Kindred Spirit Band - Paul Critchfield

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I  listen mainly to classical music - in particular Bach choral music, Delius  and English composers such as Finzi, Vaughan Williams, Warlock and Butterworth.  There are no musically-inclined musicians in the immediate family other than a  great uncle who was a concert pianist in his early life. However, I was motivated to learn harmonica at primary school in the 1950s when I heard another boy playing one during playtime. I  also acquired a very cheap old guitar at about age ten (which  had a string set up high enough to slice a boiled egg), and set to  learning  two or three chords from Bert Weedon’s Play In A Day manual (because that’s all there was then).  Armed with these - and four noisy younger sisters to escape from - I sat on the stairs and learnt ‘Worried Man Blues’ which was in vogue on the school bus!) and much from the Kingston Trio’s catalogue. My dad said ‘You won’t  get anywhere doing that’.  He was right, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

      During my teens and early twenties, I  haunted the White Horse Folk Club and other such venues local to Reading, performing English folk ballads and songs (much in the style of Martin Carthy who I much admire), and renderings of Davy Graham and John Renbourne stuff.

      In the 1970s,  due to the influence of an old school friend (Jon Stockwell - who sadly passed away many years ago), I acquired a fondness for the North American music scene at that time, went electric, and messed about playing things by The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers etc. -  but  my  only claim to fame then was backing Marty Wilde for a couple of songs at a village fete he was opening!

      For the last thirty years,  I have played nearly every style and genre of music (blues, soul; jazz; rock ’n’roll, country, ceilidh, you name it) as a solo performer, in duos and as a member of groups -  sometimes bass player, sometimes drummer, sometimes guitarist  and I love them all.

      My history with the closed order which is the Argonauts began in 2005 when Pete Cox, our eminent guitarist, with whom I had played in a band we formed in the mists of time, asked if I could provide my PA to enable the group to deliver play a ‘comeback gig’. Thus I became their sound engineer for the night. I was then promoted to driving the ‘tour bus’ and other general duties prior to acceding to a dark suit and full membership after the demise of the previous bass player, Garry Jones. A meteoric rise then!