HERE’S a pop quiz: what links Rolling Stone Keith Richards and Wrexham guitarist Stewart Jones?
The answer is they both play on Revelation, the new album from reggae legend Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.
But while Richards only features on one of the tracks – Book of Moses – Stewart, from Rhodfa Ganol in Johnstown, plays on three songs.
The 43-year-old has been involved in music for more than three decades and has a long relationship with Jamaican-born Perry as well as the album’s producer, Steve Marshall.
Stewart first met them in the 1980s when he was a session musician in London.
“It was great to be asked to play on this new album,” he said. “The feel is roots reggae. I’m more of a folky blues player myself but I have all kinds of different influences and can adapt well.
“It is great to be on the same CD as Keith Richards. The man is such a legend.”
Richards had already recorded his part so Stewart did not get to meet him – although he plans to invite the Stone to perform a set in Wrexham to “see what happens”.
Stewart said: “I’m told that they sent someone round to pick Keith up to come to the studio. When the driver got to his house there was no reply at the door.
“He went to see what was happening and it turned out Keith was in his front room with the headphones on listening to Buddy Holly.”
Stewart was the last guitarist to put his music down for Revelation, travelling to Somerset for the recording.
His playing can be heard on the title track, Run For Cover and Weather Man.
He said: “There were three tracks for recording, but I was finished in just four hours. We were very pleased with the way everything went, it just flowed.”
So how does he find working with the famously eccentric Perry?
“When it comes to recording he is definitely in charge and knows what he wants. He also has a very dry sense of humour.
“The man is considered to be a reggae icon.
“He’s in his 70s now but still has lots of energy.”
Stewart has built up an enviable collection of guitars through his time in the music industry and says his favourite is a tobacco sunburst-coloured Fender Stratocaster.
And he has plenty of projects on the go to keep him busy, including teaching budding guitarists and working with the Wrexham-based Paul Sturman Band.
He added: “At the moment we are really busy playing gigs and recording sessions. There are plans for a CD to be coming out.”
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