Strapped for Cash and Goin’To Memphis. As a result of these albums which were a collection of Johnny Cash songs that Ian’s Father regularly sang, he was invited out to Memphis and Nashville to record further tracks and was then invited to perform at the Grand Ol Opry. ‘’That aint bad for a Merthyr Boy’’ he boasts. Ian has been lucky to stand alongside and work with the Cash Family and members of the Cash Band. He has toured with Tommy Cash and stayed at WS Holland’s house in Jackson Tennessee. Eddie Bond invited Ian to play at his theatre in Middleton Tennessee which was also a great honour.

Doin’ Time
Ian was also blessed with spending an evening in Starkville Mississippi jail, where Cash himself was once arrested and spent a night in the cell sobering up. Ian however, enjoyed his stay. He has also performed at the Overton Park Shell Memphis and recorded at Sun Studio and also Phillips International in Memphis. One of Ian’s highlights while in the States on one of his many visits, was to urinate on the gates of Folsom Prison. Marshal Grant has contacted Ian on several occasions to congratulate him on what he has achieved and recorded. Grant actually dislikes anyone who tries to be like Cash but has said that Ian Cal-Ford does it in his own voice and has that style that only Johnny had in his younger days, ‘’the kid’s got it just right’’ he says about Ian. It is an honourable thing to be recognised by the legends that started it all of and that’s exactly what has happened to Ian Cal-Ford. It has been said that Ian is somewhat arrogant, maybe so, sometimes big headed, may be so, pompous and even bombastic, well maybe so to that too but there is one thing that pours out of him and that is his generosity and passion for Country music that he displays every time he walks on stage. Just like his Father before him. When I interviewed Ian sometime ago in Dyess Arkansas, where Ian went to trace back the boy hood roots of Cash he said ‘’my Dad never saw me play, will never know what I have achieved in music, will never know what I sound like but I feel he’s always there telling me I’m doing it just right so keep it going son, my legend has gone but he’s not vanished he’s always with me I only hope he’s happy’’. I’m sure he is Ian. Keep it Real Country my boy. B.Boykin 2005





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Steve Tomsett
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Steve Tomsett: Lead Guitar
If there is one thing that all good performers need, it’s a good bunch of musicians to carry them along. Steve Tomsett is just that. He has had many people describe him and his ability to play the way he does, as genius. Ian uses just one word ‘’Perfection’’ it does not matter what song we play whether it’s Rockabilly or Country, Cash or Presley’’ This boy lays it down as good as they did. Ian met Steve at a small Pub in the town of Merthyr Tydfil some 17 years ago while Steve was playing as a Solo artist around the Pub scene in the early and mid 90’s. It was to prove a lasting and strong friendship to this day. Ian’s Dad always said that he wanted a guitar player that could play just like Luther Perkins, Steve Tomsett does that, he also plays just like Scotty Moore, Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. What more could a singer ask for in a guitarist? During his younger days Steve was an avid admirer of the works of Eddie Cochran, especially the country guitar pickin’ style of songs he recorded in the mid 50’s. As a result of this, Steve ventured into the Dark world of Guitar hunting and achieved his first goal. It proved to be his 1955 Gretsch Chet Atkins, the one he plays alongside Ian to this day. Throughout the Railmens existence they have only ever had one Guitarist and it is Steve that Ian says ‘’has given him such an identifiable sound’’ It does not matter what the song, when you hear Steve Tomsett play; you know it’s him before you see him. Steve has become a huge fan of the Guitarist Tommy Emmanuel and has seen him on several occasions, even to the point of Steve acquiring a signature model Maton Guitar, identical to Tommy’s. With such a diverse style and huge talent, Steve has stayed loyal to Ian Cal-Ford for all their time; it was the two of them that started the Railmen all those years ago. Probably the most unassuming and polite laid back guy you will ever meet. He is as solid as a rock and a perfectionist in every way. Steve needs to be congratulated on being the most if not thee most identifiable guitar picker to play on the British Country Scene in many years. He is also long time friend of Ian’s Fathers guitar player Lenny Stubbs. Lenny played for the Brakemen all through the 70’s and 80’s. It was ironic that Steve was to actually own the guitar that Lenny had when he played alongside Cal Ford for all those years. Ian has said many times that Steve is the only player the Railmen will ever have, why change perfection. The sound that so many crave for, Steve Tomsett has already got it. Keep hold of it Steve.

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Dave Greaves
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Dave Greaves: Double Bass
David ‘’Dusty’’ Greaves the Boy from Sheffield. He has been with Ian and Steve for almost Eight years and has added, that ‘something extra’ to the band, that only lovers of the early style country music will feel. He is by far the finest Bass Player in the UK today. He too has a unique style which actually comes from his Jazz roots. Dave has been playing for over 25 years and was the founder member of the Sheffield based Rockabilly outfit The Tennessee Trio. A very successful trio that travelled around Britain and Europe during the 90’s. Many people do not realise that, it was Dave who actually started the Smokey Mountain Boys along with Dick Taylor. As Dave was travelling around the Rockabilly scene he became good friends with Ian and Steve and eventually ended up playing Bass for Ian’s Studio band The Brakemen in memory of Ian’s Father. As a result of that, Ian asked Dave to join the Railmen as their full time Bass Player. Dave is the proud owner of several Vintage Upright Basses and since moving to Bristol he has become somewhat of a collector. On stage he uses a 1950 Artia Double Bass. He to has a unique sound that also enhances the overall sound of The Railmen which is absolutely essential with this style of music. Together Dave and Steve have given Ian the best possible sound that any musician in this field would be truly proud of. Marshall Grant commented on Dave’s bass playing when Ian met up with him in the States and passed on some live recordings from one of their shows. When Pinto Bennett toured the UK, it was Dave’s Bass that Pinto’s Bassist used for the whole tour. Dave also has a very unique stage persona, along with Ian’s whit and Steve’s unmovable presence they are a stage act to be revelled. They gel together like no other act around. Altogether, Ian Cal-Ford and the Railmen are an awesome trio, without doubt the best in their field and at the top of their game. Ian has Dave and Steve like Cash had Luther and Marshall. It doesn’t come much better than that. Keep smiling Dave.


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Contact Details:-

Telephone: Ian Cal-Ford: 01437 729038

E-mail: iancalford@msn.com

Ian Cal-Ford & The Railmen are the featured band on our http://www.bcmi-radio.co.uk October show
Wildrose Web Site (Copper Kettle & Broken Spoke Festival on this site)

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wildrose

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Postby LoneShark » Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:48 pm

Top class band led by the most honest and genuine of country music gentlemen, what he says is what he believes no matter what the consequences. Ian, Steve and Dave are what their genre of country is all about and once heard are never forgotten. It has been an honour to share the bill with them and call them friends.

If you want authentic, heartfelt country music, these are your men.

Good thoughts to all

www.brianhughesmusic.com
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Postby Chuck Micallef » Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:01 pm

When you think about all the miles that these guys have travelled to play gigs because they Love what they do, you would be hard pressed to think of a more deserving troupe of musicians to receive recognition and praise. It's pure dedication.

I first stumbled onto Ian Cal-Ford and The Railmen at The British Country Music Trade Fair just outside Bristol some years ago. I walked into the hall they started performing and I sat down and listened. Pure Country Music Magic. Their sound once heard is never forgotten.... it’s unmistakable mainly because of Ian's voice. Ian sounds like Ian and that's the way a great singer should sound. In my estimation Ian Cal-Ford and the Railmen are the best the U.K. has on offer for their particular lilt of "The Real Deal" Country Music.

And on top of all that Ian, Steve and Dave are a great bunch of guys to hang out with. What they don't know about the British Country Music scene ain't worth knowing I figure.

Long may they keep picking!
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Postby greenfeld69 » Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:55 am

Chuck Micallef wrote:In my estimation Ian Cal-Ford and the Railmen are the best the U.K. has on offer for their particular lilt of "The Real Deal" Country Music.


Hard to disagree on the evidence I've seen.
Check out my music: www.stevemccormick.co.uk

"The perfect antithesis to all those substandard British country singers...not only is he damn good, but he is different and distinctive." - Alan Cackett, Maverick.
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Postby countryrock » Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:22 pm

Well deserved guy's!

cant wait to have you play at Woolwich next year
DEE BOX
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Postby STEViE » Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:53 pm

Saw an' met Ian at this year's Americana. I'd been lookin' forward to meetin' him for some time. The band were so entertainin' on stage an' Ian came across as a most pleasant gentleman indeed offstage.

Ian, I look forward to grabbin' a beer or three with you next time our paths cross.
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Postby Ian Cal-Ford » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:29 pm

Thanks for all your comments guy. Its a pleasure to get the opinions of all of you.
Stevie, hope the Builth Wells show kiks off again. We were just north of there last night at a rural village hall. It was our Hillbilly Hootenanny show with Chuck Micallef, Dave Luke and Tommy Mills. It was a packed out event.
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Postby STEViE » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:53 am

Glad you had a great night. There's me an' a few mates playin' at Woking Football Club in the bar on Friday night supportin True Deceivers http://www.myspace.com/truedeceivers an' that's just about it for this year. But it's been a good'un an' next year's already shapin' up rather well too.

CHEERS !!
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