Dear John is the new (stand-alone) single by Dave Sutherland, winner of UK Male Country Singer of the Year at the UK Country Music Awards 2022. It features Dave on vocals and 12 string, the incomparable Rumer on harmony vocals, Slim Chance’s Steve Simpson and Geraint Watkins on acoustic guitar and whirly piano respectively, Malcolm Hoskins on bass, Jim Kimberley on Drums and Nashville’s Bruce Bouton on pedal steel.
Originally written by Jackie McAuley and Johnny Gustafson and a 1982 Top 10 hit for Status Quo, the song title describes the term for a letter written to a man by his lover telling him their relationship is over: a ‘Dear John’ letter. When Jackie discovered Dave was covering the track he was delighted, and more so when he heard the Americana/Country take on the song: “Superb arrangement. Oh my, what a sweet voice. I’m privileged”.
Francis Rossi had previously got in touch with Dave to tell him how much he enjoyed Dave’s album ‘Last Drop of Empty’ after Dave handed him a copy in the street. Upon hearing Dear John, he dropped Dave a message with: “Nice job, very country. Well done”.
Dear John was recorded at Red Kite Studios in Wales and produced by Martin Levan, with Steve, Geraint, Jim and Malcolm all bringing their considerable talents. With the track put down, the search was on for a female vocalist. Dave then met Rumer when they both guested with Slim Chance and, bowled over by her stunning voice, was delighted when she agreed to sing harmonies. Nashville’s Bruce Bouton’s pedal steel finished the track off.
Dave has been treading the musical boards for 30 years, starting with an apprenticeship with Bert Jansch, who produced Dave’s first album. Three more albums followed alongside UK and US tours. In 2022, Dave released his fifth and latest album Last Drop of Empty. A commercial and critical success in the UK, Europe and Stateside and producing two Top 5 singles, it was voted Runner Up Best UK Americana Album 2022 by the readers of Americana UK and nominated for UK Country Album of the Year 2022 at The UK Country Music Awards where Dave was also awarded UK Male Country Singer of the Year. After 30 years, he became an overnight success.