HERE aren't many people who can croon a
pre-war flavoured character study, accompanied by pattering mandolin, then roar through an R&B scorcher, while making like Ike Turner on guitar, and who can wail a heat-sore country classic like Don Gibson too.
In fact you can count him on one finger.
Andy Fairweather Low and his band of co-conspiritors, the Low Riders, head back to Pontardawe Arts Centre on October 5 to give us a reminder of what music is for.
He brings with him two new albums, Zone-O-Tone, which is released on September 16, and a live one, called Lively.
Many will go along to the show so they can join in the chorus of If Paradise is Half As Nice, and Hello Suzie, and Andy still gives his 1960s Amen Corner hits some joyous welly.
But the other pleasure of his shows is the breadth of ground he covers, musically speaking.
Zone-O-Tone is a prime example.
"Zone-O-Tone contains 12 new songs I've written that were inspired by the music of Stax and Atlantic soul, The Four Aces, Josef Locke, Johnny Kidd, Lonnie Donegan, The Shadows and many more. I am of my time, so are the songs and so is this album!," he says.
The go-to man when a rock legend is looking for a killer guitar player with a rangy, soulful, R&B wail and a hip musical education, he isn't too concerned about swimming against the tide, if that means he can play the kind of music that still gives him a 1,000 volt jolt.
The Low Riders share that same bottom line with him — if it makes you do an emotional double take it is good music.
"If it feels like work it isn't working," he laughs.
Lively, captures the spice of the band live, easing their way through Slim Harpo, Henry Mancini and Lightnin' Hopkins numbers and with Webb's song Slowly being a particular sparkler.
Andy, 64, says: "You're right, I won't get a hit with Webb Pierce numbers, but I just love those songs.
"I have a film of him performing, wearing those garish, awful outfits, but singing those incredible songs.
"I don't perform his There Stands The Glass but it is one of the greatest country ballads and I admit I have stolen that line of his for one of mine." The former teen idol and Ystrad Mynach lad says being free of the expectations which came with his early pop stardom, is a much more comfortable place to be, for him.
"With The Low Riders we don't do something unless we love it and unless we can do it justice.
"And we find it so easy performing together because it is fun. I'm not sure why we come off stage so bruised and battered, but it is fun.
"The band is so good that they don't just play a number, they own it. So I can just drift over the top of what they do, imagining I am Kenny Burrell and letting Nick Pentelow,the real musician in the band, play an incredible solo.
"When I listen to those people I love, like Wilson Pickett and Ray Charles, they still sound as good and as exciting to me as they did 40-odd years ago and I think that is the way music should be.
"Back when I started out I was excited about doing the next album, or at least I was able to convinced myself I was excited about it, but then it got to the stage when you had just put out one and the label was pushing for the next one.
"I'm just not that kind of musician.
"I'm not sure it's even the case that I write when I have something to say. I am always looking to write a short one that is my Don't Fight It, by Wilson Pickett.
"Or at least something close enough to its spirit to keep me happy."
The show starts at 7.30pm.