Banging the drum for US history

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A SHEFFIELD band has teamed up with an academic from the city to produce an album inspired by 19th century American history.

The Mule and the Elephant, by Americana band The Payroll Union, will be launched on January 19 and follows a collaboration with Sheffield University historian Andrew Heath.

Lead singer Peter David, who works in student services at the university, said: “I didn’t study history, I’m just interested in this period – the most interesting in American history, I think. It’s full of duels, religious persecution, political corruption and sex scandals.

“Our shared interest in this era led us to decide to work together on a joint project. I asked Andrew if he would like to write the liner notes for the album to expand on some of the themes and he agreed, which is really exciting.”

Dr Heath said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Pete, who is not only a great songwriter but also a very talented historian. The album he’s written brings to life people and ideas I’ve been teaching and researching for the last 10 years and it’s been exciting for me and my students to find someone who can tell the stories we explore in such a novel way.”