Journey With Supersonic Blues Machine Californisoul

Journey With Supersonic Blues Machine Californisoul

Journey With Supersonic Blues Machine Californisoul

 

Join the journey With Supersonic Blues Machine Californisoul. Following on from 2016 debut album West of Flushing South of Frisco we continue the sonic journey with Californisoul.  Thirteen tracks with special guests adding to the heat and excitement on five numbers is a journey you will want to be part of as Californisoul  Comes Alive On Supersonic Blues Machine’s New Album. The concept behind the title and album, “CALIFORNISOUL! That’s exactly what it is. It’s the missing soundtrack to a summertime drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 1971!” says Fabrizio Grossi.

 Supersonic Blues Machine is three musicians who definitely know how to create a storyboard of music that shapes the carefully crafted lyrics. They comprise Lance Lopez (guitars/vocals/songwriter), Fabrizio Grossi (bass, producer, songwriter), and Kenny Aronoff (drums). They want to have a party of a trip so have invited some friends, and for Californisoul, who is joining Californisoul? Robben Ford. Billy F. Gibbons, Eric Gales, Steve Lukather and Walter Trout.

If you are expecting traditional electric based blues from Supersonic Blues Machine, disappointment awaits you. BUT, if you are looking for exceptional grooves digging deep into the vein of the blues extracting the essence and weaving a new road to tread your blues shoes then you are in for a fun ride.  The opening track is full of sunshine and genuine warmth, I Am Done Missing You. Yes, they are back with a follow-up album that builds on the debut with music that charms and endears. A blending of vocals that adding the tension to the rhythms and adds a sting in the tail to the guitar. An opening number that pulls you onboard pumped with excitement at what the rest of the album will unveil.

Foot stomping swirling blues introduces us to Robben Ford’s guitar connecting with Lance’s vocals. Somebody’s Fool has a rocky edge that has been smoothed by the instrumentation and luscious backing vocals the energy is contained as Robben’s guitar stings in a solo confirming that one thing is for sure no-one is a fool for getting on board this journey.

Continuing with tracks with a guest Billy F. Gibbons joins the party on Broken Heart. This is a gigantic rocking and rolling curve in the road get on board the guitar is dirty and the oily rag of a rhythm section is keeping us on the road driving forward for the fun of the ride. Champagne is the perfect accompaniment to this number because none of us wants a Broken Heart.

Eric Gales guitar sound is distinct adding a powerful punch to the journey as the Elevate takes on a swooping flyover on route to San Francisco. The speed is gathering the wheels are burning up the miles with a sharp stinging fulsome guitar from Gales. The backing vocals curl and pull the guitar and connect the vocals with a party that is full on assertive and loud. Phew, that is a road you want to explore again.

The fourth guest guitarist is Steve Lukather as he and the band explore Hard Times. Kenny Aronoff’s drums add a hardened edge to a number that takes us into the second half of the album. Last but not least is Walter Trout. The instantly sweet note filled tone and texture of Trout’s guitar fills the speaker. The intro to What’s Wrong you just want to go on and on. Then the vocals pick up a perfect duet of emotions are amalgamated as they ask what is wrong with my blues? Absolutely nothing.

The seven tracks delivered by the band are the glue that makes the journey work. The Pit Stops, the viewing points of interest on this supersonic blues journey we are exploring on Californisoul. The trio of Lopez, Aronoff and Grossi capture the swirling dust and grit of the road combining this rawness with the magic of their personal interpretation of the blues. Fabrizo Grossi writer of lyrics and bassist delving deep into the grooves that adds the rhythmic poetry of this road trip.  The spirit of the Supersonic Blues Machine is captured in L.O.V.E. we are now travelling in the same direction the music is taking us. This is an album where the musical tones and textures change reflecting the changing scenery on a road trip. The funkiness of the machine is captured on The Stranger, once again the judicious use of backing vocals add so much to the seventies backdrop of the album. Closing out the album with This Is Love, chatting opening reflecting back to gospel blues and back to communal singing full of vigour and hope. The track combines blues with rhythmic beats and a spicing from a reggae groove hitting the blue sweet note they are looking for throughout the journey we have joined them on. We are left feeling upbeat with the Supersonic Blues Machine.

Without the skills and clear approach from the principal band delivering the remaining tracks giving a consistency a firm grounding to Californisoul the album could have missed its mark. Thankfully it did not this is so much more than a compilation of a band with guests. It is a coherent journey through music and lyrics with Lance Lopez vocal prowess the key to keeping the thirteen tracks on a road with a clear sense of purpose and direction. We are never taken to a backwater or miss our turning. The Satnav of music power has been set to ensure the styles may vary, the approach may be different. But the journey is clear to get from Los Angeles to San Francisco with blues-infused soulfulness.

Californisoul is full of confidence the trio know they have the power to add soul to your blues. The guests are the spice in the mix adding new tones and textures. It is the Supersonic Blues Machine that are in full control on this musical journey of Californisoul.  As Fabrizio Grossi says, “Lots of people have been saying to me ‘why does Supersonic Blues Machine always bring guests around? You guys can stand your own ground’, and there are three answers to that: 1) we’re all super friends and we’re having a blast, 2) most of them don’t give lessons and for us it’s only way to learn their secret “ways”, and three because the inspiration and the challenge they bring to the table!” We are as the band described, being taken back to 1971 immersed in a soundtrack on a drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco.  Sit back, turn up the volume enjoy an exuberant modern blues with twists and turns that any great journey will always take you to the unexpected.

 

Supersonic Blues MachineCalifornisoulMascot Label Group

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

  1. I Am Done Missing You
  2. Somebody’s Fool (feat Robben Ford)
  3. L.O.V.E.
  4. Broken Heart (feat Billy F. Gibbons)
  5. Bad Boys
  6. Elevate (feat Eric Gales)
  7. The One
  8. Hard Times (feat Steve Lukather)
  9. Cry
  10. The Stranger
  11. What’s Wrong (feat Walter Trout)
  12. Thank You
  13. This Is Love

Journey With Supersonic Blues Machine Californisoul

Day Of Music Celebrating Life Cancer On The Rocks

Day Of Music Celebrating Life Cancer On The Rocks

Day Of Music Celebrating Life Cancer On The Rocks

 

 

Rick Palin of Skyfire Interactive has announced today a new event Cancer On The Rocks. The acts are varied and are mostly rock and blues. The event is close to Rick’s heart. This event is fundraising for Macmillan with the goal on the day is to raise £10,000.00 for the charity.

Background to Day Of Music Celebrating Life Cancer On The Rocks

In August Rick’s Father died of cancer, his death hit him very hard, especially the feeling of feeling so completely powerless to help him. The one constant that got me through the desperate times was the help and support given by Macmillan. They were such a support to both me and my dad and I will never forget what they did for him and in fact still are doing to help me. Having seen so many people die from cancer this year, including close family and friends, Rick is sickened to the stomach the number of people this disease is killing. Rick, made a vow to do something to help Macmillan as I thought simply writing them a £500 cheque was insufficient and a mere drop in the ocean in this horrible war. The outcome The Cancer On The Rocks. Whereon one day an 11 band spectacular taking place in Nantwich, Cheshire in January 2018.

This day is not just about raising funds for Macmillan it is about something equally special, it is about celebrating life.

 

Day Of Music Celebrating Life Cancer On The Rocks – Tickets go on sale today HERE

Every penny raised will go to Macmillan, so come along, have a fantastic day with some amazing bands and know that you are doing something important to help save lives.

 

Day Of Music Celebrating Life Cancer On The Rocks

Popa Chubby Announces New Album Two Dogs

Popa Chubby Announces New Album Two Dogs

Popa Chubby Announces New Album Two Dogs

 

 

Popa Chubby drops a big, bad, sonic bomb with his excellent and timely new album, “Two Dogs.” On it, Popa explores myriad musical styles and genres while keeping it close to his rock and soul core. You’ll hear the Popa you know and love and things you haven’t heard before.

Popa started work on “Two Dogs” with a lot of amazing sounds in his head and powerful feelings in his heart. Recorded at his home studio in New York’s Hudson Valley, Popa engineered and produced the record. He also plays drums, bass and percussion on some tracks. Renowned keyboard player and Popa’s long-time collaborator, Dave Keyes, appears throughout the album. Popa’s daughter, Tipitina Horowitz, plays the trumpet and contributes horn compositions. And ace drummer, Sam “Freightrain” Bryant keeps the beat real and rocking.

In the album’s liner notes, Popa expresses how he feels about the times we live in and expands on the inspiration behind the title song: “We have become polarized as a race. There is a battle inside each of us. Each day we rise and must choose our path calling upon each other and our own spirits for strength and courage. The dog we feed is the one that rules, the dog we starve dies of neglect. It is up to each of us to use our spirit to feed the dog that will enable all of us to thrive.”

This quote from a review of “Two Dogs” published in Blues Magazine does a good job of summing up the man and his music: “To call him a blues artist is to belittle who he is and what he stands for. Horowitz is so much more than that: Singer, songwriter, guitar stylist, his passions run deep and shine bright. With a performance style he describes as “the Stooges meets Buddy Guy, Motörhead meets Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix meets Robert Johnson,” Popa Chubby is an endearing character who is one of the genre’s most popular and innovative figures.”

 

 

1. It’s Alright
2. Rescue Me
3. Preexisting Conditions
4. Sam Lay’s Pistol
5. Two Dogs
6. Dirty Old Blues
7. Shakedown
8. Wound Up Getting High
9. Cayophus Dupree
10. Me Won’t Back Down
11. Chubby’s Boogie
BONUS LIVE TRACKS
12. Sympathy for the Devil
13. Hallelujah

All songs written by T. Horowitz except tracks 4 and 7 by Galea-T. Horowitz; track 12 by Jagger-Richards; track 13 by Leonard Cohen All songs unless otherwise indicated ASCAP Dutch Daddy Music. Track 12: ABKCO Music Inc. Track 13: Sony/ATV Popa Chubby: Guitars, vocals and percussion on all tracks. Drums on Clayophus and Me Won’t Back Down. Bass on Rescue Me, Shakedown, Two Dogs, Clayophus and Me Won’t Back Down Sam “Freightrain” Bryant: Drums all other tracks Andy Paladino: Bass on It’s Alright, Chubby’s Boogie, Preexisting Conditions, Dirty Old Blues Dave Keyes: Keyboards on all tracks Tipitina Horowitz: Trumpet, composition of horns Andrew Garrison: Tenor Saxophone Andrea Beccaro: Drums on Sympathy for the Devil Francesco Beccaro: Bass on Sympathy for the Devil

All songs written by T. Horowitz except tracks 4 and 7 by Galea-T. Horowitz; track 12 by Jagger-Richards; track 13 by Leonard Cohen All songs unless otherwise indicated ASCAP Dutch Daddy Music. Track 12: ABKCO Music Inc. Track 13: Sony/ATV Popa Chubby: Guitars, vocals and percussion on all tracks. Drums on Clayophus and Me Won’t Back Down. Bass on Rescue Me, Shakedown, Two Dogs, Clayophus and Me Won’t Back Down Sam “Freightrain” Bryant: Drums all other tracks Andy Paladino: Bass on It’s Alright, Chubby’s Boogie, Preexisting Conditions, Dirty Old Blues Dave Keyes: Keyboards on all tracks Tipitina Horowitz: Trumpet, composition of horns Andrew Garrison: Tenor Saxophone Andrea Beccaro: Drums on Sympathy for the Devil Francesco Beccaro: Bass on Sympathy for the Devil

Popa Chubby Announces New Album Two Dogs

 

 

Erja Lyytinen brings the Warmth of Finnish Blues to Bristol Tonight

Erja Lyytinen brings the Warmth of Finnish Blues to Bristol Tonight

Erja Lyytinen brings the Warmth of Finnish Blues to Bristol Tonight

 

 

Tonight The Tunnels welcomed Erja Lyytinen and her support band Red Butler to Bristol for the first and definitely not the last time. Tuesday night was blues night that filled the arches with music that was full of energy and played with style.

Erja Lyytinen brings the Warmth of Finnish Blues to Bristol TonightOpening tonight Red Butler with their new line-up that many in the audience had not had the opportunity to hear yet. Alex Butler, Mike Topp and Charlie Simpson are joined by Dan Spellman on vocals and guitar. With a change of vocalist, the dynamics of the band have definitely changed. The interactions between the four members on a cramped stage space was natural and full of energy that is the fuel for their rocky blues. With Dan as the vocalist adds a harder edge to their sound, which certainly suits the direction they took on Nothing To Loose. The set reflected this with the numbers taken predominately from the album. The new vitalized Red Butler tonight added to their skills some brilliant harmonization between Alex, Dan and Mike. The whole set was played with aplomb, the sound was very tight and the interplay between the guitarists was intuitive and worked well set against the rhythm section.

Calm Before The Storm was a highlight, they nailed it. Other highlights of a short set that showcased the band was Belly Of TheErja Lyytinen brings the Warmth of Finnish Blues to Bristol Tonight Blues, rearranged and sounds better with new vocalists adding a layer of drama. Crowd-pleasing cover of Bobby Bland’s Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City. With the rocky edge more akin to Bernie Marsden/Whitesnake version and sounds wonderful and the audience gladly added their voice to the chorus. Mike took the role of the wolf, complete with a mask for Big Bad Wolf, combined with the music adding to the live experience. A great set, the only pity was not more people had turned out on a Tuesday to hear blues rock at The Tunnels.

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Short break, change of sound man, Mikko Kiviniemi takes charge of the desk as Erja Lyytinen and her band take control of The Tunnels. For those familiar with the queen of the slide guitar, already familiar with her new direction on Stolen Hearts her current album provided anticipation for a night of full-on blues that flexes its muscles. Her music explores and captures the vibes of funk, prog rock and more. The energy flowed from the stage and across the venue. The band was determined that everyone was going to have fun and be left with a memory of musicianship that brought music alive.

 

The band provided the cascading backdrop of sound from which Erja could fly with her vocals and guitar. Tonight in control of Hammond and keys from the magical energised fingers of Harri Taittonen. Whilst the deep and sometimes dark rhythms were delivered by bassist Juha Verona and Kai Jokiaho on drums. A powerhouse captured in a quartet.  Erja the flying Fin with her sparkling Sapphire blue guitar and glass slide set the second half of the evening into a tumultuous celebration of the blues, a theme she returned to throughout the evening.

Despite the disappointing turnout Erja did not disappoint with a wonderful balance of authentic Blues, Blues Rock and ‘ProggishErja Lyytinen brings the Warmth of Finnish Blues to Bristol Tonight Rock’ showcasing why she is so popular and is gaining a fan base whenever she plays in the UK.  Her guitar work is impeccable, full of grace and style and her interaction with the audience is warm Erja Is the real deal. The set delivered was storming as they played the last gig of the current UK tour.

With numbers from Stolen Hearts including the title track that was a highlight with lots of joyous interaction and community singing for the chorus. The centre piece and the absolute highlight of the evening was Black Ocean. With deep driving blues textures, heavy riffs and rhythms reflecting the ocean swell dark and dangerous. Erja tonight bought prog-blues to Bristol. We loved it. Showing the depth and breadth of style across the album we had slow blues a thing of beauty as Slowly Burning curled around the arches. Then Rocking Chair the interaction between guitar and bass is immense. As Juha, on bass reflects the rocking beat of the Rocking chair. Live musical magic.

With a Ko Ko Taylor cover, full of slide blues that is rooted firmly in the original African source; and delightful instrumental solo from Erja as she showed the styles of the greats. A medley full of subtle changes and interest that was delivered with fun as she asked the audience if they knew of BB King, Charlie Patton and many more.

With Cross Town Traffic given the Erja treatment along with her version of Steamy Windows an opportunity to be sexy with the audience and get close and personal with Juha on bass. All too soon it was time for the final numbers.  People get Ready where we were treated to guitar that resonated the tone and style of Jeff Beck. Erja tonight was Queen of the Blues. Her playing majestic, stylish with a hint of bedevilment and fun. Live music doesn’t get much better than this!

 

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Erja Lyytinen brings the Warmth of Finnish Blues to Bristol Tonight

In Conversation Believe What Rebecca Downes Says

In Conversation Believe What Rebecca Downes Says

In Conversation Believe What Rebecca Downes Says

 

 

BD: Hi Rebecca it is great to speak to you. So much has happened since the UKBlues Challenge last year. Live album and so much more.

RD: No problem life is busy and good.

BD: Lots of touring, the band has been busy off the road. Supporting King King and Magnum as well as headline shows and Festivals. So tell us about your experiences on the road.

RD: I love supporting King King. Being around the King King crowds we knew where we are with fans of their blues-infused rock music. I was much more worried about opening for Magnum.  Would the fans like us and go for our music. They loved our music it was the best gig of last year.  The reaction blew me away. I am always nervous when playing as the support band. Magnum must have approved as we are supporting their 2018 show.  Headlining is different. I still worry, always worrying about getting people to them, how to manage the PR. There is a big difference between Europe and UK. In Europe, people go out and see live music all the time whether in the week or weekends and is on later. Life on the road is a bit of a whirlwind really.  For me, I am anxious and nervous. That said I love what I am doing such a privilege to play music. It does have its ups and downs. Music is not the kindest industry in the world. I have to remember that I chose this and get it all into perspective, at the end of the day I am lucky to be doing it. I got great reviews in the early days; that was fab, it is my baby. Then I got one arsey review, it was quite bitchy, no need for that, reviewers can say they don’t like it, not my cup of tea that is fine. I had to learn to leave the negatives behind and move on.

BD: What were your first musical influences growing up in Wolverhampton?
RD:
Through my Mum & Dad, they were older parents and loved swing and jazz. The likes of Ella Fitzgerald; Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Julie Covington, Sammy Davis Jnr, etc. Both of my parents had been to see Ella Fitzgerald before they met so had this is common. Especially female singers of this era were the best of the best. The Carpenters were the most pop Mum listened to. She said to me if you are going to be a singer be like them.  It is the notes, choice of melody, tone, and timing that sets them apart. I know how tricky they are. As a vocal coach people ask me all the time how can I sing like Ella. The key is to have your pitch right. What unbelievable changes she achieves with her voice. Her voice can mimic even the brass section.

BD: There has been lots of Rebecca news. Your exciting trip to the States; will you be touring over there next year.

RD: Firstly, didn’t say I was going being careful as previously had a similar opportunity and it fell through. We were over in the States pitching what we do to a record company, how we can work with them. Before we went out had all new songs demoed and properly recorded with video. Been speaking with them this week so it will be interesting how this pans out – definitely watch this space.  I do lots of the PR & Admin work myself working until 11 pm. Life for a musician isn’t all the fun stuff but have to keep on top of it. Facebook, people put on a comment and they like you to react to it and say something. That takes time. I now try to only open the messages when I have time to answer them.

BD: I have always been interested in the lyrics of a song. Where do you get your inspiration for your songwriting?

RD:  Steve Birkett and I work together we both crossover between lyrics and melodies. Sometimes lyrics come first other times basic riffs sometimes both together. I almost always have a hand in the finished song.  I owe my Ex’s most of my PRS statements much of my inspiration comes from past relationships. Think the new album will see a change. It is true – a happy song cannot be written when sad, you just want to wallow in your misery. Uplifting songs will be on the new album along with those inspired by life experiences.

Some songs write themselves Believe is one I just wrote. It was almost as if I was downloading and I was just the vessel that spat it out it was a bizarre experience.

BD:  You are also in the studio at the moment making a new album. Will Chris Kimsey be involved in the whole album or just the re-mix of Sailing In A Pool Of Tears?

RD: Chris Kimsey is mixing and helping record the new album along with Mark T Stuart who records all our stuff. He is the nicest person he gets what we do. It is not strictly blues he gets where we are going slightly darker, slightly rockier. He is an absolute joy to work with. The new album is going to be released early 2018, the tracks include those we took to the States. It is ready to go now working out the release time, PR loads of things that are all in the pipeline.

BD: What plans have you in the pipeline for rest of 2017 and into 2018??

RD: Rest 2017 we have a headline tour of Germany throughout November and a T.V. show over there. Then back in the U.K. Tenby Blues Festival and King King’s Christmas party which will be fun. Then for 2018 making a video, our own tour of Europe and UK; opening for Magnum and more. It is gigging that keeps me alive. Music is my drug.

BD: What are the Blues or how do you define the Blues the perennial debate?

RD: What does blues mean to me? It is music with an emotional depth. Real blues goes back to the acoustic guitar through to the clean sound of the electric guitar. Today it is more rock than blues. With blues-tinged vocals and guitar with its roots firmly in the blues with other influences layered on top.  Blues is 12-bars why do we want to do it still when the past masters have done it better, the likes of John Lee Hooker and the other greats. Now we take the elements and shaped differently. Norman Beaker once said blues is anything that has got emotional depth. A melody link and a bluesy hook. Sound and guitar doing them as well, like the Blues Band who do the originals so well.

BD: If you were putting together your perfect fantasy band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
RD:

Vocals: Aretha Franklin
Guitar: Bonnie Raitt
Drums: Dave Grohl
Bass: Kevin McCormick

BD: Thanks for your time Rebecca and in the meantime catch Rebecca Live check out her tour dates HERE and keep listening to her albums they are infectious and will pass the time until her new album in 2018

Bluesdoodles Reviews:-

Be Live – The Leopard says Be Live With Rebecca Downes Rebecca is not defined by the blues but shaped by them with a soulful voice and a stage presence that shines out as wide as her dazzling smile. Rebecca is a singer who loves the stage and the audience loves her back as the music flows and Be Live captures the essence of a Downes live show. Read MORE HERE

Believe  – Believe has Rebecca Downes Singing the Blues …… The album does that crossing genre and with tempos and beats that will appeal far beyond the confines of blues clubs and blues aficionados. Read MORE HERE………

In Conversation Believe What Rebecca Downes Says

 

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

 

 

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.

 

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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 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

Robert J. Hunter Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

Robert J. Hunter Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

Robert J. Hunter Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

Robert J. Hunter Talks about
2017 Blues Challenge

 

BD: Firstly, thank you for taking the time out to chat about participating in the 4th UK Blues Challenge, Blues, your music and more.

RHB: Our pleasure, this is an incredible opportunity for us.

BD: Before we start, tell us about performing at The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival in Colne over Bank Holiday Weekend as part of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned bands.

RHB: We were lucky to have been chosen by JFU to perform and it was an amazing experience. A festival we had been trying to get onto for a long time, and it did not disappoint. We were worried that our blend of original dirty blues may not have suited, but we had the best time and received amazing feedback. So thanks to JFU again for giving us a chance.

BD: 2017, sees the fourth UK British Blues Challenge.  This year the UKBlues Federation are “Bringing The Blues back to The cavern 60 years on..” 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.

BD: What are the Blues to Robert J. Hunter Band? Do you feel British Blues has a different feel to what is being currently produced in Europe, United States and elsewhere in the world?

RHB: Our sound is rooted in British blues and RnB, but sonically is in the direction of more American southern blues. America is where it all began after all and I think it is any musicians dream to have the opportunity to play in the States. Blues-rock seems to be the chosen weapon of lots of new bands across Britain, Europe and the US, including us, it is interesting seeing how bands are taking the blues in its rawest form and creating something truly original with the pallet they have to work from.

BD: Your current album is Where I’m From; tell us a bit about the album and have you plans to return to the studio?

RHB: That album was a way for me to showcase the variety of my writing, aside from the band. Solo, just me and a guitar for a day of recording.

We are working on new material and spent a weekend in the studio recently recording all live and we are currently mixing the record, and deciding about the release. We have always struggled capturing the adrenaline and passion of a live show on record, but this time we are a step in the right direction. It’s essentially an old school rhythm and blues album wound around the raucous dirty blues people may be used to hearing from us.

BD: What do you feel The UKBlues Federation can bring to the UK Blues what would you like the Federation to be doing for Blues artists on the circuit in Britain today?

RHB: The British blues scene is really buzzing at the moment, there are more and more young bands experimenting with the blues and there are some incredible blues guitarists on the scene. Sadly, a lot of bands go unnoticed, with a lot of the same few acts working the scene with only one or two new additions now and then. There a lot of artists putting their heart and soul into their craft but struggling to make a dent into the scene. I think more opportunities for young original blues bands need to be available and I think the UKBlues Federation can and is doing that. We are very lucky to have this opportunity.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing?

RHB:
Lee Brilleaux on vocals and harp,
Big Mama Thornton on vocals
Norman Watt Roy on bass
Mitch Mitchell on drums
Bonnie Raitt on slide
Keith Emerson on Hammond
Rory Gallagher on lead guitar.
It would be chaos, but damn would it be good.

 

BD: Thank you for your time. The challenge at The Cavern on 10th September will be an amazing night of live music as we hear the five bands – LaVendore Rogue – Elles Bailey – Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion – The Rainbreakers and Robert J. Hunter Band.

Buy Your ticket here and be part of a great night HERE.

 

UKBlues Challenge Fifth Contestant Announced

As Walter Trout says, We Are All In This Together

As Walter Trout says, We Are All In This Together

As Walter Trout says, We Are All In This Together

 

 

As Walter Trout says, We Are All In This Together.  The love of the Blues unites music lovers around the world. The Blues has an unchanging heart and Walter Trout is a giant in the world of electric guitar fuelled blues.  Walter’s latest album is brimming with blues guitars they shimmer and shine like a brilliant sapphire as his Telecaster is joined by a phalanx of blues guitar maestro.

Fourteen tracks give Walter plenty of scope to play with the blues and sing some powerful lyrics. As Walter Trout says, We Are All In This Together. The album is a celebration of blues, a journey through Walter’s life with friends. Coming together with friends and laying down the music is the essence that makes Blues hum with power and emotion. All of life’s experiences are laid out before you captured in a few moments with lyrics and the emotive six-strings, love, hate, betrayal, loyalty and addiction all are explored. The friends that join Walter bring their own styles and interpretation of the blues. Listen to explore the intricacies they bring to Trout’s sound. You will hear a different musician on every track.

The embodiment of the blues is the shuffle and it is the perfect combo to extol its movement and rolling power as Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Walter join forces on the opening number, Gonna Hurt Like Hell, written with Kenny’s guitar style in mind up-tempo and gets the party off to a flying start. The narrative is central pleasure and can be short-lived coming down is Gonna Hurt Like Hell! The guitars meld and play off each other blues energy is up and running.

As Walter Trout says, We Are All In This Together; as we step aboard the blues bus. Exploring the myriad of tonal shapes and styles. The songs matching the attributes of Sonny Landreth whose slide playing is legendary the master of zydeco,   as we hear Ain’t Going Back. Then the harp of Charlie Musselwhite pouring out emotional wizardry on The Other Side of The Pillow; co-written with Musslewhite combine with Robert T. Bear’s lyrics. As the album takes shape one of my favourite tracks She Listens To The Blackbird Sings, with Mike Zito. It has a rawness with a driving riff of electric over acoustic and lyrics that just connect.   What an opening quartet of tracks phew! There are still ten to go will the album have staying power? Yes, of course, it has with Walter Trout at the helm.

No blues corroboration would be complete without a jam. The Sky Is Crying, the only cover, is a revisiting of a number he played with Warren Haynes many years ago at New Orleans Jazz Festival. The two guitars bring a fluidity as the number builds and builds leaving you breathless with delight. This is Trout and Haynes playing music that moves them and audiences.  The mood changes heavier, harder hitting as Eric Gales joins the party with Somebody Goin’ Down the energy is burning up the track.

A celebration of family style and talent as the question is asked, Do You Still See Me At All. The tempo as Walter is joined by his son Jon in the studio. The dueling between them is immense and this number definitely benefits from having both guitarists in the studio at the same time. Written together, played together this is a track that oozes an understanding of the electric guitar.

The closing two tracks leave you on a musical high. John Mayall joins Walter on Blues for Jimmy T, with searing harmonica mirroring guitar and vocals in a duet as they recall the day Jimmy died. The two bluesmen from different sides of the Atlantic. Acoustic works, stripping away layers and exploring the kernel lamenting the loss of friend and bass player Jimmy Trapp.  Closing out with the second track where both guitarist were in the same studio as Joe Bonamassa adds his guitar and vocals to the title track We’re All In This Together.  What a way to finish the latest Trout studio album. Just under eight minutes played live with the band, no overdubbing as they take us on a memorable road trip around the electric guitar. They had three hours to get the track completed sitting three feet apart they nailed it. Yes, We’re All In this Together.

The album is a shimmering exploration of the blues. The listener to Walter Trout’s latest studio album will discover some of the many tributaries that run from and into the great running river as wide and deep as the Mississippi that is twenty-first-century blues.  It is certain that this is an album about fun, enjoying the blues, celebrating the interaction of styles. The passion is played out in every night a perfect follow-up to the personal pain and intensity of Battle Scars.

Reviewers often say this is an album that will listen to often. In the case of We’re All In It Together that is a certainty. Celebrating the insight of Walter Trout a blues supremo bringing fourteen friends together with their own track shining a light on facets of the blues,

Walter Trout – We’re All In This Together – Mascot Label Group

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

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Track Listing

  1. Gonna Hurt Like Hell – Kenny Wayne Shepherd
  2. Ain’t Goin’ Back – Sonny Landreth
  3. The Other Side Of The Pillow – Charlie Musselwhite
  4. She Listens To The Blackbird Sing – Mike Zito
  5. Mr Davis – Robben Ford
  6. The Sky Is Crying – Warren Haynes
  7. Somebody Goin’ Down – Eric Gales
  8. She Steals My Heart Away – Edgar Winter
  9. Crash and Burn – Joe Louis Walker
  10. Too Much to Carry – John Nemeth
  11. Do You Still See Me At All – Jon Trout
  12. Got Nothin’ Left – Randy Bachman
  13. Blues For Jimmy T. – John Mayall
  14. We’re All In This Together – Joe Bonamassa

 

 

As Walter Trout says, We Are All In This Together