Having provided his guitar skills for the likes of Gorillaz and Noel Gallagher, singer-songwriter Jeff Wootton will set out under his own name with debut solo album The Way The Light which is released on 26 February. Ahead of the record – plus live dates at Manchester's Night & Day on 23 March and London's 100 Club a day later (24) – he's made Q a playlist of songs "that defined me and my album" entitled "Future sounds and protest songs".
Daniel Lanois – Opera "A fellow musician in search of future sounds and sonics. The latest LP Flesh and Machine is his quest to push boundaries of sonic’s and guitar music and I share the same quest on my record The Way the Light."
Steve Reich – Electric Counterpoint "A guitar inspiration. Electric Counterpoint influenced the guitar sounds on my record. I record various guitar parts and loop them, speed them up, slow them down to create a sonic foundation. Originally written in 1987, this piece requires a guitarist to prepare 12 overdubbed tracks and play along to the pre-recorded material."
Bobby Womack – Deep River "The voice, the soul, the man. The stage was his church and each night in Gorillaz before we went on stage he would say ‘Let’s go to church’ See you in church again Bobby."
Jeff Beck Group – Shape’s Of Things "A lot of people know The Yardbirds number but not the Jeff Beck Group version which I prefer. Their record Truth changed my life and set me on my journey with a guitar. I mean, a band with Rod Stewart on vocals, Jeff Beck on guitar, Ronnie Wood on bass and Micky Waller (one of the great session drummer’s) on drums! This record set the idea for Jimmy Page with Led Zeppelin, without this record - Led Zeppelin wouldn’t have sounded like Led Zeppelin."
Nic Jones – The Humpback Whale "The obvious choice for a folk guitar hero would of been Bert Jansch – whom I love – but I’ve decided to go for Nic Jones. His finger picking style and arrangement of folk standard’s are very unique and beautiful. Unfortunately in 1982 he had a car accident which ended his career as a touring musician. His records deserve to be heard."
Damon Albarn – Sunset Coming On "Damon took me to Mali to record a LP with his project Africa Express and it changed my life. If there is one way to feel inadequate as a musician go to Africa! Now it’s in my soul forever. I owe a lot to Damon in my musical career."
Gavin Clark – Never Seen The Sea "We sadly lost Gavin last year. He was a dear friend and we shared the same manager John Brice. Gavin was a pure songwriting talent and lyricist. Just before his death he made a record called The Evangelist which is finally giving Gavin the credit and recognition he deserved. His music can be heard across Shane Meadows films."
John Martyn – Small Hours "A beautiful example of a song built with future sounds and textures."
Bob Dylan – It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) "I nearly fell on the floor and gave up when I read the lyrics for this song. I put this on here in the hope that a young songwriter get’s into him early, I think a lot of songwriters these days get into him too late on."
Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come "My favourite soul voice of all time, without him soul music as we know it would of been so different. He also did my favourite live album ever, Live At The Harlem Club and Bobby Womack was a protégée of Sam. According to Bobby, Sam thought this song was too ‘gloomy’ and never really performed it live but it became an anthem for the American civil rights movement and is one of the greatest songs ever."
David Axelrod – Holy Thursday "The most sampled guy in hip hop, check out the track The Edge also for the Dr Dre sample. The musicianship on this track is outrageous! It features Carol Kaye and Earl Palmer, one of the greatest bass players and drummers ever."
Graham Nash – Chicago "A fellow Salfordian and hero, Nash has written some beautiful songs over the years. It was hard to pick one but I chose this one about the democratic riots in Chicago in the 60’s. Nash reaches out to his CSN bandmates to join him in protest."
For more head to Jeffwootton.net.