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.
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.
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.
has worked with Otis Grand, Larry Garner, Phillip Walker, Robert Ward,
Guitar Shorty, Big Joe Louis, Earl Green and too many more to list.
provide the perfect foundation for the unique mix of styles that make up
the music of SPIKEdrivers.
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.
Bass guitar, vocals & percussion
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
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.