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Bluesbreakers: Rag’N’Bone Man

Big-bearded Brightonian who’s swapped grime for bluesy grit.

Once upon a time, the basis of a teenager’s musical tastes was simple: if your parents didn’t like it, you turned it up. For music-loving kids in the 21st century, though, the generation gap hasn’t had its bridges burnt. That’s why for Brighton boy Rory Graham, his parents’ folk, blues and soul records were as important as the drum’n’bass and hip-hop jams his schoolmates were into.

Echoes of that upbringing can be heard on his recent EPs Disfigured and Wolves, which combine a booming, portentous blues voice with dark, brooding soul songwriting and slow, bassy beats.

Recent plays on BBC 6 Music, Radio 2 and XFM (as well as soundtracking a trailer for the BBC’s Poldark series) have ensured that his audience is now a curious mix of older roots music fans and the hip-hoppers who have followed him since he first stepped up at an open mic show in his home town six years ago.

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