Both with folk roots overlaid with classical training, both with many years rock-band experience but without having lost a passion for jazz and blues, and both still nuts about their playing without taking themselves too seriously, Rick Hayward and Heather Enid Wells were A Little Uneasy.
We first met at the Music House in Norwich in January 2000. Both of us were booked for solo spots, and both were intrigued and impressed with each other's guitar playing.
We met again a few weeks later at the Billy Bluelight in Norwich, playing on one of Roger Dales gigs, and decided that it was worth exploring some sort of collaboration. When we compared our record collections, they were almost identical!
Before long we were playing a wide variety of gigs pubs, restaurants, music clubs and social functions, and getting a lot of repeat bookings.
Originally we played as a two-guitar duo - though fretless bass had previously been Heather's main instrument. Once we'd tried the guitar-&-bass combination, the two guitars sounded thin to us in comparison, and we kept the line-up with the bass for seven years.
We are no longer together but, even when we were, both of us were gigging regularly with other people, plus solo work. Mostly we enjoyed playing at social functions, festivals, art exhibitions and music clubs though we did include a few nice pubs, clubs and restaurants.
We have pretty much the same musical outlook, both revelling in the challenge of intricate and complex material whilst never losing sight of the emotional power of a good tune.
As guitarists we've both been mad on John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, Davy Graham etc ever since we first heard them, and long before we met. For composition, both love Bach, The Beatles, Gershwin, Bacharach, Brad Paisley and Jobim. There are also some very inspiring local musicians, Norwich is a very hot place for music right now. Our other influences are each other, and everyone we've ever worked with.
As the session guitarist for Blue Horizon Records in the 1960s/70s, Rick worked and recorded with many other great musicians, including Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Rod Argent, American bluesmen Lightnin' Slim and Freddie King (who recorded some of Rick's songs), Christine Perfect-McVie (of Chicken Shack and Fleetwood Mac, but who also had a band on the road with Rick), The Zombies and many more.
Heather was originally taught guitar and banjo by master clawpicker Derek Brimstone, and has had a mixed history since, from touring Germany with the Tommy Trinder Show to working with Cathy Dennis in Cathy's parents' band, from playing solo three years running on the Club Stage at Cambridge Folk Festival to a current packed date-sheet with her harmony rockband Bright Spark, engagements with Norwich City Concert Band (mostly classical), swing jazz with various big bands and gigs with other jazz combos.
Rick: Taylor electro-acoustic guitar and AER Domino amplifier
Heather: Fretless 5-string bass on a floor-stand custom-made to her own design by Iceni, with Trace-Elliot amplification.
We also use a PA on gigs.
A Little Uneasy's page on MySpace:
On Travelling Records: