In Conversation As the Starting Gun Fires Up For Bad Flowers

In Conversation As the Starting Gun Fires Up For Bad Flowers

Liz chatting with Tom Leighton Lead Vocalist and Guitarist for The Bad Flowers. Good evening Tom, thank you for taking time out to chat to Bluesdoodles. The Bad Flowers will be a new band to many readers of Bluesdoodles. So this is the perfect chance to talk about debut album and part of a tour we are all excited about.  With The Bad Flowers as special guests for a night of exciting music with Jared James Nichols & Stone Broken.

 

 

As a Midlands based hard rock band, what were your first musical influences growing up in Cannock?

Thin Lizzie was the first band me and Dale the bass player latched on to so we have that common ground. Then there was Black Sabbath and stuff like that in the Midlands. Dale is a huge Gezzer Butler fan. So all bands of that ilk really. The first band I went to see live with my Dad was Wishbone Ash. So it is all Classic rock that influences me. You have quite a heritage of classic from coming from that area?  Yes, we have Glenn Hughes, Galley Brothers they were obviously Trapeze to start with, Dale was lucky enough to have a jam with Mel Galley which was pretty cool. There are some great bands come out of the area, the likes of Slade, Noddy Holder is one of my favourite singers; Robert Plant is from Wolverhampton so it is a good area from Heritage for sureIt is not just about Heritage though it is about moving music on keeping it modern and fresh. It is definitely about tipping your cap to that but doing your own thing as well trying to keep that flame going. There are a bunch of bands coming out at the minute there is Stone Broken, Broken Witt Rebels, ourselves, and there is Piston from Cannock. Not heard of Piston! Piston, yea they are good guys man, playing similar sort of thing, yes they’re a bunch of great bands coming out of the Midlands at the minute doing lots of good things so all good.

In Conversation As the Starting Gun Fires Up For Bad FlowersThe opening track of Starting Gun, Thunder Child has been released as a single which is catching the ear of reviewers for all the right reasons. How did you decide on this number to unleash the power of The Bad Flowers album for radio play etc?

It was one of the later songs that we wrote for the album. When we played the riff for the first time, we came up with the riff it was like yea this is kinda us it was fast paced, quite a heavy riff shows us all off. The bass line is great, and the drumming great in it. It is fast paced and catching the ear let’s go with this one. We have similar songs on the album but because it was last it was so fresh and no one had heard it ever. We hadn’t played it so let’s put it out it is totally new. So was the album mainly material you have played live or mainly new material? Majority of it is fresh, majority brand new. City Lights was actually on our last EP; it has been one of the most popular songs when we play live. We have noticed recently that when we play it people starting to sing back the words at the beginning it is a strange feeling to have but good feeling but it is strange. We felt that song still had some legs so we put it on the album the rest we have written in the last year so all pretty new. Tom, are you the songwriter?  Yea all the lyrics and everything. We come up with the riffs altogether.

How do you define the music of The Bad Flowers so that you stand out from the plethora of trios playing rock?

Well, the one word we get a lot is ‘Thunderous’ which is a good word to describe us especially live we’ve always gone out as a three-piece but make it sound like there are more than the three of us. Thunderous Rock n’ roll – I like that description. I think it gets us down to a T really.  But, the album shows off a little bit a softer side to it at times. Trying to be a bit diverse. Yes, there is a really nice acoustic track included.  Yes, it is I Hope   So will you be including the softer side into your live set? In the live set, it is all pretty heavy. From the album, Lets Misbehave that starts softer and builds which we have put into our last two live shows. It went down really, really well so may keep that in for the New Year when we go on tour, and just depends on how long a set we get as it is one of the longer songs. It is one of my favourite songs on the album to be fair.

I didn’t pick up thunderous on the first couple of listens. I felt the Album is full of volcanic rocking energy, with the artwork on the cover of Starting Gun is eye-catching reflecting bands and album name how did you arrive at this image and album name for your debut?

The name is actually a lyric from Thunder Child – it is like The Thunder Clap is my Starting Gun. When we were thinking of a name for the album Starting Gun clicked in my head. It is our first album we are making the statement we want to go in with a bang really. So we came to the conclusion it would be a good name for the album.  Then the artwork was a collaboration between myself and our friend Shaun, who is a singer in a band Liberty Lies and he did the design work for us and we are really happy. Yes, great artwork. Love seeing artwork relevant to the album but not a picture of the band. We have always been a fan of artwork and things. Our previous EP had like a Lion, Shark and a Phoenix on it because each of us has one of these tattooed on us somewhere, so we put it all together and I drew that myself.  This time round got Shaun to do the artwork as he is very talented. Yes, we are really happy with it. We actually got the full CD’s today and they look amazing. It is the vinyl I am looking forward to getting my hands on the most I can’t wait.

Starting Gun, Engineered at Vigo Studios in Birmingham then the music travelled to Hamburg, Germany for Mastering? How and why did you choose this combination?

We spoke to the guy online. He noticed us through the power of Social Media, perhaps Instagram, that we were recording and he sort of pitched himself to us. We sent him a track to test out how it sounded and it came back and sounded really good. It fitted into our budget and we loved the way he worked so it was great. So that was how it came back. So social media chose the path. We spent some time in Germany last year but it was just a coincidence really, it came about at the right time and worked out really well. It has got a lovely sound the album. We tried to keep the sound as analogue as we could and mix it like we were playing live when we were recording trying to capture the energy a bit. We don’t even use a click track, we just go in and play it. Yes, it has got that clean has a natural feel.  Yes, it is the human element we don’t like recording like a machine, we don’t even use a click track. We just go in and play so some of it might speed up a little bit or slow down a little bit but we just like to play how we play live capturing the energy that is how we have always done it and works really well for us as well.   It would take us longer to record to a click track, to be honest with you (laughing). For those who want to know what is a Click Track? It is like a metronome. It is a constant perfect timing that you play along to, but we play by feel.

As the Guitarist and vocalist do you have a favourite track?  Yes, as I said Let’s Misbehave. What made this track the favourite?  Yes pretty much. I was going through a strange point in my life when we did that and it kind reflects that a little bit. We had the music for quite a long time before the lyrics. The lyrics for that I went into the studio and I had very little idea and then recorded it in an evening. It was just one of those moments, you listen back and go that’s the one! So it was done in two or three takes that song was done lyrically. So in an evening you started you had no idea and it has become one of your favourites?  I did have an inkling, a few lines but nothing set in stone.  The chorus which was set in stone it was the verses that took the time.  But we sat down and the Producer Adam really helped me with them in phrasing and things like that, we listened back and did it in an evening. It was one of those great moments that you can only get writing music.

The rhythm section of Dale on Bass & Karl on Drums is a powerhouse how do the three of you work together ensuring the sound is coherent and works so well with your vocals and guitar so that the melodic flow is never lost against that powerhouse?

It is a kinda unconscious thing really. Me and Dale have been playing together since we were about 16/17. So we have only really been in bands playing together and the majority has been as a three-piece. When Karl joined about three and half years ago now, we had to look for the right person to fit in with Dale and myself. We have been playing together for so long it isn’t easy.  As soon as he started playing with us it was like we had been playing together months not minutes. It is something that I have always said. When we are playing together it is like we are all on the same wavelength. Dale & Karl are really good at locking in together. If something is not right Dale or Karl will shout out straight away. We won’t sit on things we are always upfront and honest with each other, if things have to be changed then that is what happens. It works well when we are in the studio/ rehearsing. Hard to explain it just clicks.

The Bad Flowers are out on Tour in March with fellow Midlands’s band Stone Broken and American Jared James Nichols. Which tracks from the album and why will be played live and loud.

We are quite good friends with Jared we toured with him November 2016 and we have stayed in touch ever since.  When he came over last summer for festivals we hung out with him, so it is going to be a tour with all of our friends. It is I think quite a good line-up. Everything that is on the album is or has been on the live set recently. Hopefully get Let’s Misbehave on there because I love that track, Who Needs A Soul, Thunder Child, Hurricane and I Don’t Believe It, which is kinda treading new ground for us.  It is quite a fast paced riffy track with lots of parts to it. When we first started playing it live we struggled then it clicked and is now one of our favourites. City Lights different live to what is on the album and has been the losing number but may shake it up on this tour.  Going to be fun, lots of new venues and people to play to live and loud lots of foot stomping.

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

Drums: John Bonham
Bass: John Entwistle
Guitar: Daniel Sproul (Rose Hill Drive one of the reasons why we got together so have to have their guitarist who is phenomenal)
Vocals: Robert Plant

 

In Conversation As the Starting Gun Fires Up For Bad Flowers

 

BAND MEMBERS

Vocals & Guitar: Tom Leighton

Bass: Dale Tonks

Drums: Karl Selickis

 

 

Bad Flowers on Tour 2018

Read More about the tour and links to tickets HERE

 

In Conversation As the Starting Gun Fires Up For Bad Flowers

Black Rain falling on Mick Simpson Delivering A Blues Album

Black Rain falling on Mick Simpson Delivering A Blues AlbumRotherham born Mick Simpson has an impressive record of playing with the likes of Elkie Brooks, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings and the late, great Gary Moore. This is his 4th solo album and it ably showcases a variety of styles by this talented musician. He says his style has been influenced by BB King, Peter Green, Jeff Beck, Derek Trucks, Django Reinhardt and Robert Johnson. I’m not sure I could pick out all of these on the album but he is an accomplished guitarist. He has a pleasant tenor voice that you think you recognise, before realising that it is unique. Occasionally, I felt he was stretched to just too high a register, but overall, the singing is good. The album kicks off with the title track, Black Rain, a soft country rock, semi-acoustic tune, with a catchy chorus. It is a song of “bad karma raining down on me “with a nice bit of fiddle playing to complement the guitar and voice. We move on to Destination Blues, a boogie-woogie number with piano and horns – this would get anyone up and dancing! Don’t cry is a slow 12 bar blues in which Mick sings “Baby don’t cry, let me help you make it through” The guitar solo would certainly do it for me. Last train home is a song for all those who have been away for a little too long and are finally on that last train and nearly home.

There is some great slide guitar to ease the traveller on their way. The next track, Promised the Earth is a great song in the style of Gary Moore. It tells a tale of heartbreak, you promised the earth but never delivered. IT all works, with the guitar echoing the sentiment in the words. On River of Life, Mick gives centre stage to the Italian singer, Eva Carboni. He provides a gentle strummed background to her great vocals. The gentler mood continues in Sweet Lorraine, a slow blues with horns and strings in the backing. Another tale of heartbreak and lost opportunity with another great guitar solo. Then things get lively – To Hell and Back a fast rocking track with driving guitar but I felt that Mick’s voice lacks the grit that the track really needs.

A different take on the usual blues themes of my woman left me, my home is being repossessed and I have to pawn my stuff, Top of the World tells us that despite all these things, he stills feels On Top of The World. Some interesting lyrics in this slow blues lament with a positive twist. The final track is When the Sun goes down. Call me an old softie, but I am a sucker for this type of soft guitar-based rock song. I really liked this one! It is another one with a solo that reminded me of Gary Moore and is a song of hope for the future. “We can make it work, now that winter’s gone”. Just what is needed on a cold January day

 

Mick Simpson – Black Rain – Mad Ears Productions

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

 

  1. Sweet Lorraine
  2. Destination Blues
  3. River of Life (Feat. Eva Carboni)
  4. Black Rain
  5. To Hell And Back
  6. Last Train Home
  7. Don’t Cry
  8. Top Of The World
  9. When The Sun Goes Down
  10. Gravy Train
  11. Promised The Earth

 

Black Rain falling on Mick Simpson Delivering A Blues Album

The Mid Wales Rhythm and Blues Club Diary Dates

The Mid Wales Rhythm and Blues Club Diary Dates

The Mid Wales Rhythm and Blues Club Diary Dates

The Mid Wales Rhythm & Blues Club supporting live rhythm & blues in Mid Wales. A monthly Blues club promoting the best of contemporary blues, from traditionally acoustic to mashed up nu-blues and everything between. It is a live club with flair and atmosphere.

The Mid Wales R&B Club was started by Chris and Cath Rogers in 2014 and started in pubs around Powys’ but soon moved to Rhayader in 2015 at CARAD until the end of 2016 and in 2017 The MUSE Brecon.
The Mid Wales R&B Club is currently run by a small but perfectly formed husband and wife team. Chris started the club with Cath and new team member Angus Kings as a way to bring together people as passionate about Blues as they were Since then, the club has grown increasingly in size and popularity, with the monthly gigs selling out and Blues artists from far and wide wanting to play.

THE MUSE

The Muse at Brecon, a new arts and community venue based at the Old Museum in Brecon Town Centre.

Built in 1837 as a Congregationalist Chapel, the building later became the town museum. Now privately owned, we want it to be used again to inspire, entertain, educate and amuse.

The Mid Wales Rhythm and Blues Club Diary Dates

Feb 16th Beki Brindle from The USA at The Muse Brecon, Tickets £10. Doors open at 7.30 and music starts at 8.00 Licensed Bar. Limited capacity.

Beki Brindle – Guitars (lead and rhythm) and Vocals (lead and harmonies)
New York Blues Hall of Fame 2014 Inductee, Beki Brindle was discovered at Indiana University by Rick Danko and Richard Manuel of “The Band,” while she was Blues Legend James “Yank” Rachell’s lead guitarist. A consummate player at an early age, Beki toured repeatedly with Jerry Lee Lewis, as his guitarist. A native of Indiana, she spent time living in Ireland where she shared the stage with Hot House Flowers, The Waterboys, members of U2 and Thin Lizzy, The Pogues and Francie Conway, as well as recording & touring with blues artists such as Carey Bell, Johnny Mars, Joe Louis Walker, Mary Stokes Band, Tampa Red, Fenton Robinson and more. She was also commissioned by Bono of U2 to create and run a blues workshop on Irish National Television.

Although Beki is a renowned blues guitarist and singer, with a style that is a mix of classic and original blues, peppered with sounds from Chicago and The Delta, she was also the guitarist for the Warner/Reprise band Grace Pool, as well as releasing several albums featuring other guitar stylings.

 

Upcoming Dates at The Muse Brecon

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeMarch 2nd Elles Bailey AT The Muse Brecon, Tickets £10.

Elles Bailey has a talent for crafting and seamlessly weaving rootsy blues, country, and soulful rock, with a contemporary edge. What’s more fate has blessed her with a ‘smoky vocal’ style that perfectly fits her music, after a stint in hospital as a child changed her voice forever.

Reviewers have been wowed by Elles’ debut album Wildfire(which charted at no.2 in the iTunes Blues Charts) with Maverick Magazine gave ‘Wildfire’ top marks (5/5) calling every song ‘Fresh & Original’ And Blues In Britain reminding us that ‘It’s a fact that very few make it to the big stage but Elles Bailey has the necessary talent, the drive, and now the product.’
Bluesdoodles review of her scorching Debut album Wildfire can be found HERE

 

April 6th Mat Walklate & Paolo Fuschi AT The Muse Brecon, Tickets £10.

Mat Walklate-Harmonica & Vocals
Paolo Fuschi-Guitar & Vocals
Mat and Paolo play a diverse, dynamic live set illustrating all shades of Blues and allowing each other’s instrumental, vocal and improvisational qualities to shine. Each performance is rock-solid, yet full of inspiration and spontaneity.
Mat and Paolo are an “Electric Blues Duo” as they use old tube amplifiers creating a rich tone that brings the listeners back to the very early days of the 1950’s Chicago Blues. Think of Muddy Waters plugging in his red Telecaster for the first time into an old tube amplifier and Little Walter blowing his harmonica through an old Fender Champ amplifier. The result is a magical performance that stands out for its intensity and energy. Although there are two people on stage, they sound like a 10 piece Blues band.
Living in Manchester and strongly influenced by its Afro-Caribbean community, Mat and Paolo also pay homage to Ska, blending the uplifting rhythms of this genre with the spirit and sentiment of the Blues.
Walklate and Fuschi have an extensive repertoire that covers over two hours of music.

Check-in for updates on Mid Wales Rhythm & Blues Facebook Page 

 

The Mid Wales Rhythm and Blues Club Diary Dates

Melodic Rock Stalwarts HEAT Score Again going Into The Great Unknown

Melodic Rock Stalwarts HEAT Score Again going Into The Great Unknown

 “I thought this was a blues site” I hear you cry… yes it is, but without the blues, there would be no rock music & no apologies for covering the latest album by H.E.A.T. – Into The Great Unknown

Although far from blues, it does have references aplenty with some interesting chord structures not dissimilar to some of Gary Moore’s blues work.

It is a very good album for those who like the AOR/Melodic genre – think Joe Lynn Turner, Europe & latter-day Whitesnake & you’ll be on target.

The line up of Guitar: Sky Davis, Bass: Jimmy Jay, Keyboards: Jona Tee, Drums & Percussion: Crash, Vocals: Erik Grönwall make a damn good noise &, in a crowded Scandi-Rock scene, they are definitely in the vanguard. The vocals of Erik Gronwall are particularly strong reminding me of the aforementioned JLT but stronger & with more light & shade… sorry, Joe!

The opening track – full of “whoa, whoa, whoas” – goes by the unlikely title of Bastard of Society! Ludicrously catchy & well structured this (like We Rule with it’s lighter waving potential) has to be have been designed for full-on audience participation.

“Things ain’t pretty, down in Shit City” is the main theme of another truly melodic & well-executed song despite the strange title.

Blind Leads the Blind is the ‘heaviest’ of the bunch but still retains the melodic verse/chorus structure typical of the whole album.

Bowing out with We Rule – another anthemic riff, woven around by keyboards, finishes as we started with another catchy song (Justin Hawkins should listen to this one…). A damn good album for any rock fan.

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing:

  1. Bastard Of Society
  2. Redefined
  3. Shit City
  4. Time On Our Side
  5. Best Of The Broken
  6. Eye Of The Storm
  7. Blind Leads The Blind
  8. We Rule
  9. Do You Want It?
  10. Into The Great Unknown

 

 

Melodic Rock Stalwarts HEAT Score Again going Into The Great Unknown

Ruby Tiger Creating Bluesy Vistas on Her EP

Ruby Tiger Creating Vistas on Her EPRuby Tiger Creating Bluesy Vistas on Her EP

Olivia Stevens (aka Ruby Tiger) is a British blues & soul singer that deserves to be heard – and Vistas provides the perfect opportunity.

The five tracks that make up this debut EP go beyond the realms of a standard 12 bar blues and take in elements of soul, jazz and more. But make no mistake, these guys certainly know how to play the blues when it’s called for. ‘Big feeling blues’ is a great example of that. It’s a real gem of a track which they went all the way back to 1928 for. Originally recorded by Ma Rainey, It features a stompin’ groove, tasteful harmonica and guitar solos and best of all – a vocal duet between Ruby and guitarist ‘King Rollo’. Doesn’t get much better than that! Or does it? Well , there’s also a fine version of ‘damn your eyes’. While there is certainly no shortage of Etta James covers out there, not many actually do justice to the great lady. Aside from Beth Hart and Warren Haynes, I can’t think of many – if any- that have done as good a job as Ruby has here. She really sings it like she means it, pouring her heart and soul into every word. The band deserve a lot of credit for this arrangement too. There’s bass, drums, guitar, keys and sax all audible amongst the purrs of their big cat band leader – but there’s never any danger of them treading on each other’s toes (or paws).

As well as the two covers there are a few original recordings on offer too. ‘Shattered not broken’ is a fun-time boogie blues track that sees Ruby Channel her inner Susan Tedeschi.

‘Me & my tears’ demonstrates another side to the band altogether – Close your eyes and you can imagine yourself in a smoky Parisienne jazz club. This self-penned number is full of slick changes and seriously smooth sax playing.

As you can probably tell, the EP offers great variety and for the most part, manages to flow quite nicely. The only anomaly is opening track ‘best friend’. Comprising of just bass and a slow arpeggiated guitar part sitting under the brooding vocal lines, this stripped back track is quite a contrast to what lies ahead. It’s by no means bad but doesn’t quite sit comfortably with the rest of the songs on offer.

Sussex based Ruby Tiger is undoubtedly the star of the show, but the real triumph here is the sum of all parts. The band is tight, inventive and full of energy. When a solo is played – Whatever the instrument – it’s always played with the song in mind.

Despite the slight disconnect between the opening track and the rest of the EP, there is a distinct, memorable sound on offer here. A welcome sound on the British blues scene.

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track List:

  1. Best Friend
  2. Big Feeling Blues
  3. Damn Your Eyes
  4. Me & My Tears
  5. Shattered Not Broken

 

Ruby Tiger Creating Vistas on Her EP

 

Laurence Jones speaks the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Laurence Jones speaks the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truthLaurence Jones speaks the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

4 albums in, what do you do next? You look for something new and fresh, dig deep into your heart and see what comes out, to see what other sides there are to you. This is what Laurence Jones has done with his new album “The Truth”. Laurence continues to make a name for himself on the blues-rock circuit in the UK and Europe and his new album with its commercial feel but rocky edge will no doubt win him new fans further afield. Laurence took a few moments out from rehearsals and over a drink at an after-show party to chat as we were seeking honest answers…

 

“The Truth” is a few steps down a different path than your previous albums in its sound and arrangements…

Well, and between us, I want to be the next Justin Bieber, he’s my hero! Hahaha! But seriously, it is a crossover album for me in terms of the writing and production for sure. You know, all of my real heroes like John Mayer and Eric Clapton have stepped into different territory before and not just relied upon the guitar playing so I guess it’s my turn to do that. I don’t want to churn out the same album time after time as nobody wants to hear that and I’d get bored. I like challenges and I like to challenge myself which is what I’ve done with “The Truth”. Before we go any further, assure your readers that this album was all made with real instruments and real players!

You had me worried for a moment there thinking this isn’t the Laurence Jones I know…

There’s different sides to all of us and I wanted to show a different side of me with this album. I really focused on the songwriting, lyrics and melodic content. I’ve really been building up to making a record like this is taking the guitar side of things and mixing it with something that’s modern but true to itself. We talked about guitar playing when we were at the Black Country Communion after show party at Hammersmith (man what a gig eh!) and I’ve really pushed myself in the guitar solos to make them memorable, like a song in a song. Take the solo in “Hotel California”, that’s crazy long but you can sing it and it tells a story in itself. I hope that mine on this album do that for anyone who listens to it.

We’re talking about putting yourself out there and opening up here…

Absolutely. I can only write about things I know, not what’s up in the sky that I don’t know about. The songs really do the talking on this album and they’ve been finely picked from a whole bunch of demos. It was a dream to have a few weeks of pre-production in Curacao which is a Dutch island in the Caribbean, before heading to Miami to record at the old Sony Studios. Such a cool place man. The legendary Gregory Elias has produced this album and he brought so much to the table but still allowed me the freedom to go my own way. You know, Gregory is the man who brought The Rolling Stones to Cuba and put on a free gig for everyone, how cool is that! That just shows what a nice guy he is and inspirational. If you take songs such as “Hold Me Close”, “The Truth” and “Take Me” my heart’s on my sleeve right there, for better or for worse and I want the listener to feel that. Sure, there’s some rockier moments in “Give Me Your Time” and “Gone Away” but the emotional content is there in all of the songs. It was all about writing catchy songs with guitar solos and I keep up to date with all music out there, it’d be great to hear more guitar in the charts and these songs are more of a commercial feel than my rockier stuff so you never know!

 

What can we expect from your live shows this time around with this fresh take on your writing?

20-minute guitar solos! Hahaha!, not really. There will be some moments where we’ll be jamming out on a few songs, extending the solo’s a bit, in fact, I’m at rehearsals now and we’ve been working the set-out. I’ve got a really cool new band in Bennet Holland on keys, Phil Wilson on drums and Greg Smith on bass. We were playing in Holland before and everything just went super well. The crowds were great, singing along and getting right into it. It’s sounding really slick, the new songs are transferring well to a live setup and we’re psyched to be taking them out on the road. I love playing live and it’s great to connect with the audience and bring something to their day – you never know what’s going on with people and them coming out to your gig may be something they really need in that moment so we’ll be giving everything, every night of the tour. We’ve got a show January 23 at The Borderline in London, love that venue, and the UK tour really begins on May 3 in Manchester at Band On The Wall.

 

What do you think of the current scene in the UK and any advice for those younger than yourself as you had some great success at an early age?

When I first started all this, there was really only myself, Joanne Shaw Taylor and Simon McBride out doing what we do. That was cool, but it’s a lot cooler that there’s more and more bands and artists on the blues-rock scene in the UK now. I never view it as competition and it’s great to see people out playing, the new festivals that have come about as that shows there’s a demand for the music we play and love. As for those starting out, just don’t be afraid to try things. Don’t copy, take influences and mix them up and try and put your own stamp on things.

 

If you could pick any album to have written and made yourself, what would it be?

Oh, that’s tricky. C’mon man, can I have two? Yes? Ah great…it’d have to be “Riding With The Kings” of Eric Clapton and BB King, such a great record and has that crossover feel to it like my new album and Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced”, just because I’d love to know what was going on in his mind when he was writing it!

 

New Album New style The Truth still Laurence Jones

 

Laurence Jones new album “The Truth” is due for release Friday, March 9th 2018. Tour dates and ticket links can be found below and pre-order “The Truth” 

Just a Click away

Line-up touring The Truth Tour 2018:-

Laurence Jones (Vocals, Guitar)
Bennett Holland (Keyboards, Backing Vocals)
Phil Wilson (Drums, Percussion)
Greg Smith (Bass Guitar)

Planet Rock presents
LAURENCE JONES –  “THE TRUTH 2018 UK TOUR”
All Tickets: £15.00

London, Borderline – Tuesday 23 January

Book Online: Gig Cartel; See Tickets
24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Ticket Hotline: 0844 847 1678

Manchester, Band on the Wall – Thursday 3 May

Book Online:  GigCartel; Ticketline
24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Venue Tel: 0161 834 1786

Leamington Spa, Zephyr Lounge – Friday 4 May

24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898 – Venue Tel: 01926 311 311
Book Online: Gig Cartel or Eventbrite


Southampton Talking Heads – Saturday 5 May

Book Online: Gig Cartel  – Venue Tel: 02380 361 970


Birmingham, Hare & Hounds – Thursday 10 May

Book Online: Gig Cartel 24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Venue Tel: 0121 444 2081

Nottingham, The Bodega – Friday 11 May

Book Online: Gig Cartel or Alttickets

24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898 – Venue Box Office: 0115 896 4456

York, Fulford Arms – Saturday 12 May

Book Online: Gig Cartel 24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Venue Tel: 01904 620 410

Newcastle, The Cluny – Sunday 13 May

Book Online: Gig Cartel or See Tickets

24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898 – Venue Tel: 0191 230 4474

 

Laurence Jones has built his reputation in the studio and playing live check out his discography 

Albums in BOLD checkout Bluesdoodles review.

Discography

The Truth (2018)
Take Me High(2016)
What’s It Gonna Be (2015)
Temptation (2014)
Blues Caravan (2014)
Thunder In The Sky (2012)

Laurence Jones speaks the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

 

Grainne Duffy Third Album Where I Belong Delights

Grainne Duffy Third Album Where I Belong Delights

This is Grainne’s third album having listened unless it’s by choice, it amazes me that a major label has not taken up this stunning talent. Now I am, by preference a stompin’, blues-rocking type and it may surprise some, that this is not as blues/rock biased as her previous releases, but this album is a pearl of quiet, beautifully performed songs. It deftly weaves a heartfelt tapestry of emotions. Recorded with the help of such luminaries as Doyle Bramhall II, this is a majestic, mainly acoustic journey through this lady’s heart & soul.

The new album,  Where I Belong kicks off with the title track, the lovely warm acoustic guitar washes across the background as Grainne’s voice (especially on the multi-tracked parts) takes hold of you and doesn’t let go. Whilst on Blame It On You sharpens the tempo with its gorgeous and far too short electric guitar solo which grabs as much as the lyrics. One word of caution if you have recently been parted from a loved one the track Don’t Want To Be Lonely will reduce you to tears… yes, she can put that much emotion into her voice and playing so that it feels as if it is your heartstrings she is stroking rather than guitar strings. A piano introduction followed by a guitar sound to die for leads us into the final track… the instrumental Canyon Road. Three minutes of such lyrical playing, that words would have been superfluous; a perfect demonstration of how to play the right amount of notes.

Grainne Duffy Third Album Where I Belong delights you, relaxed and full of rootsy Americana tones with one boot in the blues.  That hits the right places and fills the moments with a rounded sound showing a different side as rock is pushed to one side for the different side of Grainne Duffy. She is joined by a host of talented musicians including Paul Sherry with backing vocals and various guitars joining Grainne once again. With the rhythm section and piano add colour depth and shape to the stripped back approach taken by Grainne on the album.

Rather than dissect each track, it is easier to summarise by saying simply buy this album and, when the mood is right, lose yourself in a landscape of quiet country-infused soulful blues – you will not be disappointed. Why? Grainne pronounced Graw-nya; the red-haired Irish beauty delivers perfect country infused blues.

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track List:

  1. Where I Belong
  2. My love
  3. Don’t You Wanna Know
  4. Home
  5. Shine
  6. All Of My Life
  7. Blame It On You
  8. Don’t Want To Be Lonely
  9. Open Arms
  10. Canyon Road

 

Musicians:
Grainne Duffy: Vocals, Lead Guitar/ Rhythm Guitar/Acoustic Guitar
Paul Sherry: Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar/ Rhythm Guitar/Acoustic Guitar
Shawn Davis: Bass Guitar
Aaron Redfield: Drums
Tyler Chester: Keyboards/Piano

 

Previous Grainne Duffy reviews by Bluesdoodles: 2nd Album  Test of Time; and Live at Beaufort South Wales

 

 

Grainne Duffy Third Album Where I Belong Delights

Joe Satriani Guitar Asks What Happens Next

Joe Satriani Guitar Asks What Happens Next

The excitement of a new release from Joe Satriani is a bubbling elixir of anticipation of sizzling guitar and an energy captured in the music that takes you on an instrumental journey of delightful discoveries.  Listening to What Happens Next? Is that a question Satriani is asking himself, where is his musical journey taking him in 2018 and beyond? For me What Happens Next, open CD put on the player, turn the volume up, sit back then be absorbed into every musical moment created on the album. Once again Joe Satriani’s scintillatingly sharp and persuasive manipulation of the six-strings sent a shiver of pure pleasure down my spine, my music antenna were pulsating with delight. As Joe Satriani guitar asks What Happens Next?

Joe Satriani’s immense guitar presence is at the heart of this twelve-track instrumental album. Joining him with perfect rhythm and timing with the pairing of Glenn Hughes and Chad Smith.  Deep Purple burns up the Red Hot Chili Pepper the two creating a monstrous beat. Building the perfect wall of sound for the wildness of Satriani in full flight. The trio complements each other resulting in the artistry of the Satriani guitar develops with a myriad of tones and textures. All three instruments talk to you as the notes replace the need for words whilst being transported to the world of Satriani.

Opening the album with Energy we are instantly drenched in a rich high-octane tonal experience. The beat is alive and kicking we are with feet firmly on the ground and the ears in tune with a journey that will energise, uplift and mesmerize as the notes cascade and follow each other in a perfect procession of rock glory. Opening with the drum kicking up a roar Thunder on High Mountain is a building storm the drum beat persistent with guitar in a swirling frenzy as the notes are whipped into a whirling maelstrom. Then bass adds depths that Thunder on High Mountain is intriguing, dangerous and never ignored.  We move from stormy mountains to Cherry Blossoms. A change in beat, tone and textures as the number unfurl as warm as a Spring day full hope and lyrical melodies. Catchy and beguiling the swirling mass of cherry blossoms are conjured into a thing of beauty performed with a gentle touch and lyrical emotions played out through the clever instrumentation.

Every track is a golden nugget of guitar playing spontaneous, alive, controlled and wild. No note misplaced this is music that creates a visual soundscape through the notes. The album is not a sprint with a headlong rush to close one number and fall into the next; neither is it a marathon with long tracks looping around itself often going nowhere. We are lopping along at the perfect pace to enjoy the box of delights as we find out What Happens Next. The title track towards the end of the album is slower the guitar stretches the notes exploring the cadences in a thoughtful exploring way. The track has a synergy as the three monsters of rock explore the sounds and asks once again What Happens Next? With the reuniting of Smith and Satriani could it be that Chickenfoot is to rise once again from the ashes as the supergroup we want to hear?  A new approach with bass driven Super Funky Badass brings out the inner funkiness of rock and re-energises an album that has no flaws.

Closing out an album that celebrates the power of the six-strings and the virtuosity of Satriani, Forever and Ever is an appropriate number as the superlatives describing the stunning playing of Satriani truly could go on Forever and Ever. While we think up some let’s go back to the beginning and see if this time we can answer the question What Happens Next?

 

Joe Satriani – What Happens Next – Sony/Legacy Recordings

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

 

  1. Energy
  2. Catbot
  3. Thunder High On The Mountain
  4. Cherry Blossoms
  5. Righteous
  6. Smooth Soul
  7. Headrush
  8. Looper
  9. What Happens Next
  10. Super Funky Badass
  11. Invisible
  12. Forever and Ever

Joe Satriani Guitar Asks What Happens Next

Bad Flowers Firing a Bouquet With Starting Gun

ad Flowers Firing a Bouquet With Starting GunStarting Gun launching The Bad Flowers into the spotlight with the attention of radio plays, interviews and national tour. The artwork defines the album as The Bad Flowers Firing a Bouquet With Starting Gun sums up the rocking ride that kick starts 2018. The music is sharp, melodic, exciting and above all entertaining.  The melodies and rhythms are addictive, with lyrics and licks that become friendly earworms! Definitely, Bad Flowers Firing a Bouquet With Starting Gun

The opening number and first single from Starting Gun is a friendly anthemic clap of rock as Thunder Child cascades out of the speakers. Having checked out the where Bluesdoodles said “Check It Out. Why? I smell rock that sizzles”. The sound builds and builds with a rumble and roll of riff mayhem, with the single and B side Lions Blood. Now to settle down and listen to the next nine tracks and fingers crossed they all live up to the heady announcement of the single. Three tracks in and The Bad Flowers are endearing themselves as the must-see live new band in 2018. Secrets is slower has the feeling that Tom Leighton on vocals and guitar is sharing the lyrics just with you the listener.  The last number written on the album is dirty riffs with lots of fuzz that works well. This change of tempo and intensity works adding interest and texture to the album. Joining Tom in this powerhouse of a trio is Dale Tones on deep bass and backing vocals along with Karl Selick’s kick-ass drumming.

Five tracks in and we are given a breather with a complete volte-face as the electric is unplugged and acoustic flowers reign, Tom’s voice has an emotional clarity in complete harmony with the acoustic guitar very personal and fits cooling the album like a summer shower acting as a refresher to the bouquet of rock that is created on Starting Gun.  The tension and ferocity building life is short so are the minutes on an album, not one is missed on Starting Gun even when the Bad Flowers sing Let’s Misbehave. Then we have rock blues that is so dark and dirty the blue is indigo and the rock has the power of granite the groove pulls you deep as they ask Who Needs A Soul. Not sure when there is music like this to fill the void!

Heading for home we are now in a for heavy weather with Hurricane and I Don’t Believe. This is an album that is building and though you want the music to go on how will it then end cool and personal, dirty blues or heavier rock as we visit City Lights with the boys. First, we have Tom’s vocals and I am sure I am not the first or last person to compare his vocal sound to Cult’s Ian Astbury.  The drumming from Karl is precise with strong rhythms laid down by Dale’s bass playing off the rocking solid guitar of Tom. The lyrics throughout are strong and the refrain “Can’t afford the champagne … I’m just addicted to the City Lights” then the power of guitar-charged up and electric. Another addictive track from the new boys The Bad Flowers the album is a wow!

Bad Flowers Firing a Bouquet With Starting Gun

When I review I have four simple rules of life.
Rule ONE: Play the music loud YES
Rule TWO: Listen To new Bands YES
Rule THREE: Celebrate the gems from artist that are unknown to you YES

Rule FOUR: Never give a debut album 10…. Hey Ho! Rules are made to be broken and so early in 2018, I have broken my own rules! Still 3 out of four is pretty good. Which one did I break? Well, Starting Gun is a celebratory stupendous TEN. Will The Bad Flowers sophomore album reach the same dizzy heights, time will tell. Until then the boys are on tour February/March 2018 with Jared James Nichols and Headliners Stone Broken

The Bad Flowers – Starting Gun – Released 16th February

Released on CD; Limited Edition Red Vinyl and Standard Digital Download – Bluesdoodles recommend you pre-order before catching them on tour.

 

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

 

  1. Thunder Child
  2. Lions Blood
  3. Secrets
  4. Rich Man
  5. I Hope
  6. Let’s Misbehave
  7. Who Needs A Soul
  8. Be Your Man
  9. Hurricane
  10. I Don’t Believe It
  11. City LIghts

 

Bad Flowers Firing a Bouquet With Starting Gun

Spiritus Powerhouse Blues from Jane Lee Hooker

Spiritus Powerhouse Blues from Jane Lee HookerSo, we reach 2018 and what better way to kick-start the New Year than with a dose of high energy, punky blues/rock. Enter New York 5 piece, all-girl powerhouse Jane Lee Hooker, who kicked the scene door down with 2016 debut album ‘No B’, a collection of blues covers done with atypical New York grit and punk attitude. With former members of Nashville Pussy in the ranks, it’s no surprise then that follow up ‘Spiritus’ continues with that same East Coast swagger.

Opener ‘How Ya Doin’ is a front row, in your face, high energy insight into what Jane Lee Hooker do best – a kick-ass live show. Immediately striking are the astonishing vocals of lead singer Dana ‘Danger’ Athens, made even more impressive by the obvious live-feel recording of Spiritus. Production is raw, real and honest throughout this and all other tracks on the album. Forget finesse, forget technique, forget polish. Think punk attitude, think Brooklyn sleaze, think garage band-gang on a mission. A nod to Mick and Keef here, a wink to rock and roll rebellion there.

Spiritus manages to steal the infectious boogie from band name inspiration John on stand out tracks ‘Black Rat’ and ‘Be My Baby’. The latter would be a radio favourite if it were trimmed down to the catchy chorus and hooks sans the unnecessaries. In a Blues/rock world full of pedal board heroes and perfection we tend to forget some of the best songs are just attitude and adrenaline. Perhaps with a ‘one-eye-on-radio’ producer, JLH could have aimed more of this ten song set at commerciality. You get the feeling however that Spiritus is a ‘ this is how we would be live’ record, a token of the no doubt blistering live show. You’re not here to admire lyrical prowess or originality, you’re here to sweat, scream, pump fist and pogo.

Things do get more chilled with gospel-tinged ‘How Bright The Moon’. Dana takes us to church with a heartfelt vocal, perhaps the highlight album vocal, which sets up this piano-led breather ballad as a welcome interlude. No rest for the wicked though as the same church has its roof blown off by ‘Turn On Your Love Light’, evoking memories of cartwheeling Jake and Elwood captivated by the Reverend Cleophus James in the Blues Brothers movie.

The final song, ‘The Breeze’ is an as-the-sun-comes-up, sore head, loose slow blues jam; doesn’t really go anywhere other than ’round and ’round the post-party, bottle-strewn club. Self-indulgent, but the perfect remedy for the partied out, spinning and ready to drop.

Spiritus –

Lacks originality? Maybe – Lacks technical prowess? Maybe – Lacks direction? Slightly

Who cares, Spiritus is a window to an epic live show, a night of nights, a sweat addled assault on the primal senses. Not to be judged in any other way. Go to a show, buy the album and relive that night over and over with a wry smile.

Pendragon for Bluesdoodles gives Jane Lee Hooker Spiritus a splendid

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing:

  1. How Ya Doin?
  2. Gimme That
  3. Mama Said
  4. Be My Baby
  5. Later On
  6. Black Rat
  7. Ends Meet
  8. How Bright
  9. Turn on Your Love Light
  10. The Breeze

Spiritus Powerhouse Blues from Jane Lee Hooker