I am a nostalgic and enjoy the old music as much as the next person. However, we sometimes spend far too much time wallowing in the past and forget to appreciate the present. So as much as I would have loved to duet with or really just sing the backing vocals for John Lennon or Eboa Lotin, the truth is, that ship has sailed (never mind technology that can give you that illusion, as many singers have experimented). Past talent can never be forgotten but the present needs to be acknowledged before it becomes another regret or impossible dream. I need to look at the talent today and count current blessings.

And blessings there are many. I have met countless talents, shared the stage with them or just heard their releases. Among these, there is one that has fascinated me because she has succeeded in marrying skills, emotion and integrity, and never ceases with each new release to go beyond who we thought she was or could be, detaching herself from the chains of peer pressure, industry’s duties and other musicians’ debts.

It was an obvious choice to want to collaborate with her. Yet, my vision of her music was also the reason I would delay approaching her. But one can only regret, wonder and be stuck in the manipulating hands of imagination until they release their apprehension and ask the question.

When I asked Jo Bywater to collaborate with me on an alternative version of Free Like Smoke, I did not doubt the magic she would add to it, I just hardly could imagine she would say Yes! She did and this is the beautiful result

The track is available from today, free as an MP3 for all those who purchased the Out Of The Black album CD or for £1+ otherwise. It can also be purchased as a single (CD). It is available now from all major retailers, including Bandcamp, iTunes, CBaby and Amazon,  as well as streamed on Deezer, Spotify and all the other main streaming services. Would love to know what you think!

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