Mic and Keith Hills
I first began working with singer/songwriter and guitar wizard Keith Hills in the late summer of 1978 gigging in pubs as ‘Jack Plug and Lou Swyres’ so we were obviously not taking things too seriously. We shared a mutual respect for one another as we knew of each other’s reputation through our appearances in folk clubs etc. There was little doubt that we weren’t in it for anything but the money. I’d found a huge plastic replica of a Champion Spark Plug, thrown out by a local garage and that became our identifying mascot, stuck up behind us on stage, if there was any room that is. We gigged in some very small venues. In spite of our laid back attitude however we often found ourselves at odds with one another, those ‘musical differences’ again perhaps. We’d be driving back after a gig and be taking each other’s performance to pieces, so it wasn’t too surprising that we only lasted for that one summer.
Our second pairing in 1985/6 however was made in heaven. This time around we decided to concentrate on our strengths i.e. good strong folk songs, some light country, blues, modern contemporary folk songs and ragtime picking which Keith was a master of. So I’d sing some of the more dramatic and beautiful folk songs I knew, while Keith deftly and with sheer musical brilliance enhanced my arrangements of them with some clever picked guitar accompaniment. Keith would play fast instrumentals and I’d play rhythm guitar and we’d rehearse a lot to change our repertoire regularly and keep things fresh for us as well as our audiences. Our individual styles combined so well and we were so popular we were able to make two ‘live’ recordings which were first released on audio cassette.
With our brilliant harmonies and guitars interacting with each other we just blended so well together that very soon we had gigs all over and were impressing our audiences with
our deft virtuosity. Two per week in one pub, The Old Inn at Ludgvan run then by the nicest couple you’d ever want to meet, Jan and his wife Janet. Oh, the nights we had in that grand little pub. We worked together this time for around 18 months then decided we’d taken things as far as we were able to and agreed to go our different ways again though this time much more amicably than previously!
Two Audio CDs: “Live at Ludgvan” Volumes #01 and #02 of Mic & Keith are available from the Products Tab on the Home Page. Material taken from several live performances recorded at The Old Inn, Ludgvan circa 1986. The first CD, Volume #01, features Mic & Keith only, while the second, Vol. #02, contains more from Mic & Keith, plus several contributions from Larry Law & Fiddler Jennings.
Live – at Ludgvan Summer 1986. Mic & Keith –Ragtime, Blues & Folk.
Live – at The Old Inn Autumn 1986. Mic, Keith, Larry Law & Fiddler Jennings –Folk & Contemporary.