THE BROOM HILL STRING BAND were formed in early 2011 by Max Johnson and Andy Spacey. The boys had all played together in various groups over the last 10 years. Max had joined The Strugglin’ String Band in April/May 2010 playing acoustic and resophonic guitar, harmonica and singing harmony. When other guitarist left the band Max suggested Andy for the job. Soon after that, founding members Neil Arc
her and Steven Morriss left, The Strugglin String Band as such was no more and Max, Andy and Stef (having replaced Neil) were left wondering what to do next.
“I initially wanted it to be a solid traditional Bluegrass trio” said Max “but the sound wasn’t substantial enough. Not only that, but I’d only been playing the Mandolin for a short time and Andy played a bit of banjo but not much so we were hardly Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs…” An opportunity arose to ask old friend and musician Chris Rowe to join the fold. Max, Chris and Matt had played together in a handful of bands in the past and over the years had developed good vocal harmony. “I knew Chris wasn’t particularly into the hillbilly stuff” Max continues..”but he’s an excellent musician and our vocal harmonies were pretty good in a kind of Beatles/Everly Bros way.. I figured we could work with that” After only a few short sessions an opportunity came up to record. “We weren’t ready” Andy says ” and I think it shows on that demo.”
Max agrees ” what it did do though was help me to realise the potential in stepping out of the box musically. I had recently come across Pokey Lafarge so suddenly blending a country tinged roots band with that old rag and show tune feel sounded possible and I knew Chris was a fan of that era of music” .
With plenty of forthcoming gigs and second recording session in the pipeline, it promises to be a busy summer for Max and the rest of the Broomhills. “It’s all about playing as many gigs as we can and promoting the name and the music, It might prove difficult but it’ll be worth it” Max wraps it up ” When we’re playing I look round at the others and smile to myself. I’m playing with the best musicians I know but also some of my closest friends”.