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© Lutz M¸ller-Bohlen/dpa/Corbis
Where do the ‘Colonel’ and ‘Governor’ monikers come from?
“Officially, I was made a colonel by the state of Kentucky, and I’ve always called Martin ‘the governor’, because it’s a typical British term that means, you know, the boss, the head guy, the number one. I always called Albert Lee that as well, because I just felt those two guys were so head-and-shoulders above everybody else. Martin once introduced me onto the stage as ‘the abominable showman’. That cracked me up. It was such a clever line.”
How far back does your friendship go?
“Well, what happened was, I saw Martin on TV in the 90s and the station told me where he was staying. So, I rang his hotel and told him he’d better get his guitar and come down to the State Theatre in Sydney, because he was on my show that night. He was like: ‘Er, what?’
We’re opposites, yetit works so well. I was probably one of the first guitar players Martin met that just let it fly and had fun on stage. He’s used to working with guys who are real serious and just sit there... I’m out there like a monkey on stage! We’ve been wanting to record for years, but it’s just getting the chance. Our schedules very rarely intersect, but each time we’ve played together it’s been magic, and we felt we’ve got to record this; we’ve got to put down the fun we have, y’know?”
This is a covers album with a twist, isn’t it?
“Yeah, I always approach arrangements of other people’s songs with the attitude that, no matter what, I’ve got to surprise you at every turn. Who wants to hear a song played like it’s always been done? We found the right mix of songs to give us that chance to fly our own kites.
We emailed lists to each other, Skype’d a couple of times, and the whole thing was decided while we were both on tour in different parts of the world. Some songs, like I Won’t Last A Day Without You, we knew from our teens, but we changed the chords around to make it feel like it was ours.”