William Topley

With heady literary influences, a taste for the bluesy sound of America’s Deep South and an interest in the Caribbean rhythms of Jamaican reggae, British musician William Topley has been impressing high-powered music lovers for more than a decade. Once described by producer Barry Beckett (Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon) as “the best singer I’ve ever heard,” Topley started his career as the leader of the short-lived band The Blessing. After hearing The Blessing’s first album Prince of the Deep Water (1991), producer Neil Dorfsman (Sting, Dire Straits) described Topley as “the most original songwriter I’ve heard for years.”

Topley’s solo career began with the very well received album Black River (1997). Four more solo albums followed, with the fourth, Sea Fever (2005), featuring an appearance by Mark Knopfler on guitar on the title track. Knopfler later described Topley as “big-hearted, emotional and strictly legit.” Topley toured with Mark on the Sailing To Philadelphia tour, joining Mark on stage to perform the second voice on the title track. He was also a special guest-opener for Knopfler during touring for Shangri-La