Thursday, April 18, 7 p.m.
Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel, 304 East Third Street, Davenport IA
Lauded by AllMusic.com for his “emotionally charged voice and rich, melodic songwriting style,” British-born, New York-based singer/songwriter Bobby Long showcases his rock, folk, and Americana gifts as a Moeller Nights headliner on April 18, his latest album Sultan praised by The Hype magazine as a work that “pays homage to Sgt. Pepper’s-era Beatles in a wonderful way.”
Born in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England, the 33-year-old Long moved to London in 2005 to attend London Metropolitan University, where he studied sound and media for film. A cellist, guitarist, and songwriter since the age of 18, he began playing open-mic nights at local clubs, meeting like-minded young musicians including Sam Bradley, Marcus Foster, and Robert Pattinson, whose career as an actor was just beginning. Long's career trajectory took a major leap when Pattinson performed the song “Let Me Sign,” co-written by Long and Foster, in the 2008 blockbuster Twilight, and after graduating from college in 2009, Long commenced to performing full-time.
A spring series of showcase dates introduced him to American audiences in New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville, and, by July, he embarked on the well-received “Dangerous Summer” tour, playing to fans who first discovered his music via the Twilight soundtrack and pushed his MySpace page well over one million page views. He recorded the 10-song collection Dirty Pond Songs in his London bedroom, and the album's “Left to Lie” became an iTunes favorite, topping the site's “Unsigned” chart and reaching number-eight on its folk music chart. In 2010, Long recorded his first studio CD with Grammy-winning producer Liam Watson at Toe Rag Studios in London, and also released a collection of live performances from the Dangerous Summer 2009 tour. That collection's “My Darling Belle” went to number-two on iTunes' singer/songwriter chart, and the following year, Long's fame increased exponentially with performances at the Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits Festivals and an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Having subsequently released 2013's Wishbone and 2015's Ode to Thinking, Long is currently touring in support of his crowd-funded release Sultans, which pays homage to the artist's love for the Beatles – particularly the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album – and the variety of music he heard growing up in rural England. It also finds Long expanding on his spare, singer/songwriter arrangements for a more adventurous Beatles-esque sound that includes psychedelic flourishes, electric guitar, and keys. “Of course, I always feel that the new one is the best one,” says Long about Sultans, “but I feel pretty strongly about this one. The sounds of this record are the closest to what was in my imagination that I’ve come so far. I really love creating and writing. It feels as magical today as it did when I was a child.”
Bobby Long plays Davenport's Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel at 7 p.m. on April 18, admission is $8, and more information and tickets are available by visiting MoellerNights.com.