TURBOWOLF Third Album The Free Life Hits the Mark

TURBOWOLF Third Album The Free Life Hits the Mark

New band, despite the fact that this is their third album. I thought should I listen to the previous releases or just listen and gauge the band’s appeal from this offering. I decided on the latter option. On first listen, I thought Mmmm is this for me. But it is a rule over at Bluesdoodles HQ never judge an album by its cover or on first listen whether the band is familiar or an unknown. Turbowolf is a four-piece with attitude the music is rock, contemporary rock that uses synthesisers and distortion to powerful effect.  The sound is distinctive and at the same time accessible. They want you to have a good time, be uplifted by the music.

Opening very quietly with some spoken words, you are then straight into the melting pot of sounds that define TURBOWOLF with No, No, No.  This is an opening number that defines the journey we are taking in the world we are experiencing. There is throughout, and on this opening number, a feeling of chaos, the misdirection by false news and how we are shaped by the media. How nothing can be taken for granted in the maelstrom of change and old certainties being challenged. The discomfort of the times is heard throughout the album as the opening track kicks of the third album full of a tantalizing mix of harmonies and discordant riffs.

Four numbers have guest musicians joining the band. The first number is Capital X, with Joe Talbot from local band Idles adding his vocals with more clarity than his spoken intro at the start. The rock is harder with strong guitars and the lyrics once again at the front of the music this is a band that want to share their thoughts through strong songwriting.  The number is not the strongest on the album and doesn’t quite flow from the opener.  Cheap Magic follows with Sebastian Grainger, adding to the vocals adding that extra texture to the tones. His and Chris’ vocals work well on this fast and furious short number. Now Chantal Brown, joins the vocal party her vocals can be heard in other tracks. Very Bad, maybe the title but does not reflect the performance of all musicians involved in shaping this number.  The album is now fizzing the beats are deep and at times the music is darker then the brightness reappears.  Last but definitely not least is Mike Kerr on Domino.  The bass and vocals from Mike add to the high voltage delivery of Domino.

With the guests adding to the album we are left with the tracks that are pure TURBOWOLF. Halfsecret has a mystical feel snatching at the inner prog many rock musicians have. Again the high pitch vocals of Chris Georgiads captures your ears.   This is a prime example of how the band on The Free Life captures so many nuances that make rock longevity a certainty with bands delivering music that is different for all the right reasons.  The musicianship is superb, the rhythm section is the power base.  Blake Davis’ drumming is absolutely superb throughout, shining on Up & Atom combined with the female voice this is a song that has a zest for life.

The title track, The Free Life is a realization of the integrity of the bass tones throughout the album where they are essential in the delivery of this fast and heavy number.  Lianna Lee Davis delivers bass that sings a perfect contrast to the vocals from Chris with their higher pitch.  The album has twisted and turned building and now for the number to close out will it be heavy, a ballad do they have another surprise up their sleeve?  Yes, they do we have Concluder an acoustic number. Not folk, gentle acoustic. No this is TURBOWOLF we have to be challenged.

A third album that the fans will want to own. On tour, the fan base will grow. What the album lacks for me is that solid killer track, defining the album. The melody, lick or riff that sticks like an earworm reminding you to keep returning to the album.  That said this self-produced album is one that grows with every listen.

Bristolians, TURBOWOLF takes the rock out of the city on The Free Life and twizzles the sound with an array of guest musicians on an album that zings with energy and verve.  This is a band that surprises as every track unfolded we turned a musical corner to a new experience. They are not afraid to experiment this is a band on a journey capturing and shaping influences.  These are from punk, heavy metal and beyond as the anthems and riffs curl around the lyrics and the speakers rock, On The Free Life, their third album it works. You return to the album as on every listen you capture something new, never predictable always intriguing.

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing 

  1. No, No, No
  2. Capital  X (feat. Joe Talbot)
  3. Cheap Magic (feat Sebastien Grainger)
  4. Very Bad (feat Chantal Brown)
  5. Halfsecret
  6. Domino (feat Mike Kerr)
  7. Last Three Clues
  8. Up & Atom
  9. Blackhole
  10. The Free Life
  11. Concluder

Chris Georgiadis (vocals/synthesisers),
Andy Ghosh (guitar),
Lianna Lee Davies (bass)
Blake Davis (drums)

Guest Musicians
Joe Talbot – Idles
Sebastian Grainger – Death From Above
Chantal Brown – Vodun
Mike Kerr – Royal Blood

TURBOWOLF Third Album The Free Life Hits the Mark

The End of the Line is just the start with Ritchie Dave Porter

The End of the Line is just the start with Ritchie Dave Porter

The End of the Line is just the start with Ritchie Dave Porter

I have liked Ritchie Dave Porter ever since I read an interview with him by Michael Limnios, where he said “I would encourage the younger generation of today to stop listening to crap like Kanye West and Justin Bieber and open their hearts and souls to real musicianship and encourage them to download Jimi Hendrix ‘Are you experienced”’. Now here is a man I can relate to.

If he is new to you, then a potted history… Birmingham (UK) born, he has been playing the guitar since he was 11. Having toured a three-piece band called Voodoo Witch Blues Band for a number of years, he called time on this format in the early 2000s and moved on to solo acoustic blues. He has also fought against cancer and is in remission. We here at Bluesdoodles wish you well in your continuing battle Ritchie. So, a lot has happened to this musician and experiences and tribulations like these have informed and coloured his writing. Although predominantly acoustic-based, RDP, as he refers to himself, is not averse to plugging in and rocking it up with his SG or Strat.

His latest release, End Of The Line, is 11 tracks of pure blues; there are no pretentions here. He cites the usual blues masters as inspiration but rarely can they be identified. He certainly has a style of playing and recording that sets him apart. This is mainly because, although he plays all instruments bar the drums, he has eschewed the usual voice and guitar only recording approach. He has used multi-tracking to great effect, giving depth to the instrumentation and the sometimes off-kilter, Jack Bruce type vocals are improved too. The tracks are all compact, lasting around 3 minutes, but a lot of music is packed into every one.

The album is bookended with two delightful instrumentals; Blues at Sunrise is an attention grabber with echoing acoustic giving an almost tropical feel, and Blues at Twilight providing expansiveness rarely found on an acoustic instrumental.

Dog Without a Bone builds from a picked intro with the guitar falling silent for the vocals. Until the chorus that is, when strummed patterns reflect the words “I can make it alone ‘cos I play the blues”. 12 Long Hours brings a standard 12 bar approach but the picking behind it, lifts it into a traditional blues classic in waiting. Hell Yeah Man, I got the Blues has the guitar replicating the melody and the signature picking/strumming overdubs which set RDP apart from the many. Track five gets us rocking with RDP plugging in and showing equal prowess on the electric guitar. Happy Home opens with a guitar sequence which reminds me of Paul Kossoff in his pre-Free days when he played with Black Cat Bones. A strong blues/rock number that has a clichéd riff but is not a cliché when it all comes together, especially with the solo which shows skill and feeling with more Kossoff undertones. Let Me Tell You About the Blues, does what it says. A lovely progression to this guitar piece, with his trademark picking expanding the overall sound to great effect. My Father comes out of the blocks like tunes Gallagher was producing around his Blueprint era. Sad lyrics have not infected the guitar, with a great solo included. Baby Why You Treat Me So Bad is a shuffle of the highest order, with descending chord patterns the highlight. I Needed Some Lovin’ takes a BB King like riff and by carefully inserting just a couple of notes on top of the classic phrasing, he brings a freshness to it. The title track, End of the Line has really strong echoes of Gillan’s (the band) Puget Sound; the verse follows such a similar melody. The song is lifted again by the guitar structure behind it and the short and sweet solo.

This is a hugely enjoyable album if you like your blues blue. RDPs playing always fascinates and, although there is no new ground broken, you get a style and skill that will never become tiresome and an album you will keep returning to.

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN


  1. Blues at Sunrise
  2. Dog Without A Bone
  3. 12 Long Hours
  4. Hell Yeah Man I Got The Blues
  5. Happy Home
  6. Let Me Tell You About The Blues
  7. My Father
  8. Baby Why You Treat Me So Bad
  9. I Needed Some Lovin’
  10. End of the Line
  11. Blues at Twilight

Ritchie Dave Porter all acoustic and electric guitars, bass, vocals
Michael Tingle drums on ‘Happy Home’

Recorded at CapsaArx Studios and the Moon and Sky mobile recording studio.


The End of the Line is just the start with Ritchie Dave Porter

Matt Schofield Shining A Lantern on The Blues in Bristol

Matt Schofield Shining A Lantern on The Blues in Bristol

Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival filling Colston hall and beyond with Jazz, blues, dancing and people having fun enjoying live music.  This year due to snow and other constraints Bluesdoodles crossed the bridge into England only once to visit the festival. Friday was a night not to be missed for a lover of electric blues guitar as Matt Schofield Trio were back in town for one night only playing the blues that filled the Lantern with pure pleasure.

We deliberately arrived early. The music in the foyer entertains and the buzz of the festival adds to the pre-gig excitement.  We were not disappointed. Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion entertained in the foyer on arrival. The show was early but already the hall was teeming with people and the dancers were warming up their dancing shoes. As ever Zoe and her band delivered classy blues that eased the stresses of the week, putting us in the mood for fun. Showcasing songs from their latest album, The Blues And I Should Have A Party including Chislehurst Caves.  Zoe’s vocals power through the songs that are melodic and bluesy. Her band Blue Commotion are inspiring, perfectly formed and executed guitar lead breaks, the intricacies of the Hammond and the bass lines combining with drumming that pulls the sound together. They delivered a harmonious set that pleased the foyer crowd immensely. Following on from this with the seats pushed back forming a dance floor for a short but exciting dance routine from the Bristolettes. Then a jazzy set of Paper Moon as they took over the foyer stage. Fronted by the second female vocalist of the evening Lucy Moon. This is a quintet that is full of swing and the dancing continued with rhythms that no one can ignore as I overheard ” A lovely way to chill on a Friday night”, so true the Foyer music and atmosphere was the perfect start to an end-of-week evening out.

Now for the main event for Bluesdoodles tonight, a rare opportunity to hear the wonderful guitar tones and playing of Matt Schofield. Now he has moved to the States his visits are far too few and far between.

The trio re-formed with Jonny Henderson’s Hammond magic, and Evan Jenkins’ wizardry on the drums added to the blues sorcery that Matt Schofield’s guitar produces on every outing. This is blues that shimmers and sparkles igniting your blues DNA with pure unadulterated joy.

The opening number was perfect the opening track from his album Heads, Tails and Aces – What I Wanna Know. The trio played as if they had never parted it was music to my ears. The music flowed with the trio having fun, the audience was having even more! We were totally immersed in blues that was a sparkling dancing mix of licks, riffs and rhythms this is blues that is pure and clean as a summer sky. The solos from Evan and Jonny were delightful. Above all the jamming between the three maestros was an ecstatic listening experience.

The set was replete with tracks from Siftin’ Through Ashes. The music was top-notch. The tones that Matt cajoles out of his custom Strat-styled guitar is sensational. This is top notch blues from a master craftsman. The trio cast their spell over us we wanted more, alas a short encore, Troublemaker closed out a night of blues that was simply electrifying.  The message from everyone in the audience was sincere and clear, come back soon Matt, a new album would be welcomed too.


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Matt Schofield Shining A Lantern on The Blues in Bristol

Divine and Dirty talking with Kris Barras About Guitars and Albums

In 2016 Kris Barras released “Lucky 13”. The album was titled as such as it was his 13th year as a professional musician and a “now or never” moment.

That moment led to a first European tour, playing a crowd-drawing set at Ramblin Man Fair and a headline slot at the world’s largest indoor arena blues festival in RAWA Blues Poland the following year. Strutting into December 2017, Kris signed with Mascot Label Group amidst all sorts of conspiracy theories; including one of a suspected terror incident in London upon his first visit to their UK office. The Kris Barras Band new album “The Divine and Dirty” is due for release March 23.

Being an ex-professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter, Kris Barras will take a punch, endure and toy with it after. He’ll then fire it back at you when you least expect it…

The Divine and Dirty” comes out March 23 in the UK, are folk about to hear two sides of the Kris Barras Band?
Possibly, but we’ll get into that later…It was kind of based on the fact that there’s the dirty, slidey, rockier elements that’s contrasted by the gospel side on the album which brings a balance to it. I felt it summed up the album with the riffs and songs I had written and bringing in the ace backing vocalists really added to it, there’s different sides to everyone and the title came about later on whilst writing.

It’s a great collection of songs that’s going to have a wide appeal to blues rock fans everywhere, what was going through your mind whilst writing?
I started writing for it about 18 months ago and songs like “Hail Mary” and “Propane” have been in our live set for at least a year. I wrote the album quite gradually really, rather than at the end of the process going “Right, I’ve got 30 songs, which ones am I going to do?”. I was sifting through them as I was writing them, throwing out what didn’t work or feel right for where I wanted the album to go and sound. I’d write a song, leave it for a bit, come back to it and if it wasn’t sticking with me, I’d chuck it on the pile aside, perhaps for another time.

Did you draw from moments in your life for the songs such as “Kick Me Down” and “Lovers or Losers” and were there any specific messages you wanted to throw out there?
Some of the songs, you know they’re just stories to tell, are not necessarily things that have happened to me but there are a fair few autobiographical tunes in there and people can figure that out for themselves. It’s quite a nice release to be able to write about things that have happened, people, places etc but they’re not always about me even if they’re sung in the first person. I think anyone who plays music enjoys that release and to let people find something for themselves in a song.

You recorded your last album “Lucky 13” in your own studio, but this time round you’ve had a change of guard…
Yeah, I and the keyboard player Matt recorded, engineered, produced, mixed, the lot on “Lucky 13” which was really well received and led on to a really great year for me. With this album, I really wanted to work with a dedicated producer, a guy that was going to tell me what to do so I could just concentrate on the playing and singing. We recorded it at Momentum Studios in Plymouth UK with Josiah J Manning producing. Josiah was a guy I knew of from a gig and I knew a lot of bands that had recorded with him and I really liked the sound of their albums. We got together, had a chat and it went from there. During the recording, my band line up changed as we recorded the album in two halves. When I started it I was self-financed so could only afford to get 4 tracks down with Huw Weston on the keys and Ricky Mitchell on bass. As the band’s developed over time, signing with Mascot Label Group and commitments getting bigger and bigger by the weeks they’ve had to drop out due to work and family commitments. As a result, Josiah has joined the band as permanent keyboard and organ player which is really exciting and his playing is on the album.

When it comes to your guitar playing, do you find it difficult from trying to get as much guitar on the album as a player or do you consider yourself to be more of a songwriter/guitarist?
I don’t really like placing a label on it, to be honest so I’ve not put much thought into which one I am! Hahaha! You know, I just write songs that I want to write and some songs on the album have lent themselves more to the vocal and melody and others are clearly balls out guitar tunes…I don’t sit down and decide what I’m going to write or play it’s really just what comes out at the time. I like to think that I’m not just writing songs where the verse and chorus is just passing time to get to the guitar solo, my songs have more substance to them than that. I really put a lot of effort into creating these songs, with all the songs I’ve written and I hope that people enjoy them and get something out of them for themselves. I think that’s already been reflected in the airplay from Planet Rock with “Hail Mary”.

You mentioned guitar solos, and you knew I was going to ask anyway, what’s your approach to them as there’s a bunch of “less is more” moments (which I think are going to surprise some listeners) on this album…
It varied from song to song how I approached them. To be honest, and don’t tell anyone, I’m not very good at writing solos or playing the same thing twice! Hahaa! I never have been – I’ve always been about improvising. I’ve had to work really hard re-learning some of the solos from my songs to actually play them on this coming tour as some of them are memorable to the audience so I need to give them the actual thing rather than widdling with new ideas all the time!

Everything’s off the cuff when you record then?
For some of them I do have a rough structure, some themes or ideas I want to include so I’ll bang a few takes out and we’ll pick the best one. On some of the solos on “The Divine and Dirty” there was no preparation at all – I was just gonna play whatever I was going to there and then.

…all in one take then, none of the cutting and pasting nonsense?
Well if there was I wasn’t aware of it! Maybe Josiah did that after I left, you’ll have to ask him mate! Nah, not really, all solid, one take, it’s the only way. I know some of your readers like their gear so here we go: most of the album I played my Fender Custom Shop Telecaster that we talked about before, the one I took a punt on eBay for and really liked it. A few tracks had a couple of overdubs with my Strat, but the Tele always sounded best. Amps wise my Laney Lionheart which is a beast of an amp with a 2 12 cab was the main one. For 4 tracks I recorded first prior to my Laney endorsement, I used my Roberts 50W all valve combo amp and that amps still a bit of a mystery if anyone knows who built it?

The first round bell of your Divine and Dirty tour rings out Tuesday March 20 at Thousand Island in London –  are people in for it, but in the nicest possible way?
Definitely! We’ve been rehearsing so much and really putting a lot of effort into making the best show that we possibly can. It’s not just about having new songs to play and a new set, but really making a show in the way that songs run from one into the other. It’s really polished, yet raw and we’re really looking forward to getting out there and hitting people with it at Thousand Island and debuting songs from “The Divine and Dirty” for the first time. The other dates of the tour are going to be great also; one venue in Sittingbourne has been upgraded to a larger venue in UKP Leisure as the original venue sold out and Tavistock Wharf is a few tickets shy of selling out…

With your full band on the tour, there’s going to be a bit of a difference when you’re opening for Beth Hart on her UK tour shortly afterwards…
Yes, we’re doing an acoustic trio for that and it’s gonna be great to be out on tour with such a cool and powerful singer in Beth, who’s a label friend. Again, for that we’ve come up with a really cool set with some different takes on the songs which people will love and I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out. The audience will see a different side of me on that tour and not just the guitar player some may think I am.

In your MMA fighting days, you stepped into the ring with a whole heap of characters and went toe to toe. Not that music is a competition and shouldn’t be, but if you were to step into the guitar face off ring with anyone living who would that be?
Bloody hell…that’s a good one…give me a minute. It would have to be Joe Bonamassa. He’s the biggest name in my genre and there’d be no competition as you say – it’d be great for a laugh! Joe’s been a big influence on me in the past recent years and is a really nice bloke so that would be awesome to have that shot.

…and a guitarist who has passed on?
C’mon now, you know it’s Gary Moore! That guy played with such balls and passion – it’d of been great to share a stage with him and feel that passion and intensity up close.


The Divine And Dirty out 23rd March 2018 on Mascot Label Group


Bluesdoodles review – “The Divine And Dirty is a very good album. He is an excellent guitarist and with so many hooks and bristling solos, the album has drive, intensity and passion”. Read what else we said HERE


Divine and Dirty talking with Kris Barras About Guitars and Albums


The Della Grants Buzzing throughout the Live Sessions Album

The Della Grants buzzing throughout the Live Sessions Album

The Della Grants, keep on giving their blues with a twist. Ten tracks on Live Room Sessions are a mix of something old, something new and lots of blue. The only cover is Too Fast, notably recorded in the past by Creedence Clearwater Revival. The rest are Della Grants compositions, the album recorded live in July 2017 in the White Room at Yellow Bean Studios, West End Leicester.

Opening with Lay My Head, the harmonica leads us into the tone and texture of the album building the tempo as drums join the party your feet are already tapping this is Blues that fits the bill. Max’s vocals are crisp and have a tonal quality that is tinged with devilment and a rough edge that bites into the lyrics and spits them out across the instrumentation. The band are playing and breathing as one no one will be laying down their head in despair while The Della Grants are playing. This is one of the four tracks included from their Time For Change album – Too Fast, Fairground Soul and Weaker Man. Fairground Soul, we now are off down the country road, the soulfulness of Max’s vocals give a gentler reprise to a song steeped in sadness and regret.  Weaker Man takes us to an age of jazz and bootleg spirit and speakeasies. It’s the tonal notes of the Trumpet that paints this visual picture from the sound.  The song may be about a Weaker Man as Max’s tones are reminiscent of Marcus Bonafanti there is nothing weak about the number. These four tracks show the depth of approach to the music they love, but what do the new numbers say?

The quartet of new tracks The River, Sunrise, Midnight Special and William Clay ensure the album has something new to add to the band’s discography. Stinging guitar drives the numbers crisp and melodic and capturing the essence of the blues. The vocals are deeper and act as a counterbalance to the guitar. The River is confident and the development of the band’s skills are evident in the flowing combination of instruments and vocals. This is a river not ideally flowing but determined and knows the direction it wants to go. The river is a metaphor as he sings “I know things are going wrong. Take me back to the place where the river flows.  We all have that place that makes us stronger in darker times.” The musicianship is blistering.

Following on with a change of tempo and tonal shape as we greet the day with Sunrise. Another reflective number, making sense of life and finding a reason in a person as you see the sunrise on your face. A gentler song easy on the ear with wonderful keys underlying the melodic shape of the number.

Midnight Special is not captured in the witching hour. The narrative of the lyrics starts with waking up in the morning. Then the gospel-infused chorus refrain with “Let The Midnight Special, Shine a Light on Me”. This is an upbeat foot-stomping number, played live no audience could resist the invitation to sing the chorus with feeling.

Last of the new numbers William Clay, starts at a pace with a harder beat and honky-tonk piano accompanying the uplifting vocal delivery. This is about trying to be someone else and becoming at ease with yourself.  With William Clay, goes by the name Memphis Bill, we are on Beale Street catching snatches of this tale. Including “Stay Young Don’t Ever Get Old”. The Della Grants are full of youthful vim and vigour delivering 21st century blues.

Closing out the live sessions with Red Mist, from their First fix EP still played with the anger you feel when you see the red mist coming over your eyes.  This high energy track leaves you with the enduring memory that this is a band you want to hear live and in the meantime, you have The Della Grants Buzzing throughout the Live Sessions Album. Blues with a twist that adds spice but never loses its integrity still is the music of the folk.

There are so many elements that set The Della Grants apart. The distinctive vocals that growl and rumble with melodic swampiness. The combination of instruments including harmonica and trumpet and driving rhythms. They should be in such demand on the blues circuit. This is blues with a Leicester delta twist, but importantly the band is The Della Grants buzzing throughout the Live Sessions Album. The music flows, ebbs and flows but is never stagnant with the inherent energy of a band playing with feeling, soul and the fluidity of playing live.

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing 

  1. Lay My Head
  2. The River
  3. Sunrise
  4. Too Fast
  5. Fairground Soul
  6. Midnight Special
  7. William Clay
  8. More Than Pray
  9. Weaker Man
  10. Red Mist

Max Manning – Vocals and guitar
Tom Best – Vocals, guitar & Harmonica
Andy Boulton – Bass Guitar
Tom Walker – Drums
Tony Robinson – Keyboard & Trumpet

Producer: Jez Burns

The Della Grants buzzing throughout the Live Sessions Album

Cardiff Celebrating Classic Rock Tonight Skid Row Toseland Bad Touch

Cardiff Celebrating Classic Rock Tonight Skid Row Toseland Bad Touch

Three Bands, entertaining Y Plas in Cardiff tonight.  The bands span the years, varying in longevity. They were connected, all were five pieces, with two guitarists and a charismatic vocalist upfront. First up tonight the first of the five-piece rocking delights Bad Touch. High energy start, straight into their hefty Southern Rock inspired sound. What a band to warm the crowd they know how to entertain. The set included numbers of their well-received debut album, Truth Be Told. Stevie’s vocal delivery just gets better and better his confidence and freedom to perform grows with every gig he adds to the Bad Touch roster. The future of British Classic Rock is safe in the hands of young bands picking up the torch and setting stages alight with rock glory. The anthemic My Mother Told Me allowed the audience to join in the singing. In between the numbers we knew they slipped in a new rockier number from their anticipated album out later this year. We all raised our head with Get Your Head Up – now you have really whetted our appetite for a whole set of new Bad Touch songs.  The guitars of Daniel Seekings and Rob Glendinning work together with depths of harmony that will always be a delight. We hear the cowboy song, Daniels favourites as his guitar brings in the narrative-driven number Outlaw. Closing out the set with the single from the album 99% leaving everyone wanting more. The set was short and I could have listened to them all night, but we have two more bands to entertain us Toseland and headliners Skid Row.

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With many fans in the room, wearing Toseland T-shirts it was not surprising the welcome and a Boogie-woogie fanfare accompanied the entrance to a roaring welcome from the Cardiff crowd, many of whom had heard Toseland up the mountain at Steelhouse.

The temperature rose as Toseland’s, vocals and warm smile connected to the Cardiff crowd tonight. The guitarist added depth of tone as Zurab Melua and Ed Bramford complimented each other’s tones during another energetic set. When Toseland sat behind the keys the sound deepened. Opening with Puppet On A Chain from their album Cradle The Rage along with another two numbers on their very short six-track set.  The drumming solid as ever from Joe Yoshida with booming rhythms and timing that gives the band a depth of shape when combined with the bass tones from Roger Davis.  This is the defining rock from Toseland that allows James’ voice to soar and connect with the audience. The performance was top-notch rock that sings the vocals it is the glory that makes this band a firm favourite.


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The stage is reorganized and the anticipation grows for the headliners Skid Row, as we leave behind British Rock and new bands and are treated to American Rock. I confess I have not seen Skid Row live before in any of their formats. I loved the music from the Sebastian Bach period but willing to hear the vocals from new singer ZP Theart.  Skid Row finished the night off with some furious heavy rock, definitely the heaviest tonight. Yes, the sound on the classic numbers from the original line-up was not quite the same. But ZP was not imitating previous vocalists, he was delivering the numbers his own way. Yes, he certainly looked the part and at times his voice was lost in bands delivery of heavy melodic riffs and rhythms. Other bands have had changes and Skid Row is no different from them. This the heaviest of the bands tonight with dualling guitarists that hit the mark. The duals between Snake Sabo and Scotti Hill were superb. For me, this was rock that lifted the spirit and the feel-good factor was delivered in every number that was mainly from the Seb Bach period. The atmosphere was hot, with the crowd singing, chanting along creating a friendly rocking atmosphere as we were united by the love of live music.  The crowd went wild at every opportunity. The numbers that really got the crowds ecstatic were Sweet Little Sister and 18 and Life. With some punk rock was added to the mix delivered in their signature fast, and heavy style. Monkey Business gave the band the opportunity to jam. Including solos from all the band members. Great showmanship by the guitarist this was the battle of the guitars and the judicious use of cowbell added to the atmosphere.

For me the weakest number of the night to my disappointment was I Remember You. The tempo is slower and something of the inner majesty of the number was lost tonight.  Closing with Youth Gone Wild, our youth may have disappeared over the years since we listened to Skid Row deliver the number back in 1989, the energy is still there. We left on a musical high.

The three bands format is a fabulous way of hearing new bands. For some, this was Toseland, for others Bad Touch and a few the first time hearing Skid Row live. What it does do for me every time I leave with a feeling of disappointment. However, entertaining the headliners were you are left wishing one band had a longer set to play. Tonight, for me that was Bad Touch I wanted more from charismatic vocalist Stevie Westwood and the band from Norwich. The short set gave us a glimmer of a bad that is destined for the top of the classic rock tree.  There is no argument on tonight’s performance the wait for the second album will be worth it and another headline tour. Thank you, Band Touch for your music you Rock.


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Join the Blues Party with Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion

Join the Blues Party with Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion

Zoë Schwarz has been a big name on the blues scene for a few years now, with her live performances particularly lauded by fans and the press. Now with her band, Blue Commotion comes an album that should lift all of them to the heights they deserve. The band got together in 2012, and this is their 5th studio album in six years; that is quite an output in a short space of time. Fortunately, there has been no sacrifice in quality, and The Blues And I Should Have A Party, has class and high production values by the bucket load. It is also a generous album with 13 tracks clocking in at over an hour.

The band is packed with talent and, even though there is no bassist listed, there are some fantastic bass lines behind some of the tracks and the sound they all achieve throughout fills any room with warmth and paints pictures with the sound they conjure.

Please Don’t Cheat On Me has a great bouncy riff and typical classy guitar from Rob. To my ears, this track is the only (very) minor disappointment on such a strong album; the lyrics and the vocals feel a bit disconnected. All is forgiven when the 6 minute plus masterpiece and title track, The Blues and I Should Have a Party kicks off. Majestic is the word…vocals, guitar and Hammond combine to give an object lesson in what blues is and should be. The guitar solo is simply superb, with notes all across the fretboard; no histrionics just sheer class. You’ve Changed is ‘Bassey does the blues’… in a good way. Zoë should do the next Bond theme, in fact, the singing is so powerful, they should write a movie to fit this song! It has an enigmatic, harmonic quality that is fleshed out by great Hammond backing and a solo of such depth and simple skill. The drumming is ingenious too; fills and flourishes you wouldn’t think would fit.

Way Down in the Caves is a true story of an unlikely venue, with lyrics written by blues promoter and broadcaster Pete Feenstra. Chislehurst Caves are actually old mine workings and, in the 1960s, provided a major music venue. The song tells of acts that appeared there “Hendrix, The Doors, David Bowie too”. That must have been one hell of a venue and here, the tale is conveyed in the lustrous tones of Zoe with Rob playing up a storm on a Marshall fuelled Les Paul. It starts off like the Stranglers had put blues into their repertoire. It also manages to evoke a flavour of some of the bands they name check in the lyrics, particularly the Yardbirds. Don’t Worry Blues has a conventional structure with an oft-forgotten appreciation of space. Rob again showing he knows how and when to play the right note and not go for unnecessary filling. With the expressive keys and subtlety throughout, I can’t help but think of Purple’s When A Blind Man Cries in the song’s atmosphere. Next comes a lovely guitar/bass/keys piece of interplay introducing Shout. This is pure 60s blues boom refined. A sort of slow progressive blues feel echoes through You Don’t Live Here Anymore. This is a beautifully sung recounting of a “hollow space where once a warm embrace”. A guitar solo of such thoughtfulness backs this emotion-laden song. We are quickly back in the groove, literally, with My Handsome Man. This has an infectious, catchy 60s poppy feel to it and will make any toe tap.  A great up-tempo swing introduces Tell Me, the only sub 3-minute track here. The three musicians are obviously having a ball and you can’t help but be caught up in the fun. Zoe’s “pulse is way too high” as she mirrors the energy with a great melody.

Don’t Hold Back is next, and, although a slow paced blues, they don’t hold back! Unexpected key changes keep the song on the edge, reflecting the steamy blues behind the melody and lyrics. Although rooted in sadness, the next song was written after the loss of Zoë’s Mother, In Memory of You has an impetus behind the fascinating chord sequences. The genius behind this is the up-tempo beat that illuminates the words, where the subject matter would suggest something much slower. The solos again are pure fascination. The mood is lifted with Pete Feenstras lyrics providing the inspiration for Time Waits for No One. If like me, some social media applications leave you cold, then the theme will surely resonate… “Changing values with different peers, digital living with new ideas”. The music takes these words and makes them real. Beautifully sung and with the instrumentation utilising an oblique time signature, it just flows out of the speakers and transfixes. It has an early psyche feel at times with echoes of a very velvety Velvet Underground. Final Track, Thank You, is just that. The band thanking all of us lovers of music be it recorded or live. This song is so clever in its composition; expansive guitar, heavy Hammond, a drum kit tour and a wonderful vocal. This listener reciprocates those thanks. Zoë, Rob, Pete and Paul have supplied an album which delivers everything a blues lover could wish for. Zoe’s vocals are always striking, but the real revelation is the breathtaking playing by the band. Every song has clear demonstrations of skills so subtle and yet so damned effective. The first track remains a weak point for me, but the album is so strong overall, frankly who cares?

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …


  1. Please Don’t Cheat On Me
  2. The Blues and I Should Have A Party
  3. You’ve Changed
  4. Way Down In The Caves
  5. Don’t Worry Blues
  6. Shout
  7. You Don’t Live Here Anymore
  8. My Handsome Man
  9. Tell Me
  10. Don’t Hold Back
  11. The Memory Of You
  12. Time Waits For No One
  13. Thank You

All songs written by Rob Koral & Zoë Schwarz except on tracks 4 & 12 lyrics by Pete Feenstra


Zoë Schwarz – vocals
Rob Koral – guitars
Pete Whittaker – Hammond organ
Paul Robinson – drums & percussion

Recorded at Superfly Studios by Andy Banfield, Nottingham on 9th to 14th October 2017

Mixed by Wayne Proctor & Steve Wright at Y Dream Studios, Wales
Mastered by Jon Astley at Close To The Edge Mastering Design


Join the Blues Party with Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion




Support from Mollie Marriott and her Band

Tickets are selling fast three venues SOLD OUT, Leek, Sheffield & London  Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol catch up and make these shows Sold out. Dan is one of the hottest guitar players on the planet. Get the remaining tickets they are hotter than any hot cross bun!

TICKETS –  The Gig Cartel or DanPatlansky 

Manchester, Deaf Institute             Thursday 15 March           

Newcastle, The Cluny                      Friday 16 March

Leek, Foxlowe Arts Centre              Saturday 17 March SOLD OUT

Bristol, The Tunnel                          Sunday 18 March 

Sheffield, Greystones                     Tuesday 20 March SOLD OUT

London, Borderline                        Wednesday 21 March SOLD OUT     

South African singer-songwriter and guitarist, Dan Patlansky, is set to the release his new studio album Perfection Kills in the UK on Friday 2nd February 2018. The album is the follow-up to 2016’s critically acclaimed Introvertigo which was voted #1 BluesRock Album 2016 by Blues Rock Review.




 New Album Perfection Kills


Dan Patlansky Guitar and Vocals asks if Perfection Kills

Bluesdoodles loved the album Introvertivgo . We listened and reviewed Perfection Kills a perfect 10 doodle paw album in our opinion. We said this and more “Dan may say Perfection Kills – one thing for certain very track is a Killer and who cares about perfection? We love the tone, texture, feel and organic energy captured by voice and guitar that define Dan Patlansky on every track he plays. Blues that definitely rocks perfection of its pedestal.” Read the Rest of the Review…

Angel Forrest Captures Live On Electric Live

Angel Forrest Captures Live On Electric Live

New album Electric Love and debut UK tour Angel Forrest will be getting attention as the blues diva shakes the stages across England and Scotland. For many Angel Forrest, will be a new name. That is so untrue with an award-winning career spanning three decades across her native Canada. Angel has sung at European festivals but now is the first opportunity to hear her distinctive voice and band in the UK.

The fifteen track album is a mix of originals and covers are given a healthy shake of Angel dust on this double-album of live recordings. The recording captures the heat and energy exuded by the band that is topped off with Angel’s vocals. The musicians on the album are superb, guitarists, Ricky Paquette & Denis Coulombe will be touring with her. Electric Love the rhythms are deep and full of blues from the bass of Alex McElcheran and Sly Coulombe behind the drum kit.

The album is a showcase of an artist that relishes being onstage. The energy fizzes with electricity, sparks of blue of every hue delivered with soulful passion. The album title Electric Love is perfect as Angel and her band exude the love for the songs, and music across the fifteen numbers that entertain from the first to the last note.

Many of the tracks selected are unsurprising from her current studio album Angel’s 11, no not eleven tracks but the eleven guitarists who are featured on the album. Angel builds friendships and this live album will build many more friends who are lovers of stinging blues.

Opening with All The Way, her vocals are gritty with edges smoothed out; the tones are a mix of velvet, tobacco and huskiness that cajoles and invokes the lyrics. No wonder there are three numbers that are renowned Janis Joplin numbers, Piece of My Heart, Turtle Blues and Kris Kristofferson number immortalized by Janis, Bobby McGee.

The sound that Angel produces live is captured in the title Spoil Me. She spoils the audiences with the depth and power of her voice, making the lyrics capture the emotion and soulfulness delivered to every member of the audience personally.  The first set is closed out with Move On, slow blues that curls around the speaker, you feel that you are sitting in the audience.  Her vocals are gentler almost spoke and as the huskiness grows the performance is both mesmerizing and moving in perfect harmony with Angel.

The second segment opens with Goodbye, with the hurricane force of intoxicating music power no one would have said goodbye yet! No wonder the audience is whistling with delight as the band starts to play again. Showing a romantic softer side the music is captivating sit back and enjoy the ride Angel will take you on.

Crucify stings as the guitar cries and Angel’s voice mourns and pours out the hurt; here her vocals are similar to the blues diva Sari Schorr with a helping of Joplin and the lyrical interpretation that is as throughout the album on originals and covers 100% Angel.

What a voice the texture and articulation is spell-binding. This is a voice you want to hear live. Closing out with a double hit of Mama/Whole Lotta Love. Fifteen minutes that absorbs you as Angel hits the highs as she captures the Zeppelin classic Whole Lotta Love. Robert Plant would be delighted with this version.

Electric Love is full of verve, energy and atmosphere everything a live album should have.

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track listing Disc 1

  1. All The Way
  2. Spoil Me Up
  3. Piece of My Heart
  4. Walkin’ Blues
  5. House of The Rising Sun
  6. Move On

Track listing Disc 2

  1. Goodbye
  2. Roll On Down
  3. Hold On Tight Mr I’m Alright
  4. Crucify
  5. Mother Tongues Blues
  6. How Do You Do
  7. Turtle Blues
  8. Bobby McGee
  9. Mamma/Whole Lotta Love


Tour Dates

15th March 2018 Corporation, Sheffield
18th March 2018 Academy 3, Manchester
22nd March 2018 The Fleece, Bristol
23rd March 2018 The Shack Aberdeen
24th March 2018 Think Tank, Newcastle
25th March 2018 Eleven, Stoke
28th March 2018 Half Moon Putney, London
29th March 2018 Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
30th March 2018 Oran Mor, Glasgow


Angel Forrest Captures Live On Electric Live -



Auld Mans Baccie are smokin on their live double album

Auld Mans Baccie are smokin’ on their live double album

First of all, I must declare a bit of a bias due to serendipity or simple coincidence. This band is from the North East of England, Seaham to be precise. I am from a small mining village in the North East; my wife is from Seaham and we used to do our courting (as it was known then) in the Dun Cow at Seaton Village near Seaham. This is the venue Auld Man’s Baccie call home and in my time, was the only place where mine host had a large book of cocktail recipes you could choose from and he’d make it there and then! Coincidence number two is that Auld (pronounced Owld) Mans Baccie was a favourite plant for us as kids. Not for smoking, as the leaves in times of hardship were, but as a source of pea shooters (don’t try this at home; we were lucky that it was the innocuous Achillea millefolium plant as it looks very similar to the deadly Hemlock Water Dropwort, Oenanthe crocata, which would have probably killed us!)  So, I already feel a close affiliation with this Blues/Americana/Roots/Gospel duo. Davey (the Reverend Curtis Humbucker) Curtis on vocals, guitar and stomp box, along with Nick (the Baptist) Phillips on slide guitar and vocals have previously released two albums of a mix of self-penned blues with a few carefully chosen covers. They now unleash a double live album; one, Nee Jiggery Pokery, consists of their own songs; the other, 100% Homage, is all covers and is free when purchasing the first. Recorded at the Times Inn, which if memory serves, is in Dalton-Le-Dale just outside Seaham and inevitably, the recording has all of the atmosphere of a close-up and personal pub gig. The added benefit is that the two boys share some social commentary and discuss their much-beloved wives (“Our Lass” means darling wife or love of my life if referring to a girlfriend). In fact, nearly all of their songs are laced with humour and oblique references to various things if you get my drift.

To the music… There are too many tracks to comment on each one, so only my personal highlights appear. Their own compositions sound like they are if this is possible, fresh out of the 1930s; with just the two guitars and voices, they could be performing on a porch with Son House, Lead Belly and the like looking on. The first, Old Black Dog, is about the love of a dog and his own potential love affair with Fi-fi the poodle. Humour coupled with a true deep blues feel make for a perfect opening. A slow march suiting the title of Dead Mans Shoes has glorious slide underlining the melody. Church of Lost Souls is a great lament with more slippery slide. It works very well as it is but this is a song that is ripe for an electric blues/rock treatment. Mr Bonamassa take note; it really would work.

The highlight of the covers album has to be the genius of Alex Harvey’s Framed. It takes on a true blues feel and works well acoustically in the capable hands of Curtis and Phillips while retaining the humour and observations of the original. Likewise, the Peter Green version of Doctor Brown and Canned Heat’s Let’s Work Together get the Baccie treatment and are a joy. They all work in their own way even though Bullfrog Blues is forever Gallagher in my mind and Whole Lotta Rosie takes AC/DC back to their roots although it is the least successful to me.

So as a live package, this works a treat. It is spoilt only by the between track editing. This nearly ruins the flow and deprives us of some of the banter. Still, if you want to lose yourself in the atmosphere an intimate pub gig with a couple of consummate musicians, then this is for you.

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Nee Jiggery Pokery tracklisting:

  1. Old Black Dog*
  2. Fanny Mae*
  3. Dead Mans Shoes*
  4. Mamma Moonshine**
  5. Church of Lost Souls*
  6. Long Hard Road**
  7. Grant Me Salvation**
  8. Baccie Blues**
  9. Shaky Juice*
  10. Closing Time

** From their 2015 debut album, Resonating With The Blues

* From their second album The Church of Lost Souls


100% Homage tracklisting:

  1. Bullfrog Blues (written in 1928 by William Harris, covered by Rory Gallagher)
  2. Doctor Brown (written in 1959 by Buster Brown, covered by Fleetwood Mac
  3. Cigarettes and Whisky and Wild, Wild Women (written in 1947 by Tim Spencer, covered by Jim Croce)
  4. Roll Me Up And Smoke When I Die (credited to Willie Nelson, but disputed by Ashley Wilson)
  5. Ain’t Nobody’s Business (written in 1922 by Porter Grainger and Everett Robbins, covered by Taj Mahal)
  6. Whole Lotta Rosie (yes, that one!)
  7. Let’s Work Together (written in 1962 by Wilbert Harrison, covered by Canned Heat)
  8. In The Jailhouse Now (written in 1928 by Jimmie Rodgers, covered by Sonny James (and the Soggy Bottom Boys))
  9. Framed (written in 1972 by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band)
  10. Folsom Prison Blues (written in 1953 by Johnny Cash)

Auld Mans Baccie are smokin’ on their live double album