Last weekend I had the opportunity to discover someone I had heard about but had been admittedly to lazy to check out. Live music is my favourite way of being exposed to musicians I haven't heard before.
Shoes and Socks Off is the musical project of singer/songwriter Toby Hayes I wouldn't say he's a great singer in traditional terms but its timbre suits the stories he weaves with his songs. From the muddy banks of the Melitzer was released in 2008 on Big Scary Monsters and is fast becoming a favourite of mine. Fresh off tour with Kevin Devine on the BSM Christmas tour where I'm sure he garnered new interest.
You'll definitely like Muddy Banks... if you're a fan of artistes like Frank Turner or Mumford and Sons, or the punk stylings of The Gaslight Anthem, since he manages to combine both the sound of an urban storyteller and the raw emotion at home at any punk club across the UK. From the muddy banks of the Melitzer is followed by Hand-reared Suburban Piglet this features all the songs of Muddy Banks... but instead of just Toby the songs also feature additional musicians. For now though, I hope you enjoy this record as much as I have.