Beggar Joe, the ‘Street Soul Guys’ from Manchester,

In a mini chateau, hidden away deep in the southern French countryside, five modest musicians and a producer had just arrived in a cramped camper van, after travelling from their hometown of Manchester.

Beggar Joe, who take their name from a Bob Dylan lyric, armed themselves with the appropriate instruments, basic recording equipment, a selection of rugged soulful tunes, and over the following six weeks, set about recording their majestic self-titled debut album.

Beggar Joe are somewhat renowned in their home stomping ground – the vibrant musical city of Manchester, due to their traffic-stopping busking in various corners of its busy streets. Their blues guitars, seamless finger work and raw vocals have already amassed them an online fanbase as enthralled passers-by like to take live footage on eager camera phones, and upload clips to Youtube, labelling them with such tags as ‘The Street Soul Guys’. See for yourself here:

To avoid the distractions of city life, the quintet chose the peaceful sunny settings of Southern France to record a live, organic album, utilising French wine and cigarettes for inspiration and only an open log fire for an audience. The result is an astounding musical journey of an album bathed in depth and versatility that swoops gracefully from the delicate to the deluxe. It’s the soundtrack to your daytime reverie, the music that haunts your sleep and the melody that meddles with your subconscious.

hester’s pavements, bars, cafes and live music venues, it wasn’t long before Beggar Joe caught the attention of an unsuspecting, yet-to-be formed, record label. Grammy Award winning producer, Al Stone (who established himself as a world class talent after producing Jamiroquai’s 10 million strong selling album ‘Travelling without Moving’) was intrigued to see a large crowd gathering intently round some local buskers. Captivated by the band’s ability to play their instruments so skilfully, coupled with bohemian troubadour, Jon Kenzie’s raucous vocals, he watched as they wistfully played through their entire mesmerising repertoire.

Having also worked with the likes of U2, Tina Turner, Genesis, Bob Dylan, Alabama 3, Kelis, Joss Stone, Corrine Bailey-Rae, Bjork and many more industry heavy-weights, Al’s ear for making great records and reputation for nurturing and getting the most out of musical talent is unrivalled. Starting a long-pondered label after meeting ‘one of the most talented bands I have ever seen’ seemed the next logical step for the world-renowned producer.

After teaming up with long-term friends, fellow music obsessives and subsequent business partners; Tyrone Hinds (who managed Ms. Dynamite from an underground talent to a Mobo, Brit and Mercury Music Prize winning artist) and Chet (aka Chas) Mehmet (music sales and distribution guru), CAT Records was born. Pooling together over 30 years of industry experience and more than 25 million combined album sales between them, it was the perfect excuse to launch their dream record label and go all out to promote their new band and first signing; Beggar Joe.

After enjoying success everywhere from the shores of China, to Italy and across America the band have returned home for their soon to be announced, UK tour. For press tickets, interview requests and other media information, please contact A Star PR on the details below.
Dates so far:
18th June – Dry Bar – Manchester (8pm stage time)
9th July – Dry Bar – Manchester (8pm stage time)
12th July – Watts Festival – Tiverton, Southwest (8pm stage time)
16th July – Kings Cross St Pancras (stage time TBC)

Beggar Joe release their remarkable debut album on 5th October 2009. Please find enclosed a 3 track sampler including songs ‘No More Revelations’, ‘Sleeping City’ and ‘Rely On’ as well as a video for ‘Walkaway’.
For all media enquiries please contact Ben Allen (Online), Tom Green (Print) or Sara Boughton (Regional Press) on 020 7836 1122 or email

CAT Records are named after the initials of the first names of its 3 founding members:
Chet (aka Chas) Mehmet, Al Stone and Tyrone Hinds. Below is a short biography on each.

Chet (aka Chas) Mehmet
Chet set up his own distribution company in 1991 in California, specialising in supplying cd’s to non – traditional retail outlets. This helped him to develop a strong background in street level sales and a no nonsense approach to business. Within 6 years the company had spread to over 3 continents and was growing stronger year on year. He believes that business is about planning, preparation and implementation…and of course, gut instinct.

“It goes without saying that any record label has to adapt quickly and take advantage of new emerging products, brands and technologies, however, it’s important not to forget it all starts with a great band and a great song. ‘The real deal’ artists or bands do not come along everyday.”

Al Stone
Al started his music industry career by travelling to Russia to record UB40 live in Moscow and Lenningrad during the winter of 85/86. He then spent the next 2 years travelling the UK and Europe recording some of the biggest names in music from U2 to Tina Turner and Genesis to Bob Dylan.

After a stint as an engineer at the world renowned Townhouse Studios, (where he worked with artists such as The Stereo MC’s and Bjork), he turned his attention to production. As a first step, Jamiroquai’s ‘Return of the Space Cowboy’ made a solid platform to build on. With the seminal ‘Travelling Without Moving’ selling in excess of 10 million copies worldwide, Al was truly established as a world class producer. He has also worked on albums by Turin Breaks, Alabama 3, 808 State, Lamb, Daniel Beddingfield, Kelis, Joss Stone and Corrine Bailey-Rae.

Tyrone Hinds
In 2001 Tyrone was approached to manage the up-and-coming artist Ms Dynamite. In no time at all, the hard work paid off and Ms Dynamite achieved The Mercury Music Prize, 3 Mobo Awards and 2 Brit awards, amongst many others. Since then, he has gone on to work with other major artists such as Liberty X and Kylie Minogue.

He was also invited by both Pepsi & Polydor to be one of 4 judges at the Pepsi Urban 2004 competition where he quickly discovered Emily Henshaw, who later went on to win the competition by a long-shot.
“For me it is both a challenge and rewarding when working with artists, because I get to see the end results of everyone’s hard work. They usually only get one chance in the music industry and I believe with, “CAT Records” will give them that platform.”