A criminally underrated artist, Norman Beaker has been at the forefront of British blues for decades – working with legends like Victor Brox and Jack Bruce, to name but two whose surnames start with the same letter as his, and leading a band of his own whose records, such as "We See Us Later" from 2017, are praiseworthy – yet somehow escaping spotlight which would make the veteran a household name, despite him being one of only nine people from the UK to be inducted into the American Blues Hall of Fame. All this means the guitarist has a lot stories to tell – and Beaker does just that in his autobiography.
Titled “Manchester Evening Blues” and available now in paperback and Kindle editions, the book starts from Norman’s childhood years in North West England and proceeds to his playing all over Europe with Graham Bond and Chuck Berry, Chris Farlowe and Van Morrison, describing, in the musician’s own words, “a lot of struggle, but a lot of laughs along the way, related in a very natural way” – so there’s a lot to learn and enjoy in this 191-page tome. And the people that cherished Beaker’s 1999 album “The Older I Get… The Better I Was” or 2020’s “Running Down The Clock” – both dealing with the passing of time – will now have a literary companion to the artist’s music. At 71 years of age, he’s a national treasure, after all, branching out from blues and rhythm-and-blues into pure rock and jazz as well as pop and remaining ever relevant.