In 2013 Time Out posted a link to Reg Meuross’ forthcoming MY NAME IS LONDON TOWN gig in St James’s Picadilly. They invited comments on Reg as an artist so that people new to Reg would know why they should attend the gig, and we were blown away the response. I’ve put just a few of the testimonials which people posted below (photos by Rachel Snowdon).
“Reg Meuross is one of the finest English singer-songwriters. And that is a fact. England: not just the halcyon leather on willow England, nor only the village green pastoral landscape, nor the beneath the bridges destitute England, nor just the post-industrial wasteland England, or the dramatic historical England; for Reg Meuross, England is all this and more. Listen to the songs, picture the characters, live in those landscapes, then you will understand the beauty, the pain, the glory, the terror, the pity of England, its wars, its loves, its losses, its heart. Reg Meuross’ songs are the essence of our land, his melodies the rise and fall of our landscape, his lyrics the echo of the ages. If you get the chance to see him, please don’t pass it by. Please. You will forever regret it”. Stephen Jordan
“Reg is an exceptionally good singer and songwriter. He writes songs that stay with you long after you hear them. He has a rare quality that enables him to write gently, but at the same time insightfully, about love, life and the human condition. Add to this his gift of creating beautiful melodies and the end result are songs which are both captivating and comforting – taking the listener on a journey they may well have been on themselves. Stating the great visual song writer Paul Simon as an early influence, Reg’s music demonstrates his own unique mastery of producing cleverly crafted songs, sung in his warm, honeyed vocals – this is music that makes you feel good. In the decade or so that I have been a fan of Reg’s music every single song he has written has been of the highest calibre, he has not produced one single song that is even remotely “under par” let alone “bad”. There can’t be many singer/songwriters that can boast such a track record. His performances are charismatic and personal and his clever humour shines. Laugh, cry, sing along… but don’t miss out on the chance to see him perform live. You are in for a real treat. Sandra Sowden
“Unsung hero of this or that is a term often bandied about to describe ones particular liking for something or someone that a relatively small number of people appreciate. One could quite readily ascribe such a term to Reg Meuross. He’s not on TV, he’s not on national radio that much. That is no reflection on Reg’s singing, writing and performing, it’s more a comment on our populist culture of the transitional fad or fashion, the one hook wonders who most often populate the charts, the ratings and the prime time tedium of “The Voice” and other “talent” cheap to make television drivel. Reg has much more breadth, depth and longevity than that. All of Reg’s songs are either such keenly observed glimpses of humanity or thoroughly researched examples of key moments in our current and past history. When listening to Reg perform either on the concert stage or in the after gig late nighthawk session one is struck by how easy it all sounds. The right lines and the right rhymes seem to follow one another as sure as night follows day and a “D” follows a “C”. So is he a folk singer in the traditional sense? Probably not today. Tomorrow will be a different story. The songs of Reg Meuross will outlive us all. The songs stand alone as tall as Woody Guthrie and as broad as Bob Dylan. Reg’s gentle delivery of his material only serves to add power and melody to the message. You should catch Reg live to feel the truth in the tales and the weight in the words. There’s few better and more consistant writers and performers out there. In a class of very few” Jonti Willis
“Reg has the art of writing songs that in a couple of lines draw you to distant places and times, to battlefields of war and desolation of broken hearts, songs that show everyday experiences in a new light. His guitar work supports the songs beautifully and the music is taken to another level by Beth Porter’s cello.”“Reg Meuross, like many a talented and original artist, is hard to categorise. That’s his strength. A hasty summation of his music would of course start with Folk and edge along the path to Singer-Songwriter in the direction of Country, with a couple of nods to the ever-handy ‘Alt’ & ‘Roots’ . He does draw from all those genres, of course, but he has his own voice (actually a light, unaffected Simon-esque tenor), but more importantly, his own stories. And, more important than that, his own opinions, which are stitched through every song and tell the listener exactly where he, Reg, stands. Often questioning, occasionally playful, sometimes angry, he very rarely relays only the facts. It’s personal. But that personal slant is what audiences respond to and why over the past 25 years he’s quietly built up such a large and loyal following. This Saturday in London at St James’ Church, Piccadilly there’ll be a chance for some new conquests as Reg showcases his current album, Leaves and Feathers, including new single ‘My Name Is London Town’ and ‘My Jerusalem’, two of many weighty songs that show a writer at the top of his game.” Charlie Dore
“I’ve not yet seen Reg live but let me tell you this. Reg paints pictures in song, I’m a blind man and I’m never going to see many of the things Reg sings about none the less Reg paints such vivid pictures I can easily imagine so many wonderful scenes. As a blind man I can not read body language or facial expression and I rely on hearing alone to pick up clues. Let me tell you Regs voice is full of inflection and tone that portrays a person of great warmth and compassion. I have booked Reg for our festival at www.folkalpointfestival.co.uk and am really looking forward to meeting the man in person.” David Lucas
“Reg Meuross is a consummate storyteller, a latter-day troubadour with the charm, wit and musicality to leave audiences rapt and enraptured. Attending a gig will leave you, beguiled, more thoughtful and, quite possibly a better person. Listen to this man. He has something to say.” Chris Samuel
“It’s a running joke that when The Other Half and I go to a gig she listens to the words and I listen to the music. So it was a rare treat to find myself being drawn into Reg’s accessible yet complex lyrics. Reg Meuross is a poet who sets his poems to lovely tunes. His between-songs banter is good fun but it also serves to set each song in its context and his relaxed presence on stage sets the audience at ease and invites them to sit back and enjoy. Which we both did.” Andy Craig
“I first saw Reg at the Albert Hall concert a few years ago, and was instantly mesmerised by his beautiful songs. Since then we`ve seen him whenever possible and acquired all the subsequent albums including most of the back catalogue. He has that rare gift in singer songwriters – the ability to write memorable tunes and to marry them to perceptive thoughtful intelligent lyrics that draw you into his music in a way that few artists can. It is almost criminal that his talent hasn`t been more widely recognised and I`m hoping that will change over the next few months as he brings his talents to a bigger audience.” Mick Noble
“A few years ago I had never heard of Reg Meuross. Then at concert intended for someone else (who couldn’t perform), Reg stepped in at the last minute. I was knocked out by his songs. Not only by the range of subjects covered, but also the lyrical quality. If you have the chance to see him, just go and judge for yourself”. sid sidebotham
“I first encountered Reg live on his 2004 village hall tour with Hank Wangford. I had been a fan of Hank for some years yet on the night was captivated by Reg who, in an unassuming way, made the most of his opportunities to hold centre stage. His voice had a crystal like clarity and as each new CD has come around it has been a pleasant experience to hear it develop and mature. He has a knack of finding the voice to suit the song, you would swear that the person imbuing songs like Seven Curses, Dragonfly or, from the latest album, My Jerusalem, with such rage cannot be the same person who delivers William Brewster Dreams of America with such sympathy or Backdoor Man with such wit. Another happy knack, a prerequisite for a lengthy career, is finding the people who compliment his performance. He has, in Beth Porter, a collaborator of such sensitivity that her cello blends with his singing and playing unobtrusively yet you would notice its absence. Jess Vincent also brings subtle colour to the songs and on numbers such as My Name Is London Town (a contender for inclusion in the Meuross all time top 5) adds to the emotional power of a wonderful song. That his voice is such a flexible instrument bodes well for those of us who plan to stick with Mr Meuross. The vocals on Leaves & Feathers foreshadow things to come as finds the voice for the songs of an older man, hopefully some years off of course, but still a reassuring thought.” Ron Davies
“Reg Meuross concerts are life-enhancing. His beautiful melodic songs – such as “My Name is London Town”, “And Jesus Wept” and “Emily’s Pages” – are full of insights, empathy, and gentle humour. He is a storyteller with a gift for capturing moments in time, and the exquisitely recorded music on his albums transfers perfectly into a live setting, with his high tenor voice and delicate guitar work. Think perhaps of Paul Simon and “Darling Lorraine” and Reg seems to have an entire array of similarly clever narratives full of emotional resonance. In the words of Mark Radcliffe on Radio 2’s Folk Show, Reg deserves to be better known”.
“I first stumbled upon Reg when he played with Hank Wangford as the Lost Cowboys, on their No Hall Too Small Tour. Reg is one of life’s great storytellers, he sang a song that night (Good With His Hands) that summed up my own childhood, and has since become a special song for our family. Any chance we get, we go and see Reg, he always makes time to chat, and has even run songwriting workshops to inspire others. I truly believe that My Name is London Town will be a huge hit, and deservedly so.” Liz Kentish
“Reg Meuross is a superbly gifted singer-songwriter who is much-loved by afficionados but criminally short of wider recognition. He is the sort of performer where you feel the ambivalence of wanting him to be the household name he deserves to be but still wanting the exclusivity of having discovered him and being a fan. He writes exquisite songs which tell lovely stories sung in a very fine high tenor voice and with beautiful accompaniment. He has developed his craft to a superlative level over the years and has made a number of recordings which take pride of place in the discerning listener’s collection” Steve Whitefield
“I am neither a journalist, nor a musician, so what I am about to write comes straight from the heart about this artist’s music which has really captured my attention so passionately. I live in Cape Town South Africa, and my first ‘glimpse’ of Reg Meuross was in 1987 when he appeared in a short film on Covent Garden, London, which was broadcast on one of our local TV stations. His voice and the beautiful song he sang made such an impression on me that 3 years ago I decided there and then that I wanted Reg to be my singer at a very special birthday which I am celebrating this year. Yes, dreams do come true and I’m happy to announce that Reg will be my birthday singer here in Capetown in November. And for all his South African fans Reg will also be appearing at several venues in and around Capetown. I have yet to see him perform live and so far have had to be satisfied viewing his youtubes and listening to his CDs – each and every one a masterpiece so it is very difficult to single one out. His music and lyrics have that ‘special something’ which makes him unique to any other artist I’ve heard. His voice is always so crystal clear that one can make out each and every word being sung. He has a special way of drawing you in to the story and characters which seem so real. Leaves & Feathers has to be ranked as one of his best yet, with some of the finest songs ever on it. I could go on and on praising this great artist… here’s wishing Reg and his team lots of good luck for the CD launch of My Name Is London Town tomorrow night at St James’ church Piccadillly”. Marianne Hirsch
“Reg Meuross is a legend. One of the most poetic songwriters I know of, with a fine and effortlessly unique voice. I have had the pleasure of singing with Reg on various occasions and he is not only someone that I admire and find inspirational – but also a lovely man. I would encourage anyone to see him live as his music will take you on a beautiful and memorable journey. Ten out of ten in my humble opinion!” Vashti Bunyan
“I attended my first Reg Meuross gig by accident. The musician I’d headed out to see at an old Devon alehouse had cancelled last minute due to illness. I was informed that Reg would be stepping in after his gig in Falmouth had been cancelled, and would I like my money back? I made the right choice. I stayed and was smitten with his performance. I have enjoyed getting to know his songs in the years since. Songs of obsession, murder and accidental exhumation (yes, really). In spite of what Reg says, attending one of his gigs is a laugh. Reg’s thoughts between songs are often humorous. In the States on one tour Reg was telling the audience about being inspired by the Edward Hopper painting “Night Hawks” to write a song about one of the characters. ‘Bar’ offers scope for much rhyming, but Reg was deflated by a member of the audience who pointed out that the bar is, in fact, a diner. Perhaps Reg can be best summed up by the following insightful quote. When Reg announced he would sing the ever popular “It’s Me or Elvis”, a woman, after a moment’s deliberation, piped up “You’ll do!”” Simon Twigg
“Reg not only captivates with his delicious lyrics, the warmth of his delivery and careful playing, he then transports you to a different world. You get sucked into his stories and find yourself visualising and questioning the rational behind the songs. Complete escapism. Add the deep sonority of the cello from Beth Porter and the talents of the refreshing singer songwriter Jess Vincent and you have a cracking evening lined up. Highly recommended.” Helen Meissner
“I first saw Reg at a brilliant folk night at Seend, where his fabulously entertaining singing and storytelling made a huge impact. Reg has played everywhere from The Albert Hall to the tiniest village halls, and his ability to hold everyone spellbound is astonishing – from the haunting true story of WW1 soldier Harry Farr (‘And Jesus Wept’) to the jaunty singalong ‘It’s Me or Elvis’, he is a folk festival favourite.
Reg’s gorgeous tenor vocals and perceptive lyrics will make your eyes run and your heart sing. It is unsurprising that his work has inspired rave reviews and repeat requests on national radio. His amazing guitar skills and generosity as a musician attract the very best of collaborators. In London tomorrow he’ll have with him awesome singer songwriter Jess Vincent, and the wonderfully sensitive cello backing of Beth Porter.
Really – just go. Prepare to go home afterwards feeling hugged by song…” Kirsty Hafford
“Song writing is an art in itself, and needs careful considerations, and delicate handling to entice, encourage, and enable listener to relate to not only melody, and music, but also the subject. To have the ability to do that when writing, and then to perform it faultlessly is indeed signs of a great talent. Something which Reg Meuross has an abundance of. Put all of that together with being a wonderful caring person, and you’ve got Reg”. Mike Orchard
“Reg Meuross is one the UK’s most eloquent songwriters. He has a great sense of history and brings the past alive through many of his songs; he knows the ways of the heart and proves that it is still possible to write such a thing as a fresh, new love song; he has the voice of an angel and he is a STUNNING guitarist. More people need to know about Reg, because he is one of this country’s treasures – a committed, honest, engaged, thoroughly captivating artist who can go so far as to restore one’s faith in a world that so often threatens to bury us all in a pile of commercial, trite garbage.” Will Kaufman
“Reg is a very fine singer songwriter and performer with an acute ability to get to the heart of the matter, whether it is social, political or individual, and weave stories and melodies that stay with you long after you have left the venue.” Ashton Chadwick
“Reg has the art of writing songs that in a couple of lines draw you to distant places and times, to battlefields of war and desolation of broken hearts, songs that show everyday experiences in a new light. His guitar work supports the songs beautifully and the music is taken to another level by Beth Porter’s cello.” David Artus
“Reg is my 2013 ‘ discovery artist ‘ I found him at the New Forest Folk Festival and was captivated by his melodic style and smooth powerful voice. He reminds me of a mix between a young Donovan coupled with the guitar skills of Paul Simon. I can’t compete with the eloquent appraisals as shown below but find myself nodding and smiling whilst reading them as they have described my feelings towards Reg’s music far better than I could find the words to to it with. , No-one seems to have mentioned Beth and Jess as they are no bit part players in making this beautiful music possible – I will be there in London Town tomorrow night and would highly recommend it to anyone.” fritz burgess
“Reg writes lyrics and weaves stories which hit you with their humanity and compassion, and combines them with beautiful melodies to make some of the most affecting songs you will hear anywhere. He is one of Britain’s truly great songwriters, telling stories which lift you up, make you angry or break your heart. His combination of charm, honesty and wit, a remarkable voice and great guitar playing make for an unforgettable evening. Go see this man.”
“Reg is a kind, warm and funny man with an exceptional talent for songwriting, singing and music playing. He has played various styles of music during his career, all of which are excellent (and I’m fussy about my music!) – I absolutely LOVED the Flamingoes although to my chagrin I haven’t heard a great deal of his material when with The Panic Bros. His current style is so calming and delightful to listen to AND sing along to, I am in the process of collecting all his albums and have never been disappointed! All of his songs tell you a story that you find yourself being drawn into – I especially like ‘Good with his hands’ which I believe was written about Reg’s father and I felt like I knew the man he was singing about! I have been lucky enough to talk to Reg on several occasions – he has a wonderful sense of humour and an innate kindness that you can see and feel when you are talking to him. He is an absolute treasure and I love him to bits, get to see him if you can, you will NOT regret it!” Jess Howe
“So what can I say?, I was in a field somewhere in leafy Kent. Sitting in a festival tent talking about song writing with Reg Meuross.
Reg is a new discovery for me musically. I think I was channel hoping across YouTube when I came across his gem of a song “Jerusalem” and that was it I was hooked. This man can write songs with beauty and poinence and take you with him on every wave of emotion. As an aspiring songwriter I can tell you this is no easy task. Often gifted people such as Reg can be more than a tad arrogant but I have to say that his warm personality shines through.
Later that day I had the pleasure of hearing him sing on the very first Folkstock festival main stage and I was not disappointed. He sang his soon to be released “My name is London Town” and he took my hand on a musical journey as I ambled around London with him. I saw the sites, I heard the sounds, I felt the feelings, dam it I even smelt the smells, such was his crafted song writing and his effortless delivery. Voice and guitar blended to perfection. When the song ended I was surprised to see I was still sitting in a cold dark field in Kent!!
On hearing the crowd at Folkstock singing along to the chorus, dare I say that I predict “My name is London Town” will become a classic just as Ralph Mctell’s “Streets of London” has. They are quite different but equally as good in my humble opinion. Hmm wondering what Ralph Mctell fans will think of that?! (hang on I’m just getting my flak jacket and hard hat ready).
His album Leaves and Feathers is already up there, and I’m sure will stay up there, in my top 20 favourite albums ever. Give him a listen, you will not be disappointed.”
“I am not much of a writer and probably not as eloquent as previous reviews shown on the site. Reg has become my personal ‘ discovery artist ‘ of 2013 – I ‘found ‘ him in a field in the New Forest playing to a crowd of 1500 people – I was immediately captivated by his melodic guitar playing coupled with a soft but powerful voice. He reminded me of a young Donovan mixed in with guitar skills to match Paul Simon . Leaves and Feathers is on the car CD and I look forward the drive to and from work . See you tomorrow night Reg and know that you, Beth and Jess will put on a night to remember in a fantastic venue” Fritz Burgess
“Reg is a truly talented singer-songwriter; the calm performance he gives is indeed very inspiring ! New England is set to be the new Folk anthem- everyone should learn this and sing it too…good luck Reg with your concert in Picadilly with Beth & Jess- two lovely musicians!”“There are many different types of songwriters, singers and performers, all with their own strengths and weaknesses. Reg Meuross has the unusual and much sought after skill of delivering a perfect song in the perfect way. The words are beautiful, clever and heartfelt but combined with his rich rhythmic guitar playing, beautiful tenor voice, and easy manner and humour during his live shows, Reg is an undiscovered gem, and its a privilege to see him in intimate village halls, churches and events. He should be playing the Albert Hall on a weekly basis, but that’s my opinion. Go along to a show and witness one of the truly great singer-songwriters of our time” Jess Vincent
“Was lucky enough to see the talented Reg Meuross recently on the start of tour and along with Jess Vincent (equally talented) is a must-see if you get the chance. His unique style and songwriting ability is up there with the likes of other more well known folk singers and his talent deserves more recognition. Get to see him if you can!!!” Ian Wollen
“Some singers and writers describe worlds I don’t understand or recognise . They sing with such hostility that I feel excluded and humiliated by what I hear as if it was wrong to think I could enter their world for a moment , and gain a new perspective . They slam the door in your face and glory in excluding anyone who Is not useful to them . They sing as if vocal gymnastics and holding a long note with an exaggerated vibrato Was the epitome of human aspiration . And the baying hoards applaud as if a cure for all the worlds ills lived in that note , in that mind set, in that false false world, an aberration and a lie. Then there is Reg Meuross, who states his truth quietly, with a craft honed by years of musical and life’s experiences . He welcomes you into his living room , you pull up a chair and let his words and melodies dance into your imagination , abs shakes hands with your heart . His art conceals his art , effortlessly singing and playing songs which sound as if they have always been there . His fireside is one of welcome and inclusion . He will be at St James Picadilly on Saturday . See you there?” John Clarke
“I have seen Reg play live a few times at venues and festivals and I am always blown away by his performances, his songs are carefully crafted and memorable, I often find my self walking around singing one of his songs, such as “Fools Gold” or “Looking for Johnny Ray. I am a proud owner of a few of his great albums too. As a live performer he is very engaging, he will make you laugh, cry and think too. I am just surprised he is not better known than he is and is probably britain s best kept singer songwriter secret. He is a must see for real music lovers.” Trevor Barham
“Reg’s performances are warm and intimate. Whether it’s a festival tent or the Albert Hall he brings to the stage a collection of extremely beautiful songs, performed with humour and depth. Often informed and inspired by his own experiences, sometimes just great stories expertly told and linked by wry & witty observations, Reg Meuross has that rare gift of being able to touch people, through his songs, his performance and just by being himself. If you get the chance to see him live – don’t miss it!” Katie Whitehouse