Papa Truck is a bluegrass band playing original material, based in South Buckinghamshire, England. The band first came together when Martin brought his songwriting talents along to jam with Dan, a newly converted banjoist. Having played the guitar for over 20 years, Dan was charmed and inspired by the earthy sounds on the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack, and as a result bought his first banjo in 2004. Deciding on the name “Papa Truck”, for no other reason than it sounded “bluegrassy”, the band performed around their local area to a warm reception, bluegrass being a rarity in the Home Counties of England.
In 2006 the band's line up changed to its current status; Martin (lead vocals, guitar and mandolin), Dan (banjo), Ryan (harmony vocals and guitar), and Sparkie (harmony vocals and double bass). The formula has proved successful, both in music and friendship.
Ryan had been playing guitar in various bands in and around the Berkshire area, and has excellent harmony skills. He was asked to join the band after several successful try-outs at a regular local gig.
Sparkie, simply had to join the band, as he was the only person they knew with a real double bass, regardless of the fact it was originally just an ornament gathering dust. Sparkie had been playing electric bass for many many years, in many many bands, and had expressed an interest in joining Dan and Martin several months earlier. The pair snapped him up.
When writing songs, the band take their inspiration from the many great bluegrass players and bands out there. They then add their very own blend of influences from artists as diverse as The Beatles and Van Halen. Their well crafted, refreshing and uplifting songs are evidence of the band's love of many styles of music, and when asked to describe their sound, they simply say - "British newgrass!"
As well as playing numerous venues in their local area, where they have a strong and devoted following, Papa Truck have appeared at bluegrass festivals around the UK and Europe, including Didmarton Bluegrass Festival, North Wales Bluegrass Festival, Omah Appalachian and Bluegrass Festival in Northern Ireland, and The 2nd Vilnius Bluegrass Festival in Lithuania. As part of their trip to Vilnius they performed three original songs live on National Television. Papa Truck were also invited to support Tommy Emmanuel’s yearly “Tommy Fest” in 2008.
They now have two albums available (recorded 2007 & 2009), featuring all original songs written by Martin and Dan.
The band's 2009 album (Stand Out of the Shade) sees them in a well-rounded light, with songwriter Martin at the helm. With the help of the rest of the band, Martin has crafted a collection of thoughtful songs, which tell stories of life, love and music. It is certainly a worthy follow-up to their debut album, which was recorded two years earlier.
Papa Truck are now looking forward to the future and to further exposure.
Whether you are listening to their tracks, or watching a live performance, you are always guaranteed to have a smile on your face and one foot tapping.