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Stuart A. Staples

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Like Tom Waits or Mark Lanegan, Stuart Staples has a ragged voice that sounds like it's been wrecked by years of cigarettes and alcohol. Whether singing his lyrics in a whispery croon or incoherent mumble, Staples captures the twilight atmosphere of a lonely, dilapidated pub, creating sorrowful music that has little punch in daylight but becomes cathartic for lost souls in the late evening. In 1992, Staples formed the Tindersticks, originally a trio called Asphalt Ribbons, in Nottingham, England. Including Asphalt Ribbons members David Boulter (keyboards) and Dickon Hinchcliffe (violins) as well as Neil Fraser (guitar), Mark Colwill (bass), and Al Macaulay, the Tindersticks immediately won over the British press with their eponymous first LP in 1993, selected as Album of the Year by Melody Maker. Often compared to Waits, Nick Cave, and Leonard Cohen, Staples' erotically charged and hauntingly disconsolate stories about relationships expanded the Tindersticks' audience with each outing. Through word of mouth and stellar reviews, the band established a loyal following in America in the '90s with no commercial radio airplay. Although the Tindersticks' later efforts, such as 1997's Curtains and 1999's Simple Pleasure didn't achieve the universal acclaim of their earlier LPs, Staples was still regarded as one of the finest songwriters in England. In 2005, he released a set of solo work, Lucky Dog Recordings 03-04, on Beggars Banquet, followed by Leaving Songs, also on Beggars Banquet, in 2006.

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