Essex-based Okie, Bob Collum returns in January with his first full album since 2007’s Set The Stupid Free. Once again he’s joined by his faithful band The Welfare Mothers, once again featuring fellow transplanted American Marianne Hyatt, plus special guests Peter Holsapple, Martin Belmont and David Lewis. The album was produced by renowned producer and ex-Vibrator Pat Collier at Perry Vale Studios in Southeast London, and is Bob’s first under a new deal with Harbour Song Records, also home to fellow Essex mavericks the Lucky Strikes and M G Boulter.
Of the ten songs on the album, Bob says “If I had to have an angle I'd say they are mostly about looking back at what I remember America, particularly the South, was like and how different I seemed and felt about what was around me.”
“Johnny Held Em Down is about the Confederate flag and how it's used a weapon of keeping people aware of their place. Quite sinister stuff that loses its context outside of The US. Little Rock is about looking at home with equal parts longing and trepidation. An ex-pat’s lament! Wasted Wonderland is a bit of a romantic autopsy. I think that tells the story of the majority of people I knew growing up. Locust Grove is the true story of the murder of three girl scouts at a scout camp outside of Tulsa in 1977. It was like a gothic horror story that really affected kids my age and I've never been able to shake the awfulness of the whole thing.”
A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the decade and more since Bob arrived in the UK, he’s come up with a series of memorable albums: the solo releases More Tragic Songs Of Life and Low Rent Romeo, plus two with his band The Welfare Mothers: The Boy Most Likely To and Set The Stupid Free, and latterly the Twisted Lines & Mixed Up Rhythms and The New Old Thing EPs. He’s also shared stages with an equally memorable cast list of the great and the good of American music, including Dave Alvin, Marshall Crenshaw, Greg Trooper, Alejandro Escovedo, Robert Earle Keen, Robbie Fulks and many more.
Alongside Bob and Marianne, The Welfare Mothers feature Allan Kelly (pedal steel), Paul Quarry (drums) and Gareth Davies (bass).
“Collum's Anglophile Americana reaps subtle yet sustaining dividends...” **** Daily Mirror
“Collum… like Nick Lowe is able to express a wry riposte and an aching heart within the same breath.” **** R2
“Possibly his finest yet… He continues to refine his songwriting with some quite stunning musical arrangements.” Maverick
“…a truly gorgeous bundle of country joy..” FATEA
“The Boy Most Likely To... is a testimony to the enduring power of finely crafted songs played well . It deserves a wide hearing and appreciation." Bucketfull Of Brains
“With The Boy Most Likely To, Collum has crafted roots pop perfection" Amplifier
“Pop melodies and hooks that’ll have you humming the chorus to each song before the record is halfway through" Subba Cultcha