Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically. The third night of the first headline tour was a phenomenal success but as Stevie Westwood said, tonight is not about one band as he praised the two acts that set  The tunnels alight for the Headliners.  Opening the night local band Flowerpot and then Mollie Marriott, live music doesn’t get much better.

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels MajesticallyFlowerpot, an all-women outfit have been gaining the momentum of attention by opening for acts visiting Bristol and headlining their own shows. This young band full of raw energy had seven numbers to showcase their own brand of grungy, punk-driven rock.  The music was not hewn from a particular vein of rock. The band had their own sound and energy that flowed from the classy drumming from Jess which defined the shape of the music that allowed Morgan on Bass pick up the rhythm and rock as her flowing and at times revolving hair orchestrated her sound. Pulling the sound together Ellie on guitar provided the melodic chords and riffs for Steph on vocals to hook onto. Up front Steph on vocals controlled the band and had the audience captured as they listened to the lyrics that had something to say as we heard about snails, loser girl and a debut of a new number Bruised.  After their raw, eclectic and blistering set, we were left not battered and bruised or trailing along at a snail’s pace but ready for the next two acts as The Tunnels filled and the temperature raised by Flowerpot.

 

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels MajesticallyMollie Marriott with her critically acclaimed album Truth Is A Wolf was the next band. Quick change round and the band was on stage. A complete contrast to Flowerpot. The raw intensity was replaced by a softer more malleable sculptured rock. Mollie’s voiced captivated with its purity from the first note of her opening number Run With The Hounds with the organ looped in so the full sound achieved on the album can be heard live.   Tonight surrounded by her band Mollie warmed the crowded venue with her winning smile and a vocal range that captured the depth of the lyrics and topics covered.

The rhythm section was solid and the lead guitar giving Mollie the chords, melody and hooks for her vocals to soar.  Early in the set, she slipped in a new number Nobody To Love and if this is what is going to be on the follow-up album I am counting down the days. One of the highlights of the too short set was Broken, the power, emotion and passion shined from Mollie’s face through to the vocal delivery.  We all connected with the feeling of being broken after a failed relationship and hurting people close to us. In this case Mollie’s daughter and her relationship with her.   In the set was title track Truth is a  Wolf and the rockier number King Of Hearts later in the set sleazier, dirty and filled the venue with another side of multifaceted Mollie.  Vocals coloured the stage along with a band that flexed its muscles as she blended rock with jazz, blues and soul a sonic landscape full of texture and tone. Dressed in Black with White guitars and bass the monochromatic visuals contrasted with the music.  Mollie has a famous surname as the daughter of Steve. Tonight she conquered the venue, with her own name Mollie Marriott, and an act to see live. Her voice is better live than in the studio. The voice is warmer and more personal as the lyrics on the numbers take on emotional meaning. She was in total control of the stage as her final number Control finished an accomplished set and we were now in the mood for Bad Touch.

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels MajesticallyThe excitement fizzed like a can of shaken pop as Bad Touch exploded on the stage on their first headlining appearance in Bristol. The crowd were hot for their spectacular feel-good sound captured on the album Truth Be Told. We were definitely not disappointed as they opened with Take Me Away. Yes, we were taken away on the rollercoaster of a band on fire playing the music they love to an audience that was up to be given the Bad Touch treatment from this effervescent five-piece.  The first all-male band of the evening and they knew the audience as already hot for live music so no warm-up numbers for the band they were straight in with high voltage music with a ringing sting that excited The Tunnels tonight. The set definitely elevated them to the deserved headline status one this tour with the hefty heavy/southern rock influences and bags of attitude this is a band that knows how to party. All the musicians understand their role and play to each other’s strengths. With the power of a rhythm section that lays now a depth of sound that grounds the sound as George Drewry’s drumming is timely, powerful and into this he mixes when required a subtleness, a gentle touch. Joining his rhythmic tones is Michael Bailey on bass with his hair flowing, and moving in time with the deep southern hot chords. The guitarist adds the next layer that smarts and stings cajole and weeps as Rob Glendinning takes the lead with stylish slide or plectrum lead guitar work that is simply stupendous. Daniel ‘Seeks’ Seekings adds with top-drawer rhythm guitar work filling in and drawing out the guitar. This quartet is loud and full of imposing attitude and sound. How do you top that? Easy add Stevie Westwood into the vocals as vocals frontman and the glossiest, curly mane of hair and that cheeky waxed moustache, He steps into the frontman role with a swagger, style and talent. Phenomenal!

We have the musicians on stage, full of vim and swagger now for the music. They delivered with a mix of old and new we all were touched with their majestic interpretation of Rock N’ Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majesticallyroll Norfolk style tonight. The set list was the perfect blending of fast, faster furious and the breather we all need. Not once did the band lose control of the sound they are so good at delivering. Stevie’s vocals perfect for the genre and the quality of the backing vocals take the sound to another level. We shared a Sweet Little Secret with the band and delighted as the guitarist played off each other both with their confident cool, arrogant swagger that fills the stage with a six-string punch.  Highlights – every number played. Those that stood out Wise Water and great to hear Down one of their earliest numbers that morphed seamlessly into Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic Can’t You See. Down it doesn’t appear on any album must be a contender for the much anticipated follow up to Truth Be Told. A definite keeper for the forthcoming album is the new song aired tonight  I Belong that makes full use of Rob’s ace slide work.  Something Someone took the tempo down with an acoustic ballad as the Stevie and Rob duet and then the band return picking up the beat and building the energy for the last few numbers of the set. We were rocking and singing along to a perennial favourite My Mother Told Me. With one of their signature tracks Take  Your Time they ruled it as the favourites flowed with Outlaw and closing with the might The Mountain.  What a great atmosphere generated as we wanted the band to play on this was a night to remember. We had two more numbers as the encore-closing with the single from the album 99% that got them noticed by Planet Rock and others closing the night leaving us on a high. But before that, a special moment as Mollie Marriott returned to duet with Stevie and the band on Baby Get it On Tina Turner’s classic given the Westwood/Marriott treatment. What a night! Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

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 Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

 

 

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

 

 

 

Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels Tonight

Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels Tonight

 

Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels TonightFirst opening the night of live music The Blue Horizon, the Weston-super-Mare band the rocks out on the blues that always attracts attention. Tonight, the trio of Iain Ecclestone the charismatic frontman whose guitar sparkles lightning up the vocals. The Rhythm section is the power base provided by bassist Ed Gerlach and Josh Armitage behind the drums.  The set was a mix of originals and covers re-affirming the heavy seventies infused blues that make the horizon blue. They are gaining a reputation that is justified as laid down on one of the Rory Gallagher covers. They set the scene laying down the energy that was going to define the evening. Blue Horizon with local support provided the music and brightened the evening to get a Wednesday night in Bristol off to a flying start.

 

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Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels TonightShort break, anticipation was high as everyone in the audience wanted to hear Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels Tonight. Straight off Crow Black Chicken gave a full-on great show, the slide work was amazing; the sound was rough, raw, and distinctive. This approach continued for the next two hours Crow Black Chicken was on stage. The second trio of the evening showing the depth and breadth of music styles influenced by the blues. Throughout the set, there was the innovative use of pedals by bassist Steven McGrath, who provided some wicked sounds coming from his four-string bass combined with the drumming that shaped the texture from Gev Barrett. The yin and yang of Christy O’Halon’s stunning guitar and Steven’s bass balance the sound.  Christy’s vocals are clear in the blues storytelling tradition and every song from their albums and carefully selected covers gave the night the depth of southern-infused vibe. Crow Black Chicken is from deepest Southern Ireland and the charm and wit interweaves the songs. The music was the focus and they insured we were awash with the distinctive sound, the trademark of the band.

Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels TonightThe songs chosen were stunning, the band played tight never added more than was necessary. The sound flowed there was no competition this is a band that is in harmony with the delivery pulled together with Christy’s great voice.  From their latest album Pariah Brothers, a selection of the numbers was showcased. Anyone who didn’t have a copy was in the queue to purchase one at the end. These included Jonestown, inspired by Jim Jones a cult figure and Deer Meat Unloaded a real hefty, loud rocky number of experiences on a Spanish Tour. The lyrics told the story we were all on tour with the band in Spain.  The vivid delivery of Ray Wylie Hubbard’s Snake Farm was simple; another shining example of the band’s brilliance. They have fun playing music they love, the audience just wanted the party to go on this is finger licking spicy guitar music. Blues inspired music as they played a tribute to Jessie Mae, a blues woman from Texas that made her mark, as the song was introduced with a quip we should arm the Granny’s reflecting on the six shooters Jessie Mae always wore.

Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels TonightThis is a band that makes friends and keeps them. Loyal to the people who inspire them and the aptly named Pat McManus a musical tribute to the fellow Irishman.  The night of music that uplifted and flowed delighting everyone who was in the room. A great set of two hours was not enough we wanted more with energetic bounce the boys were back on stage with their version of John The Revelator. This was a really heavy dirty take on this blues classic. Wow, the music was majestic. Blues delivered with panache, charm and a great night that on a dark Wednesday night Crow Black Chicken came to Bristol and stamped their mark. We want you back sooner rather than later.

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Crow Black Chicken Bringing Deep Southern Vibe to The Tunnels Tonight

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels

Monday night in November heats up in Bristol as Simon McBride triumphantly ends this tour at The Tunnels. With the week full of quality live music, combined with a Monday night the turnout was respectable. That does not disguise the fact when a guitarist of this quality comes to town with his band it should be a sell-out every time, whatever the night whatever the weather. If you love guitar driven blues fused rock then and you haven’t seen Simon McBride you have missed a musician at the top of his game. He demonstrated this tonight with every chord, note, lick and riff as the music filled the venue. With Marty McCloskey behind the drums and bassist Dave Marks to kick up the fireworks, this is a trio that has power, attitude and control shaping the tempo and textures to create a wall of sound full of depth and interest.

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels Tonight, The Tunnels reverberated with stunning blues- rock that captured the classics, Simon’s back catalogue and a glimpse of the new on the long and patiently awaited next album. Tentatively promised tonight as next year-end of 2018 it will be a Christmas Album Simon quipped. As would often happen the rhythm section picked up the words as they played jingle bells with the band laughing. Last night of a six-month tour there was a mix of end-of-term party and the delight of playing live music to an appreciative audience.

The covers were special including Free’s, The Stealer with a great key change halfway through and wonderfully controlled powerful lead breaks. This was a foot-tapping joy. His version of Hendrix’s Little Wing was sublime the re-working made you listen to this oft-heard and covered classic. The timing was immense and when combined with the super tone of his signature PRS Guitar was sublime.

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels The new music was punchy with the formidable tone and guitar textures with strings bent and the vocals pulling the song along.  Change gave the rhythm section the opportunity to come to the fore with a bass display from Dave Marks that was full of rhythmic punch. As the bass was slapped, the bass guitar now dominated as we heard jazz, rock and blues melded in a reprise of delight. Then we had the duel between guitar and bass the energy flowed from the stage across the venue. Live music quality and fun.  A definite keeper and as the audience was quick to tell Simon a single from the next album, Show Me How To Love. What a cracking number live full of emotional integrity and up-lifting playing from all three musicians.

Every number played was special, go hear Simon McBride play live when he is next in town. The other numbers that stood out were So Much Love, with glimpses of Prog and more in this brilliant instrumental interlude. The real highlight of the night for many including myself was So Much Love and One More Try. These display the virtuosity of McBride’s guitar mastery. Don’t Be  A fool was a rousing finale with audience participation. This was party-time and fun with the band losing control of the audience as we repeated the lines to the beat of Marty’s drum.

Tonight Simon McBride conquered The Tunnels with the power of live music.

 

Simon McBride Triumphantly Ends this Tour at The Tunnels

 

Beth Hart Vocal Power Captivates The Forum Tonight

Beth Hart Vocal Power Captivates The Forum Tonight

 

The Forum, a former Art Deco Cinema in Bath tonight is the backdrop for a Beth Hart Solo Concert. The lights dimmed and Beth strode onto the stage full of smiles and confidence. Her opening number was stunning setting the tone of the evening. Alone on the stage, she did not sit behind the Grand Piano but knelt on the stage and sung A Capella giving the audience a true taste of her incredible vocal talent. She greeted the audience, welcomed her sister sitting in the auditorium who had flown in from the States especially for the concert tonight.

 

Beth Hart Vocal Power Captivates The Forum TonightThen with a grace, she sat behind the Grand Piano her first instrument of choice. Tonight without a band Beth was her own accompaniment choosing the instrument that suited the song, so we heard her play acoustic guitar, acoustic bass and electric piano as the evening progressed. We heard her version of Tom Waits Chocolate Jesus and by the third song in Beth had the audience entranced. We were hanging onto every note played and every word she sung and the openness with which she shared her bad times that were at times painful to hear, this was not self-pity but gave context to the songs. Many of the experiences the audience could personally relate to. Beth Hart’s music stripped back, with the lyrics laid bare was an emotional journey for everyone tears were shed on stage and in the auditorium tonight. This is music that connects a great performer with the audience.

Beth Hart Vocal Power Captivates The Forum TonightThe frailty of trying to set yourself free from abuse, it was as if while singing the title song from her album Better Than Home alone on a stage behind the Grand Piano we all experienced a cathartic experience, as the vocal crescendo rose up over the piano in a beautiful art deco setting. Music has power and Beth harnessed it tonight majestically. St Teresa was the next Hart classic sung with pure emotion, the words flowed like a blessing for everyone in the room tonight, touching our inner soul healing hurts and uniting us.

Stepping out from behind the piano with a huge smile she picked up the acoustic sharing family tales and how Scott and her bought an affectionate wreck resulting in a song written in his honour The Ugliest House On the Block from her Bang Bang Boom Boom album.  The Boogieman with soft gentle guitar, calming almost a lullaby despite the dark words. Closing the number with whistling that was sublime, eerie and stunning as the song closed the silence was filled once again with rousing applause. Third instrument of the evening, acoustic bass for Spiders In My Bed from her first album Immortal. The inspiration from the effects of sleep deprivation being wired and tired.

Now a change of tone, that moving from instrument to instrument achieved as she sat behind the electric piano. We heard how after her first career crashed, she was ashamed of the drugs, drink and failure. She had screwed up everything. “For the first time since I was four” she told us she stopped playing the piano. Then she wrote Leave The light On emotional, Beth was wrung out, the tempo was warm with a gospel feel. Tears were spilt with the emotional beauty. Then the mood lighted with Coca-Cola, summertime, beach and boys. Inspired from when the younger ten-year-old Beth thought boys would taste of Coca-Cola! What a set of tubes Beth Has. Warm, sultry, angry, soft and beguiling shape the highest to the lowest notes.  The voice rose up to the top of the vaulted dome as the theatre reverberated with the pure joy of hearing Beth Hart’s voice tonight.

Beth Hart Vocal Power Captivates The Forum TonightWith a wave, a smile and thank you for being a lovely audience Beth left the stage, the audience erupted standing on our feet cheering clapping shouting for more. We were not disappointed Beth obliged. With another four songs from behind the Grand Piano. Starting with Tell Her You Belong To Me from Better Than Home, with more tales, some laughs and the inspiration behind Love Is A Lie when Mark left her eighty-two-year-old Mum for another woman!

Two hours of glorious entertainment and Beth left the stage we wanted more as the applause continued as the house lights went up. A Very special evening in the company of Beth Hart and her wonderful voice.

Many of the numbers were taken from her critically acclaimed album Fire on the Floor they worked perfectly in this setting. Beth Hart’s solo performance was special. Interweaving her performance were songs that reflect her life as her career grows from strength to strength the second time around.

Tonight, Beth Hart at The Forum captivated the audience. Loving every moment Beth was on stage. The music was stripped back, exposed at times showing vulnerability, then brutal and beautiful the link between all the emotions Beth shared tonight was heartfelt honesty.

 

Beth Hart Vocal Power Captivates The Forum Tonight

 

 

Missing the voice already? Not long to wait. Beth is back in the UK April 2018 with her band Check out the dates below and book your tickets.

Beth Hart plus Her Band Tours UK Spring 2018

DUBLIN VICAR STREET  – TUESDAY 10th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: +353 1 775 5800
BOOK ONLINE: Ticket Master or Beth Hart Website 

IPSWICH REGENT THEATRE – THURSDAY 12th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01473 433 100
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets or  Beth Hart Website 

BEXHILL DE LA WARR PAVILION – SATURDAY 14th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01424 229 111
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets or  Beth Hart Website 

NOTTINGHAM CONCERT HALL – SUNDAY 15th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0115 989 5555
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

OXFORD NEW THEATRE – WEDNESDAY 18th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0844 871 3020
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets or  Beth Hart Website 

FOLKESTONE LEAS HALL – THURSDAY 19th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01303 228 600
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

CARDIFF ST DAVIDS HALL – SATURDAY 21st APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0292 087 8444
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website  

CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE  – TUESDAY 24th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01223 357 851
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

BLACKPOOL OPERA HOUSE – THURSDAY 26th APRIL 2018

VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01253 625 252
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

HULL CITY HALL – FRIDAY 27th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01482 300300
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

READING HEXAGON – MONDAY 30th APRIL 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0118 960 6060
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

PORTSMOUTH GUILDHALL – TUESDAY 1st MAY 2018
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 023 9387 0200
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or  Beth Hart Website 

SOLD OUT LONDON ROYAL ALBERT HALL SOLD OUT – FRIDAY 4th MAY 2018
PLUS SPECIAL GUEST
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 0207 589 8212
BOOK ONLINE: Alt Tickets  or Royal Albert Hall
or   Beth Hart Website 

CHELTENHAM JAZZ FESTIVAL – SATURDAY 5th MAY 2018
TICKETS GO ON SALE FRIDAY 3 NOVEMBER 
VENUE BOX OFFICE: 01242 850 270 
BOOK ONLINE: Cheltenham Jazz Festival or   Beth Hart Website 

Beth Hart Vocal Power Captivates The Forum Tonight

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The Tramshed

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The Tramshed

 

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The TramshedKenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The Tramshed tonight. Opening the cauldron of fiery guitar curling around the blues, we have Laurence Jones Band. Tonight over six numbers Laurence and his new(ish) band demonstrated a maturity the love of rock infused with blues and so much more. Tonight his guitar cried and fought off any ghouls and demons in the room. This you have come to expect of this young British Gunslinger who has been wooing the crowds for many a year despite his youth. Tonight, at The Tramshed Laurence’s vocals came of age adding to the act as he played a mix of numbers, including two tracks from his latest album The Truth – Give Me Your Time & Never Good Enough, and they were definitely rawer rockier. The rhythm combination of Phil Wilson & Greg Smith works really well creating an imaginative and solid foundation for Laurence to soar from. The addition of Bennett Holland’s lively keys gives the band an additional range of tones and structure for the numbers. Closing with Hendrix’s version of Dylan’s Classic All Along The Watchtower. We had had a fizzing and bubbling helping of live music the band played tight and the music excited. This is modern melodic rock hardened blues this is a band that connects with the music and are enjoying playing for the audience. It was appreciated.

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Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The TramshedShort break as the stage was rearranged and the main event started as the stage darkened the band took their place to cheers of anticipation. The lights went up as the first of many sweet guitar chords was struck from Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s Stratocaster and resounded around the Tramshed. We were off on a journey of blues guitar extravaganza with some rock, hints of country and a very large swirling dollop of Kenny Wayne Shepherd magic.

The lead breaks were scintillating Kenny certainly makes the Strat bend to his fingers demands as it weeps, curls around tones of joy and pain. Tonight the setlist was a mix of old and new with six tracks from his current acclaimed album Lay It On Down. Of the six numbers, Diamonds and Gold stood out. It was a superb and stellar highlight among the many that the band shared with us tonight. The ballad Hard Lesson Learned with Noel’s vocals also caught the ear and raised the joy of the audience. SRV’s House Is  Rockin definitely got the Tramshed bouncing and rocking with pure delight.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The Tramshed

As Kenny introduces the band in the absence of Chris Clayton, for this tour sees the return of Sylvester “Sam” Bryant (toured with the band in the 1990’s); bassist Kevin McCormick, Joe Krown presiding over the keys and the mighty vocals of Noah Hunt. A marvellous live version of Baby Got Gone from his latest album, they really have this number captured for the energy of a live performance, with its emotional lead break simply breathtaking. Kenny inserted into the set a number from his side project The Rides from their 2013 album Can’t Get Enough; Talk To Me Baby a superb re-shaping of this Elmore James’ blues classic.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The TramshedKenny Wayne Shepherd closed the night with some blues, slow and full of authentic Chicago Blues with a medley of BB King numbers and then Shotgun Blues. What an evening full of exploration of the power of the six-stringed Stratocaster. Tonight we saw three forms including his signature guitar and what tone KWS pulled from the black beast. The lights dimmed, silence fell on the stage as the band left. The noise though was reaching crescendo point as they stamped their feet and demanded more. The band did not resist. Back on stage with two more numbers his signature tune Black on Blue followed by the second Hendrix of the night.  Both acts ended with Hendrix, and so appropriate for tonight we were entertained by KWS, Voodoo Chile and phenomenal playing.

From the first few notes the temperature in the Tramshed definitely rose, there was that feeling of electric joy and anticipation that only live music brings. When you hear a band you love to play in a venue near to where you live, welcome to Wales KWS; come back very soon there will always be a warm welcome for the band and the music that you showcased tonight. By the end of the evening, the cauldron was boiling with energised musical magic on Halloween in Cardiff.

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Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The Tramshed

Gov’t Mule Triumphant First Live Show in Wales

Gov’t Mule Triumphant First Live Show in WalesGov’t Mule Triumphant First Live Show in Wales. Friday night was alive as the energy of the Mule filled The Tramshed in Cardiff with over two hours of music that fills your soul. Tonight with the recent release we were expecting tracks from Revolution Come Revolution Go but what else with the versatility of Warren Haynes would the band produce tonight? Joining vocalist & guitarist Warren drummer Matt Abs; bassist Jorgen Carlsson providing rhythmic grooves and the fourth member Danny Louis behind keys and with a trombone in reserve.  The Tramshed was buzzing with excitement many had not seen the band live and the anticipation was hot, as Gov’t Mule stood on a Welsh stage for the first time.

The show started with a series of revolutionary inspired musical snippets warming the stage as Warren picked up his twelve-string and started the night of a musical pleasure dome of a journey with Railroad Boy. What a powerful number to start the show we all knew as Warren asked how we all were that we were fabulous let the show take us on a musical adventure.  We were taken back to the second studio album Dose released in 1998 and forward to the latest in the first set.  The whole set was spell-binding the interaction between the band mesmerizing. The lead breaks from Warren sparkled with interest, meaty chords were sat next to delicate riffs as tones and textures mixed up. We never knew what was coming next, the only certainty in a Gov’t Mule live show. The whole set was a crescendo of highlights with fabulous instrumental breaks and vocals that pulled out the depth of the words being sung by Warren.

Gov’t Mule Triumphant First Live Show in WalesEvery number was stretched out and explored revitalised the studio versions with a raw energy. For me two numbers stood out Gordon James from the By A Thread album, the words have a ringing power. Personal and a story of a life sung with tonal passion and empathy.  Plus the title track Revolution Come… Revolution Go played powerfully full of revolutionary intent. Highly charged music that set The Tramshed on fire. Now we knew why there was a Trombone on stage as Danny added the sound of brass that vibrated across the venue. Now we were in the zone of the Mule from the front to the back of the balcony. The set closed with two more numbers from the album. As the first hour and a half in their company flew by, the last number of part one may have been Stone Cold Rage. No-one was in a rage we were all high on the mighty drug of music played live with verve passion and style.

Short break as friends caught up and celebrated set one and anticipated what was going to be the second helping. No-one was going to be disappointed as the next hour and a half in the company of Gov’t Mule got underway as Pink Floyd’s One Of These Days was given the treatment by the band.

Gov’t Mule Triumphant First Live Show in WalesThe second set upped the tempo, the atmosphere was growing the venue was hot.  Warren was true to this when he said this is our first time in Wales and we are going to give you a flavour of the Mule’s music. They did dipping into ten of their albums with some tasty covers and hints of other pieces as well. With Monkey Hill ending with The Beatles, I Want You (She’s So Heavy) Superb!!!

The inner rock of the Mule displayed in all its glory with Tastes Like Wine as the number starts slow and then builds and builds with guitar intensity and urgency.  We were rocking on a Friday night as we returned to the latest album with Travelling Tune.  We were travelling tonight on a journey as guitars were changed the tone developed and we explored the inner depths of the music. Next up Mr Man with the riff of Highway Star as a mental teaser to make sure we were listening and alert to the intricacies of the music.

All too soon the clocking ticking was catching up as we heard Blind Man In The dark, an instrumental from Band of Gypsys Machine Gun and back to Blind Man In the Dark. What a band the timing, the clever additions the gentle licks this is music that makes you glad to be at The Tramshed on a Friday night.

Gov’t Mule Triumphant First Live Show in WalesThe crowd cheered, roared and demanded more. We were all entranced as the crew bought on another amp who was going to be joining the band? It was mighty Bernie Marsden who always delights whenever he plays in Wales. The two numbers were magical first, Bobby Bland’s Ain’t No Love in The Heart of The City a Whitesnake/Bernie classic. Closing this truly memorable night of music with The Allman Brothers Band cover Blues Sky. How awesome to hear the number live in Cardiff.  Two legends, geniuses of modern music jamming the night way brilliant it just doesn’t get better than this. Gig of the year, highly likely in my opinion.

Gov’t Mule live is special as they weave their magic, Jamband, Rock and Blues meld and colour the music, with shuffles and grooves and the heat of Southern Rock. Who cares how they are defined this is jolly good music, entertaining, exciting music you want to hear. Time is suspended in The Tramshed tonight, realities are switched off all that matters is the moment and music.

Set List
Part 1
Railroad Boy – (By A Thread 2009)
Thorazine Shuffle – (Dose 1998)
Banks of the Deep – (The Deep End Vol 1 2001)
Time To Confess – (The Deep end Vol 2 2002)
Thelonious  Beck – (Dose 1998)
Gordon James – (By A Thread 2009)
Revolution Come Revolution Go – (Revolution Come … Revolution Go 2017)
Dreams & Songs – (Revolution Come … Revolution Go 2017)
Stone Cold Rage – (Revolution Come … Revolution Go 2017)

 

Part 2
One Of These Days – (Dark Side of The Mule 2014)
Fool’s Moon – (The Deep End Vol 1 2001)
Monkey Hill – (Gov’t Mule 1995)
Funny Little Tragedy – (Shout 2013)
Tastes Like Wine – (Life Before Insanity 2000)
Travelling Tune – (Revolution Come … Revolution Go 2017)
Mr Man – (Deja Voodoo 2004)
Lola – (Deja Voodoo 2004)
Blind Man In the Dark – – (Dose 1998)
Machine Gun

Encore (With special Guest Bernie Marsden)
Ain’t No Love In the Heart Of The City
Blue Sky

 

Gov’t Mule Triumphant First Live Show in Wales

The Lantern Bristol Shines on Dan Owen’s Vocals

The Lantern Bristol Shines on Dan Owen’s Vocals.With a crowd full of anticipation to hear once again the vocals of Dan Owen with his twenty-first-century mix of singer-songwriter angst, blues and ‘modern man with a guitar’ sound. Before the main act of the night, the evening opened with a singer-songwriter behind the keyboards as Billy Lockett hit the stage. Billy set the scene for Dan with a set that may not have been exciting but was a solid start to the evening.  The set was full of romantic originals and into this indie mix, he covered Nirvana, definitely not Kurt Cobain but an interesting choice. Closing the short set the Northampton-born Billy Lockett with his easy smile finished off with Burn It Down.  The number that got him noticed when included on Made in Chelsea. Billy also has a full band which would pep up the numbers I am sure.

 

The Lantern Bristol Shines on Dan Owen’s Vocals.Short break and Dan stepped onto the stage in The Lantern, Colston Hall. Dan Owen has been touring and shaping his craft. The bluesman who captures the tones of the seventies all packaged in an Indie delight. This is solo music that hits the mark with all ages especially the young who connect with the angst, his tales and manner that connects with the audience. His voice has always demanded attention and he got it.  Tonight as a duet his music was up close and very personal. Dan has certainly ‘come of age’ since I saw him last. As he opened with Parachute we knew we were in the assured vocal glow of Dan. The voice now has real controlled power, with a clarity of tone and delivery of lyrics. We flew with Dan close to the sun as he played Icarus. Wow!! Joining Dan on stage tonight was Lewis Cooper on Keys which provided an extra depth of tone and great backing vocals.  Dan’s latest E.P. Open Hands and Enemies is a snippet of his talent and a full album is long overdue.  From the E.P. he played What Is A Man and Moonlight, a slow burner that lights the auditorium.  The tone changed with Splinter as Lewis swapped keys for electric guitar with a twang of Country-meets-Americana and curls into British Indie. With that Lewis left the stage for a couple of solo numbers from the past as Dan, his guitar and harmonica collided with Bob Dylan, Cohen and the seventies with a swirl of blues with the added power of the stompbox. No longer a biscuit tin with wires, now neat smart and full of drumming power.  We were treated to a beautiful new song Hand That You Hold as he explored emotions with skill and empathy. Lewis returned to the stage and the set continued. What was noticeable the songs all had short intros the hallmark of songs today.  Made To Love You, written about a friend who he had a drink with to make a plan about his relationship. The song Made to Love You was written about domestic abuse experienced at the hands of a woman his friend had experienced while still loving her.

The Lantern Bristol Shines on Dan Owen’s Vocals.Dan Owen left the stage and quickly returned with guitar and harp with a rousing rendition of Willie Dixon’s Little Red Rooster. Lifting the energy and ambience of the venue. Blues just suits Dan’s vocals.

 

The Lantern Bristol Shines on Dan Owen’s Vocals, the set was accomplished. But just far too short, I was left wanting to hear more, get to know the musician.  So with that, the stage darkened and it was an early night as we left Colston Hall.

 

The Lantern Bristol Shines on Dan Owen’s Vocals.

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout Tonight

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout Tonight

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout Tonight

 

The Muni is back open for gigs. The crowds outside just show how popular the venue still is and the two acts on tonight Sari Schorr and The Engine Room opening for the mighty Walter Trout.  Whenever Sari Schorr steps on a stage she brings a vibrant dramatic energy.  What a voice! What a band that surrounds her! As the Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout Tonight.

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout TonightSari Schorr, the perfect act to warm up the crowded venue. Always a dramatic performer she delivered today with her unique interpretation of the blues.  The music and energy are modern the story behind the numbers is true to the traditions of the blues.  The set of eight tracks many from her critically acclaimed album Force of Nature combined with classy covers. Having the sensational Innes Sibun on guitar gives the band depth and feel. Tonight he was playing a Wudtone, a guitar made by a local company. He laid on every layer of tonal quality and texture from the innovative hand-built guitar.   As the crowds lapped up the virtuoso guitar playing The Engine Room ensure that Sari will always stand out from the crowd with her amazing vocal range and control. The inclusion of Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll gave Innes the chance to have lots of fun. This is blues jamming that will always animate an audience hungry for live music.

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout TonightSari’s own numbers have deep lyrics reflecting her own experiences and hardships. She explores the love of her Pit Bulls. Numbers about the power of addiction, opening with Ain’t Got No Money about greed, addiction to money and later on Aunt Hazel and heroin addiction. Closing the set with the Leadbelly number she has made her signature song Black Betty. As the set closed the audience was left breathless, invigorated and the magic of live music bringing us all together.

 

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout Tonight

 

Short break and the applause was rapturous before a note was played as Walter Trout stepped onto the stage. As ever Walter the great showman held the audience in the palm of his hand as his cream Fender Strat took us into the world of Walter’s Blues. Opening with the Johnny Winter classic I’m A Bluesman, the tone, mood and vibe were set. Walter can fit more notes into a crescendo with skill and timing to makes his guitar leap out and grab your ears.  Walter Trout is not about fast and furious for the sake of it. He plays with passion, control with changes in tempo and feel. He is from his heart and inner soul the consummate man of the blues. Demonstrated with a slow blues number in A minor. What a wonderful version of the mighty Albert Collin’s Cold Cold Feeling. Under Walter’s dexterous fingers he magic’s up a pure connection to the original whilst making this a pure gold classic Walter playing live moment.

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout TonightBlues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout TonightWalter let the guitar do the talking as the band played, no set list this was going with the flow of the evening. With a short introduction about his latest album, We’re All In This Together with a phalanx of guest friends from the world of modern blues. Tonight the guest was Innes Sibun rather than stepping into Joe Bonamassa shoes. Now a five-piece with two lead guitarists fireworks were promised and delivered, with a waterfall of shimmering blues fire.  Trout & Sibun tonight gave a spirited battle of guitars which was absolutely captivating. Superb live music. The venue was now hot with blues. As Innes left the stage he was replaced by Sari. The obvious number was Walter Trout’s Work No More. The number was on Sari’s album with Walter guesting. The chemistry between the guitar and vocals was intense.  Once again Andrew Ent joined Walter on the stage the power of his vocals rocked the rafters of the Muni.

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout TonightTwo of the numbers tonight were influenced by women in his life, His first wife with an old number as Walter explored the songs from his vast discography spanning twenty-eight albums.  The most moving number of the evening was Please Take me Home. The only number taken from Battle Scars. His heartfelt joy of being alive and how much he owes to the donor and the gritty determination of his wife Marie through the ordeal. The acoustic guitar from Andrew Elt made the number dramatic, poignant an emotional journey Walter and his family have been on.

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout TonightHis band was not left out as drummer Micheal Leasure was given the spotlight demonstrating what a powerhouse he is behind the music. Stepping out front was keyboardist Sammy Avila and his son Danny on Bass. The bass was deep with the strings bending under his will the Muni was rocking.

Throughout the set on every number Walter Trout was on top form, he fed off the audience and the audience gave back. This is blues that stirs your heart as everyone connects through the sound of live music.

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout TonightWalter loves playing in Wales, with a few Welsh words he had the crowd roaring as he said, Cymru am byth. ( Long Live Wales).  Once again as he did at the Tramshed last year he was fulsome in his praise for Wales’ forward thinking regarding Organ donation. In Wales, you have to opt out rather than opting into organ donation.

He left the stage the lights dimmed. The audience roared, taking up the chant Walter, Walter. In this heat, Walter returned to tumultuous applause for one more number. For me one of the many highlights of the evening was Prisoner of Dreams, capturing the life of a homeless woman and the words that have been washed away. No one wanted the night to end. Come back soon Walter, there will always be a warm welcome in the Valleys.

For many, the definition of Blues is playing with feeling. Tonight Walter, his band and guests all capture the feel. The River Taff flowed with the blues tonight in Pontypridd.

Blues Flowed up the Taff with Walter Trout Tonight

 

Kaz Hawkins Band Back On Tour Waving Goodbye

Kaz Hawkins Band Back On Tour Waving Goodbye

Kaz Hawkins Band Back On Tour Waving Goodbye

As many will have read with sadness Kaz Hawkins Band will be no more after the last tour. Kaz and her band, have entertained us in small venues, large venues, festivals and more. Kaz has the power and artistry so that her voice makes you laugh, sigh and cry. The band takes you on a rollercoaster ride always thrilling whenever and where ever she steps on the stage. Kaz may lead from the front with a swish of her skirts a flick of her hair none of the acclamations would be possible without her amazing band. The rhythm section are the brothers  Ján and  Peťo Uhrin joining the guitar, Nick McConkey,
This is your final chance to hear the band the won the 2017 European Blues challenge and semi-finalists at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.  Kaz Hawkins Band will be talked about long after the final notes have faded away, whenever you meet up with lovers of blues people will say do you remember when Kaz sang at the festival or blues club.
These are the final few dates, Book Your Tickets show Kaz your love and support.
25/10/2017 WOLVERHAMPTON  The Robin 2  BOOK TICKETS
26/10/2017 CHELTENHAM   The Bacon Theatre     BOOK TICKETS
27/10/2017 SHEFFIELD        The Greystones BOOK TICKETS
28/10/2017 NOTTINGHAM  Farnsfield Village Hall     BOOK TICKETS
02/11/2017 BARNOLDSWICK  Music and Arts Centre       BOOK TICKETS
03/11/2017 AMSTERDAM   P&O Blues Cruise       BOOK TICKETS
08/11/2017 WORTHING   Worthing Pier    BOOK TICKETS
09/11/2017 MILTON KEYNES The Stables     BOOK TICKETS
10/11/2017  RUNCORN  Brindley Theatre      BOOK TICKETS
11/11/2017  OLDHAM  Playhouse 2            BOOK TICKETS
12/11/2017  BROADSTAIRS  Sarah Thorne Theatre      BOOK TICKETS
18/11/2017 SWITZERLAND Lucerne Blues Festival BOOK TICKETS
Kaz Hawkins voice will not fall silent as she will continue with her solo career after a short break from the toils of being on the road with her band.
Bluesdoodles has followed her career: here is a selection of reviews
Kaz Hawkins @ The Tunnels, Bristol HERE
European Challenge – HERE
Albums:
Don’t You Know (solo) HERE
Feelin’ Good HERE
Get Ready HERE
In Conversation:
Talking about Feelin’ Good and More – HERE

High Temperature Conversation With JW Jones

High Temperature Conversation With JW Jones

High Temperature Conversation With JW Jones

BD: I was delighted when I was sent your latest album High Temperature out Friday 20th October 2017 the follow-up to Belmont Boulevard to review.  But first – let’s go back to the early days

 

BD: What were your first musical influences growing up in Ottawa, Ontario?
JWJ:
JWJ: I started out playing drums at 13 years old.  I was into classic rock: Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix etc. As I explored their influences, I discovered blues greats like BB King, Howlin’ Wolf, and Muddy Waters. Then, when I was 15 I saw BB King live in Ottawa. I went to the show as a drummer and left wanting to pick up a guitar.

Growing up in Ottawa, there were a couple of great blues clubs. The Rainbow Bistro is still open, and when I’m in town I play there. Another club, Tucson’s, is closed. I saw tons of great blues bands there when I was younger and became friends with so many of my musical heroes. Most touring blues bands don’t come through Ottawa anymore, other than to perform at the Blues Festival.
When the festival started, it was truly a blues festival. Now it’s more of a general music festival with everyone from Kiss to Lady Gaga. But they still bring in great blues artists like Buddy Guy, Dr John, Luther Allison, The Fabulous Thunderbirds etc.

BD: High Temperature is certainly getting noticed for all the right reasons.  Awards seem to follow your releases including for High Temperature produced by Nashville-based Colin Linden, which recently won “Best Self-Released CD” at the 2017 ‘International Blues Challenge’ (via Blues Foundation in Memphis).

JWJ: It was a huge surprise to be nominated since I had not heard of the category. I thought the International Blues Challenge(IBC) was about performances. I have been a judge at the IBC, which was a great experience. The Ottawa Blues Society approached me saying they wanted to submit High Temperature. Out of 93 entries, I heard I was in the top 5 or 6, which was exciting enough. When they announced that it had won, it was a nice surprise.

BD: Tell us about the making of the album number NINE. BD: The album is full of blues, with the genre being mixed in with other influences including Country, was this due to Nashville-based Colin Linden’s influence?

JWJ: Colin Linden is well-versed in roots music. He was mentored by Howlin’ Wolf, so he has a long history with the blues. He also works on the TV show “Nashville” as the musical director, so he brought a combination of influences to the album.

One song that comes to mind is “Where Do You Think I Was”, which I wrote in drop “D” tuning on guitar at home. I had no idea which way it would go in the studio. When I went in there, the studio musicians played their parts, then vocal harmonies were added. All of a sudden, it sounded like it had a bit of a country tinge to it.
My last two albums were recorded in Nashville with producers. This one with Colin Linden, and my previous album, Belmont Boulevard, with Tom Hambridge. Both producers assumed that the albums would be made using studio musicians. I had to fight to get my own band on a few songs. I believe it is important to have my own touring band on the album because they bring a different approach to the songs. They know blues music well since it is what we play every day on the road.

BD: Does the Title of the album High Temperature have any particular significance?

JWJ: “High Temperature” is a song by Little Walter, which we recorded for the album. I thought it would be a good title for the record because it ties into our live show, which is high energy.

BD: The album is inspirational with the track Who I Am being deeply personal as you share life experiences. Do you find it easy to open up using the power of your lyrics, vocals and guitar?

JWJ: That changed on the last record. Before that, I had not written anything really personal. For Belmont Boulevard, I mentioned to Tom Hambridge that I wanted to write a song about my childhood. He said to do it. Once I did this and got a positive reaction, I felt liberated. So on High Temperature I dug deeper with the song “Who I Am”. It is so moving to get emails from people saying they went through similar experiences. It is a beautiful thing to have your songs appreciated and understood.

BD: I have always been interested in the lyrics of a song. How do you set about writing your music is it words first or sometimes a guitar lick or riff that inspires you?

JWJ: Songs are all individual. Some come all together at once, but that is rare. My brain works in two ways. One side gives me the chord changes, riffs that develop the melody and the other side the words that become the lyric. I then play match-up with the tune to the lyrics to the melodies. It takes a lot of trial and error just have to keep going until it clicks.

 BD: Where do you get your inspiration for your songwriting?

JWJ: Every song is different. Some come together all at once, but that is rare. In my brain, there are two sides to writing a song. One side is the chord changes and riffs. The other side is the words and lyrics. I then have to match the chords with the lyrics and melody. Sometimes I try a few different ideas with the same lyrics. It takes a lot of trial and error, so I just keep at it until it clicks.

BD: Having toured the U.K. for the first time in 2016, long overdue having heard you and the band play in Swansea. You are back in the U.K. in November. With 17 dates will you be touring with the same band?

JWJ: The band is Laura Greenberg on bass, who was on the first U.K. tour and has been in the band for over five years, and we’ve got a great new drummer, Will Laurin. The UK tour last year was my favourite tour to date. I was nervous about stepping into the unknown, but the response was incredible with people travelling miles to see us on multiple shows. We really started to develop a fan base.

Now we are coming back to new towns and venues. We are taking a risk by renting venues, when we normally get paid to play, so we have to sell tickets in advance. On the positive side, there is a huge potential for growth. I would love to make this a regular tour, so we need to get everybody talking about us on social media and building a buzz for the tour. I loved the British experience and I am looking forward to going back.

BD: With new album and touring do you have any exciting plans for 2018 and beyond?

JWJ: My goal is to keep playing festivals, clubs, and theatres. I am also planning a live record for 2018. The last nine albums have been studio recordings, so it will be a first. People have been asking about a live record for years, so I think it’s about time.

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

Drums: Richard Innes
Bass: Larry Taylor / James Jamerson
Guitar: Jimmie Vaughan
Harmonica: Little Walter
Organ: Jimmy Smith
Piano: Chuck Leavell
Vocals: Aretha Franklin / BB King

 

Find out more about JW Jones at – www.jw-jones.com

Read Bluesdoodles Reviews for JW Jones:-

High Temperature –  Review HERE

Beaumont Boulevard –  Review HERE

JW Jones Live in the U.K. HERE

JW Jones 2017 UK Tour Information HERE

 

High Temperature Conversation With JW Jones