I am: Shaun Belcher (alter ego Trailer Star)
I am based: Nottingham, England
I started: Too long ago!
I am influenced by: John Fahey, Howlin Wolf, Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, Charlie Rich, Peter Case, Lucinda Williams, Vic Chesnutt, Bobbie Gentry, Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt…
I can be heard: http://www.trailerstar.bandcamp.com
I aim: To raise funds for charity and to maybe be late and great too…but not too soon!
Born in a thunderstorm somewhere in the middle of the Thames Valley sometime before the ‘50s ended and the ‘60s started swinging ‘Trailer Star’ also known as the ‘Legendary Thames Valley Cowboy’ is a fictional character created by myself, Shaun Belcher, artist, poet and sometime musician.
From the mid-80s, when I painted record sleeves for Creation records and started obsessing over American songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark and Peter Case and Bluesmen like Mississippi John Hurt and Lightning Hopkins, I have written songs…literally thousands of them….
These ended up on a series of cassette only releases with titles like ‘Last Farmer of Rattledown Row’ and ‘Black River’ from the mid-80s through to ‘90s. Finally a limited edition ‘Floodplain Demos’ CD was released in 2001, which is where the Trailer Star character first appeared. From 1999 until 2004 I edited and designed the online songwriting webzine ‘Flyin’ Shoes Review’ named after the Townes Van Zandt album of the same name which concentrated on solo artists in the folk, Blues and Americana vein.
After a few years playing live in the early 1990s with The High Priests (a messy three piece garage Blues band like an early White Stripes) I realised that others would sing some of these songs better than me and after showing some artistes my archive of songs the charity CD ‘Moon Over The Downs‘ resulted. Fifteen Americana (US and UK) acts created a tribute to the ‘star that never was’. These included Deanna Varagona of Lambchop, Jim Roll, Bob Cheevers, Terry Clarke and Ronny Elliott with interpretations that ranged across folk, Blues and country.
I had cut my fictional ‘Trailer Star’s’ career abruptly short when his pick-up truck left a blind bend one frosty night on the downs near his trailer but I could not let the story end there and his ghost continues to play…
Trailer Star lives in his ‘late great’ form and I continue to release his collected works on the internet through the official Trailer Star archives at various sites..
Trailer also edited and produced an Americana Webzine called FLYINSHOES REVIEW from 1999-2004 which now in the more than capable hands of Rob Ellen ‘Oop North’ 🙂
Trailer Star was also the fictional host from the ‘Trailer Star Lounge’ of an Americana podcast ‘Flyinshoes Radio’ which came out roughly every two weeks and can still be downloaded from itunes etc. Again like the webzine I concentrated on songwriting. Visit the ARCHIVE and listen to programmes archived at Archive.Org here
Maybe one day Trailer will feature in his own novel/film but for now thanks for listening and please consider purchasing the ‘Moon Over The Downs’ tribute as all proceeds go to Cancer Research UK.”
Shaun Belcher a.k.a. Trailer Star