Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

 

 

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

 

Back in the O2 Sheffield for the second year HRH Blues III promised with a deep blues infused line-up to be an Easter full of music. They certainly delivered across the two stages, as ever clashes were at times frustrating, demonstrating the wealth of blues in town this weekend.

HRH Blues once again created an ambience, professional on the outside, inside pure unadulterated fun of listening to live music. The two days had a mix of blues from heavy and raw through to delicate and everything in-between. More people this year stepping on the bright blue HRH Blues Train crammed with live music in Sheffield.

With two stages, we heard a total of twenty-two bands and for some Royalty Passes & Media an extra five acoustic acts early on Sunday morning. The one disappointment for many was the missing act. King King had to pull out at the last-minute – now we know it was due to Alan Nimmo having acute Laryngitis.  With the number of King King T-shirts in the audience you could have expected annoyance, but all you heard and saw on social media was empathy, love and get well. The bands that did play filled the gap with extended sets from Simon McBride and Ten Years After and a slightly early Saturday.

Getting the Easter music fest started was Dani Wilde who set the scene with quality opening act it was going to be high quality blues form the first to last note. Highlights in the main stage on Saturday were…

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterFor the vast majority that I spoke to the stand out band of the first day and the festival were Billy Walton Band, they bought fun, blues and music that just gets every one excited.  Following on from the band that wowed the audience and were still being talked about as the festival closed. Why? A full on band who really get that good-time vibe flowing the boys from New Jersey bring that East Coast joie-de-vie. Billy and the band want you want to party all night. With a horn section adding texture and tone they are just very entertaining and totally enjoyable. They were ready to party with the festival a fan supplied an array of hats and they were delighted to play with the donated headgear. The atmosphere was now loud, electric with blues flowing through the O2.

Follow that, well this is HRH nothing safe, nothing out-of-bounds as The Graveltones, a duo took to the stage. Heavy, raucous, energetic and loud they divided the room just as Marmite on toast would! The guitar was raw and the drumming hard with splinters of wood being torn from the sticks. Heavy, hard with complex rhythms and bucket loads of feel, delivering a punchy set that re-defines duos and the blues.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterAll aboard the next station on the blues train journey to Finnish Blues with Erja Lyytinen and her band. For many of her fans the first time we have had the opportunity to listen to the music from her acclaimed album Stolen Hearts. I was definitely excited having given her the full 10-doodle paws. High class set from the renowned queen of the blues slide guitar. In the set is Black Ocean for me a highlight and favourite on the album now a live favourite as prog meets blues under the charms and skills of Erja.  We joined her on the rocking Chair, sang along with Stolen hearts. Then the trained steamed up the hill with her interpretation of Tina Turner’s Steamy windows. This was blues that sparkled as Erja smiled, played and won our hearts.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterThis year with the addition of food stalls and coffee there was no need to leave the arena and miss a single note of blues that was weaving their magic over the audience.  Now we had two stages running parallel always a conundrum what to stay and listen too. Quick run upstairs to catch some of Will Wilde, this was the decision of many as the second stage was rammed and Will’s harmonica playing won him many new fans. For some the band of the weekend having never heard him play before. Will delivers more ‘authentic’ blues almost a match for Erja, a shame about the clash of blues titans. Will is one of the best blues-harp players on the UK circuit. Now we had a festival exploding under the glories of blues in full flight.

Back downstairs for Pig Iron returning for the second year. Describing themselves as Blues Metal this was pounding heavy blues that incorporates some delicate harp playing. Upstairs was Troy Redfern, the Welsh slide guitar troubadour.  With tracks from his current album Backdoor Hoodoo. His rendition of John The Revelator is always a crowd-pleasing winner as it was tonight in Sheffield. The HRH Blues train was now gathering speed and pulling in a wide variety of acts.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterNow back to the main stage for Simon McBride and the headliners returning for the second year Ten Year After. First, a stunning blues rock guitarist Simon McBride. The set saturated with scintillating riffs and licks making Simon’s PRS guitar sing and squeal. An accomplished set strewn with covers to extend the time on stage and numbers from his last two albums.  What a set it was a tone the festival wanted to hear that mix of SRV, Hendrix woven together with McBride magic. The dueling between bass and guitar was magnificent. As he played Good Times Roll, following a McBride favourite Down To The Wire we were definitely having a great Easter Saturday as he closed with Deadman Walking we were all alive with festival fever.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterAfter fifty years of touring with Ten Years After Chick Churchill & Ric Lee are now joined by bassist Colin Hodgkinson and the charismatic Marcus Bonfanti.  Marcus’ vocals are full of power, tonal texture, his guitar playing sharp and the harp adds another dimension to the Ten Year After sound of 2017. No Ten Year After set is complete without The Hobbit, Ric Lee and his drumming acrobatics. A wonderful set blending old stalwarts and new numbers from the forthcoming album A Sting In The Tale out later this year.  The whole set is a perfect platform for showcasing what a great and oft underrated guitarist Marcus is.  Wow moments of the festival with Love Like A Man and Good Morning Little Schoolgirl. Ten Years After strong after Fifty-years and the thrill of a new album. What a Saturday now for Sunday’s delights.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

Sunday, started with a Smörgåsbord of acoustic showcases, including Chantel McGregor; Big Boy Bloater, Crow Black Chicken and Dan Patlansky who we would be hearing in full amplified glory during the day. The sets were chilled whilst also demonstrating the varied sounds achievable from the acoustic. This was personified by the difference between Big Boy Bloater and Dan Patlansky, same guitar totally different tone and approach.  We heard hollers, blues and songs given new shapes a perfect slow wake up call to join the main blues train downstairs on stage one. Into the mix the wonderful vocals and charm of Jack Hutchinson a welcomed addition to any blues gathering, with a new band album, Set Your Heart For The Sun, let’s hope he is back electric in 2018.

 

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterWhat a stunning set once again from the mighty Sean Webster with his new band The Deadlines. Having heard Sean many times he never disappoints, unsurprisingly he was the find of the weekend for many. His rendition of I’d Rather Go Blind moved many to tears with the raw, intense emotion he puts into every word sung and note played. Sean has the winning combination of a superb blues voice and plays the guitar with lightning blue touch.  Now living in Netherlands, Sean is the enigma of the British Blues scene never reaching the heights his playing should be taking him. Let’s hope the station stop on HRH Blues Train will be the launch pad for a renaissance of Sean the bluesman. Following on from Sean, in a bright red dress is Chantel McGregor always a firm favourite with her many fans. The set was a mix of favourites and her latest album. Anyone hoping for some new material would be disappointed, though there was a new drummer in the band. The set was safe, definitely rockier than the early days of   Chantel. She still smiles with warmth and affection and Freefalling was a guitar blazing delight as were the other guitar improvisations. Her rhythm section gives her a solid platform, bassist Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterColin Sutton and Ollie Goss on Drums. The mischievous Chantel was ever present with ‘Aving A Giraffe a fun out take celebrating the April the Giraffe giving birth the story that Chantel has been following on Social media. The set overall felt a little flat, come on Chantel lets have some new McGregor gems soon. This is the nuances that makes live music fun a have to be there moment. British Blues celebration continues with Laurence Jones with his new band.  Laurence is maturing the new band seems to fit his style and the addition of Bennet Holland on keys certainly adds some textures to the music complementing Laurence’s stinging guitar. We are enjoying this stop on the train. Yes, this is British blues-rock personified; what is great to see Laurence continuing to grow in stature, developing his sound and staying fresh. The longer lead breaks played with growing confidence adds interest and variance in the live sound. Fantastic audience participation during JJ Cale’s Cocaine, conducted with vigour and winning smile from Laurence more Cream and Clapton than Cale. That is no bad thing in a stalwart of the blues circuit who wins fans whenever he picks up his guitar and plays. .

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

Quick sojourn to Stage 2 for StoneWire a band from the South coast that I had heard about. This is a five-piece led by a big voice. Another great female vocalist out front shaping the StoneWire sound.  Whilst on stage one, young gun Aaron Keylock, was completing the very British Blues opening to the day.  Solid set as this man’s stage presence grows. He is full of potential and the setlist was a perfect showcasing opportunity for Across The Grain his debut album. The slide guitar was over loud and the vocals slurred but every time you hear him there is improvement, Spin The Bottle a set residence that suits this young man who is truly motivated and shaped by the blues.  Not to be missed, if you get the opportunity another HRH Blues festival favourites are definitely Black Crow Chicken. The sound is earthy, dirty blues. Every song has a colourful story as they take the blues train down an Irish lane as roots blues collide with Irish Tradition through the amplifier. The humour is dry and all-encompassing that follows through into the strong lyrics. With Jonestown and a tribute to Pat Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterMcManus from Pariah Brothers, the latest album. This is a band I could have listened to for longer. A definite bring back next year request.  With Big Boy Bloater following, his acoustic set was superb so we were looking forward to electric Luxury Hobo. The sound was too loud for the small stage area and that meant the music lost its edge. That said what a rendition of bloater blues pushing them to the limits and he knows how to entertain the crowds vital for any set and sometimes missing. The superb track from his album Luxury Hobo, It Came From The Swamp won him many fans another strong contender for stage one 2018.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues EasterNow back to Stage 1  for South African, Dan Patlansky who always delivers fireworks from his Strat.  Tonight, with a band of session players from Germany we were treated to a stand out set of guitar acrobatics. Old Red is the signatures Strat of Dan, and is off for a refurb after this UK tour.  With his latest single from Introvertigo, Sonova Faith given a live airing we hear the clever improvisation that is part of the live show. Never expect to hear the songs the same, chords and lyrics are a constant but the interpretation every time is a certainty. Dan can rock his blues, and then with an application of the blues breaks will slow it right down. Then you listen with care as it is as good as it gets. Dan Patlansky is a showman. He brings Laurence Jones back to play Bright Lights, Big City that sees a guitar dueling that sparked with jaw dropping intensity. Closing the set, instrumental My Chana is a majestic exploration of the every sound a strat can make. As he experiments with feedback, ringing single notes. The audience are spellbound, a collective holding of breath with wonderment. No one wanted the moment to end. Sadly, it did one more act Stan Webbs Chicken Shack and 2017 HRH Blues fell silent.

Chocolate Free Music Fueled HRH Blues Easter

Easter Sunday, this year more music that chocolate. What a tasty day once again HRH train ride was full of blues hooks, licks and riffs, laughs and friends the perfect festival journey.

HRH Blues III blues train was full of exciting stops along the complex musical map that incorporates The Blues. The festival does not rely on have the same favourite acts returning each year. Weaving into the acts surprises and variance in the sound of blues.

With such an array of blues it is unsurprising, with not a single act announced HRH Blues IV; 14-15th April 2018 is already over eighty percent sold. People want to come back, reserving there spot for when the HRH Blues train leaves the station once again in Sheffield 2018. HRH Blues a definite for Blues lovers diaries.

 

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Live at Freak Valley blues rocking With Krissy Matthews

Live at Freak Valley blues rocking With Krissy Matthews

 

Live at Freak Valley blues rocking With
Krissy Matthews

 

On first listening before the guitar warrior starts, I could sum up the album in a sentence – Caged raw live energy across the eleven tracks as Krissy is the comet of British blues taking us on a sexy and freaky ride.

The album is full of live energy as the band plays before a live audience, recorded May 27th 2016 at Freak Valley Festival, Germany.  Every track has that special live ingredient, a mix of adrenaline, raw energy and sweat, it is the real deal with no studio over dubs, and is one-hundred percent as the music was heard that day. The blues rock from the first chord to the last can be no-one but Krissy himself. The rhythm section that surrounds Krissy are high-octane musically driven pairing of drummer Max Maxwell and bassist Sam Weston.  Creating a trio that is full of power combining this intensity with subtleties, tasty licks and huge riffs from the guitar driven by Krissy himself.

Opening with Feeling For The Blues, shows that Krissy has inherited the feel for blues without experiencing the life of the early bluesmen. Written when he was fourteen it showed the direction he would take and the lyrics put down a commitment to the inheritance that the blues have to music today.  The guitar solo squeals with pain and beauty as the melodic tone of the opening number is defined. The tone and texture changes, the quality of delivery is consistently high as the songs many written before Krissy was a teenager show a maturity far beyond his years. All Night Long has a swing to its step as the guitar sings sweet and Krissy singing the lyrics with his distinctive vocals that seem to float above the music connected but never controlled by the guitar. Krissy, squeals, shouts ensuring the voice is heard loud and clear All Night Long.  Everyone who plays the blues will be influenced by BB King, many have stories to tell and Krissy is no different as the tempo slows the blues are sparkling with intent from his six-strings. The Soul Will Never Die is not a tribute it is a young thirteen-year-old reflecting back what he heard and experienced when he had front row seats in Bournemouth. The impact of meeting BB; this is blues with love straight from the heart.

Unsurprisingly, a Hendrix number is in the live set this is Freedom, which made an impact when he heard Steve Lukather play the number then found out it was a Hendrix number from Isle of Wight album. Krissy keeps the essence of the Hendrix tone but makes the number his own.

The final three live tracks are a bonus recorded at Gerd’s Juke Joint in Garmany in April 2016. The signature drum beat a cymbal crash from Max opens The Rock and then the driving bass line from Sam underpinning the energy and zing of Krissy’s live performance.  The rock is solid powerful blues track fading into Roadsick Blues about addiction to being on the road.  With keys adding a mournful, reflective air to the final track Bobbles And The Seven Phones. Written in memory of a dear friend this is a song of remembrance and the chords are sharp, gentle and considered the tone and tempo are measured. Closing out Live At Freak Valley with love, of friends, music, the guitar and above all The Blues played in Krissy’s indomitable style. This is a live album where Krissy blues demons have been unleashed and ready to swirl with dramatic effect across the valley to your stereo thanks to the record button being pressed.

Krissy Matthews – Live At Freak Valley – Proper Records

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Feeling For The Blues
  2. I’ve Been Searching
  3. All Night Long
  4. Searching The Dream For The Blues
  5. Language By Injection
  6. The Soul Will Never Die
  7. Bad Boy
  8. Freedom
  9. Hit The Rock
  10. Roadsick Blues
  11. Bobbles And The Seven Phones

More Good News Krissy is back out on the road and touring the UK – pop over and check the dates at a town near you HERE

Aaron Keylock Festivals Plus Headlines The Black Heart 4th April

Aaron Keylock Festivals Plus Headlines The Black Heart 4th April

Aaron Keylock Festivals Plus Headlines The Black Heart 4th April

AARON KEYLOCK HEADLINES THE BLACK HEART NEXT WEEK!

Aaron Keylock  supported by Jack J Hutchinson’s Boom Boom Collective and Seafoam Green 

Aaron Keylock Festivals Plus Headlines The Black Heart 4th AprilDebut album Cut Against The Grain out now
via Mascot Label Group/Provogue.

Bluesdoodles reviewed Cut Against The Grain “Aaron Keylock is a Cut Against The Grain  Definitely on to keep watching a listening where will Aaron’s music journey take us? Get Onboard now!” – read the rest HERE

 

Upcoming shows

Tues 4th April: The Black Heart, London: Headline – TICKETS
Sun 16th April: HRH Blues Festival, O2 Academy, Sheffield – TICKETS
Sun 30 July: Ramblin’ Man Fair, Mote Park Maidstone – TICKETS

“A fabulous new talent” Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2
“Aaron Keylock is on the brink of international stardom” Daily Mirror – Top Tips for 2017
If anyone can shred like Gary Moore, this young buck can” Metal Hammer
“The New UK guitar hero” Shindig
“Toe-tapping electric blues beast” Total Guitar

 

Aaron Keylock Festivals Plus Headlines The Black Heart 4th April

Hurricane Ruth Album Ain’t Ready for the Grave

Hurricane Ruth Album Ain’t Ready for the Grave

Hurricane Ruth Album Ain’t Ready for the Grave

 

 

Hurricane Ruth Album Ain’t Ready for the Grave, her fourth record that spins with the full force of the Blues driven by rock dynamics. Ruth is diminutive, earning the name Hurricane Ruth as everyone was blown away at the large vocal sound that shapes her blues with rock. Recorded in Nashville this twelve track album, produced by Tom Hambridge (drummer, songwriter and Grammy winner) is the real deal; Hurricane Ruth has surrounded herself with a posse of talent, comprising the magic fingers of Reese Wynans on keys; deep bass grooves from Michael Rhodes and guitarists that light her fire Pat Buchanan & Rob McNelley . Dedicating Ain’t Ready For The Grave to her father Milt Lamaster Snr, it was growing up in Glendale’s Tavern, Beardstown, Illionis owned by her Dad that inspired her, on the route between Chicago & St. Louis. Where Middle America absorbs the music styles with jazz, blues and country artists all filling the club with music at some time or other.

In praise of live music venues, Barrelhouse Joe’s opens the party with the force that drives the album on Hurricane Ruth’s vocals, a heady mix of sassy rawness as blues and rock entwine. The keys from Reese paint the canvas of a juke joint with Ruth layering on tonal shades so that the house is rockin’ this Friday night as Saturday dawns. Hard Rockin’ Woman follows a descriptive title for the artist herself, this is the track that sets down her style blues with granite attitude that charges up a breeze into a perfect musical storm.

Hurricane Ruth delivers blues with gritty determination. She sets the music going and raises the tempo and heat until a perfect storm is created, with energised, swirling blues that are fueled with high-octane rock. Following a personal path with Far From the Cradle, the tempo slows the guitar is dirty and the vocals delivered with purpose as the album takes shapes as deep down blues with style. Estilene picks up the tempo, the foot is taken off the brakes as Ruth chastises her for messing with married men alone.

Every number has an element that sets it out from the rest, from the dance track  Beekeeper with its fat boogaloo beat, and the slower Cheating Blues which slow, and measured with Wyanan’s keys making this a dramatic blues number a classic fresh as a daisy.

Then a rock cover AC/DC Whole Lotta Rosie, sizzling with Hurricane appeal. The album builds with new delights around every corner good stuff, saucy, soulful as she is joined by the McCray Sisters leading into a dose of gospel to close the album out with Yes I Know.

The album is delivered with passion and determination the lyrics are set free by Hurricane Ruth’s vocal interpretation.

Hurricane Ruth – Ain’t Ready For The Grave – Hurricane Ruth Records

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Barrelhouse Joe’s
  2. Hard Rockin’ Woman
  3. Far From The Cradle
  4. Estilene
  5. Beekeeper
  6. My Heart Aches For You
  7. Cheating Blues
  8. Whole Lotta Rosie
  9. For A Change
  10. Let Me Be The One
  11. Good Stuff
  12. Yes I Know

Sari Schorr In Conversation about New Album

Sari Schorr In Conversation about New Album

Sari Schorr In Conversation about New Album

 

 

BD: Hi Sari hope you are well, thanks for taking the time to speak to Bluesdoodles, we spoke last year on the release of Force of Nature, and your tour now you are back in the studio and Deja Vue about to tour the UK again.

SS: Thank you for listening to me and supporting music. Everything is going so fast. I am trying to slow down and savour every moment. The reality is I am having too much fun. Last year there was so much pressure with the release of our first album. Now I am doing it all over again definitely trying to relax more and enjoy the process of making my second album. I have a good label with Manhaton and a phenomenal band so I am determined to enjoy the ride. I do believe that everything has a time and place and part of your destiny to get involved with certain projects so grabbing the pleasure of every opportunity I say “get on board, see you wherever the train goes”  BD: Sounds like lyrics of a blues song. SS: Laughing, let’s get together and write a blues song you never know where it will go.

BD: Before we talk lyrics, songs and touring let’s turn to the important dogs in your life, how are they back in Brooklyn?

SS: I will tell them that Aunty Liz in Wales sends her love. BD: Othello wags his tail in delight, sending a doodle woof to your three girls. SS: They are great, not eaten any furniture for a few months. When I get the suitcase out, they think they are going as well to the dog park or store somewhere exciting, they cannot imagine I would go anywhere without them. When they see the suitcases they look sad, Sophie sat in the suitcase shivering it was horrible. I am always really homesick until I am at the airport them I am looking forward to the adventure about to unfold.

BD: What were the highlights last year on the road with the Engine Room singing your distinctive blues-rock sound.

SS: Highlights, for me it is just the feeling of being on the road with this band working hard. The band are always enthusiastic, positive and ready giving one-hundred percent. We all care about each other, we are like a string family. The highlight is sharing our music, it is brilliant to be part of making the music live it can be a challenge but I know they have got my back. When I need a boost they understand, when I am exhausted they build me up. Travelling all over the world singing along to our songs brings tremendous rewards.  Innes and I smile at each other as we see people singing along. It is so fantastic and humbling to see people embracing the album it is a sign that the music has touched them. There is a video of Trish singing in her car, Black Betty connected with this through the power of social media and felt so honoured.

BD: Having performed the songs from Force Of Nature live do you have a personal favourite and why?

SS: Favourite, I love singing every track on the set list, with the exception of Black Betty that still scares the life out of me. The look of the set list varies depending on my mood, kick up the tempo with Demolition Man or cooling down the pace with Ordinary Lives. It is the diversity of the tracks that makes them so much fun to play live, they never get boring for the band to play we love them every time. BD: Why does Black Betty Scare You? SS: To do it right there is a lot of emotion, have to sing by taking it on, it is a painful song. I feel that pain when I sing my version of Black Betty. You have to go deep, I feel exhausted by the end of the performance.  Innes has written a middle section, a magnificent piece of music makes me cry, for me it’s the highlight of the song. Some nights I feel that I have not got the strength to sing Black Betty, Innes says okay, then I know I can just to hear his guitar. The melody is bright, the words dark they don’t quite match that is what makes Leadbelly great. The music is accessible to people and then if they wish can delve deeper into the lyrical content. It does not require you to do that, but if you intellectually want to the lyrics take you on an emotional journey.

BD:  Back in The Studio with Mike Vernon producing the sequel what is exciting you about the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Force of Nature? What does Mike as your producer add to the sound and shape of the album?

SS:  This time we are in the UK recording at The Riverside studio, it is awesome, with lots of the vocals being recorded in the same booth as Robert Plant, inspirational. Logistically it was easier to bring Mike from Spain. Majority has been recorded. The sound is a continuation, development from Force of Nature. It has been awesome recording as a live album in the studio true Engine Room sound. I am off to Germany to write a couple of songs. We have no working title it is just The Album, we keep listening to the eight tracks already done and cannot decide which one it should be the title track! Every time we listen we say this one, no this one we will get there.  We wrote the majority of the songs together when we spent time together in Spain the sound is more representative of The Engine Room sound, showing what the band is capable off. Those boys are fierce.

BD: What does Mike bring, is he part of the band or more of an overseer knitting the sound together? SS: Both he can step back, and be an integral part of the band. When searching how to treat a certain section of a song, example the keyboard groove, Mike will conduct, singing the part shaping the groove as a member of the band. On other occasions he will give an overview. He is the kindest most patient man, he never gets rattled he gives us plenty of room always. Then when we are struggling he will throw in an idea, what if you approached it this way. Mike has no ego, which is amazing when you consider what he has done and who he has worked with over the decades. He could have a big ego, be really demanding but no he is the most giving, generous of producers creating an open creative environment everyone can relax in. I always feel I am in the best hands, allowing us to experiment, push the boundaries. Mike is quick to tell us when we go too far bringing us back and preventing us from doing anything too obvious.

BD: Will you be showcasing songs from the new album as part of the 2017 set list. Are they different from Force of Nature if so how?

SS: Sadly, not yet, may do one in the sound check of this tour. The problem is someone will record and put up on You Tube before the record comes out.

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

SS: It has to be Robert Plant, which track after some consideration Ain’t Got No Money. I would so love to do a duet with him as well.  At the moment I am loving my label mates King King, the music is so uplifting, it inspires me and I adore Alan he is such a great talent.

BD: Thank you for your time and looking forward to Bristol with the mighty Northsyde at The Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival.

 Sari Schorr is back in the UK 

Sari Schorr In Conversation about New Album

Sari Schorr In Conversation about New Album

Stevie Westwood Giving The Lowdown on Bad Touch

Stevie Westwood Giving The Lowdown on Bad Touch
Photo credit Rob Blackham

 

Stevie Westwood Giving The Lowdown on Bad Touch

 

 

BD: I was delighted to have the opportunity to review your debut album Truth Be Told.

Before we talk about touring with the Planet Rock Roadstars and the album, Truth Be Told. For many Bluesdoodles readers, Bad Touch is a new band. They are interested what is happening behind the scenes of Bad Touch. Then dash to book tickets on the Roadstar Tour!

Before we start the talk the quintet of musicians are Bad Touch, Vocalist Stevie Westwood, who kindly took time out to chat with Liz from Bluesdoodles today. Harry Slater, Lead Guitar/Vocals, Daniel ‘Seeks’ Seekings, Guitar/Vocals, Michael Bailey, Bass and George Drewry, Drums/Vocals.

BD: What were your first musical influences growing up in Norwich more mustard and cathedral than Rock music?
SW:
Well, lots more in Norwich than that we have strong music scene in pubs, clubs and venues. For myself, I grew up in a house full of music with Dad playing AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses and lots of Disco including Kool and The Gang. I then developed my own tastes with rock bands such as Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Southern Rock, Su and much more.

I played the guitar and found the guys from Bad Touch through a band forming website. Went for an audition and came away the singer as they already had two guitarists. This was after they asked me if I could sing, and my reply was not really! Must have been okay because still here singing for Bad Touch.

Stevie Westwood Giving The Lowdown on Bad TouchBD: How did you come up with the band name Bad Touch and the decision for the distinctive typeface.

SW: The band has always been called Bad Touch from the very beginning before I joined. For me, the name encapsulates the roots of the band with the power of Bad Company touched with all the influences of 70’s rock with the colouring of Southern Rock.
We want to add our Bad Touch to the music we love that mix of Blues, Southern Rock and classic rock we always describe ourselves as ‘Feelgood Rock’. It is not new we are deeply rooted in Rock with Blues. We want audiences to enjoy our music and feel good with Bad Touch.

We wanted a distinctive logo, there is no deep and meaningful back story. We needed a new logo, a friend was a graphic designer and did me a favour and the result is eye-catching.

BD: Tell us about the formation of the band while you were still at college and the roles you all play in developing the Bad Touch feel. Now with the new guitarist Harry Slater how has he fitted in and has it injected a new feel.

SW: The band formed when the guys were at college with Rob Glendinning our original guitarist who recently left the band. We all love the guy but he has chosen a different path and we wish him well. Now with Harry Slater, we will continue to ply the Bad Touch rock across the land. As with any change, it brings opportunities. Harry will inject a new feel of guitar power combined with his writing ability. At the moment he feels like he is stepping into Rob’s shoes, as learning songs already in the Bad Touch repertoire. With new songs, things will change and anything new is scary, with good performances under our belt the future of Bad Touch is looking exciting and bright. We have plans for a follow-up album to Truth Be Told, been a bit slow going with the switch over firstly, concentrating on getting the performance correct. We are going to nail the tour out on the road with Broken Witt Rebels then attention will turn to the next album.

Stevie Westwood Giving The Lowdown on Bad TouchBD: Having reviewed Truth Be Told, what if any truth were you exploring across the dozen tracks?

SW: All of the band wrote the lyrics, the title, Truth Be Told, was an alliteration and sounded cool. The whole album has lots of feeling, a more mature sound than Halfway Home with a mix of anger and darker emotions plus some happy feelgood songs. For me, the album is an open book of truths and we want people who listen to take from the lyrics what they can.

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

SW: We write together with royalties split equally. The writing process varies, can be from a riff that we play and then I add lyrics over the top and then turn into the words of the song. My preferred way is to write whole verse/chorus or even whole song. It is really satisfying five minds working together are better than one. We don’t always agree but that is all part of the fun of building our songs. We draw on life experiences, old sayings are often a starting point they stick in people’s minds when listening to Bad Touch music. It is important and really cool when people relate to the lyrics and music. The truth is we get inspiration from anything and a good example is Outlaw, from Truth Be Told, reflects that Seeks is really into cowboys. It is what we fancy at the time. You can over analyse the lyrics and then they can lose shape and feel so have to take the inspiration where it comes from however shallow that is.

BD: With you heading out on the road throughout March & April with Broken Witt Rebels. The Planetrock Roadstars are back for 2017. Two bands on the road that are causing a stir how will this tour build on the experience of opening for The Headhunters last year

Wow, this is so exciting we briefly caught up with BWR when they opened for Joanne Shaw Taylor at the Waterfront. It was really cool we also passed each other at the Stone Free Festival last year. We have got to raise our game, there is definitely going to be a gentlemanly rivalry between the bands, Bad Touch are out to get noticed, remembered we will be trying to blow BWR out of the water. We can’t wait to open in Leeds on the 16th March and bring the tour to a grand finale at The Borderline in London Saturday 8th April. We are looking forward to showcasing our brand of feelgood rock as we travel around the country, meeting fans and making lots of new friends of the band.

BD: What other plans and excitements have you and Bad Touch got in the 2017 pipeline?

SW: Lots of exciting stuff in the pipeline with lots of touring and new album taking shape. Keep in touch as soon as dates and festival slots are confirmed they will be shared through social media. We are on Facebook, Twitter and our dedicated web presence over at Bad Touch.co.uk.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have to play
SW: Thought I was coping well until this one so many to choose from ….

Let’s have a choir to start with!

Vocals: Chris Robinson, Paul Rogers, Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, Steve Marriot and guests
Drums: John Bonham
Bass: Michael Bailey
Guitar: Slash
Backing Vocals & Mime Artists: The rest of Bad touch with inflatable instruments enjoying the explosion of rock.

Stevie Westwood Giving The Lowdown on Bad Touch

Youthful Guitarist Aaron Keylock is a Cut Against The Grain

Youthful Guitarist Aaron Keylock is a Cut Against The Grain

Youthful Guitarist  Aaron Keylock is a
Cut Against The Grain

 

The descriptive accolades for this young man are many. For me, the jury is still out. Aaron Keylock is definitely a guitarist who can shred, slide and more. Yes, a young guitarist with all the necessary potential to mature and fulfil the accolades being showered down on him with glittering ferocity YES! In the here and now in the studio, the sound is so different why? The power and clarity of the vocals, yet when Aaron performs live the clarity is lost when playing live.

Cut Against The Grain, saw this young guitar slinger pick up the axe and travel to Los Angeles to record the album. Producer of choice was Fabrizio Grossi, the choice of many including Alice Cooper, Slash and Zakk Wylde. The album has been produced to showcase this young talent, who is gaining attention, for being a young guitarist with flair now. As Aaron says himself. “I guess what I’ve always loved about Rock n’ Roll is that you’re free to express yourself in many ways and to use many guitar techniques to convey different emotions …. My influences really vary!” Now with an album under his belt he needs to shape the tone and style so that it is instantly recognizable as the Keylock sound, not an imitation of an axeman who has been and done it before whether Gary Moore on Just One Question, with its lead break straight out of Moore’s back catalogue in style and delivery. Elsewhere we hear hints of Rolling Stones, Rory Gallagher. Johnny Winter and others

Opening with All the right Moves we are introduced to the fast Aaron, with a catchy beat and it makes the perfect first single off the album. Medicine Man, well-known by people who have seen Aaron play live displays the ability to write lyrics that tell a story that has a Southern feel and instantly recognisable. Spin The Bottle, is a simple guitar lick growing as the lyrics pull the guitar along as we are asked to Spin The Bottle with Aaron and take a chance, the sun might shine tomorrow he sings.  Slower blues test a guitarist and the slide and pull of the rhythm show that this is no challenge to a young confident musician stepping out on a road where a long and successful career beckons. Falling Again has a Stones whoo hoo and takes the heat down with the guitar shining once again.

The title track is strong, but then he has been playing it live at festivals and venues since it was penned three years ago and has changed on the road. With a Zeppelin feel and Aaron’s innate ability to not be tempted to cram as many notes into a second as possible.  The slide zings and the rhythm swells out the lyrics that tell a story. This track like the whole album shows a young guitar player that demands a wider audience with a crossover appeal emulating the rock n’ Roll heroes of the sixties and seventies!

Youthful Guitarist Aaron Keylock is a Cut Against The Grain. This is the debut album on a musical career that Aaron at eighteen has the potential to shape and reach the heights he has the desire, drive and latent talent to reach. Cut Against the Grain, is a studio album showcasing the guitar skills of a young man who understands what makes Rock N Roll stand out from the crowd and make people listen.  Personally, as I said at the beginning the jury is out but Cut Against The Grain is a solid footstep on the road to producing a sound that defines now without losing the retro and Keylock himself. Youthful Guitarist  Aaron Keylock is a Cut Against The Grain  Definitely on to keep watching a listening where will Aaron’s music journey take us? Get Onboard now!

Aaron Keylock – Cut Against The Grain – Mascot Label Group

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. All The Right Moves
  2. Down
  3. Medicine Man
  4. Falling Again
  5. Just One Question
  6. Against The Grain
  7. That’s Not Me
  8. Teg
  9. Spin The Bottle
  10. Sun’s Gonna Shine
  11. No Matter What The Cost

Join Troy Redfern With A Dirt Blues Ritual

Join Troy Redfern With A Dirt Blues Ritual

 

Join Troy Redfern With A Dirt Blues Ritual

 

Opening with a raw driving beat with the signature slide cruising with a gritty determination across Ain’t No Judgement Day. Troy Redfern is a powerhouse of blues that forces you to look up listen and enjoy you are in for a ride full of swerves and fast exciting chords as you sit back and let Dirt Ritual Blues flow out of the speakers and connect with your musical radar.

Cold Light Of Day follows The Brave and the fortune of the album builds with a Southern-infused slide from Troy combined with his gravel tones as the words spit out in perfect harmony with the raw guitar and rhythm section. Jelly Roll opens with a cascading flow of notes with a Rock n’ Roll beat that gets the feet tapping and dancers dancing like the whole album the lyrics are strong and this is a welcome addition to Troy’s rollercoaster, driving the album.  It the midst of the mayhem, Troy slows it down with a country whirl of the guitar with On The Skin, with the guitar reverberating in what feels like a vast open space; reflecting that many of the guitar parts were recorded in a World War Two water tower to capture the vast reverb that space has, with a 1958 Harmony Stratotone being the guitar of choice for 80% of the record.

With a harmonic of guitar strings, with a feel of early cowboy films, wide spaces and two antagonists as Revelator opens. Then the instruments are pulled in with Troy’s vocals and we are on a ride through biblical proportions.

The album is a welcome outing after the 2015 release of Backdoor Hoodoo. Stays true to the high-octane slide driven blues that Troy is renowned for. Pure Raw Blues with its mix of slide and boogie shows a musician maturing with stronger lyrics and a swagger of confidence from performing the material live. The album is anything but homespun despite being written, recorded and produced by Troy in his home studio in the Radnor hills up on the Welsh border. It is a recording with a live sound of a musician who believes in the music he and the band are creating. What band? – Why Troy Redfern who played Drums, Bass and Guitar this is a solo enterprise with a band’s heart.  Troy is in total control. Must be Sign Of The Times… no not that one, a true Troy track. Closing with Walls Are Falling, we are left with one certainty, walls will not be collapsing around the raw blues the Troy plays, it will be the doors opening to welcome him in to perform live, raw and definitely a dangerous and exciting ride with Troy and his guitar.

Fifteen original tracks, raw as whisky straight from the still, kicking open the speaker to fill the void with blistering slide, gritty guitar and vocals that growl and spit out lyrics with and intensity that creates the fifteen track listening experience that is Dirt Blues Ritual. Make it your ritual to turn it up loud and play often.

Troy Redfern – Dirt Blues Ritual

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Ain’t No Judgement Day
  2. Born to Lose
  3. The Brave
  4. Cold Light of Day
  5. I See Love
  6. Jelly Roll
  7. The Line
  8. My Time Ain’t Long
  9. On the Skin
  10. Ray Gun
  11. Revelator
  12. Shine Your Light
  13. Sign of the Times
  14. Time’s Gonna Wash You Away
  15. Walls are Falling

Krissy Matthews Live Album and Touring 2017

Krissy Matthews Live Album and Touring 2017

Released Friday 14th April 2017
Available on CD, Download & Ltd Edition Vinyl
Pre-order the CD from Amazon UK

MARCH/APRIL UK & EUROPEAN TOUR

Krissy Matthews Live Album and Touring 2017Krissy Matthews Band are set to embark on a UK and European tour in March and April to celebrate the release of their first live album “Live At Freak Valley”.

Released by Proper Records on Friday 14th April 2017, the live album was recorded at the Freak Valley Festival in Siegen, Germany on May 27, 2016. It really catches the adrenaline and pure excitement of the band in all their glory.

“Too many bands release “live records” but half of it is over dubbed in the studio and the f*** ups are erased,” says Matthews. “On Freak Valley you get the real deal. No overdubs.”

Continues Matthews: “I remember our Freak Valley show very well. It was the first show myself, Sam and Max did as a three piece. It was the first time I performed at a major “stoner rock” festival, and it was the first gig of our 2016 summer festival tour. We walked off stage smiling and had a fabulous time. Over the past twelve years of touring since I was 12, more and more fans have been asking me when I was going to release a live album. I knew it had to be around the corner. When I heard the recording of this show, I knew it was the one.”

The three bonus tracks on the album – Hit The Rock, Roadsick Blues and Bubbles And The Seven Phones, were recorded live from a concert Matthews performed at one of his favourite venues – Gerd’s Juke Joint in Joldelund, Germany during Spring 2016.

Originally from Oxford, Krissy’s band has often been described as an exciting, high octane, power rock trio steeped in blues roots. 24 year old Matthews has performed at some of Europe’s most iconic music venues including Ronnie Scott’s, Loreley, Tanzbrunnen and Festa Avante. He’s also opened for many high profile recording artists at the top of their game including Joe Bonamassa, Toto, Gregg Allman and Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Krissy Matthews Live Album and Touring 2017“Matthews has delivered a varied and truly intoxicating take on the blues.”  – – Rhythm & Booze

Krissy Matthews Band

Sam Weston (bass, vocals)
Max Maxwell (drums, vocals)
Krissy Matthews (guitar, vocals)

Tracks 1-8 recorded at Freak Valley Festival,
Siegen, Germany on 27th May 2016.
Bonus tracks 9-11 recorded live at Gerd’s Juke Joint in
Joldelund, Germany on 22nd April 2016.

Produced by Krissy Matthews
Mixed by Joerg Mohr at Roadhouse Productions, Bremen, Germany.
Mastered by Nils Voelcker at Access All Areas Studios, Bremen, Germany.

Krissy Matthews is endorsed by Patrick James Eggle Guitars,
Galli Strings, Klotz Cables, Blackstar Amplification

Krissy Matthews Live Album and Touring 2017

The Bullingdon, Oxford – Wednesday 29th March 2017
Tickets: £10 advance £12 door
Book Online: WeGotTickets  – 
Box Office: 01865 244 516

The Chambers, Folkestone – Thursday 30th March 2017
Tickets: Free Entry – Venue Tel: 01303 223 333

The Fiddler’s Elbow, London – Wednesday 19th April 2017
Tickets: £5 advance £8 door
Book Online:  EventBrite  – Box Office: 0207 4853 269, 07877 798 233

Tring Blues Bar, Tring – Thursday 20th April 2017
Tickets: £6 entry on door
Venue Tel: 07713 450992

The Bear Club, Luton – Friday 21st April 2017
Tickets: £9 advance £10 door
Book Online: BearClub


The Fleur De Lys, Didcot – Saturday 22nd April 2017
Tickets: £10 on door or call venue in advance
Box Office: 01235 813 247

Black Market, Mansfield – Sunday 23rd April 2017
Tickets: £5 on door – Box Office: 01623 842 105

Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – Monday 24th April 2017
Tickets: £5 advance £6 door
Book Online: FuelRockClub – 
Venue Box Office: 02920644176

The Arches, Coventry – Thursday 27th April 2017
Tickets: £7 advance £9 door
Book Online: TheTicketSellers 

Box Office: 024 7671 1010 – Venue Email:
archesvenue@gmail.com

Erja Lyytinen Exciting Blues Ensures Listeners Stolen Hearts

Erja Lyytinen Exciting Blues Ensures Listeners Stolen Hearts

Erja Lyytinen Exciting Blues Ensures Listeners Stolen Hearts

 

The release of her tenth studio album, Stolen Hearts, follows on from two critically claimed albums, Live in London and her tribute to Elmore James, her last studio album, The Sky Is Crying. The eleven track album has been lovingly created with production that is cooking the wondrous talent that is Erja Lyytinen. Recorded in two countries firstly in Helsinki at Sonic Pump Studios, then London where Chris Kinsey has used his breathtaking skills at State of the Ark Studios a hone Stolen Hearts into a standout album.   Creating a blues-rock infused album full of textures, tones and another side of Erja’s immense musical talents to make acquaintance with on Stolen Hearts.

Stolen Hearts, will steal your musical soul, Erja has stretched her wings they shimmer with the blues and more. The album is confident, not looking over one shoulder to Blues music of the past but singing into the unknown as the album explores a wider range of tones.  A crossover album striding across genres pushing them aside, making the music accessible to lovers of singers who sing powerful songs with gut-wrenching twisted guitar and deep and moody rhythms.  Having listened to the album a number of times it grows and grows as new nuances are heard, different lines of lyric pop out and connect.

Every track is different some are stronger but none are weak. My thoughts on a handful the rest I leave for you to explore and describe in your own words. Opening with the title track, a gentle intro that picks up as a backdrop of percussive grooves for Erja’s vocals to rule as queen of the stolen heart.  The edgy lyrics of a man-eater portrayed by a women who has the band at her fingertips and the guitar’s six-strings bend to her will on solos that create the landscape of the opening track. Laying down the intent this is an album that is another step in Erja’s journey as she weaves her spell over the blues of every hue.  Second track in and we have a rocking good time tempo, redolent of Led Zeppelin but one-hundred percent Lyytinen. The bass acts as the Rocking Chair going back and forth as the seven verses unfold. The gripping speed and urgency reflects the lyrics about personal growth, how we should find peace and pride with what we have done and reflect in our Rocking Chair.

Co-written with guitarist Alan Darby, a single from the album, 24 Angels has deep melodies and breathy delivery as she flirts with the mic. Radio play should be a certainty with a track that fuses lyrics and vocals that allow the guitar to fly with the angels as we are lifted up with blues fuelled adrenalin.

Half way through you are as the listener pulsating with the energy power and poetry of Stolen Hearts. With a deep blue driving rhythm, Black Ocean is full of heavy riffs, solid repeated unchanging like waves crashing against a granite cliff. We know it is dangerous but we have to listen to Black Ocean with a Prog Rock feel, but never inaccessible. This is progressive-blues Lyytinen style. The keys add a soothing texture and the twin guitars add layers of sound that never overpower the lyrics and Erja’s vocals unless it is the emotional tension within the guitar solo.

The dreamy tempo of keys and guitars of Silver Stones, cooling the album down with melodies that etheral showing a vulnerability as the lyrics explore the pain of mental health and fantasy worlds we create and get lost in. The album explores human experiences and is up-tempo and reflective, we have rock and slow blues, slide guitar all mixed so that each track flows and showcases the depths of Erja Lyytinen’s deep luminescent talent. Closing with a slow acoustic feeling number Broken Eyes a song for piano and vocals. The power of the two create a love song we have all experienced. 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.

 

Erja Lyytinen’s Stolen Hearts is released on April 7th on Tuohi Records.

TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Stolen Hearts
  2. Rocking Chair
  3. Love Laboratory
  4. 24 Angels
  5. Black Ocean
  6. Slowly Burning
  7. Lovers Novels
  8. Silver Stones
  9. Awakening
  10. City of Angels
  11. Broken Eyes

ERJA LYYTINEN – UK TOUR DATES APRIL 2017
Square & Compass, Ilminster – Sunday 9th April 2017 – Box Office – 01823 480 467
The 100 Club – Tuesday 11th April 2017 Record Release Party  – WeGotTickets.com
Worthing Pier Southern Pavilion – Wednesday 12th April SeeTickets.com and Ents24
Durham Gala Theatre, Durham – Thursday 13th April 2017  Durham Gala Theatre
HRH – Blues Festival, O2 Academy Sheffield – Saturday 15th April 2017 HRHBlues

Booked your tickets now listen to 24 Angels from the forthcoming album Stolen Hearts