Any band that lists their primary influences as Hank Williams, Tom Waits, Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, and Billie Holiday is surely worth looking out for. The Why & Wherefores may have the sort of name that isn’t particularly search engine friendly, but once logged on you will be opening the door on a name to remember.
Formed throughout 2006 from the partnership of singing guitarists Emily Druce, and Steve Jones, they have added three more musicians to complete the bands sound. Emily has been described by the UK’s Guardian newspaper as ‘an outstanding young blues singer,’ and the 'Queen Of British Blues.' She had already released two solo albums, The Guilt Trip in 2000 and New Day two years later, by the time she became involved in Druce & Jones.
None other than Ex-Manfred Man Blues legend Paul Jones, and whispering Bob Harris of Old Grey Whistle Test fame, promoted her music via the airwaves. This helped earn her support slots to the likes of veteran blues rockers The Groundhogs, and the late Lonnie Donegan.
She met guitar maker and musician Steve Jones at the Burnley Blues Festival when she asked him to build a resophonic guitar for her. The pair then released the acclaimed debut album Songs From The Silver Room which featured legendary New York pianist Charlie Giardano.
Having worked successfully as a duo they decided to go for a more complete sound and added the tuba and sousaphone skills of Martin Wydell, drummer Marc Layton-Bennett, and John Barker who brings his lap steel talent, to form The Why & Wherefores.
This year sees the release of the album Alright which has caused quite a stir on the blues circuit. Martin Wydell adds a touch of brass band texture, while the lap steel of John Barker completes the sound. Emily possesses a voice that underlines just why she has gained so much attention since arriving on the scene.
Steve Jones’ vocals add an earthy blues, and his joint song-writing with Emily has developed even further and together they have produced eleven, highly impressive, original tracks. There is one cover on the album, Bob Marley’s "Lively Up Yourself," which adds a touch of reggae to the set.