Richard Ashcroft has revitalized one of British music’s most renowned songbooks with his new album Acoustic Hymns Vol. 1.
Produced by Richard with Chris Potter, Acoustic Hymns Vol. 1 features his regular live band boosted by some special collaborators. Wil Malone provides the string arrangements, which were recorded at Abbey Road Studios. In addition, Chuck Leavell performs piano, Roddy Bloomfield leads the brass section, and Steve Wyreman contributes further acoustic guitar and backing vocal arrangements.
After the 2020 lockdown was lifted, Richard decided to start the project as a way to reunite the community around him, bringing a selection of great musicians and old friends back together again. As the project took shape, they discovered just how varied their new approaches could be. Some of the arrangements proved to be timeless and remained similar to the originals, with years of experience and a new found passion that saw Richard’s vocals express a fresh empathy within their lyrics. Meanwhile, other songs took on a new shape in this stripped-back set-up.
Richard Ashcroft is a two-time Ivor Novello winner (Songwriter of the Year in 1998 and Outstanding Contribution to British Music in 2019) who has released five Top 5 solo albums, including the #1 debut Alone With Everybody. He first came to attention with The Verve, with whom he released one of the biggest albums of the era in the shape of Urban Hymns as well as a succession of anthems which remain staples of his live set today, including "The Drugs Don’t Work," "Bittersweet Symphony," "Lucky Man" and "Sonnet."