Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018

Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018

Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds At Rock and Blues Festival 2018

Every January there is a migration of blues and rock fans they all have one destination on the sat nav Skegness, Butlins for three days and nights of music, fun and meeting friends. This year the anticipation was higher than ever since the line-up was the best in years. Yes, we would have liked some more rock but the quality was there across the four stages that fill your ears with music that you talk about all year. The Introducing stage does just that you find new bands and the main stages put on the shows that fill your heart with musical gladness. Then there is Jaks that special bar that plays on into the early hours of the next day, memories are made and are recounted do you remember this set and that and will the magic of Larry Miller’s set be repeated this year? The rumours about Jaks permeated the weekend the only dark spot on the horizon, being knocked down, not being replaced and every variant in between. The common cry was we need a venue with a smaller stage, creating an intimate atmosphere and playing live music long into the night. Now for what made this year very special to bring smiles to people faces.

Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds At Rock and Blues Festival 2018 –

INTRODUCTION STAGE

Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018

Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018The Introduction stage is now an integral part of the Skeggy narrative in January. Twelve bands play over the weekend attracting enthusiastic crowds. The success of the concept of the winning bands appearing on one of the main stages the following year has proved a winning formula they all step up and perform to the audience’s delight. This year the bands raised the bar with each night a difficult choice as to who to award the blue discs that get counted and decide the fate of three bands, they will be back next year on either Centre or Reds Stage. The winners were, Mike Ross, Storm Warning and STAN The Band. They wowed the crowds, got them dancing loving the music and we wanted to hear them again and we will in 2019.

Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018

So how did last year’s winners do? First of the three bands, Tom Walker Trio now a four-piece and by the end of the set, there were five musicians on stage. The fifth was special a guest with his Hammond Bob Fridzema who would be playing as part of the new Engine Room when Sari Schorr stepped on the stage. We saw Bob for the third time later when Ash Wilson played Jaks to close Friday night’s entertainment. They had the privilege of opening Centre stage for the weekend. Wow! They performed and for many were one of the highlights. The rocky blues and soulful sound of Southbound started the day’s bands at Reds on Saturday. Whilst, on Sunday Greg Coulson, warmed the Centre stage. His guitar, keys and vocals were stunning and the interaction with guitarist Stuart Dixon was mesmerizing.

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Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds At Rock and Blues Festival 2018 –

WOMEN PERFORMING ACROSS THE STAGES

 

Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018Across the festival, women were ruling the stages! Friday Night,  Monica vocals opened the weekend as Saiichi Sugiyama Band stepped onto the Introductory stage,  Maya on vocals that caught your ears attention as Deep Blue Sea entertained from the Introducing Stage as the closing act. Centre stage was set alight as Sari Schorr arrived with the power of her voice and the Engine Room’s ability to play the deep blues that reflect the tonal qualities of her voice. Saturday saw the return of Rebecca Downes, what a rising trajectory her career has taken after performing on the introducing stage back in 2015. This was not the first or last time we heard Rebecca this weekend, as she joined Slack Alice and then a special duet with Connie Lush on Sunday. Yoka with her Sugarbeats captured the ears of everyone in the Introducing stage audience. Another day I am sure she would have won her vocals we stunning combined with the magic of her flute and saxophone. Centre stage was silenced by the performance of Jo Harman as her vocals with the clarity of a bell and warmth of an open fire reached out and touched the audience. Amnesty is always a spine-tingling emotive journey and as a rock fan said to me I just sat and listened with delight. Sunday night three stages and three different women Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018who knew how to entertain. Connie Lush on Centre stage full of warmth with her voice that tells a story with her old favourites and tracks from her latest album renaissance. Blame (It All On Me) the band flexing their depth of tone and power with the vocals shining above them and the women in the audience were still singing the refrain long after the set finished. Then the guitar wizardry of Chantel McGregor as she captured the rock power with her new band and tracks for her forthcoming third album. Closing out the festival in Jaks, the final set being played on the stage run by Blues Matters who tonight celebrated their hundredth edition. Elles Bailey, is a Wildfire on the stage and she kept the partygoers awake and ready to party until Jaks closed ad Clive Rawlings put on Freebird for one last time. So it was Goodbye to Jaks a scene of so many happy memories and a farewell to Clive Rawlings who has worked the DJ slot for the last ten years.

 

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Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds At Rock and Blues Festival 2018 –

ROCK

Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018This weekend is billed as The Great British Rock & Blues Festival. 2018 line-up is strong this year a huge improvement on last year but rock was here not in capital letters. Reds stage was cool not just temperature but the level of quality British Rock acts. Some acts from the past but where were the up and upcoming rock acts in every hue. Classic, heavy, metal and everything in-between. With that moan over Screaming Eagles from Belfast certainly got the Friday night off to a flying rock n’ roll start. They certainly raised the temperature and showed us that young rock bands know how to entertain. For many, Roger Chapman Family and Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018Friends took people back to days gone by they certainly delighted the audience who happily sang with passion and the fans were very happy. Stray and Dare if you look at feedback were among the favourites. Del Bronham and Stray set the stage on fire and they rocked the crowds on a Sunday afternoon. The stage was packed for Nazareth showing once again the pulling power of quality rock. With two acoustic rock acts entertaining with tales, acoustic guitars and old favourites revisited with Bernie Marsden and then Edgar Broughton. Always interesting to see a different side of the rocker we love and Ain’t No Love still works and the crowd willingly gives voice.

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Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds At Rock and Blues Festival 2018 –

BLUES

Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018The Blues of Rock and Blues was strong with young bands, those from States and Europe. Blues of every hue and shade were covered.  Robin Bibi delighting the crowds in Jaks as the first band of the weekend on the stage. His stage presence and guitar playing always capturing the blues vibe. For so many, the act of weekend was Thorbjørn Risager and Black Tornado who played a Saturday afternoon slot. With the joy and pleasure a top band, that never disappoints with their Danish blues; with a brass section that wowed and added that depth of tone that makes this brand of blues very special. The set was as strong as Thorbjorn’s fantastic vocals and charismatic delivery, as they showcase their superb album, Change My Game. With playing like this we say keep playing the same game. They deliver a very modern take on the authentic R&B sound in a word BRILLIANT! Marmite of the blues from Tasmania via Germany Rob Tognoni gave the devils music a rocking workout.  Sunday evening and music gremlins stormed the stage whilst Lucky Peterson delivered a wonderful set despite the troublesome Hammond. The fault was repaired by the techs and we heard Lucky explore the keys and driving power of the Hammond. Whilst the Hammond was silent we explored through Lucky’s slide guitar southern delivery of classics, including Dust My Broom. The trumpeter with the Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018judicious use of his wah pedal added a wonderful unique tone. Lucky continued despite in his words ‘shit happens’ and his wonderful rendition of Stand By Me was impressive and the audience was on his side we loved singing back the words and this was a set full of fun, blues and deep musical delights. What a weekend of fun and mayhem in Jaks, Jack J Hutchinson fitted in perfectly. With his the Boom Boom Brotherhood following his guest appearance the day before on the introducing Stage with Mike Ross. Jack, with his latest album Paint No Fiction is set was a blinder including Mike Ross guesting for him and a double guitar we saw every dimension of the Hutchinson Blues artillery.  Troy Redfern in Jaks played fast and furious he excites the audience and Jaks was jumping. Benjamin Bassford, Sunday afternoon had an unexpected opportunity to showcase his acoustic talents before the band’s set. He filled the shoes left vacant as Al Hughes was ill with music that was filled with blues that flowed from the stage and across Jaks. Both his acoustic and bands sets were talked about for the right reasons they hit the blues spot.  Billy Walton New Jersey style rocking blues-fueled party music. Whenever and wherever they step onto a stage the crowd is warmed by the music we are all looking forward to the next album, as they delivered the music that makes you feel good.

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Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds At Rock and Blues Festival 2018 –

HEADLINE ACTS

Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018Festivals are often remembered by the headliners did they deliver it was a mixed bag Yes, No and maybe. Those that didn’t quite fit the billing fade into the background as they are subsumed by the highlights. For the second time tonight we heard the delicious guitar work of Ash Wilson, first with Sari Schorr and now with his band in Jaks. With the set list filled with tracks from Broken Machine, one thing for certain is there is nothing broken about the vocals and guitar work. Ash struts the stage with such authority and confidence now, a complete artist Is there anyone better in the UK at playing this style of blues as he closed with Peace & Love. Saturday saw a trio of headliners who delivered Earl Thomas, picking up the soul vibe left lingering in the air as Jo Harman left the stage. Earl really is Mr Charisma, super cool, big voice and stylish footwork. A genuine get-up and dance party sound. With a clever story that continued through his delivery of track eight on Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018his new CD, it was a clever sales pitch infections fitting perfectly into a marvellous set of soulful blues. Quick check-in at Reds to catch up with Xander & The Peace Pirates and what a wonderful set as he filled the stage with glorious southern rocking blues. It is unsurprising that he was a firm favourite of the weekend. The music engaged and captured your musical soul impressive playing and a band to catch paying live whenever the opportunity arises. Back in Jaks Rainbreakers let us party through Saturday night and into the early hours. This is a young band that delivers with music that you dance and party to they certainly Rise Up to every occasion. Sunday night needs music that keeps us on our feet we have heard so many good bands. We had perennial favourites Dr Feelgood to keep the crowds hot, happy and enjoying Milk & Alcohol as someone in the crowd said while we were waiting they are the double cherry on top of the most delicious ice-cream sundae.  The opposite sound on Live Music Delights Skegness Crowds Rock and Blues Festival 2018Reds with the rockier Chantel McGregor. Chantel has matured and changed her style since her first time on Reds when she was invited after her set to play with Deborah Bonham. Her new style is different and is still guitar focused, winning new fans and now definitely rock not blues.  Now the clock is ticking down to the closing of the weekend. As the other stages fall silent the final midnight shift of the weekend Elles Bailey. She delivered a great set to send everyone off in a good mood. It was somehow appropriate that another great powerful female vocalist closes such a fabulous weekend.

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Before we talk highlights and close for another year, Bluesdoodles wants to register that thanks and appreciation on the thousands that attend of all the staff at Butlins who work so hard to make sure the food is hot, the public areas are clean and always have a ready smile. You are a big part of why the migration will happen once again in 2019.

The highlights are so many we have tried to capture them in the net of words and photographs, I will always remember that 2018 delivered Lucky Peterson, Connie Lush, Rebecca Downes, Xander & The Peace Pirates, Jack Hutchison, The Rainbreakers, Tom Walker Band, Stray all on the same bill plus so many more amazing acts. Bring on Butlins 2019; three winning acts have already been announced Mike Ross Band, Storm Warning & STAN The Band!

 

Advent Day 18 What Bluesdoodles Talked about in 2017

Advent Day 18 What Bluesdoodles Talked about in 2017

Throughout 2017 Bluesdoodles has had the opportunity to talk to some wonderful musicians. Adding to the excitement We now have Wes O’Neill who will continue throughout out 2018 bringing you insightful interviews; Liz will be adding some as well. Bluesdoodles giving you an inside view of the artists we love to hear play live and recorded. Everyone at Bluesdoodles thanks, to the PR and Record Companies and most of all our gratitude to all the artists for their valuable time and willingness to answer the questions.
Bluesdoodles discussed, new albums, debut Albums, first Headliner Tour and what makes a great song.  Explore the thirty conversations, listen and buy the music and see artist live where and whenever possible

Now to explore our conversations 2017!

Alastair Greene

Chantel McGregor

Jack J. Hutchinson

Dan Reed – Dan Reed Network

Fabrizio Grossie – Supersonic Blues Machine

Brian Downey – Alive and Dangerous

Stevie Westwood – Bad Touch

JW Jones

Mollie Marriott

Rebecca Downes

SIMO

Erja Lytinnen

Five Bands talking about UK Blues Challenge (LaVendore Rogue – Elles BaileyRobert J HunterZoe Schwarz Blue CommotionRainbreakers)

Alan Nimmo – King King

A Thousand Horses

Ray Dorsett – Aka Mungo Jerry

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Feargal Sharkey

Sonny Landreth

Jared James Nichols

Wilko Johnson

Dan Patlansky

Sari Schorr

Ash Wilson

Husky Tones

Ronnie Baker Brooks

Danny Core – The Broken Witt Rebels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dark and Light Sides of Chantel McGregor

The Dark and Light Sides of Chantel McGregor

By Wes O’Neill

There simply is not enough women guitarists that get the same acclaim that their male counterparts do and even when it’s deserved. It’s a male-dominated world and something needs to change – doors need to be kicked in by ladies with amps cranked up and playing that can go from a scream to a whisper with just as much force and subtlety.

Fortunately, there are players that can hold their own with the “big boys” in Samantha Fish, Nita Strauss, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Orianthi and others…along with Chantel McGregor. There’s no top of the guitar magazine polls here, ladies doing their thing and damn well at that.

One of my guitar students, a young lady in fact, when I first asked her a couple of years ago what she wanted to get out of learning excitedly proclaimed “I wanna learn to shred and not just play to typecast in acoustic songs or on a fucking ukulele.”. That brought warm feelings to my heart and a sense of hope…

Chantel McGregor is such a lady to inspire such aspirations that are not beyond reach with self-belief and dedication. Ahead of playing a blistering show at The Tunnels Bristol, we sat down with Chantel for what’s been happening, her advice on being a woman in what some archaically view as a man’s world and what’s coming next. It’s about to get dark but with a light side also…

 

It’s been a couple of years since your last album “Lose Control” What have you been up to?

We’ve been on tour for 2 years since the release of “Lose Control”. It’s been constant, we’ve played in a whole load of countries in Europe, we’ve just got back from 3 weeks in Germany in fact, so it’s been tricky to get time to do another album. But…that’s now sort of in the process of coming to a head with writing nearly done and us heading into the studio in the next few months to get that down and releasing it hopefully next summer.

 

“Lose Control” was quite gothic, taking inspiration from a variety of sources you were in to at the time. What kind of musical direction are you taking this time?

It’s dark. Darker than before, in the way that it’s more personal than the last one. The last one was southern USA gothic themed, dark but not personal in any way that I wrote about dark things from my life – I’ve now been doing that. It’s a bit of a personal trip and a gamble as I’m really trying to dig deep with the emotions I have and stories to tell, it’s quite hard, to be honest with you.

 

Are you finding that’s helping you come to terms, and not to pry, with whatever has gone in your life?

No! Hahaha! No, it’s horrible! It’s like everything that I’ve put into a box, you know every bad relationship, every self-doubt, every moment that hasn’t been right all coming at me at once. Opening that box opens old wounds and it’s like ‘Oh my God, why I am trying to sing, play and write about this kind of stuff, why didn’t I just leave it be, why did I think of doing this?’.

 

In that case, what’s the idea behind putting yourself through that instead of writing in a third person or about other things?

As in taking the easy option? I don’t know, ‘cos I’m stupid or something! Seriously though, I think I’m at that point where I should really write about something that is really my own with my own feelings and emotions rather than relying upon other peoples. It’s easier to write songs about other things and other people than it is about yourself. When you’ve locked emotions away, revisiting them is hard but I did feel that I needed to do that as you know, we all have to do it at some point really. Either that or I’m just a bit sadistic, masochistic…or just weird!

 

How is this going to come through on the new album, in the guitar or in the lyrics?

Probably more towards in the lyrics as the music bit with the riffs, changes, grooves and all that isn’t really difficult for me to play. If I’m writing about a telly show, then it’s easy as you’re not digging deep, but when it comes to writing about how a relationship ended and how it’s made you feel then it’s really tricky.

 

As you mentioned, you’re looking at a summer release (it’ll be a dark summer by the sounds of it!), any specifics on production you have in mind that you can share with us?

Well, assuming everything runs to plan, but in my world, you never know, but yes, summer is slated for it. Production wise we’ll be down to London probably, the same producer that I use as it always seems to work out with him and he’s great…probably just that. We’ll have to see what we come out with when tracking, and that’s all you’re going to get on that for now!

 

Moving on from the new album, how important do you think music education is or are there other routes that you can take learning and playing?

I started playing when I was 3 and started having lessons when I was 7 until I was 16 and then I went on to do a degree in music a bit after that. To be honest with you, most of the things I have learnt, the really valuable and meaningful things have been from improvisation and jamming around with people more than the strict educational side of it. Lessons are good though, as long as you’re getting something out of it and always. It’s important to have the educational side of it in some ways but I don’t think it’s necessary for everyone.

 

Being a woman in the guitar world, what would be your advice be to other women playing guitar or thinking of doing so and to those in bands already?

For me, I think, and it’s taken me all this time to get to this point where I realise I’ve probably spent years wasting time being fragile and worrying about what people think…You know, all the stupid stuff like what do people think, how am I perceived, do they really care, do they like my playing, how I look, my singing, are they just here ‘cos I’m a girl, what are they saying in the bar after…all that rubbish. I’m now at a point where I can stop worrying about what other people think and for women that’s essential. Not that blokes don’t have feelings and all, but for women we can be a bit more sensitive than men and we do bother about what people think of us whether that’s image or musicianship, and we spend so much time thinking about it, tearing your life and thoughts up that you end up not concentrating on what you love doing. You need to get strong, really quickly and just sort of say “Stuff everyone else, I’m gonna do what I want to do and I’m going to enjoy it”. That’s the hardest bit – it’s not learning the scales, chords and how to play, it’s having strength in who you are and what you do being a female in the music industry.

 

Wes, thanks to Victoria Tyrer for helping put this together for Bluesdoodles

 

Bluesdoodles Review of Lose Control – HERE

 

Bluesdoodles In Conversation Across The Years

It is always fascinating, hence Bluesdoodles In Conversation Across The Years. Read about the thinking behind making albums, producing albums and who would be in their fantasy band.

Bluesdoodles Interviews – 2016

JD SIMO – SIMO
Eric Johnson
Fee Waybill – The Tubes
Paul Bowe – Federal Charm
Walter Trout
Debbie Bond
Sari Schorr
Coleen Rennison – No Sinner
Jared James Nichols
Joe Louis Walker
JJ Grey 
Wayne Proctor
Kaz Hawkins
Dan Patlansky 
Dan Reed 
JD Simo

Bluesdoodles Interviews – 2015

Laurence Jones – In Conversation February 2015
Dan Patlansky – In Conversation April 2015
Alan Nimmo – In Conversation May 2015
Julian Moores – In Conversation May 2015
Chantel McGregor – In Conversation October 2015
Erja Lyytinen – In Conversation October 2015
Rob Richings – In Conversation November 2015

Blues is back in Sheffield HRH 2017

 

Blues is back in Sheffield HRH 2017

 

Blues is back in Sheffield HRH 2017

 

HRH Blues 2016 was superb read what we said HERE

 

New Jersey’s Billy Walton Band join King King, Ten Years After, Stan Webb, Simon Mc Bride & Dan Patlansky to complete the cycle 3 line up of HRH Blues.

What a line-up this not just promises to be exciting it will be with scintillating guitars, powerful voices as blues is twisted, turned creating a rainbow faceted jewel of every shade of blue. will be rocked, amazed and excited by the music from the first to the last note.

HRH Blues are proud to fly in yet another incredible talent for its 3rd round of Blues rock infused fun in Sheffield.

The Billy Walton Band compliment an already stellar Blues Rock line up and with under 90 tickets remaining, it looks like it will sell out even earlier than last year.

 Ten Years After and Bernie Marsden performing at last year’s HRH Blues 2

 Ten Years After

Bernie Marsden

HRH CEO Jonni Davis praised the band by saying  “ Walton’s talents are no secret among everyone in the Jersey shore music scene and with the founding of the Billy Walton Band, there’s little doubt his reputation will grow far beyond the Garden State. The Billy Walton Band’s sound is a combination of hard blues reminiscent of Hendrix, Clapton and Vaughn mixed with a healthy dose of Warren Hayes and Derrick Trucks.

“Live, Walton has always been an explosive performer with Jaw dropping talent but with the addition of bassist William Paris, Richie Taz on sax and drummer Johnny D’Angelo the Billy Walton band churns out a singular brand of funky blues that has deep roots in both the jam band musical tradition as well as the Jersey shore Walton has cut his teeth on. We can’t wait to see him perform next year in Sheffield.”

 

HRH Blues 3 takes place on 15th & 16th April 2017 @ the 02 Academy , Sheffield and the last few tickets can be booked online HERE  or by ringing Lisa on 0207 097 1521

 

 

Bluesdoodles Dozen Albums of 2015 & more…..

Bluesdoodles Dozen Albums of 2015 & more…..  Album 2015 – Live Album 2015 and Artists & Bands to watch out for in 2016!

Having reviewed numerous albums this year Bluesdoodles has listened to Blues, Americana, Rock and so much more – more importantly the music has been fabulous.

Bluesdoodles picks of 2015 HERE – Forty Three Albums that stood out from the crowd. The albums will be on my play list long into 2016 and beyond…

Bluesdoodles Album of 2015

album

King KingReaching For The Light


Bluesdoodles Live Album of 2015

IanSiegal_OneNightInAmsterdam

Ian Siegal – One Night In Amsterdam


 

Bluesdoodles Dozen

 rafgged

Devon Allman – Ragged and Dirty

 

PromoImage

Danny & The Champions of the World – What Kind Of Love

 

BornToPlayGuitar_CoverArt

Buddy Guy – Born To Play Guitar

 

jh13

Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying To Live

 

album

King King – Reaching For The Light

 

CL - CD Cover-1

Connie Lush – Renaissance

 

lose_control

Chantel McGregor – Lose Control

 

Danni Nicholls - 'Mockingbird Lane' - cover (300dpi)

Danni Nicholls – Mockingbird Lane

 

danpatlansky cd

Dan Patlansky – Dear Silence Thieves

 

album-hr

Joe Satriani – Shockwave Supernova

 

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Guy Tortora – Bluesman In A Boneyard

 

Scan0006

Walter Trout – Battle Scars

 

 

Bluesdoodles Quartet of Live Albums

 

BabaJack Live Cover banner fb

Babajack – Babajack Live

 

erja_lyytinen_live_in_london_cover_sm

Erja Lyytinen – Live In London

 

IanSiegal_OneNightInAmsterdam

Ian Siegal – One Night In Amsterdam

 

Layla

Layla Zoe – Spirit of 66

 

 

Bluesdoodles One’s To Listen Live & Recorded

 (alphabetical order)

Catfish

Rebecca Downes

Della Grants

Husky Tones

Inglorious

Jar Family

Kaz Hawkins

LaVendore Rogue

Elliot Morris

Tristan McKay

Red Butler

RavenEye

 

 

Bluesdoodles – Pick Of The Bunch 2015

Pick Of The Bunch 2015 ~
The order is random all are brilliant and in with a shout for the Bluesdoodles Dozen of 2015..

These are from the albums I have listened to and reviewed throughout 2015 – this is my subjective collection happy for others to disagree. Bluesdoodles wants to thank every artist who has submitted music to be reviewed I listen and will always be honest and fair

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Fish – A Feast Of Consequences
Joel Fisk & The Breakdown – The Well
Dan Patlansky – Dear Silence Thieves
John Mayall – A Special Life
Giles Hedley – Rain Is Such A Lonesome Sound
Lisa Mills – I’m Changing re-mix
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman – Tomorrow Will Follow Today
Ian Siegal – One Night In Amsterdam
Dani Wilde – Songs About
Joe Satriani – Shockwave Supernova
Guy Tortora – Bluesman In A Boneyard
Danny & The Champions of the World – What Kind Of Love
Gill Landry – Gill Landry
LaVendore Rogue – Light Up With
Mark Pontin – Textures
Aynsley Lister – Home
Samantha Fish – Wild Heart
Little Devils – The Storm Inside
Erja Lyytinen – Live In London
Beth Hart – Better Than Home
David Phillips – If I Had Wings
Karen Lovely – Ten Miles of Bad Road
Micke Bjorklof & Blues Strip – Ain’t Bad Yet
King King – Reaching For The Light
Devon Allman – Ragged and Dirty
Joe Louis Walker – Everybody Wants A Piece
Danni Nicholls – Mockingbird Lane
Layla Zoe – Live at The Spirit of 66
Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying To Live
Chantel McGregor – Lose Control
Babajack – Babajack Live
Jar Family – Family First
Craig Finn – Faith In The Future
Buddy Guy – Born To Play Guitar
Delta Deep – Delta Deep
Kaz Hawkins – Get Ready
Groanbox – Groanbox
Jimbo Mathus – Blue Healer
Eddie Martin Big Red Radio- Live in Tuscany
Mike Zito & The Wheel – Keep Coming Back
Connie Lush – Renaissance
AndersonPonty Band – Better Late Than Never
Walter Trout – Battle Scars

Chantel McGregor back at The Tunnels

Chantel McGregor-1933

Chantel McGregor back at The Tunnels
16th December 2015

Chantel McGregor back at The Tunnels in Bristol on her current tour promoting her sparkling guitar playing and her current album Lose Control. Chantel tonight, despite back pain was full of smiles and a shimmering determination to play loud, hard and with her twist of Gothic Southern Rock with a glimmer of blues.

 

Chantel McGregor-2146The set list was full of guitar twists and turns full on riffs and licks that delight the ear with a selection of firm favourites and new music that certainly got the Tunnels in a party mood. The tone was set from the off with Freefalling that got the phalanx of fans in the mood to partake in spangly rock from Chantel. The sound was definitely rockier overall and this does suit her guitar style and her vocals poured out above the guitar like a cooling waterfall, a wonderful combination.

 

Having heard and reviewed her latest album I was delighted to hear the tracks live they really work on a stage up close to a crowd that what to hear every note played and lyric sung.  Burn Your Anger was really impressive as was Southern Belle, Gothic Southern rock with a tinselly trail of the blues running through the whole number.  Tonight she hit Bristol with power chords that slur and grind out a melodic sound with her feminine vocals full of purity this is a combination that wins every time.

Tonight Colin Sutton on Bass rocked the rhythm section and held amusing conversations with Chantel, it was definitely a first for any conversation or gig to have Unicorns, Haggis and Otters in the same conversation. This had to be the warm up act for Chantel going progressive with the closing track of Lose Control, Walking On Land – what a land of imaginative guitar playing that Chantel took us too.  I believe in unicorns when the music is this good. This was an instrumental that added a new facet to the show, Chantel’s guitar playing is virtuoso and her style is distinctly hers as she blends and shapes her influences into her own guitar story.  The title track Lose Control is a winner once again Chantel controls the energy of the guitar bending the strings to play her tune.

The tempo and tone changed as Chantel took up the acoustic guitar and we heard Anesthetise transporting you into a different reality no-one would have been surprised if an unicorn stepped on the stage to keep her company as Colin and Andy had left the stage. This is a song driven by lyrics full of haunting tones delivered by her Taylor acoustic. Then Home also from Lose Control suits this format perfectly and closing this segment with Eternal Dream inspired by her hero Jeff Buckley.

 

Chantel McGregor-2062The rest of the band returned to the stage with the tempo going up to eleven and the electric guitar rules once again with Your Fever and Killing Time amongst the closing numbers. No wonder the encore, has had lots of airplay across the radio stations and especially Planet Rock as Take The Power is what Chantel does every time her fingers hits the six strings!

Anyone who hadn’t already purchased Lose Control was now hooked on this new sound that Chantel was playing with a new sense of maturity, control fizzed up with the effervescent energy that is Chantel McGregor.

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Chantel McGregor In Conversation with Bluesdoodles

Chantel McGregor In Conversation with Bluesdoodles

Chantel McGregor thank you for sparing the time in your busy tour schedule and the exciting launch of your new album Lose Control and it was fun chatting with you.

 

 

While reading this listen to the the first single from Lose Control – “Take The Power”, is released on Monday September 28th, and is accompanied by a promo video filmed on location in Edinburgh, produced by Sine Wave Media and directed by Richard Weston.

BD: Chantel tell us a little bit about the journey from your debut album to now, your music has changed Lose Control is testament to a pit stop on the road of your musical development?

CMcG: My debut album, Like No Other was a response to demand for an album and was a collection of songs some first written when I was fourteen. Since the release of my debut album I have played a lot and thought a lot resulting in Lose Control – a cohesive, concept album the songs all made sense together and yes some of the lyrics and songs are very dark. I have always been attracted to the dark side of art, novels and films, life is disturbing plus being frothy is not me and it is hard to write about love when not in love…

BD: Lose Control – the difficult second album has a cohesive feel and a different tone and feel. How have you achieved this mature sound?

CMcG: In a way this feels like a first album, it really is my baby, I wrote all the songs with a little help from some friends on a couple of tracks. I had input into the album every step of the way it was in my control before and in the studio I had a clear vision of the shape and sound of Lose Control.

BD: Are there any particular songs you play that have a special meaning to you?

CMcG: Actually it is the reverse I don’t play Eternal Dream live, it needs space and can’t do this number with the number of people who talk at gigs especially when it is a quieter song.

BD: Talking at Gigs!

CMcG: Yes, why do people go to a live music then talk, it is not in my personality to tell them to shut UP!

BD: I see that you have created your own independent boutique record player Tis Rock Music; what made you decide to go down this route?

CMcG: I recorded my debut album on Tis Rock Music as well. I made the decision to set up my own label, so I had the freedom to pay what I liked, wear what I like be my own musician.

BD: So created own record label to have control over your own art?

CMcG: Yes, absolutely there were too many people telling me how I should play, and not to wear dresses on stage. I love wearing my dresses, and did not want to wear jeans on stage, I make an effort to dress up for stage performances so that I feel different. People are always surprised if they see me before a show in jeans and a jumper. So Tis Rock Music simply allows me to be the Chantel McGregor I want to be.

BD: You are back on tour can you buy the album at shows?

CMcG: The release date is 9th October – and it is available to pre-order along with some snazzy T-shirts.. check out the web-site

BD: Talking about the new album and sound have you used different strings/ guitars Amplifiers?

CMcG: No I haven’t similar to the set up on the last studio recording. What I have done is lots of experimenting, exploring the idea of sound it was self-produced at home initially the domo’s shaped the finished studio product. There are more layers of sound and distortion this is an album played at 11.

BD: Do you consider yourself as a guitarist first, vocalist second or they equally important

CMcG: I started off playing a guitar it was a natural thing to pick up the guitar, by the age of eight I was the youngest to pass a Rock School Exam, and at 12 I was jamming. Whilst jamming I realised that I also need to learn to sing so started to sing Corrs and Cheryl Crow songs. The next challenge was learning to sing and play guitar at the same time, once mastered I know I was seen as a guitarist who sang a bit. On the first album I had had my wisdom teeth out and could open my mouth properly but that didn’t help. Now I have a mature stronger voice and Lose Control I see myself as both aspects of my music are equal the singing of the lyrics are as important as the guitar chords.

BD: Do you consider yourself as a rock or blues guitarist or do music boxes not matter once you pick up your instrument of choice?

CMcG: Boxes shouldn’t matter but there is always public perception, personally like to be seen as ‘she plays music’ and hopefully they think it is good. In reality I have never said I play the blues, or a blues guitarist to me it is Chantel music. Blues has evolved into rock, and yes people like putting your music into boxes.

BD: As an award winning guitarist do you still come across the male naysayers – girls can’t/shouldn’t play guitar?

CMcG: (Laughs, and sighs) All the time it is totally insane I get this all the time, there is no physical reason, yes I have tiny hands but so do men – look a Prince. It is a pre-conception and it is a conception that belongs to the stone-age that women should be tied to the kitchen sink, sadly seems like it will always be the case why? It’s tradition! The gender gap is closing women are doing their own thing I’m here I play guitar, I sing get used to it. My message to men is No I am not a bitch I am a musician.

BD: What are you looking forward to on this tour, is there going to be an opening act and I see that in between the UK dates you are off to Europe.

CMcG: Yes, love it so exciting Europe during November and December, and yes Europe is different. It is going to be fun, German audiences are always very vocal and into going to see live music at their local venue. UK lots of new venues, many are theatre style so a different vibe from standing venues and will be mixing up the sets as many people come to see more than one night, it is amazing that people travel so far to see me play. Love audiences meeting different people and the improvised solo on Walk On Land the final track of Lose Control will be different every time I play.

BD: Who has influenced you the most in your music writing and playing?

CMcG: Not one person or even one style of music though the guitar playing by Richie Kotzen is inspirational as is Ryan Adams.

BD: When not playing your own music who do you listen too?

CMcG: Lots often just listen to random on Spotify, Jazz, Dubstep what has just been released. If you only listen to Rock, Blues, acoustic you will never be the best you can. Form your own opinion on music for me it is about keeping an open mind listen to varied styles and absorb what you like.

BD: What advice have you had and what advice will you pass on?

CMcG: I have had loads advice some good and some bad; I have even listened to bad advice you learn more if you step back and make your own decision. I have had brilliant advice support from Joe Bonamassa and so many others it is brilliant how artists share. It is so important to be business-minded and astute if offered a deal is it the right one for me. It is scary how easily it is to be taken in by people you trust. In reality it is a hard business despite loads of gigs you have even more expenses and you have to love what you are doing and keep on working and be true to your own convictions.

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

CMcG: (Laughing, a moment’s thought) The band I have now they are totally insane she says with a beaming smile! It is what it is a three piece rock band; myself on guitar and vocals then the most amazing Rhythm section Keith McPartling on Drums and Colin Sutton on Bass giving me the space to create yes cello’s are great in the studio where you can have everything and the sound is balanced and there is space. Live it is different the three of us are perfect more and it can be hard to get space.

 

Bluesdoodles thanks Chantel for her time and catch her on tour and listen to Lose Control –  I know  you will not be disappointed. Read what we said about Lose Control HERE

Thursday 1st October 2015 – Birmingham: The Institute, The Temple
Friday 2nd October 2015 – Ruislip: The Tropic
Friday 9th October 2015 – Halifax: Playhouse
Saturday 10th October 2015 – Southport: The Atkinson Blues Festival
Friday 16th October 2015 – Doncaster: The Dome
Saturday 17th October 2015 – Retford: The Elms – Box Office: 07737 130534
Wednesday 21st October 2015 – Sheffield: Greystones
Thursday 22nd October 2015 – Edinburgh: The Caves – Box Office: 01472 349222
Friday 23rd October 2015 – Glasgow: Nice N Sleazy
Saturday 24th October 2015 – Carlisle: The Venue
Monday 26th October 2015 – Salisbury: Arts Centre
Tuesday 27th October 2015 – Exeter: Phoenix
Wednesday 28th October 2015 – Bridport: Arts Centre
Thursday 29th October 2015 – Brighton, Komedia
Saturday 31st October 2015 – Lincoln: Engine Shed
Saturday 12th December 2015 – Ripley, Town Hall
Sunday 13th December 2015 – Newcastle, The Cluny
Monday 14th December 2015 – Morecambe, The Platform
Tuesday 15th December 2015 – Leeds, The Brudenell
Wednesday 16th December 2015 – Bristol, The Tunnels
Thursday 17th December 2015 – Derby, The Flowerpot

Pick Of The Bunch July – Sept 2015

The Cream of the 31 CD’s Bluesdoodles has reviewed in the third quarter of 2015; what amazing talent there is out in the world musicians playing from pubs to arena’s all willing to record the music to be judged, download and purchased. Bluesdoodles is the first to admit the scoring is subjective there will always be music that just means that bit more to you so albums not included on the lists are still excellent; definitely worth listening to and purchasing especially go see music live at venues near you support music and the artists who travel the roads so we can hear it in the flesh.

This is the first list of 2015 and all of these will be in with a shout for the Bluesdoodles Dozen of 2015..

Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying To Live
Chantel McGregor – Lose Control
Babajack – Babajack Live
Jar Family – Family First

Craig Finn – Faith In The Future
Buddy Guy – Born To Play Guitar
Delta Deep – Delta Deep
Kaz Hawkins – Get Ready

cover

Groanbox – Groanbox