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Shutdown (ft. Tucker Antell & Mike Outram) out now on RSB Records

‘Shutdown’ – single album cover by yours truly

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‘Shutdown’ is a Jazz Fusion track in the steps of the Brecker Brothers. It was recorded live at Masterlink Studios as part of the album ‘The Hang’. Master guitarist Mike Outram and Tucker Antell on tenor saxophone (who also wrote the tune) are stretching out in this intense groove workout with a perpetuating groove provided by Dave, Mike, Karl and yours truly.

Tucker in full solo-flight (photo by Rob Blackham)

Tucker arrived on an early Tuesday afternoon at Masterlink Productions, in Send near Woking and had to leave Thursday mid afternoon – all the way from and back from Boston, MA. However, at no point did we ever have the impression that he would run out of ‘oomph’, energy and ideas – he is something else for sure as he wonderfully showcases on ‘Shutdown’.

The idea for the entire album ‘The Hang’ was for everyone to bring a few original compositions to the studio. Like the previous single ‘Backburner‘ this one was also penned by Tucker. When I heard his midi demo first I wasn’t entirely sure if it would fit the overall vibe of the album – if Funk is on the left side of an imaginary fader and Jazz on the right hand side – it certainly was pushed to the ‘far right’ – kind of in the ‘red zone’ rather than ‘orange’ or even ‘green’ – in particular as my recent releases have been much more ‘Funk’ than ‘Jazz’. However, we all were brave enough to run his tune in the studio and we were all surprised how cool it turned out to be. We all felt we were stepping in the massive footsteps of the Brecker Brothers (albeit no trumpet, of course). The wonderfully creative solo-flight of both Tucker and Mike Outram on top of a hard driving riff all received our thumbs up. Let’s see what you’ll make of it!

Mike Outram digging deep (photo by Rob Blackham)

Mike Outram is the other featured artist on ‘Shutdown’ – his solo is so fabulously creative and inventive – and masterfully matching Tucker’s ‘oomph’ too! One of the outstanding abilities of Mike is to truly improvise his solos by reacting ‘on the fly’ what is going on around him plus interpreting titles like ‘Shutdown’. The tune was recorded around Trump’s government shutdown and listening to his solo one can only image what he thought of it – now this is ‘true’ improvisation. Yet again this shows why he is one of the very best guitarists coming out of the UK in his generation.

The creative juices were flowing in abundance during the recording of ‘The Hang’ – so much so that James Welch, my partner in crime of the Masterlink Sessions, whipped out his ‘ancient’ Watkins copycat to the great delight of Mike Outram who immediately starting to weave it into his improvisations.

James Welch’s Watkins Copicat (photo by Rob Blackham)



  • Produced by Stefan Redtenbacher
  • Recorded, mixed & mastered at Masterlink Productions by James Welch
  • Photos by Rob Blackham
  • Cover photo & graphic Illustration by Stefan Redtenbacher
  • ‘Shutdown’ written by Tucker Antell
  • Released on RSB Records, RSB749002
Mike Sturgis ‘on fire’ (photo by Rob Blackham)