Divine and Dirty talking with Kris Barras About Guitars and Albums

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


Divine and Dirty talking with Kris Barras About Guitars and Albums





Support from Mollie Marriott and her Band

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

TICKETS –  The Gig Cartel or DanPatlansky 

Manchester, Deaf Institute             Thursday 15 March           

Newcastle, The Cluny                      Friday 16 March

Leek, Foxlowe Arts Centre              Saturday 17 March SOLD OUT

Bristol, The Tunnel                          Sunday 18 March 

Sheffield, Greystones                     Tuesday 20 March SOLD OUT

London, Borderline                        Wednesday 21 March SOLD OUT     

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




 New Album Perfection Kills


Dan Patlansky Guitar and Vocals asks if Perfection Kills

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

Joe Bonamassa Playing on Dry Land In Cardiff

Joe Bonamassa Playing on Dry Land In Cardiff

Tonight, Joe Bonamassa opening his UK tour with a mix of jetlag and experiencing for the first time in 2018 playing on dry land. The Motorpoint Arena was ready and waiting and Joe B and his stupendous band delivered with fifteen deliciously tasty helpings of blues.

Joe Bonamassa did not seem jetlagged, he was pumped to deliver a night that will be etched on the musical antenna of everyone who had a seat tonight in Cardiff. Joe B was full of energy, confidence and the pure delight to be bringing his band to Cardiff once again. This was reflected in the inclusion early on in the set of new numbers which will be on the new album due out later this year.  Opening with King Bee Shakedown he hit the ground running with this rousing rockin’ and rolling number a real musical charge to make sure everyone one was sitting up in their seats revelling in the cascading riffs and licks from the Bonamassa guitar. His band around him were having fun from the horn section of the fabulous duo of Lee Thornberg and Paulie Cerra the renowned blues Saxophonist the dancing and tremendous backing duo from Australia Jade McRae & Juanita Tippins. Now into the mix and the compelling mix of drumming that is powerful and subtle, exquisite playing of the top hat as ever Anton Fig’s sticks and brushes ruled from the back. Adding to the rhythm and groove was bassist Michael Rhodes and magician on the keyboards Reese Wynans. The band that Joe surrounds himself with have been playing with him for years and tonight’s performance showed that this stability creates an innate understanding of the music and how to make Joe’s guitar and vocals buzz with vibrancy.

The set was a mix of something new, a lot of blue and something old. What had gone from the set-list and will be missed by many, despite the rising demand and popularity for gin, was that tonight Joe decided to drop Tim Curry’s Sloe Gin from the cabinet of songs.

The new tracks from the off led to some confusion as people thought I don’t know these, for me, it is always exciting to hear the music live before the studio version arrives. Just Cause You Can and Self-Inflicted Wounds are a pair of strong new Bonamassa numbers.

From his album Live at The Greek Theatre a tribute to the three Kings, his interpretations of Breaking Up Someone’s Home & I Get Evil had the crowds tapping their feet in time with the glorious blues, sharp exciting and entertaining.

The pair of numbers from Blues of Desperation worked well live. No Good Place For The Lonely with its confident driving beat and the change of the backdrop from red to deep blue and back to red added to the drama of the show. The number delivered in perfect harmony down to the matching Gibson Thunderbirds, guitar and bass creating a wonderful sound that reverberated around the arena. With a quick change of guitars How Deep This River Flows a number replete with delectable Bonamassa riffs and guitar fireworks. The long instrumental extravaganza once again making the show so much more than a guitar lead break. The keys danced through the melody and the horns a sting to the tail. Adding to the sparkling live rendition the horns and backing vocals filling out the sound in the arena.

Going back-in-time with Slow Train and Driving Towards the Daylight the arena was alive with pure musical joy. No longer could we sit as we wanted to Boogie with Stu along with Joe and his band. Closing with Led Zepplin’s How Many More Times reflecting his tour celebrating British Blues and forthcoming live album.

With the mix of instruments and the celebration of Joe B’s guitar playing that was gritty, harmonious and above all steeped in blues tones of every shade.  We wanted more, plenty of whoops, cheers and We Love You, Joe, bought the band back on stage for one final song for Cardiff tonight. Closing the night of fabulous live music with Hummingbird, a favourite number of Joe to play live and left the audience very satisfied as we stepped out of the arena with our heads full of riffs, and licks that Joe Bonamassa shared with us tonight courtesy of his dancing fingers over the six-strings.


Set List
King Bee Shakedown
Evil Mama
Just Cause You Can
Self-Inflicted Wounds
I Get Evil
No Good Place for the Lonely
How Deep This River Runs
Breaking Up Someone’s Home
Slow Train
Driving Towards the Daylight
Boogie With Stu
Last Kiss
How Many More Times



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The Divine and Dirty Kris Barras Band supply riffs aplenty

Devon born Kris Barras isn’t new to the blues-rock stage, having released his first album, Lucky 13, in 2015. This new release is a step up for Barras, however, as it is his first for the Provogue/Mascot Label Group and should see him deservedly gain a wider audience.
He is a man with an intriguing history; after all, not many blues guitarists list their former occupation as a Mixed Martial Artist who has fought in arenas across the globe. “People used to think I was crazy to be fighting in cages, risking damage to my hands,” he says. “Truth is though, I always enjoyed it and found that the fighting world offered me more opportunities than the music industry. I got to fight in front of 8000 people in Asia, I would’ve much rather have played to them instead of getting punched in the face.” No argument from me!
He reveals a broad range of influences that include Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Howlin’ Wolf and Free, but has developed these with a modern take which defies direct comparison. His new album, The Divine and Dirty, is more rock than blues, has country undertones and an 80’s metal, anthemic approach apparent in many of the tracks.

There’s an emphasis throughout on big riffs, ‘earworm’ hooks and a strong vocal with enough versatility to cover the different styles. The production could have been a little cleaner, as the very capable band do not always have the clarity or separation I would prefer. For example, the drums are sometimes very flat in the mix. I am a fan of all instruments and like to hear them as clearly as the main protagonist. There is also a fine group of backing singers whose identity I have been unable to find, so well done to you, and sorry for no credit.

The album opens with Kick Me Down. It has a Bonamassa feeling to the layered guitars; the subtle slide and keys bring a great atmosphere to the song. The a cappella opening of Hail Mary leads to a lovely picked/slide riff. The superb solo and female backing vocals add to the texture. I Don’t Owe Nobody Nothing is next. Apart from terrible grammar, this has a slow burn start and builds, via a tantalising riff, to another great sing-along section. It does get a little repetitive, however. Propane sounds like it was written to be a single and is weaker as a consequence, although the solo is inspired. Wrong Place, Wrong Time gets us back rocking with a Pat Travers sounding intro and develops into a great fast shuffle blues. The piano gives a nice colour to the verses before the solo, which blisters and then soothes in equal measure. Yet another great slide driven riff opens Lovers Or Losers. Barras shows his vocal capabilities best here, and then gives a lesson in fast, not widdly, soloing. She’s More Than Enough has a Southern Rock flavour with a pleasing piano solo punctuating the repetitive multi-tracked whoa-whoas. Stitch Me Up has brilliant echoes of a Faces type honky-tonk piano sound filled out with a great chorus and a fiery solo. Gospel-tinged ballad Hold On For Tomorrow is the first ‘quiet’ track. If Poison had released this as a follow up to Every Rose, it would have sold bucket loads. Blood On Your Hands has an opening riff, which sounds like Walter Trout playing lead for the Eagles and benefits from another strong vocal and a vibrant guitar solo. The closing track is the heavy blues of Watching Over Me. The lyrics suggest that this is a heartfelt song for his late father. Emotionally delivered both vocally and instrumentally; the ‘just enough notes’ solo is a delight.

Overall then, The Divine And Dirty is a very good album. He is an excellent guitarist and with so many hooks and bristling solos, the album has drive, intensity and passion. There is a minor downside. I can’t help but feel that this is what Bon Jovi could have become if they didn’t remake Slippery When Wet with every release. Having said that, it is still very much Barras’ album and has a definite identity behind it. I’d like to think his next album will see his personality shine through even more.


Kris Barras Band – The Divine and Dirty – Mascot Label Group

Out 23rd March 2018 – Available to Pre-Order Now

Available in the following Formats – CD, Vinyl and Digital Formats

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …


1. Kick Me Down
2. Hail Mary
3. I Don’t Owe Nobody Nothing
4. Propane
5. Wrong Place, Wrong Time
6. Lovers or Losers
7. She’s More Than Enough
8. Stitch Me Up
9. Hold On For Tomorrow
10. Blood On Your Hands
11. Watching Over Me

The Band:
Vocals Guitar / Kris Barras
Keyboards / Josiah J Manning
Bass / Elliott Blackler
Drums / Will Beavis

The Divine and Dirty Kris Barras Band supply riffs aplenty

Tour Dates

23 March – The Wharf, Tavistock
24 March – The Palladium, Bideford
27 March – The Comrades Club, Caterham
28 March – Ypres Tavern, Sittingbourne
29 March – The Iron Road, Evesham
30 March – Yardbirds Club, Grimsby
31 March – Aatma, Manchester
04 April – The Bullingdon, Oxford
05 April – The Face Bar, Reading
06 April – The Warehouse, Harrogate
07 April – The Supporter’s Club, West Hartlepool
13 April – The Musician, Leicester
14 April – HRH Blues O2 Academy, Sheffield


The Divine and Dirty Kris Barras Band supply riffs aplenty

Women in Music – International Women’s Day

This is a place for all women involved in Music who celebrate their art through Blues, Americana, Roots and Rock music the focus of Bluesdoodles. Welcome aboard and join the day women’s voices were heard louder with confidence. Email your story to liz@bluesdoodles.com and get involved with Bluesdoodles Women in Music. Today and every day.

Today is International Women’s Day and thought how male-dominated Bluesdoodles the ration is dismal not deliberately but how music is promoted perhaps or internal and unrecognized biases.

As a woman and blogger of music, it dawned on me that this needed to be rectified not for one day but every day. So to celebrate International Women’s Day 2018 a new page is being launched Women In Music.

The Women In Music Zone is a place for women involved in the music business, singers, musicians and as importantly women involved across the industry. Photographers, Sound & Lighting Engineers, Producers, Promoters, bloggers etc.

This is a place for all women involved in Music who celebrate their art through Blues, Americana, Roots and Rock music the focus of Bluesdoodles.

Welcome aboard and join the day women’s voices were heard louder with confidence.

Email your story to liz@bluesdoodles.com and get involved with Bluesdoodles Women in Music. Today and every day.


You can find the fledgeling Women in Music Page HERE

Triple Helping of Rock Joy at The Fleece Bristol

Triple Helping of Rock Joy at The Fleece Bristol

After the disappointment of the show being postponed in Pontypridd by snow and a Red weather warning, there were no dramas as we crossed the bridge heading for The Fleece in Bristol for a triple helping of Rock Joy in Bristol. Two bands joining the headliners Stone Broken to create a night of winning combinations of great guitar playing, vocals and rhythms. As The Bad Flowers, Jared James Nichols and Stone Broken took to the stage tonight the last night of the U.K. leg of the tour, it was fitting that the show was SOLD OUT!

First to warm the stage and excite the audience was The Bad Flowers the new band that has roared out of the gigging starting blocks with the firing of their album Starting Gun. With a thirty minutes slot, Tom Leighton kept the verbals brief but still took time out to thank the audience for the support as they played a stylish set.  They hit the ground running with Tom’s vocals soaring above the band on the perfect opener Hurricane. The Bad Flowers is a trio that plays with a high energy classic rock style they sound so much more than a three-piece. Tom’s voice has the scope to roam around the lyrics by superb musicianship. The rhythm section is a power base, the combination of drummer Karl Selickis and Dale Tonks on Bass locking in the drive, energy and structure of every number. The guitar swirls with lead breaks that introduce Tom on vocal he is a skilful operator. The great riff ensured that Secrets went down like a storm with the crowd. What an opening set. Closing out a faultless set that left you wanting more with the single that got airplay on Planet Rock Thunder Child and their signature number City Lights. The closing track on the album and is contemporary moody rock with great lyrics. He sings “can’t afford Champagne” – playing like this you will be able to soon, very soon.  We want more and we wanted to hear Jared James Nichols who was next on the bill what a wonderful dilemma to be in.

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Jared James Nichols trio turns heads whenever they play from the first guitar chord to the last. Jared James Nicholls rock driven by the deepest blues for me was the best guitarist on the stage tonight his playing every time takes my breath away. It was unsurprising he opened his short and what was to be a very special set with the first track, Last Chance from his latest album,  Black Magic. Jared whatever he plays shows what an incredible virtuoso guitarist he is by making those six-strings sings, with finger-picking rockin’ blues of the highest order. The Rhythm section laid down by Erik Sandin and Dennis Holm whose bass & drums respectively lay down the shape and groove that is deep and true.  Now for the evening treat how to raise the temperature as an opening act. Bring on Bernie Marsden for a spectacular jam. With his signature amp the beast was plugged in tonight Bernie was playing his 1959 Les Paul Standard. Jared and Bernie the smiling gentleman of rock, really complimented each other the two guitars were friends. Throughout the jam, they never crowded each other out or overloaded the sound with too many chords. Jamming is an art and this section of the set was a Jam Sandwich of the highest order, sweet, fruity and aurally delicious. Tasty! The slow Blues in G was perfect Bernie demonstrating that he is no stranger to the blues the foundation of early classic rock. The licks we simply gorgeous. This is the highest class of jamming you could ever hope of seeing and hearing. The shuffles from Dennis set the tone and The Fleece was turned the deepest shade of rocking blues. The set was superb as Jared took control again closing out with his signature Mississippi Queen. Another string set of the highest quality blues, Jared just gets better, what a gig this night is proving to be and we still have the headliners Stone Broken to complete the triplet of joyous live music.

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Headliners now the crowd is ecstatic. A grand entrance with flashing lights and coloured smoke announce Stone Broken is in town. With an acclaimed new album, Ain’t Always Easy they have a lot to smile about as they showcase their debut album on Spinefarm Records.  The four-piece meant this was not a night of power trios.  There is a link with the opening band as they both hail from the well of great musicians that have their roots in the Black Country. The unmistakable flash of red hair and a wide grin, Robyn Haycock is in control behind the drums. Rich Moss was on top form with his PRS guitar and vocals that have power confidence and the ability to shape the emotional texture and tone of every number they played.

Tonight was the first opportunity for many to hear live the music on the new album that Rich was happy to announce that was number 15 in the mid-week national charts #15 (all genres, not just rock) and they deserve to be higher  Interweaved through the set were old favourites and tracks from their debut album Not Your Enemy. It was certain that everyone was Stone Broken’s friend tonight tomorrow and beyond. This is rock music that clicks with your inner DNA. It is rock played from the heart with verve and is loud for a reason. The combination of two guitars of Rich and Chris Davis weaves a magic and compelling formula. The Stone Broken sound builds from deep in the heart of the rhythm section with the winning combination of Robyn and bassist Kieron Conroy. Stone Broken are four-musicians who understand the music they play and the interaction between them is superb creating warm tones, stinging riffs and licks that curl around the vocals of Rich. The set was powerful opening with Worth Fighting For. This is a song that has a personal feel as they have fought for recognition through hard work and tireless touring greeting fans with a smile taking time to get to know the people that love being part of the Stone Broken Army.

The many fans were lapping up every note happy to sing the lyrics back to Rich on I Believe. The highlights of the set that displayed why they are headliners now were numerous every number sung and played was fun to hear.  The stand out spine-tingling moments was Better the lyrics sung with such emotional connection – the refrain Stop Wishing Your Life Away reflects the trajectory of the band who have followed their dream now working hard to ensure this is their reality. From the new album, Just a Memory and I Believe worked so well live. Then the encore as Rich played acoustic taking the energy down as he sung Wait For You. His fans will wait for him and the band who joined him on the chorus. We will wait impatiently for the next time Stone Broken play Bristol once again.

Once again the gem that The Fleece delivers live music we want to hear night after night. This music venue is too valuable a resource to music beyond the boundaries of Bristol, providing the space, lights and sounds for musicians of this calibre to perform. Tonight Stone Broken conquered Bristol completely.

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Lance Lopez been there done that and back for more

Lance Lopez in conversation with Wes O’Neill with new solo album Tell The Truth, Supersonic Blues Machin and Rockin’ The Blues tour 2018. As he says, Lance Lopez been there, done that and back for more.. read what they talked about

It’s been awhile since Texan axe slinger Lance Lopez has released a solo album, but it’s certainly been worth the wait. “Tell The Truth” is full of hard rockin blues, deep southern influences and incendiary yet tasteful guitar playing. Add to this a man who certainly has stories to tell and “Tell The Truth” is a sure-fire hit. As Lance sings himself on the opening track, “Nothin’ worth having, ever came easy to me, the sweetest victories came within an inch of defeat”.

WO’N: Your solo album “Tell The Truth” has been coming for a while now, what’s been the hold up?
LL: We recorded it over a period of a few years – we started recording at the end of 2012 but then Supersonic Blues Machine happened! I headed out to Los Angeles to record the first three tracks with my good friend producer and bass guitarist, Fabrizio Grossi, and then a week later Billy Gibbons showed up and they began working on “Running Whisky” and the next thing you know Supersonic happened in our West of Flushing, South of Frisco album! When we began to record that album, we resumed recording “Tell The Truth” simultaneously to it. We’d start off with Supersonic songs, go out and have a bite come back and the work on “Tell The Truth” for the rest of the day and into the night. Sometimes those were 20 hour days that Fabrizio and I were recording for, but man it was fun! It just took time and in between the first Supersonic record and the latest “Californisoul” I recorded on my own in New York, Texas and wherever I happened to be at the time and would send things back to Fabrizio in LA where he would edit them, mix them and then I’d be back in LA where we would resume recording. It was really when we began recording the second Supersonic Blues Machine album that we actually finished “Tell The Truth” midway through.

WO’N: That must of been crazy working on two records at the same time…
LL: In fact, it was easier! Hahaha! One day Fabrizio and I would work on Supersonic, the next my record – alternating days as opposed to giant long days that were in first place. The other thing for why we did it like that then was that we didn’t have very much more to do on “Tell The Truth” ‘cos we had been working on it for a number of years. The main thing behind it taking so long was Supersonic Blues Machine…but that’s a cool problem to have had!

WO’N: Did you have a different mindset or approach for each album?
LL: Absolutely! Here’s the thing, working with Fabrizio Grossi is super cool in that he very much has a vision of how we want everything to sound, how it should be played, sung, attacked, held back…every last detail that’s super polished and just so well produced man. It was particularly in the early recording split days as I said that it was much more of a collaborative process in Supersonic yet more of an out and out producer role with my solo record. This came about in the writing, the vision and overall delivery for “Tell The Truth”, there’s much more of the Texas blues-rock influence in my record than our Supersonic Blues Machine records. You know that was what was really cool – adding a lot more of the blues harp and slide guitar real authentic sounds in “Tell The Truth” which ended up influencing our Supersonic Blues Machine “Californiasoul”. There was a definite mindset to each, but you can’t help being influenced by what you’re around.

WO’N: Tell The Truth is a very thematic album – a lot of references to redemption, luck, nights out gone wrong…
LL: It’s autobiographical and biographical at the same time. There’s Joey Sykes songwriting, ya know the lead guitar player in The Babys, on this record and really great writer and producer Serge Simic who looked at my life and wrote songs about me instead of like “Hey Lance, here’s a song I wrote about something you don’t care for, wanna put it on your album?”. It was very different having guys look at my life, real good times and real bad times, and coming to me with these songs of how they saw me or what had happened in my life so far. It’s one of the most different experiences I’ve had as a musician than before as I’ve wrote and recorded with people before but with this I had folk coming up to me and saying “‘I’ve wrote this song about you”. Just wow man, just wow…

WO’N: Did it make you feel uncomfortable at all having these guys peer into your life like that and how did you deal with that from an artistic vantage point?
LL: It was real interesting, I can tell you that! Hahaa! Songs like “Down to One Bar”, like damn, some of it was hard to hear, you know a song about my…let’s call it “my adventures in the pub”, hahaa! Like the song “The Real Deal” – Joey Sykes wrote that about me so it was kinda strange to stand there and sing that I’m the real deal! Hahaa! But, hey, that was his vision of me and real interesting to sing it from a first person perspective. It was very cool to have that experience  that people were watching my life from the outside and some of it was very good, some of it was bad, lot’s of ups and downs but it’s really cool that we were able to document all that and that’s the premise – like “Blue Moon Rising” which I co-wrote and it was very touching and a good awakening of sorts to loom back and say “Wow, you know I may of been thinking this but other people are seeing it too”. We were just being open and honest through it all, hence “Tell The Truth”.

WO’N: Now then, it wouldn’t be chat between guitar players if I didn’t ask what ladies you used on the album would it?
LL: No man, it wouldn’t be! I mainly used my Gibson guitars. My R9 Les Paul, my Pelham Blue Firebird (you can see them front and centre in the video for “Down to One Bar”) and also a sunburst Firebird which is a newer one which is my slide guitar. On “Never Came Easy” and “Cash My Check” I used a 1963 Melody Maker that belonged to Warren Haynes’s former guitar technician, Brian Farmer who passed a few years back. A good friend of his brought me his guitar in to play and it just sounded fantastic on those tracks. It was very interesting recording the different guitars on different tracks – I did also use a 1963 Telecaster on “Blue Moon Rising”, you know, just to get the old Stax Records R&B vibe going down for the rhythm tracks, that was really cool.

WO’N: I’m thinking that these guitars will be out in force for the first Provogue Rockin’ The Blues Tour which kicks off in Germany on March 9?
LL: Oh for sure man! You know what the great thing is about The Rockin’ The Blues tour is that everybody on it, we’re all dear friends. Eric Gales, Gary Hoey and young Quinn Sullivan – man we’re gonna be out on that tour having a great time and I’m just looking forward to being back out on the road with those guys. That’s one of the great things about being around other guys is the jamming, in that everybody admires each other, respects each other and are good friends.

WO’N: You guys also play in Holland with the final night of the tour being here in the UK at The Garage in London Saturday, March 17…
LL: Yes man, and it’s gonna be the same every show with this tour so when we’re up on stage jamming, people will be able to feel it, not just hear or see it. There’s no competition, there shouldn’t be in music – we’re just all friends having fun!  I’ll be sitting in with Eric Gales and we’ll play some songs from “Tell The Truth”…and all jam at the end, it’s gonna be cool and a trip for the audience.

WO’N: It’s always great chatting with you, thanks again,  to close off – with all the ups and downs in your career so far, what lessons would you pass on to the youngsters?
LL: Well, you know one of the main ones is that practice is what makes you good. Spending time with your instrument and having the dedication to. It’s like when Eric Gales and I were young, that’s all we did was play the guitar and that even happens today when we get together. It’s all we did as kids, we’d sit and play, but then there’s the bad stuff which you need to avoid. There’s the pitfalls of the substances and the booze – you know you don’t need to take anything to play or sound a certain way…I know that we felt like we did when we were younger and it didn’t do a thing but cause us lots of pain and suffering. If you can avoid trying that myth, steer clear of that and practice well, you may get somewhere and I hope you do.

“Tell The Truth” is out now via Mascot Label Group

Ticket link for Rockin’ The Blues with Eric Gales, Quinn Sullivan, Gary Hoey and special guest Lance Lopez at The Garage London UK March 17


Lance Lopez been there, done that and back for more



Lance Lopez been there, done that and back for more

Made My Peace With You New Album from Paul Dunbar

Made My Peace With You New Album from Paul Dunbar

Made My Peace With You New Album from Paul Dunbar & The Black Winter Band arriving was a reason to be excited at Bluesdoodles HQ, having first heard the gloriously distinctive vocals of Paul Dunbar performing with his previous band The Midnight Ramble at Blues on The Farm 2014. Now back as Paul Dunbar & The Black Winter Band, yes, new band, new album but same instantly recognisable vocals. Opening Made My Peace with Losing Game dripping in soulful and melodic music that pours out of the speaker. The timing and shaping of the chords are sublime when your ears are not being entertained by Dunbar’s vocals. What makes the vocals stand out as you listen to the album? There is a myriad of reasons the power, emotion and the integrity in the way the lyrics are delivered always with clarity and sensitivity to the bands playing. Then there is the grittiness and rawer edge that ensure the album is not just saccharin but full of sharp spiciness as well.

The title track opens with a crescendo of sound from the band. You know what is to come as the lyrics are shaped and given vocal heat by Dunbar. Who does he sound like? What are the bands influences? Dunbar sounds like himself a skilful mix of crooners meets bluesman via soul of Motown. The band The Black Winter is the perfect vehicle of delightful tones and textures that joins the dots with skilful interplay before Paul Dunbar’s voice rejoins the musical jamboree throughout the album.
Joining Paul on vocals and guitars are the Black Winter sound of Liam Atkinson on guitars, bassist Chris Pearce and, completing the album rhythm, drummer Phil Stevens. The band members also add voices as backing vocals they are the complete package.
Ten Tracks, nine originals and one from his previous incarnation, The Midnight Ramble, Ballad of Four Eyes. His voice screeches in tune capturing Joe Cocker vibes and bluesmen and ballads of the past.
Three tracks in and you are emotionally engaged. Inner Springsteen an acknowledged influence is captured in the rockier Friends. The tone is huskier, the guitar tone has an edge and the rhythm deep as it grows hewn from the original riff. This is an example of Dunbar’s raw talent, playing music with friends. Then roots of air, earth, sky and Raging Sea with rootsy tones rooted in the music of folks. This number is darker, deeper, moodier capturing the heart of musicians that keep giving music that clicks onto your musical DNA radar.
Closing out the album of ten tracks with Who’s Gonna Love You; the title asks a question and the listeners of music full of rocky soul and lovers of music are gonna love your sound. As you mix and meld rocking, the soulful rootsy mayhem of delights. Melodies hit the harmonies creating an energy that leaves you wanting more.

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

  1. The Losing Game
  2. Made My Peace With You
  3. Ballad of Four Eyes
  4. Barely Holding On
  5. Set Free To Emotion
  6. Friends
  7. Earth Sky Or The Raging Sea
  8. Contort Yourself
  9. Hands Down
  10. Who’s Gunna Love You

Before booking your ticket listen to the fabulous single from the album Barely Holding On

Made My Peace With You New Album from Paul Dunbar

Rockin The Blues From Mascot Label Group

Rockin The Blues From Mascot Label Group

Rockin The Blues From Mascot Label Group

The album does exactly what it says in the title. Nothing cryptic in the packaging Mascot Label Group have on this compilation album pulled together a selection of fine purveyors of blues that rocks.

Fourteen tracks that Wow you from the first note to the last. This is a sampler that you want to return to. Each track is a perfect reason to buy the complete album to add to your rocking blues treasures. The album is a rich seam hewed out of the vaults at Mascot Label Group. The names are a mix of established stars and up and coming players and then the addition of special guests bring their own brilliance to the music.

Opening with Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Diamonds and Gold the quality if the album is set down. Bluesdoodles has reviewed all the albums that the songs have been selected from. We then hear from young guitar slinger who is stepping on the Midnight Highway, Quinn Sullivan delivers traditional with a youthful verve a sound that is full of potential as it grows and develops. Whereas, Eric Gales is now back in the Middle of The Road and reacquainting his fans with his blues that are deep with soulful rhythm. Been So Long with its curling guitar and lyrics of regrets this is a blues number full of feeling as experiences are considered.

We’re All In This Together is a celebration of guitar that hits the sweet spot as Joe Bonamassa joins Walter Trout. A classy number that drives the rhythm and the vocals hit home as Joe and Walter trade words. This is a classic. Now for a shot of feminine power and mystery as Beth Hart sings Love is A Lie. The number drags you across the floor and fills your belly with fire. Beth’s voice is sultry, inviting and full of majesty with its dark undercurrents.

Dust & Bones is the title selected to highlight Gary Hoey. There is nothing dusty and the guitar and vocals put layers of delicious musical flesh on the bones of the rocking rhythm captured by the band. You are so fortunate if this is the first introduction to Lance Lopez. Mr Lucky is full of strength. To play and sing like this has nothing to do with luck. It is about talent, practice and honing your skills so that I sounds like playing with this verve is as easy as one –two –three… Lopez achieves that and more on this excellent track.

Now People Say – blues is all the same. Rock just spices it up a bit. How wrong are they? Now we have SIMO from Rise & Shine album. This is exceptional music, experimental exciting and taking us in a new direction that you definitely want to dip your musical ears in. How do you follow that! Bring it down sooth the soul with Wade Waist Deep from Thomas Wynn And The Believers. Olivia, Thomas’s sister adds a purity shaping the harmonies giving the compilation another deep dimension. This is the title track from the album with hypnotic drums and guitar that weeps full of tonal texture a country is woven into rockin blues.

Now we turn the corner and take a different west coast sun-soaked approach L.O.V.E. from Californisoul makes you smile as blues goes supersonic. This is the track from the album that captures the essence of the Supersonic Blues Machine. Now Stronger Together from Jonny Lang’s Signs album signals that we are back on the main highway of guitar/vocal led Rockin Blues. The album is taking us up the highways and byways of modern Blues/Rock. May not always be for the purist but that sounds for me have a freshness and the artists have an inner zeal to play music that they connect to.

With Sonny Landreth Live at Lafayette, we leave the studio and capture Blues Attack in a club. Zydeco pours from the speakers and your feet immediately tap you want to get up clap your hands and dance with Landreth. Blues-tinged with Louisiana spice and it is definitely attacking your senses for all the right reasons. Now the sound deepens with a track from Black Stone Cherry –  Black to Blue EP where they explore six covers one of which is Champagne & Reefer. The band are exploring their roots and they stomp out this classic from Muddy Waters. This is a faster louder more raucous version that gets you loving the classics again.

The closing number, the title track of Ronnie Baker Brooks latest album brings in another dimension as he captures Memphis influenced stinging blues guitar with an ultra-modern hip-hop from guest Al Kapone. Proving that Rockin’ The Blues is not trapped in heritage, theme park mode as you listen to this and the other thirteen tracks this is contemporary music. Lyrics with something to say about today. This is music that moves you.

Yet, the album does have a place in my collection. Having listened to the album not once or twice but often, it has become what do I fancy listening too? I know Rockin’ The Blues will entertain, provide variation and above all every number is a winner in its own right. We have title tracks, favourite tracks, those moments that capture the essence of a guitarist or singer moved and shaped by the blues.

Sometimes, compilation albums let you own. They do not have a sense of purpose. Rockin’ The Blues purpose is simple. A collection of tracks that mixes the breadth and depth of blues that rocks.

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Various – Rockin The Blues – Mascot Label Group

Track Listing

  1. Diamonds & Gold – Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Lay It On Down)
  2. Midnight Highway – Quinn Sullivan (Midnight Highway)
  3. Been So Long – Eric Gales (Middle of The Road)
  4. We’re All In This Together – Walter Trout (Feat. Joe Bonamassa) (We’re All In This Together)
  5. Love Is A Lie – Beth Hart (Fire on the Floor)
  6. Dust & Bones – Gary Hoey  (Dust & Bones)
  7. Mr Lucky – Lance Lopez (Tell The Truth)
  8. People Say – SIMO (Rise & Shine)
  9. Wade Waist Deep – Thomas Wynn And The Believers  (Wade Waist Deep)
  10. L.O.V.E. – Supersonic Blues Machine (Californisoul)
  11. Stranger Together- Jonny Lang (Signs)
  12. Blues Attack (Live) – Sonny Landreth (Live in Lafayette)
  13. Champagne & Reefer – Black Stone Cherry (Black To Blue)
  14. Times Have Changed – Ronnie Baker Brooks (Feat. Al Kapone) (Times Have Changed)

The Mascot Label Group is home to some of the worlds’ finest modern Blues artists and the Label are thrilled to announce their first Rockin’ The Blues 2018 Tour featuring the exceptional talents of Eric Gales, Quinn Sullivan and Gary Hoey for a triple guitar hero extravaganza.

The tour will be calling through Germany, The Netherlands and the UK and will see each artist headline on the revolving line up with them all coming together for a final jam. It will also give the audience the chance to get up close and personal to meet the artists, to get their personal items signed, and also take part in a guitar clinic where fans will get the opportunity to ask the artists for tips, techniques and what makes them tick.





The Devon Allman Project UK Tour September 2018

The Devon Allman Project UK Tour September 2018

The Devon Allman Project with special guest Duanne Betts, will tour the UK in September 2018.

All tickets, priced £20.00, go on sale at 9am on Monday 26th February from www.thegigcartel.com and 08444 780 898.

On August 12, 2017 after spending much of the summer off the road, Devon Allman, former leader of Royal Southern Brotherhood and Devon Allman’s Honeytribe, reignited his career with an appearance at an all-star tribute to his father Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks at Peachfest (an Allman Bros. curated festival in the Northeast U.S.). Chuck LeavellJaimoeDuane BettsMarc QuinonesPeter LevinOteil BurbridgeDave Schools and many others participated in the special tribute.


Check out Devon Allman’s Honeytribe performing Midnight Rider at Wanee HERE.

The Devon Allman Project with special guest Duane Betts (son of Dickey – former member of Dawes and Great Southern) first kicked off their 2018 World Tour with a very special show at the Fillmore in San Francisco on December 8, 2017. The Fillmore show featured guest appearances by Luther and Cody Dickinson (North Mississippi All-Stars), Samantha FishJimmy Hall (Wet Willie, Jeff Beck, Hank Williams Jr.), Bobby Whitlock(Derek & The Dominos, Dr. John, Rolling Stones) and long-time Gregg Allman keyboardist, Peter Levin, will act as the musical director.


The Devon Allman Project UK Tour September 2018


On the forthcoming UK tour, The Devon Allman Project welcomes special guest Duane Betts. Each night will feature a set of Duane’s originals, Devon Allman originals, Royal Southern Brotherhood and Honeytribe songs along with an encore set including Allman Brothers songs with DevonDuane and special guests participating.

On September 7, 2017, ahead of kicking off the 2018 World Tour, Devon participated in an event at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles with multiple Grammy-winning producer, Don WasScott Sharrard (Gregg’s Musical Director) and Gregg’s long-time manager, Michael Lehman.

Just two days later, on September 9, Devon accepted the key to the city of Macon at the historic Big House Museum on his father’s behalf. The Mayor proclaimed December 8th Gregg Allman Day.

Not even a week later, there was yet another event and performance at the Americana Music Fest on September 15 with Buddy MillerJoan OsbornePony Bradshaw, and John Paul White (Civil Wars).

His remarkable resume spans almost two decades, from his post-millennial breakout with Honeytribe, and the widely revered supergroup Royal Southern BrotherhoodDevon has also had occasion to jam with the greats such as Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Mr. Les PaulKeith UrbanGov’t Mule and Lynyrd Skynyrd just to name a few.

Through his run of successful solo albums, Turquoise was highly regarded by USA Today: “Turquoise is reflective and soulful”; while Ride or Die hit #1 on the Billboard Blues Charts.
Devon is also a contributing writer to Guitar Player Magazine as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the National Blues Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.

San Francisco Sonic reports on the Devon Allman Project live at the Fillmore

Billboard Magazine – Devon Allman on the legacy of his father, Gregg Allman


24 HOUR BOX OFFICE: 08444 780 898
BOOK ONLINE: www.thegigcartel.com

The Fleece, Bristol – Sunday 2nd September 2018
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Robin 2, Bilston – Monday 3rd September 2018
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Islington Assembly Hall, London – Tuesday 4th September 2018
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Riverside, Newcastle – Thursday 6th September 2018
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Brundell Social Club, Leeds – Friday 7th September 2018
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Academy 3, Manchester – Saturday 8th September 2018
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The Devon Allman Project UK Tour September 2018