When you start your career playing guitar in a band alongside another 18 year old guitarist called Eric Clapton, you could say you were going places. Tom McGuinness may have left young Eric and that band, The Roosters, behind, but he joined Manfred Mann as a bass player at a crucial moment in 1964 - just as 5-4-3-2-1 began its meteoric dash up the charts. He was with Manfred Mann on bass and then guitar right up until the disbanding in 1969, but success bred success - within a few months, he teamed up with ex John Mayall drummer, Hughie Flint, to form the highly successful McGuinness Flint, a talent-studded group which included the great songwriting team of Gallagher & Lyle. When I'm Dead & Gone shot to number two in November 1970, with Malt & Barley Blues hot on its heels the following year.
Songwriter, author, record & TV producer, Tom McGuinness has retained and steadily enhanced his profile over the years. In 1979, the same man who introduced him to the Manfreds, Paul Jones, called Tom with another proposition - The Blues Band. It was an enjoyable and surprisingly durable return to their roots, which continues apace, but the reformation of the Manfreds for Tom's 50th birthday at London's The Town & Country Club in 1991 completed the circle - those Manfreds' songs were just too good to be left on a shelf marked 'nostalgia' ....
On his first solo album, Tom McGuinness, released October 2001: "I'm always writing songs and over the years I've built up quite a stock-pile of un-recorded material. For some time I'd had the feeling that I'd like to record my own album and a couple of things came together to push me finally into doing it. Firstly, we were touring Australia a couple of years back with The Manfreds and a man came up to me after one of our gigs. After saying a couple of nice things about the show he then said, in that direct way they have down-under, "You're a good guitarist. It's about time you did a solo album". He made me feel really lazy. After all, I have spent nearly 40 years as a working musician without doing my own album. So that got me thinking. The second factor which got me enthused was working with Marcus Cliffe. He'd recently joined The Manfreds on bass and although there is a generation between us, we really hit it off musically. We went into his studio and just the two of us laid down the album. It took about 3 weeks from beginning to end and was a lot of fun. It was great to find that so many ideas I had on paper or in my head worked so well in the studio. I suspect I might never have got down to doing it if it hadn't been for Marcus. The only problem is that he is already nagging me to start the follow-up!"