Big Boy Bloater On Tour Arrives at The Louisiana Bristol

Big Boy Bloater On Tour Arrives at The Louisiana Bristol

Big Boy Bloater On Tour Arrives at The Louisiana Bristol

Some say he came out of the swamp. The truth is; the number is  It Came Outta The Swamp.  Check out this clever video below.  It Came Outta The Swamp is just one of the superb tracks on Big Boy Bloater & The Limits album Luxury Hobo. Bluesdoodles has listened and agrees this is a soundscape of what many of us feel but do not have the talent to encapsulate in a 4-minute display of blues that may not be pure but is definitely mean dirty and very good. Read more to find out why the album was a perfect TEN – HERE

 

Now you have read the review of the album, watched the video. Next move os to go and hear Big Boy Bloater and The Limits LIVE! The Band is out around the country September & October.

22nd September SHOREHAM Ropetackle Arts Centre
23rd September GRAVESEND: Bluesrock Fest, Red Lion
29th September BRISTOL: The Louisiana
30th September NEWBURY: Arlington Arts Centre
5th October NOTTINGHAM The Maze
6th October GLASGOW Stereo
7th October PRESTON The Continental 18th Beer Festival****
7th October BIRMINGHAM The Dark Horse
12th October SHEFFIELD The Greystones
13th October DARLINGTON The Forum
 
14th October HULL New Adelphi

**** Continental *** change of gig *** NOW headlining the Beer Fest – if you have a ticket already you will receive a refund of the difference on the door.

Looking forward to Big Boy Bloater at The Louisiana in Bristol on 29th September 2017 – Check out the Event, buy a ticket it will be so much fun – HERE

Bluesdoodles reviews & INterview with Big Boy Bloater:

Luxury Hobo CD review HERE

Interview with Big Bot Bloater HERE

 

Big Boy Bloater On Tour Arrives at The Louisiana Bristol

 

 

Joe Satriani Announcing New album For January 2018 What Happens Next

Joe Satriani Announcing New album For January 2018 What Happens Next

Joe Satriani Announcing New album For January 2018

What Happens Next

 

Joe Satriani Announcing New album For January 2018 What Happens Next

G3 U.S. TOUR SET TO LAUNCH ON JANUARY 11TH

Tour features Satriani, John Petrucci (Dream Theater) & Phil Collen (Def Leppard)

“Beyond the Supernova” Documentary by ZZ Satriani to Premiere at Mill Valley Film Festival – October 14th

 

Joe Satriani Announcing New album For January 2018 What Happens Next. World-renowned guitar virtuoso, JOE SATRIANI, announces the release of his 16th solo album, What Happens Next, set for release, January 12, 2018 on Sony/Legacy Recordings. Just a day prior to the album release, SATRIANI revives his G3 tour entity, inviting Dream Theater’s John Petrucci and Def Leppard lead guitarist, Phil Collen to join him. The G3 tour launches on January 11 in Seattle, WA and continues across the U.S. before winding up on February 25 in Milwaukee, WI. There is a special tour pre-sale promotion giving fans the opportunity to buy concert tickets with the new album as well as VIP packages.

The new, instrumentally electrifying album features a power trio of legendary status; SATRIANI on guitar and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee bassist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple/Black Country Communion) and drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), the latter reuniting with SATRIANI for the first time since their work in the supergroup Chickenfoot. SATRIANI is once again joined by producer/engineer/mixer Mike Fraser, his frequent collaborator over the last 20 years, on What Happens Next. Fraser is well-known for recording/mixing every AC/DC album since 1990’s The Razors Edge along with his classic works with SATRIANI going back to the release of Crystal Planet in 1998.

These new tracks literally vibrate the soul with an energy rarely found these days. From the dynamic opening track, “Energy”, to the majestic crunch of “Thunder High On The Mountain”, and the easy, sensual cords of “Smooth Soul”. This unparalleled rock-rhythm section gives What Happens Next a depth of groove that sets it apart from SATRIANI’s other work.

Since its debut in 1996, SATRIANI’s G3 tour has featured the world’s greatest guitarists (everyone from Steve Vai and Eric Johnson to Steve Lukather and Robert Fripp) and has become a consistent concert hall sell-out attraction in the U.S., South America, Europe, Australia, and Japan. “I could say that I’m surprised at the durability of G3 and how much it’s grown, but in a way I’m not,” SATRIANI says with a laugh, “I think part of its charm and its mojo is in the chemistry of having three top guitarists share what they do on stage. It’s fun, it’s unpredictable, it’s wild – it’s everything you could want in a show.”

In addition to this new album and exciting tour news, a new documentary “Beyond the Supernova” shot by SATRIANI’s filmmaker son, ZZ, makes its debut at the Mill Valley Film Festival this October. The tour documentary chronicles Joe, along with his band and crew, on their last “Shockwave Supernova” tour throughout Europe and Asia.

Satriani’s Strange Beautiful Music: A Musical Memoir first released in May 2014 will now be available in paperback. Pre-orders are available now with the official release on November 7, 2017. The paperback version includes a new chapter focusing on SATRIANI’s last album, Shockwave Supernova. Read an excerpt from the new chapter HERE.

For two decades, the guitar virtuoso has traveled the world, playing to sold-out crowds as both a headliner and as founder of the all-star “G3” guitar extravaganza. SATRIANI’s studio and live recordings have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide to date and of his many solo albums, two have gone platinum and four others went gold, with 15 Grammy nominations between them. His side project, Chickenfoot, featuring former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar, former bassist Michael Anthony, and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith saw their debut album certified gold and their second studio album debuted at #9.

2018 G3 Tour featuring Joe Satriani, John Petrucci & Phil Collen itinerary:

January 11 – The Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA
January 12 – Historic Elsinore Theatre, Salem, OR
January 13 – Grand Sierra Theatre, Reno, NV
January 14 – Fox Theater, Oakland, CA
January 16 – Delta Hall at Eccles Theater, Salt Lake City, UT *
January 17 – Brooklyn Bowl, Las Vegas, NV
January 18 – Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ *
January 19 – Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
January 20 – Balboa Theatre, San Diego, CA
January 21 – Fox Tucson Theatre, Tucson, AZ *
January 24 – Historic Paramount Theatre, Denver, CO
January 26 – The Pavillion at The Toyota Music Factory, Irving, TX *
January 27 – Austin City Limits – Moody Theater, Austin, TX
January 28 – Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Houston, TX *
January 30 – Hard Rock Live, Orlando, FL *
January 31 – Florida Theatre, Jacksonville, FL *
February 1 – Pompano Beach Amphitheatre, Pompano Beach, FL*
February 2 – Barbara B Mann Performing Arts Hall, Fort Myers, FL *
February 3 – Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersberg, FL *
February 6 – Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh, NC
February 14 – Warner Theatre, Washington, DC *
February 15 – Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA
February 16 – Beacon Theatre, New York, NY *
February 17 – Merriam Theater, Philadelphia, PA
February 18 – New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, NJ *
February 20 – Auditorium Theatre, Rochester, NY *
February 21 – Massey Hall, Toronto, ONT
February 22 – Hard Rock Live, Northfield, OH
February 23 – Chicago Theatre, Chicago, IL *
February 24 – State Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
February 25 – Riverside Theater, Milwaukee, WI

(All dates on sale September 22nd except * on-sale October 6)

 

 

Joe Satriani Announcing New album For January 2018 What Happens Next

Pre-order HERE 

 

Joe Satriani Announcing New album For January 2018 What Happens Next

 

Joe Satriani Announcing New album For January 2018 What Happens Next

The Bad Flowers Single delivers Thunder Child Check It Out

The Bad Flowers Single delivers Thunder Child Check It Out

 The Bad Flowers Single delivers Thunder Child Check It Out

The Bad Flowers Single delivers Thunder Child Check It Out. Why? I smell rock that sizzles. The sound builds and builds with a rumble and roll of riff mayhem. The Black Country once again is serving up rock that packs a punch, full of melodic undertones pulling through on riffs that clap like a mighty thunderstorm. The single opens with a burst of cymbals introducing you to drummer Karl Selickis’; the beat is picked up with deep and full bass grooves provided by Dale Tonks. Then the outpouring of vocalist Tom Leighton. This is a rock power trio that keeps the music pumped up and full of intense tonal shapes and textured rhythms.  The Bad Flowers have a distinctive, compelling sound the three musicians interact creating a maelstrom of rock a bouquet of sound that no simple ribbon can hold in place as the notes are bent and turned into Thunder Child.

The ‘B’ side completes the tasty single with Lions Blood, two tracks that definitely leave you wanting more of the trio’s Black Country rock, full of fuzz, heavy grooves and a rawness that keeps an edge to the music which is sharp and imaginative with an energy. This means that the band are in a hurry to be noticed. They will achieve that with this couplet of rock tones as Thunder Child flows into Lions Blood.The single, Thunder Child, unsurprisingly is getting radio play and the trio is being noticed as they embark on an 8-day tour; including five dates supporting The Picturebooks in October.

The Bad Flowers, deliver a sweet rock riffy sound do not miss out on the chance to be in on the action.  Having formed in 2014 they have been making formidable rock foot in the past whilst full of  21st-century rock sensibilities.

 

OCT/NOV 2017 UK TOUR
*Supporting The Picturebooks
**Supporting Skinny Molly

Tickets: www.thebadflowers.uk

Birmingham, The Flapper – Thursday 5th October 2017
*Supporting The Picturebooks
Tickets: £8.00 – Book Online: See Tickets 

Manchester, Satan’s Hollow – Friday 6th October 2017
*Supporting The Picturebooks
Tickets: £8.80 – Book Online: See Tickets

Workington, Lounge 41 – Saturday 7th October 2017

Bristol, Mothers Ruin – Sunday 8th October 2017
Tickets: £6.25 (includes booking fee) – Book Online: IBA Events 

Grimsby, The Yardbirds – Friday 13th October 2017
*Supporting The Picturebooks
Tickets:£8 advance / £10 door – Book Online: See Tickets 

Swansea, The Pit – Saturday 14th October 2017
Tickets: £6.25 (includes booking fee) – Book Online: IBA Events 

Sheffield, Corporation – Sunday 15th October 2017
*Supporting The Picturebooks
Tickets: £9.56 – Book Online: See Tickets 

London, The Lexington – Monday 16th October 2017
*Supporting The Picturebooks
Tickets: £10.00 – Book Online: See Tickets 

Oxford, The Bullingdon – Tuesday 24th October 2017
**Supporting Skinny Molly
Book Online: We Got Tickets

Leicester, The Soundhouse – Friday 24th November 2017
Tickets: £6.60 (Inc. Booking Fee) – Book Online: We Got Tickets 

Planet Rock presents Winter’s End – Friday 23rd February 2018
Weekend Tickets / Tickets without Accommodation
Book Online: Planet Rock 
www.planetrock.com
Sandford Holiday Park, Holton Heath, Poole, Dorset, BH16 6JZ
www.planetrock.com

The Bad Flowers Single delivers Thunder Child Check It Out

Rise & Shine With SIMO Taking Us In A New Direction

Rise & Shine With SIMO Taking Us In A New Direction

Rise & Shine With SIMO
Taking Us In A New Direction

 

 

Rise & Shine With SIMO Taking Us In A New Direction, from the first click of the fingers, a boom of the drum and sonic guitar you are taken to a different place that their previous releases have never been or brave enough to take us.  The previous critically acclaimed album Let Love Show the Way was retro, accessible and familiar. Get ready to be amazed, aurally challenged and delighted on the album that is in two words summed up as Superb Experimental.

This is an album that is personal, spiritual and encompasses lyrics that at times hurt when you take in the message. But we can relate to them we have all travelled to that stony place JD Simo is describing in many of the songs.

Return is a track that absorbs, starkly crafted around a vocal that is strong in its frailty. This is about sinking into yourself without being aware of the effect on other people and reality becomes a stranger. Lyrics fuelled for a blues inspired song. Not this time a contemporary twisted shape with space to consider the sonics and words. Full of funk with a rawness that burns. There are echoes of other musicians Prince, Beck and others; this is SIMO reaching out and creating a new musical pathway of their own. A powerful number that leaves you wondering where has this new style come from? The guitar moans and groans as JD is almost crooning to himself as we just want to enjoy this new sound; learn it understand it and embrace it. So let’s Rise up and listen to a highly original album as JD says ‘Let It Shine’.

They laid down an intriguing gauntlet with the opening track. How to follow that. We are taken to a trance-like state as we join SIMO in the Meditation zone. This is not a silent space, the mysticism is ever present in tone, the awareness of self is absorbed into the driving beat. The beat that ignites your inner happiness and connects to your feet that want to get up and dance.  The album is slippery to grab hold of. It is mercurial, enticing and slightly dangerous, the sonic shape reinvents itself for every track. The tracks are linked together by personal experience, hurt, haunting and anger. They are linked by the authority of JD’s vocals and his guitar just screams and twists around the strings for attention, the deep bass lines of Elad Shapiro,  and crisp impassioned drumming of Adam Abrashoff on the beat shaping the depths of the sonic landscape created on Rise and Shine

We are taken into a slightly wild place with shine, fast curling beats auditory delights are created by a trio that embrace change and experiment without ever losing the strength of melody. JD’s vocals provide a clarion call on Shine.  Space and time continuum changes with I Want love. The sonics fade and the vocals and guitar take the lead role for your attention as JD plaintively sings I Want Love. A soul ballad that grows and grows with every note that is sung as we are taken on a soulful, smoky emotional journey. I Want Love.

All change as The Climb starts with a rock infused predominately instrumental full of shifting multi-hued coloured sands of psychedelia. Vocals are sparse spoken as they quote from JF Kennedy “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit the same planet” becoming another instrument added to the wild experimental mix. Music of darkness and light as we Rise and Shine in the company of SIMO on their aural journey.

The mood changes with the bluesiest number, Light The Candle.  The Sonics are measured and would be recognised as a blues driven sound by Howlin’ Wolf. This is blues for today different full of structure, sharp edges a harshness of modernity delivered by the instruments over the lyrics of JD. The Whoo Hoo of his vocals are straight out of the lexicon of blues sounds, whilst defying like the rest of the album to be captured within one industrial genre.

The album is masterful every track has a sense of purpose and direction. Listen to the whole album the numbers will cascade you into an aural wonderland. A theme park full of sonic adventures. Closing out the album with I Pray. Just over thirteen minutes where you are captivated in the land of SIMO. Starting off with measured, simple sounds and JD intones a prayer. A prayer that is a manifesto of a better more tolerant understanding world where we embrace difference. The track is progressive, full of rock and so much more. Thought provoking. Identifying the oppressed, addicted and those living under tyranny. It covers every issue the world is struggling with from climate change to social ills. The words have a message it is formidable. The music is structured each note and space is there for a reason. What a brilliant close for a brilliant album you want the licks, riffs and rounds of music to go on and on taking to a better place to Rise and Shine.

The sound comes from a trio of musicians that do not want to be contained in retro, repeating what others have done before. They want to produce their best music. Full of interpretations of the sounds the instruments take them as they explore the lyrics. The album had a long gestation as they toured relentlessly throughout 2017 to a point beyond exhaustion they found creativity.  The mutual understanding between the trio of musicians has made Rise and Shine a musical experimentation full of chemistry, harmonies bound in the heart of any song lyrics with something to say. Rise and Shine with SIMO and great a new day with the exciting new direction you will want to travel. Rise and Shine a real contender for my album of 2017. The album can be reviewed in one word EXCEPTIONAL!

Rise & Shine – SIMOProvogue/Mascot Label Group

Out 15th September 2017

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Return
  2. Meditation
  3. Shine
  4. People Say
  5. Don’t Waste Time
  6. I Want Love
  7. The Climb
  8. Light The Candle
  9. Be With You
  10. The Light
  11. I Pray

Rise & Shine With SIMO Taking Us In A New DirectionRise & Shine With SIMO Taking Us In A New DirectionRise & Shine With SIMO Taking Us In A New Direction

King King taking a new direction on Exile & Grace Album

King King taking a new direction on Exile & Grace Album

King King taking a new direction on
Exile & Grace Album

 

 

King King taking a new direction on Exile & Grace Album. The mix is matured and has a vibe of intent to deliver the music the growing army of fans want to hear.  The music has the solidity of granite rock and definitely a new cadence to the vocals from our kilt wearing Alan Nimmo.  The honeyed vocals have sharpened with a soulful considered delivery that rocks with a bluesy haze.

Opening number Gimme No Lovin will be instantly recognised thanks to the considerable airplay the number has received. There is definitely a nod towards Thunder. Danny Bowes’ vocals have curled their way into Alan’s vocal lexicon. On first listen that is what dominates, get to know the number then the vintage King King sound simmers and boils to the top, thanks to the stunning keys from Bob Fridzema who just keeps adding spicy phrasing to every number.  Exile & Grace has a fullness of tone modern and retro as Alan nods his head towards influences of his youth.

Nine tracks that take you on a winding road of textures and tones. Heed the Warning opens with a sound that is infectious as Wayne Proctor’s drumming combines with the bass of Lyndsey Coulson. Pulling in guitar riffs and scrumptious chords from Bob’s fingers. Then the vocals from Alan Nimmo.  Heed The Warning take note this is King King with a clear direction and a story to tell. Classic King King that is going to get the fans smiling when played live. As the notes fade, then the crescendo opening of Broken. This is a track where the lyrics dominate. Reflecting on society and no escape to higher ground. This is about a broken world punctuated by the King King Trademark instrument notations.  Heavier and reminiscent of early Whitesnake. this is a band defining the album. As they grow in stature carving out their own distinctive, recognisable sound.

How to follow that, take it down a notch or two. Draw a breath and a Nimmo ballad helps you Find Your Way Home. The angst and anguish flow out of the speakers and across the room from the vocals and the instrumentation. Alan begs for you to Find Your Way Home.  Broken hearted and trying to make sense this is a ballad we can all relate to. Another number that will be the next mainstay of the live set.

Wayne’s drums, crisply open up Long Time Running, a classic King King sound. As they said cowbell would have neatly fitted in but they resisted and the number is all the better for it.  Closing out with I Don’t Wanna Lie, Stevie Wonder style keys punctuate the lyrics framed by juicy tones from Alan Nimmo, A fun number leaving you on a High, you may be in Exile but you will always have Grace delivered by a King King quartet who have never strayed down an alleyway distracted by a musical style on an album full of rock credentials.

The Album is King King the band are a unit with a distinctive tone and musical approach. This is not a scatter gun approach trying to please blues and rock fans at the same time. The result was albums that at times disappointed them as seen as to blues for rock and to rock for blues. This is classic rock dipping their toes in the British Blues Explosion sound and reforming as the sound of King King 2017. Full of melodic intent, the cohesive force of a band enjoying the music they are playing. It took a few listens.  I had to cleanse my ears of previous albums including 2015 Reaching For the Light, where the music was so accessible. Preconceptions had to be washed away with the new King King approach.  My verdict it is a winner! Despite it being very short only thirty-nine minutes. The cover of Whitesnake’s 1987 classic Give Me All Your Love does not grace the CD but is a bonus track on the vinyl version of the Exile & Grace.

King King on Exile & Grace has found a mature structured sound.  The challenge they set themselves as a band definitely works. The production is crisp. Exile & Grace will never be exiled to the dusty corner of your collection, It will be in a constants state of Grace as the music is played often and loud lifting your mood every time. Rock just got classic again thanks to Exile & Grace with blues roots are never exiled. The fourth studio album builds on the past and King King sound shines brightly as they explore Exile & Grace.

 

King King – Exile & Grace – Manhaton Records

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. (She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’
  2. Heed The Warning
  3. Broken
  4. Find Your way Home
  5. Tear It All Up
  6. Betrayed Me
  7. Long Time Running
  8. Nobody Knows Your Name
  9. I Don’t Wanna Lie

 

King King taking a new direction on Exile & Grace Album

 

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

 

 

Long before the 10th September 2018 dawned the excitement of holding the 4th UKBlues Challenge in The Cavern Club, Liverpool was causing a wave of anticipation throughout social media. On the 7th September slowly increasing in numbers a frame appeared on Facebook. People showing their support by having their profile picture framed with I’M SUPPORTING  THE 4TH #UKBLUESCHALLENGE.

The atmosphere was redolent with the past glories that have been played out at the original Cavern. Tourists were buzzing, selfies were being taken as the board of UKBlues Federation set the space up. The bands arrived full of energy and expectation. The sound guys did everything to ensure the sound checks went smoothly. The venue was in the WiFi free zone of the basement dark and already hot. The mood was electric, as the queues formed outside of blues fans who were delighted to be spending a Sunday afternoon with five bands that representing the variety of angles across the U.K today. Bringing the Blues back to the Cavern 60 years on…

The five bands were given thirty minutes to play the music they love and to get the chance to represent the UK in Memphis at International Blues Challenge and in Hell, Norway at the European Blues Challenge; stepping into the shoes vacated by Kaz Hawkins Band who won and went on to fly the flag of modern Blues being played and enjoyed by diverse audiences. The judges were ready and waiting. The six wise listeners who all love the blues as artists, promoters and DJ’s. The Six were, Victor Brox, Connie Lush, Rosy Greer, Kaz Hawkins, Chris Powers and Nick Westgarth.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The five bands now knew the running order

 

The venue was, hot dark and steamy. The audience on the edge of their seats with anticipation as Ashwyn Smyth (Chair UKBlues Federation) opened proceedings. With Elles’ first note the 2018 challenge was underway.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernElles Bailey debut album is aptly named Wildfire. Elles and her band were like a wildfire burning up the stage. They filled their thirty-minute set with a windswept melee of originals. With country Blues rocked up everyone knew that this was going to be a great live session of blues interpreted by a rising star.  The set was polished as the musicians surrounded her with a hug of sound for Elles to bounce from and deliver the lyrics.  First, up is always difficult. Elles used every note to her advantage setting the bar very high.  The audience whooped and cheered they loved the set. The bands following knew that they had to do not their best but their very best were they ready for the challenge?

Next up with a quick changeover, were The Rainbreakers.  This is rocky blues full of panache and UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavernswagger. Ben on vocals and lead guitar was on fire. His rocky blues electrified the audience. Playing with passion, determination and driving the blues home. They were enjoying their moment, as they interspersed the rockier edge with slower numbers showing the deep blues depths that are the undercurrent fueling the Rainbreakers.  Their number Heart of Gold certainly stood out. A performance that the audience really enjoyed as they warmed to this young band from Shrewsbury who left them wanting more.  The performance like Elles Bailey gave the judges plenty of food for thought.

The energy and fantastic performances that all five acts put in were spell bounding. Anyone of the bands could have represented the UK in Europe & USA. The commitment they demonstrate to Blues and live music is astounding, between them they had driven over 1,000 miles to get to the Cavern and had the prospect of the return journey at the end of the event

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernUKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernNext up, were the winners from the eight bands that played at The Great Rhythm and Blues Festival over Bank Holiday weekend as part of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned Acts project.  Introducing the band was Paul & Margaret Foxley, Robert J. Hunter had only a couple of weeks to prepare as they brought their urban blues to the Cavern. Like the other bands, they were so excited to be playing at such an iconic venue.  A trio that delivered an authentic modern blues sound.  The vocals at times overpowered the sound which is a small point as the sound they were creating was rollicking fun.  Another act that smiled and delivered the blues and gave the judges something to ponder over.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernThe fourth band of the Challenge was LaVendore Rogue. What a stellar set, Joel Fisk once again demonstrating his skills as a blues guitarist. You can always count on front man JoJo to put on a show and tonight they did. The audience reaction was loud and excited them. They were lapping up the music that the band delivered. Not pure blues but every song has deep roots into the heritage of the blues from Charlie Patton and beyond.  Leaving the stage the judges had another band to consider before the final act that had to follow that barnstorming session.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernLast, but definitely not least was Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion. Stylish, sophisticated blues with a jazzy edge. High-quality authentic blues. The title track of their current album, This Is The Life I Choose captured the life and motivation of musicians who play their music live.  Their performance of Angel of Mercy was one of the best I have ever heard Zoe sing and Blue Commotion were spot on with every note and the crafted spaces. What a rousing finale and I am so glad I was not a Judge.

Five Acts, raffle tickets about, prizes handed out and the success of the Minute auctions. The final votes had been counted and verified.

The Winner is: …….. As Dave Raven and Ashwyn Smyth handed over the responsibility of presenting the trophy to last year’s Challenge winner Kaz Hawkins.  The baton, well stylish trophy really, was presented to LaVendore Rogue. They now will be representing the UK in Memphis and Hell.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

Closing the challenge with a party feel was a mighty jam. The stage was filled with the winning band, joined by Connie Lush, Kyla Brox, Kaz Hawkins and the mighty voice and trumpet of Victor Brox. What a resounding end to a challenge that will be long talked about as the blues sung out loud live at the Cavern once more.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

 

Q&A Session as we Rise and Shine with SIMO

Q&A Session as we Rise and Shine with SIMO

Q&A Session as we Rise and Shine with SIMO

 

 

BD: Hi JD delighted to have the opportunity to chat with you once again for Bluesdoodles. A year has passed and we have a new album to explore and enjoy Rise and Shine. The follow-up to the acclaimed Let Love Show You The Way. You have certainly gone off on a different journey as we Rise and Shine with SIMO.

JD Simo:  It is always a pleasure to talk with you. On our way to Nashville to Rise & Shine Record release show.

BD: Tell us about the making of Rise and Shine and how the eleven tracks were weaved together as a tour de force?

JD Simo:  Started the concept last year during that ridiculous touring schedule. There was a hint of the direction at the live shows on our last tour especially in the UK. We had so much material and not had time to work on so many songs. The concept came out as we got bored creatively with what we were putting out material wise. We wanted to push the sound by how we view this and push that so we could find a place that felt unfamiliar. That coupled with the determination to be the best we could be through writing and the music. We could have easily gone in and made an album that was familiar. We wanted to craft and make music with a purpose and with a refinement. Using a methodical approach to be the best possible. This takes time and effort and is a bit scary. It is easy to be lazy being tricked by praise and believing what you are telling yourself. That stops creativity.

The nucleus was when we finally got home in January. No shows and a month studio time already blocked off. So we bared down onto the album. It was a lot of hard work. Lots of time spent it was serious and fun definitely not stressful. It was like a good work out working through and feeling good at the end. Every day was a stretch, it took a long time to arrange and work out the songs. How we were going to do it, what the concept was how the track would sound and fit into the album.

Studio time we were there every day with long hours of crafting our music it was good not to have to rush. We had the time to capture a good performance. Sometimes a track took a long time others a lot shorter. It then took two months to mix. Making the album was a marathon rather than a sprint.

Rise and Shine is a piece of work that represents the best of what we are capable of. It feels like our first record.  If it reminds you of other works that is not intentional. In the past it was intentional. Here we said lets deconstruct I am really proud of the result.

 

BD: You have described the sound as Psychedelic Blues, many have fused soul and funk onto the blues base but you have gone one step further for me this is progressive blues, experimental. Why do you describe your music as Psychedelic ?

JD Simo:  What my music ends up being called is terms is meaning less and less to me. It has to be done in the world we live in. It is fun to hear everyone’s take on the music. Everyone has a different take, it is good that they are finding something that resonant.

Psychedelic is another way to say experimental not taking the norm. A lot of elements makes this experimental with different textures and sounds. The record is still Rock n Roll. Trying to push finding inspiring sounds is cool.

 

BD: How did you come up with the jaunty title Rise & Shine almost a pop feel?

JD Simo:  There is a pun in that behind the name is a concept of growth and your inner light/beauty and the ability to convey that. There are miracle themes, spiritual elements. Rising out of whatever you are dealing with. Shine the message is don’t hold it in, it is okay to let your inner self be seen. There were other names considered. In the end we all liked the title it is kind of funny and suited the album..

 

BD: You made the decision to take a month out and producing the album yourself. Did this give you more control combine the feeling of a live show, energy of a jam and the experimental sonic tones all into the same album that makes sense and is never disjointed?

JD Simo:  We had complete control it was incredible. I was astounded that I was given the opportunity, they had faith in me. So I was given the opportunity to see the vision through. We wanted the live energy on each song. They were treated singularly. There were lots of songs that didn’t make it and others were torn apart during pre-production. The aim was that on each song we nailed it, sonically what suited the track. Some link Meditate were laid back, with intense parts felt the track was laid back, not always easy to capture. It was great to have complete control. We took it really seriously there was no messing around.

 

BD: The opening track Return is a sonic assault as you tune in you realise that Return is not return to the same you have gone in a different direction as the band moulds influences from Beck to Prince with deep bass lines, vocals that are beguiling an opening track opening the doors on the new shape of SIMO?

JD Simo:   Once we got to the mixing stage we were fairly methodical as we considered how the album would flow. The choice of opening with Return was to knock you of your balance, a track you would not expect us to do. In the end it felt the best, felt right to start that way.

A lot of thought went into how to sequence the record. We really loved the opening of the record and the rest made sense. Return, was lyrically a good place to start. The songs get more and more persona. They are what JD personally gone through.  Light The Candle starts to gets heavier subject more about the world outside of me and more intense. It was just the way it worked out in the end.

BD: SIMO have been describe your sound as retro but that is for me too easy. Your sound is modern cutting edge how do you manage that?

JD Simo:  Retro is a fair assessment of what we were creating before Rise & Shine. Not indicative of where we are now. We have turned away from retro it is a natural evolution. Where we are getting more genuine and comfortable. It is like not putting on someone else’s cloths. This is what we were doing with the best of intentions before. It is like growing up, at High School you dress like everyone else. You think man I don’t like this shirt I am not going to wear that anymore. Musically it is like that. Retro was a way of exploring a range of influence. Yet we have as many influences that are contemporary, including Alabama Shakes and Wilco we needed to re-group.

BD: Following on from moving on from being Retro, did you use different equipment on Rise and Shine?

JD Simo: Great question. Yes we did use different equipment. Didn’t use anything used on previous albums. It was all stuff I had found myself it was my own equipment. In the past I had used equipment used by people I admire and love used trying to be authentic.

Now I have collected equipment that suits me in fact none of the equipment was used before it was fresh start on Rise & Shine.

BD: The lyrics are often deep, very personal how much have you been influenced by your extensive travels in 2016 and the election of President Trump last November?

JD Simo:  Majority a lot is about me. This is obvious the emotions I have been through and very observational. I was trying to work through stuff I had to deal with myself. I had to face myself.  It is more honest not alluding but very stark, uncomfortable at times to listen to. This was a conscious choice on my part. I know I am a decent musician as a writer I have never forced myself to write as good as I can. It is important to work on writing. It is absolutely the most important thing is the writing. I love writing it helped me to have the confidence to work to be better and better. Focusing as much on writing as being a good musician that is not being neglected though. Just working harder to be as good a writer as I am a good musician. It feels really good.

We had a listening party. A bunch of people came round I felt really uncomfortable, sick to the stomach. It was hard for me to do, listening to the songs. Bringing stuff up not expressed before in front of a group of people. Once I recovered it felt fine through this journey I have become a decent writer I have revealed everything I needed to. Writers like Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan and Neil Young they do that all the time. I am not comparing myself to them but is sets the bar high to aim for that a better job than I have ever done before.

 BD: Will you be touring Europe with this new exciting album?

JD Simo:  Yes, have a three-week tour of Europe mainly Germany, one night Holland, Belgium and London. Just doing shorter tours, can’t do the 5-6 weeks just too draining for us. Early 2018 will be back in Europe more dates UK and some of the other countries missed including France, Italy, Switzerland and Spain. 2-3 week tours are so much more enjoyable and we are really looking forward to doing them. In fact some of the best gigs we have played have been in London so looking forward to 26th September at the Borderline.

 

BD:   Last time we finished with what your dream band would be this time – what are you listening to and what SIMO track would you liked covered and by whom?

JD Simo:  Without hesitation JD said – D’Angelo to cover I Want Love. That would be pretty sick, pretty incredible and a huge honour. Mind you it would make me never want to do the song every again.

I am a Spotify junkie, I have playlists of all types of stuff. I really am really love Jeff Tweedy solo record with its Meters influence. Also really digging Lily Mae from Nashville, who is on Jack Whites label Third Man. It is folk/country like Gordon Lightfoot. Classic country she is an incredible musician playing fiddle and guitar. Her vocals are unique at times frail sounding like she is crying.

BD: Thank you for your time and looking forward to hearing the new numbers live very soon.

 

Rise and Shine out on Mascot Label Group – out 15th September 2017 

 

Q&A Session as we Rise and Shine with SIMO

Q&A with Erja Lytinnen Stolen Hearts Guitars and Touring

Q&A with Erja Lytinnen Stolen Hearts Guitars and Touring

Q&A with Erja Lytinnen Stolen Hearts Guitars and Touring

 

 

BD: Hi Erja hope you are well, thanks for taking time to speak to Bluesdoodles, for the second time this year as you embark on a UK tour.  

EL:  Yes, really well and looking forward to talking again as I am about to hit the road across the UK at the end of the month.

BD: Let’s start off with the tour seven nights in the UK starting in Sheffield at Greystones on the 20th   How do you prepare and plan for a tour?

EL: It is nice to be back touring, it is an extension of the tour that started back in April to promote Stolen Hearts. Always wonderful when new people come to a show as well as meeting old friends.  It is fun playing the music live. The twins see this as part of life, it is normal for them for Mum to go off playing her music. They go and stay with their father it is no different for them. They have grown so much they are now three and a half, they understand more and can talk about it. They love to help to load and acting as roadies. One is really good on the drums playing with two sticks and playing bass drum at the same time. (Laughing)  just need the other to play bass be the perfect band. Seriously they can do what they want to do. It is though important I think for everyone to enjoy music. Everyone can be creative and involvement in the arts is so good for the soul; it lets all the stress out.  I have been in rehearsals today preparing for the shows, and they went really well. I have new songs and a new pedal. One of the new songs gives me the chance to create a bit of chaos and develop the guitar sound. Chaos is a good thing and then take the music back to simplicity.

BD: For people seeing you for the first time how do you describe your special blues. Full of slide and magic and weaving in tones from across the modern music spectrum from Rock to Prog?

EL: I listen to lots of different music, guitar based and mostly bluesy.  I love mixing and matching the various elements I have learnt from my many and varied guitar teachers.  From my teachers, I learn different approaches and take what is good for me. I master as much as I can and add these skills into the mix. Blues always is the heaviest essence within my music; I like to go crazy with the music, playing free. Traditional blues are hard to play. Can be seen as boring by some. To take the best out of those three chords you need to be the master of the blues.

I have always been a bit of a rebel, wanting to deliver the unexpected, being unique. You cannot just copy you have to make your own stuff. Right now what is happening is a new thing and a new sound coming out of the guitar which is exciting.

BD: To sum up then your music is the blues with a twist of craziness and a lot of Erja uniqueness.

BD: Will the set list be heavy with tracks from your acclaimed album Stolen Hearts and do you have favourites from your whole back catalogue?

 EL: The set list will be 100% Erja Lyytinen. The set list will include tracks from Stolen Hearts. The songs will be different playing live they get their own shape and energy. Into the mix will be songs going back to Grip Of The Blues with Everything’s Fine released in 2008.  Wow, that is nearly ten years ago! Laughing.  You can hear the development over the decade now maybe when in a set can be eight minutes of heavy shuffle blues, with loud guitar, in the solo using delay and Whaing.  The cover song we love having in the set list and is pleasing for audiences is Steamy Windows; the Tony Joe White song a lot of fun, about sex and I can have a good time with the bass player.

BD:  Having performed the songs from Stolen Hearts live do you have a favourite and why?

EL: Rocking Chair, from Stolen Hearts, goes in, it is always a challenge to play live and is becoming its own number little by little as it develops when played on stage if you allow the music the change. Having played the number at around one hundred shows songs are taken in another direction from when recorded in the studio of first played live. It would be boring if played the same way every time. In the blues genre changing and developing is typical and expected.

BD: As you will be only too aware of the debate about what is the blues. What are the Blues to Erja Lyytinen? Do you feel British Blues has a different feel to what is being currently produced in Europe, United States and elsewhere in the world?

EL: Europe definitely has different Blues from U.S.A. The U.K. definitely trades in the whole blues revival of the sixties as the great rock bands emerged Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones and so many more. A Blues band of every country has roots reaching back to the sixties. British Blues is stable with a clear identity.

American Blues is more conventional more towards the traditional roots. European bands are not afraid to mixing and making new sound being experimental. Without a doubt, rockier blues is trending at the moment after the phenomenon of Bonamassa and others have developed a great space a new thing and vibe.

We already have a great catalogue of blues from the past recordings of the 1940’s. We cannot go back.  Fortunately traditional and new are being combined as players take elements from the past to where we are now.

BD: During your travels, how often (if ever) have you experienced sexism, and if so where is it worst/most rife?

EL: Sexism, chuckling, it is in the fabric of the blues. Women and the blues have always been present. Blues is a man’s world.  It has been around since the days of Bessie Smith through to Rosetta Thorpe. They were all amazing musicians and women with an attitude to stride forward.  They all had so much talent that the sexism within the business could never overshadow.  It has changed so much over the last five years there are now more women in the blues. The change is thanks to many women including singer & guitarist Bonnie Raitt, who has been on the circuit for 40 plus years, Susan Tedeschi and Sue Foley and so many more. Women needed these idols. I was lucky my father played the guitar and my mother bass so there were no gender stereotypes of sexism what I was growing up.

BD: What projects have you in the pipeline for the rest of 2017 and into 2018 once the tour finishes in Bristol at The Tunnels on the 26th September?

EL: After the UK tour in September I am involved in a TV programme, Stars Stars (Tähdet Tähdet). It is a nationwide programme where ten singers who sing different genres each week. With over a million viewers every week. The viewers vote and it will stretch me singing Rap/Hip Hop/musicals and other genres each week, I hope the viewer’s votes mean I get through to the finals.

I have a big tour before Christmas in Finland at twelve big venues Erja Lyttinen & Friends: Blue Christmas with Sami Saari and Maria going to be fun. Then into 2018 still touring Stolen Hearts Europe in February and back in the U.K. in March.

We are already doing new songs so cool a shift in direction for the future. My music has been used in a documentary being premiered today. The programme is a big criminal case involving drug Police. So interesting to do different things

No album is being planned for 2018 as still touring Stolen Hearts. But I am writing lots. I noticed that Stolen Hearts full of emotions and my personal life. My writing has moved more base on the guitar a different sound more psychedelic. The stories are not ready yet, lots of guitar riffs and mood feels very different. So lots happening.

BD: Thank you for your time and looking forward to see you live on tour and reviewing the show on 26th September at The Tunnels, Bristol.

Bluesdoodles Stolen Hearts Album Review:  The only answer as the last notes fade is listen and explore Stolen Hearts again. Why? Stolen Hearts is an album of musical maturity that will remain a firm favourite for years to come in collections of lovers of contemporary blues without boundaries. Read more…

Erja Lyytinen is touring the U.K. in September Select the gig – BOOK HERE

 

SQ&A with Erja Lytinnen Stolen Hearts Guitars and Touring

Ash Wilson Played Broken Machine Live To Perfection

Ash Wilson Played Broken Machine Live To Perfection

Ash Wilson Played Broken Machine Live To Perfection

 

Ash Wilson played Broken Machine Live To Perfection at The Tunnels, Bristol. Grabbing the opportunity to thrill the audiences with live versions of the acclaimed debut album, Broken Machine.  Half of King King on Stage, Bob Fridzema, on his mighty Hammond enjoying playing live the music he recorded with Ash. Wayne Proctor of Drums who produced the album brings the power of his drumming and in-depth understanding o the structure and shape of the songs Ash wrote. Replacing Roger Inniss on bass we had the talents of Steve Amadeo completing the dream trio around Ash Wilson’s super blues guitar playing and crooning vocals.

Ash Wilson Played Broken Machine Live To Perfection

Ash’s guitar powered by his dexterous fingers, skillful use of his pedals and the amplification through his 633 Amp.

Ash has an innate understanding of the tonal shape and depth of blues. His blues are a mix of the calm before and after the storm and the wild full on fury and energy at its heart. It is his guitar that captures the excitement of an electric storm. Flashes of lightning a clap of thunderous sound and the cleansing of rain as he captures the blues ballad to perfection.

Opening, with Peace and Love, Ash came to The Tunnels offering a night rich with the power of lyrics and vocals wrapped up in stunning guitar skills. This trio of delights would have been left wanting something else and the bad he has surrounded himself with tonight did that with skill and clever twirls of Hammond chords, deep bass riffs and drumming the drove the number to the climax.

Everyone listening tonight knew that we were in for a musical treat making Tuesday in Bristol something rather special. Those that were there will tell friends and in future years everyone will wish they were in Bristol when Ash Wilson played Broken Machine. Live reinterpreting the tracks into full stage productions.  The title track of the album came alive. The extra lead breaks from Ash and Bob adding layers of texture and tonal interest that definitely got the attention of the ears.

The set was strong as there were no fillers on the ten strong tracks of Broken Machine. The Ash Wilson Tuesday machine drove on interspersing the set list with a couple of covers. The rendition of Howlin’ Wolf’s Killing Floor, he would have been delighted to have joined in the jamming take on this classic.

Ash Wilson Played Broken Machine Live To Perfection

No Ash Wilson set is complete without the powerful number Words of a Woman.  A great re-arrangement, adding a live sense of drama to this cracking number – it was a number you just didn’t want to end. Closing the first half we were treated to a Steve Amadeo bass solo and we were not Out of Time, there was a second helping of this intoxicating music.

Dividing the evening into two sets worked. A short interval gave everyone time to draw breath, and reflect on the music they have just heard live.  The conclusion was phenomenal, wow! Brilliant your ears must have been burning.

The second set kept the tempo and vibe electric. Opening with Hold On Now, we were we didn’t want to miss a single note being played.  The Hitcher has to be one of the stand-out tracks, epitomizes British Blues taking us on a road trip we all understand and can relate to. Like all the music tonight. The songs have a story personal with ghostly memories of hurts, frustrations, and joys from the past.

Holding Hands, gave Bob and Ash another opportunity to play a duet tonight they were relaxed as the evening was drawing to a close, having fun and entertaining.  What a night of live music, hints of Rolling Stones, oozing with haunting memories of bluesmen from the past and the electric draw of Hendrix. All wrapped up by Ash creating his own distinctive British sound. His voice has the power, can then be gentle, beguiling crooning just for you. On another number tempestuous with the guitar working overtime to reflect the song being sung. This was a Tuesday that will shine brightly in everyone’s musical memory box. The night Ash Wilson came to Bristol and played for us. In a personal way as he connects with the whole audience.  The only disappointments were the venue should have been packed with fans of quality live music and the music had to stop.

If you have an influence on festival lineups or venues, I recommend that you demand Ash Wilson before he becomes a British blues phenomenon that will be expensive to hire.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Ash Wilson Played Broken Machine Live To PerfectionRead Bluesdoodles review of Broken Machine. Vocals and Lyrics are the winning combination.  Added to this is the production which is crisp and the focused intent to take you on a musical journey of blues, contemporary and reflecting styles and textures through the Ash Wilson guitar. Another gem from Superfly Studios. READ MORE…

What  did Ash & Liz over at Bluesdoodles talk about when they had a chat early in 2017 READ HERE

 

Ash Wilson Played Broken Machine Live To Perfection

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge. Who are the five excited bands talking about 4th UK Blues Challenge? They are Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion; LaVendore Rogue, The Rainbreakers ; Elles Bailey  and Robert J. Hunter. The fifth band added to the list rose to the Jessica Foxley unsigned challenge having played on the main stage at  Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival.   

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFive Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeTell us what it means to Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

 ZSBC: Firstly, the fact that the number of our peers nominating is so large gives real credibility to the artists involved, so we are also proud about that.    We are also proud to be nominated as we see it as a recognition of our original music, concept and style.  We don’t write the songs to any kind of formula or to fit in with any cliche or pre-conceived ideas of what defines blues in 2017. Read more…..

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFive Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to LaVendore Rogue to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

LVR: We’ve been to hell and back a few times over the years, and playing in the states has to be a dream of any UK musician, so it’s an honour to be considered for the UK British Blues Challenge – we’ve been working hard over the last few years, and it’s great to see its been recognised by the UK Blues Federation. Read More …

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFive Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to The Rainbreakers to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

RB: We were overwhelmed to have been nominated, especially when we don’t really consider ourselves to be a blues band as such. We think it shows willingness from the scene to accept the new approach to the blues that some of the younger bands of today are displaying. Obviously we would be thrilled to go through to the European and American challenges especially as we are hugely influenced by a plethora of bands from the states! Read More….

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to Elles Bailey to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

EB: Love the fact that European Challenge at Hell – didn’t know it existed on Earth. I am chuffed to bits to be performing in the Challenge this year. I am a newbie on the scene over the last twelve to eighteen months I have been quickly accepted in the Blues community. It has just exceed my expectations, definitely delighted to be performing in Liverpool and looking forward to seeing the other acts. It is definitely going to be a great night. Read More…

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to Robert J. Hunter Band to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

RHB: We are a struggling band on the blues scene, if we are even on the blues scene is up for debate. We work very hard and we are playing the long game, enjoying every step of the way. But to have an opportunity like this is an absolute honour, we have been given a chance and we promise we won’t disappoint. Thank you to JFU and UKBlues Federation for believing in us.. the opportunity to be able to play somewhere called Hell is exciting on it’s own. Read More…

More about The UK Blues Challenge

What is the UK Blues Challenge (UKBC)?

An annual event organised by the UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) at a different location in the UK at which a number of bands/acts compete in front of a panel of judges drawn from across the blues spectrum. The winning band/act is invited to represent the UK at the following year’s International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis and European Blues Challenge (EBC) which is held in a different European country each year.

The International and European Blues Challenges are organised by, respectively, the Blues Foundation  and the European Blues Union (EBU)

We are very pleased that this year’s event will take place at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool on Sunday 10th September 2017 starting at 16.00. More details can be found  and how to buy a ticket for the event HERE. UKBlues is excited to be bringing the blues back to the Cavern sixty years on!

How are the contestants in the UKBC chosen?

As an Active Member of the EBU meeting the EBU’s laid down criteria (see EBC rules here) and the sole UK Affiliate of the Blues Foundation, UKBlues are honoured to be invited to create and manage the selection process to choose the band or artist who will represent the UK at these prestigious events each year.
The first stage of the process this year saw a panel of more than 250 people from across the blues spectrum in the UK which included members of UKBlues, all UK based Active Members of the EBU, members of the Independent Blues Broadcasters Association, festival and gig promoters, writers (both online and print media), musicians, fans and blues supporters etc. being invited to submit the three UK acts that they felt would best represent the UK at the EBC and IBC.

Members of this panel were asked to place their choices in order (first, second, third) and points were awarded according to the position in which the acts are placed by you.

The 4 top scoring available acts after this process was complete were invited to participate in the UKBC where the contestants will perform in front of a panel of judges who will use the same criteria to award points to the contestants as are used at the EBC and IBC.
In a new departure this year, a fifth band will be invited to participate which will be selected from the bands who have been invited by Jessica Foxley Unsigned to play at the Great British Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Festival which takes place in Colne over the August Bank Holiday weekend –  These bands are, generally, under the radar and being selected to play at Colne is a big step up for them.

The band will be chosen by a panel of representatives of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned project and will be chosen on the strength of their performance at Colne.

The winner of the UKBC will be invited to represent the UK at both the 2018 EBC and IBC.

What are the selection and judging criteria?

When making their selections, the members of the panel are asked to bear in mind the following EBC rules which apply:

  • The leader of the band must have the nationality of the country he/she represents.
  • At least 50% of the members of the contestant bands must reside in the country they represent.
  • Acts who participated in a previous edition of the EBC, but did not win, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
  • Bands of which half or more of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
  • Bands of which less than half of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 2 years.

Contestants at the UKBC, EBC and IBC are expected to perform at least 50% original music in their set and they are awarded points using the following criteria as laid down by the EBU:

  • Originality
  • Instrumental talent
  • Vocal talent
  • Stage presence
  • Blues content

You can read the full EBC rules here

This process is the same as that which has been used in previous years and is approved by the Blues Foundation and the European Blues Union

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge