Catfish to Play at the Inaugural UKBlues Awards

Catfish to Play at the Inaugural UKBlues Awards

Catfish to Play at the Inaugural UKBlues Awards

Catfish to Play at the Inaugural UKBlues AwardsFollowing on from our announcement of the inaugural UKBlues Awards the presentation of which will take place on Saturday 19th May 2018 at the magnificent Worthing Pier’s Southern Pavilion, we are delighted to announce that providing live music at the event will be British Blues Award winners Catfish who have carved a reputation for themselves as an excellent live band with a phenomenal frontman in 23 year old guitarist/vocalist Matt Long who plays with a real passion for the blues.

Over a two year period they have received no less than  5 nominations in the British Blues Awards and both their albums have reached no 1 in the Independent Blues Broadcasters Association’s Blues Airplay Charts  They have three European tours already booked for 2018.

Recently Blues Matters! said of the band: ‘Catfish are one of the finest live bands in Britain today.  The quality of musicianship is outstanding and in Matt Long, they have one of the greatest young guitarists on the scene today… ‘

We are delighted that we have secured the services of such an excellent band for the inaugural UKBlues Awards presentation event and know that their presence can only enhance what already promises to be a special event.

And we have more great news about who will be our MC for this event, news which will be announced soon!


Catfish to Play at the Inaugural UKBlues AwardsAs a member of the UKBlues Federation you are automatically part of  the extensive panel of people from across the blues spectrum in the UK who will be invited to take part in the initial nomination stage of the Awards process.

If you know of somebody who you think would be an ideal person to be included in the panel then get them to e-mail us at  giving us their name, full postal address, telephone number and the e-mail address with which they wish to register plus a brief outline (no more than 50 words) describing why they wish to join the panel and their background in the blues in the UK.

They don’t have to be a musician, a promoter, a writer, a radio presenter etc. If they just love the blues and get out to see bands play whenever they can and buy CDs or downloads of bands’ albums etc. then that means they could be on the panel!

We do not undertake to accept every application and UKBlues’ decision will be final and we will not disclose our reasons for accepting or not accepting applications. All applications will be treated as confidential and all members of the nomination panel are required to keep their involvement in the panel confidential.

The nomination period opens in mid-December so make sure they get their application in before midnight on the 15th December 2018




Catfish to Play at the Inaugural UKBlues Awards

With the campaign having passed the halfway mark in terms of time a few days ago, it has reached a wonderful total of nearly £5,000 or just over 55% funded. Add in the £1,500 donated direct to LaVendore Rogue by the UKBlues Federation and the guys are just a smidgin over £2,000.00 from their target of £8,000.

This is a great result to date and we at the UKBlues Federation and the Rogues themselves are all very grateful to everyone who has pledged. Thank you!

There are still loads of great and exclusive rewards waiting to be picked up so if you have not already contributed, why not give yourself and the Rogues an early Christmas present and go to the crowd funding page so you can make a pledge to help them get to Memphis and Hell!!

If you have already pledged, spread the word to your friends, get them to get you an early Christmas present! Thank you!

UKBlues Federation Involvement in IBC Youth Showcase

UKBlues Federation Involvement in IBC Youth Showcase Announced


The UKBlues Federation is excited to announce that, for the first time ever, the UK will have a representative taking part in the Youth Showcase at the 34th International Blues Challenge between 16th & 20th January 2018.

The Youth Showcase takes place on the afternoon of Friday 19th  January  2018 in the Beale Street entertainment district in Memphis, Tennessee and will see some of the finest in developing blues talent perform in a variety of clubs along the world-famous Beale Street. This is described by the organisers, the Blues Foundation, as a ‘chance to hear the next generation of great blues artists as they hone their talents in order to take the bigger world stage of the future’.

Participants are also involved in workshops, master classes and other events over the 5 day period of the IBC as well as having the opportunity to mix with musicians and others involved with the blues from around the world.

The Youth Showcase is not judged, however all competition rules, regulations and restrictions apply. A panel will offer comments and feedback on performances.

As the only UK Affiliate to the Blues Foundation, the UKBlues Federation is delighted to have been able to offer the opportunity of appearing at and participating in this event to 12 year old Toby Lee, a young man who has already built a huge worldwide following on social media as well as having played on stage with a number of great names including Ronnie Baker Brooks, John Nemeth and Walter Trout.

In October this year, Toby took the renowned Blues Heaven Festival in Denmark by storm drawing a glowing review from Elmore Magazine.

‘The phenomenon of this festival had to be the little 12-year-old guitar whirlwind, Toby Lee. Cute as a button, he dressed in Mick Jagger duds and held a solid body Gibson Firebird that was just about as big as he was. This little dude stood firm beside the big players in the festival like John Nemeth, Mike Ledbetter, Sugaray Rayford and Ronnie Baker Brooks and matched their riffs blow-for-blow, managed to be as cool as ice. Video taken of him and Ronnie Baker Brooks with duelling guitars have hit the 50-million view mark and has been shared more than 1.4 million times. Yes, that happened at Blues Heaven.’

Toby has been playing guitar since he was 6 and was dubbed a future superstar of the blues by Joe Bonamassa.  He is associated with Gibson Brands and Hamstead Soundworks amplification

He was cast as the original Zack Mooneyham in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical School of Rock in the West End, a part which he played for a year. With School of Rock he performed in Hyde Park and on shows including Comic Relief, Michael McIntyre and The X Factor. Earlier this year Toby won an Olivier Award along with the other band members of School of Rock for playing live at every show.

He released his first EP “Ten”, produced by Laurence Jones, another of Toby’s admirers when he was 10.

The UKBlues Federation is proud that, following on from the success of last year when the UK’s first ever IBC entrant, the Kaz Hawkins Band, progressed to the competition’s semi-finals. The UK will, this year not only be represented at the International Blues Challenge by LaVendore Rogue who won the 4th UKBlues Challenge but also in the Youth Showcase by one of the youngest artists to take part in this event.

Ashwyn Smyth, Chair of the UKBlues Federation commented: ‘We are both excited and very happy that we have been able to facilitate Toby’s participation at the INC Youth Showcase and see this as an important step in achieving one of our stated aims, supporting and promoting the next generation of blues players and bringing the blues to the younger generations. We wish Toby every success and are proud to have him flying the flag for blues in the UK & the UKBlues Federation.’

You can find out more about Toby at where you can also see and hear Toby in action.




The Koch Marshall Trio Debut Album Announcement

The Koch Marshall Trio Debut Album Announcement


The Koch Marshall Trio Debut Album Announcement

The Mascot Label Group’s new imprint The Players Club are thrilled to announce the debut album from The Koch Marshall Trio, Toby Arriveswhich will be released on 23rd February 2018.  The trio are American guitarist Koch Marshall, his son Dylan on Drums and Hammond B3 specialist Toby Lee Marshall.

At the heart of this organ trio is a blues sensibility – but Koch’s compositions are an amalgam of rock, funk, jazz and country served up with heavy grooves and dynamic improvisations delivered with no small dose of humour and occasional wild abandon.
Milwaukee native Greg Koch has forged a successful career as a guitar player’s guitarist and has been called “scary good” by guitar phenomenon Joe Bonamassa. In addition to his 15 releases on multiple record labels which feature his unique take on a variety of American guitar styles and his versatile compositions, Koch is widely known for his lengthy tenure as an international ambassador for Fender Guitars. He is also a best-selling author and video instructor for music publisher Hal Leonard. For the last few years, Greg is renowned for his wildly popular internet videos (which number in the thousands with views exceeding 50 million) originating from the legendary Colorado guitar shop Wildwood Guitars.
Dylan Koch gravitated to the drums early on in his life using kitchen utensils to play along with music as soon as he could walk. After digesting an early diet of Ginger Baker, Keith Moon, Mitch Mitchell and John Bonham, Dylan was mentored by the legendary Tom Brechtlein (Chick Corea/Robben Ford). While still in his teens he performed with young guitar guns Tallan Noble Latz and Jared James Nichols and has performed alongside his father with such artists as Robben Ford, Little Feat’s Paul Barrere, Jon Cleary, David Grissom, Roscoe Beck and Malford Milligan.
Toby Lee Marshall’s screaming B3 is the perfect complement to the musical stew that is the Koch songbook. His fascination for the Hammond B3 took hold after his Dad took him to see Steve Cherewan playing with Dr Mambo’s Combo at their legendary residency at Bunker’s in Minneapolis. Steve mentored Toby in the ways of the B3 and he hit the ground running landing a gig with bluesman Lonnie Brooks while still a teen. He would go on to travel the world as a member of Bernard Allison’s band. After taking a hiatus to spend some family time, Toby is returning to music with a vehemence and the Koch-Marshall format gives him a long leash to let his freak flag fly, providing groovy bass lines, sinuous chordal work and incendiary solos.
The trio blends the explosive guitar manipulations of Greg, the groove-centric, power-pocket playing of his son Dylan on drums (who share many telepathic musical moments) and the glorious, Hammond organ stylings of the uber-talented Toby Marshall, Greg’s compositions are properly portrayed in the blues-drenched, funk, chicken-fried, gospelly, jazz-rock panorama in which they were conceived. Their first release, Toby Arrives the first moments of their unexpected musical partnership captured at an extemporaneous jam session earlier in the year.
“So we went over there…the drums and B-3 were already set up and mic’ed. I sat down with my guitar and said, ‘Let’s just do a shuffle in G.’ And as soon as I heard it back I said, ‘We’re releasing this!’ So the very first notes we ever played is that first song you hear on the album, totally unrehearsed. And just from that very first tune I was like, ‘Holy shit! This is not your grandfather’s organ trio!’” Greg Koch
“Toby had actually retired from music,” Koch says of the 39-year-old Hammond B-3 ace. “For the last several years he’s been working for a farm, driving a semi and taking crops to the Twin Cities from River Falls. He had two young kids so he decided to stop touring to help raise the kids. For Toby, it was kind of like that scene in The Godfather where Michael Corleone says, ‘Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!’ But now he’s so excited to be playing in this trio because this is just such a perfect format for him to let his freak flag fly. It’s the perfect combination of this kind of churchy, bluesy, funky, jazzy, rock, chicken-pickin’ thing, and he fits right in.”



The Koch Marshall Trio Debut Album Announcement

Broken Witt Rebels Debut Album Blending Old With New

Broken Witt Rebels Debut Album Blending Old With NewBroken Witt Rebels Debut Album Blending Old With New, plus four new tracks.  The debut feels comfortable why? It is a blending of tracks from their two acclaimed E.P’s that had fans demanding a full-length album. The new numbers show the direction of travel and how far the band have come. A result of touring endlessly at festivals, opening shows and part of the Roadstars earlier this year.  In Broken Witt Rebels own words – “Our album has been a long time coming. It’s a culmination of the past two years of hard work and we couldn’t be prouder of what it’s become. We’ve crafted the record to take the listener along our journey so far, and it also marks a milestone in our career as we move from the unsigned world to being with a label. We’re very proud to have signed a deal with Snakefarm Records, and with the Snakefarm team behind us we can’t wait to take things to the next level.” Some will moan we already have the E.Ps. People always moan! But – many will not as fans have arrived at the #UpTheRebels party later than others. Bluesdoodles reviewed Georgia Pines but not Howlin’, now we have an early collection of the boys’ music.

Now to the album opening with a rousing upbeat guitar churning number with Danny Core’s vocals cascading across the instrumentation and we are not left with Loose Change with the opening number. We are on the road with a band that wants you to have a good time, loud, raw and full of youthful verve and direction. Once heard the distinctive sound will never be forgotten. This is the sound that has got us so excited when they opened for Whiskey Myers, Joanne Shaw Taylor, The Cadillac Three (Ireland & mainland Europe) and played at Festivals. The four new songs are little nuggets of brilliance scattered amongst the better-known numbers.  From the heavy jam band groove of Loose Change through to the final song of the album Wait For You which provides a slower, gentler soulful side of Danny and the band. Here they close the album with an artful weaving of modern sound collecting the roots of popular music, soul and blues with a crackling edge of tension. The tension shaped by the earthy vocals of Danny Core that just pop out at you on every track.  The first of the other two new numbers, Snake Eyes, feels familiar if you have heard the band live and is stunning; the opening is beguiling as you wait with bated breath for the song to fill out. This is rock that rolls with a blues shimmer and leaves you wanting to hear more.  The fourth in the quartet of new numbers leaves you Breathless with soulful wonder.  This is a number that ebbs and flows showing the bands dexterity shaping the sound around Danny’s many-textured vocals. The drumming is ear-catching and builds the tension as Danny sings “Give me Soul, Lose My Mind, Take Control, Trust in You is all I ‘ve Got”; pleading and emotive as he sings the lines so carefully crafted.

Much has been written about the E.P.s that are re-showcased here. It is definite they deserve another airing so new fans can appreciate and love the early music. They give context to the new music how the band is shaping and developing their sound. For me, it was Georgia Pines that opened my eyes to the potential of the band and Georgia and Low still leave me with that spine quivering delight that hits the right spot. Guns powers out a real contrast to the preceding number Breathless.

Broken Witt Rebels – with a self-titled debut album have jumped the hurdle met fans demands there is an album. Now we all eagerly await the feared sophomore album. This will be all new singing as the West Midland band continues to fuse the sound of British Blues Explosion with Southern Rock and weave in influences from Temperance Movement through to Black Stone Cherry. They are a crossover band. Broken Witt rebels are crossing the divide of being unknown to the world stage and this album consolidates their mission as Danny said when we interviewed him to conquer the music world. Broken Witt Rebels Debut Album Blending Old With New will be played loud and often until they next play live and the second album hits the decks. Up The Rebels is the shout you hear.

Broken Witt Rebels – Broken Witt Rebels – Snakefarm Records

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

    1. Loose Change
    2. Georgia
    3. Shake Me Down
    4. Snake Eyes
    5. Howlin’
    6. Breathless
    7. Guns
    8. Getaway
    9. Low
    10. Wait For You

Steve Vai Teams Up With Mascot Label Group

Steve Vai Teams Up With Mascot Label Group

Steve Vai Teams Up With Mascot Label Group

Mascot Label Group is proud to announce a new and exciting alliance with guitar legend Steve Vai’s Favored Nations Records label.

This strategic partnership is a reflection of the synergy created by the respect that Vai’s Favored Nations has garnered as the record industry’s leading boutique guitar oriented recording label, and the strength offered by Mascot Label Group as one of the bigger, still growing and dependable independent purveyors of recorded music in the world. Ed van Zijl, Mascot Label Group, “This is another great step for Mascot Label Group. We are always looking to move forward and collaborate with the best musicians and minds in the business, so we are very excited to be working with the prestigious Favored Nations Entertainment and with the great Steve Vai. Our future together will be very exciting.”

Steve Vai will continue to spearhead his label’s artists and repertoire department, but Favored Nations Entertainment will now benefit from the advantages of Mascot’s well-established business structure, which will provide strong marketing, publicity, and distribution on a worldwide basis.

Steve Vai, “We are absolutely thrilled that Favored Nations will be partnering with the Mascot label in Mascot overseeing all FN day to day biz. Ed van Zijl and Mascot have a powerful infrastructure including marketing, accounting, distribution and artist development and have always been a tremendously artist friendly camp. This partnership will also be freeing up more of my time to focus on the A&R function I enjoy most in owning a label. 
“And I’m happy to report my first signing under this new deal, “The Mutual Admiration Society” presented by Sterling Ball, John Ferraro and Jim Cox. This record is a dream treat for the lovers of melodic beautiful sounding guitar. Along with the special guest artists who have contributed to this record, Sterling Ball’s unique technique and tone on the guitar is a surprise highlight.”  

In addition to all future Favored Nations products, Mascot Label Group will also manage the re-release of the label’s back catalogue.

Founded in 1999, Favored Nations provides a platform for artists of the highest calibre to deliver exciting, energetic, and emotional performances in a market that was virtually invented by founder Steve Vai. Favored Nations artists have included Johnny A., Larry Carlton, Peppino D’Agostino, Marty Friedman, Johnny Hiland, Allan Holdsworth, Eric Johnson, Stanley Jordan, Steve Lukather, Novecento, John Petrucci, Eric Sardinas, Neal Schon, Dave Weiner, The Yardbirds, and Dweezil Zappa, among others.

Favored Nations’ inaugural release with Mascot will be the debut by Sterling Ball’s new band, Mutual Admiration Society, which sees Ball teaming with drummer John Ferraro and keyboardist Jim Cox. Produced by the band, the record was mixed by Rich Mouser and engineered by Bill “The Sonic Doctor” Evans (Flying Colors, Galactic Cowboys, Neal Morse), whose ground-breaking mix technology, Harmonic Phrase Analysis, allows mixes to be created with unequalled transparency and detail. Special guests on the album include Steve Morse, Steve Lukather, Steve Vai, Albert Lee, John Petrucci, and session legend Jay Graydon.

Sterling Ball , “When John Ferraro, Jim Cox and I set out the make this record, it was a passion project to celebrate our love for music and guitar. It’s since grown to an incredible project featuring some of the greatest guitarists in the world, and more importantly life-long friends.  It’s beyond an honor to be the first release by Steve Vai on Favored Nations, whom I consider to have one of the most discerning voices in guitar related music today”
Mascot Label Group is a 100% independent record company specialized in guitar oriented music with a focus on rock, metal and (blues) guitar. The company has offices in New York, London, Paris, Milan, Cologne, Stockholm and Rotterdam (headquarters).

Artists on the MLG roster and in the catalogue: Joe Bonamassa, Volbeat, Beth Hart, Black Stone Cherry, Ayreon, Robert Cray, Shaman’s Harvest, Eric Johnson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Quinn Sullivan, Eric Gales, 10 Years, Little Hurricane, Gov’t Mule, Black Country Communion, Masters of Reality, Johnny Lang, Robben Ford, Walter Trout, Black Label Society, Sadus, Agent Steel, Eleven Pictures, Bootsy  Collins, Monster Truck, The Rides, Warren Haynes, Flying Colors, Steve Lukather, etc.

MLG owned labels: Mascot Records – Provogue – Music Theories Recordings -Cool Green Recordings


Steve Vai Teams Up With Mascot Label Group

Samantha Fish the Belle of The West on this Album

Samantha Fish the Belle of The West on this AlbumSamantha Fish is the Belle of The West on her second studio album of 2017. Belle Of The West takes us on a completely different musical journey a complete contrast to Chills & Fever. For this album, Samantha has gone deep into the roots of Blues, country and Mississippi Hill Country music. Samantha Fish has pushed aside preconceptions about her, kicking the door open to break boundaries and let her creativity, artistry and golden talent shine through as she takes the title as Belle of The West.

Samantha travelled to Zebra Ranch to record the album retracing the footsteps taken with Wild Heart (2015)  with the influence of Luther Dickinson and friends shining through but never dampening or curtailing the heady heights and depths of Fish interpretation of the blues her way.

Opening with American Dream the click of drums sticks beat of the drum and life gets the listener marching to Fish’s branded form of acoustic fuelled country blues.  With Luther Dickinson as the producer, we are promised from the first number a studio album that flexes its muscles with a natural fluidity the instruments and vocals find the tone taking the tune and vocals to unfold all the depths of roots music with a story to tell.  The tempo goes down and Sam’s vocals deepen as we find out why there is Blood In the Water. With fiddles and guitar, the story will not be a happy one as Lillie Mae on violin picks up with a haunting melodic riff. Infectious, beguiling as roots of Eastern European folk are entwined into hill country music. The sound is held together by the power and confidence of Samantha’s vocals. This is an original that just demands being heard on repeat.

The storytelling is the theme of the album, not power guitar chords and fast electric sound. The inclusion of the band talking before the music begins gives the album a personal and warm feeling. This is studio music kept close to the live sound. Now we are in another bar another hotel room alone with guitar and violin waiting for a call. Samantha captures the emotions and draws them out on every syllable sung we connect to her as she sings ‘Needing you more than you will ever know. We here all the conversations we have left unsaid’, emotions never shared and loneliness we have experienced as we get up close to the vocal glories that define the Belle of The West.

In between the originals are a trio of carefully chosen covers fitting perfectly as a glove into the tone and feel of the album. With Poor Black Mattie the tempo rises to match the beating of your pulse as the music soars through your soul sending tingles down your spine. RL Burnside feel and magic captured as Fish answers to Lightnin’ Malcolm’s call as gospel captured with some sweet harp lead breaks.  Lillie Mae’s Nearing Home is luscious full curling violin and as Samantha’s vocals take a dreamy air as the melody is woven into the lyrics.  Capping them is the title track from the pen of Jimbo Mathus.  We now are on the river riding the lady we love best. The music and tone shaped by the undulation on the river that like the whole album on every listen you hear another nuance and the deeper meanings behind the songs chosen by Samantha Fish.

With the deep bass, Samantha Fish on No Angels has backing vocals that add to the vibe and gives her something to work on as we find out there is No Angel around here full of deep bass grooves the Mississippi flows strongly through the music that captivates.  Samantha surrounded by quality musicians that add to the tracks, the central role throughout is the vocals that have a depth that colour the lyrics and shapes them with emotional maturity, empathy and understanding. The music is genuine and authentic, this is the sound that Fish wants to define her as 2017 closes. As the album reaches its finale we have Nearing Home percussive full lilting sound from the violin and Samantha poses the question where are we going? With a slowness that builds and weaves throughout the song.  Then the final track Gone For Good, leaving us with a foot tapping number. Gone for Good has a rawness, dirtier sound reflecting the lyrics and a celebration you are gone for good. Raw and dirty leaving you shouting don’t go Samantha Fish. Giving you the perfect excuse to slow down and sit back and rewind back to the beginning. You will cherish the time spent listening to the classy album Belle of The West.

The album is full of songs that just take time to get to know, this is an album that is not the product of the digital Download, listen for a few seconds or once then throw away. Belle of The West is an album to savour, get to know the intricacies of the instrumentation the style of the vocals capturing emotions as the story unfolds. Like friends, invest the time and get to know Samantha Fish, Belle of the West whether this is a pit stop on a journey of a musician maturing and developing her approach to blues. One thing is a certainty that like a good vintage on the sound, it grows in complexity with every tasty listen.

Belle of the West – Samantha FishRUF Records

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

    1. American Dream
    2. Blood In The Water
    3. Need You More
    4. Cowtown
    5. Daughters
    6. Dan’t Say You Love Me
    7. Belle of the West
    8. Poor Black Mattie
    9. No Angels
    10. Nearing Home
    11. Gone For Good


    Samantha Fish the Belle of The West on this Album

Funky Dan Reed Talking About Extreme Tour

Funky Dan Reed Talking About Extreme Tour

Dan, you are back in the UK with your band for December the first at a Sold-out Planet Rockstock and then six dates, six cities opening for Extreme.

Thank you for your time on a Monday morning.

BD: How does the Dan Reed Network funky party sound set the scene for the Extreme Show?
: When we first met Extreme they said the Dan Reed Network first studio album was a big inspiration following the path both management and Numo said great things about our first self-titled album. The two bands are fun funk rock guitar-led music. Nuno, I honestly believe is the strongest guitarist on the planet. DRN is the perfect warmup act before the legendary artist and his band Extreme get up and do his thing. We are so excited to be Extreme’s special guests and visiting cities across the UK. The first time for DRN in Leeds and not played Bristol this time around.

BD: For anyone who has not yet caught up with DRN second helping – What makes you the support act of 2017 not to be missed?
The Network has a great energy, a certain chemistry, I have known the drummer Dan Pred since High School we are all good friends. The bigger the stage the more animation audiences will witness When we play live it is a celebration that we are here on this crazy planet. The band is high energy very visual and a friendship that has stood the test of time for over thirty years. This chemistry adds to our performance which will be energetic and funky. Dan says miss Dan Reed Network opening for Extreme at your own peril!”

Funky Dan Reed Talking About Extreme TourBD: Will the set be shaped around Fight Another Day? Or will you incorporate band versions from your latest solo album Confessions?
No nothing from solo albums. All Dan Reed Network. We know that 70% of people will have never heard us or heard and not really remember. So the fifty-minute set will sample our whole catalogue from our four studio albums. With two or three tracks from them, definitely no ballads with the shorter time to play. Rainbow Child will be the closest to a ballad.  So the audience will be hot for Extreme having heard numbers from our first self-titled album, Slam Heat and our latest Fight Another Day.

BD: Funk/Rock scene of the late 80’s/90’s was a deep groove we all delved into. What makes the sound right for the 2010’s with the reemergence of Dan Reed Network and other bands doing the funky thing?
DR: Funk Rock has always been at the core of good Rock N’ Roll. I love the funky stuff of Led Zeppelin and funk crossed over most with Disco with bands like Kiss and Queen, think of Another One Bites The Dust. Funky everyone gets the wider groove good to dance, party and have fun. Bands such as AC/DC Fly On The Wall so many records are at 120 BPM’s (Beat per minutes) kick drum Boom Boom add the high hat and you have got disco. Funk has been played always from Sly and the Family Stone onwards showing people a good time there will always be funk and air guitarists enjoying the groove from the guitarist.

BD: What plans have you got for yourself & DRN for 2018

DR: Before 2019 we have a studio date in Manchester with 140 people attending a live recording of a song. The audience will be adding backing vocals. We want to do this is different cities including Portland, New York and Stockholm and hopefully Tokyo, Sydney. This is better than VIP for a 100 euro’s people have the opportunity to hang out with the band for a day with dinner and unplugged session. Planning to hopefully incorporate the sessions into an album. Going into next year will be in Scandinavia with Electric Boy and tour with Danny Vaughan doing our Snake Oil and Harmony February through March. Dan Reed Network more tours this time be good to be co-headliners with someone like Living Colour or King’s X. New Year’s Eve bash with the Network closing out 2018. Beyond that hope in 2019 I can take time out for songwriting. Travelling including India and USA on a cross-country road trip with acoustic guitar giving me the opportunity to hear some stories.
It is tough when on the road touring you get a pattern with a  rhythm but it can be stifling for creativity. I need to break the pattern hearing stories to write some new music.

Thank you, Dan, for taking the time-out to chat to Liz this morning ahead of your opening show as Special guest for Extreme in Lisbon. I am looking forward to Bristol, 18th December great start to Christmas merriment and partying.

DR: Yes, we are excited too, tomorrow Madrid then we hit the UK it is a great privilege and a challenge to open for Extreme going to be an intense experience. Looking forward to playing to Extreme’s very loyal fans who we hope will get into the Networks music. As I said don’t miss the support get to the show early and funk out with Dan Reed Network.

Funky Dan Reed Talking About Extreme Tour

JW Jones Thunderbolt Blues Reaches High Temperature

JW Jones Thunderbolt Blues Reaches High TemperatureJW Jones Thunderbolt Blues Reaches High Temperature tonight on a cold Bristol November night. With lots of gigs on tonight, those with a discernible taste for Canadian driven Chicago Blues were definitely in the right place with JW and his band; on bass Laura Greenberg and new drummer Will Laurin a perfectly formed trio.

Opening with an instrumental that grabbed your ear’s attention you were hooked in with a great SRV styled guitar with the tone and but definitely not a clone! With guitar driven melody this was the start of the warming process we would soon be hot with the delights of blues via JW Jones and his Gibson Les Paul. Tonight was about his music and the opportunity to hear tracks from his stupendous album High Temperature what better way to introduce the album than with the title track a reworking of a Little Walter classic. His guitar playing certainly wooed and excited everyone in the room tonight with authentic electric blues. His music shaped by tradition but never trapped in a cul-de-sac even during the set taking us down the delta showing a different side of the blues.

He makes his gold Les Paul sing to his blues style with a deft touch and depth of feeling for the roots of the blues. The music is contemporary, touching and inspiring everyone with lyrics that told a story or shared emotions. The night was a mix of numbers from his previous album Belmont Boulevard and great covers re-shaped and perfectly formed. The textures and tones change but the quality of sound was constant as we heard BB King and Charlie Musslewhite. Both were stylish with JW Jones treatment of Charlie’s music was a real highlight his interpretation was inspired. The harmony of the chorus with Laura his bassist backing vocals on How Many Hearts gave the number a shape and context. The mood changed with a foot-tapping rockier R&B infused Watch Your Step,
The tempo slowed with a beautiful slow blues number. This was pure, blues crystalline in its purity the perfect contrast to what went before, even the siren of the emergency services on the A4 outside did not distract you and almost acted as a sound effect fitting into the groove. adding to the drama of another impeccable lead break the use of the drumstick as a slide. The blues flowed like a molten river through the venue the tempo changed the mood evolved as we fell under the spell of JW Jones and his band’s spell. Live music, intense, up-close and full of emotion. This connection you will never get at a larger venue. The Thunderbolt is small and perfectly formed and the beer is served at the right temperature and almost as tasty as the blues on offer tonight from the stage.

JW Jones Thunderbolt Blues Reaches High TemperatureAll too soon the set was drawing to the finale a medley, name that tune moment with the up-tempo fun-loving groove of Magic Westside Boogie. The number was fast upbeat lets dancing music with Bo Diddley licks, smoothly morphing into Voodoo Chile all part of a single lead break. Magnificent. This then gave the opportunity to shine the spotlight on Laura and Will. The ‘let’s add to a sense of fun and adventure’ vibe maintained as they played their own form of musical chairs. JW Jones left the guitar and picked up the drumsticks, Will the Bass vacated by Laura who was now up front on the Les Paul. The depth of understanding between the band was demonstrated as we then had a TomTom duel between JW & Will. Then the set was wound up with an incredible medley of Rock n Roll favourites, which smoothly morphed and some intuitive improvisation that saw the temperature and delight of the audience reach fever pitch. The end was a real show stopper as all three members of the band joined JW on his Les Paul. Tonight we had sparkling blues and real entertainment we all had fun.

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JW Jones Thunderbolt Blues Reaches High Temperature


JW Jones Thunderbolt Blues Reaches High Temperature




King Crimson Uncertain Times European Tour 2018

King Crimson Uncertain Times European Tour 2018


King Crimson Uncertain Times European Tour 2018

King Crimson has announced the “Uncertain Times” European tour for 2018. The ensemble will visit Poland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands, Italy, France and UK.

Pre-sale VIP tickets will go on sale on 23rd November from the band’s website, HERE, where fans can also find recordings and photographs of recent shows. General tickets will go on sale on 1st December.


King Crimson Uncertain Times European Tour 2018

King Crimson 2018 European tour dates:


13th June Poznan, Poland Earth Hall
14th June Poznan, Poland Earth Hall
16th June Krakow, Poland ICE Congress Hall
17th June Krakow, Poland ICE Congress Hall
18th June Krakow, Poland ICE Congress Hall


20th June Essen, Germany Lichtburg
23rd June Vienna, Austria Stadthalle
24th June Vienna, Austria Stadthalle

1st July Berlin, Germany Admiralspalast
16th July Munich, Germany Philharmonie


26th June Prague, Czech Republic Forum Karlin
27th June Prague, Czech Republic Forum Karlin


5th July Stockholm, Sweden Cirkus
6th July Stockholm, Sweden Cirkus
8th July Oslo, Norway Sentrum Scene
9th July Oslo, Norway Sentrum Scene
10th July Oslo, Norway Sentrum Scene


13th July Amsterdam, The Netherlands Concertgebouw


19th July Pompeii, Italy Teatro Grande
20th July Pompeii, Italy Teatro Grande
22nd July Rome, Italy Auditorium Cavea
23rd July Rome, Italy Auditorium Cavea
25th July Lucca, Italy Piazza Napoleone
27th July Venice, Italy Teatro La Fenice
28th July Venice, Italy Teatro La Fenice


29th Oct Bournemouth, UK Pavilion Theatre
31st Oct Cardiff, UK St Davids
2nd Nov London, UK Palladium
6th Nov Birmingham, UK Symphony Hall
9th Nov Manchester, UK Bridgewater Hall
12th Nov Glasgow, UK Royal Concert Hall


15th Nov Paris, France L’Olympia
16th Nov Paris, France L’Olympia


With three drummers, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison and Jeremy Stacey, as well as the return of multi-instrumentalist Bill Rieflin on keyboards, guitarist and original founding member, Robert Fripp states that this “double quartet formation” is likely to make more noise than ever before. Rounding out the eight piece line-up are guitarist and vocalist Jakko Jakszyk, long-time bassist Tony Levin, and saxophonist and flautist Mel Collins, who was a mainstay of Crim from 1970-1972. The band’s packed three-hour shows draw on material from all periods of their history, including six historic tracks that Crimson have never played live before, as well as new arrangements of Crimson classics – “the music is new whenever it was written” – and, of course, a healthy dose of new material, including the compositions for three drummers, which are a regular highlight.

Here’s what the press have raved about King Crimson’s summer 2017 North American tour:

“Jimi Hendrix saw them at the Marquee in 1969 and declared them to be the best band in the world. In many ways, almost half a century later, they still are.” – ERIC THIESSEN, All About Jazz.

“Fripp and his band offered an impeccable performance in two stages. No melodies, no flapping, only musicians at the top of their art.” – IAN BUSSIÈRES La Presse, Quebec

“The band finally reaps all that it has sown in its many transformations…the king is not dead, far from it, and they still rejoice.” – REJEAN BEAUCAGE,

“Crimson has never sounded more complete, or more joyous, on stage than it does now.” – JORDAN ZIVITZ, Montreal Gazette

“The uniqueness of seeing each of these seasoned musicians working is near indescribable and has to be experienced live to fully embrace their vision – think of eight master painters working in their own style, but on a common canvas, and you begin to get the idea of things.” – WE HEART MUSIC, Minneapolis

“On our final evening at the festival, we were witness to the concert that inevitably proved to be its highlight…The blend of mood, melody, ambiance and atmosphere dazzled the audience, which responded with frequent standing ovations.” – LEE ZIMMERMAN, Goldmine Magazine


King Crimson Uncertain Times European Tour 2018




Brian Downey Alive and Dangerous In Conversation

Brian Downey Alive and Dangerous In ConversationBD: Firstly, thank you for taking the time out ahead of your shows next weekend in London at Nells Jazz & Blues on Friday 24thNovember and Saturday 25th November (SOLD OUT) with your new band Brian Downey’s ALIVE AND DANGEROUS, performing a 40th anniversary concert of one of the greatest live rock and roll albums of all time – Thin Lizzy’s “Live and Dangerous”. Before we talk about drums, Thin Lizzy and your new band lets go back to the beginning.


BD: What were your first musical influences growing up in Dublin?
First influence was my Dad’s record collection mostly Ceilidh music and a mixture of pop tunes of the time including Ruby Murray, Mike Holliday. Music of the late fifties a mixture of what was being played on the radio and Dad’s collection. The music was a mix of Irish plus what was happening in the late fifties pop charts and American bands. Dad used to play drums in a pipe band in Dublin so there was always drums and pipes in the house. There were house parties and hooley’s. They were crazy with fiddles and dancing. Steeped in music growing up unlike now there was little entertainment except for pop music dancing and movies. Ceilidh is easy to listen and dance to. The Pogues were popular putting Irish music back on the map again in 1980’s


 BD: What makes Thin Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous album such a legendary live album in the world of Rock n’ Roll?

Brian:  We wanted to do a live album, during this period bands were recording live albums. Everyone was saying we sounded better live than on a record. We had the material from the early albums Vagabonds of The Western World, Jailbreak, Johnny The Fox. Lizzy was always a live band. Phil says we should record a live album. Finances from record company sorted so we did a double album. The record company had so much faith in us as we were on the crest of the wave. We knew how to play the songs so took out a mobile unit to Hammersmith and Rainbow in London for the video. Around that time live albums were popular with The Who, Live In Leeds, and Peter Frampton‘s Frampton Comes Alive!. Phil Lynott believed the live album would be popular recording exactly what Lizzy sounded like. I played to the best of my ability as did the rest of the band, for me, there were few bands that could do live music better. The album was recorded at Hammersmith Odeon, Seneca College Toronto and Tower Theatre Philadelphia. Three good nights of music on the tour so we had a nice mix of gigs to choose from so no real overdubbing. Though Tony Visconti did say there were overdubs about 70%. From what I remember about 20% was overdubbed, and there were no drum overdubs. The cymbal and snare I was happy with the performance live. Scott Gorham and Phil Lynott did minimal overdubs yes they cleaned up some of the vocals and solo. Hear Still Dangerous contains never released material which we decided to release and can hear no overdubs can hear just as the songs as they were played on the night. The proof of the pudding, Thin Lizzy can be recorded live with no overdubs, it was a mistake on Visconti’s part.

BD: Do you have a favourite Thin Lizzy Track and why?

Brian: Have to look back to the early years, to this day my favourite track from our first album, Look What The Wind Blew In. The first album was such a novelty for us a brand new experience. The signing of a contract with Decca, leaving Dublin travelling to London to do the recording. The lyrics are really good, and the music a is a tale about Gail, Phil’s girlfriend. The other favourite is Boys Are Back In Town, this is the single that made the band. Phil presented the song in the studio a prototype rock we were all impressed how he was seeing it, the Jailbreak album, Boys Are Back in Town the big-hitting single. These are my two favourites, big hits that still feel good today.  These songs put us on the map, especially in Europe and USA.  It was at the time frantic, and looking back it was the turning point of the band. Without these hit songs, we certainly would not have recorded fourteen albums. At that time if you did not appear on Top Of The Pops (TOTP) you were not in the loop it was the structure to get on TOTP. The modus operandi of the time, today it is a very different situation. Once you appeared on TOTP guaranteed a top ten single. Whiskey In The Jar overnight sensation and on the back of performing on TOTP we sold a bucket load of singles. Thin Lizzy was not like Led Zeppelin who refused to appear on TOTP, we were the opposite couldn’t wait to get on. Top Of The Pops was at the heart of our culture, it was what we talked about the next day in the pub/work or school. It is a show that is definitely missed still today.

Brian Downey Alive and Dangerous In Conversation

BD: Your new band Alive and Dangerous performing mainly Thin Lizzy songs. You are joined by bassist/lead vocalist Matt Wilson, guitarist/vocalist Brian Grace and guitarist/vocalist Phil Edgar. Is it your drumming and links with the original Thin Lizzy that gives your sound an authenticity and not just another cover band?

Brian: Yes, drums do add to the authenticity. The band was originally called the Lowriders who asked me to play with them at Vibe For Phil 2016, I could definitely feel the synergy, I have jammed with other guys playing Lizzy material and it just didn’t feel right. The first thing I noticed with the Lowriders they are close to the original and Matt’s vocals are close to Phil’s I had a chat with Brian after the gig and after a week I still had the same opinion we should have a rehearsal. I invited them down from Belfast to Dublin to play with the band we rehearsed did some gigs and played at the next Vibe for Phil for the whole three nights 4th/5th & 6th January. Had the idea to record those nights and put up on the website. Half the battle as they sounded authentic, the whole set Alive & Dangerous reflects that album we play others in the repertoire so do mix it up a bit.


BD: You have two dates next weekend in London are there any plans to tour the UK in 2018?

Brian: Looking forward to the two nights in London few tickets left for Saturday. We are planning to do a UK tour in 2018, promoters are coming to listen to the show so it would be excellent to have a proper UK tour in 2018. We are looking forward to getting out and doing shows across the UK.


BD: How did you get into Drumming and who are your influences?

Brian: Simply my Dad. He was a drummer in a pipe band had early lessons when 6 or 7. Was a member of a pipe band and did some St Patrick’s Parades when I was 8/9 years old. When I heard pop music on the radio especially the Beatles I was flabbergasted by the music. I wanted a drum kit. I pestered for a year and then had my first kit, Olympic Drums, Premier from Leicester. There is so much more than playing the snare drum. I had lessons with Jimmy Doyle who played Jazz & Rock he taught me the basics of playing the drum kit. He also taught me how to read the dots. I used to practice, write the stuff out and practice playing 3-4 hours each day for a couple of years. I joined a band, playing with different musicians, guitar, bass and vocals. The impetus for me was to play better. Played drums at rehearsals with the band and in the house. Lots of practicing. Even when rehearsing and touring with Lizzy I practiced everyday with practice pads kept up to date when away gigging. Joining a band was a big eye-opener to get the drums right have to keep your ear open for the other instruments. Need an open mind and ear to the songs we played. It is vital ears are open when playing in a band.


BD: Over the years what musicians have influenced you the most?
Brian: Two guitarist have influenced me. Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. Jimi Hendrix the guitar on the first album is mind-blowing combined with the drumming of Mitch Mitchell struck a chord with me. Then Eric Clapton’s approaches influenced my drumming. Eric Clapton playing with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers was an absolute revolution. Incredible experience hard to believe anyone could play so good. His sound everyone else copied Les Paul & 50 W Marshall Amp. Quality of the songs John Mayall picked massive revelation and followed Clapton’s career into Cream. In fact all the offshoots of the Bluesbreakers I have followed Fleetwood Mac, the blues boom of the sixties. Plus over in the USA Paul Butterfield, and Electric Flag were equally inspiring. So many great musicians and albums. I couldn’t afford them all so had to scrimp and save to buy albums


BD: Thank you for your time and insights into your music ahead of the exciting shows in London.

Brian Downey Alive and Dangerous In Conversation


Nells Jazz & Blues Club
Friday 24th November 2017

24 Hour Box Office: 0871 2200260
Venue Box Office: 0207 792 1200
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
3 North End Crescent, London, W14 87G

Nells Jazz & Blues Club
Saturday 25th November 2017 

24 Hour Box Office: 0871 2200260
Venue Box Office: 0207 792 1200
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
3 North End Crescent, London, W14 87G
http://nellsjazzandblues.ukBrian Downey Alive and Dangerous In Conversation