Simon Widdowson has been making music and performing in Europe and America for the the last 25 years. From Leeds England his new self titled compilation album documents the last 15 years with songs written and recorded while living in Santa Fe New Mexico, Portland Oregon, Cork Ireland and Lyon France.
"Widdowson is a superior songwriter whose intelligent social and political commentary is never preachy because it's usually grounded in a personal context. Musically his adept mingling of rock and roll, folk elements and catchy pop hooks result in tunes remarkable for their depth and scope" Rick Mason, Minneapolis Star tribune
"British transplant Simon Widdowson is a prolific, socially conscious songwriter who wears his heart on his sleeve and whose nimble phrasing recalls both Graham Parker and Van Morrison" Jim Walsh, Billboard Magazine
"I grew up in Yorkshire and at 21 years old, boarded a plane with a guitar and a suitcase full of records and landed in Minneapolis in search of my fortune. It was the late 80's and I hung out in bars on the West Bank, like the Cabooze and Whiskey Junction and started out playing guitar in a Blues Band called Killing Floor. Minnesota was Bob Dylan country and home to the beginnings of Alt Country and Americana with groups like Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo, Gear Daddies and Jayhawks and there was the Uptown Bar and First Avenue, The Replacements, Husker Du and Soul Asylum.
I fronted a power pop trio called The Rainjackets and performed regularly at the 400 Bar and 7th Street Entry and after seven frozen winters, set sail for Santa Fe New Mexico in an old Volvo, playing acoustic guitar and harmonica in dusty old saloons and college towns across the Midwest and Southwest. From the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville to the Fox Theatre in Boulder I performed 250 shows a year for over 5 years and drove over 250,000 miles across the desert, the great plains and the mountains and shared the stage with John Martyn, Peter Case, Dave Mason, Tom Paxton, Leo Kottke, Spin Doctors, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, RL Burnside, Clive Gregson, Deacon Blue, Dharma Bums, Crashtest Dummies, Subdudes, Peter Himmelman and many more.
In the late 90’s I settled in Portland Oregon which at that time was home to a great music scene including Elliot Smith, Dandy Warhols and many more English influenced pop rock outfits. I built a recording studio and artist space called Are You Listening? and recorded and produced many great artists such as Decemberists, Pete Krebs, Little Sue, Charmparticles, Hindi Guns, Papillon and many more and was also conveniently able to borrow their musicians to make my own albums and play a few gigs. Then after 18 years in America I went to Ireland and wandered the windswept cliffs of West Cork and Kerry and spent countless evenings mesmerised by traditional folk music sessions. I lived in Cork and played bass in a band called The Outside and played solo gigs and continued to work as a producer and recording engineer but after almost 3 years in Ireland I went to France in search of the sun. I spent 4 years in Lyon performing regularly with various musicians and working as a recording engineer and producer (Novox, Karimouche, Zen Zila). In 2011 I returned to Leeds 25 years after I had left and played solo gigs around the North of England for about a year before signing a deal with French label Fakir Music, going back to France and recording the ep "Simon Widdowson & Bellecour".
In 2014 I moved to a secluded place in the mountains in France, installed a recording studio and recorded and released a solo acoustic album entitled “Looking for the Sun”, performed regularly and also released a new 4 track EP titled "A Little Bit Blue" with an acoustic trio featuring harmonica and upright bass. In 2015 I released a new "best of" CD containing 2 brand new tracks and 10 songs from my last 5 albums and played some UK shows over the Spring and Summer.