4th UK Blues Challenge Announced At The Cavern Liverpool
UKBlues Federation are delighted to announce Tickets for the 4th UKBlues Challenge, which will be held at the world-famous Cavern Club in Liverpool on Sunday 10th September 2017, are now on sale via the Cavern Club’s website – HEREThey are priced at £10.00 in advance, £12.00 on the door.
Members of the UK Blues Federation can enjoy a reduction of £2.50 per ticket (maximum 2 tickets per member). This discount will be applied when they next renew their membership after 10th September 2017. Join the UK Federation Today
The bands/artistes appearing are, in alphabetical order
Doors will open at 15.30 with the first band on stage at 16.00. It is anticipated that the event will finish by about 21.00 and will close with a set from the winners and, we hope, feature some top guests who will be at the event. Bluesdoodlesinvites you to share this news, help support UKBlues in what it is doing. Visit our website – UKBlues to read about membership benefits and to join
Wildfire, perfectly captures in a word the burning power of Elles Bailey’s vocals and stage presence as she sings blues that have captured in its blue flame, country, roots and soul. The voice is smoky with textures and tones that pulls out lyrics and coats them in Elles special brand of Bristol fanned Wildfire.
Often the word unique is used when talking about an artist especially on a debut album. In the case of Elles Bailey it is most definitely true. Her blues fuelled sound is lived-in, and is the fortuitous result of a childhood illness. Having recovered from both viral and bacterial pneumonia; her voice at the age of three had changed, leading to her ENT specialist prophetically observing, “If she ever wants to sing, she’ll be a natural blues vocalist!”
Wildfire started out as a demo that she had arranged to cut in Nashville whilst on a family road trip as Elles explained, “You know, ‘when in Rome’ and all that? But what was meant to be just one solitary track took on a life of its own. Before I knew it, boom, we had a whole album!”
Elles has surrounded herself with musicians chosen so that your ears mine through rich veins of blues tones and textures. Using musicians from both sides of the Atlantic, from USA guitarist Brent Mason and Chris Leuzinger, pianist Bobby Wood; and the rhythm combo of bassist on drums, We always love some more glitz so joining the Wildfire party legendary Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriter Roger Cook came on board. Once back in the UK adding their depths of musical talents and blending the music into a continuous perfectly woven tapestry are Jonny Henderson on Hammond organ and Joe Wilkins on blistering guitar. Without the skills, oversight and direction from producer Brad Nowell this could have been a fire burning out of control instead we have music that is balanced and sumptuous.
Opening with a howl of guitar conjuring up wilderness, Wild West the scene is set with the title track as blues meets country coming back down the road. What really captures your musical ear is the voice; Elles has an understanding of the lyric taking it slowly, giving the words space and building the tension. The music and lyrics paint a visual picture in your minds-eye creating cinematic music. The winning combination of Bobby’s piano and Jonny’s Hammond soothes the soul as her vocals drop with smoothness of whipped rich cream sharpened with a jolt of citric. The song is wistful and you empathise with the pain she is feeling as the drums beat out the road she has to travel as the perennial question What If I is asked again and again through the track. Leaving you wondering about your past asking your own What If I question.
Half way through the album and the delta slide guitar blues has an outing with Let Me Hear You Scream, again the shaping of the vocals gets the story told and we just want to hear her vocals growl with intent when she sings the title. The tempo rises as if the wind is fanning the fire with Shackles of Love her soulful modulation and backing vocals curl around the instrumentation that she has under total control.
Again, the tones are full of interest country with added values as we check in to Barrel Of Your Gun, starting smooth the vocals harden and the mesmeric qualities of music that is rooted in the blues and flowers free using the qualities of lyrics vocals and musicians she has surrounded herself with. With a tribute to the blues man on Howlin’ Wolf we hear her howl and celebrate the blues in her own way that will become a trademark as her career further establishes itself. The music slows, her vocals sung softly as we have a true blues number with Girl Who Owned The Blues; Elles Bailey already owns her style of blues in her hands, Wildfire is going to win her more. Closing the album out with Time’s A Healer; leaving us with a quiet gentle number reflective and the voice shimmering like a reflection in a pool of silver water. Another picture painted and we want to listen to the album all over again.
The only slight dampening of the flames in the music is that the tempo across the track is fairly similar, perhaps rather than blending the styles as she has in the majority of tracks. Some celebration of soul country and blues so listeners can see the variation and the power of the blending. This minor irritant did nothing to stop me enjoying the dozen tracks. Elles Bailey, has created a debut album that is sassy blues, modern using the rich treasure chest of roots, soul and country to create an album that burns hot and is fresh whilst being hot. This is music that crosses genres because it is excellent. The future of blues in UK is hot and strong with the fiery breath of Elles Bailey singing out to entertain and keep the blues alive. Wildfire, Elles Bailey What a Stunning Voice! Elles Bailey Scorching Debut Album Wildfire is hot with husky vocals blending roots sounds from Blues, country & soul set to be Voice of The Blues.
Elles Bailey – Wildfire – Release date 1st September
BD: Thank you for taking time to talk to Bluesdoodles again we are ready and waiting for Black Magic your new highly anticipated album to arrive on the desk from Listenable Records. In the meantime you have released the first single as a tempter “Last Chance”. The number feels heavier, what inspired you to write the number? JJN: It is definitely heavier, the whole record is full of different shades, tones and styles. People will not be expecting it to be so heavy, decided to release Last Chance to come out with a bang from the new album to grab the ear. It is a sample of styles the album will be exciting lots of blues influences and some really great moments with even some funky stuff.
Listen to Last Chance Here
BD: You have talked a lot about the inspiration the Blues provides you. What do you believe spicing it up with Rock adds to the format; or what is your definition of The Blues in 21st Century?
JJN: Playing now, it is music that when I play the masses of 2017 can relate to understand and enjoy the music. It is a fine line with the blues, honouring the blues legacy with what music people want to listen to. I try to bridge the gap with influences from the classics with modern influences. I have absorbed the music of people I have supported from Walter Trout; Zakk Wylde; UFO; Saxon they do influence with the reaction from different crowds. Underlying is always the Blues. Sprinkling the blues through the music so my generation can re-discover the blues. With the music alive and exciting fresh and modern, that way the blues will survive and grow with new guys and girls playing and appreciating the music.
BD: You are back in the UK with a mix of shows, headlining supporting and Festivals. What excites you about playing in the UK; as your recognition grows? JJN: Every time I return it gets better, the audiences in the UK really get the music I play. The audiences have a respect, love and knowledge of music; you can talk to a guy at the bar and they will have a depth of knowledge and understanding. I love playing here as I have been heavily influenced by the British Blues explosion.
Starting out with two headline shows tomorrow Wednesday 21st June at the Grimsby Yardbirds and couple days later in Milton Keynes Craufurd Arms Saturday 24th June. Then the following week starting on the 25th opening for Blue Oyster cult, which I am very excited about. Then it is back to USA to do work on finishing my forthcoming album Black Magic. Then it is back to UK for opening for UFO which will be a blast and then two great festivals Ramblin’ Man & Steelhouse. The live shows will be such a great opportunity to play to new audiences.
Full Details of the tour can be found on Bluesdoodles post HERE
BD: Do you make any changes to your set list depending on who you are opening for? Or is it a shorter version of your standard headline selection? JJN: I change the set list to reflect who I am opening for to feed the crowd. With Walter I could include in the set cold slow blues whereas Zakk Wylde something heavier, like Mountain or Cream. Love to include music that adds an edge from Muddy Waters through to Grand Funk Railway cater for the artist and the audience. I just do it all when it is a headline show. We never really have a set list on the floor. We go with the flow, talk it through play two songs and build from there using the crowd’s reactions. The music flows and the live event gives it a feel that suits the occasion.
BD: You are coming to Wales to drive up the Mountain to Steelhouse, it will be a very different venue to when you opened for Walter Trout at The Tramshed last year. Does Wales dig your form of Blues Rock? JJN: It is great playing in Wales, love the scene the audiences love the same stuff as I do. First time I played was at a rugby club near where Steelhouse is held; the people were awesome they love to rock out. Great to play in such a fabulous new venue in Cardiff and looking forward to returning to play at a festival. Sounds a real blast and want to be part of the fun.
BD: You are the ultimate power trio with the guitar flashing its licks & riffs. Have you played with the rhythm boys for a long time as there is an innate understanding of the direction you are taking each track. JNN: Met the guys in Los Angeles when I first moved from Wisconsin. Erik was the first guy I met in LA he had just moved from Sweden; I saw the bass and asked if I get any gigs would you like to play with me. I then asked him if he would like to jam and we needed a drummer, he knew Dennis who had moved from Sweden a couple of weeks previously. We jammed and then got gigs that was five-and-a-half, nearly six years ago. We grew organically jamming to start with now we have played over five-hundred gigs we know what we are doing. There is a special kind of vibe we know how someone is going to react. With only three guys in the band can’t hide behind anything; it is fun to push the music as far as you can. Every time we play a song live it is different; sometimes solos are longer other times more bass we bring in changes.
BD: What other plans and excitements have you got planned for 2017 & beyond into 2018? JJN: Touring with Saxon & UFO in the Fall across USA & Canada for 5-6 weeks. Obviously completing and releasing the album and hope to be over to the UK again end 2017/beginning 2018 to showcase the new record.
BD: We asked you your fantasy band when we talked last year so what are you listening to at the moment; whether on the tour bus or relaxing? JNN: Mmm; I am making an effort to listen to new music loving the latest from Blackberry Smoke; and following on from touring with Walter Trout his stuff and off course all the usual suspects. I am loving listening to live bootlegs on You Tube. If you type into search any artist Bootleg lots of exciting music comes up including Jimi Hendrix; Cream; Eric Clapton and more. Digging back to find unknowns so much stuff is covered in dust.
BD: Once again thanks for your time and looking forward to see you at Steelhouse and having the opportunity to review the new album Black Magic
Check out Bluesdoodles Reviews –
Jared James Nichols Live – @ The Tramshed supporting Walter Trout HERE
Jared James Nichols Live – @ Robin 2 supporting Glen Hughes HERE
EP review – Highwayman HERE
Album Review Old Glory and Wild Revival HERE
Joe Bonamassa Live at Carnegie Hall Acoustic Album
I can hear the cries – no another Joe Bonamassa album not another live album! Yes, we know he has played live at so many prestigious concert halls and venues. Yes, we know he played Carnegie Hall and that is rather special, but really why would we want Joe Bonamassa Live at Carnegie HallAcoustic Album?
We probably could not afford to go even if we lived in New York
How many versions of his blues does any record collection need, he has released over the last fifteen years twenty-two albums.
This review, I promise you will tell you why Bluesdoodles believes sincerely why Joe Bonamassa Live At Carnegie Hall Album to add to your personal blues discography.
Joe Bonamassa Live at Carnegie Hall is different an acoustic evening with a massive impact. This is not Joe Bonamassa on a stage trying to replicate, mimic an old-time blues player on a porch deep in the delta. Bonamassa has surrounded himself with an all-star and diverse ensemble of world-class musicians. From China, cellist & erhuist Tina Guo; from Egypt percussionist Hoosam Ramzy; multi-instrumentalist Eric Brazilian, saxophone, Hurdy Gurdy and more; along with regulars on Piano Reese Wynans & Drummer Anton Fig and a trio of Australian backing vocalists. This is acoustic with attitude conjuring deep sounds from the musical arsenal of the world, adding layers of complexity to the acoustic fueled textures and tones. The twelve tracks include favourites and new tracks ensuring the live performance is fresh and alive with sparkling blue tones.
Every track has a special moment and will single out a few. BUT; more important for Bluesdoodles was the collective, message, energy and the vibrancy of music that shimmer and shines as the blues is augmented with roots tones from across the world. Joe Bonamassa said “Despite being among the most ambitious things I’ve done – I played with a 9 piece acoustic band – It came out great. It was a typical Joe freak show.”
The scope is huge and the ambition all-encompassing achieving an album with a deep acoustic feel. It feels personal, intimate as acoustic should despite being recorded in the large Carnegie Hall with the guitar surrounded by a 9 piece band.
Opening with a seriously classic piano intro a whoop and JB joins the duet as the intro shapes the ambiance of the album then with a 1,2,3,4 we hit the beat we know with the opening track revamped from Blues of Desperation, This Train and our introduction to Tina Guo’s Erhu a Chinese two-string bowed musical instrument. With this track the album is gaining a head of steam as we realise that a relaxed Joe B on vocals is having fun. With the opening tracks from the same album we are on familiar territory but the foundations have shifted with new sounds and arrangements. Going back to his ninth album we have the title track Dust Bowl re-worked that gives the strong lyrics more depth and the backing vocals add emotional punctuation. Driving Towards Daylight is a beautiful piece of musical artistry closing with haunting strings and then as the applause dies the guitar picking up the raw notes of the delta harsh, quiet thoughtful as Black Lung Heartache is added to the set list. The guitar joined with a swirl of strings, the Hurdy Gurdy connecting the coalfields of USA from Appalachians across to South Wales, into Europe and across to China wherever men hew coal from the deep dark earth. This power source bringing light and heat to our homes at a personal cost Black Lung .The mood changes like a sky at sunset, vivid, muted bright and darker. Closing out disc one with Livin’ Easy returning to Blues of Desperation with saxophone and piano bringing in a jazz fueled vibe and the languorous beat suits the lyrics. Then Get Back My Tomorrow up beat, the backing vocals add so much tone I like the lyric ‘I wanted more….’ It is okay there is more another six tracks on the second disc.
Opening with Mountain Time given a country treatment leading in to the cover and longest song title on the album from 1929, Blind Alfred Rees; How Can Poor People Stand Such Times and Live? The guitar takes the lead with piano and this is country blues as Joe implores the lyrics with emotional tones a heartfelt holler. Then as a juxtaposition a reworking of Black Country Communion’s Song Of Yesterday. With a tender love song Hummingbird is bought alive in this format tonight in Carnegie Hall, then The Rose gentle musically fragrant with strings and percussion pulling the melody and Joe’s vocals strong and true full of tenderness as the acoustic notes fall silent.
Acoustic can be modern, exciting challenging and above all else acoustic can be experimental as he proves on Joe Bonamassa Live at Carnegie Hall Acoustic album.
So back to the original query why have another Live Joe Bonamassa album?
Will this collection of musicians ever be repeated?, I doubt it; 9 musicians bought together by love of live music gathered to deliver blues rooted in the world’s musical diversity, history and heritage.
Joe Bonamassa Live at Carnegie Hall belongs in a personal collection not as a trophy but able to be played in your own space capturing the mood when he played for two nights in New York.
The album, where nothing is overdone, acoustic authenticity maintained, Joe’s vocals the best I have heard. No theatrics, music and the power of lyrics telling the story in perfect harmony.
This is a flash of solid blue acoustic steel with Steel Union New Album Life…And Other Problems the bedrock of roots music since the dawn of time. The eleven original tracks from the Peterborough based duo explore Life… And Other problems picking up the lament that has ensured blues is the home of lyrics exploring life and the problems that appear. Yes, the tracks are all original the lyrics reflections of the two Richards experiences using the melodic structure and framework of Delta blues. The duo is – vocals & Harmonica Richard Gibson & Vocals and Guitar Richard Turner. AS you listen to the music the influences are apparent as they bend the harp, construct the chords and shape the vocals. The influences are deep in the delta where the journey started, this is no modern reworking of the beat, and rhythms are direct from the blues.
Opening the album with crisp acoustic guitar and harp driving the music as they sing I’m Coming Home (on The Morning Train) do not expect a train song with harp whistles this is deeper more earthy with gospel spiritual feel. This tone is picked up later with Going to the River to Pray. Half way through the album we meet The Funk Monkey; the tempo is faster and the sound edgier with the harp piercing, joining Travelling West with its urgency as a pair of instrumentals. These were for me a shade too long and the restrains repeated too often; that said they held the attention.
Life Is A Problem, reflects the clever, witty title Life…And Other Problems; the tone is blues sharp from guitar and harp acting as a counterpoint to the gruffer vocals as the lyrics are unveiled. The juke joint is visited for upbeat foot-tapping Bukkas Boogie, raising the ghost Bukka T in a tribute of celebration. The music flows and the sound of the album immerses you deep in the sounds of historic Mississippi as we are left with the Steel Union Layin’ In Jail. This is music rooted deep in the past and at the time has a vibrancy that buzzes with delight from the guitar, harp and vocals. An album for those who love their music traditional.
What a winning and charismatic formula, LaVendore Rogue captured live to be enjoyed in your front room. Turn the lights down low, the volume up to eleven and step aboard to immerse yourself in A Night In The North. Once again the quintet delivers music that is enthralling delving into the darkness with rocking majesty. Music that intrigues and refuses to be caught on a single genre coat peg this is inventive using the skills of every member of the band. Before getting down to the set-list of ten tracks, here is an introduction to the band, done by JoJo himself on the album. Upfront full of dramatic phrasing and vocal turns is JoJo Burgess; Joel Fisk brings in licks and riffs and tonal treats on his guitar combining his chords with those of Warren Lynn on the keys. The flourishes of tonal delights continues deep into the rhythm section Rob ‘Tank’ Barry on Bass and the sticks of Stephen “Cupsey” Cutmore on the drums. That’s the personnel introduced now for the reason we all loved Hokie Joint and now LaVendore rogue, the wealth of music that mixes blues with good old rock n roll where the Rolling Stones collides with Charlie Patton.
Opening with Deadman’s Chest, from their debut album Light Up With. JoJo’s vocals are distinctive warm and he articulates every word adding dramatic emotions as the story unfolds with a bottle of rum and the harmonizing on the live version adding in intensity as the keys pull the cascade of sound that assaults you. We are now hooked in by the music. Into the mix are two more tracks from the debut album, Honey Murder and A.S.A.D. Live these two tracks work so very well, the shredding of the six-strings by Joel imploring and demanding attention this is controlled playing with the guitar talking to you and then the deep velvet vocals this is a story that is full of Gothic intrigue. On A.S. A.D is where Warren’s superb playing on the Hammond & Keyboard comes to the fore with an opening that has a fervor, JoJo’s vocals are quieter, sad reflective as he builds the debate about drugs and the power of money and then there is a death and the message changes what a powerful track redolent of so much in the news today.
Two survivors tonight of the Hokie Joint days is Chocolate Cake, as moist and tasty as any triple chocolate cake it is the equivalent of a calorific sugar overload in musical terms. The number makes the transformation it is delicious displaying the prowess of their mercurial drummer at the back Steve Cutmore. The second is The Way It Goes….Sometimes with Joel’s guitar building the tension with judicious use of feedback and ripping chords that Warren picks up. This is popular music rock that rolls with the beat, never pure blues but has a magical air that connects us back to the days of the Delta, as demonstrated by the inclusion of Charlie Patton’s Oh Death between these numbers. Joel gives Charlie’s music a freshness and the lyrics re-interpreted and shaped around the velvet tongue of JoJo. Blues forever adaptable and the beat and rhythms remain strong and true.
The tracks so far are familiar is there something new on the album Oh! Yes there is! The Chemist, with a fresh melodic beat and a story that unfolds as ever with one of their original lyrics, as we met the industrial chemistry. The number demonstrates the chemistry between the whole band with a Jaggeresque/Rolling Stones vibe this is the one-hundred percent LaVendore Rogue sound, layers of complexity an aural maze that enchants whether the guitar passion from Joel or the chords of the keys or the deep bass from Rob. This is a band playing music they want to share. The second new number is Hikkomori which is Japanese for reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from social like. Another darker subject, reflecting today’s complex society. The music is the opposite, bright, open and engaged, love the stick clicking from Stephen a clever sound that adds texture and interest during another superlative guitar solo from Joel.
The last two numbers bring us back to the familiar the second cover this time Rolling Stones, Get Off Of My Cloud pure energetic fun and then closing out we re-visit the debut album with Siesta Resistance about staying up all night and drinking perfect for the blues club the album was recorded at. Throughout the album the applause is warm and the audience appreciate the unique creativity that is La Vendore Rogue the band that understands how to entertain you. Definitely a keeper La Vendore Rogue Live Album A Night In The North.
For the first time Justin Townes Earle has worked with an outside producer and he chose Mike Moogis, for Kids In The Street as he releases the album on his New West Records and the first not recorded in Nashville, a trio of debuts that definitely gives the album curbside appeal.
Following his previous critically acclaimed albums Single Mothers followed by Absent Fathers; this album, Kids In The Street completes the trio has an upbeat, optimistic feel that makes you want to play hopscotch on the street as you did as a child; kick off your shoes and run through the grass and make daisy chains. The originals have a fresh simplicity, an enchanting fluidity as the meaningful lyrics entwine themselves around the melodic guitar chords.
The album kicks off in high rolling fast-moving rock n roll beat as we toast Champagne Corolla. With this upbeat number we hear the refrain Pretty little thing riding by in a champagne Corolla; an ode to car life and far much more as you explore his clever lyrics. Achieving the goal from the off-classic rhythms with a modern lyric. We have the country twang of steel guitar and piano and a clicking rhythm building up to a swirl of sadness and Justin sings What’s She Crying For leads in to a 15-25 looking back with the feel of New Orleans the keys have a Professor Longhair feel as his vocals drawl and have a lopping lazy feel as the tempo picks up. Leading into the title track, taking us back with the simple guitar intro the vocals “ My best friend lived in this house we played ball after school…” looking back to simpler times of 1990’s; full of nostalgia but not rose-tinted glasses just memories that have smoothed out the rough edges. Is this a track that pops out at you? Bringing the album together, not really just misses as so much of the album on first listen it is good, but delving deeper it never raises the game to excellent.
The reflective, retro hazy feel is the tonal phrasing for much of the album; the tone is brought up with a jolt with Justin’s version of Stagolee, the guitar is harsher, his voice deeper and seems not to fit a pebble sending ripples across Kids In The Street. The re-working is subtle a more drastic re-arrangement may have slotted in but this feels like the unwanted guest at a party. Same Old Stagolee certainly has not received the gentrification that the streets of Nashville referred to in many of the tracks on Kids In The Street.
Closing the album with There Goes A Fool, deep, darker and full of introspective and skillful songwriting, before hitting the bonus track Paul Simon’s Graceland. This acoustic version closes out an album that just doesn’t quite reach the potential that sets it apart from other Americana albums,
The album is reflective and moves on from his last album Single Mothers and Absent Fathers delivering his own innovative Americana feel, where Justin leads others have followed. The music is to Muscle Shoals to be Country – too retro to be cutting edge. Who cares? Kids In The Streets with its layers of music with old style guitar and lyrics that have something to say it is a good listen and has a purpose in its commentary. What more do you want from an album. For Bluesdoodles Kids In The Street is a welcomed addition and will be played for the sheer enjoyment of listening to Justin Townes Earle.
Gov’t Mule New Album Revolution Come…Revolution Go
The title is intriguing is this a politically fueled message or a reflection on the crazy merry ground life we are spinning through? Revolution Come…Revolution Go; is as diverse and exciting as Gov’t Mule can be; expect a musical exploration as roots music infused with all its off-shoots. The album’s cover a soldier atop a broken toy mule facing the wrong way as he yells through an orange street cone; is so retro and so modern just like the music. Unarguably Richard Borge’s artwork captures the concept and drive of an album reflecting a crazy moment in history.
This is a musical cocktail never shaken but careful turned with each revolution of the turntable a musical spice is added; jazz, rock, blues and country the sonic layers fuse together and then separated into the individual parts the result is a delicious Gov’t Mule experience. The album flows with an introspective feel, whilst full of angst and pain this is a revolution down a road of life worn and traveled with the undertow of the impact of politics of our lives. Opening with Stone Cold Rage and closing with Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground this was never going to be a happy sunny uplands gentle lyrics driven melody. This is Gov’t Mule rocking it out with fiery riffs, cascading chords from the keys and riding through the middle of deep dark rhythms Warren Haynes’ vocals.
We are introduced to the latest offering from the Mule with a guitar sound that is huge, fast with an inner urgency as the keys join into the auditory playground. There is a primeval fear in the rhythms conjured by Matt Abts & Jorgen Carlssons Drum and Bass mix; with a funky sound that punctuates the power of the lyrics “Something Happened in The Back Woods… Stone Cold Rage in The Hinterland”. The other two politically driven numbers are Pressure Under Fire and the title track. Reflecting the turmoil in the Country when the group started recording the album on Election Day November 2016. The upsets and uncertainties continue throughout the world. Elections no longer have a certainty there is an undercurrent of rage and fear resulting in surprise. The line is Pressure Under Fire – We have to work together to get out of this mess; resonates throughout society. Warren’s vocals have an emotional edge the music builds and we want the lyrics to be a new truth a reality that is no longer based on falsehoods.
We turn in to ourselves with a country fueled Travelling Tune, haunting with the sharp simple melody that like a journey unfolding full of shades and shadows pierced with the glimpse of sun. The country feel flows through with Thorn of Light and onto the title track. Revolution Comes … Revolution Goes sparkles with intent. With the jam like feel of the multi-instrumental beaks this is a revolution of intent, considered with clear constructed argument, the fury is cold rather than hot and dragging and all the more dangerous for it. The title track along with Sarah, Surrender are the two stand out tracks on an album that is compulsive listening from beginning to end. The keys from Danny Louis is full of funky tones, mixing in with a cocktail of sound as jazz and soul swirl through the melody, The guitar is sharp and determined and the drumming intense. With the addition of Jimmy Vaughan’s guitar into the mix Burning Point is blues swirling in a psychedelic haze of deliciousness.
The album is a perfect set list and with the Deluxe version you hear some of the tracks recorded live. This is a journey through the wealthy golden rich seam of Gov’t Mule signature styles. As they close out with Carlsson’s arrangement of classic blues number from Blind Willie Johnson, Dark Was The Night Cold Was The Ground. This is a blues overload with a drone, moan and depth of blues textures that revitalise the music, the perfect ending to an album that owns so much to the traditions of roots music. Warren Haynes hollers the opening lines and the melody picks up the tone as the story unfolds.
With the concept of expect the unexpected, the certainty of Revolution Comes…Revolution Goes is the music is stunning, a ray of sparkling light, a shaft of hope this is a community of musicians communicating to a larger gathering of Mule fans everywhere.
In conversation with Feargal Sharkey as he discusses the excitement and opportunities from new style competition – Salute Music Makers competition
BD: Huge thank you for making time to speak to Bluesdoodles about Music and your new project as the face of Salute Music Makers
BD: Announcement of another competition with TV and Public vote! What is Salute Music Makers and why is it needed now?
FS: This is different, it is a very simple idea, and there is nothing clever about the concept. Not to be overly jingoistic but the fact is the UK has produced some of the best, long lasting popular music across a range of genres. I truly believe the talent continues the great music was not a blip of a generation or two. We are the second most successful nation when it comes to music outside of North America. Given our population this demonstrates the massive impact on music across the genres. Simple truth in the world there are only two teams in the premier league of music U.K. & U.S.A.
What musicians need is the opportunity to showcase their extraordinary talent I feel passionate about this. The next truly original artist is just around the corner and they need help to develop.
BD:How does Salute Music Makers differ from other music competitions like The Voice, and Britain’s Got Talent?
FS: Firstly and most importantly there are no strings attached to the prize money. It is entirely up to the winners how they spend the money Salute Music Makers will have no influence on this decision, as much power and control as possible will be in the hands of the artists themselves. They have the control to use the money on their terms, make several albums, set up a management company, make a film whatever they feel is the best use of the money for them. It is open to all types of music it has to be original. If you see the competition as an easy way of reaching the top leading the life of a rock star then this is not the competition for you. The competition is to find the great musicians out there – with the winners having a financial platform to develop and grow. This is for great musicianship where you can appreciate the talent. The key to great music is songwriting, it is the song that sells, and it is the song that identifies the group. We are looking for the greatest songwriter’s great melodies and powerful words this is the heartbeat and foundation of music. The focus will be on the craft of songwriting.
BD: With the opportunity for aspiring Music Makers to upload their music from 27th April when does the upload window close?
FS: The upload window closes on June 30th then the competition begins in earnest.
BD: How will the listening and judging process be conducted. Who are the Judges and what will they bring to the process?
FS: We have a huge panel of judges at our disposal. The judges will be matched to the genre of music, so experts will listen and interpret, judge – Electronica, rock, blues etc.… The judges are experienced industry experts with a depth of knowledge in the area of music they specialize in.
Then it will be opened to public opinion for the hundred entries selected by judges. They will vote using an App they download. The public then can listen to all 100 entries or fewer as they please. The system is clever voting fifty-nine times is not going to happen IP addresses will be filtered. This is a super cool process if there is any belief that votes to an artist are suspect that an entry will be suspended; if investigation confirms they are cheating they will be removed from the competition.
The Public vote will decide the Best Six Acts.
Two Television Programmes will then be aired in October and these finalist will receive £10,000 and the overall winner a further £40,000.
BD: Sounds a really interesting concept how did you get involved?
FS:I was introduced to three young men at the beginning of the year and thought it was a fantastic idea. BD: The brainchild of entrepreneurs of Salute Music Makers are Lars Bylehn, Michael Bylehn, Jean-Claude Charnier, Patrick Butterfield and Minesh Patel.
It took me back to the early days of The Undertones. Terri Hooley’s record shop Good Vibrations. Terri gave us £100 to use. We paid for Eight hours of studio time recorded Teenage Kicks as an Ep. This would probably not have happened if did not have this support in the early days. It was a pat on the back and practical help Salute Music Makers is a modern equivalent. With the focus on the songwriting for me an innate talent often overlooked. It is an exciting project to be involved in. With songs the heartbeat of music taking centre stage.
BD: I asked about dream band Feargal laughed said my tastes are too diverse changes with the moment. We did though get an insight into a play list on random while on a twenty-minute drive around the North Circular in London.
FS: Hard Floor – Spencer Davis Group – Little Dragon – Paul Weller …..
BD: Thank you for your time and looking forward to the Public element of a completion focusing on the signwriting Salute Music Makers
The first release from anticipated album Red Hands Black Deeds
Out July 28th on Mascot Records.
Announcing their brand new studio album ‘Red Hands Black Deeds’, Shaman’s Harvest have released the first single ‘The Come Up’.
Liz Aiken at Bluesdoodles loved the upbeat driving rhythm that worked on many different levels, Pulled you through the music and open the door deep into the lyrics. A melodic rock song that is the perfect antidote to the overdose of negativity that surrounds us. This s Rock n’ Roll that is happy to get a hand from the sunny Mowtown vibe. With its upbeat tones the swagger connects you to lyrics that delves into depression that affects so many people in the troubled and often confusing world of today.
“There’s so much negativity on social media today ‑ a lot of people struggling with real issues and with where we’re at as a nation,” says singer Nathan Hunt. But, “The Come Up” is also an acknowledgment of the singer’s own battle with depression. “It’s therapeutic for myself,” he says. “It’s just about sometimes when you just can’t change shit, you got to realize you can’t mold everything in your life and you kind of just have to roll with the punches,” says Hunt, who overcame throat cancer in 2014 that could’ve derailed the band, but didn’t.
Having listened to the first single now waiting to hear the whole album. I have been led t o believe by the record label that Red Hands Black Deedsis a darker, visceral, and more layered sound than past repertoire. The album ranges from the ominous, haunting vibes of the title track prelude, “A Longer View,” “The Devil In Our Wake,” and “Scavengers” – which could fit just as easily on a horror film soundtrack as it does on this rock band’s album – to quieter, more vulnerable moments as heard on “Tusk and Bone”and “Long Way Home.” Lyrically, the band also ventured into new territory, taking on the current political, social, and economic struggles the USA is facing as a nation under the new administration. “Red Hands Black Deeds touches upon the darker nature inside all of us,” says Hunt. “The whole record has a contrast and push and pull tension – a juxtaposition of good and bad or questioning what is right and wrong. The record ended up having a concept, though we weren’t intending it to,” says Hunt.
The writing of the record began in November 2016 at the time of the US presidential election, so it’s no wonder there are social and political undertones to many of the songs. “The tension in the record kind of speaks for itself. There’s a dark anxiety, tension-filled feeling that reflects what’s going on in the world,” says Hamler.
Their Mascot Records debut, Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns in 2014, garnered more than 33 million streams. The album’s “In Chains” peaked at #11 on the Media Base chart after a run of 22 weeks at Active Rock radio. It also spent over four months in the Top 10 of iTunes Metal Songs Chart. The song’s video has more than 3 million views on YouTube, while the band has a cumulative 8 million YouTube views.
So the count down begins as we re-listen to Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns and the sneak preview with the first single to be released ‘The Come Up’ from Red Hand Black Deeds.