Kersten de Ligny (a.k.a. Ms. Nightingale)
Kersten has been singing with me since the Fields Of Plenty album in 2005.
It was obvious from the start that her voice complemented mine like a frame does a painting.
Although she was busy working with her own trio at the time the music drew us together as by natural law.
A woman of many talents, bringing her singing and also painting and photography to the table, she enhances not only my music but my life in many areas.
People often inquire if she has a record of her own and, although she doesn’t quite have that ambition, it’s always a pleasure to feature her lead vocal on some songs in the live set.
Timon van Heerdt (a.k.a. Tim O’Neil)
Tim has been with me since the late 90s, first as a guitarist in our garage band The O’Neils, also adding some dobro, mandolin and even some pedal steel guitar to CD recordings. On many a tour and record he has been a steady and reliable anchor point. Recent years have proved that these qualities serve him to be a solid and functional bass player. A songwriter and singer in his own right, he brings expertise and support to my music that feels safe to lean on.
Jan Erik Hoeve (a.k.a. Coco Pedalo)
Going all the way back to the late 70s / early 80s when we worked together in my first country-rock adventure called The Cotton Brothers – later to become the first incarnation of Personnel – Jan Erik is a true original on pedal steel.
More rooted in his own muse than in any traditional music that is the instrument’s heritage, Jan Erik dreams up trademark lines and melodies that become part of my songs and feel like they belong there. He also plays the banjo on some songs and his colors greatly enrich the picture of my music. I always thought of him as ‘my’ Ben Keith, but lately found out he is not even familiar with him. Getting back together after 40 years feels like we never left off and I hope there’s a long stretch of road ahead yet.
Roel Overduin (a.k.a. Purple O’Neil)
Whenever I worked with a full band over the years since the early 90’s, my main man has been Roel on the drums. We can move anywhere together in improvisation, he keeps an open mind and yet anchors the rhythm and feel like no other. He knows my quirks and moves and has my back at every turn, even when I don’t know where I’m going. We got lost and found together so often that a strong sense of trust has been built that is unique and irreplaceable.
Rene Kaaij (a.k.a. The Maestro)
I first met Rene in a small theatre in his hometown of Den Haag in 2002, when he requested a song. I remember playing it on the piano for him, which I never would have dared if I’d known the player that he is. Years later in the same theatre we played the same song (Wonders Of The World) together and instantaneously there was a magical bond and telepathy to playing my music with him. A multi-instrumentalist and wizard in his own Seafront studio, he started working with me on a record very organically after that, in 2014. Since then I’m happy whenever he can be part of our entourage, both on record and on stage.
Neil James Morrison (a.k.a. Morris)
Morris and I go back a long time to the late 70s when he played the fiddle and we became bandmates in a C&W outfit called The Pride Of Texas, who were the house band in the original Last Waterhole bar, a notorious place in deep dark downtown Amsterdam.
Although Jim has long since moved back to London we remain eachother’s oldest musical friends and fellow travelers. Over the years he has made regular appearances on my records and in live shows. His honest, characteristic and melancholy tone always feels like coming home to me.
Frans Cornelissen (a.k.a. The Lone Bone)
A stellar trombone player and arranger/composer who plays with many great people in many genres. I first met Frans as a neighbor down the street who stashed a horn in the trunk of his car. He answered my question if he could improvise to folk music by adding a part to a song I was working on. It was like a new window opened in my music, with a view I never had before. Since then his playing and classic lines have enriched my songs and occasional live shows, leaving me curious and hungry for more.