Probably best known as a member of the Notting Hillbillies, Brendan Croker was also a well-respected singer/songwriter and session guitarist both before and after his involvement with that band. Drawing on strong folk, blues, and country roots, Yorkshireman Croker brought a strong, Woody Guthrie-ish lyrical outlook to his musical palette, and was equally at home with Van Morrison-style blues or American country music of any era. In fact, his deep knowledge of and affection for American roots music, coupled with his fine singing and guitar playing, at one point gave rise to Croker being hailed as "the British Ry Cooder".
Brendan Croker is a musician from Leeds who has recorded albums under his own name and with occasional backing band; The Five O'Clock Shadows. He was also a member of The Notting Hillbillies. During the late 1980s he was an auxiliary member of The Mekons and a full-time member of Sally Timms and the Drifting Cowgirls. He has recorded with Eric Clapton, Tanita Tikaram, Mark Knopfler, Kevin Coyne, and Chet Atkins. Guy Edward Fletcher is an English multi-instrumentalist, best known for his position as the Synthesizer player in the rock band Dire Straits from 1984 until the group's dissolution, and his involvement in many parts of Mark Knopfler's solo work.
The Notting Hillbillies was a country rock project formed by British singer-songwriter Mark Knopfler in May 1986. The group consisted of Knopfler (guitar and vocals), Steve Phillips (guitar and vocals), Brendan Croker (guitar and vocals), Guy Fletcher (keyboards and vocals), Paul Franklin (pedal steel), Marcus Cliffe (bass), and Ed Bicknell (drums). They gave their first performance at a small club in Leeds, and followed up with a tour. The Notting Hillbillies recorded just one album, Missing…Presumed Having a Good Time, eleased on 6 March 1990 by Vertigo Records internationally, and by Warner Bros. Records in the United States, before returning to concentrate on their primary musical outlets…
As the grandson of the late trumpeter Doc Cheatham, and former student of legendary jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd, trumpeter Theo Croker is an artist steeped in jazz tradition. Well-versed in the swing, bop, and modal styles of acoustic jazz, Croker's own music reveals a love of organic funk, soul, and gooey, groove-oriented hip-hop. It's a vital amalgam that would have pleased the forward-thinking Byrd, whose own '70s funk-jazz albums are an obvious touchstone for Croker on his hypnotically enlightened 2016 effort Escape Velocity.