Rebecca Downes Announces New Album

Rebecca Downes Announces New Album

Rebecca Downes


Release Date 9th April


Stripped Back Front Cover SquareFollowing up on her critically acclaimed third studio album More Sinner Than Saint, the Black Country’s Rebecca Downes announces the release of her fourth studio album, Stripped Back, on her own label, Mad Hat Records on 9 April 2021.

Lockdown has hit the music industry hard and at the time of writing we are only just seeing the first signs of a return to live performances.  Rebecca performed a storming set at Planet Rock’s Winters End on 1 March 2020 but since then, like many others, she has been limited to online streamed gigs, mostly from home, (although the full band did manage a superb show at the excellent Birmingham Streams venue).  Without the prospect of a tour to promote it, a full new studio album had to be put on hold, but Rebecca and co-writer Steve Birkett saw an opportunity to use the time to revisit and reimagine some of their most popular tracks.  The result is Stripped Back, a new studio album that includes a fascinating re-working of six tracks from More Sinner Than Saint and four from the second studio album Believe.

Steve and Rebecca are prolific songwriters and in the aftermath of More Sinner Than Saint they had over 20 songs that had not made the cut for that album, most because they simply did not ‘fit’.  The feel and mood of Stripped Back created the scope to include two of these previously unreleased tracks, Washing All Over My Heart and Blues for Us make their deserved debuts here.

Watch the video for Blues for Us HERE.

And lockdown presented the opportunity for a different approach to the recording process.  Steve, a talented multi-instrumentalist, undertook the vast bulk of the playing and recording, as well as the arrangement, production and engineering.  The musicians who make up the gigging band – Neil Ablard, Nigel Darvill, Aiden Goldstraw and Vince Yarrington – contributed ‘remotely’ to the track Hurts, but the rest of the music is Steve’s.  And, keeping it in the family, the album was mixed and mastered by his son, Steve Birkett Jnr.  Even three of the images that are used on the album artwork were shot remotely by Adam Kennedy (the fourth is by Rebecca herself).

The end product is a laid-back, yet vibrant album that shows a range and depth to Rebecca’s voice that will be a surprise to those not familiar with all her work whilst at the same time showing off the full scope of Steve’s instrumental and vocal skills.  All-in-all it shows that lockdown did not mean ‘freeze frame’ to this talented duo.

Track List for Stripped Back 
1. Take Me Higher
2.  Blues For Us
3. Screaming Your Name
4. Hurts
5. Sailing On A Pool Of Tears
6. Wave Them Goodbye
7. More Sinner Than Saint
8. Washing All Over My Heart
9. Believe
10. Night Train
11. Come With Me Baby
12. With Me

For the Pre-sale link click HERE.

Rebecca said: “Once it was clear that gigging was some months away, we spoke and agreed that it was the opportunity to do bring this project forward and get on with it.  Then when the first lockdown eased, we did some duo online gigs and that convinced us even more that there was real scope to present these numbers in a new and exciting way that would appeal to our supporters.  And I’m over the moon that the two new tracks can be released at last.  I have always really loved them, but I couldn’t see how they would ever fit on one of our normal blues/rock albums.”

Steve said: “It has been a real labour of love for me to re-work and hone these tracks.  It has also shown that we have the skills to take the music all the way from conception to release, and as independent musicians that is a really helpful capability.  Like Rebecca, I’m really pleased that we now have an outlet for the two previously unreleased tracks.  All round, it’s great that something so good has come out of an otherwise pretty dismal period for everyone.”

With gigging still an uncertain prospect, Rebecca will be working hard to present Stripped Back online, but with a number of gigs on the books just waiting for the ‘all clear’, she will be back out on stage just as soon as it is possible.  And in the meantime, work on new material continues with an eye to an album of new original material later this year or early 2022.

About Rebecca
Rebecca was born and grew up in Wolverhampton.  A few years ago she moved to Birmingham where linked up with co-songwriter Steve Birkett – a partnership that ‘clicked’, to the intense excitement of those around the pair.  With Rebecca’s powerful vocals to the fore as part of a tight 5-piece band, their core genre at the start was the Blues, but they stretched their music in the direction of rock with More Sinner Than Saint

Stripped Back Release Date: 9th April 2021
Pre-sale link HERE.
Catalogue no: CD MADHAT014

Rebecca Downes Releases 3rd Album – More Sinner Than Saint on 24th May

Rebecca Downes Releases 3rd Album – More Sinner Than Saint on 24th May

Rebecca Downes Sleeve More Sinner Than SaintReturning to the fray after the release of her critically acclaimed second studio album Believe, the Black Country’s Rebecca Downes, announces the release of her eagerly anticipated third studio album, More Sinner Than Saint, on 24thMaythrough her own label, Mad Hat Records.   

 With exciting new material that continues the evolution of the music towards rock,More Sinner Than Saintis worth the wait.  At the outset, Downes consulted with producer Chris Kimsey, who has previously worked with The Rolling Stones, to select and refine the 12 tracks and to achieve what she and co-writer Steve Birkett see as the perfect expression of their current writing. 

With five of the fabulous tracks having been mixed by Californian based Bill Drescher, whose previous accolades include working with Rick Springfield and The Bangles, Downes showcases her trademark powerful vocals throughout.  With the remainder of the tracks being mixed by Thunder’s Chris Childs, the pedigree of this album is faultless.

With her superb studio band that includes Dan Clark, Lloyd Daker and Magnum’s Rick Benton, there was no shortage of artists queuing to join her on the odd track or two.  The multi award winning Alan Nimmo (King King) plays guitar on If I Go To Sleepand Magnum’s Tony Clarkin delivers a fabulous guitar solo on Breathe Out.


Track List for More Sinner Than Saint

Take Me Higher +                                       
More Sinner Than Saint #
Chains Fall Down #                                    
If I Go To Sleep +
Screaming Your Name #                           
Stand On My Feet #
Hurts +                                                          
Big Sky +
With Me #                                                     
In Reverse +                                                
Wave Them Goodbye +                             
Breathe Out +

+ Mixed by Thunder’s Chris Childs          

# Mixed by Bill Drescher

Pre-sale link: 

With her signature voice, style and song writing, it was little wonder that last year she was voted Female Vocalist of the Year at the FORM UKBlues Awards.  The release of this jubilant new album once again gives her the chance to showcase her formidable powerhouse and gutsy vocals in tracks that have greater range and depth than anything she’s done before. 

Rebecca said: “We were honoured and humbled to receive Chris Kimsey’s guidance.  He gave us confidence about the direction of our writing changing to a rockier sound and advice on the way the material should be recorded.  Meeting Bill Drescher in LA was fantastic – such a lovely, down-to-earth guy – and his mixing took the five tracks to the next level. Chris Childs has since done an excellent job on the rest in matching Bill’s mixing style.  We are very proud of this album – and the way the music has evolved towards rock.  More than ever before we believe it captures the best of our song writing.”

There will be the opportunity to see this rising star live when she tours with The Quireboys in March and that is something not to be missed, as well as her headline and Festival gigs throughout 2019.

More Sinner Than Saint – Release date: 24th May

Catalogue number: CD MADHAT005 & Vinyl MADHAT006

Pre-sale link: 



Twitter – @RebeccaDownesUK