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|Originally from Leeds England Simon Widdowson moved to Minneapolis and played guitar in blues bands and fronted the power pop trio Rainjackets before touring the US in the 90's as a singer/songwriter. Music Festivals to coffee shops, driving around America in an old Volvo he averaged over 200 shows a year for 5 years and drove over 200,000 miles.
Along the way sharing the stage with the likes of Peter Case, Spin Doctors, John Martyn, Tom Paxton, Deacon Blue, Toad the wet Sprocket and Big Head Todd and the Monsters.
After living in Santa Fe New Mexico for a few years and recording a couple of solo acoustic albums, in 1999 he moved to Portland Oregon and opened Are You Listening? Recording Studio and Artists Collective where he went on to engineer and produce critically acclaimed albums for artists such as Decemberists, Pete Krebs, Hindi Guns, Man of the Year, Charmparticles, Papillon, Little Sue, David Smith and many more.
"Are You Listening? Studio; sound lab responsible for some of the shiniest gems in Portlands recent pop past" Portland Willamette Week
His engineering and production skills honed and with several years of songwriting and performing experience under his belt he recorded two new albums of his own music. The first album titled "sweeper" was recorded in 2002 and independently released in the US. It marks the transition from some of his earlier solo acoustic recordings to a more complex production style. Writing all the songs, playing a lot of the instruments and recording and producing the album himself it marks the culmination of his years in music and a creative watershed.
The second of these albums is titled "frame" and was started in Portland in 2003 and finished back in Santa Fe New Mexico in 2004 and finds Widdowson moving into a bigger sound, recording with members of Everclear, King Black Acid and Man of the Year:
"‘Call Out a Rescue’ features a growling bassline, controlled falsetto vocals and bright picked arpeggios on a bed of guitar ambience. Simon’s years of engineering and production abilities have allowed him to create huge-sounding mixes and this track in particular is an epic rock production" Ivan Donohue Musicians.ie
In February 2005 Widdowson moved back to Europe and now lives in Cork, Ireland and has assembled a new band and is performing live both solo and with a band as Sweeper.