“Heartbreak’s pretty widespread, innit?” quips the prodigiously talented Rory Graham, AKA Rag‘n’Bone Man, with a mischievous grin. Graham has injected an exciting new twist into the blues music he grew up with in his parental home in East Sussex bringing it bang up to date using the beats and production methods of contemporary hip hop. Equally he resurrects age-old themes of loss and romantic pain with a voice so immediate, raw and expressive that it transfixes anyone in earshot with its sheer size and elemental power. It is with great excitement that Bluesfest announces Rag’n’Bone Man for their 2018 festival.
When Rory sings, he connects with people on a level far from everyday banter. Onstage at his sold out Village Underground show in June ’16 his voice by turns silenced the room and brought it to fever pitch. During quieter songs, as his vast, soulful growl filled the venue, there were people literally crying. His unique delivery of often very personal songs has that effect on people, rare in today’s pop, something that can’t be taught in stage academies by vocal trainers.
Graham’s many talents – versatile songwriter, powerhouse singer, conduit for and conveyor of myriad human emotions – led Columbia Records to sign him on the strength of ‘Wolves’ for the ensuing ‘Disfigured’ EP (2015). 2017 has seen the release of his first full length album ‘Human’ which debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart making it the fastest-selling debut album by a male artist during the 2010s.
Graham has put together a Rag‘n’Bone Man live band, featuring a drummer, bassist, guitarist, keyboard player and backing singer. They toured the UK with hand-picked guests under the banner ‘Rag ‘N’ Bone Man Presents’, selling out shows up and down the country. They made quite a splash across Europe’s festival circuit, too, including Glastonbury, Eurosonic and Loveboxx, bringing fields and tents to a standstill, winning new disciples wherever they went.
As well as Soul and Funk, Rory has Star written all over him – an exceptionally warm and engaging guy with an astonishing natural gift. Bluesfest fans are going to love getting to know him!
Rag'n'Bone Man is playing Bluesfest on Thursday 29th March and Sunday 1st April, 2018