Rising young harmonica star Will Pound has joined forces with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams, Paloma Faith, Beverley Knight, Shane MacGowan, Glenn Tillbrook and Mel C on the new Hillsborough charity single tipped for the Christmas No.1.
Will, just 25, features on the emotive cover of The Hollies classic He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother which will help raise money for the Hillsborough families fight for justice following the 1989 tragedy. It also features Liverpudlian musicians including Gerry Marsden, Rebecca Ferguson, Peter Hooton, John Power and Dave McCabe and Liverpool football legends Kenny Dalgleish and Alan Hansen.
Produced by Liverpool-born Guy Chambers (known for his chart-topping co-writes with Robbie Williams on such famous songs as Angels , Rock DJ and Millennium) The Justice Collective single will be released on December 17 and is hoped to raise up to £1m for the justice fund with some 100,000 pre-orders already made.
Warwickshire-based Will, who has been described as “one of the most original harmonica players in Britain” also plays a key role on the accompanying video , opening the song with a poignant harmonica solo and appearing again about three minutes into the film.
Says Will: “It’s been an honour to play on such a rewarding single which will be raising money for the families of the 96 Hillsborough victims. I hope people really get behind it. I was asked to play on the record by Guy Chambers who I met through the BBC2 series Goldie’s Band: By Royal Appointment where he was a mentor.”
12lve (Goldie’s Band) are a group of 12 flourishing young musicians and the band was launched via the BBC programme, going on to memorably play at Buckingham Palace.
Recognized as one of the best harmonica players of his generation, Will, who lives on a narrowboat near the Grand Union and Oxford Canals, has won wide acclaim for his unique style. Playing both diatonic and chromatic harmonica he creates sounds not usually heard on the diminutive instrument, genre-hopping effortlessly across bluegrass, folk, jazz and Arabic music to blues, rock, pop and funk.
Named FATEA Magazine’s 2011 Instrumentalist of the Year, Will was nominated for the coveted Musician of the Year title at the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
Together with top banjo player Dan Walsh he forged the popular duo Walsh and Pound who for three years were a success at numerous festivals from Sidmouth to Shrewsbury, released an acclaimed debut album and supported the likes of Martin Simpson & Andy Cutting and Show of Hands along the way. The pair decided to call it a day following some farewell gigs in November to pursue solo careers, with a final outing at London’s Cecil Sharp House.
Debut solo album
Will, who also performs with his violinist wife Nicky in the duo Haddo has announced he will be releasing a debut solo album in autumn 2013 entitled
A Cut Above. He will be heading to leading folk producer Andy Seward and Keith Angel’s Wavelength studio in Doncaster in January to start work on the album which will is due to feature stellar guests including guitar genius Martin Simpson, melodeon ace Andy Cutting and Irish singer/multi-instrumentalist Damien O’Kane.