Dave Sharp Legendary guitarist from The Alarm
The Facts - Biography
Born: 28 January 1959
Birthplace: Salford, Manchester, England
Musical Background: Dave Sharp can play the guitar by the age of eight. He goes on to form numerous experimental bands after the Punk Rock explosion in the late 1970's.
First Notable Band: As he is in the Merchant Navy at the time (1978), Sharp also enlists, initially part-time, as a guitarist for Seventeen; a Rhyl-based band featuring Nigel (Twist) Buckle on drums, Eddie McDonald on bass and Mike Peters on vocals & guitar.
First Recordings: Seventeen record a single, Don't Let Go/Bank Holiday Weekend. It is released in 1980, just as the group splits into two factions. Sharp, having now left the Merchant Navy, and Twist stay in North Wales to work on new ideas, while the others seek inspiration and move to London. They regroup as The Alarm in early 1981 and self-finance their first single, Unsafe Building. They sign to the IRS label the following year.
Breakthrough: The Alarm's third single The Stand is a hit in the USA while the band are supporting U2 on the American leg of their 'War' tour in 1983. Almost simultaneously 68 Guns charts in the UK. The Alarm are in demand.
The Alarm (Singles): Unsafe Building, Marching On, The Stand, 68 Guns, Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke, The Deceiver, The Chant Has Just Begun, Absolute Reality, Strength, Knife Edge, Spirit Of '76, Rain In The Summertime, Rescue Me, Presence Of Love, Sold Me Down The River, A New South Wales, Love Don't Come Easy, Raw.
The Alarm (Albums): Declaration, Strength, Eye Of The Hurricane, Electric Folklore Live, Change, Raw.
1989 saw the US release coast-to-coast hit album, Change, and #1 AOR single, ‘Sold Me Down the River’, from British rock band, The Alarm. Sadly, 1991 saw the surprise departure of the band’s lead singer.
Dave Sharp, co-founder of The Alarm had that previous year enlisted the help of legendary maverick record producer Bob Johnston (Dylan, Willie Nelson & Leonard Cohen) to help cut his first solo record. It was a determined young man who walked through the doors at The Hit Factory NYC in December 1990, and in under a week Sharp’s album Hard Travlin’ had been recorded, mixed and delivered for release to IRS Records.
A relentless two-year period of Stateside touring followed including appearances at Farm Aid concerts and Earth Day celebrations before Sharp returned to New York City in 1992 to perform for an audience of 25,000 gathered in Central Park to celebrate the 80th birthday of folk legend Woody Guthrie. It was a seminal event for Dave Sharp who performed alongside Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie and Billy Bragg and shared the stage with The Right Reverend Jessie Jackson.
In 1996 Sharp once again teamed up with producer Bob Johnston entering Credence Clearwater Revival’s studio in San Francisco to record and release his second solo album, Downtown America. Two underground hits followed, ‘The Ghost of Preacher Casey’ and ‘Give Me Back My Job’, which both received healthy rotation across the board at American radio and led to television appearances on country music’s Nashville Network.
Dave Sharp’s solo albums have received positive critical recognition on both sides of the Atlantic and over the past decade and a half Sharp has been fortunate to work alongside many of the artists he has long respected. Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash have appeared on his recordings. He has performed alongside Kris Kristofferson, Bill Munroe and Porter Wagoner. Whether solo or with a band, guitar in hand, Dave Sharp delivers the "Spirit of Rock & Roll."
His music has been described as everything from folk and blues to rock, country and punk; his performances as legendary however one word can never be used to describe Dave Sharp: "Predictable."
Dave Sharp has embraced mainstream popular culture whilst at the same time remaining one step away from its grasp . . . he likes it that way!
‘It’s a Mighty Hard Road to be Travlin’ Down.’ Dave Sharp writes it, sings it and lives it.