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SPIKEdrivers

Audio Clips

Stop Breakin' Down

Hey Hey

SPIKEdrivers founder Ben Tyzack's personal delta encompasses Iowa City, Charleston, Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. These were the places he grew up in and they can still be found in his music. The railroad yards near the family home in Iowa City provided the band's name as well as a playground for the young Ben Tyzack and his friends. Spikedrivers were the men who drove the spike that hold the steel rails to the wooden ties and songs such as Ghost Train Shuffle stem from these early memories.

The charm, elegance and manners of the archetypal city of Charleston provided the inspiration for Front Porch Swing and One More Kiss, while the harder, more competitive attitude of Atlanta comes through in Crazy Man and Talk to me Mama. Ben's musical education began with his father's record collection. Dixieland, New Orleans Jazz and Ragtime filled the house. When he first picked up a guitar he worked his way through a book of jazz chords so that he could accompany his father who played trumpet when not teaching art. This, however, was the heyday of Southern rock and bands like Little Feat, The Allman Brothers. ZZ Top and The Georgia Satellites exerted their influence. Soon he was playing in rock covers bands as well as his father's 'Early Days Jazz Band'. A strange and wonderful mix. He discovered the blues while working in Turtle's Record Warehouse in Atlanta where he had moved with 'David Rowell and the Reaction; a James Taylor influenced singer/songwriter outfit. A local college radio station ran a two-hour blues programme from 7-9 every morning and suddenly Ben discovered the world of Big Bill Broonzy; Doc Watson; Blind Lemon Jefferson and Tampa Red. He learned to fingerpick and bought a four-track tape machine to record the songs he was beginning to write. The result is a unique mixture of styles rarely heard these days.

The new SPIKEdrivers lineup includes Californian bass-guitarist and vocalist Constance Redgrave and Belfast born drummer and vocalist Maurice McElroy. Constance's considerable credentials include Otis Grand, the legendary Steve Cropper, Anson Funderburgh, Debbie Miles, Misdemeanor, Hank Wangford, Companions of the Rosy Hours and Audio Murphy among a host of others.

Maurice McElroy has worked with Otis Grand, Larry Garner, Phillip Walker, Robert Ward, Guitar Shorty, Big Joe Louis, Earl Green and too many more to list.

Together they provide the perfect foundation for the unique mix of styles that make up the music of SPIKEdrivers.

Ben Tyzack
Guitar, vocals & harmonica

Raised in Charleston, South Carolina. Ben picked up his passion for the blues while growing up in the deep south. Once he heard the likes of Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Doc Watson in his fathers record collection the decision to play guitar was an easy one. After years playing in bands honing his fingerpicking and slide playing, Ben decided to start a project based around his love for early blues. He formed the Spikedrivers in 1992 and continues to develop the bands sound and his song writing. Ben has also performed with Lee Sankey, Roger Askew and recently with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Constance Redgrave
Bass guitar, vocals & percussion

From Hollywood, California, Constance learned her craft at the Musicians Institute of Technology in Los Angeles. Her obvious talent landed her the gig with 'Christian Death' who were just about to leave for a European tour. Now living in London she has gone on to play with Otis Grand, Steve Cropper, Anson Funderburgh, Hank Wangford, Chris Jagger, Pierre La Rue, Wes McGhee, Companions of the Rosy Hours, Boo Hewerdine and The Colin John Band among many others.

Maurice McElroy
Drums, vocals & percussion

A "veteran blues drummer" according to Blueprint Magazine, Maurice originally hails from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Nicknamed 'The Groove Meister' by the Earl Green Band, his credits include Otis Grand, Larry Garner, Philip Walker, Robert Ward, Guitar Shorty, Wes McGhee, Kimmie Rhodes, Lee Sankey, The Colin John Band, and, of course The Earl Green Band.

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