Ali George is an extraordinarily talented singer-songwriter and guitarist from Bath, UK. He has supported revered folk acts such as: Martin Simpson, Steve Tilson, Nick Harper, and Rory McLeod. He is known for his intricate percussive fingerstyle guitar technique, his mellow, understated vocals, and his subtle, earthy song writing.
His eclectic writing style encompasses anything from deeply personal love songs to highly imaginative fictional short stories he has set to music. His unique sound is enhanced by the rich palette of alternate guitar tunings that he favours, such as DGDGAD, CGCFCE, and CGDGCD.
George has made seven albums of original material, and several EP’s. Most of his releases have been added to the British National Library’s permanent collection.
Ali began playing guitar at the age of six. He was in his first band by the age of ten. By sixteen he had traded his electric guitar for a Yamaha acoustic and was performing solo gigs in pubs and venues around Bath and the South-West, recording demo albums, and developing his skills as a songwriter. In 2003 Ali was interviewed for the first time by Decode magazine, in which his first EP Songs was described as “ingenious”.
Over the next few years George gigged extensively. His first official album, Danish Eyes was self-released in 2006. It was inspired by Nick Drake’s Pink Moon, and Bob Dylan’s The Times They are a’ Changin’. It consisted purely of vocals and guitar, with no overdubs, giving it a stark, yet intimate feel.
In 2011, George released the eclectic and atmospheric album, You Always Burn Your Feathers, in which he established a more mature sound. The album was recorded in Ali’s garden shed by fellow musician and collaborator Dave Selby. That summer Ali performed in the 2011 Bath Folk Festival with his new backing vocalist Ruby Brown.
2013 saw the release of George's third album, The Snow Ballad, which included backing vocals from Ruby. That summer Ali performed many of the songs from the album with a three-piece band at Glastonbury Festival, on the Band Stand.
In 2016 Ali released Fallen Jewel, which featured the renowned and unforgettable Beth Porter on cello. Some of the songs featured Ali on electric guitar for the first time. Fallen Jewel was launched with a five-piece band at The Chapel Arts Centre in Bath.
By this time Ali had accrued a large amount of unrecorded material. He decided to collect some of these “lost songs” together in a concept album about lost innocence and reflection. The recording and production took almost two years to complete. The Old Innocence was finally released on CD in March of 2018. The songs in the collection were written over a period of 15 years (The oldest being the opening track, Innocence - a song Ali wrote when he was eighteen).
In October 2019 George began recording his new album Platys Yialos (which translates roughly as "wide beach" in Greek). Wait for the Mist to Clear – the first single from the album – was played by Sarah Gosling on BBC Introducing in the South-West. She described it as an “absolute gem”!
The foundation of this album was the core two-piece set up of Ali and double-bassist Tom Allen (The Zen Hussies, Bartoune). They shared a mutual love of the acoustic guitar and double bass combo since they had first heard recordings of John Martyn and Danny Thompson.
For the quieter songs like Another Girl, Ali drafted in Bath-based pianist Jools Scott, who added his own subtle touches. For the rockier songs like “Melanie Brown”, drummer Josh West joined the band, painting in his own well-crafted intricacies. Ruby Brown - who featured on three of Ali’s previous albums returned once again to enrich the album with her haunting backing vocals. Beth Porter also made another welcome appearance with a stunning cello performance on the title track.
The beautiful cover painting was made by Ali’s father, artist Andrew Scott George. The album was produced by Josh Clark who Ali had worked with previously on Fallen Jewel.
In the summer of 2021 Ali and Josh collaborated for the third time to create Watchful Days, his most ambitious album to date. This time Josh appeared as a drummer as well as a producer on the album. Tom Allen, Jools Scott, Dave Selby, and Beth Porter returned to collaborate with Ali once again.
This time Ali used a new set up with his electro-acoustic guitar, including long reverbs, ping-pong delays, and stacked overdrives to add texture, creating vast ambient soundscapes. He also used two amps simultaneously (for a wider, more immersive sound), and he experimented with a far more percussive guitar technique.
Several singles from the album will be released in 2022.
Watchful Days is expected in 2023.
Ali performing his song "Hard to Find"" for the finale of his "80 Songs in 80 Days"
Project. Athens, Greece, 2021.
Ali performing his song "Land or Gold" on day 78 of his "80 Songs in 80 Days" Project. Athens, Greece, 2021.
Unplugged performance of "High Rolling Hills", and Interview with Livewired Music (Featuring Louis Brennan) in 2019. (Video by Zeyus Media).
"Times of Hunger" single. Released by Myriad Pink Record Label in 2018.