Cropredy’s most famous resident, musician Joe Brown, will make a guest appearance at Fairport’s Cropredy Festival next month as he cuts short a self-imposed hiatus.
The legendary musician will be back on the road in September for an 84-gig UK tour with a brand new band and long-time stalwart, drummer Phil Capaldi.
After a career spanning six decades Joe decided it was time for a break but his unfettered passion for music and performing got the better of him.
“I said to my manager, ‘I’ve never really had a break so I’m going to take a year off.’ I’ve been going stir crazy. Every time I open the fridge and the light comes on I do 20 minutes.”
Joe made his Cropredy debut way back in 1986 and has been a friend of the bands ever since.
Joe said: “Dave (Pegg) asked me to get up and sing a song, because he’s a friend I said, ‘Sure I’ll get up and sing a song.’ I said, ‘What do you want me to sing?’ and he said, ‘What about Picture of You?’ which was my only number one song. I said, ‘Sure’ and he was over the moon.
“I love playing music this is what I do. I’m learning to play the fiddle because it’s a challenge to me, I love a challenge.”
Since moving to Cropredy several years ago Joe has immersed himself in village life and says he couldn’t be happier.
“ I have never been so happy. This is a great village for music. This village is fantastic. I have never lived in such a close community before.
“We’ve got the most amazing neighbours. All around this village we go out for meals with various people. Our next door neighbour is a great cook, in fact they’re all great cooks. It’s a social nightmare.”
At 78 years Joe’s enthusiasm for music shows no sign of diminishing and his infectious passion for creating and performing music is gaining him a new group of fans.
Joe said: “About 15 years ago I used to peek through the curtains into the audience and there would be a sea of pink and blue hair. But now it’s guys in middle age bringing their kids, it’s great.”
Despite a lifetime of performing in some of the most prestigious venues in the country Joe still gets pre-performance nerves.
“I get just as nervous playing in a village hall as I would playing the London Palladium.
“You can’t go out there steaming in confidence or else you’ll soon get knocked on your backside.
“I did a little gig for our local mechanic who wanted me to go and play for some friends in the vintage motorbike club, so I went down and played for half-an-hour and they were over the moon but I was worried sick about it.”
Joe will also be performing with Fairport Convention during their warm-up show on Tuesday, August 6, at Banbury’s Labour Club.
For more information visit www.fairportconvention.com