I thought this was going to be just a simple short paragraph, until I started……..

The Way Out began early in 2016 when Autumn met veteran Leicestershire singer and songwriter Steve Cartwright at Loughborough Acoustic Club, where she was performing. They discovered common ground, and in March started rehearsing, writing and performing. I’ve known Steve for many years, we’ve played and sang with each other occasionally at informal sessions, and we shared the same Producer at one time – Wayne Morris, and I’d contributed mandolin and dobro to some of Steve’s recordings. We’d often resolved to get together properly and see what happened, but we never got around to doing anything about it.

Autumn and Steve, working as The Way Out were booked to appear at the All at Seagrave festival that May, where I was also booked, doing a solo slot. Shortly before the festival weekend, Steve asked me if I’d sit in with him and play a bit of guitar, dobro or mandolin. This was going to be unrehearsed, but I’d done this occasionally with Steve so I knew it could work. A couple of days before the event Steve phoned me and mentioned that there would be a girl singer with him, but she was really good so it would be OK!

Anyway the day came, and I got up to play, thinking “Why has she got blue hair? Why is she making me play the dobro in D flat? What’s a Lyre? I’ve since discovered that my presence there was a total surprise to Autumn, and she was thinking similar thoughts about me in return! “Why is that strange man playing with us? Why is he holding his guitar the wrong way round? What’s a dobro?

And it was really very good. We all enjoyed it, even the audience. Afterwards I was invited to join The Way Out. So I did. And if they hadn’t asked, I would have invited myself anyway. And I still haven’t played “Bottle”, that song in D flat, any better than I did that day! So that’s how The Way Out became a three piece. We did a few gigs, some sessions, bits of writing, some bickering over arrangements – all the usual stuff.

In August Steve decided to concentrate on other projects, and left The Way Out bereft. We were a twosome, and not at all sure how we felt about it. After humming and harring for a bit we decided we’d try it as a duo for a month or two. I don’t think there was ever a formal board meeting or anything, but we now find ourselves with gigs booked up until October 2017, so we must be continuing!

I might have made up the bit about Autumn’s hair being blue. I think it was green that day.


December 2016
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