Shamans Harvest Album Red Hands Black Deeds Full of Missouri Magic
Shaman’s HarvestRed Hands Black Deeds Full of Missouri Magic. Their latest album as they cut across the genres, pulling the tones together with a dark and purposeful intent. You know that this will be an album that will both challenge and intrigue when after the track listing on the album cover there is the phrase – For the record, no goats were killed in the making of Red Hands Black Deeds. This conjures up the feel of a mystic pagan past, devil and music that will invoke the dark side of rock. The album has a depth of sound that evokes the past, reflecting the use of vintage amps, strong lyrics that rock around the beat pulling in Mowtown and the headlines of the day.
Summertime may be when the album is released; but to understand the anxiety that is apparent throughout the dozen tracks we have to go back to the inception of Red Hands Black Deeds. The journey of Shaman’s Harvest’s Album Red Hands Black Deeds Full of Missouri Magic began back in November 2016. A time of tension and anxiety in a divided nation deciding who would be the next President of USA. As they explore new concepts the maturity of sound and confidence in production reflects the ups and downs bands go through on and off the road since their debut album, Last Call for Goose Creekin, back in 1999. Shaman’s Harvest have persevered through singer Nathan Hunt’s battle with cancer. The quartet’s determination and focus has led them to an album that will stand out for its difference, with the use of melodic cadences that are beguiling building on the tonal texture of Nathan’s distinctive vocals. The lead guitar of Derrick Shipp lays down a mysterious melody with the rhythmic addition of Josh Hammler’s guitar. Matt Fisher’s bass lays down grooves that are deep with an iron edge, and the beating drum of Adam Zemanek evoking memories from the past and draws the listener into the here and now of this album. It is hardly surprising that they are in demand to play live ad reflected in the caliber of bands they have opened for AC/DC, Alice in Chains, Nickelback and Cheap Trick the list goes on but you get the picture.
The dozen track album adds to the discography with tracks that have layers of sound complexity delivered with ease. This is music which whilst challenging rests easy on the ear. It is music you want to listen to.
The title track and prelude takes us to the dark recess of our musical brain as a sonic picture is created. This is a hazy misty past full of dread as tribal memories are pulled to the surface of our memories. This has raw, primeval beats; a case of American Indian meets medieval courts. The vocals acting as the drone we are being taken to a different time and place where red hands carried out black deeds. Then the sonic tone changes with a deep dark bass and cascade of guitar as The Broken Ones picks up on the theme hinted at on the opening number. Who are the Broken Ones? Anyone who has been disenfranchised, immigrants and native American ancestors of Hunt. The music has a purity of purpose a counterpoint to the cynical lyrics showing the past and now are mirror images of themselves with society broken.
The harvest of lyrics on the album has garnered together the feeling of the relentless and unchanging actions of people that create a dark chasm resulting in a fertile resource for songwriting and always that element that keeps us going, demanding change the hope it will change for the better.
Three tracks in and the vista opens with the first single of the album. The music has a crisp freshness and a chorus that has a catchy feel as we get The Come Up. This is a track that swaggers with hope and energy as the sun bursts with Mowtown-fuelled energy from behind the darker clouds of previous tracks. An acknowledgement that sometimes you cannot change things.
Civil unrest and war connects the semi-acoustic, vocal lead number A Longer View and The Devil in Our Wake. Linking back to loss, marginalization and no clear path of solution. Loss of homeland and identity leading to hatred and hurt. Into the mix is blues influenced, Soul Crusher as Texan guitar picks up the Mowtown foot tapping – let’s dance feel we all need some of this fun beat as a slave to our souls. Keeping with the shading from the blues Off the Tracks.
The album keeps on giving, the lyrics and shaping of tones often gives a complete feel; this is music that the band cares about and have given deep thought to the track listing and the melding of tones from across the genres. Not leading to a mish-mash of tones and no sense of direction Red Hands Black Deeds is considered, thoughtful hand takes on a journey where we confront the hardship and reality of many people’s lives. The penultimate track cools the tempo down with acoustic stripped down country number Tusk and Bone. We need this space as we have explored the darkness of society. Leaving the last track and one more surprising twist in the road as Scavengers hit our speakers. Yes, electric but has a stripped back natural feel as the vocals come from afar and the rough texture of the sound brings us back to primeval mysteries. There is still one more gift a moment of silence and then a hidden nugget of fun.
Shaman’s Harvest Album Red Hands Black Deeds Full of Missouri Magic full of intrigues, delivers huge hooks, deep bass and powerful lyrics that have something to say wrapped up with powerful rock Shaman’s Harvest Red Hands Black Deeds delivers on every level.
Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge
Who are the four excited bands talking about 4th UK Blues Challenge? They are Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion; LaVendore Rogue, The Rainbreakersand Elles Bailey. There will be a fifth band joining the quartet of superb bands. The fifth band will be announced shortly after the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival taking place at Colne 25th-27th August. The Jessica Foxley Unsigned bands who will be playing on the main stages have now been selected. From these Eight bands one will be chosen to join the bands already announced to take part in the Challenge on the 10th September. Find out who the eight bands that are in with a chance HERE.
While we all wait in anticipation as to which band are joining the four who have already been nominated read about the bands and what they said when Bluesdoodles spoke to them.
Tell 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…..
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 …
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….
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…
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.
We are very pleased that this year’s event will take place at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool on Sunday 10thSeptember 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:
News from Colne August Music Festival Jessica Foxley Bands Announced
Unsigned Artist Competition – Winners Announced playing live on main stage at Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, Colne on Saturday & Sunday.
The festival requested unsigned acts… and received them by the bucket-load! Following an overwhelming response, The Jessica Foxley Unsigned judging panel chose 8 finalists to open the festival main stages this summer.
The eight bands all bring to the stage all the excitement of live music. One of the eight will then be chosen toparticipate in the UK Blues Challenge on 10th September 2017 at the Iconic venue The Cavern Club in Liverpool.
Jessica Foxley Unsigned Band will be performing alongside the four bands, LaVendore Rogue; Elles Bailey; Zoe Schwarz & The Rainbreakers. The winning band will step into the shoes of Kaz Hawkins who in 2017 was semi-finalist at The International Blues Challenge in Memphis and Winner of the European Blues Challenge.
Seeking Festival VolunteersThe festival seek volunteers to help at the event.In return for skills, time and energy, volunteers receive free festival tickets, vouchers for food and refreshments, an exclusive crew t-shirt, plus of course, be part of what is shaping up to be one of the best blues-rock based event of the year.Colin Hill, the CEO of Colne Town Council comments “And… for any young person over 16, not yet experienced in the workplace and wanting to gain some hands-on experience of what running an event like this entails, this a great opportunity to be part of something exciting and challenging…”To register interest and for further information, here’s more…Festival ‘Headline’ Sponsors Announced
Barnfield Construction are based in Nelson and have been established for over 40 years. The family run contractors, developers and investors offer honest, thought-through and practical solutions to a diverse array of new and refurbishment building contracts ranging from industrial, commercial, retail, leisure, plus hospitality and residential schemes.
Roaming Roasters are a farm shop and deli on Barrowford Rd, Higham, and sell locally sourced, grass fed and free range meat, along with handmade pies and loads more tasty stuff.
Hippodrome Theatre, Friday Evening, 25th August
Ian Siegal & Band – celebrating 25 years of professional touring with his songs that are real, shows that resonate and vocals served raw +
The Lachy Doley Group – “The Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond Organ” +
Tom Attah & The Bad Man Clan – A modern, living bluesman…
The Muni, Friday Evening, 25th August
Joanne Shaw Taylor – UK’s number one star in the blues rock world + Stevie Nimmo Trio – one half of Scotland’s highly respected ‘Nimmo Brothers’ + The Revelator Band – unpredictable, fun festival-style blues.
Aynsley ListerWhen explosive natural ability collides with fiery, emotionally charged compositions, the result is Aynsley Lister… + Rob Tognoni Explosive guitar playing and unique songs + TJ & The Suitcase Vocal / Harmonica / Suitcase drum / Home made tambourine beater pedal… Its time to get packed!
The Muni, Saturday Evening, 26th August
Grammy nominee Janiva Magness + the blues, soul, gospel of Jo Harman + The Kaz Hawkins Band – Northern Ireland’s fun, heartfelt, soulful rock ‘n’ roll-blues…, Lisa Mills
Hippodrome Theatre, Sunday Evening, 26th August
Lucky Peterson –Searing lead guitarist, fantastic organist, and first-rate vocalist Clay Shelburn – Funk, rock, blues and country from this incredible selftaught multi-talented artist Michael Messer’s Mitra – A remarkable fusion of country blues with Hindustani music
The Muni, Sunday Evening, 26th August
King King – Soulful, dynamic, blues-rock from Glasgow John Fairhurst – The Wigan Jimi Hendrix Gwyn Ashton – Solo, hardcore, 21st Century, alternative blues
_____________________________________________________________ This is just a snap shot of the array of music available at the Festival:- The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival:
12 Official venues
1 Great Festival
A Thousand Horses In Conversation with Bluesdoodles
BD: I was delighted when Wilful PR sent me a review copy of your new album Bridges and the opportunity to find out yourselves, influence and lots more. When I saw you play live at Rockstock last December for me you were the band of the Saturday night.
A Thousand Horses, have answered the questions as a team hence four bands of fantasy and delight. Read more for an insight into Michael Hobby Lead Vocals; Bill Satcher Lead Guitar, Zach Brown Guitar and Vocal & Graham Deloach Bass and Vocal
BD: What were your first musical influences growing up?
Thousand Horses: Graham: I loved all of the classic rock n roll growing up, and still do! Led Zeppelin is my favorite band of all time Zach: My parents listened to oldies in the car when I was growing up. The first concert I can remember going to was The Beach Boys out at the lake near our house. I didn’t learn that there was music made after 1970 until a friend played the song Breakfast at Tiffany’s for me when I was 10 years old. Bill: The Beatles Hobby: The Black Crowes
BD: A Thousand Horses are making an impact, how did you get together and form the band and what is the significance of the name?
Thousand Horses: Hobby: We formed the band in Nashville in 2010. Bill and I grew up together in Newberry, SC and met when we were 12 and 13 years old in a local music store. Graham is bills cousin so we would all 3 hang out every summer and play music. We formed ATH when we met Zach through a mutual friend in 2010. We named the band after a song we wrote when we formed the title A Thousand Horses.
We all write in the band together, separately, and with other writers here in town. Everyone in the band brings a great deal of creativity to song writing and our sound whether it be lyric, melody, or music, it’s a group thing. You never know where a song can come from or inspiration can spark!
BD: Bridges, is your follow-up album to your success with your debut Southernality last year. Produced by the Band, Corey Crowder & Dann Huff. With many involved in producing the sound who gets the final production say?
Thousand Horses: Bill: Well, Corey Crowder and Dann Huff both really wanted to make the best A Thousand Horses record that we could, so at the end of the day we were the ones with final approval on the album and they wanted it to be that way. But they’re so badass that there wasn’t much to be debated about in the end.
BD: How did you choose the tracks and then decide that Preachin’ To The Choir should be the single to proclaim the album?
Thousand Horses: Graham: We love every song that is on the new album. We are always writing and creating new music and these are some of our favorites that we wanted our fans to hear. We chose ‘Preachin’ to the Choir’ as our first single because we thought it was a great song for our fans and a great first impression and representation of the new musical project (Bridges) as a whole. Bill: I think that every new song we write, record, lyric we jot down or melody we try and refine, we are always pushing it and ourselves to be better than what we have done before. So, in a way, yes it’s more challenging because we are pushing harder to be better. So most the pressure or challenge comes from within ourselves. As far as the album title “Bridges” goes, we decided to name the project that because we feel that song’s meaning encapsulates everything we have been through in the process of creating this new music. It’s a song about light heartily looking back and being able to laugh at the mistakes you made along the road of life. It kind of defines our point of view at this time in our lives.
BD: Bridges has seven of the thirteen tracks recorded live. Six of them at Metropolis Studio in London what do you feel this approach adds to the music and what made Metropolis the place to be for Bridges?
Thousand Horses Zach: I think we wanted to show something real and raw with the Metropolis sessions. So much music coming out these days is so computer heavy that sometimes people don’t even know what artists actually sound like. We wanted to do something stripped down, one take, just us and our instruments. Metropolis has one of the only direct to vinyl machines left, so it was the perfect place to capture the live half of the record.
BD: I have always been interested in the lyrics of a song. Where do you get your inspiration for your songwriting?
Thousand Horses: Hobby: Song writing has always been a passion of mine since I got my first guitar and learned to play it. Instead of learning other people’s songs I would make my own up. Lyrically I always wanted to have truth in my stories. A lot of what I write about is real life things that I have lived or been a part of.
BD: The music Industry is constantly evolving with changes often not for the better, how have the changes impacted on Thousand Horses Country Rock style of music?
Thousand Horses: Graham: I think that the music has become more accessible as the industry and the genre of country music grows. This allows us to reach more people with our music.
BD: I am sure you have many plans for 2017 and beyond for the band do you plan to tour UK and Europe?
Thousand Horses: Zach: We love playing in the UK and are really looking forward to getting over to the rest of Europe. We have a few things in the works so stay tuned!
BD: Is there anything you want to say to your fans reading this interview?
Thousand Horses: Hobby: Thank you for your continued support and believing in our music. We love ya and can’t wait to rock with you soon.
BD: If you were putting together the perfect fantasy band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
Thousand Horses: Graham: Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes on drums, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd on bass/vocals, Billy Powell of Lynyrd Skynyrd on keys, Mike Campbell of The Heartbreakers on guitar, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin on lead vocal. Zach: Gotta start with the rhythm section cause it’s the backbone of the band. I always wanted to play drums like Keith Moon growing up so I’d have him on drums and Ashton Barrett, who played with Bob Marley, on bass. Then I’d add my favorite guitar duo, Keith Richards and Ron Wood, because they sound cool playing anything! I’d round it out with Freddie Mercury as the front man. Bill: Rich Robinson – Guitar, vocal. Joe Walsh – Guitar, vocal. Liam Gallagher – vocal. Steve Gorman – Drums. Benmont Tench – Keys. Paul McCartney – Bass, vocal. Produced by Jeff Lynne. Hobby: Tom Petty, Dwight Yokam, Max Martin, Jon Paul Jones, Steven Tyler and Prince on drums.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with Bluesdoodles. read the review for the latest album Bridges – HERE
The Best of Suzi Quatro Legend Hits The Street 22nd September
The Best of Suzi Quatro Legend Hits The Street 22nd September. Chrysalis Records announces the release of the 20 track compilation album. Legend has been personally curated by Suzi Quatro featuring digitally remastered versions of all her biggest hits including “Can The Can”, “48 Crash”, “Devil Gate Drive”, and “Stumblin’ In”. The album will be available on Gold Coloured Double Vinyl, CD and digitally.
For the very first time, Suzi’s four RAK studio albums, that she originally released between 1975 and 1979, will be digitally remastered and available to download and stream across all digital platforms. The four studio albums include “Your Mamma Won’t Like Me” (1975), “Aggro-Phobia” (1976), “If You Knew Suzi” (1978), and “Suzi… and Other Four Letter Words” (1979).
Says Suzi – “I’m excited about my new compilation, it’s not just the hits, which I love, but it also features favourite and important tracks from my albums, with an extensive Track By Track on the liner notes. Enjoy one and all.” To date, the only original RAK studio albums available digitally are Suzi’s debut eponymous 1973 album “Suzi Quatro”, and 1974’s album “Quatro”. “The hits are the hits,” says Suzi about the ‘Best Of album’, “but as Mickie Most always told me, ‘your self-penned songs are the meat of what you do Suzi’. Enjoy some of my personal choices.”
SUZI QUATRO – ‘THE BEST OF SUZI QUATRO: LEGEND’ – TRACKLISTING
Ray Dorset aka Mungo Jerry Talking About Ealing, Festivals and Blues
In 1970, Mungo Jerry enjoyed world-wide fame with a song called “In The Summertime”. That song went to number three on the US chart and number one in England. Ray Dorset of Mungo Jerry talked with us about the history of the group. Now performing as Mungo Jerry and popular at Blues Festivals, performing this July at Ealing Blues Festival.
BD: I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk with you today, the writer of In The Summertime
BD: Lets start off with the here and Now. Mungo Jerry not in the 1970’s band format performing at Ealing Blues Festival July 2017. RD: Mungo Jerry is me Ray Dorset. I am Mungo Jerry the artist performer. I have owned the name since 1972. Before I was even fired from the band. Once I was fired they considering the vocalist from the Strawbs to replace me it wouldn’t work. BD: Why?RD: They very quickly realised without Mungo there was no band called Mungo Jerry. In retrospect having the Mungo Jerry was a good move for me. Gives me an identity linking back to the band and suits the widespread music I play, African and world music rooted in the blues.
BD: Now playing in the Summertime in West London at Ealing’s Blues Festival what will you associated with 70’s pop bring to the Blues vibe? RD: Mungo Jerry is not pop as it is known today. I will be playing In The Summertime it is expected. You can be assured I will not be doing what Shaggy did at Glastonbury with In The Summertime get crowds to wave arms in the air never expect a worldwide performer to keep asking people put arms in the air just can’t do it. The hit the band Mungo Jerry had with In The Summertime was one of many. Even then the essence of blues was present. BD: How? RD: We had no drummer; the percussion was from Cabasa combined with my foot stomping on the floor picking up from John Lee Hooker’s style..
BD: Back to Ealing Festival RD: As I said I don’t do pop. I play some of my hits that is to be expected. Most importantly I play music I enjoy playing. I gauge the crowds reaction and what else is on the festival line-up. I am not there to educate or display a virtuoso performance. I am at a festival to entertain, hopefully the music will be a positive and therapeutic experience. I give something in my performance and get something back from the crowds it is karma. What will be fun at Ealing will be playing music the audience wants to hear. You have to remember the majority of the crowd what to be entertained on a summer’s day. They really do not care about the genre and if it is recorded music who produced it is of little importance. Music for them they either like or dislike. Hopefully they will like my music and I am really looking forward to playing Ealing this July and you never know there may even be schools mates from when I lived in West London.
BD: What were your introduction to music growing up in West London? RD: I grew up in Ashford Middlesex in 1955 the population was approximately 16,500 the whole family was very, very musical. My Father played the harmonica and Mum the Piano and sang. On any occasion, Christmas, birthdays, family get-togethers we all did our turn playing and singing. I had no brothers or sisters so was taken by my Gran to lots of movies, particularly Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire and especially musicals. Such as Annie Get Your Gun, The King & I, and Singin’ In The Rain. There was something in the rhythm and groove that had a therapeutic effect. When I was eight or nine my Great Uncle would take me to the local football club socials; I would sit as close to the band as possible I could feel what it would like to be the drummer. I started playing the washboard, then made a tea-chest bass and then saw it up to make a guitar. I had for Christmas a terrible plastic guitar and then when I was ten I got a proper guitar for Christmas. By the time I was eleven I was in my first skiffle band with friends from school, rehearsing around each other’s houses, yet never thought about being a professional musician.
I had an interest in electronics and had a crystal set for Christmas one year, build that and then investigated how it worked. A friend discovered transistors used to buy ex-government components and old radios and take them apart. Then I got a job in Timex in Brentford working in research drawing up quality control equipment. Hand –in-hand whilst I was playing in a band in the evenings and weekends. By the time I was fifteen I was playing in the White Hart and Red Lion in Sutton, on alternate Saturday evenings. The Rolling Stones played there on a Thursday evening. We were running out of repertoire from across various genres so started to write songs.
BD: You obviously loved playing music and the effect music had on yourself when listening and others when playing. Who influenced you? RD: So many, from across the genres. From playing in the same venue as the Rolling Stones to when my band supported the Yardbirds, they were phenomenal, unique and real. Then bands like The Who created a fantastic groove the maximum R n’ B from three musicians; and rooted in the blues. From the British Blues Scene I explored the music that influenced them I have always been inquisitive and asked questions.
As I found music I explored the roots and the road led back to blues whether Bob Dylan or Woody Guthrie; who played a lot of Leadbelly. I listened to music from far and wide and continue to find new experiences like Daddy Long Legs based in America he does a great version of Bourgeoise Blues full of raw energy. Through discovering his music recorded in jail by Alan Lomax I found the other artist captured on Lomax’s tapes. Blues run deep from Robert Johnson through to Muddy Waters & BB King the list could go on they have been so influential.
BD: That leads us nicely to and linking back to Ealing Blues Festival. What does the Blues mean to you and can it be defined? RD: Blues has a fundamental drive it is honest music. I have always listened to music associated with the blues, the old timers, British Jazz and my Mother loved Frankie & Johnny with Elvis Presley and I was paying in a Skiffle and Blues Band. Rock N Roll came to the fore with Bill Halley then Elvis Presley they go back to rural blues. Country and blues and of course Rockabilly white ghetto blues.
Enough people have defined the blues intellectually and socially for me it is about a feeling. There are so many different aspects of blues. There is an element of soul to it the feel is kind of rooted in the blues. The feel and soul reaches back to slavery, servitude working in the fields creating rural blues. Rising out of intense misery singing about the discontent, hurt complaining to a beat can be persuasive. Blues is about writing about what is happening and can be triggered by an event such as a hurricane or newspaper headline or a phrase overheard. You could say the roots of I Don’t Like Monday title and theme is a link in the chain of blues impacting popular music.
Blues is personified by for example, Sleepy John Estes, Married Women Blues electric guitar into a basic amp both bought from a department store yet created music that was timeless. The same goes for the legendary twelve-string played by Leadbelly both influential musicians over the decades. Stripped down to its basics it is guitar and foot stomping, from likes of John Lee Hooker as you get more excited the stomping gets harder creating a fundamental tempo. The instruments, lyrics and player meld into one delivering the blues. Blues has always been commercial once they sold records Howlin’ Wolf wanted to sell his records and was commercial and there is so much more than 12-bar blues it is a much more complex genre. It has to have an element of being unique not just replicated what has already been done and definitely for me in the blues less is more; I have definitely made that mistake. I find that today so many blues artists play the same style all the time reflecting what seems to be taught and the influence of X-factor type programmes. Take Joe Bonamassa he can play the guitar BUT it has all been done before.
I have written blues in various styles always been an influence. Looking to write and record in the future something that has not already been done in the past. It will definitely be influenced by all the soulful blues energy and hopefully create something unique. Music that isn’t just for a black guy to sing. American population is made up of immigrants from Europe, Asia and Africa. The music became the melting pot with influences from Eastern Europe, Germany, Ireland as they got together in homesteads and East met West. The instruments were mixed together whatever was available, parlour piano, banjo, harmonica, accordion all got mixed together as remembered folk music formed and re-formed into music we recognise today.
BD: During your long career, a jam with Peter Green & Vincent Crane resulted in the Katmandu Album, Case For The Blues RD: I first met Peter Green when he was in Fleetwood Mac; he recommended a guitar shop to me. Then met him again when I was living in Grayshott Surrey where I lived for a while in a large house with a recording studio. Chris Hollands asked me if I fancied a jam with Peter Green I said yes, come round to my studio. Few days later another phone call Vincent Crane fancies a jam. So we got together with Peter Green, Vincent Crane(Keyboards), Len Surtees an old school friend on bass and cousin of motorbike racer John Surtees; Jeff Whittaker on percussion with sharp skills. We realised that we didn’t have a drummer so asked Jackie Lynton Band’s drummer Greg Terry to come round. So we had a big jam session, and thought possibly have a record from this so recorded on a cassette and 2” multi track.
BD: If you were putting together the perfect / fantasy band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing RD: No not doing that the past is the past only now. BUT I would love to have a jam with Bob Dylan; Bruce Springsteen and Eric Clapton. If I could bring someone back to play it would be Vincent Crane he was a genius the way he played, whether classical progressive or rock. There would have been no ELP or Crazy World of Arthur Brown without his influence and keyboard skills. So sad he committed suicide a real loss.
Thank you for your time, been wonderful chatting with you as we wondered around the world of music, Mungo Jerry and In The Summertime
Ealing Blues Festival Leads with The Blockheads and Mungo Jerry
Leading the line-up this year are The Blockheads, one of the most underrated British bands of all time. Since 2000, Derek Hussey has been fronting the band, adding 21st century bite to the everyday observations of their late frontman Ian Dury. They will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of their album ‘New Boots & Panties’ by bringing their witty lyrics to their biggest London show of the summer.
Joining them as headliners across the weekend are Mungo Jerry, the blues, jugband & skiffle influenced band whose frontman and founder Ray Dorset played a number of Ealing venues in his formative years. The group are famous for their feel good summer anthems and responsible for one of the best-selling singles of all time, “In The Summertime”, which has sold over 30 million copies.
As always, Ealing Blues Festival will present the artists at the heart of the British blues scene, with performances from 2016 British Blues Awards finalists Tim Aves, Northsyde, Sam Kelly & Laura Holland, 2016 Sky Arts Guitar Star series finalist Steve Morrison and Amy Mayes, who recently performed with Jools Holland’s band for his Radio Two show. It is also proud to champion a number of emerging blues artists, and will feature showcases from Winnie & The Rockettes, Georgie Chapple, Du Bellows, Andy Twyman and Tom Walker.
Ealing Blues Festival began as an independently-sponsored ‘free’ event in 1987. Over the years, the festival has developed in partnership with Ealing Council & The Event Umbrella to become one of the biggest blues festivals in the UK, with almost 6,000 people attending last year alone. Acts will perform across three stages in Ealing’s beautiful Walpole Park.
Ealing Blues Festival is one of 2017’s Ealing Summer Festivals, a series of eight separate events taking place in the borough between July and September. Set in some of Ealing’s most beautiful parks, the festivals bring people together in a collective appreciation of exceptional local and international talent across a range of artistic disciplines.
Tom Walker Band
Laura Holland Band
Bourbon Street Revival
Amy Mayes Band
Georgie Chapple Band
Tim Aves & Wolfpack
Steve Morrison & Blues Abuse
Sam Kelly’s Station House
Dan Sowerby & Hugh Budden
Winnie & The Rockettes
Geoff Garbow Band
Robert Hokum’s Blues Festival All Stars
King Buster Blues Band
Time And Emotion New Album of Guitar Gems From Robin Trower. The gems are eleven tracks that define the guitar tone and textures of the vocals of Robin as he delivers blues dripping with blues powered emotional intent that are his trademark. Time and Emotion, steps on his last album Know Where You Are Going To, why? The journey we explore here has a sense of purpose and clear direction.
The opening tracks is sound are full, smoothed at the edges with the suggestion of a bountiful harvest under the glow of a harvest moon on the opening track of The Land Of Plenty. Nothing could be further from the truth this is blues not Americana. The lyrics add an edge to the guitar as being unsatisfied, not understanding when enough is enough. Blues delivered with classic certainty and assurance for modern times full of dis-contentment and uncertainty. The question is will this quality be maintained across the album, yes it most definitely does as proved by What Was I Worth To You. Quickly followed by the shortest number I’m Gone. With a hardened edge this s the power trio working in short sharp bursts this is Trower showing us he can do modern he still is contemporary.
His timing is impeccable creating space and time, nothing is rushed there is time for the notes to be played and the sound is never cluttered with the need to squeeze in more notes than necessary. This approach from the trio is why on the longer tracks Returned In Kind & If You Believe In Me work, the interaction between Robin’s considered guitar work and the rhythms set down by the commanding combo of drummer Chris Taggart & Livingstone Brown on the bass works like a dream.
The blues light burns with an inner strength, Robin’s is the slow blues drawing out the classy power of the guitar. The music at times appears to be sparse as the notes shine with individuality; this approach stops from being a self-indulgent exploration of the guitar by Trower’s innate ability, as the cool is brightened and burnished with the wah wah, and the deeper tonal chant of bass and the authoritative stick on skin from Taggart.
Immersed in after two lengthy tracks as you have been taken on an, at times, otherworldly journey of exploration is not the closing of the album it is just over half way through what can follow this? Never fear this guitar wizard has a trick up his sleeve as he states You’re The One. The sound is full of percussive purpose and guitar work that flows with the certainty that this is the one. It is a track that stands out on its own in the Time and Emotion journey we are being taken on by the power trio.
The album is full of strong chords, interesting licks and deft hooks from the wizard of the six-strings; you would not expect any less into the mix as Robin’s passion and love for the music he plays and creates pulls deep into his playing soul to deliver the tone and makes every note and word count redolent with meaning. The eleventh gem is the title track pulling the tracks together with Time and Emotion. The Time is the length of time 72 year-old Robin has been playing music his fans adore and the emotion is the expressive energy that Robin instills into every note he plays and sings.
Once again, Robin Trower’s talents have been woven together to deliver an album full of hidden depths and mystery. Time and Emotion has this wizard of electric blues weaving his magic through the listener’s ears once again. Time And Emotion guitar gems from Robin Trower his guitar leading this blues powered trio eleven gems makes the album a killer there is no filler.
TajMo Album of Blues Collaboration Taj Mahal and Keb Mo
Rooted in Delta tradition the first collaboration between bluesmen of different generations have delivered eleven tracks on TajMo that will surprise and entertain to a point. “We wanted to do a real good record together, but we didn’t want to do the record that everyone expected us to do,” blues legend Taj Mahal says of TajMo, his historic collaboration with fellow true believer Keb’ Mo’. The album is upbeat, the tracks have a happy vibe rather than hand ringing despair, yet with their two different personalities and vocal attributes there is nothing profound no depth of a great story telling number.
Let’s start off with the surprises. As ever sometimes a surprise can be a disappointment, and for me The Who’s Squeeze Box was a quirky inclusion that had no purpose on the album. Yes, the zydeco arrangement has syncopated flow that moves along and the accordion from Jeff Taylor picks up the mood; the childish lyrics mean that however inspired the re-arrangement nothing will uplift this number. Closing out the album with a John Mayer cover, Waiting For The World To Change, with backing vocals from Bonnie Raitt I know this because it was in the press release her voice just doesn’t add to a closing number that misses the mark.
Now back to the rest of the album full of Delta Blues as Taj & Mo collaborate as they have in the past on stage and how the album over two years in the making has shaped up. Opening with Don’t Leave Me Here, a strong track replete with horns and the flow if the Mississippi inspiring the music when stuck in Chicago. The opening is easy on the ear with a promise that never really flies. The percussive happy pop on one of the originals on the album means that it is full of hope grounded in fluffy lyrics there will be no need for blues… be love peace etc. All Around The World. The clarion call of the horns add a much-needed sharpness of tone on a number that leads nowhere. Then one of the stand out tracks on the album Om Sweet Om; the beat swells and rolls through the track augmented with Lizz Wright’s vocals that soothe the soul. It is the guitar work from Joe Walsh and the keys that liven up Shake Me in Your Arms combined with the two vocal tones of Taj & Mo playing of each other with harmonization that is full of emotion, a track in which that lacks that missing zing absent form so much of an album. The inclusion of Diving Duck Blues is no surprises as Taj Mahal revisits the Sleepy Joe Estes number he will be forever associated with after the release of his second album.
Soul, the penultimate track is a favourite. The African warmth in the rhythm adds some spice to the blues and a raw energy. Yes, the lyrics are a geography lesson as we move from city to town across the globe. The vibe is bright uplifting and there are layers of soul power. This feels like a beginning of a collaboration with some voodoo magic. The drumming inspired deep with the heat of Africa infused with the Blues of the Delta the music connects. Where was this bright freedom expression in the rest of the album?
They said they wanted to put a real good record together; it is real good but just a little bit flat at times lacking that spark that will ignite a Delta blues inspired album into something that is stupendous.
Following Joe Bonamassa’s successful tour including two sold out concerts at London’s Royal Albert Hall in April 2017, the celebrated blues-rock guitarist and singer-songwriter, is pleased to announce that he will return to the UK in March 2018 to perform seven concerts.
Dates include Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (March 9), Manchester Arena (March 10), Carlisle Sands Centre (March 11), Aberdeen GE Oil & Gas Centre (March 13), Gateshead Sage (March 14), Birmingham GentingArena (March 16) and Brighton Centre (March 17).
The March 2018 UK tour will feature Joe alongside a hand-picked group of world-class musicians playing material from Blues of Desperation, plus classic Bonamassa fan favourites.
Bluesdoodles loved the album “This is the first time Bluesdoodles has given Joe Bonamassa a 10 this is an inspired album that hit my blues-spot. This is a new approach more muted deeper tones, the result a powerful statement an album with direction and purpose.” READ what we said in Full HERE
“I just wish we were standing as this was not music to sit to, as the show drew to the last three numbers Joe, simply signed for the crowded auditorium to stand. We did and then the music became even more scintillating and the energy rose to another level.” – Bluesdoodles
“An excellent set, featuring mostly self-penned compositions, but some covers thrown in including Led Zep’s Boogie with Stu and rock classic Hummingbird, made for a fantastic evening’s entertainment.” – Sheffield Star
“His soloing was, as you would expect,
immaculate and his vocals right on the money.” – Music-News.com
“Bonamassa has tobe heard and seen to be believed.”
– Bristol Post
“The best guitarist on the planet at the very top of his game.” – Liverpool Echo
“Bonamassa’s recorded output has been nothing short of extraordinary – there doesn’t seem to be anything he can’t handle … Hugely impressive.” – Acoustic Magazine
No Entry Fee for Salute Music Competition, the £20 entry fee has been removed! The innovative music competition announces the great news.
Since Bluesdoodles interviewed Feargal Sharkey about the competition and his involvement there have been positive developments with the announcement of No Entry Fee for Salute Music Competition. Read what Feargal said HERE
Salute Music Makers, the revolutionary songwriter’s competition platform which launched in April amid great media interest, has now taken the unprecedented step of giving back the entry fee of £20 per track to all those who have entered to date, and have made the process totally free for up to four tracks to be entered thanks to the huge impact the initiative has had on the partnerships they have so rapidly developed with the likes ofGRM Daily, Unsigned Music Awards, UNILAD and many more.
This step to hand back money to thousands of songwriters is clearly a very rare occurrence with any enterprise, but once again highlights the importance of the songwriter to the Salute ethos.
As legendary artist and music industry expert FeargalSharkey, who is spearheading Salute Music Makers explains – ‘The level of support and encouragement we have received from the industry since launching our competition has been truly extraordinary. Thanks to the support of our partners, Salute is now in the enviable position to make entry absolutely, 100%, free. Yet again Salute is leading the way in providing proper support and encouragement for the next generation of great British talent. Now is your chance to win a £50,000, no strings attached cash prize and entry is free. One small challenge: just write the best song anyone has ever heard!’
One of the most important aspects of the whole initiative was the ambition of Salute to make their entry free within the second year, but thanks to the huge impact it has had from business partnerships, this dream has been realised within a matter of weeks since its launch. Since contestants began to upload their music, the Salute brand has grown more rapidly than anyone could have hoped. Salute have been emotionally humbled by the response from budding music makers and hence made the decision that giving back had to be the next step, and subsequently have now opened the competition to an even broader audience in their pursuit to find the next best UK grassroots music artist.