SINGER Dean Friedman is bringing his hit singles to West Yorkshire audiences as part of his 2019 UK tour.

The affable American, who sang hits Lucky Stars, Ariel and Lydia, is appearing at Otley Courthouse on July 31, before he makes his way north to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

“I have played there several times and it is always good to revisit,” he says, as he relaxes at his New York home between different legs of his tour.

He will be singing a mix of radio and fan favourites from more than four years of album releases, as well as more unfamiliar tracks.

“On this tour I decided to take a deeper dive into more obscure tracks from earlier albums that don’t normally get played,” he says.

When he plays the Courthouse, Dean will be fresh from two micro-festivals - SongFest South and SongFest North, the latter to be held on Saturday and Sunday July 27 and 28 at the Wychwood Park Hotel in Crewe.

“It is my 16th run in Edinburgh - it is my favourite place to be in mid-August, despite the Scottish rain, it is preferable to hot, balmy New York. It is also really inspiring to be surrounded by performers taking creative risks.”

His performance at Otley focuses upon his most recent album 12 Songs, which is an amalgamation of musical styles including jazz, folk, country and blues which he terms ‘pop fusion’.

“I take pride in the fact that it is eclectic,” he says. “Growing up I experienced a great many music influences and love all kinds of music.”

The songs follow themes that are evocative of his life at the time he wrote them.

“Unlike some of my albums which have a narrative thread, this one is made up of songs to do with many things including the physics of time and space, parenthood, being smitten by someone you just met, and ducks that lived in a park in Dublin who got caught up in the Easter Rising. They are real life, real stories.”

One song is about Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani activist for female education who was shot by the Taliban and who still fights for women’s rights.

Dean’s song Lucky Stars soared up the charts in 1978, reaching number three in the UK. This magical duet, performed with American singer/songwriter Denise Marsa, paved the way for a raft of hits, including Lydia, Rocking Chair, McDonald’s Girl and Woman of Mine. McDonald’s Girl was officially banned by the BBC because the chorus mentioned the name of the fast food restaurant.

He also composes and produces music soundtracks for TV and film, including five seasons of Central TV’s hit series Boon and the soundtrack to the underground cult horror film classic I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle. Other credits include work for Nickelodeon, NBC and the BBC.

A father-of-two, Dean lives in Peekskill, Peekskill, a city in Westchester County, New York, with his wife of 39 years Alison, and Lola, a Prage Ratter - the smallest dog breed in the world. “She definitely lives up to her name - she loves chasing squirrels,” he says, adding that she has her own Facebook page.

He enjoys touring, although he misses his family while on the road. “The travelling can be tedious and I miss home a lot, but the performances and the audiences make it worthwhile.”

Yorkshire has made a good impression on him. “I have always had a fun time in Yorkshire and have seen some really beautiful landscapes such as the Yorkshire Dales.”

He jokes: “I always look forward to travelling through the countryside and stopping on the way for sheep to pass.”

*Dean Friedman is appearing at Otley Courthouse, Courthouse St, Otley LS21 3AN, on Wednesday July 31. Doors open at 7pm. For tickets visit;

Helen Mead