INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD HEWSON FROM THE RAH BAND
Legendary band unearth hidden track from vaults and launch global search to find the ‘lost vocalist’ …..is it you? Band founder,Richard Hewson, has something to say
Legendary, The Rah Band, stride gloriously into 2019 with an epic up-tempo track to catapult our spirits into the new year; the single, ‘Gipsy Girl’, is released on 9 February. With two Top 10 UK chart hits, and numerous international club smashes, plus a stellar production list including The Beatles, The Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac, Chris Rea and Herbie Hancock (to name a few), The Rah Band have been chart-masters within the industry since the ‘70s. With a back-catalogue of unreleased material, those undiscovered music jewels are being polished and primed, with the brightest shining gems being planned for release in 2019. However, the release of ‘Gipsy Girl’reveals a hidden mystery, as the band search to find the ‘lost vocalist’ on this track. If the voice is yours, The Rah Band are searching for you! Here’s what founding member of the band, Richard Hewson has to say:
The RAH Band are legendary, what does RAH stand for and how did the band start?
RAH stands for my initials – Richard Anthony Hewson (thanks Mum!) I started the Rah Band having worked as an orchestral arranger for many international stars from 1968 & on through the ‘70s. As an arranger, you got paid a one-off fee for the gig (eg £40 for “The Long & Winding Road’ byThe Beatles!) and no subsequent Royalties.
So, I realised that in order to survive, I had to start doing my own song writing productions. I hired a small multi track tape recorder and, as I was a guitarist and keyboard player, I made a track in my “bedroom” using only my own resources; finishing it in a professional studio with a brass section & drummer. The result was my first release as a Producer – ‘The Crunch, which went to No6 in the UK charts – The Rah Band was born!
The RAH Band have been successful for decades, in a nutshell, what other bands have you worked with?
I began in the late 1960s as an arranger, and have worked with musicians such as The Beatles ‘I Me Mine’and ‘The Long and Winding Road’, The Bee Gees ‘Melody’, James Taylor ‘Carolina in My Mind’, Herbie Hancock, Supertramp, , Diana Ross, Carly Simon, Art Garfunkel, Leo Sayer, Paul McCartney ….the list goes on. I also arranged strings on several Cliff Richard albums, ‘I'm Nearly Famous’, ’Every Face Tells a Story’and ‘Green Light’.
Apart from my own RAH Band project, I was a producer in the 1980s for Toyah Willcox, Five Star, and Shakin' Stevens. I was and co-producer and conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra on Cliff Richard's 1983 live album Dressed for the Occasion, which included the UK hit single, ‘True Love Ways’.
‘Gipsy Girl’ is an epic instrumentally laden masterpiece, what’s the story behind the lyrics?
It came from a dream I had many years ago about seeing a beautiful girl on a beach near Hastings (of all places) and the fantasy began there!
'Gipsy Girl’ was initially written and recorded a while back – why are you choosing to release it now?
It was while clearing out my garage a while back. I came across a tape box marked The Rah Band, with just two titles on the back, one of which was ‘Gipsy Girl’. No names or info about who the singer was. I vaguely remember the session for this demo because the guy I had originally booked to the gig sent a “dep” because he couldn’t make it. Anyway, the dep turned out to be brilliant, absolutely nailing the song perfectly. However, he must have scarpered after getting paid without leaving his name or contact details. I dusted off the tape box and took it into my studio, played the tape on my multi- track machine and it sounded as though it was recorded yesterday!
The next step was to use the track as originally recorded and build a large orchestral arrangement around it, and the result is the record which I’ve finished & released now.
Do you have a ‘message’ to send out to your lost vocalist?
My message to Mr. Mystery Man is – “where the devil are ya?”
If you found the vocalist, would you record with him again?
Absolutely yes – he sounds great …a sort of soft rock mixed with a dancey pop vibe – unique!
What’s in the pipeline for The RAH Band?
There is a large catalogue of unreleased material going back over the years, which I’m trawling through to find those lost ‘gems’. I want to give them the kiss of life, and bring them into the light of the 21stCentury!
Any final messages?
I hope people enjoy listening to the music of The RAH Band as much as I have enjoyed making it and will keep on keeping on…..
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