SOMERSET'S most famous singer/songwriter has some advice for all of us and this is to be a ' free spirit '.

Chris Jagger who lives near Glastonbury believes too many of us follow the rules and we should keep our individuality rather than following the herd.

Chris made his first records during the 1970’s for David Geffen of Asylum in Los Angeles.

In the 1980s, he contributed to two of The Rolling Stones' albums, Dirty Work (1986) and Steel Wheels (1989), while he also worked in France with Vanessa Paradis's producer, Franck Langolff.

Chris has released 11 albums with his latest “All The Best” via BMG / Absolute.

This is a sixteen track retrospective featuring a brand new track, ‘Avalon Girls’, which heralded his Glastonbury performance this year.

Michael Eavis asked Chris to perform on Glastonbury’s Avalon Stage in 2017 after seeing his band ‘The Rocking Kronies’ perform.

Chris thought: “OK, maybe I should write a song for the occasion as I have lived in the area for over 20 years.

Somerset County Gazette:

"Whenever we play in the town, the girls just simply get up to dance, which I love, there’s no fuss, they just do it.

"And so I came up with the simple line, ‘When you play your music, they like to dance’.

"I got together with guitarist Kit Morgan and we knocked out a basic version, rented some mobile recording equipment and went into my barn with drummer Paul Atkinson and cut it.

"It rocked and we knew straight away it was good and fun.

"I hope the Avalon girls like it.”

Giving his thoughts on 'Avalon Girls' he said: "A song like Avalon Girls covers a wide remit.

"It comes from a health shop in Glastonbury where these type of girls go.

"They wear no make up and are naturally cheerful, have a free spirit and they seem to have created their own image, their own style.

"It is important to have a free spirit these days as it helps you keep your individuality so you can think for yourself.

"Every where you go you seem to meet people who tell you oh you cannot do that as it is not the rules or it is not up to me or I only work here.

"No one is allowed to have independence.

Somerset County Gazette:

"It seems common sense has failed and this one of the reasons people are losing interest in politics."

Chris has picked all the best tracks from his recordings over the past twenty years; there are rockers, duets with Sam Brown and Mick Jagger and some great guitar playing by David Gilmour, Ed Deane and Kit Morgan.

Chris decided to then concentrate on his own material and the result was the critically acclaimed ‘Atcha!’ in 1994, a mix of Cajun style with Chris’s individual brand of songwriting.

Contributions came from David Gilmour [Pink Floyd] and Dave Stewart [Eurythmics] on ‘Lhasa Town’, and Leo Sayer.

He made four more subsequent CDs, including ‘The Ridge’ in 2009 a solo effort featuring Danny Thompson on double bass and John Etheridge on guitar, and Concertina Jack in 2013.

In all Chris has written and recorded over a hundred titles.

Chris Jagger tours regularly across Europe and the UK with his Acoustic Roots trio, and his band, playing in Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, France and Holland and has just returned from Australia and New Zealand.

Somerset County Gazette:

As his output and touring work shows, he is a versatile and creative talent; “All The Best” is a collection that has been carefully selected from across his work.

Speaking about music, he said: "Music is an inspiration in general as it could be seen to be poetry or recycling an old idea or an old folk tune.

"You might want to use something which you over hears, it could be an every day comment or a familiar phrase.

"There is no real formula but it is good not to use too many cliches an if you unravel it all then the song lose all its meaning and becomes meaningless.

"It could mean one thing or another.

"So many songs these days are formulaic.

"I have never particularly liked pop songs terribly much. Some pop songs are better than others but I have never been a pop fan.

"When I was growing up I was attracted to the old blues songs as I saw blue music as being like folk music.

"The music was being passed down through generations change so people sing them or play them and change them so they sound like there own.

"With blues music it was different as this was someone with a guitar travelling from town to town.

"They were a Troubador of music and it was important they kept their repertoire to themselves and not share it on YouTube.

"What is happening now is young people are going back to rediscover the original versions of songs.

"The big signpost was when Bob Dylan arrived and started writing songs as a stream of conciousness.

This meant any one could write songs about anything even the Titanic in 24 verses."

Chris's career has spanned the artistic spectrum, ranging from music and clothes designing to theatre and journalism.

Speaking about this Chris said: "I have never really had a job or have been working for someone else.

Somerset County Gazette:

"Nobody says you cannot lay here of you do not have a degree from the Royal College of Music.

"You do not need any musical qualifications to play music.

"It is harder to write happier songs than it is to write sad songs.

"It seems to be if you are sad you pour your misery into your song and this helps you improve.

"It does get harder to wrote songs as you get older.

"The reason is you tend to become more cynical and you can fall into the trap of becoming a grumpy old man.

"Acting and singing are similar things.

"You have to go on stage and you have to perform and inter act with the audience.

Somerset County Gazette:

"When you go on stage you have to enjoy it, whether it is in front of 60,000 people like my brother does, you still have to be true to yourself.

"You need to talk to people, the music will happen and if anything goes wrong do not panic."

TRACKLISTING of "All the Best" Retrospective by Chris Jagger via BMG/Absolute is: Law Against It / Avalon Girls / On The Road / It’s Amazing What People Throw Away [feat. David Gilmour] / Lights of the City / Concertina Jack [feat. Mick Jagger] / Got Me (Where You Want Me) [feat. Sam Brown] / Wintertime Blues / Channel Fever / The DJ Blues [feat. Mick Jagger] / Ain’t Gonna Be Your Fool / Junkman [feat. David Gilmour] / A Single Spark / He’s In A Meeting / Funky Man / Fire This is a sixteen track retrospective featuring a brand new track, 'Avalon Girls'.