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MARTIN STEPHENSON has been one of the UK's best-loved musicians for 30 years. New album CALIFORNIA STAR sees him reunited with The Daintees, the band he's intermittently fronted through a string of albums - and hundreds of gigs - since his teens in the North East. Always popular on the circuit, Stephenson's “must see” live performances are an exuberant tour-de-force combining heart-in-your-mouth intimacy with playful humour and warm self-deprecation. The Daintees' critically acclaimed 1986 debut BOAT TO BOLIVIA opened up an always interesting story. It showcased Stephenson's songwriting, poetic romanticism and spiritual depth – so marking him out as a soulful cream of the leftfield crop during the self-obsessed 1980s. Never pandering to a particular scene, Stephenson's lightness of touch on a varied mix of musical styles was immediately apparent. His path was destined to be a lifelong journey through the music he loved: folk, ragtime, jazz, rockabilly, show tunes, punk-pop and country. CALIFORNIA STAR continues his tradition for eclectic roots songwriting, and is the perfect middle-age bookend on a discography now amounting to 40 albums