Touring Europe & UK  – April – June 2016

If your musical preference is a combination of roots blues and folk Americana delivered with irreverent humour and nuggets of folklore, this transatlantic duo of multi-award winners ticks all the boxes. Ian Siegal is the UK’s leading contemporary Bluesman, while Grammy-nominated songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jimbo Mathus hails from Mississippi.


Wayward Sons-


Live album recorded on their last sell-out tour.
READ Bluesdoodles review of Wayward Sons – HERE


22 April: LJUBLJANA, SIovenia ­- Grand Hotel Union, Miklošičeva Cesta 1, 1000
23 April: KALSDORF Austria – Kulturkeller, Hauptplatz 1, A-8401
24 April: STEYR Austria – Akku Kulturzentrum, Färbergasse 5, A-4400
25 April: VIENNA Austria – Reigen, Hadikgasse 62, (U4 Hietzing), 1140 Wien
26 April: BADEN Austria – Cinema Paradiso, Beethovengasse 2a, A-2500
27 April: BLEIBURG Austria – Hotel Altes Brauhaus, 10 Oktober Platz 9, 9150
28 April: SALZBURG Austria – Oval Die Bühne im Europark, Europastraße 1, 5020
29 April: RIED Austria – Kik Kulturverein, Hartwagnerstraße 14, 4910
30 April: WELS Austria – Alter Schl8hof, Dragonerstraße 22, 4600
5 May: VLISSINGEN Netherlands – Bevrijdingsfestival, Blues & Roots Stage, Oude Markt, 4381 ES
6 May: DEN HAAG Netherlands – Paard Van Troje, Prinsegracht 12, 2512 GA
7 May:  OSPEL Netherlands – Moulin Blues, Festivalterrein, Meijelsedijk, 6035
8 May: GROLLOO Netherlands – Hofsteenge, Hoofdstraat 11, 9444 PA
11 May: ARNHEM Netherlands – Luxor Live, Willensplein 10, 6811 KB
12 May: VLAARDINGEN Netherlands – De Harmonie, Theater Stadsgehoorzaal, Schiedamseweg 51, 3134 BB
13 May: EEKLO Belgium – N9 Villa, Molenstraat 165, 9900
14 May – HOOFDDORP Netherlands – Podium Duycker, Raadhuisplein 5, 2132 TZ
15 May: TURNHOUT Belgium – Café Barzoen, De Warande, Warandestraat 42, 2300
17 May: WORTHING UK – Southern Pavilion, Worthing Pier, BN11 3PX
18 May: HAVANT UK – Spring Arts, East St, PO9 1BS
19 May: LEICESTER UK – Musician, Clyde St, LE1 2DE
20 May: NOTTINGHAM UK – Village Hall, Main St, Lowdham, NG14 7BD
21 May: SELBY UKTown Hall, York St, YO8 4AJ
22 May: NEWCASTLE UK – Cluny, Lime St, NE1 2PQ
24 May: INGOLSTADT Germany – Club Neue West Bluesfest
25 May: BRISTOL UK – Tunnels, Lower Approach Rd, BS1 6QS
26 May: STROUD UK – Convent, Convent Lane, South Woodchester, GL5 5HS
27 May: OTLEY UK – Otley Courthouse, Courthouse St, LS21 3AN
28 May: SHEFFIELD UK – Greystones, Greystones Rd, S11 7BS
29 May: LONDON UK – Green Note, Parkway, NW1 7AN
31 May: BILSTON UK – Robin 2, Mount Pleasant, WV14 7LJ
1 June: CHELTENHAM UK – Vonnies, Church St, Charlton Kings, GL53 8AP
2 June: ALDERSHOT UK – West End Centre, Queens Rd, GU11 3JD
3 June: WHITSTABLE UK – Duke of Cumberland, High St, CT5 1AP
4 June: GELDROP Netherlands – Blues Open, Gemeenschapshuis Zesgehuchten, Papanvoort 1, 5663 AC
5 June: ROVIGO Italy – Ente Rovigo Festival, Deltablues Cruise

Siegal (L) Mathus (R) Hirez

CD Review: Ian Siegal ~ The Picnic Sessions

picnicIan Siegal
The Picnic Sessions
Nugene Records

Once again award winning country/blues maestro of vocals and guitar has delivered an album that is different, very special yet 24 carat Ian Siegal in all his guises. The album recorded at Dickinson’s Zebra Ranch in the style of Mississippi Porch approach, where they sat in a semi-circle around old ribbon microphones, played and sang with the old tape machine switched on the old tape machine – Picnic Sessions is the result it is as we played and felt the music it is a natural sound reflecting the mood of the moment.

There is a mix of new, old and something blue and to the 16 tracks Bluesdoodles was delighted to hear live two from an early album Standing In The MorningHow Come You’re Still Here and Beulah Land where you can imagine sitting on a carriage with a pair of horses in hand the dust being kicked up and the sun high in the sky he paints in music and words a musical country embroidery. Love the creativity as Ian goes off piste and we have the sounds of Topol and Fiddler On The Roof, Eastern European beat and swirling of dancers around the fire then seamlessly returning to the original country tempo and beat. Then two favourites from his solo shows and recorded on Man and GuitarGallo Del Cielo and Hard Times (Come Again No More) showing the power of these two tracks and how you never hear them done quite the same way twice.

The rest of the album is new tracks including little hidden insights conversation shows how the tracks are being developed on the hoof as heard on Keen and Peachy which has a haunting sound and the first time ever hear car seat and ceviche in the same sentence.

Wasted Freedom is simple guitar and Siegal combo full of poetry of love lost and regrets that cannot be put right it is a compelling song that for me is a Siegal blues delight. There is fun on the album as well with Talkin’ Overseas Pirate Blues, with a spoken intro that is harking back to the style of talking blues and Now Its A Party with the mandolin the perfect accompaniment to create a tune that hints at dancing

This album is not all about Ian Siegal’s guitar and voice it is the musicianship of Cody Dickinson, Alvin Youngbloodheart Luther Dickinson and Jimbo Mathus. The collection of instruments played adds a quality that would never have been found if this was a studio album. It is the fact that they grabbed the nearest instrument and joined in that makes this album an unpolished gem that shines because the mastery is encompassed in the music and freedom of expression and not by magic tricks of the mixing desk and post-production wizardry.

This is not a blues album for the purist but it is a must purchase for everyone who loves free flowing live music that is a meshing of styles and tempos creating a cohesive sound that is Ian Siegal and his Merry Musicians around that virtual campfire.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN + + doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch


Ian Siegal – Lead Vocals, Guitars
Luther Dickinson – Guitar, Mandolin, Mandocello, Bass, Vocals
Alvin Youngblood Hart – Guitar, Mandolin, Harmonica, Vocals
Jimbo Mathus – Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Vocals
Cody Dickinson – Whoogie Board

Tour Dates – November 2014

The Red Dirt Skinners – Live In Aberdeen ~ CD Review

Live In Aberdeen

This is this award-winning duo’s fourth album and once again they have encapsulated what makes this pair stand out from the crowd by playing clever music you want to listen too. They are fantastic as a live band full of warmth and stories that make each track authentic with personal connection by The Red Dirt Skinners and the crowds. Firstly, if you have not heard them before, disengage genre border controls, and the need to stereotype music into a box, open your ears, listen and appreciate the pure talent streaming from the speakers.

This is a live album that has managed to trap onto the static metal of a CD the atmosphere and quirkiness of a live performance as they deliver a one-take do studio tweaking so you get the performance as it was heard as they say “warts and all” Every track is part of a set that showcases the highlights of the previous albums and the starts are… Rob with his vocals, singing and continuity between tracks plus his acoustic guitar that is the backbone of the sound line Oh! And lets not forget keep Rob’s feet busy with a drum and Sarah with combination of her Soprano Sax which adds clarity and drenches tracks with pure emotion and her vocals and the harp. This is a duo that has meshed genres and creates a sound that is full with layers of textures and clear nothing dominates but adds something to the music they create.

The hardest task in writing this review is selecting a few tracks to highlight as they are all special in their own way. The opening track Cornbread, Peas and Black Molasses is full of swing and vitality this is blues that steps out-side of the 12-bar box. The unexpected track for those who have had the misfortune of not seeing this entertaining often numerous duo live is David Bowie’s, Space Oddity, starting quietly with a haunting empty space wind blowing Sarah on Sax they build with the guitar and the vocals as they harmonise in this stripped back and emotive version that you will not forget but play again, this is a special track. For me I love their version of Brown Ferry’s Blues and their own song Black and White which is so personal to their own life experiences and the humour in The Monkey In The Engineer every blues album has to have a song about a train.

This is an album you will put on when you want to hear quality live music and sip a drink of your choice it doesn’t have to be Port as Rob sings in Up All Night – Live music at its best in your home.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch

Track Listing
Cornbread Peas & Black Molasses
Up All Night
Girl In A Truck
Space Oddity
Shreveport to New Orleans
The Monkey and The Engineer
Got My Mojo Working
Forever Young
Lay Me Down
Black And White
Pound Sign
Other Side Of Town
Browns Ferry Blues
Hot Tamales

Lisa Mills and Ian Jennings – West End Club, Barry – July 2014

Bella and The  Blue - Barry July 2014 - DSC_3341l Opening tonight was Bella Collins and The Blue, this Cardiff based band is becoming a firm favourite as a popular opening act for gigs in Cardiff and beyond. There is no doubt that Bella is gaining a following and beginning to create her own vocal style; delivering blues, gospel songs known by all. The is no doubt that Bella has power in her voice which she controls; Bella and The  Blue - Barry July 2014 -DSC_3345lI do feel that sitting down clutching her acoustic guitar makes the act a bit pedestrian she needs to develop her stage persona communicating with the band behind her and the audience out front excellent stage craft engages the audience making them feel part of the show, so open your mouth sing out loud and clear talk to the audience and this act could go from strength to strength, being more than a popular support band.


Lisa Mills and Ian Jennings hit the stage like a musical tornado; Sunshine bringing an energy to the venue drawing in the audience we knew we were in for some fun. Lisa has a wonderful stage persona as she shares anecdotes and tells you little tales about the music that makes you feel part of the show. Running on 3 hours sleep having played at Grand Blues Sassari Festival in Sardinia the previous day there was the incident of a song being played in the wrong key! Did that phase Ian? no he adjusted and the song played on… one wouldn’t have noticed if Lisa in her open manner hadn’t told us. It is as ever Lisa’s voice that stole the show, yes the guitar work is deft but it is when she opens her mouth so that all her music pours out like a fountain of sound as she sings Smiling you just have to find her beat and smile too. The interplay between her and Ian is that of chums having fun at the same time every note is played with feeling and every word is given the right cadence.


Lisa Mills-  Barry Jully 2014_0135lWe were treated tonight to a wide selection of blues, country and a mix of the two genres including You Are Not The Only Game In Town; written with help from friend George Borowski when Lisa was visiting Macclesfield and a lovely rendition of Texan left-handed guitarist Barbara Lynn a song about an ex called You’ll Lose A Good Thing. We were also treated to a selection of tracks from her current Album Tempered in Fire; including Tennessee Tears the opening track and it is those pipes that produced a turbo-charged voice, tonight we were treated to that live in Barry. The medley was cleverly constructed with little spoken interludes with Johnny Cash for her Dad and Elvis Presley for her mum… for the audience pure musical delight’

Lisa owns the stage as she enthralls the audience and entertains with Ian providing a superb bass – like enhancing and adding tonal colour to every song sung, there can be no argument that Lisa Mills is the real deal when it comes to Country Blues.

She is the mistress of the vocals they soar with power above the audience out of the open window and into the hot night air she was a nightingale that visited Barry tonight she bent a twisted and shaped the notes to fit the lyrics. The guitar and double bass played second fiddle to Lisa and her powerful vocal chords. Her beautiful rendition of Otis Redding‘s These Arms of Mine – this version really suits her vocal dynamics with 99% of the audience sat listening in awed silence BUT… then there had to be the few… why not leave and sit somewhere else there is a bar downstairs where you can talk as much as you like without ruining the moment for the majority.

That said the audience were delighted with the show we had the cake, delicious icing and now for the cherry on the top for the encore we had a very special version of Jimi Hendrix’s Little Wing which I believe is going to be on the forthcoming album and a re-mix of I’m Changing. Lisa you didn’t need to change anything tonight you were just perfect… Lisa Mills-  Barry Jully 2014_0123l

And a big shout out for West End Club in Barry and Mike Duggan for putting on these fabulous gigs for us to enjoy.


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Wooden Horse – Gig @ West End Club, Barry

Steve Folk & Jane South & Wooden Horse
West End Club Barry

Celebrating St David’s Day with live music is the perfect combination tonight the opening act was Steve Folk & Jane South. This duo of laid back friendly contemporary folksters delivered a series of self-penned lyric-driven tunes. ‘Alice In Wonderland’ was a lyric-driven, re-gendered folk tale with harmonising of their voices with the melody line provided by the mix of accordion and guitar, it was smooth an easy. Steve led with guitar and vocals and his repartee flowed between numbers and the tuning of his guitar, connecting well with the audience. He even asked questions about origins of the Magic Farmer’s tuning silence was the reply so collectively we were non-the wiser.

Jane added additional tones with excellent flute playing adding the plaintive bird like sound on other songs she also added the complex multi layered sound that the accordion brings, if this wasn’t enough she sings melodic harmonising backing vocal.

Many songs had a link to waterways including ‘Moored Under The Cherry Tree’ and ‘Amsterdam’; reflecting their own lifestyle of living on boat. The inflections of his voice had a Cat Stevens feel about them and ‘Amsterdam’ definitely covered all the bye ways and lifestyles that this canal strewn city is famous for. A delightful set of self-penned artistry that set the atmosphere for the main act of the evening “Wooden Horse”.

Wooden Horse - Barry 2014 - DSC_0041l
They are a Worcester based trio that play their own style, a weaving of genres strongly influenced by Blues and Americana with a generous twist of a distinctive country twang and chord progression straight out of Nashville. Two guitars (acoustic and electric); stomp box, blues harp and keyboard with no traditional bass make Wooden Horse stand out from the crowd. Tonight as on their latest Album Stuart McIlroy featured on keys to add that extra dimension with his indomitable style as his fingers danced across the ivories. Ben Church entertained with his versatility and great slide skills on the electric resonator, reminding me of another Ben Tyzack, of The Spikedrivers. Keeping the beat line Jamie Knight with his stomp box, and guitar playing that added depth to the sound produced by Ben the two guitars complimented each other and his vocals bring the emotion of the lyrics into the mix.

Opening the show with a great version of ‘C.C. Rider’, there was nothing wooden as they upped the tempo and created a warm atmosphere instantly as they delivered the first of what was going to be many foot tapping rhythms. The trio interact with each other building the complexity whilst still keeping the rhythms tight this mutual respect exudes confidence that lightens up the room. They sang a jaunty blues line allowing their collective musical skills generate layers if sound creating an interesting tapestry of emotions delivered that entrance, delight and excite the audience. This is reflected in the dancing that is soon under-way especially on tracks that Stu brings in a definite boogie-woogie jive feel to some of the tracks with his Rock N’ Roll piano, the energy in the room rose in response to the music.

They developed the set with a mix of covers and songs from their latest album ‘This Kind of Trouble’; including ‘You Ain’t Letting Me Down’; a delightful version of ‘Sittin’ On Top of The World’, ‘A Big Deal’ and ‘Get It Right’ with its Southern Rock Blues feel. Whatever they played it was given a treatment that made the tracks fell fresh and you wanted to hear more from this delightful trio.

I loved their rendition of Jimmy Reed’s ‘Bright Lights, Big City’, this rousing version definitely got the dancers dancing; this was a great live show with the finishing track ‘Glory Glory’ showcasing the skill of clever rearrangement and left the audience wanting more.

Wooden Horse blended a set of Blues, Country, Gospel with a generous shot of rock ‘n roll but always the lyric remained true to the fundamentals. This is fun live music that gives a Saturday night a twinkling of high energy sparks…. you won’t be let down. The new album has that Wooden Horse beat as the melody line is driven forward as the lyrics give the music shape and timing bringing in yet another layer of sound with keyboards now taking centre stage soaring above the driving guitar rhythm.

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Wooden Horse – This Kind Of Trouble – CD Review

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Wooden Horse – This Kind Of Trouble – www.woodenhorsemusic.co.uk

From the opening note, until the closing chord this is an album that is lively, bright puts a smile on your face and you know you are in for a good time musically and emotionally as shown with the opening track ‘A Big Deal’, not that every track is happy-clappy some are mournful, some are driven others reflective. Wooden Horse produce a full sound that is alive with energy and each note vocal immerses you so that the song becomes the moment. The band refuses to be incarcerated into a genre box but like a weaver of the finest cloth they take the best of the blues, folk, country, Americana, Gospel and then blend and meld the tunes to fit the lyrics like a glove producing a sound straight out of Worcestershire via the world. The whole album is accomplished with its mix of re-arranged covers and self-penned numbers, what they have produced is their live-sound and energy in a studio album this is their own authentic sound.

This is not a one-dimensional album and every track has been chosen with care and included for a reason, thus the talented stomp, vocal guitar playing skills of Jamie Knight, and Ben Church’s awesome guitar skills, whether lap, slide or finger picking, shine across the tracks and the weft in this weave is the charismatic piano sound that Stu McIlroy produces. The album is full of clever harmonies and deft interventions never tedious as the music drives the lyrics on to a finishing point.

The three covers meld into the background for me, they are delightfully re-arranged and they do give a handle with which people can judge their talents when they hear songs they instantly recognise and they represent different styles and the rendition of ‘Sittin’ On Top of The World’ is really pleasing. These covers fix the roots of this band with their exciting if eclectic mix of styles employed.
The piano is given the lead in ‘You Ain’t Letting Me Down’ giving Stu the scope to show his talents; a Blues pianist with a real feel of the blues with the guitars and vocals as they add texture and tone. Going back to duet form ‘This Kind of Trouble’ brings a duo of harmonies vocals and guitars bring the gospel sound to the Wooden Horse party! ‘The Walking Rain’ with its slower pace, mournful country twang, is my favourite track as it takes you on a journey that is both gentle and hurtful at the same time as raw emotions are articulated with lines such as “Many times you doubted, many Times you cried, If walking Rain can find you, you will be on the otherside” is this pure hope or despair… –

1. A Big Deal -Knight & Church
2. You ain’t Letting Me Down – Knight & Church
3. Get It Right – Knight & Church
4. All Along – Knight & Church
5. Kind Hearted Woman – Robert Johnson
6. This Kind of Trouble – Knight & Church
7. Crazy Mama – J.J. Cale
8. The Walking Rain – Knight & Church
9. Sittin’ On Top Of The World – Vinson/Chatman
10. Kinda Man – Knight & Church
11. Time I’s Leaving – Knight & Church

Bluesdoodles gives this CD out of five doodle paws a doodle rating of
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