“On a rainy, cold, early morning in London when I was 25 I was the passenger in an old VW van in which the seatbelt on my side was broken. As we rounded a corner in south London we slammed head on into a telephone pole. I still remember the impact, hitting the dash like a flash of light and then instant darkness.
“I had played guitar since I was seven when my parents placed one in my hands in hopes I would stop asking for a piano. I played in my room, stole my brother’s Johnny Cash records, wrote songs and played them and the Pentecostal prayer meetings my mother insisted we attend. I sang in musical productions and in the choir. Music was very much a part of my life.
“At college I studied painting and the music took a back seat in my creative life. At the time of the car crash I was living in London, painting. It was my first brush with death. My first experience of my own mortality and it raised the question, if there was one thing I would regret not having done what would it be? The answer was music. Singing. Writing. I sold everything I had, made tapes of all the American music I could get my hands on, bought a guitar and spent six months camping in Europe listening and singing in subways and around campfires. It was the beginning of what led me here, to the best job I’ve ever had.”