Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

 

 

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

 

Back in the O2 Sheffield for the second year HRH Blues III promised with a deep blues infused line-up to be an Easter full of music. They certainly delivered across the two stages, as ever clashes were at times frustrating, demonstrating the wealth of blues in town this weekend.

HRH Blues once again created an ambience, professional on the outside, inside pure unadulterated fun of listening to live music. The two days had a mix of blues from heavy and raw through to delicate and everything in-between. More people this year stepping on the bright blue HRH Blues Train crammed with live music in Sheffield.

With two stages, we heard a total of twenty-two bands and for some Royalty Passes & Media an extra five acoustic acts early on Sunday morning. The one disappointment for many was the missing act. King King had to pull out at the last-minute – now we know it was due to Alan Nimmo having acute Laryngitis.  With the number of King King T-shirts in the audience you could have expected annoyance, but all you heard and saw on social media was empathy, love and get well. The bands that did play filled the gap with extended sets from Simon McBride and Ten Years After and a slightly early Saturday.

Getting the Easter music fest started was Dani Wilde who set the scene with quality opening act it was going to be high quality blues form the first to last note. Highlights in the main stage on Saturday were…

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterFor the vast majority that I spoke to the stand out band of the first day and the festival were Billy Walton Band, they bought fun, blues and music that just gets every one excited.  Following on from the band that wowed the audience and were still being talked about as the festival closed. Why? A full on band who really get that good-time vibe flowing the boys from New Jersey bring that East Coast joie-de-vie. Billy and the band want you want to party all night. With a horn section adding texture and tone they are just very entertaining and totally enjoyable. They were ready to party with the festival a fan supplied an array of hats and they were delighted to play with the donated headgear. The atmosphere was now loud, electric with blues flowing through the O2.

Follow that, well this is HRH nothing safe, nothing out-of-bounds as The Graveltones, a duo took to the stage. Heavy, raucous, energetic and loud they divided the room just as Marmite on toast would! The guitar was raw and the drumming hard with splinters of wood being torn from the sticks. Heavy, hard with complex rhythms and bucket loads of feel, delivering a punchy set that re-defines duos and the blues.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterAll aboard the next station on the blues train journey to Finnish Blues with Erja Lyytinen and her band. For many of her fans the first time we have had the opportunity to listen to the music from her acclaimed album Stolen Hearts. I was definitely excited having given her the full 10-doodle paws. High class set from the renowned queen of the blues slide guitar. In the set is Black Ocean for me a highlight and favourite on the album now a live favourite as prog meets blues under the charms and skills of Erja.  We joined her on the rocking Chair, sang along with Stolen hearts. Then the trained steamed up the hill with her interpretation of Tina Turner’s Steamy windows. This was blues that sparkled as Erja smiled, played and won our hearts.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterThis year with the addition of food stalls and coffee there was no need to leave the arena and miss a single note of blues that was weaving their magic over the audience.  Now we had two stages running parallel always a conundrum what to stay and listen too. Quick run upstairs to catch some of Will Wilde, this was the decision of many as the second stage was rammed and Will’s harmonica playing won him many new fans. For some the band of the weekend having never heard him play before. Will delivers more ‘authentic’ blues almost a match for Erja, a shame about the clash of blues titans. Will is one of the best blues-harp players on the UK circuit. Now we had a festival exploding under the glories of blues in full flight.

Back downstairs for Pig Iron returning for the second year. Describing themselves as Blues Metal this was pounding heavy blues that incorporates some delicate harp playing. Upstairs was Troy Redfern, the Welsh slide guitar troubadour.  With tracks from his current album Backdoor Hoodoo. His rendition of John The Revelator is always a crowd-pleasing winner as it was tonight in Sheffield. The HRH Blues train was now gathering speed and pulling in a wide variety of acts.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterNow back to the main stage for Simon McBride and the headliners returning for the second year Ten Year After. First, a stunning blues rock guitarist Simon McBride. The set saturated with scintillating riffs and licks making Simon’s PRS guitar sing and squeal. An accomplished set strewn with covers to extend the time on stage and numbers from his last two albums.  What a set it was a tone the festival wanted to hear that mix of SRV, Hendrix woven together with McBride magic. The dueling between bass and guitar was magnificent. As he played Good Times Roll, following a McBride favourite Down To The Wire we were definitely having a great Easter Saturday as he closed with Deadman Walking we were all alive with festival fever.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterAfter fifty years of touring with Ten Years After Chick Churchill & Ric Lee are now joined by bassist Colin Hodgkinson and the charismatic Marcus Bonfanti.  Marcus’ vocals are full of power, tonal texture, his guitar playing sharp and the harp adds another dimension to the Ten Year After sound of 2017. No Ten Year After set is complete without The Hobbit, Ric Lee and his drumming acrobatics. A wonderful set blending old stalwarts and new numbers from the forthcoming album A Sting In The Tale out later this year.  The whole set is a perfect platform for showcasing what a great and oft underrated guitarist Marcus is.  Wow moments of the festival with Love Like A Man and Good Morning Little Schoolgirl. Ten Years After strong after Fifty-years and the thrill of a new album. What a Saturday now for Sunday’s delights.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

Sunday, started with a Smörgåsbord of acoustic showcases, including Chantel McGregor; Big Boy Bloater, Crow Black Chicken and Dan Patlansky who we would be hearing in full amplified glory during the day. The sets were chilled whilst also demonstrating the varied sounds achievable from the acoustic. This was personified by the difference between Big Boy Bloater and Dan Patlansky, same guitar totally different tone and approach.  We heard hollers, blues and songs given new shapes a perfect slow wake up call to join the main blues train downstairs on stage one. Into the mix the wonderful vocals and charm of Jack Hutchinson a welcomed addition to any blues gathering, with a new band album, Set Your Heart For The Sun, let’s hope he is back electric in 2018.

 

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterWhat a stunning set once again from the mighty Sean Webster with his new band The Deadlines. Having heard Sean many times he never disappoints, unsurprisingly he was the find of the weekend for many. His rendition of I’d Rather Go Blind moved many to tears with the raw, intense emotion he puts into every word sung and note played. Sean has the winning combination of a superb blues voice and plays the guitar with lightning blue touch.  Now living in Netherlands, Sean is the enigma of the British Blues scene never reaching the heights his playing should be taking him. Let’s hope the station stop on HRH Blues Train will be the launch pad for a renaissance of Sean the bluesman. Following on from Sean, in a bright red dress is Chantel McGregor always a firm favourite with her many fans. The set was a mix of favourites and her latest album. Anyone hoping for some new material would be disappointed, though there was a new drummer in the band. The set was safe, definitely rockier than the early days of   Chantel. She still smiles with warmth and affection and Freefalling was a guitar blazing delight as were the other guitar improvisations. Her rhythm section gives her a solid platform, bassist Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterColin Sutton and Ollie Goss on Drums. The mischievous Chantel was ever present with ‘Aving A Giraffe a fun out take celebrating the April the Giraffe giving birth the story that Chantel has been following on Social media. The set overall felt a little flat, come on Chantel lets have some new McGregor gems soon. This is the nuances that makes live music fun a have to be there moment. British Blues celebration continues with Laurence Jones with his new band.  Laurence is maturing the new band seems to fit his style and the addition of Bennet Holland on keys certainly adds some textures to the music complementing Laurence’s stinging guitar. We are enjoying this stop on the train. Yes, this is British blues-rock personified; what is great to see Laurence continuing to grow in stature, developing his sound and staying fresh. The longer lead breaks played with growing confidence adds interest and variance in the live sound. Fantastic audience participation during JJ Cale’s Cocaine, conducted with vigour and winning smile from Laurence more Cream and Clapton than Cale. That is no bad thing in a stalwart of the blues circuit who wins fans whenever he picks up his guitar and plays. .

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

Quick sojourn to Stage 2 for StoneWire a band from the South coast that I had heard about. This is a five-piece led by a big voice. Another great female vocalist out front shaping the StoneWire sound.  Whilst on stage one, young gun Aaron Keylock, was completing the very British Blues opening to the day.  Solid set as this man’s stage presence grows. He is full of potential and the setlist was a perfect showcasing opportunity for Across The Grain his debut album. The slide guitar was over loud and the vocals slurred but every time you hear him there is improvement, Spin The Bottle a set residence that suits this young man who is truly motivated and shaped by the blues.  Not to be missed, if you get the opportunity another HRH Blues festival favourites are definitely Black Crow Chicken. The sound is earthy, dirty blues. Every song has a colourful story as they take the blues train down an Irish lane as roots blues collide with Irish Tradition through the amplifier. The humour is dry and all-encompassing that follows through into the strong lyrics. With Jonestown and a tribute to Pat Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterMcManus from Pariah Brothers, the latest album. This is a band I could have listened to for longer. A definite bring back next year request.  With Big Boy Bloater following, his acoustic set was superb so we were looking forward to electric Luxury Hobo. The sound was too loud for the small stage area and that meant the music lost its edge. That said what a rendition of bloater blues pushing them to the limits and he knows how to entertain the crowds vital for any set and sometimes missing. The superb track from his album Luxury Hobo, It Came From The Swamp won him many fans another strong contender for stage one 2018.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterNow back to Stage 1  for South African, Dan Patlansky who always delivers fireworks from his Strat.  Tonight, with a band of session players from Germany we were treated to a stand out set of guitar acrobatics. Old Red is the signatures Strat of Dan, and is off for a refurb after this UK tour.  With his latest single from Introvertigo, Sonova Faith given a live airing we hear the clever improvisation that is part of the live show. Never expect to hear the songs the same, chords and lyrics are a constant but the interpretation every time is a certainty. Dan can rock his blues, and then with an application of the blues breaks will slow it right down. Then you listen with care as it is as good as it gets. Dan Patlansky is a showman. He brings Laurence Jones back to play Bright Lights, Big City that sees a guitar dueling that sparked with jaw dropping intensity. Closing the set, instrumental My Chana is a majestic exploration of the every sound a strat can make. As he experiments with feedback, ringing single notes. The audience are spellbound, a collective holding of breath with wonderment. No one wanted the moment to end. Sadly, it did one more act Stan Webbs Chicken Shack and 2017 HRH Blues fell silent.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

Easter Sunday, this year more music that chocolate. What a tasty day once again HRH train ride was full of blues hooks, licks and riffs, laughs and friends the perfect festival journey.

HRH Blues III blues train was full of exciting stops along the complex musical map that incorporates The Blues. The festival does not rely on have the same favourite acts returning each year. Weaving into the acts surprises and variance in the sound of blues.

With such an array of blues it is unsurprising, with not a single act announced HRH Blues IV; 14-15th April 2018 is already over eighty percent sold. People want to come back, reserving there spot for when the HRH Blues train leaves the station once again in Sheffield 2018. HRH Blues a definite for Blues lovers diaries.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond

Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond

Dan Patlansky In Conversation
Touring 2017 and Beyond

BD: Morning Dan, great to see and catch up with you in Sheffield at HRH Blues and the opportunity to talk this morning

 BD: Dan Patlansky, Back in UK and Europe for an exciting tour. Latest single Sonova Faith from the award-winning and acclaimed album Introvertigo.  Returning to venues new and old favourites? With a new band tell us about your touring plan. Starting off at Mr Kyps with Ash Wilson opening and HRH festival you have hit the ground running

DP: Yes, back in UK and Europe with second round touring with Introvertigo.  Following the achievement of Introvertigo being number 1 Blues Rock Album of 2016 by the influential American website Blues Rock Review.  So we are back with a new band of session musicians from Germany bringing a different feel from my South African band. Part tour back at The Globe in Cardiff which will be such fun with Ash Wilson opening a great band, great songs the combination will be a good night of live music following on from Mr Kyps. HRH Blues was amazing great crowd and some amazing bands the atmosphere was really positive.

BD: Having heard your acoustic set at HRH which was wonderful, elegant, beautiful with lingering notes that I wanted to last forever; have you thought about doing more acoustic in the UK?

DP: Yes, it was fun. Acoustic is a different beast to playing electric. In some ways limiting with the change of guitar style. It is a challenge in the way you play and think about the music. As for playing acoustic in the UK; back in South Africa we often do the combination acting as our own support act. Yet to do that in the UK. Perhaps for the future; the logistic of travelling with an Acoustic rig as well as electric will be another travelling challenge. For acoustic at HRH I borrowed Big Boy Bloaters guitar, it was great to play and a big thank you to Big Boy Bloater’s loan of his lovely acoustic guitar. It was a different vibe when I played the guitar showing the power of acoustic.

BD: We all love to hear you get that special sound out of your Strat Old Red and is certainly how you continue to build your fan base. Tell us about strings, pickups and I believe you are retiring the beautiful guitar. How will you find a replacement?

DP: I play with twelve gauge strings, they are considered heavy, but I have always used them. I don’t just use them for the showmanship of the last number. I like the sound they produce. I use standard Fender pickup. For the last number, I turn my amp up to achieve sonic textures, feedback making it as musical as possible.  I always have the amp fairly high, I play loud which is why I have speakers facing the wings and turn them up which can surprise front of house guys.

Old Red not being retired just refining parts of her. Just the neck is being overhauled. The neck has become a liability, 1960’s Fenders used Brazilian Rosewood, this is now a restricted wood and can cause a problem at customs in some countries. In addition, the neck is getting tired and twisted. When I get back home from this tour I’ll be getting a new neck for the guitar.  A face-lift, not retirement.

BD: How do you keep the tracks we love to hear you play the sound is so fresh and vibrant when playing live? It is as if we are hearing the tracks for the first time as you add interest and surprises.

DP: This tour there is a new dynamic with the German musicians. It is though the nature of the music improvising. I may be playing the same song every night on tour, yes the melody, lyrics and chords stay the same but I go in different directions. Not always the way I expect, I grew up playing Jazz music the king of improvisation so every night has its own journey. Can be good or not that is the nature of the beast. It keeps the music exciting for us as musicians and puts a fresh breath into every night’s performance. We are definitely not playing by numbers, traditional blues is steeped in improvisation. I am just keeping that tradition alive and flourishing through my music.

BD: With a hectic touring schedule here, Europe and South Africa what are your plans for 2017 and beyond?

DP: Yes touring is hectic but always great to catch up with friends and fans we make on the tour. This will be the last UK tour focused on Introvertigo. I have dates in South Africa when I return. Then in June we go back in the studio with new songs, new ideas for my next album which will be released Spring 2018. Then back touring South Africa. We are also possibly back in the UK November 2017; where we could be previewing new tracks from the forthcoming album. So watch this space once dates finalized we will be letting the fans know.

BD:  You are back in Cardiff at The Globe, what makes venues fun to return to? Is it building the fan base?

DP: Yes, excited to be playing back in Cardiff. I love the vibe of the venue. Why return to venues, it is a bit of both the venue and the audience is a big part of the show. The Globe is a great little venue, great audience who have such a positive response. I love the sound of the venue, the guitar always sounds good to me on stage which is really satisfying. The Globe is a loud room, lots hard surfaces. It is a venue I will always look forward to playing. The Cardiff crowd are always up for loud music and to enjoy the blues.

BD: Thank you for sharing with your growing group of fans. We have asked you your fantasy band, what you are listening to in previous interviews. So today who would you invite to play with Dan Patlansky band?

DP: Dream scenario would be David Gilmore from Pink Floyd. Gilmore got me into music generally and in particular the guitar.

BD: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule and looking forward to seeing you play live in Cardiff on 4th May.

Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond

 

Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond

READ what Bluesdoodles said about the TEN Doodle paw album  Introvertigo – We voted the album as the best Overseas album heard over at Bluesdoodles HQ.

Introvertigo with its carefully crafted lyrics that blend urbane wit and honest observation, this is blues pertinent to today’s lifestyles, not so much whisky and women more the corruption of power and social interaction. Ten tracks there are no fillers every number is full of strength and tonal power but there is not an off note or lyric.  

FULL Review – HERE

Dan Patlansky In Conversation Touring 2017 and Beyond

Mick McConnell Gets Under My Skin With Blues

Mick McConnell Gets Under My Skin With Blues

Mick McConnell Gets  Under My Skin With Blues

 

Mick McConnell sophomore album Gets Under My Skin, certainly punches a hefty blues punch. The album out of Dewsbury journeyed through Europe and was polished in Nashville.  With Bruce Miller at the helm as producer Under My Skin has ten tracks that combine a winning combo gravel vocals and stinging guitars this is a smokin’ gun of the blues from Mick McConnell.

Mick, says “stick to what I know”; that said there is a flourish and a confidence as the ten tracks take us on a journey that never stays within the constraints of traditional blues. He sets down a deep groove with his six-string and then explores the lyrics adding gloss, brightness and energy as he sings No She Don’t Like Country; we get to know her tastes and she likes Rock n’ Roll!

The guitar is a blues clarion call as Mick takes us Visiting Mr ‘J’; his song that reflects on the legacy of Mr Robert Johnson, he sticks to his approach to the blues not copying or reinterpreting Robert. The middle of the album is rich pickings with Moods On A Rainy Day and Cross The Line.  The album is full of peachy songs that grow and underneath the guitar and instrumentation are lyrics with something to say. Mick is his own person, this is his blues that he wants to share with you as he closes out the album with Spell On Me. This is Blues that shimmers piercing through the genre with a vibe that is warm and inviting. As the album title infers Mick does get Under My Skin and anyone who listens to McConnell Blues.

Under My SkinMick McConnell – Stuff Music Records

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Holdin On
  2. Man With A Smokin Gun
  3. No She Don’t … Like Country
  4. All My Soul
  5. Lock You Out
  6. Visiting Mr “J”
  7. Moods On A Rainy Day
  8. Cross The Line
  9. Under My skin
  10. Spell On Me

 

Mick McConnell Gets Under My Skin With Blues

Quinn Sullivan Born to Play Guitar Exploring The Midnight Highway

Quinn Sullivan Born to Play Guitar Exploring The Midnight Highway

Quinn Sullivan Born to Play Guitar Exploring The Midnight Highway

 

Quinn Sullivan Born to Play Guitar Exploring The Midnight Highway, with this his third studio album at seventeen. How? Quinn has been a musical professional since he was first heard jamming at the age of three with Toe Jam Puppet Band. By the time he was six he appeared on Ellen, two years later saw him taken under the wing of Buddy Guy, whose protégé he remains to this day. Teenager Quin has shared the stage with a phalanx of music icons including Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and when opening for BB King he was invited to play King’s treasured Lucille.  That is a snapshot as Quinn steps out and begins to play in the adult world he needs to deliver albums that are more than about his age, or who he has played with. He will be judged on the songs, vocals, guitar playing and production everyone expects a high standard being good is not enough. The album produced by Tom Hambridge who also drums who has added a sublime group of session men surrounded by musicians with a wealth of experience and knowledge as bass duties are delivered by Michael Rhodes or Tom MacDonald, guitarist Rob McNelly and adding in the interest on the keys is Reese Wynans.

No one can do everything, too many people try to be a songwriter and performer when they do not have the skills. Quinn has stepped back with three numbers co-written including Eyes For You, an acoustic folk-infused highlight showing this is a musician who understands the value of textural change within a collection of songs recorded in the studio.  This folky vibe is revisited later on Going, they work so well as the dichotomy between the maturity of his electric guitar playing and the light youthful pop characteristics of the vocals. As the voice matures then you will hear the real voice of Quinn Sullivan.  Hints of what could be coming are heard on Rocks a bonus track, with an edgier, deeper refrain this a Quinn that is a little bit dirtier. As he travels the blues highway he will slip and out of that will come the mature artist that this album hints at. Quinn Sullivan has talent, Quinn is a man on the precipice of greatness and one to watch develop.  He needs to find his own sound and play with his guts, not with one eye on ‘will this be a crossover number with mass appeal’.

Opening the album with Something For Me, the opening bars are expansive, distorted tribal and inviting. His vocals are fuzzy but clarion clear as he pulls every syllable out of the lyrics.   This makes for an interesting tweak of the blues genre that is forever expanding and reinventing itself. All lovers of blues will know this is a highway that has Something For Me.  On this, his first album under Mascot Label, home of Joe Bonamassa has thirteen tracks including the bonus numbers. Yes, the tone of the album is youthful, and times pop orientated as on Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming. Then you have glimmers of where the young man is heading towards the place where genres meet down at the Crossroads of the Highway where blues is fused with so many musical opportunities.

Midnight Highway gives an insight into a talent that is burgeoning will it fulfil its youthful promise time will tell.  Quinn’s musical Highway is going to be I am sure long, deep and an interesting ride to share. In ten years’ time there will be another young guitar slinger being compared to the now matured Quinn Sullivan.

 

Quinn SullivanMidnight HighwayMascot label Group 

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Something For Me
  2. Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming
  3. Midnight Highway
  4. Crazy Into You
  5. Eyes For You
  6. Lifting Off
  7. She Gets Me
  8. Rocks (Bonus Track)
  9. Going
  10. Graveyard Stone (Bonus Track)
  11. Big Sky (Bonus Track)
  12. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  13. Buffalo Nickel

Album Trailer

Quinn Sullivan Born to Play Guitar Exploring The Midnight Highway

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

 

 

What a start to 2017 – two festivals and some fantastic live gigs, memory box of 2017 filling up fast. Adding to the mix of delights is a cascade of albums arriving through the letterbox both the electronic format and the traditional front door.

First thirteen weeks, I have listened to many and thirty-three have been reviewed Bluesdoodles keyboard warrior loves the listening, enjoys the typing. The hard part is deciding the number of doodle paws for the superb musicianship and variety of styles we listen to. At the end of the first quarter of 2017 from the 1st of January through to 31st March 2017: EIGHT albums shone bright, thus ten doodle paws were stamped on the cover.

Clicking the album cover takes you to the review:-

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

Bluesdoodles Album Picks First Quarter 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hurricane Ruth – Ain’t Ready For The Grave – Hurricane Ruth Records  “Hurricane Ruth delivers blues with gritty determination. She sets the music going and raises the tempo and heat until a perfect storm is created, with energised, swirling blues that are fueled with high-octane rock.  ….  The album is delivered with passion and determination the lyrics are set free by Hurricane Ruth’s vocal interpretation.” Read the rest of the review HERE

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion – This is The Life I Choose – 33 Records: “With three studio albums under Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion’s belt the fourth is definitely not running out of steam, it is full throttle blues. The blues are stylish, a mix of pathos and humour, reflections and looking forward, sadness and hints of joy”  Read the rest of the review HERE

Thunder Rip It UpearMUSIC: “Rip It Up will never be a boring listen.  Why? … Thunder’s eleventh studio album they a have definitely roared out of the studio with Rip It Up. An album for Thunder fans who have followed them over three decades and for those discovering them at today. …..  Rip It Up as new fans come under Thunder’s rock spell.”  Read the rest of the review HERE

Erja Lyytinen – Stolen Hearts –  Tuohi Records.  “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 the rest of the review HERE

Jo Harman – People We Become – Independent:The ten track, superbly crafted album closes out with piano and voice as Lonely Like Me with deep melody and a song that is timeless as we feel the hurt of loneliness and understand the begging for forgiveness as it is part of our own life’s journey. It is why we are the People We Become”. Read the rest of the review HERE

Catfish – Broken Man – Independent:Broken Man is definitely not Broken giving contemporary British Blues that resonates curling around your speakers with sparkling class. …  an album early on in the year that has to be a contender for Blues Album of 2017. This is a blues gem that is multi-faceted and a prism of blue hues that hits you from every direction.” Read the rest of the review HERE

Matt AndersenHonest ManTrue North Records: … The music has a freshness, with a twist of retro and crosses across genres if you love a good song, superb vocals and interesting melodies then Honest Man will be a much-loved addition to your collection of music that is personal and political.” Read the rest of the review HERE

Thorbjorn Risager & The Black Tornado – Change My Game – RUF: “…a studio album that sets down clearly the intent that Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado have once again picked up the baton of creativity and the game has changed for them building on their previous catalogue …. full of freshness as all the skills, dexterity and feel of the eight musicians are used to maximise the blues, rocking funky sound that flows through the album.” Read the rest of the review HERE

 

Check out the albums reviewed by Bluesdoodles by clicking  Recorded Music Link

 

Live at Freak Valley blues rocking With Krissy Matthews

Live at Freak Valley blues rocking With Krissy Matthews

 

Live at Freak Valley blues rocking With
Krissy Matthews

 

On first listening before the guitar warrior starts, I could sum up the album in a sentence – Caged raw live energy across the eleven tracks as Krissy is the comet of British blues taking us on a sexy and freaky ride.

The album is full of live energy as the band plays before a live audience, recorded May 27th 2016 at Freak Valley Festival, Germany.  Every track has that special live ingredient, a mix of adrenaline, raw energy and sweat, it is the real deal with no studio over dubs, and is one-hundred percent as the music was heard that day. The blues rock from the first chord to the last can be no-one but Krissy himself. The rhythm section that surrounds Krissy are high-octane musically driven pairing of drummer Max Maxwell and bassist Sam Weston.  Creating a trio that is full of power combining this intensity with subtleties, tasty licks and huge riffs from the guitar driven by Krissy himself.

Opening with Feeling For The Blues, shows that Krissy has inherited the feel for blues without experiencing the life of the early bluesmen. Written when he was fourteen it showed the direction he would take and the lyrics put down a commitment to the inheritance that the blues have to music today.  The guitar solo squeals with pain and beauty as the melodic tone of the opening number is defined. The tone and texture changes, the quality of delivery is consistently high as the songs many written before Krissy was a teenager show a maturity far beyond his years. All Night Long has a swing to its step as the guitar sings sweet and Krissy singing the lyrics with his distinctive vocals that seem to float above the music connected but never controlled by the guitar. Krissy, squeals, shouts ensuring the voice is heard loud and clear All Night Long.  Everyone who plays the blues will be influenced by BB King, many have stories to tell and Krissy is no different as the tempo slows the blues are sparkling with intent from his six-strings. The Soul Will Never Die is not a tribute it is a young thirteen-year-old reflecting back what he heard and experienced when he had front row seats in Bournemouth. The impact of meeting BB; this is blues with love straight from the heart.

Unsurprisingly, a Hendrix number is in the live set this is Freedom, which made an impact when he heard Steve Lukather play the number then found out it was a Hendrix number from Isle of Wight album. Krissy keeps the essence of the Hendrix tone but makes the number his own.

The final three live tracks are a bonus recorded at Gerd’s Juke Joint in Garmany in April 2016. The signature drum beat a cymbal crash from Max opens The Rock and then the driving bass line from Sam underpinning the energy and zing of Krissy’s live performance.  The rock is solid powerful blues track fading into Roadsick Blues about addiction to being on the road.  With keys adding a mournful, reflective air to the final track Bobbles And The Seven Phones. Written in memory of a dear friend this is a song of remembrance and the chords are sharp, gentle and considered the tone and tempo are measured. Closing out Live At Freak Valley with love, of friends, music, the guitar and above all The Blues played in Krissy’s indomitable style. This is a live album where Krissy blues demons have been unleashed and ready to swirl with dramatic effect across the valley to your stereo thanks to the record button being pressed.

Krissy Matthews – Live At Freak Valley – Proper Records

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Feeling For The Blues
  2. I’ve Been Searching
  3. All Night Long
  4. Searching The Dream For The Blues
  5. Language By Injection
  6. The Soul Will Never Die
  7. Bad Boy
  8. Freedom
  9. Hit The Rock
  10. Roadsick Blues
  11. Bobbles And The Seven Phones

More Good News Krissy is back out on the road and touring the UK – pop over and check the dates at a town near you HERE

Aaron Keylock Festivals Plus Headlines The Black Heart 4th April

Aaron Keylock Festivals Plus Headlines The Black Heart 4th April

Aaron Keylock Festivals Plus Headlines The Black Heart 4th April

AARON KEYLOCK HEADLINES THE BLACK HEART NEXT WEEK!

Aaron Keylock  supported by Jack J Hutchinson’s Boom Boom Collective and Seafoam Green 

Aaron Keylock Festivals Plus Headlines The Black Heart 4th AprilDebut album Cut Against The Grain out now
via Mascot Label Group/Provogue.

Bluesdoodles reviewed Cut Against The Grain “Aaron Keylock is a Cut Against The Grain  Definitely on to keep watching a listening where will Aaron’s music journey take us? Get Onboard now!” – read the rest HERE

 

Upcoming shows

Tues 4th April: The Black Heart, London: Headline – TICKETS
Sun 16th April: HRH Blues Festival, O2 Academy, Sheffield – TICKETS
Sun 30 July: Ramblin’ Man Fair, Mote Park Maidstone – TICKETS

“A fabulous new talent” Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2
“Aaron Keylock is on the brink of international stardom” Daily Mirror – Top Tips for 2017
If anyone can shred like Gary Moore, this young buck can” Metal Hammer
“The New UK guitar hero” Shindig
“Toe-tapping electric blues beast” Total Guitar

 

Aaron Keylock Festivals Plus Headlines The Black Heart 4th April

Eric Gales Announces 2017 UK/EU TOUR

Eric Gales Announces 2017 UK/EU TOUR

ERIC GALES
ANNOUNCES 2017 UK/EU TOUR

Weds 24 May – Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh UK TICKETS
Thurs 25 May – The Ferry, Glasgow UK TICKETS
Fri 26 May – Arlington Arts, Newbury UK TICKETS
Sat 27 May – Worthing Pier South Pavillion, Worthing UK TICKETS
Sun 28 May – Mr Kyps, Bournemouth UK TICKETS
Mon 29 May – Sage, Gateshead UK –
Weds 31 May – Robin 2, Wolverhampton UK TICKETS
Fri 2 Jun – Nell’s Jazz & Blues, London UK w/special guest Gary Hoey TICKETS
Sat 3 Jun – Grolsch Festival – Shoppingen, GERMANY – TICKETS
Weds 7 Jun – Tonelades – Valencia, SPAIN – TICKETS
Fri 9 Jun – Leganes Blues Festival South Side – Leganes, SPAIN – TICKETS
Sun 30 Jul – Ramblin’ Man Fair  UK w/ Supersonic Blues Machine TICKETS

 Bluesdoodles reviewed Middle Of The Road – No doubting that Eric Gales is back producing the best music yet. Blues guitar with attitude, lyrics with a heartfelt understanding of the myriad emotions this album lays bare for the listener to explore and understand ….. Read the rest HERE

 New album ‘Middle of the Road’ OUT NOW via Provogue/Mascot Group

Check out ‘Boogie Man’ ft Gary Clark Jr:

“One of the best, if not the best guitar player in the world” Joe Bonamassa
“He is absolutely incredible” Carlos Santana
“How Eric Gales isn’t the hugest name in rock guitar is a total mystery” Dave Navarro
“This guy could be the best player on Earth” Mark Tremonti
“Sounds like ZZ Top covering Stevie Wonder…If you’re looking for the blues album of 2017. This is going to be very hard to beat”  Total Guitar 5/5
“The injection of danger and unpredictability that the blues-rock scene desperately needs…some of his best songs yet” Guitar & Bass 8/10
“The more you listen to it the more the brilliance of Eric Gales becomes apparent” Powerplay

Eric Gales Announces 2017 UK/EU TOUR

Erja Lyytinen Talking about Stolen Hearts and Being On Tour

Erja Lyytinen Talking about Stolen Hearts and Being On Tour
photo credit Laurence Harvey

Erja Lyytinen Talking about
Stolen Hearts and Being On Tour

 

 

 

BD: Hi Erja hope you are well, thanks for taking time to speak to Bluesdoodles, lots happening new album Stolen Hearts  released 7th April and lots of touring including the UK from 9th April

EL:  Really well thank you it is great to catch up with you again Liz.

BD: Before we talk lyrics, songs and touring how is life back in Finland juggling being Queen of The Slide Guitar with being a Mother

EL: Basically lots of balancing. Right now the twins are in daycare. Touring needs to be planned just organising life as off on a mini tour of Germany & Holland. It is all a rollercoaster ride often rather manic but definitely fun. You just have to jump-in and hope it all goes smoothly, often it doesn’t and you just go with the flow, that way you minimise the stress.  Society and others have high expectations, which we are expected to obey. That we are all brilliant multi-taskers. Well, sometimes you have to concentrate on one thing and let the rest wait. The twins are used to me touring I have been doing it since they were two and half months old. February was a period of intense touring across Scandinavia with 24 shows in 27 days it was rather manic, we got through. Sometimes when I am in Finland the children can come on tour with me which is fun. I have a nanny to help and the twins love sitting in on the sound checks, playing with guitars we have really fun moments making lots of memories. I am a musician, a rock star but when I get home after a tour I am Mama again. The secret is to be versatile and I am definitely super happy. So glad I had the courage to have children, continue my musical journey one thing for certain is three years on I am a different person motherhood has definitely changed me.

BD: Stolen Hearts, your tenth album. Has a different shape to your Live In London and studio The Sky Is Crying. With eleven tracks that shimmer with blues that rock. Tell us about the thinking behind the album?

EL: Tenth album is definitely not a scary place to be. My expectations through life was that I would record lots of music. In fact, Number 10 does feel a good figure.  This one feels like me, it is honest and a way for me to open up on the album. Reflects my life since motherhood and my life over the last two and half years has changed the way I look at things. I now try not to stress, not to be perfect. By the same token, I do lots of things and want to be good at what I do. On the album, this new feeling of relaxedness comes out. I now really enjoy being on stage, I now can open up and share. The album is very personal, the lyrics are heartbreaking stories. It is the end of a period of my life when I had the feeling that everything was going to collapse, eventually, it did, it took time to get out of that dark place. Music became my analyst where I could analyse my thoughts and feelings. This process deepened my musical expressions, now I am not afraid of being vulnerable, not afraid of being weak through that knowledge I have found an inner strength.

Erja Lyytinen Talking about Stolen Hearts and Being On TourBD: You took the decision to record the album in two countries your homeland Finland and then U.K. Was it the lure of Chris Kempsey at the State of The Ark Studios?

 EL:  We recorded the backing tracks in Helsinki, some of the songs I had recorded one and half years ago and I needed to give myself more time as they didn’t sound right.  We used Sonic Pump studios in Helsinki it is new with energetic young guys running the studio. Perfect place to record the backing tracks with the band. I wanted to take the album to the next level to give something new. Not just go to my home studio for the vocals and guitar, thought it would be nice to go abroad. I love England, I sing in English, so be good to have a producer who could check out my lyrics and pronunciation. It is so easy to phrase words that should be beautiful but mean something else English is so complicated with sayings and double meanings.  I spoke to Alan Darby who is the songwriter I worked with in 24 Angels, which has a brilliant video. He suggested Chris, I checked out his CV and was blown away what an amazing history behind him having worked with so many Rock greats including The Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton and Bad Company. I contacted him and we started emailing, sent a demo from my home studio of rough over dubs. He instantly messaged back lets do it. He was so active in the 70’s & 80’s and the album was using lots of sounds from that era.

We went through studios and State Of The Ark was available it was cool a small boutique studio, with a homely atmosphere. It was an amazing experience from the first to the last track. I would recommend that everyone explores new soul mates in music it is invigorating.


BD:
  When reviewing the album, on the first listen what struck me was the range of tones and styles across the album from Heavy, brooding Rocking Chair (a new sound for Erja) through to the acoustic feel of Broken Eyes and the prog of Black Ocean. The diversity works there is a continuity in the lyrics, the emotional journey and the heartbeat of the blues ensures they all make sense.  How did you come to create such different sounds and take the decision to record them?

EL: Yes, you are right it is the power of the lyrics they give the whole album a sense of context. I had other songs left out these were the ones that worked brilliant together. The album is about sadness, heartbreak, fear of loss, frustrations. Into the personal mix there is hope, happiness lust and sex.  I cried when I listened to the whole finished album the emotions are so close to me they are personal.  I did for a moment consider dropping Broken Eyes as it is a different tone from the rest but then I realised that it fitted perfectly lyrically. The lyrics are the link but Chris Kempsey is the genius that mixed the album. The engineer that mixes the album can either kill it or make it. Chris used a mix of Pro Tools and Analogue a mix of old and new reflecting the essence of the album.  Old rock is behind the music, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix. I decided to forget about the radio, I am not pop, so like the bands of the seventies if the track is seven minutes like Black Ocean it stays that length, I wanted the long killer guitar solos. It is my music, my album and it was a joy to work with Chris. The mastering done at Air studios started by Beatles producer George Martin; working with Ray Staff was a professional joy. What a humble, lovely guy who had mastered icons including Bowie.

BD: 24 Angels, a single from the album, how do you make the decision on which track works as a standalone track? This number Co-written with Alan Darby, certainly sounds like your vocals are flirting with the mic and blues guitar that rocks?

EL: This track was the second, the first single was the title track Stolen Hearts last autumn to boost my tour last year and highlight the forthcoming album. The album was planned to be released earlier with crowdfunding campaign but for various reason it was delayed that is the way often in the music world. 24 Angels is a story worthwhile telling to people with pictures. It is multi-dimensional with lyrics that are about morality and forgiveness; about doing something to someone or someone doing something to you and the resulting suffering.

In the video, a relationship ends in a fight with hints of him dying in a car crash. It is that mix of forgiveness and regrets. Whilst writing the lyrics I was thinking of people walking the last walk on death row would you be regretting, how much you would suffer do you understand all that when walking the path.  When I write I go to the very extremes. I have now opened that box and have for the first time explained my thinking behind my songwriting. This one I co-wrote with Alan Darby, a few years back he came up with the lyrics for the chorus ‘Bring me water, make me stronger’. He also put his emotions into the song. There were only simple chords before Alan jumped in and worked on the Erja idea. He made it rock more which really works. He is a sensitive guy with a long experience in songwriting for many including Eric Clapton & Bonnie Raitt among others.

 BD: With the album taking you on new directions where are you planning to take us on the next road in Erja’s musical journey?

 EL: Blues will always be at the heart of my music. I mainly listen to blues at home. But I like to make it modern for these times. It is more acceptable to do blues differently. There is a blues revival, with European invasion into blues music.  I will always have my own style, I do not want to go back for one thing, it is impossible to get the sound nowadays. I am involved in a Jimi Hendrix tribute in May already sold 1000 seats. The show will be a celebration of fifty years since he visited Helsinki.
In music, you meet people and we all know that Rock n Roll can kill you. You have to take care of yourself so take care of myself try and eat healthy. Returning home after 31 shows in 37 days where you have no time for sports. It is important that you take it easy and do exercise take care of your heart physically and spiritually.

Now I have opened Erja’s box I have a couple of songs in the style of Stolen Hearts and have some ideas for the next album but they are my thoughts at the moment. I feel really strong about my writing new stuff at the moment.

 BD: Having toured the new album, I believe you had a February launch date in Scandinavia.  Do you have a personal favourite that really works on stage in front of an audience?

EL: I have had positive feedback in Scandinavia, where audiences can be a bit tight on the blues. I did wonder if they would like the new songs, a different Erja, but they seemed to like my new songs the edginess. So the feedback has been amazing. Personal favourite Black Ocean.

Looking forward to being back in the UK for five shows including launch party at 100 Club, London; HRH Blues and a double-header with your own Chantel McGregor. Hoping to be back to do more later on with a longer run of shows.

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

EL: Listening to Robert Randolph, his steel guitar sound is fabulous. Also, listening to John Mayer he is smooth, easy-going and Eric Johnson loving his new album EJ,

Who to cover my song What a question! It would have to be Stolen Hearts by Jimi Hendrix.

BD: Thank you for your time and looking forward to hearing the new numbers live at HRH in Sheffield.

 

ERJA LYYTINEN
APRIL 2017 UK TOUR DATES

Square & Compass, Ilminster
Sunday 9 April 2017
Box Office – 01823 480 467

The 100 Club
Record Release Party
Tuesday 11 April 2017
Venue Tel: 020 7636 0933
Book Online – WeGotTickets.com

Worthing Pier Southern Pavilion

Wednesday 12 April
Book Online from SeeTickets.com and Ents24
Venue Tel: 01903 366 017

Durham Gala Theatre, Durham
Co-headline with Chantel McGregor
Thursday 13 April 2017
Book Online: Durham Gala Theatre
Box Office: 03000 266 600


Hard Rock Hell – Blues Festival

Sheffield Academy
Saturday 15 April 2017
Box Office: 0203 287 4994

 

Erja Lyytinen Talking about Stolen Hearts and Being On Tour

Blues Shone Bright at Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival

Blues Shone Bright at Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival

Blues Shone Bright at Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival 2017

Colston Hall was buzzing to the sound of live music from the Foyer, through The Lantern and into the Main Stage. Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival has become a regular event in music lovers diaries from Bristol and beyond with its sparkling mix of Jazz & Blues.

Bluesdoodles dipped into the weekend for a Smörgåsbord of blues on offer, from Sari Schorr to Mud Morganfield and we had listening fun and the magic of live music, festival delights of food, beer and meeting and making friends.

Blues Shone Bright at Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival 2017Blues Shone Bright at Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival 2017

Thursday Night Double Header

Northsyde

Sari Schorr & The Engine Room

The Lantern shone bright as Lorna took the vocal lead for Northsyde and their distinctive blending of blues, funk twisted with the free flow of blues jam tradition weaving in the Allman Brothers and a rocky edge…………………….

No gentle warm up with Sari and her band, she hit the ground running and the tension power and sheer beauty of live music just kept coming. The set list was dominated by tracks from her critically acclaimed debut album Force Of Nature. The album title perfectly describes Sari’s voice it is a true force of nature. Read more HERE

Triple Blues Power Saturday.

Whilst we waited we were treated to Bristol based Elles Bailey in the Foyer deliver blues with power and emotion not surprisingly the applause was warm and loud after every number.

Robben ford was the first act on the main stage today, as blues touched the soul of Jazz we heard a trio on top form as Jonny Henderson’s Hammond and Evan Jenkins drumming provided the support for Robben’s vocals and glorious guitar.

No one would argue, Robben Ford was on fire this afternoon for the Bristol Jazz &
Blues Festival. This was a masterclass in blues guitar playing full of timing, emotion and the soul that makes blues blend and bend around the lyrics. Read More HERE

With a short gap, we had time to eat and chat and listen t the music flowing through the venue this is what a festival is all about what every the weather the music is the force that binds us all.

The next double helping of blues from two renowned artists Kirk Fletcher former lead guitarist of The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Followed by Mud Morganfield, bringing to Bristol the legacy of his father Mud Morganfield.

Kirk Fletcher – The set was smooth a cocktail of blues guitar with a new song included with Kirk exploring the eternal question Wish I Had The Answer. This is blues that is full of the whole palette and warmed the hall up for the second helping on the double bill Mud Morganfield………..

The blues were hollered up in every shade with lead breaks and play from all the instruments in turn as hooks for Mud’s vocals as he delivered his father’s catalogue of classics. Mud Morganfield is the legacy that keeps the legend live on stages across the world. We definitely got our Mojo Working, as we met the Seventh Son and left with the Backdoor Man. Read More HERE

Photo Galleries captured the moment:-

Northsyde – HERE
Sari Schorr – HERE
Robben Ford – HERE
Kirk Fletcher – HERE
Mud Morganfield – HERE

Blues Shone Bright at Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival 2017