Wales

Seasick Steve CD cover fame for abandoned Welsh dog Twm

Twm - the picture was taken on Eastney beach, Portsmouth
Image caption Twm on the front cover of Seasick Steve's new album, You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

A dog found abandoned on the M4 near Swansea has found unlikely fame on the front cover of a new album by American blues singer Seasick Steve.

A photograph of labrador-collie cross Twm standing in water on a beach in Portsmouth features on the album You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks.

Twm's owner Claire Sambrook admitted she did not know who Seasick Steve was when he phoned to ask to use it.

He spotted it on the internet and said it went well with his stage name.

Seasick Steve's popularity has soared since he performed on Jools Holland's annual hootenanny on the BBC in 2006, and he has now sold more than a million records.

The 69-year-old phoned Ms Sambrook, originally from Tonna, Neath, last November.

He left a message on her answer phone, but she was not sure who he was at first.

"I had this voice message from someone called Steve from America, but I wasn't sure who he was," she said.

"He said he liked my picture and would like to use it on his next album," she said.

Ms Sambrook, who works as a creative technologies lecturer at Portsmouth University, said the penny dropped when the singer explained he liked the image because it suited his stage name, Seasick.

"Steve said he was looking on Flickr when he saw a file called old dogs and he saw Twm," she added.

"He said he was going to launch a competition to find the right picture, but when he saw Twm he said there was no need for a competition any more."

Image caption Seasick Steve with fellow performer Lily Allen

Ms Sambrook said Seasick Steve had spoken about Twm on the BBC music show, Later with Jools Holland, and said he was searching for a dog that looked like him.

The singer also spoke about Twm on the BBC 2 morning programme, Somthing for the Weekend, on Sunday.

"I think it's absolutely wonderful for Twm and I'm delighted my picture has been used on the album. Steve wants to meet Twm at some point in the future," she said.

Ms Sambrook found Twm about 10 years ago at an animal rescue centre in Morriston, near Swansea.

He was rescued after being discovered on the M4 - and named after the 16th Century highwayman, Twm Sion Cati.

She said Twm would have been put down had she not given him a home.

She is credited for her photograph on the album, which also includes a few details about her dog.

Ms Sambrook has been given a signed copy of the new album and tickets to see the musician at the Isle of Wight Festival on Saturday.

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