|Birth name||Reg Meuross|
|Instruments||Guitar, banjo, dulcimer, singer|
Reg Meuross is an English singer and songwriter based in Somerset, England. He has been described as "a warm, engaging live entertainer [whose] same easy going feel informs his discs and their songs of love, longing and true life stories".
Awarded Best Male Vocalist 2013 by Fatea, Meuross first emerged on the British acoustic music scene when he formed The Panic Brothers with comedian Richard Morton. Five years of touring and TV work followed their album In The Red, produced by Clive Gregson with the "Brothers" appearing regularly on TV, including Friday Night Live, and at Edinburgh, Sidmouth, Glastonbury and other festivals.
Reg Meuross then moved on to form a roots band, The Flamingos, featuring ex-Graham Parker guitarist, Martin Belmont, Bob Loveday from the Penguin Café Orchestra & Bob Geldof's band and Alison Jones of The Barely Works. They recorded the album Arrested in 1991. Meuross also toured, continuing until 2009, with Hank Wangford and The Lost Cowboys as a member of the band and also as a solo artist with Hank Wangford on the No Hall Too Small tours.
In 1996 his first solo album, The Goodbye Hat, was released to critical acclaim, being nominated for several music awards, including best song for "Ring Around The Roses". The album was very well received, leading Time Out to describe it as an "Excellent, engaging and affecting album from one of Britain's finest". Country Music People went on to write that "Meuross is one of our finest home-grown songwriters. His light touch and quintessential Englishness was at times remindful of John Betjeman set to music." The Sunday Times described The Goodbye Hat as "A marvellous set of songs. Meuross' writing has such confidence about it that some of his compositions could already be classics." and Folk Roots commented that "This album radiates class. The songs are well-crafted with original lyrical ideas and it was a pleasure to listen to…highly recommended to the open-minded."
In 2004, Reg released Short Stories, his second solo album. Country Music Records' review of the album noted that "he is an expressive singer who imparts a genuine sense of sincerity and understanding of the plight of his subjects. A satisfying album from a singer and songwriter of melodic songs who offers interesting and intelligent lyrics. It deserves to be heard." The songs "run the rainbow of human emotions" and whatever their original meaning when written, there is something here for "everyone to identify with".
Short Stories was followed in 2006 by the album, Still. Maverick magazine described it as "A collection of extremely beautiful songs, given a fine reading by one of the UK's most talented singer-songwriters" and Americana magazine said that Meuross "outlines topics and subjects that maybe you don't think have any bearing or impact on your life, but his lyrics engage you right from the off. And then you realise they could be about you. Most artists' songs either bring you in and touch part of your being or provide aspirations as to where you wish to be.Meuross's do both." Netrhymns said that "It's a gem of an album that fully deserves to bring him some long overdue acclaim".
July 2008 brought the release of Dragonfly. One of its songs, "And Jesus Wept", was inspired by the true story of Private Harry Farr, a first World War soldier who, having served his country for two years in the trenches, began to suffer the effects of shell-shock and was shot at dawn for cowardice and desertion. One of 306 men who suffered the same fate, Private Farr was awarded a posthumous pardon in 2006 after years of campaigning by his family. "Lizzie Loved a Highwayman" is the true story of highwayman Dick Turpin. Romanticised by generations, "Lizzie" is told from the viewpoint of Turpin's unfortunate widow. These two songs were performed by Meuross at the Royal Albert Hall in March 2009 when he "realised a lifelong dream to play there instilled in him by his grandparents, who were Drury Lane opera singers." He appeared at the Albert Hall as part of one of six concerts for the Teenage Cancer Trust featuring, amongst others, The Stereophonics, Kasabian, Fairport Convention and Kate Rusby. The title track of the album, "Dragonfly", is written about the events of 9/11 and the 7 July bombings in London. "Until I Hold You Once Again" is a "painfully beautiful" love song.
In 2010 Meuross released All This Longing, an all-acoustic album featuring Paul Sartin (Bellowhead), Andy Cutting on accordion, Jackie Oates on viola, Simon Edwards on bass and Roy Dodds (Fairground Attraction) on percussion. The album includes the song "The Heart Of Ann Lee" which tells the story of the Manchester-born 18th century founder of the Shakers, Ann Lee, who rejected sex but was forced into marriage, bearing four children (and four stillborn) "taken before they were ten", before fleeing to the United States to escape persecution. The album was BBC Radio Scotland's Iain Anderson's album of the week at the beginning of September coinciding with a mini-tour of Orkney, the Highlands and the Scottish Borders where Reg was accompanied by cellist Bethany Porter.
In 2011 Meuross released The Dreamed And The Drowned, a collection of previously unreleased tracks recorded between 2006 and 2011.
NetRhythms described Meuross's 2013 album Leaves and Feathers as "glow[ing] with a soothing homespun warmth, wrapping the listener in its cloak of stories." His critically acclaimed album England Green and England Grey was released in 2014.
Meuross's writing, performing and acting credits include work with the French composer Vladimir Cosma (writer of the cult movie, Diva), for which Meuross created songs for the movie La Capra, featuring Gérard Depardieu, songwriter Marsha Malamet, Nick Lowe, Robbie Coltrane, Lenny Henry, Chris Difford, Charlie Dore, Gary Clark, Antonia Bird and Jeremy Hardy. He has also worked with accordionist Karen Tweedie at live performances and the singer Vashti Anna, who provided backing vocals on both on Dragonfly and All This Longing.
- Reg Meuross with The Flamingos – Arrested (1991)
- Reg Meuross – The Goodbye Hat (1996)
- Reg Meuross – Short Stories (2004)
- Reg Meuross – Still (2006)
- Reg Meuross – Dragonfly (Hatsongs; 2008)
- Reg Meuross – All This Longing (Hatsongs; 2010)
- Reg Meuross – The Dreamed and the Drowned (Hatsongs; 2011)
- Reg Meuross – Leaves & Feathers (Hatsongs; 2013)
- Reg Meuross – England Green & England Grey (Hatsongs; 2014)
- Reg Meuross – December (March 2016)
- Davies, Mike (September 2010). "Reg Meuross — All This Longing (Hatsongs)". NetRhythms. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- Carter, Malcolm. "Reg Meuross: Dragonfly". Penny Black magazine. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- Davies, Mike (September 2011). "Reg Meuross — The Dreamed And The Drowned 2006-2010 (Hat)". NetRhythms. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- Davies, Mike (February 2013). "Reg Meuross – Leaves and Feathers (Hatsongs)". NetRhythms. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- Chilton, Martin (4 September 2014). "Reg Meuross, England Green & England Grey, album review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 September 2014.