Kieran White stands alone on Lonesome Heroes for having been born in the United Kingdom as well as for achieving a modicum of widespread popularity in his short life. Moving with his band Steamhammer from their home on the South Coast, Worthing, to London in the late 1960s, White and company lucked into major gigs and a recording deal with Reflection Records (of Catherine Howe “fame”). Issuing three LPs in three years, the band enjoyed decent sales and a healthy live following, though nothing approaching a hit.
By 1971, White was being pushed to the side by bandmates bent on developing a more progressive sound. So White retraced his roots, writing simple songs with stripped down arrangements for the more plaintive set. He found work as a staff writer for the Gull label in 1973, home to such middleweight artists as Arthur Brown and Steve Ashley. “Hummingbird,” a product of White’s time at Gull, was intended only as a demo to guide another artist. However, White’s work caught the attention of the label’s president, who signed him as a solo artist. White was then dispatched to Rockfield Studios with a cadre of ace session players to record fleshed-out versions of the demos with full arrangements. Issued in 1975, Open Door features songs struggling to emerge past layers of studio sheen. The release was a qualified failure and within a few years, White had relocated himself, his daughter, his master tapes, and little else to Portland, Oregon. Discovered by his daughter Amiran after 1995 death from lung cancer, this version of “Hummingbird” makes its debut here.