A band is feeling far from blue as its new album rides high in the charts.
The Tom Gee Band, which features Hipperholme based trumpeter Joe Roughton and guitarist Tom Gee, who grew up in Queensbury, has seen its debut album “Swapping Stories” reach number four in the iTunes blues chart, nestled between Imelda May and Ray Charles.
The eight-piece band has spent ten months working on the album, which contains all new material written by the musicians.
Tom, 24, said: “It was an incredibly proud moment to see us next to Ray Charles.
“But that’s not why we do it.
“We are genuinely having a lot of fun, and if other people are enjoying it too, that’s great.”
The band, which was formed five years ago while members were studying at Leeds College of Music, performs a mixture of blues, jazz and soul.
Based in Leeds but with some members further afield can be “a logistical nightmare” when trying to arrange rehearsals, but they find a way to make it work.
Joe, who was recruited by Tom via Google, said: “I’ve never gelled quite so much with players.
“We all have a really good chance to express ourselves.”
Tom said: “What’s great about having this group of musicians is we have an idea of a framework and we all contribute.
“Everyone writes their own parts and contributes to the structure. The songs would not be what they are without their input.”
The band have played at venues around the country over the last few years, but a particular highlight was being on stage at Cheltenham Jazz Festival earlier this month.
“That was such a good experience,” Joe said.
“There were people singing all the words and bobbing around. That was so good to see.”
The band is now focusing its attention on appearing at a gig much closer to home - playing on the final night of the final Hebden Bridge Blues Festival this weekend.
Joe, 23, said: “It’s great to be playing at home.
“Playing at Cheltenham was one of the best gigs I have ever done.
“But playing at home is something different - we can get all our friends and family there and have a good time.”
They will be appearing at The Old Gate, Hebden Bridge, on Sunday, May 25, at 9pm.
Tom said: “There are a lot of quality acts there, so to be closing the festival is quite an honour.”
And to top it all off, the band has been nominated in the Young Artist category at the British Blues Awards 2014.
Voting is now open at www.britishbluesawards.co.uk/vote.The awards ceremony takes place in September.
l “Swapping Stories” by the Tom Gee Band is availbale now from Amazon, Spotify, iTunes and Google Play, as well as from the band’s website, www.tomgeeband.com.