AN INTERNATIONAL singer songwriter has released an album of songs which evokes his childhood in Halesowen.
Sam Semple, aged 43, has written songs for Boyzone, penned the music for the BBC Olympics coverage and worked with French pop star Medi.
However, now the London based musician has decided to hark back to when he grew up in Halesowen enjoying discovering the Clent Hills in the 1970s with a new album called Mystery Songs.
Sam, whose dad sang in legendary Midlands group The Fortunes, said: “The album is an autobiography of sorts, the songs draw on childhood memories, dog-eared books and poems I've loved and leaned on and carried with me everywhere, old train ticket stubs, paintings and love letters, trinkets and curled up photographs of sun-burned holidays.”
Mr Semple, who lives in London but still visits Halesowen to see his mother and father, cites Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Glen Campbell, Elvis Presley, Harry Nilsson as his inspirations as well as a band closer to home.
He said: “Led Zeppelin were great and I've always found something in that stirring Black Country magic.
“I was born in Scotland but grew up in Halesowen, the view from the top of Pershore Road looking down across Romsley; the Clent Hills and the rolling patchwork of fields and red soil; Saint Kenelm's spring and the Bluebird factory chimney - that's what I think of when I think of Led Zeppelin.
“Being seventeen, discovering music, smoking roll-ups and that gentle Worcestershire view.”
He said: “I was also Saturday boy at Woolworths on Peckingham Street, as was a certain young chap called Robert Plant, twenty-odd years before me.”
When Mr Semple put the call out asking for help to record Mystery Songs musicians including Tom Baxter, Scott Matthews, Jamie Morrison from the Stereophonics and Sam Lewis got in touch to help.
The songwriter added: “This is my thank you letter then to poets and writers, painters and film makers, real and imaginary friends who made sure I was never really alone.“ For more information about Mystery Songs and Mr Semple’s forthcoming tour visit www.samsemple.com.