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December 15, 2009

‘Twilight’ helps sun rise on Long’s career

SINGER/SONGWRITER | Will appear here as he tours to gain experience

Playing an endless run of open-mike nights in London paid off for British singer-songwriter Bobby Long.

There he became friends with another songwriter, Marcus Foster, and with then up-and-coming actor Robert Pattinson, who would go on to star in the “Twilight” films.

» Click to enlarge image Bobby Long says Robert Pattinson (inset) did a great job with his song, “Let Me Sign,” on the “Twilight” soundtrack.


When: 8 tonight

Where: Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee

Tickets: $15 (773-489-3160;


Long and Foster penned the song “Let Me Sign,” which Pattinson sang on the “Twilight” soundtrack.

Suddenly, Long was thrust into the spotlight, thanks to the mad popularity of the movie. Overnight, he went from open-mike nights to an international tour.

The whole “Twilight” thing, he admits, was a bit “fast and weird.”

“I was in the dark and had no idea how big the film was going to be,” Long said from the road somewhere in Oklahoma. “I just tried to make use of the situation in the best possible way.”

“Twilight” fans should understand from the start that Long rarely performs the moody “Let Me Sign,” and it will not be included on his upcoming debut album.

“Robert did a great job with it,” Long said. “But it’s not really my style of song.”

Long’s style, reminiscent of late folk legend Nick Drake, is centered around his raw and organic folk-blues songs. A sturdy guitarist with a strong, raspy vocal style, Long has a grounded maturity that belies his 23 years.

He’s been touring nonstop for six months and begun work on his album with help from Grammy-winning producer Liam Watson, who has worked with the White Stripes among others.

When the movie hit, nearly every label was interested in Long, but he’s more interested in doing things his way and hasn’t signed up with one yet.

“I wanted to tour, to build a fan base and gain more experience,” Long said. “So that when I started to record, I would be in a good position.”

Long recently received his degree from London Metropolitan University after writing a thesis he describes “as a look at the social impact of folk music and the protest song in the ’60s.”

“I love that era and the music of Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan,” Long said. “And reading about the era opened my eyes to an appreciation of American history.”

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