Martin Stephenson has been one of the UK's best-loved musicians for 30 years.
New album California Star sees him reunited with The Daintees, the band he's intermittently fronted through a string of albums - and hundreds of gigs - since his teens in the North East.
Always popular on the circuit, Stephenson's 'must see' live performances are an exuberant tour-de-force combining heart-in-your-mouth intimacy with playful humour and warm self-deprecation.
The Daintees' critically acclaimed 1986 debut Boat to Bolivia opened up an always interesting story. It showcased Stephenson's songwriting, poetic romanticism and spiritual depth - so marking him out as a soulful cream of the leftfield crop during the self-obsessed 1980s.
Never pandering to a particular scene, Stephenson's lightness of touch on a varied mix of musical styles was immediately apparent. His path was destined to be a lifelong journey through the music he loved: folk, ragtime, jazz, rockabilly, show tunes, punk-pop and country.
California Star continues his tradition for eclectic roots songwriting, and is the perfect middle-age bookend on a discography now amounting to 40 albums.