Rag ‘N’ Bone Man
Big Top, Saturday 2016
Rag ‘N’ Bone Man has been a prolific underground name for a couple of years now, honing a ferocious live reputation through guitar wielding solo performances. Like many things, it began with the blues. Having discovered the genre as a child, the rhythmic troubles that rang out from his parents' record player planted a stubborn seed in this kid's head and it wasn't long before the youngster was venturing through classic realms of soul, jazz and folk.
Rag ‘N’ Bone Man (or Rory)’s first dice with performing real live music was to be rooted in those earlier fascinations. Twenty five years younger than most of the clientele, Graham used to hit up a local jam session, and one particular evening, after a couple of pints, he'd end up making a decision that would define his future. After one too many, he got the courage to jump on stage and sing a Robert Johnson song; shocked that people actually liked it. He went a few more times, then every week; playing harmonica or singing on stage. At this point, he knew it was what he wanted to do.
A move to Brighton and a slice of fate introduced him to two influential figures. Firstly, the rapper Gi3mo, who immediately shipped Graham's vocal talents into his hip hop crew, Rum Committee. Next came a meeting with the prolific beatmaker Leaf Dog, resulting in an intense meeting of minds; their six track Dog n' Bone EP. In his good friend and producer Mark Crew, he found a kindred spirit and the two began working towards a ‘project’. After eight months, they found themselves staring down the pop, soul and hip-hop cannonade of nine blistering tracks, which Graham has named Wolves.
Owing to that moment when his blues and beats worlds collided, the sound of Rag ‘N’ Bone perfects an artistic dualism of old and new. The nine tracks of Wolves pack an eruptive mixture of hip hop and electronic thunder, with a golden coating of soul. He may have honed his trade underground, but this release marks the Rag ‘N’ Bone Man stepping out of the shadows.