You could be forgiven for asking yourself: “Now where have I seen that face before? “Truth is, if you have been floating around Europe for the past 15 years or so, you might well have seen Maurice Dickson, if it was Monday, it must have been Germany …or was it Spain, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, France, North Africa …or the Canary Islands. As they say in Scotland, a stone’s throw from Maurice’s native Northern Ireland, he has `earned his spurs’. The long journey began in 1975 when he started playing, singing and writing. A year later, aged 16 he put together his first band, which belted out his own material and cover versions of the day until 1979 when he traded his engineer’s overalls for the insecurity of a life on the road. Setting off with a guitar, a sleeping bag and £75, he spent four-and-a-half years slogging it round Europe and North Africa, learning the tricks that only that kind of experience can give an artist – how to judge an audience, how to hook it, how to play it, how to reel it in and put it in the bag.
This stagecraft is one major reason why he has now built an enthusiastic audience on the acoustic music circuit throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland to add to his many admirers in continental Europe. Another reason has to do with the painstaking way in which he has re-invented himself in recent years to appeal to a wider audience. In 1987 he was blitzing the local scene back home in Northern Ireland with his own R&B band, Shades of Blue. But he found himself more and more drawn towards acoustic styles. The transaction speeded up in 1992 when he worked a season playing solo in Greece and then visited Egypt. Something clicked into place in 1993, he bit the bullet and spent months working 8 hours a day to develop the new and complete style of folk and blues guitar picking which, along with finely crafted lyrics, is now his trademark. Putting in all that hard work at an age when many people feel they have already cracked it produced instant results, his powerful own brand of contemporary folk, which won him the folk section of the International Showcase 1993 at the Limerick Arts Festival. Since then he has been writing, recording and touring constantly in Ireland, Scotland, England, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and the USA.