Auld Mans Baccie are smokin on their live double album

Auld Mans Baccie are smokin’ on their live double album

First of all, I must declare a bit of a bias due to serendipity or simple coincidence. This band is from the North East of England, Seaham to be precise. I am from a small mining village in the North East; my wife is from Seaham and we used to do our courting (as it was known then) in the Dun Cow at Seaton Village near Seaham. This is the venue Auld Man’s Baccie call home and in my time, was the only place where mine host had a large book of cocktail recipes you could choose from and he’d make it there and then! Coincidence number two is that Auld (pronounced Owld) Mans Baccie was a favourite plant for us as kids. Not for smoking, as the leaves in times of hardship were, but as a source of pea shooters (don’t try this at home; we were lucky that it was the innocuous Achillea millefolium plant as it looks very similar to the deadly Hemlock Water Dropwort, Oenanthe crocata, which would have probably killed us!)  So, I already feel a close affiliation with this Blues/Americana/Roots/Gospel duo. Davey (the Reverend Curtis Humbucker) Curtis on vocals, guitar and stomp box, along with Nick (the Baptist) Phillips on slide guitar and vocals have previously released two albums of a mix of self-penned blues with a few carefully chosen covers. They now unleash a double live album; one, Nee Jiggery Pokery, consists of their own songs; the other, 100% Homage, is all covers and is free when purchasing the first. Recorded at the Times Inn, which if memory serves, is in Dalton-Le-Dale just outside Seaham and inevitably, the recording has all of the atmosphere of a close-up and personal pub gig. The added benefit is that the two boys share some social commentary and discuss their much-beloved wives (“Our Lass” means darling wife or love of my life if referring to a girlfriend). In fact, nearly all of their songs are laced with humour and oblique references to various things if you get my drift.

To the music… There are too many tracks to comment on each one, so only my personal highlights appear. Their own compositions sound like they are if this is possible, fresh out of the 1930s; with just the two guitars and voices, they could be performing on a porch with Son House, Lead Belly and the like looking on. The first, Old Black Dog, is about the love of a dog and his own potential love affair with Fi-fi the poodle. Humour coupled with a true deep blues feel make for a perfect opening. A slow march suiting the title of Dead Mans Shoes has glorious slide underlining the melody. Church of Lost Souls is a great lament with more slippery slide. It works very well as it is but this is a song that is ripe for an electric blues/rock treatment. Mr Bonamassa take note; it really would work.

The highlight of the covers album has to be the genius of Alex Harvey’s Framed. It takes on a true blues feel and works well acoustically in the capable hands of Curtis and Phillips while retaining the humour and observations of the original. Likewise, the Peter Green version of Doctor Brown and Canned Heat’s Let’s Work Together get the Baccie treatment and are a joy. They all work in their own way even though Bullfrog Blues is forever Gallagher in my mind and Whole Lotta Rosie takes AC/DC back to their roots although it is the least successful to me.

So as a live package, this works a treat. It is spoilt only by the between track editing. This nearly ruins the flow and deprives us of some of the banter. Still, if you want to lose yourself in the atmosphere an intimate pub gig with a couple of consummate musicians, then this is for you.

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Nee Jiggery Pokery tracklisting:

  1. Old Black Dog*
  2. Fanny Mae*
  3. Dead Mans Shoes*
  4. Mamma Moonshine**
  5. Church of Lost Souls*
  6. Long Hard Road**
  7. Grant Me Salvation**
  8. Baccie Blues**
  9. Shaky Juice*
  10. Closing Time

** From their 2015 debut album, Resonating With The Blues

* From their second album The Church of Lost Souls


100% Homage tracklisting:

  1. Bullfrog Blues (written in 1928 by William Harris, covered by Rory Gallagher)
  2. Doctor Brown (written in 1959 by Buster Brown, covered by Fleetwood Mac
  3. Cigarettes and Whisky and Wild, Wild Women (written in 1947 by Tim Spencer, covered by Jim Croce)
  4. Roll Me Up And Smoke When I Die (credited to Willie Nelson, but disputed by Ashley Wilson)
  5. Ain’t Nobody’s Business (written in 1922 by Porter Grainger and Everett Robbins, covered by Taj Mahal)
  6. Whole Lotta Rosie (yes, that one!)
  7. Let’s Work Together (written in 1962 by Wilbert Harrison, covered by Canned Heat)
  8. In The Jailhouse Now (written in 1928 by Jimmie Rodgers, covered by Sonny James (and the Soggy Bottom Boys))
  9. Framed (written in 1972 by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band)
  10. Folsom Prison Blues (written in 1953 by Johnny Cash)

Auld Mans Baccie are smokin’ on their live double album

Announcing Year of the Tiger Sings Myles Kennedy Solo

Announcing Year of the Tiger Sings Myles Kennedy Solo

The album had a long gestation period, seven years. The first solo album Myles Kennedy wrote he threw away, leading to a period of intense writing as Myles said he found himself “writing like a madman.” With over twenty songs written over a short period, he began to see a clear direction to take.  Suddenly, “It became incredibly obvious what the source of inspiration needed to be lyrically driven,” he says. “I realized it was time to jump head-first into something I’ve been putting off for my whole life as a writer.” The result was a dozen tracks that shaped and created the solo album, Year of The Tiger, intensely personal. An album almost entirely focused on the loss of Kennedy’s father when the singer was just four years old. “My family was very involved in the Christian Science church,” he says. “So when he became ill, he chose not to seek medical attention and passed away a few months later. By all accounts, my father was a good, honest man, but I still struggle with the choices he made which ultimately led to his death.

Myles Kennedy, the voice out front with Alter Bridge, Slash’s band, and Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators; here we focus on his other side that of singer/songwriter.  Kennedy himself plays the banjo, lap steel, bass, and mandolin in addition to guitar on Year of the Tiger joined by drummer Zia Uddin and Tim Tournier on bass, along with longtime Alter Bridge producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette.

Opening Year of The Tiger, with the title track, sets down the focus and direction the album is taking as we step onboard a journey with Myles Kennedy. “I remember stumbling onto the melody and title of the song years ago. It stuck with me but I couldn’t seem to complete the concept until it dawned on me that 1974 was the Year Of The Tiger according to the Chinese Zodiac.” he says. “Once I realized that was the same year we lost my father, I knew where I needed to take the record lyrically. The song is really the preface for the entire story from my mother’s perspective. It’s a battle cry of resolution, to persevere under the circumstances we were enduring after dad passed away.”

The opening track is no maudlin funeral growl. It is affirmative full of love and the pain we feel when losing someone close. It is looking beyond the pain and moving on. The vocals delivered with personal emotion and melodic beats that drive the song on with a burning energy. The result of his father’s death led to the family being uprooted from Boston and starting again out West. As we enter The Great Unknown, the lyrics deepen and the tempo changes the vocal heights reflecting the internal pain and grieving. The song gathers in the epic power of rock but never descends into a power ballad. It is the work of a singer/songwriter using the presence of rock with a cascading fury and philosophical look at coming to terms with losing some on you love. This powerful singer/songwriter musical journey calms and fades on a lighter note. Where will he take us next?

The titles are thought-provoking reflecting thoughts and confusion after a monumental loss. As Blind Faith is often what you need to move on. Using the sonic shaping of the blues, a resonator and the time honoured open letter to his father unfolds on a stripped back number. In fact, the simplicity of the music makes the lyrics stronger making Myles vocals pierce through the speaker.

Every track on the album is shaped by the lyrics, pain, and hope plus how the words are shaped and molded by the immense tonal range and textures of Kennedy’s vocals. On Turning Stones, the sound is low key, less urgent taking time to consider on a country tonal prayer looking for redemption and healing of wounds as we are halfway through the emotional journey we are exploring on Year of The Tiger.

Mother, we are now looking at grief from a different perspective. The music is urgent fast and Myles tries to capture the dual pulls on his Mother her own grieving and keeping it together for Myles and his brother.  With the curling country fuelled guitar opening. We here that missing someone never stops on Nothing But A Name. We are once again eavesdropping on a personal conversation between the singer and his father.

Then gentler at times with a feel of a rocked up lullaby is Love Can Only Heal. The guitar is sharper on this track and there is an urgency as the song explores the power of love and being in another place, different time, reflective and healing. Capturing the cathartic power that Kennedy expresses throughout this exploration of personal grief.

Closing out a deeply personal but never maudlin album with One Fine Day. We now are on a road moving on and letting go the path of the album is clinging to, a new crossroads has been reached.  The whole album has a deep intensity, an intimacy that has been achieved by recording straight to tape. Like life and death, there are imperfections giving the album humanity. These have been embraced in an edgy album where Myles Kennedy bares his soul and inner feelings directly to his audience.

Announcing Year of the Tiger Sings Myles Kennedy Solo We (the listener) are taken on a deeply personal journey by singer/songwriter Miles Kenedy. full of emotions, sadness and life never maudlin sung in suiting the lower register the vocals are delivered in.

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

 Myles Kennedy – Year of The Tiger – Napalm Records


  1. Year of the Tiger
  2. The Great Beyond
  3. Blind Faith
  4. Devil On The Wall
  5. Ghost Of Shangri La
  6. Turning Stones
  7. Haunted By Design
  8. Mother
  9. Nothing But A Name
  10. Love Can Only Heal
  11. Songbird
  12. One Fine Day

Announcing Year of the Tiger Sings Myles Kennedy Solo



Made My Peace With You New Album from Paul Dunbar

Made My Peace With You New Album from Paul Dunbar

Made My Peace With You New Album from Paul Dunbar & The Black Winter Band arriving was a reason to be excited at Bluesdoodles HQ, having first heard the gloriously distinctive vocals of Paul Dunbar performing with his previous band The Midnight Ramble at Blues on The Farm 2014. Now back as Paul Dunbar & The Black Winter Band, yes, new band, new album but same instantly recognisable vocals. Opening Made My Peace with Losing Game dripping in soulful and melodic music that pours out of the speaker. The timing and shaping of the chords are sublime when your ears are not being entertained by Dunbar’s vocals. What makes the vocals stand out as you listen to the album? There is a myriad of reasons the power, emotion and the integrity in the way the lyrics are delivered always with clarity and sensitivity to the bands playing. Then there is the grittiness and rawer edge that ensure the album is not just saccharin but full of sharp spiciness as well.

The title track opens with a crescendo of sound from the band. You know what is to come as the lyrics are shaped and given vocal heat by Dunbar. Who does he sound like? What are the bands influences? Dunbar sounds like himself a skilful mix of crooners meets bluesman via soul of Motown. The band The Black Winter is the perfect vehicle of delightful tones and textures that joins the dots with skilful interplay before Paul Dunbar’s voice rejoins the musical jamboree throughout the album.
Joining Paul on vocals and guitars are the Black Winter sound of Liam Atkinson on guitars, bassist Chris Pearce and, completing the album rhythm, drummer Phil Stevens. The band members also add voices as backing vocals they are the complete package.
Ten Tracks, nine originals and one from his previous incarnation, The Midnight Ramble, Ballad of Four Eyes. His voice screeches in tune capturing Joe Cocker vibes and bluesmen and ballads of the past.
Three tracks in and you are emotionally engaged. Inner Springsteen an acknowledged influence is captured in the rockier Friends. The tone is huskier, the guitar tone has an edge and the rhythm deep as it grows hewn from the original riff. This is an example of Dunbar’s raw talent, playing music with friends. Then roots of air, earth, sky and Raging Sea with rootsy tones rooted in the music of folks. This number is darker, deeper, moodier capturing the heart of musicians that keep giving music that clicks onto your musical DNA radar.
Closing out the album of ten tracks with Who’s Gonna Love You; the title asks a question and the listeners of music full of rocky soul and lovers of music are gonna love your sound. As you mix and meld rocking, the soulful rootsy mayhem of delights. Melodies hit the harmonies creating an energy that leaves you wanting more.

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

  1. The Losing Game
  2. Made My Peace With You
  3. Ballad of Four Eyes
  4. Barely Holding On
  5. Set Free To Emotion
  6. Friends
  7. Earth Sky Or The Raging Sea
  8. Contort Yourself
  9. Hands Down
  10. Who’s Gunna Love You

Before booking your ticket listen to the fabulous single from the album Barely Holding On

Made My Peace With You New Album from Paul Dunbar

Make Your Way to Jennys Place Courtesy of Mike Ross

Make Your Way to Jennys Place Courtesy of Mike Ross

Make Your Way to Jennys Place Courtesy of Mike Ross


Make Your Way to Jenny’s Place Courtesy of Mike Ross. Why? This is modern contemporary music crossing and melding genres. Refusing to be confined to one room, he saunters through the rooms of Jenny’s place exploring tones and textures. What is never lost across the tracks is form and purpose. Every track belongs in Jenny’s Place.

Openeng with Bamboozled which opens with a crescendo of distorted keys we know this will be a contemporary ride. Bamboozled thought Mike Ross was an Americana rootsy guy. Only for a second when meaty guitar and vocals pulls you back with a fantastic sing-a-long, dance-athon chorus. Hooked? Definitely a resounding Yes!

All tracks have vim, vigour and a listenability that makes you want to hear the tunes live. By the third track, Dakota bluesy undertones are in control of the album. This is a number that takes on a guitar fuelled journey as the lyrics show you the path. The sound is thick as the dirt you kick up heading south from his hometown in the North-East to the seaside delights of Brighton. Dakota is a journey, not a place pinned down by geography. We all are on the go and the beat picks up with a caffeine-injected Coffee Can Telephone. A number that flows with a rocking and rolling pizazz and good fun until the string breaks! Every album needs that moment of fun as modern music is twisted and turned into a contemporary melting pot of styles. A number that is so retro it speaks to us now.

The almost-title track is Jenny (Sun Goes Down) Country Americana fusion on a gentle number that suits Mike’s warm vocals this is a beautiful number melodic and emotionally heartwarming. The chorus holds this melodic number. Following on is a magnificent brooding number. Dark Powder written in 12/8 minor blues capturing the darker side and the chords from the keys act as an echo of something just out of eyesight.  This is full of pain, anguish as the guitar cries and the vocals plead as we are journeying through addiction and hitting the crossroads of recovery. Personal and captivating blues.

Building on the success of his previous Americana Album Spindrift we all want to be seen listening to Jenny’s Place, this working title stuck as it felt right. Where and what is Jenny’s Place? It belongs to Jenny, Mike’s wife deep in the northern Swedish countryside. On Mike’s first visit he had a feeling of familiarity that he had been there before. Like the album, you have that deja-vu feeling as the music is familiar, warm and comforting like a sound blanket. What Mike has done is shifted the familiarity slightly to the left and right so there is nothing complacent about any of the tracks on Jenny’s Place.

You will not be Bamboozled by the end you will know with certainty that listening to the album is the right move. The mixing of quality deep blues with roots music into the Ross sound that fills the speaker with power and evocative playing and singing.


NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Mike Ross – Jenny’s Place  –  Taller Records

Released: 2nd March 2018
Format: Physical & Digital

  1. Bamboozled
  2. The Big Picture
  3. Dakota
  4. Coffee Can Telephone
  5. Baby I Love You
  6. Harpo
  7. Jenny (Sun Goes Down)
  8. Dark Powder
  9. Loveslide


Check out  the Competition – Find Wilhelm Scream for Prizes in Jennys Place

Make Your Way to Jennys Place Courtesy of Mike Ross

Dream Train Flying Blues From Alastair Greene

Dream Train Flying Blues From Alastair GreeneAlastair Greene’s musical qualifications are impressive. He has guested with such luminaries as Eric Burdon, Walter Trout, Coco Montoya, Savoy Brown, John Nemeth, and Debbie Davies.

Now, after touring the world as the guitarist for the Alan Parson Project, Alastair has released a solo album called Dream Train. As he says, “I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity Alan gave me to handle guitar and vocal duties in his band. After 7 years, the time has come for me to truly pursue my own musical dream.”  Hence the album title one would assume. (A great interview with Alastair is available here on Bluesdoodles  Alastair Greene Interview by Wes O’Neill

It is clear from the people he guested with previously and who appear on this album where his musical roots lie. Here we are treated to blues variations aplenty, with shuffles, boogies and rocking tracks with soul sensibilities mixed in.

His touring band provides a solid, rhythmic background across the whole album with special guests filling out the sound on selected tracks. Greene is a skilled guitarist and has a subtle feel for electric blues and can transfer this subtlety to acoustic playing too. That’s not to say he doesn’t unleash a stinging solo or three along the way. Throughout the album, I hear hints of S.R.V., Trower and Snowy White in his playing, although the style is very much his own.

The opener and title track is an out and rocker with alternated picking and slide driving a fast, almost 12 bar riff. Then comes a superb slide solo; just what a good blues/rock track needs, although it is far too short. Big Bad Wolf has the vocals following the guitar melody making an effective build before a full-fat solo. The bass guitar on this is stunning too.

Nome Zayne is the only non-Greene composition. This one is written by none other than Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top fame. The title is deliberately obtuse; when it is sung it becomes “Know what I’m sayin’”! Typical Gibbons lyrically and musically and well executed here.

Another Lie has typically beautiful complimentary guitar from Walter Trout. A slower paced traditional electric blues. It also benefits from the warmth of the keyboard fills courtesy of Mike Finnegan (a Hammond B3 specialist who has played with Hendrix and the Phantom Blues Band amongst many others). Both guitarists stuff more feeling into this track than most blues albums can boast.

Acoustic skills are to the fore on the simply complicated instrumental, Song For Rufus. A purposeful oxymoron, for the tantalizing slide in the bridge, creates a complex weave to produce a brilliantly crafted and, for an instrumental, a lyrical composition. Grateful Swagger features Debbie Davies, known also for her work with Duke Robillard, Coco Montoya and J Geils amongst others. She adds a funky touch to this sweeping blues instrumental. This also has a rare, albeit short, great bass solo.

Lucky 13 has Mike Zito, a blues legend in his own right as well as being a co-founder of Royal Southern Brotherhood, sharing guitar duties. A faster paced blues with a ‘standard’ approach and the two guitarists trading sections brilliantly.

Greene may not be the strongest vocalist you’ll hear but has sufficient depth to carry all of the demands of this varied and wide-ranging blues album. The songs, the musicians and the production ensure that Dream Train is never less than engaging. Most of it is a thrill and if you keep your feet still throughout, then you probably need to seek medical attention!


Alastair Greene – Dream Train – Rip Cat Records

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

  1. Dream Train
  2. Big Bad Wolf
  3. Nome Zayne
  4. Another Lie
  5. Song For Rufus
  6. I’m The Taker
  7. Dare Devil
  8. Grateful Swagger
  9. Rain Stomp
  10. Demons Down
  11. Iowa
  12. Down To Memphis
  13. Lucky 13

Alastair Greene: guitar and vocals
Jim Rankin: bass
Austin Beede: drums

Walter Trout: guitar track 4
Mike Finnigan: organ tracks 4, 7, & 11
Dennis Gruenling: harmonica track 7
Debbie Davies: guitar track 8
Mike Zito: guitar track 12


Alastair Greene, except Nome Zayne written by Billy Gibbons

Dream Train Flying Blues From Alastair Greene

Laurence Jones speaks the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Laurence Jones speaks the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truthLaurence Jones speaks the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

4 albums in, what do you do next? You look for something new and fresh, dig deep into your heart and see what comes out, to see what other sides there are to you. This is what Laurence Jones has done with his new album “The Truth”. Laurence continues to make a name for himself on the blues-rock circuit in the UK and Europe and his new album with its commercial feel but rocky edge will no doubt win him new fans further afield. Laurence took a few moments out from rehearsals and over a drink at an after-show party to chat as we were seeking honest answers…


“The Truth” is a few steps down a different path than your previous albums in its sound and arrangements…

Well, and between us, I want to be the next Justin Bieber, he’s my hero! Hahaha! But seriously, it is a crossover album for me in terms of the writing and production for sure. You know, all of my real heroes like John Mayer and Eric Clapton have stepped into different territory before and not just relied upon the guitar playing so I guess it’s my turn to do that. I don’t want to churn out the same album time after time as nobody wants to hear that and I’d get bored. I like challenges and I like to challenge myself which is what I’ve done with “The Truth”. Before we go any further, assure your readers that this album was all made with real instruments and real players!

You had me worried for a moment there thinking this isn’t the Laurence Jones I know…

There’s different sides to all of us and I wanted to show a different side of me with this album. I really focused on the songwriting, lyrics and melodic content. I’ve really been building up to making a record like this is taking the guitar side of things and mixing it with something that’s modern but true to itself. We talked about guitar playing when we were at the Black Country Communion after show party at Hammersmith (man what a gig eh!) and I’ve really pushed myself in the guitar solos to make them memorable, like a song in a song. Take the solo in “Hotel California”, that’s crazy long but you can sing it and it tells a story in itself. I hope that mine on this album do that for anyone who listens to it.

We’re talking about putting yourself out there and opening up here…

Absolutely. I can only write about things I know, not what’s up in the sky that I don’t know about. The songs really do the talking on this album and they’ve been finely picked from a whole bunch of demos. It was a dream to have a few weeks of pre-production in Curacao which is a Dutch island in the Caribbean, before heading to Miami to record at the old Sony Studios. Such a cool place man. The legendary Gregory Elias has produced this album and he brought so much to the table but still allowed me the freedom to go my own way. You know, Gregory is the man who brought The Rolling Stones to Cuba and put on a free gig for everyone, how cool is that! That just shows what a nice guy he is and inspirational. If you take songs such as “Hold Me Close”, “The Truth” and “Take Me” my heart’s on my sleeve right there, for better or for worse and I want the listener to feel that. Sure, there’s some rockier moments in “Give Me Your Time” and “Gone Away” but the emotional content is there in all of the songs. It was all about writing catchy songs with guitar solos and I keep up to date with all music out there, it’d be great to hear more guitar in the charts and these songs are more of a commercial feel than my rockier stuff so you never know!


What can we expect from your live shows this time around with this fresh take on your writing?

20-minute guitar solos! Hahaha!, not really. There will be some moments where we’ll be jamming out on a few songs, extending the solo’s a bit, in fact, I’m at rehearsals now and we’ve been working the set-out. I’ve got a really cool new band in Bennet Holland on keys, Phil Wilson on drums and Greg Smith on bass. We were playing in Holland before and everything just went super well. The crowds were great, singing along and getting right into it. It’s sounding really slick, the new songs are transferring well to a live setup and we’re psyched to be taking them out on the road. I love playing live and it’s great to connect with the audience and bring something to their day – you never know what’s going on with people and them coming out to your gig may be something they really need in that moment so we’ll be giving everything, every night of the tour. We’ve got a show January 23 at The Borderline in London, love that venue, and the UK tour really begins on May 3 in Manchester at Band On The Wall.


What do you think of the current scene in the UK and any advice for those younger than yourself as you had some great success at an early age?

When I first started all this, there was really only myself, Joanne Shaw Taylor and Simon McBride out doing what we do. That was cool, but it’s a lot cooler that there’s more and more bands and artists on the blues-rock scene in the UK now. I never view it as competition and it’s great to see people out playing, the new festivals that have come about as that shows there’s a demand for the music we play and love. As for those starting out, just don’t be afraid to try things. Don’t copy, take influences and mix them up and try and put your own stamp on things.


If you could pick any album to have written and made yourself, what would it be?

Oh, that’s tricky. C’mon man, can I have two? Yes? Ah great…it’d have to be “Riding With The Kings” of Eric Clapton and BB King, such a great record and has that crossover feel to it like my new album and Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced”, just because I’d love to know what was going on in his mind when he was writing it!


New Album New style The Truth still Laurence Jones


Laurence Jones new album “The Truth” is due for release Friday, March 9th 2018. Tour dates and ticket links can be found below and pre-order “The Truth” 

Just a Click away

Line-up touring The Truth Tour 2018:-

Laurence Jones (Vocals, Guitar)
Bennett Holland (Keyboards, Backing Vocals)
Phil Wilson (Drums, Percussion)
Greg Smith (Bass Guitar)

Planet Rock presents
All Tickets: £15.00

London, Borderline – Tuesday 23 January

Book Online: Gig Cartel; See Tickets
24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Ticket Hotline: 0844 847 1678

Manchester, Band on the Wall – Thursday 3 May

Book Online:  GigCartel; Ticketline
24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Venue Tel: 0161 834 1786

Leamington Spa, Zephyr Lounge – Friday 4 May

24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898 – Venue Tel: 01926 311 311
Book Online: Gig Cartel or Eventbrite

Southampton Talking Heads – Saturday 5 May

Book Online: Gig Cartel  – Venue Tel: 02380 361 970

Birmingham, Hare & Hounds – Thursday 10 May

Book Online: Gig Cartel 24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Venue Tel: 0121 444 2081

Nottingham, The Bodega – Friday 11 May

Book Online: Gig Cartel or Alttickets

24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898 – Venue Box Office: 0115 896 4456

York, Fulford Arms – Saturday 12 May

Book Online: Gig Cartel 24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Venue Tel: 01904 620 410

Newcastle, The Cluny – Sunday 13 May

Book Online: Gig Cartel or See Tickets

24 HR Box Office: 0844 478 0898 – Venue Tel: 0191 230 4474


Laurence Jones has built his reputation in the studio and playing live check out his discography 

Albums in BOLD checkout Bluesdoodles review.


The Truth (2018)
Take Me High(2016)
What’s It Gonna Be (2015)
Temptation (2014)
Blues Caravan (2014)
Thunder In The Sky (2012)

Laurence Jones speaks the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth


Grainne Duffy Third Album Where I Belong Delights

Grainne Duffy Third Album Where I Belong Delights

This is Grainne’s third album having listened unless it’s by choice, it amazes me that a major label has not taken up this stunning talent. Now I am, by preference a stompin’, blues-rocking type and it may surprise some, that this is not as blues/rock biased as her previous releases, but this album is a pearl of quiet, beautifully performed songs. It deftly weaves a heartfelt tapestry of emotions. Recorded with the help of such luminaries as Doyle Bramhall II, this is a majestic, mainly acoustic journey through this lady’s heart & soul.

The new album,  Where I Belong kicks off with the title track, the lovely warm acoustic guitar washes across the background as Grainne’s voice (especially on the multi-tracked parts) takes hold of you and doesn’t let go. Whilst on Blame It On You sharpens the tempo with its gorgeous and far too short electric guitar solo which grabs as much as the lyrics. One word of caution if you have recently been parted from a loved one the track Don’t Want To Be Lonely will reduce you to tears… yes, she can put that much emotion into her voice and playing so that it feels as if it is your heartstrings she is stroking rather than guitar strings. A piano introduction followed by a guitar sound to die for leads us into the final track… the instrumental Canyon Road. Three minutes of such lyrical playing, that words would have been superfluous; a perfect demonstration of how to play the right amount of notes.

Grainne Duffy Third Album Where I Belong delights you, relaxed and full of rootsy Americana tones with one boot in the blues.  That hits the right places and fills the moments with a rounded sound showing a different side as rock is pushed to one side for the different side of Grainne Duffy. She is joined by a host of talented musicians including Paul Sherry with backing vocals and various guitars joining Grainne once again. With the rhythm section and piano add colour depth and shape to the stripped back approach taken by Grainne on the album.

Rather than dissect each track, it is easier to summarise by saying simply buy this album and, when the mood is right, lose yourself in a landscape of quiet country-infused soulful blues – you will not be disappointed. Why? Grainne pronounced Graw-nya; the red-haired Irish beauty delivers perfect country infused blues.

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track List:

  1. Where I Belong
  2. My love
  3. Don’t You Wanna Know
  4. Home
  5. Shine
  6. All Of My Life
  7. Blame It On You
  8. Don’t Want To Be Lonely
  9. Open Arms
  10. Canyon Road


Grainne Duffy: Vocals, Lead Guitar/ Rhythm Guitar/Acoustic Guitar
Paul Sherry: Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar/ Rhythm Guitar/Acoustic Guitar
Shawn Davis: Bass Guitar
Aaron Redfield: Drums
Tyler Chester: Keyboards/Piano


Previous Grainne Duffy reviews by Bluesdoodles: 2nd Album  Test of Time; and Live at Beaufort South Wales



Grainne Duffy Third Album Where I Belong Delights

Ilya Portnov Debut Album Strong Brew

Ilya Portnov Debut Album Strong Brew

Ilya Portnov Debut Album Strong Brew


Russia born, now based in the USA harmonica player Ilya Portnov loves the blues. His debut instrumental solo album, Strong Brew, is a mix of old-school blues and ragtime with gypsy and tango-influenced tunes. Ilya says he wanted to feature different kinds of music that played a big role in his life. Originally, he had planned to include Brazilian choro and forro tracks but now he plans to release these on a separate album. Strong Brew, with seven self-penned tracks and two covers. The lively arrangement of the Rev Gary Davis classic, Cincinnati Flow Rag and in complete contrast, In a Town Garden. A composition from Malvey Blanter and Alexey Fatyanov a popular Russian tune of the 1940s and a favourite of Portnov’s grandmother. Ilya plays a mean diatonic harp and is ably backed by keys, guitar, drums and violin as he moves from 12 bar blues to ragtime to tango. The appropriately named track 1928 would work as music for a black and white film set in a smoky 1920s dance club while Surfing the Baltic Sea brings us a lilting gypsy influenced tune with virtuoso harp playing. Occasionally verging on the pedestrian but the album is ultimately intriguing. Ilya’s harmonica blends blues with folk music of Eastern Europe the combination of roots-infused music works. The mix of music is a refreshing take on the range of the harmonica and Ilya’s musical influences. Stand out tracks for this reviewer were the 12 bar blues Behind the Wall and the final blues track Till The Early Morning. The title track, Strong Brew is a smooth mix of bluesy harp over a prowling, slinky dance background – this could be the way to go for this versatile musician.

Ilya Portnov  – Strong Brew – Independent

SIXpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

  1. Sunny Afternoon Blues
  2. Surfing The Baltic Sea
  3. Dance of A Lonely Doll
  4. Cincinnati Flow Rag
  5. In A Town Garden
  6. Behind The Wall
  7. Strong Brew
  8. 1928

Ilya Portnov Debut Album Strong Brew

Reality Hits as Jack J Hutchinson Paints No Fiction

Reality Hits as Jack J Hutchinson Paints No FictionReality Hits as Jack J Hutchinson Paints No Fiction

Jack J Hutchinson, causes a stir whenever and wherever he plays live. His music catches the ear and pulls you deep into his dirty interpretation of the blues. The hooks are deep in the roots and the riffs have the energy of the contemporary music. On Paint No Fiction Jack is joined on this twelve track album that was six months in the making by an intoxicating and exciting array of U.K Blues, Rock and Americana musicians. Genres reflected in an album redolent with raw and dirty dripping with genre-busting intrigue and excitement as he Paints No Fiction; the music is authentic 21st Century British blues-infused music.

Before you listen to a note, the artwork by Aaron Gardner has an inner power, capturing Jack’s personality in shades of brown and yellow. You want to hear the music from a man who dominates the front cover and reflects back images in his sunglasses. You want to uncover what makes the musician tick.

Opening with Deal With The Devil, you are assailed by full on rock crescendo. No traditional blues fuelled deal with the devil. The rock is countered by beats and textures that fall within Americana,  as we get to know the Paint No Fiction music of eleven self-penned numbers. The guitar is raw fuzzy energised with the fluidity of a jam captured and ordered in a studio. As Jack sings ‘The World Don’t Own You A Dime…. Deal With The Devil – The Devil Ain’t Mine’, your attention is truly captured. Moving swiftly into Written In Stone the tone changes as we have hints of dirty rawness inspired by Mississippi Hill Country with guitar work with its fuzzy tone that demands your ears take note whilst your feet just absorb the beat with pure delight.

Each number has its own clear texture tone and approach, Jack has chosen the group of musicians used on each track with care. On the slower Hold Me Close, the acoustic guitar picks out the melodic path and Hutchinson’s vocals still have the signature gruffness but delivered with a gentler cadence. The keys pick up the melodic flow building the tension and creating a soundscape of emotional tension as Jack yearns to be held close. As we Cut The Noose, the blues is strong and pure, considered and reflecting the lyrical depths.  Halfway through the album and we are still in reflective mood with Set Your Heart For The Sun. The percussive tones reflecting and adding shadows to the vocals from Jack that are at the heart of every number.

The tempo heats up the rawness is cutting through the beat on the first single from the album Rattlesnake Woman. This is blues that is mysterious and reflects the psychedelic elements of the cover. The guitar duelling is immense as Hutchinson and Ross battle it out with the six-strings – rather that than a six-shooter. The blues theme is picked up with a harmonica driven whip cracking Skin and Bone.  Jack may sing about Skin and Bone, the sound is full boned nuanced with sharp and sweet licks and melodies as we turn the corner into the last three tracks of the album.

The penultimate track is calmer with Send Me A Signal with a countryesque phrasing of the vocals contrasting with the guitar picked with precision.  The album closes with a full-on luscious sound that floats as we explore Hard Right In My Dreams. Jack Hutchinson and his myriad of guests have created an album that is a sonic exploration of music dipped in the wealth of roots music, shaken and stirred with flashes of modernity.   Every number is a chapter in the story Jack J Hutchinson is creating in Paint No Fiction. It is music genuine to the here and now. The lasting truth of this work of musical art is authenticity.

Hutchinson album launches Paint No Fiction with a special ‘Last Waltz’ style gig at Ain’t Nothing But, Soho London featuring all the musicians on the album.
A Date for your diaries that is a certainty – 8th December 2017.

Jack J. Hutchinson: Vocals and guitar
Mike Ross: Electric Bass and guitar
Alberto Manuzzi: Keyboards
Marc Burguera: Guitar
Tom Brundage: Harmonica
Stuart Moir: Violin & 8 string bass
Dani Rock: Double bass
Loris Peverani: Drums and percussion
Morgan Platt: Drums and percussion

Producer: Tony Perretta

Paint No Fiction – Jack J. Hutchinson

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

  1. Deal With The Devil
  2. Written In Stone
  3. Hip Slickin’
  4. Hold Me Close
  5. Cut The Noose
  6. Set Your Heart For The Sun
  7. Rattlesnake Woman
  8. Skin and Bone
  9. I Got Your Number
  10. Send Me A Signal
  11. Hard Right In My Dreams

Exploring Rhythm Of The Rain With Amelia White

Exploring Rhythm Of The Rain With Amelia White

Exploring Rhythm Of The Rain With Amelia White



Out of East Nashville, Amelia White is part of the growing phalanx of singer-songwriters that have blended styles around the distinct tonal qualities of their vocal style and range.  Amelia’s previous release Home Sweet Hotel was critically acclaimed building on this she has delivered Rhythm Of The Rain a tonal poem that connects with moods and feelings of a gathering storm explored throughout the album.  Savour and explore the tracks individually and as collections delve deep and discover the attention to detail held within the lyrics painting a picture with her words. The album is full of compelling originals, a mix of her own and those co-written with a number of collaborators. This mix helps to give the album variations and different approaches can be heard so that the songs captivate and never fall into the singer/songwriters trap of being in a rut of similarity. Opening with Little Cloud Over Little Rock we are introduced to her very distinctive vocal tone. Smokey, warm and full of country vibe and intonations.

Rhythm Of The Rain is an exploration of life but that does not make the well-crafted album Blues. The title track opens with a spoken word “Don’t think too much people”, a flippant line but true do not over analyse. The nine tracks that pick over life, from the warmth of summer sun, lust and addiction and the forthcoming storm.  I suggest you take White’s advice. What you do need to do is listen to the carefully crafted lyrics. There is more to the words than being said, as the gothic side of life is explored under the beat of the drum and violin swirls. Yuma, co-written with Ben Glover has a lilting quality as she asks “are you still listening?” Yes, I am and will return to this album when I want to have music that flows with a smoothness. The delivery by Amelia connects to your soul and gives you the space to kick back and contemplate. The beat picks up with a catchy number harnessing the feel but slowed down this is not frenetic rock n’ roll as White, Said It Like A King. Closing the album with a number she wrote with Worry Dolls we are given hope as they Let The Wind Blow. The album has a completeness and complete package of compelling music. The songs let you get to know Amelia White. But only what she wants to share, as underneath there are untold stories and unshared stories and memories.  Sit back and enjoy the music and never over analyze, if it suits your mood, music collection and more, then it is a good album harnessing the gentle ebbs and flows of the craft of a singer/songwriter. Yes, Amelia has captured the Rhythm Of The Rain, sometimes gentle, often refreshing an on occasions delivered with a torrent of hurt.

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

  1. Little cloud Over Little Rock
  2. Rhythm Of The Rain
  3. Sinking Sun
  4. Sugar Baby
  5. Supernova
  6. Yuma
  7. Said It Like A King
  8. True or Not
  9. Let The Wind Blow


Rhythm Of The Rain – Amelia White – White Wolf Records



Accompanied by Thomas Collison on selected dates *

Mon 13*    London Green Note
Tue 14*    Brighton The Greys co-bill with Danni Nicholls
Wed 15*   Bedford The Pavilion, Bedford Park co-bill with Danni Nicholls
Fri 17*    Winchester The Hyde Tavern
Sat 18*    East Grinstead The Dorset Arms co-bill with Danni Nicholls
Sun 19*    London Private House Concert
Mon 20     Leeds  Oporto Bar The Gaslight Club co-bill with Dan Webster
Tues 21    Liverpool Private House Concert  co-bill with Dan Webster
Thu 23     Beverley  The Monks Walk co-bill with Dan Webster
Fri 24     York  The Winning Post
Sun 26     Newcastle upon Tyne Think Tank, Times Square