Charlie Hart started playing fiddle since he was six, but immediately started straying into fields beyond conventional western music. A love of jazz and blues rapidly drew him to African music. This led to time spent in Ghana in the sixties, and later to working with the Samba Mapangala and Orchestra Virunga. Apart from that Charlie worked with Ian Dury in Kilburn and the Highroads, Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance (now miraculously reborn) and has played with the likes of Alexis Korner, Pete Townshend, Paul Weller, Mose Allison, Eric Clapton, Chris and Mick Jagger and recently Roger Daltry. www.charliehart.com
Frank Mead hails from deepest Essex, and was a fine harp player before he took up the sax. Frank progressed from playing with the likes of Micky Jupp and Juice on the Loose to working with many blues legends, including Gary Moore, Albert King, Albert Collins, Otis Rush. He’s worked with the cream of the rock glitterati including Eric Clapton, Dave Gilmour, Paul McCartney and for the last decade has been an integral part of Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings. Frank has always been drawn to other musics including traditional Irish music and African music and, with Charlie, worked with Samba Mapangala on ‘Feet on Fire’. He has been involved with the Equators since early days, and is known for his astonishing dynamism.
Since the age of 16 when he founded the band Blueshouse, Ed Deane has been one of Ireland’s most highly rated guitarists and bluesmen. He played with Terry Woods in the Woods Band and replaced Gary Moore in Skid Row. Later he gigged and recorded with Shuggy Otis, Lowell Fulson, Richard Berry and Big Jay McNeely. Ed appeared with Charlie in Mike Figgis’ first feature, Stormy Monday. Ed has also worked with Shane McGowan, Bap Kennedy and Nick Lowe. Ed is qualified in many fields of music, including classical guitar, is a highly original player and is also a gifted composer. www.eddeane.com
Les Morgan hails from the Forest of Dean. He is a musicians’ musician who worked extensively with the late Jo Ann Kelly, then with Danny Adler & Dana Gillespie. He worked with Ron Kavana on ‘Think Like a Hero’ and ‘Irish Ways’, and has always been interested in the Equators’ project of extending the boundaries of rock and blues music. Les also worked with Don McLean and George ‘Wild Chiuld’ Butler. Les met Charlie when Geraint Watkins introduced him to Juice on the Loose, and their musical association has continued since then. He was in the Equators from the start and now also fronts his own band. Les wrote the fine instrumental, ‘Les is more’, the third track on “Masansani Breakdown”.
Phil Scragg is the latest recruit to the Equators. His credentials have never been in doubt as over the years he has worked as bassist and producer with an amazing array of musicians in various fields. Phil’s work as a session team with Gary Plumley and Doug Boyle led to working with Robert Plant, with whom he recorded the album ‘Now and Zen’, well known in the States but not so much this side of the pond. Phil’s subsequent work with Evidence, a band with extensive cross-cultural influences led to him building a strong relationship with sax man Derek Nash, involving both production and much live work. Phil also worked with Dudu Pukwana and Pinise Saul, and it was this experience of top African musicians that led to him joining the Equators www.philscragg.com