Topic: Scott McKeon
About a decade ago, Scott was seemingly hot news on here, but because of his varied career path he has been greatly overlooked. That was until a couple of weeks ago when I let it out that Scott has produced (and played on) the upcoming Aynsley Lister album, Curby and I were bouncing notices, including the New Mornings album that got big thumbs up from Curby and Gaey on the forum, as well as the Rufus Black project a couple of years earlier.
So, to give Scott's profile a deserved nudge, and to re-familiarise the forum with this very talented guy, here's a list of highlights: -
In 1998, Scott was the winner of Guitarist Magazine’s Young Guitarist of the Year, writing and performing his own song at Wembley Arena.
At 18, a demo CD was passed onto Jakko Jaksyk of Level 42/King Crimson, who then passed it on to Paul Crockford, Mark Knopfler’s manager, who started representing Scott. This culminated in the release of his debut album ‘Can’t Take No More’ - an energetic and raw take on modern electric blues rock, produced by Jesse Davey of UK blues band The Hoax
In 2010, Scott released his second album, ‘Trouble’, on Mascot Provogue Records and again toured extensively to promote the record. This self-produced album crossed over to the rock/pop genre, with emphasis on song writing coming to the fore, after spending time in Nashville writing and hanging out with fellow guitarist Tyler Bryant earlier that year. The album featured guest performances from David Ryan Harris from John Mayer’s band, and legendary UK guitarist Robbie McIntosh. The release of the album led to Scott touring and opening shows for Derek Trucks, Gary Clark Jr and the Arc Angels, and to making his first performance at the Royal Albert Hall supporting Joe Bonamassa
After moving to London in 2010, Scott found himself in demand as a session musician, playing both live and in the studio, with many artists including Zigaboo Modeliste, James Arthur, Emeli Sande, Lana Del Ray, Van Morrison, Andreya Triana, Ed Sheeran and Rebecca Ferguson. Working outside of the blues genre widened Scott’s musical palette. In 2014, Scott got a call to play in Sir Tom Jones’ band, alongside Robbie McIntosh and Pink Floyd drummer, Gary Wallis. The blues, rock n roll and gospel orientated set allows Scott to call on his early influences and travel the globe, recently completing the fifth year of working with Sir Tom
Scott founded his own band, Rufus Black, in 2017, with UK blues/soul singer Gavin Conder, guitarist Ben Jones, and drummer Russ Parker. Their debut album, ‘Rise Up’, influenced by British Blues bands like Cream, Free and The Faces, was released the same year and was met with critical acclaim. The band have since seen their following grow and have been packing out venues and festivals across the UK and Europe.
In 2019, Scott joined Schiller, one of Germany’s biggest electronic artists, for his ‘Morgenstund’ tour, playing 15 arena shows all over Germany. Later that year, Scott joined guitarist and singer Doyle Bramhall II’s band for part of his European tour for shows in Sweden and Denmark. Scott has also been part of John Illsley from Dire Strait’s live band for the past 3 years, and features on John’s latest album, ‘Coming Up for Air’. Scott’s third album, 'New Morning' out April 23 2021, is an earthy, raw, guitar-lead record, showcasing Scott's range and ability as a guitarist. The album was recorded live in the studio at RAK in London, capturing the energy and spontaneity of the sessions, and was produced by Paul Stacey (Black Crowes/Oasis), and features Jeremy Stacey (Sheryl Crow/Tal Wilkenfield) on drums, Rocco Palladino (Tom Misch/ D'Angelo) on bass, and Gavin Conder (Rufus Black/The Kondoors) as vocalist on several tracks.
More recently, Scott has been working in a producing role with other artists, with albums due for release later in 2021. You can also catch Scott performing live with his own 'Superjam' group comprised of some of the UK’s top musicians.