UKBlues Federation Crowdfunding Campaign Update for LaVendore Rogue

UKBlues Federation Crowdfunding Campaign Update for LaVendore Rogue

UKBlues Federation Crowdfunding Campaign Update for LaVendore Rogue

 

 

 

The crowdfunding campaign set up by the UK Blues Federation (UKBF) to raise funds to help LaVendore Rogue, winners of the 4th UKBlues Challenge, with their costs representing the UK at the 34th International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2018 and the 8th European Blues Challenge in Hell, Norway in March 2018, has got off to a fantastic start with more than £4,200 having been raised in just over two weeks since the campaign started.

In addition to what has been raised so far by the crowdfunding campaign, UKBlues has donated directly to LaVendore Rogue the sum of £1,500 to give them some working capital to start booking accommodation in Memphis etc.

With this contribution from UKBF, the total pledged and/or received is just short of £6,000, nearly 75% of the initial crowdfunding target of £8,000.

The UK Blues Federation is delighted that there has been such a great response to date and urges everybody to visit the crowdfunding page – HERE  – where you can not only make a pledge to support LaVendore Rogue but also get your hands on some great, exclusive rewards for doing so!

For the UK Blues Federation, Dave Raven, Treasurer, said, ‘We are very pleased to be able to make this substantial contribution towards the significant costs that LaVendore Rogue face to get to and compete in both Challenges. It is yet another example of the UK Blues Federation ‘putting their money where their mouth is’ and supporting and promoting blues in the UK.’

Joel Fisk of LaVendore Rogue said: ‘We really appreciate this – it’ll be a massive help getting the ball rolling, so thank you so much to the UK Blues Federation!’

UKBlues Federation Crowdfunding Campaign Update for LaVendore Rogue

It is not too late to get involved and make your contribution by visiting our crowdfunding page so if you have not donated, please have a look and see what great rewards are on offer in return for your financial support! Being part of the adventure that will take LaVendore Rogue to Memphis and Hell is Just a Click Away – CLICK HERE

UKBlues Federation Crowdfunding Campaign Update for LaVendore Rogue

Here is a very special message from the Rogues themselves!

 

UKBlues Federation Crowdfunding Campaign Update for LaVendore Rogue

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

Stevie Westwood Talking About Bad Touch Headline Tour

Stevie Westwood Talking About Bad Touch Headline Tour

Stevie Westwood Talking About Bad Touch Headline Tour

 

 

BD: Thank you for taking time to talk to Bluesdoodles again before you head out on a headline tour with Mollie Marriott, Celebrating the tour you have just released a video with the download available from Monday 23rd October.  The number Baby Get It On sounds fab love the inclusion of Mollie’s vocals.  Let’s start off with how did you decide on this Tina Turner Classic?
SW: We wanted a new number to promote the tour for our first headline tour. Delighted to have the amazing Mollie Marriott as our special guest real privilege she has such an amazing voice. Seeks our guitarist said let’s try this one and he had a cracking arrangement. We demoed it and recorded the number and sent it to Mollie. Mollie liked it as so she came up to the studio and we recorded the video. The whole this was a quick turnaround from Seeks first suggesting Baby Get It On and then half day in the studio recording the number.

 


 

BD: Bad Touch has been touring with some great acts including King King and recently Kentucky Headhunters how does it feel to be Headliners?

SW:  Headlining, yes feel bizarre weird place excited nervous, a good nervous will give chance for fans a chance to come out and support us. We are planning to get everyone who has seen us play live out the nights will be good value for money. Good times to be had. The support from Mollie will be immense. So we are asking everyone who has heard a radio play or seen us supporting some amazing acts, come out and support live music.  We have as everyone keeps saying come a long way in a relatively short time we just now have to keep moving forward.
BD: How do you keep the music contemporary when the influences are clearly out of the 1970’s, that bluesy Southern Rock sound. How do you manage not to be a retro band, but one with a relevance for audiences here and now despite being compared to Black Crowes and others?

SW: Ha! Yes, we do keep getting compared to bands of the ‘70’s. We didn’t go out to do that. Yes, we are all fans of many bands from Lynyrd Skynyrd through to Led Zeppelin. The music we write is what we want to write the music we want to play to audiences. We are also influenced by contemporary bands, including Temperance Movement, The Answer, Rival Sons and Blackberry Smoke. Listening and absorbing music from a variety of bands keeps our finger on the pulse. The truth is Bad Touch sound is the one we have shaped by all the members of the band.  You have to keep going nowadays, writing the music you want to write, Bad Touch are creating a sound that is getting us heard.
BD: Your album Truth Be Told was out last year and has gained you lots of fans with radio airplay. Will we be hearing some new music in the Headline set list?

SW:  Yes thanks to stations like Planet Rock for the support. We have four new songs that will probably be on the new album which we are planning to release in the first half of 2018. It is good to play them live, can see what people think. How audience reacts to them and keeps the set list fresh.  So yes there will be some new music on the set list every night we play.

Check out Tour Venues, Dates and a click away from buying your Ticket  HERE

BD: For people who have missed out on seeing Bad Touch Live how would you describe your sound and live performance. What makes Bad Touch the band to see in 2017.
SW:  Mmmm… honestly that is hard to answer.  None of us has seen ourselves play live or reviewed our shows! What I can say is we play to make people feel good about themselves. We are a feel good Rock N’ Roll Band. We aim to break down the space between band and audiences we want to create that one good party feel. You have reviewed us what do you say?

BD: Ha! That is cheating turning the tables. Yes, feel good music that makes you smile. You certainly are a high energy performers that raise the temperature of any venue.
SW: Glad you have enjoyed the show.

BD: Stevie, you are the vocalist and frontman of Bad Touch share with our readers how you interact with the band.  From your performance on stage, it always appears that you are having fun.
SW:  Truthfully why would we be doing this, playing in a band, if we were not having fun? Without being too pessimistic it is certainly not for the money! As a band, we look at it as we are all brothers together. We all communicate on stage I find a raised eyebrow works well along with a quick word in ears. We do talk to each other between numbers. The fun is doing the numbers different to the studio version, keeping it fresh reacting to the audience building a conversation between the band and the audiences.

BD: Having seen you play live a few times, you always include a couple of covers how do you choose them. Also, will the new single Baby Get It On make an appearance in the forthcoming tour?
SW: Mmm…. playing number live, the stage could be cramped come to a show and find out. Would be fun Mollie is such a great singer full of talent. So may make an appearance. We always have a couple covers up our sleeves, audiences know these songs which is great if it is the first time they are seeing us live, Secondly used to feel up the time of the set if we have run ahead of ourselves, in fact, that is generally the reason why we add them into the set.

BD: The world of music is tough. Bad Touch seems to have an upward trajectory getting your music heard is a challenge and you have had lots of Radio Plays from the album. What impact both positive and negative is of downloads and streaming services such as YouTube, Sound Cloud, Spotify for Bad Touch’s music and getting the sound heard to a wide audience?
SW:
Music business is tough. Thank you, we like to think we are moving upwards long may that continue. I am old fashioned I like to buy the CD. I like building my collection and being able to browse and choose what I am going to play. I cherish what I have bought.  That said I am definitely not poo pooing anyone who listens to their music using streaming services. That said though I do feel that there has been a huge devaluation in the value of music now have the ability to have what you want without paying(or only paying minimal amount) for it. It is very hard, don’t know really we use YouTube and Sound Cloud for our music and it is a way to find music. I do though believe that streaming stops people from having to pay for music if you pay you put more value on the music you are listening to. BD: Read recently that people only listen to few seconds of intro before trying another track. SW: Yes, attention spans are now so short need to catch people attention in first few seconds or they move on. Technology is both amazing and scary everything is available in the instant which definitely has positives and negatives. I still like having my CD’s on a shelf they are always available even when Wi-Fi is down.

 BD: What other plans and excitements have you got planned for 2018 following a very busy 2017?

SW: Taking it as it comes. First priority is the new album follow-up to Truth Be Told. Bookings for 2018 are coming in so we will be keeping getting out there performing in front of audiences.
BD: What was the first album you bought and what is the most recent?

SW: Big Willie Style – Will Smith Like an Arrow by Blackberry Smoke
BD: We asked you your fantasy band when we talked last year so what are you listening to at the moment; whether on the tour bus or relaxing?

SW: Everything and anything. When out on tour we all bring the music we are listening to. We talk about it what we like about it.  All that we listen to sculpt the Bad Touch sound as we get down and write new stuff together. Currently, we have been listening to lots of Country having been on Tour with Kentucky Headhunters. Some great music out there to be discovered.

Bad Touch are:

Stevie Westwood
Rob Glendinning
Daniel ‘Seeks’ Seeking
George Dewry
Michael Bailey

BD: Once again thanks for your time and looking forward to seeing you with Bad Touch and Mollie Marriott at The Tunnels, Bristol

 

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

 

 

As Mollie says Truth Is A Wolf on her Debut Album

As Mollie says Truth Is A Wolf on her Debut Album

As Mollie says Truth Is A Wolf on her Debut Album

 

 

Listen to the album in full, then again and then start to consider the review. Why? Get to know Mollie Marriott the musician, singer in her own right. Forever connected to her famous father. Judge the music for what it is, Mollie coming up front having been a backing singer. The album has a wolfish grin throughout, a little bit dark, a smidgen of hunger and a wildness that needs to be tamed as Mollie gets personal with the lyrics.

From the opening, this is a singer taking control of her destiny. Turning up the heat, beat and building from a rhythmic bass that lets the wolf in Mollie free grabbing control of her own destiny. The song co-written with Sam Tanner(Brother Strut) lays down the path Mollie wants to take, being her own person as she tames, shapes and most importantly is in control of her own music and artistry. This s the perfect show-stopping single to show to the world I want to be heard as I sing the music that moves me.

Mollie the songwriter and singer explores throughout the album the hurt and pain of loss and life’s bitter, sometimes dark experiences.  She empathises in vocal tone pulling on the hurt until scars are revealed. Importantly for the integrity of the music she never wallows or sinks into a pool of despair. Mollie is stronger and will Run With The Hounds fashioning her own distinctive creative pathway.

The vocals have an inner power that soars above the band’s melodic lines. They never dominate but always give Mollie a springboard to vocally soar from. The instrumentation and production are spot on. Thanks to the band who play with her live. This shines through with a mutual understanding an umbilical chord of understanding.  The title track Truth Is A Wolf is the perfect demonstration of this mutual harmonization between Mollie Marriott and her band, Johnson-Jay Medwik-Daley (guitar), Sam Tanner (keyboards), Henrik Irgens (bass), Alex Reeves (drums) and Izzy Chase-Phillmore (backing vocals). As her voice howls with crystal clarity that would be the envy of many a pop diva. She is no diva. The intricacy of the number written by Gary Nicholson defines her. There is an edge that has the swirl of rock a hook of grunge rooted in an authenticity of sound making this number catchy, bewitching and beguiling. The first three tracks lay down the gauntlet can the high standard be maintained? The answer is Yes & No, as she explores different styles and tempos.

The slow ballad, Give Me A Reason fails to ignite, it is too dreamy and wistful the number lacks that inner grit that pulls the lustrous pearl from the Oyster. Then it slowly picks up as we have the song Run With Hounds and the tempo builds again with Love Your Bones. A tribute to her friend who died the sadness is underlying emotion the power of loving your bones fulfilled by the strings of the cello. It is the power of love remaining and strangely uplifting forward moving number.

Then we turn the corner to the closing numbers many co-written. This strengthens the power in the numbers King Of Hearts, penultimate number co-penned with Judie Tzuke and Graham Kearns is full of the wolfish rock power of the earlier tracks. The number has a grungy edge that the guitar amplifies the sound that is built creating an electrofused crescendo that leads neatly into the closing number My Heaven Can Wait.  The number is full of epic proportions as the voice explores the lowest point of her emotional crash. Deeply personal the hurt can be experienced in the sonic ranges and shapes of the instruments as the last notes fade away.

Having explored the darker side of life. Truth Is A wolf surprisingly leaves you feeling content, uplifted with a spring in your step and ear-worm repeating guitar riffs.

Debut album that sets Mollie Marriott firmly on the road as a solo singer. The style that instantly identifies the voice still needs to be defined with a sharpness of direction. The second album will set this down. The melodic, crystal clear vocals that have the ability to shape the emotions suits the darker sound where her emotions can run with the pack of wolves. As Mollie says Truth Is A Wolf on her Debut Album.

Mollie Marriott – Truth Is A Wolf 

Release Date 3rd November 2017

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

 

Track Listing

  1. Control
  2. Broken
  3. Truth Is A Wolf
  4. Give Me A Reason
  5. Run with The Hounds
  6. Love Your Bones
  7. Transformer
  8. Fortunate Fate
  9. King Of Hearts
  10. My Heaven Can Wait

    Pre-order Truth Is A Wolf TODAY 

 

As Mollie says Truth Is A Wolf on her Debut Album

Read what we talked about when we sat and talked about Music, touring, famous parents –  HERE

 

Mollie sets out on tour with Bad Touch in November.

In Conversation Believe What Rebecca Downes Says

In Conversation Believe What Rebecca Downes Says

In Conversation Believe What Rebecca Downes Says

 

 

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

RD: No problem life is busy and good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bluesdoodles Reviews:-

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

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

In Conversation Believe What Rebecca Downes Says

 

Q&A Session as we Rise and Shine with SIMO

Q&A Session as we Rise and Shine with SIMO

Q&A Session as we Rise and Shine with SIMO

 

 

BD: Hi JD delighted to have the opportunity to chat with you once again for Bluesdoodles. A year has passed and we have a new album to explore and enjoy Rise and Shine. The follow-up to the acclaimed Let Love Show You The Way. You have certainly gone off on a different journey as we Rise and Shine with SIMO.

JD Simo:  It is always a pleasure to talk with you. On our way to Nashville to Rise & Shine Record release show.

BD: Tell us about the making of Rise and Shine and how the eleven tracks were weaved together as a tour de force?

JD Simo:  Started the concept last year during that ridiculous touring schedule. There was a hint of the direction at the live shows on our last tour especially in the UK. We had so much material and not had time to work on so many songs. The concept came out as we got bored creatively with what we were putting out material wise. We wanted to push the sound by how we view this and push that so we could find a place that felt unfamiliar. That coupled with the determination to be the best we could be through writing and the music. We could have easily gone in and made an album that was familiar. We wanted to craft and make music with a purpose and with a refinement. Using a methodical approach to be the best possible. This takes time and effort and is a bit scary. It is easy to be lazy being tricked by praise and believing what you are telling yourself. That stops creativity.

The nucleus was when we finally got home in January. No shows and a month studio time already blocked off. So we bared down onto the album. It was a lot of hard work. Lots of time spent it was serious and fun definitely not stressful. It was like a good work out working through and feeling good at the end. Every day was a stretch, it took a long time to arrange and work out the songs. How we were going to do it, what the concept was how the track would sound and fit into the album.

Studio time we were there every day with long hours of crafting our music it was good not to have to rush. We had the time to capture a good performance. Sometimes a track took a long time others a lot shorter. It then took two months to mix. Making the album was a marathon rather than a sprint.

Rise and Shine is a piece of work that represents the best of what we are capable of. It feels like our first record.  If it reminds you of other works that is not intentional. In the past it was intentional. Here we said lets deconstruct I am really proud of the result.

 

BD: You have described the sound as Psychedelic Blues, many have fused soul and funk onto the blues base but you have gone one step further for me this is progressive blues, experimental. Why do you describe your music as Psychedelic ?

JD Simo:  What my music ends up being called is terms is meaning less and less to me. It has to be done in the world we live in. It is fun to hear everyone’s take on the music. Everyone has a different take, it is good that they are finding something that resonant.

Psychedelic is another way to say experimental not taking the norm. A lot of elements makes this experimental with different textures and sounds. The record is still Rock n Roll. Trying to push finding inspiring sounds is cool.

 

BD: How did you come up with the jaunty title Rise & Shine almost a pop feel?

JD Simo:  There is a pun in that behind the name is a concept of growth and your inner light/beauty and the ability to convey that. There are miracle themes, spiritual elements. Rising out of whatever you are dealing with. Shine the message is don’t hold it in, it is okay to let your inner self be seen. There were other names considered. In the end we all liked the title it is kind of funny and suited the album..

 

BD: You made the decision to take a month out and producing the album yourself. Did this give you more control combine the feeling of a live show, energy of a jam and the experimental sonic tones all into the same album that makes sense and is never disjointed?

JD Simo:  We had complete control it was incredible. I was astounded that I was given the opportunity, they had faith in me. So I was given the opportunity to see the vision through. We wanted the live energy on each song. They were treated singularly. There were lots of songs that didn’t make it and others were torn apart during pre-production. The aim was that on each song we nailed it, sonically what suited the track. Some link Meditate were laid back, with intense parts felt the track was laid back, not always easy to capture. It was great to have complete control. We took it really seriously there was no messing around.

 

BD: The opening track Return is a sonic assault as you tune in you realise that Return is not return to the same you have gone in a different direction as the band moulds influences from Beck to Prince with deep bass lines, vocals that are beguiling an opening track opening the doors on the new shape of SIMO?

JD Simo:   Once we got to the mixing stage we were fairly methodical as we considered how the album would flow. The choice of opening with Return was to knock you of your balance, a track you would not expect us to do. In the end it felt the best, felt right to start that way.

A lot of thought went into how to sequence the record. We really loved the opening of the record and the rest made sense. Return, was lyrically a good place to start. The songs get more and more persona. They are what JD personally gone through.  Light The Candle starts to gets heavier subject more about the world outside of me and more intense. It was just the way it worked out in the end.

BD: SIMO have been describe your sound as retro but that is for me too easy. Your sound is modern cutting edge how do you manage that?

JD Simo:  Retro is a fair assessment of what we were creating before Rise & Shine. Not indicative of where we are now. We have turned away from retro it is a natural evolution. Where we are getting more genuine and comfortable. It is like not putting on someone else’s cloths. This is what we were doing with the best of intentions before. It is like growing up, at High School you dress like everyone else. You think man I don’t like this shirt I am not going to wear that anymore. Musically it is like that. Retro was a way of exploring a range of influence. Yet we have as many influences that are contemporary, including Alabama Shakes and Wilco we needed to re-group.

BD: Following on from moving on from being Retro, did you use different equipment on Rise and Shine?

JD Simo: Great question. Yes we did use different equipment. Didn’t use anything used on previous albums. It was all stuff I had found myself it was my own equipment. In the past I had used equipment used by people I admire and love used trying to be authentic.

Now I have collected equipment that suits me in fact none of the equipment was used before it was fresh start on Rise & Shine.

BD: The lyrics are often deep, very personal how much have you been influenced by your extensive travels in 2016 and the election of President Trump last November?

JD Simo:  Majority a lot is about me. This is obvious the emotions I have been through and very observational. I was trying to work through stuff I had to deal with myself. I had to face myself.  It is more honest not alluding but very stark, uncomfortable at times to listen to. This was a conscious choice on my part. I know I am a decent musician as a writer I have never forced myself to write as good as I can. It is important to work on writing. It is absolutely the most important thing is the writing. I love writing it helped me to have the confidence to work to be better and better. Focusing as much on writing as being a good musician that is not being neglected though. Just working harder to be as good a writer as I am a good musician. It feels really good.

We had a listening party. A bunch of people came round I felt really uncomfortable, sick to the stomach. It was hard for me to do, listening to the songs. Bringing stuff up not expressed before in front of a group of people. Once I recovered it felt fine through this journey I have become a decent writer I have revealed everything I needed to. Writers like Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan and Neil Young they do that all the time. I am not comparing myself to them but is sets the bar high to aim for that a better job than I have ever done before.

 BD: Will you be touring Europe with this new exciting album?

JD Simo:  Yes, have a three-week tour of Europe mainly Germany, one night Holland, Belgium and London. Just doing shorter tours, can’t do the 5-6 weeks just too draining for us. Early 2018 will be back in Europe more dates UK and some of the other countries missed including France, Italy, Switzerland and Spain. 2-3 week tours are so much more enjoyable and we are really looking forward to doing them. In fact some of the best gigs we have played have been in London so looking forward to 26th September at the Borderline.

 

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

JD Simo:  Without hesitation JD said – D’Angelo to cover I Want Love. That would be pretty sick, pretty incredible and a huge honour. Mind you it would make me never want to do the song every again.

I am a Spotify junkie, I have playlists of all types of stuff. I really am really love Jeff Tweedy solo record with its Meters influence. Also really digging Lily Mae from Nashville, who is on Jack Whites label Third Man. It is folk/country like Gordon Lightfoot. Classic country she is an incredible musician playing fiddle and guitar. Her vocals are unique at times frail sounding like she is crying.

BD: Thank you for your time and looking forward to hearing the new numbers live very soon.

 

Rise and Shine out on Mascot Label Group – out 15th September 2017 

 

Q&A Session as we Rise and Shine with SIMO

Q&A with Erja Lytinnen Stolen Hearts Guitars and Touring

Q&A with Erja Lytinnen Stolen Hearts Guitars and Touring

Q&A with Erja Lytinnen Stolen Hearts Guitars and Touring

 

 

BD: Hi Erja hope you are well, thanks for taking time to speak to Bluesdoodles, for the second time this year as you embark on a UK tour.  

EL:  Yes, really well and looking forward to talking again as I am about to hit the road across the UK at the end of the month.

BD: Let’s start off with the tour seven nights in the UK starting in Sheffield at Greystones on the 20th   How do you prepare and plan for a tour?

EL: It is nice to be back touring, it is an extension of the tour that started back in April to promote Stolen Hearts. Always wonderful when new people come to a show as well as meeting old friends.  It is fun playing the music live. The twins see this as part of life, it is normal for them for Mum to go off playing her music. They go and stay with their father it is no different for them. They have grown so much they are now three and a half, they understand more and can talk about it. They love to help to load and acting as roadies. One is really good on the drums playing with two sticks and playing bass drum at the same time. (Laughing)  just need the other to play bass be the perfect band. Seriously they can do what they want to do. It is though important I think for everyone to enjoy music. Everyone can be creative and involvement in the arts is so good for the soul; it lets all the stress out.  I have been in rehearsals today preparing for the shows, and they went really well. I have new songs and a new pedal. One of the new songs gives me the chance to create a bit of chaos and develop the guitar sound. Chaos is a good thing and then take the music back to simplicity.

BD: For people seeing you for the first time how do you describe your special blues. Full of slide and magic and weaving in tones from across the modern music spectrum from Rock to Prog?

EL: I listen to lots of different music, guitar based and mostly bluesy.  I love mixing and matching the various elements I have learnt from my many and varied guitar teachers.  From my teachers, I learn different approaches and take what is good for me. I master as much as I can and add these skills into the mix. Blues always is the heaviest essence within my music; I like to go crazy with the music, playing free. Traditional blues are hard to play. Can be seen as boring by some. To take the best out of those three chords you need to be the master of the blues.

I have always been a bit of a rebel, wanting to deliver the unexpected, being unique. You cannot just copy you have to make your own stuff. Right now what is happening is a new thing and a new sound coming out of the guitar which is exciting.

BD: To sum up then your music is the blues with a twist of craziness and a lot of Erja uniqueness.

BD: Will the set list be heavy with tracks from your acclaimed album Stolen Hearts and do you have favourites from your whole back catalogue?

 EL: The set list will be 100% Erja Lyytinen. The set list will include tracks from Stolen Hearts. The songs will be different playing live they get their own shape and energy. Into the mix will be songs going back to Grip Of The Blues with Everything’s Fine released in 2008.  Wow, that is nearly ten years ago! Laughing.  You can hear the development over the decade now maybe when in a set can be eight minutes of heavy shuffle blues, with loud guitar, in the solo using delay and Whaing.  The cover song we love having in the set list and is pleasing for audiences is Steamy Windows; the Tony Joe White song a lot of fun, about sex and I can have a good time with the bass player.

BD:  Having performed the songs from Stolen Hearts live do you have a favourite and why?

EL: Rocking Chair, from Stolen Hearts, goes in, it is always a challenge to play live and is becoming its own number little by little as it develops when played on stage if you allow the music the change. Having played the number at around one hundred shows songs are taken in another direction from when recorded in the studio of first played live. It would be boring if played the same way every time. In the blues genre changing and developing is typical and expected.

BD: As you will be only too aware of the debate about what is the blues. What are the Blues to Erja Lyytinen? Do you feel British Blues has a different feel to what is being currently produced in Europe, United States and elsewhere in the world?

EL: Europe definitely has different Blues from U.S.A. The U.K. definitely trades in the whole blues revival of the sixties as the great rock bands emerged Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones and so many more. A Blues band of every country has roots reaching back to the sixties. British Blues is stable with a clear identity.

American Blues is more conventional more towards the traditional roots. European bands are not afraid to mixing and making new sound being experimental. Without a doubt, rockier blues is trending at the moment after the phenomenon of Bonamassa and others have developed a great space a new thing and vibe.

We already have a great catalogue of blues from the past recordings of the 1940’s. We cannot go back.  Fortunately traditional and new are being combined as players take elements from the past to where we are now.

BD: During your travels, how often (if ever) have you experienced sexism, and if so where is it worst/most rife?

EL: Sexism, chuckling, it is in the fabric of the blues. Women and the blues have always been present. Blues is a man’s world.  It has been around since the days of Bessie Smith through to Rosetta Thorpe. They were all amazing musicians and women with an attitude to stride forward.  They all had so much talent that the sexism within the business could never overshadow.  It has changed so much over the last five years there are now more women in the blues. The change is thanks to many women including singer & guitarist Bonnie Raitt, who has been on the circuit for 40 plus years, Susan Tedeschi and Sue Foley and so many more. Women needed these idols. I was lucky my father played the guitar and my mother bass so there were no gender stereotypes of sexism what I was growing up.

BD: What projects have you in the pipeline for the rest of 2017 and into 2018 once the tour finishes in Bristol at The Tunnels on the 26th September?

EL: After the UK tour in September I am involved in a TV programme, Stars Stars (Tähdet Tähdet). It is a nationwide programme where ten singers who sing different genres each week. With over a million viewers every week. The viewers vote and it will stretch me singing Rap/Hip Hop/musicals and other genres each week, I hope the viewer’s votes mean I get through to the finals.

I have a big tour before Christmas in Finland at twelve big venues Erja Lyttinen & Friends: Blue Christmas with Sami Saari and Maria going to be fun. Then into 2018 still touring Stolen Hearts Europe in February and back in the U.K. in March.

We are already doing new songs so cool a shift in direction for the future. My music has been used in a documentary being premiered today. The programme is a big criminal case involving drug Police. So interesting to do different things

No album is being planned for 2018 as still touring Stolen Hearts. But I am writing lots. I noticed that Stolen Hearts full of emotions and my personal life. My writing has moved more base on the guitar a different sound more psychedelic. The stories are not ready yet, lots of guitar riffs and mood feels very different. So lots happening.

BD: Thank you for your time and looking forward to see you live on tour and reviewing the show on 26th September at The Tunnels, Bristol.

Bluesdoodles Stolen Hearts Album Review:  The only answer as the last notes fade is listen and explore Stolen Hearts again. Why? Stolen Hearts is an album of musical maturity that will remain a firm favourite for years to come in collections of lovers of contemporary blues without boundaries. Read more…

Erja Lyytinen is touring the U.K. in September Select the gig – BOOK HERE

 

SQ&A with Erja Lytinnen Stolen Hearts Guitars and Touring

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge. Who are the five excited bands talking about 4th UK Blues Challenge? They are Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion; LaVendore Rogue, The Rainbreakers ; Elles Bailey  and Robert J. Hunter. The fifth band added to the list rose to the Jessica Foxley unsigned challenge having played on the main stage at  Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival.   

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFive Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeTell us what it means to Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

 ZSBC: Firstly, the fact that the number of our peers nominating is so large gives real credibility to the artists involved, so we are also proud about that.    We are also proud to be nominated as we see it as a recognition of our original music, concept and style.  We don’t write the songs to any kind of formula or to fit in with any cliche or pre-conceived ideas of what defines blues in 2017. Read more…..

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFive Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to LaVendore Rogue to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

LVR: We’ve been to hell and back a few times over the years, and playing in the states has to be a dream of any UK musician, so it’s an honour to be considered for the UK British Blues Challenge – we’ve been working hard over the last few years, and it’s great to see its been recognised by the UK Blues Federation. Read More …

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFive Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to The Rainbreakers to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

RB: We were overwhelmed to have been nominated, especially when we don’t really consider ourselves to be a blues band as such. We think it shows willingness from the scene to accept the new approach to the blues that some of the younger bands of today are displaying. Obviously we would be thrilled to go through to the European and American challenges especially as we are hugely influenced by a plethora of bands from the states! Read More….

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to Elles Bailey to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

EB: Love the fact that European Challenge at Hell – didn’t know it existed on Earth. I am chuffed to bits to be performing in the Challenge this year. I am a newbie on the scene over the last twelve to eighteen months I have been quickly accepted in the Blues community. It has just exceed my expectations, definitely delighted to be performing in Liverpool and looking forward to seeing the other acts. It is definitely going to be a great night. Read More…

 

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to Robert J. Hunter Band to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

RHB: We are a struggling band on the blues scene, if we are even on the blues scene is up for debate. We work very hard and we are playing the long game, enjoying every step of the way. But to have an opportunity like this is an absolute honour, we have been given a chance and we promise we won’t disappoint. Thank you to JFU and UKBlues Federation for believing in us.. the opportunity to be able to play somewhere called Hell is exciting on it’s own. Read More…

More about The UK Blues Challenge

What is the UK Blues Challenge (UKBC)?

An annual event organised by the UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) at a different location in the UK at which a number of bands/acts compete in front of a panel of judges drawn from across the blues spectrum. The winning band/act is invited to represent the UK at the following year’s International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis and European Blues Challenge (EBC) which is held in a different European country each year.

The International and European Blues Challenges are organised by, respectively, the Blues Foundation  and the European Blues Union (EBU)

We are very pleased that this year’s event will take place at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool on Sunday 10th September 2017 starting at 16.00. More details can be found  and how to buy a ticket for the event HERE. UKBlues is excited to be bringing the blues back to the Cavern sixty years on!

How are the contestants in the UKBC chosen?

As an Active Member of the EBU meeting the EBU’s laid down criteria (see EBC rules here) and the sole UK Affiliate of the Blues Foundation, UKBlues are honoured to be invited to create and manage the selection process to choose the band or artist who will represent the UK at these prestigious events each year.
The first stage of the process this year saw a panel of more than 250 people from across the blues spectrum in the UK which included members of UKBlues, all UK based Active Members of the EBU, members of the Independent Blues Broadcasters Association, festival and gig promoters, writers (both online and print media), musicians, fans and blues supporters etc. being invited to submit the three UK acts that they felt would best represent the UK at the EBC and IBC.

Members of this panel were asked to place their choices in order (first, second, third) and points were awarded according to the position in which the acts are placed by you.

The 4 top scoring available acts after this process was complete were invited to participate in the UKBC where the contestants will perform in front of a panel of judges who will use the same criteria to award points to the contestants as are used at the EBC and IBC.
In a new departure this year, a fifth band will be invited to participate which will be selected from the bands who have been invited by Jessica Foxley Unsigned to play at the Great British Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Festival which takes place in Colne over the August Bank Holiday weekend –  These bands are, generally, under the radar and being selected to play at Colne is a big step up for them.

The band will be chosen by a panel of representatives of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned project and will be chosen on the strength of their performance at Colne.

The winner of the UKBC will be invited to represent the UK at both the 2018 EBC and IBC.

What are the selection and judging criteria?

When making their selections, the members of the panel are asked to bear in mind the following EBC rules which apply:

  • The leader of the band must have the nationality of the country he/she represents.
  • At least 50% of the members of the contestant bands must reside in the country they represent.
  • Acts who participated in a previous edition of the EBC, but did not win, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
  • Bands of which half or more of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
  • Bands of which less than half of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 2 years.

Contestants at the UKBC, EBC and IBC are expected to perform at least 50% original music in their set and they are awarded points using the following criteria as laid down by the EBU:

  • Originality
  • Instrumental talent
  • Vocal talent
  • Stage presence
  • Blues content

You can read the full EBC rules here

This process is the same as that which has been used in previous years and is approved by the Blues Foundation and the European Blues Union

Five Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Alan Nimmo from King King Talking about Album & Tours

Alan Nimmo from King King Talking about Album & Tours

Alan Nimmo from King King Talking about Album & Tours

BD: Hi Alan, thanks for taking the time to chat about Exile & Grace King King’s new album and tour dates brightening 2018.

Exile and Grace the much-anticipated album is released by Manhaton Records on 6th October 2017.

Their UK tour kicks off at London Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Wednesday 17th January 2018.

Tickets: www.kingking.co.uk/tour

 

Alan Nimmo from King King Talking about Album & ToursBD: Let’s start with Exile and Grace out 6th October on Manhaton Records. The album title feels different from previous titles. What inspired the title Exile & Grace?

AN:  The inspiration behind the album title came from a number of things really but all rolled into one! There is a huge concern that the future of our world and our species is very uncertain! There is so much conflict in the world and the way we treat the planet is a real worry for future generations. So it’s almost like “Exile” and “Grace” are like a yin and yang. We seem to exile the willingness and power to be graceful and live in harmony with one and other.

BD: Having listened to the album a number of times it is definitely rockier and has a cohesive sound. Is this the trajectory that you and King King plan to take the group in the future.

 AN:  It’s never a plan to take the musical style in any direction… it’s simply just how the songs turn out when we write them. I feel as the main songwriter that the more experience I gain from writing, the more relaxed I become and with that relaxation comes the early influences that I was listening to as a young kid.

BD: No title track as such – do you see any particular track as the number that defines the album.

AN: If I had to pick a tune that defined this album I’d probably say it was “Broken” It talks about the things I mentioned earlier about my concerns for our future as a human race.

 BD: Do the tracks have personal meaning and have you a favourite Track?

 AN: Everything I write has personal meaning as I tend to write about things and events that have gone on in my life or they can be subjects that matter to me too. They’re all my favourites!

BD: The first single of the album, (She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’ has had plenty of radio play and excited the fans. Keeping King King’s profile high while you are off the road. How did you decide on this track to launch the album with its Thunder overtones.

 AN:  It’s great to add depth and real meaning to certain songs throughout an album but just sometimes it’s simply ok to write a quirky tune that still tells a story but doesn’t need to tax the brain too much! We just wanted to have a first single that had an immediate impact on the ears and made you tap your feet! Simple as that!

BD: Before we talk about the 2018 tour dates and beyond.  You must have been heartened by the support and loyalty of your fans who have joined at various points on the King King Musical journey. The fans want to know how your vocal chords are progressing and are you doing what has been ordered staying quiet and resting your voice.

AN: First of all I would just like to thank all of our fabulous fans for the staggering amount of support and love they have shown not only me but to everyone in the band! As you can imagine…this is a very difficult time for me and indeed the boys and I’m glad that we decided to take this time out to get a full recovery and I want everyone to know that I’m working my backside off to get into good health vocally and in every other way!

BD: Let’s talk 2018. UK tour dates kick off at London Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Wednesday 17th January 2018; then four further dates around the U.K. This will certainly start the gigging year on a high for your growing phalanx of loyal King King fans.  This will be the start of Exile & Grace Tour and hearing the tracks we will have time to have learned. Which tracks work particularly well on a live King King set?

AN:  Yes, we’re really looking forward to getting back on the road and playing our UK tour! We’ll be rehearsing for the tour pretty soon and we’ll find out which songs work best live but you can never tell which ones will go down well on a live show until you try them! We will try to choose wisely!

BD: What plans do you and King King have for 2018 and beyond whether playing Rock or blues?

AN: There is a very busy 2018 already shaping up so we just want to keep doing what we do and hope that our fans stay by our side and enjoy the journey with us. There is plenty more for King King to achieve so don’t worry… you’ll be seeing lots of us!

BD: Finally, while you are off the road relaxing! What music are you listening to and giving you inspiration? 

AN: When I’m in the gym or walking in the hills or even out on the motorbike then I tend to listen to everything in my music library… it’s basically on random shuffle all the time so it’s anything from Thunder to Prince to Chris Stapleton to Black Crows to Eric Clapton, Free, Whitesnake, Steve Vai… I could go on all day! I even listen to King King and I also love the “Sky Won’t Fall” album from my big bro!

Alan Nimmo from King King Talking about Album & Tours