Ian Siegal New Album Is Definitely All The Rage

Ian Siegal New Album Is Definitely All The Rage

New studio album from Ian Siegal, drops on the doormat. Thank you, Mr Postman bringing the hope of joy with a shiver of anticipation of something solid, positive and reassuring in a world of uncertainty. The album cover monotones of dark greenish hue and stark font Ian Siegal All The Rage has arrived. Now Listen!

The album All The Rage has been fuelled and inspired by the world that Siegal looked out on last year. He saw poison in the veins of the planet, the election of President Trump, the rise of right-wing factions across Europe. His starting use of words is evidenced in the title – All The Rage – normally understood as popularity, being a craze, here we have a shaking of the Siegal’s fist on our behalf in anger, frustration and bemusement in the distorted rise of populist politics and world solutions that do not rest easy on our consciences.

Going straight to the track listing, rewarded with the immense intrigue of what these ten new original songs will be like. The songs all have Siegal’s hand in the mix with six of the tracks co-written this will be an interesting first listen.  Three of the numbers co-written by album producer Jimbo Mathus who Ian has toured with as an alluring double act. The album is definitely full of promise before a note is heard, but here is the question will it deliver?

So turn up the speakers ready to sit back and absorb the songs. The album was explored a number of times before the review, mostly played for the pure unadulterated pleasure of hearing Siegal’s vocals, guitar and the interplay with his band.

Drumming followed by the familiar guitar sound the perfect intro to the latest album adding to Ian Siegal’s amazing and powerful discography that ensures he remains the award-winning troubadour delivering the strong songs we want to hear.  As the opening track, Eagle-Vulture fills out with slide-guitar with an urgency and vocals, Eagle-Vulture is a number demanding your attention like the military walking through your headspace.

As you would expect from the mercurial troubadour that refuses to be defined by genre every track brings a new twist in lyrics and tonal texture. The beat compliments the lyrics and the vocals change to suit sometimes spat out, other times delivered with a cajoling tone the words as required with melodic spiciness.

The trademark recognisable riffing squealing guitar opens The Sh*t Hit, for a brief moment you expect Mortal Coil but no this is dark and new. This is sharp, blues that is gritty reflecting the moment that we are living in.

A highlight of an album that sparkles with glorious riffs, lick and lyrics is Ain’t You Great. This is Siegal dark penning dark lyrics and combining with a dancing Latino beat. This contradiction of styles works it makes you listen to the lyrics that have a political prophecy.  A number where the album title is hidden and the charismatic wonders of listening to Dusty Ciggar’s guitar playing shines through like a beacon of hope.

The trio of numbers written with Jimbo Mathus has a special tonal quality this is a pairing that captures the blues but never confined by convention. My Flame is a gentler finger-picking number with an intimate personal delivery. With the blues of If I Live capturing your ears and Sweet Souvenir following conversation with a bartender as we try to remember. This is a trio of numbers once heard never easily forgotten.

The two tracks written by a trio of talent have lyrical storytelling and at the heart is the infectious Jacob’s Ladder with its mix of guitar and even some whistling. Jacob’s Ladder is the stand out track until you hear One-eye King a classic from birth. A ballad with oomph and again the darkness that Siegal has enfolded the album in so you are never far from death and destruction of our own making

The final track, Sailor Town, as Ian explains, “Herrera and I were discussing the areas we grew up in…” Siegal described his as “kinda rough y’know a ‘sailor town”. Herrera declared, “Boom, there ya go – that’s the title of our first song together!” closing out the album with a number full of Siegal swagger, verve and style that is present throughout All The Rage. From meeting the devils blues, ballads and cowboy songs all woven together by the power of vocal delivery of the clever storytelling lyrics.

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Ian Siegal – All The Rage – Nugene Records

Released  16th March 2018 Available for pre-order

All The Rage – dedicated to the memories of Freddy James and Jim Dickenson


  1. Eagle-Vulture (Siegal)
  2. Jacob’s Ladder (Azier/Den Haring/Siegal)
  3. The Sh*t Hit (Siegal)
  4. Won’t Be Your Shotgun Rider (Siegal)
  5. Ain’t You Great? (Siegal)
  6. My Flame (MathusSiegal)
  7. One-eyed King (Azier/Den Haring/Siegal)
  8. If I Live (MathusSiegal)
  9. Sweet Souvenir (MathusSiegal)
  10. Sailor Town (Herrera/Siegal)


Band Members
Ian Siegal: (Vocals, electric, acoustic, slide and resonator guitars; percussion)
Dusty Ciggaar: (Electric, acoustic and pedal steel guitars, backing vocals)
Danny Van’t Hoff: (Bass, backing vocals)
Rafael Schwiddessen: (Drums, percussion, backing vocals)
Merel Moelker: (Backing vocals)
Jimbo Mathus: (Electric & acoustic guitars, mandolin, piano, organ, percussion, drums (track 7) backing vocals)

Recorded at Island Studios, Amsterdam
Produced by Jimbo Mathus

All The Rage, Album Launch tour April 2018 – dates, venues and links to ticks for a gig you do not want to miss HERE


Ian Siegal All The Rage New Album plus Tour

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

A Thousand Horses In Conversation with Bluesdoodles

A Thousand Horses In Conversation with Bluesdoodles


A Thousand Horses In Conversation with Bluesdoodles



BD: I was delighted when Wilful PR sent me a review copy of your new album Bridges and the opportunity to find out yourselves, influence and lots more. When I saw you play live at Rockstock last December for me you were the band of the Saturday night.

A Thousand Horses, have answered the questions as a team hence four bands of fantasy and delight. Read more for an insight into Michael Hobby Lead Vocals; Bill Satcher Lead Guitar,  Zach Brown Guitar and Vocal & Graham Deloach Bass and Vocal

BD: What were your first musical influences growing up?
Thousand Horses:

Graham: I loved all of the classic rock n roll growing up, and still do! Led Zeppelin       is my favorite band of all time
Zach: My parents listened to oldies in the car when I was growing up. The first concert I can remember going to was The Beach Boys out at the lake near our house. I didn’t learn that there was music made after 1970 until a friend played the song Breakfast at Tiffany’s for me when I was 10 years old.
Bill:  The Beatles
Hobby: The Black Crowes

 BD: A Thousand Horses are making an impact, how did you get together and form the band and what is the significance of the name?

Thousand Horses:
Hobby: We formed the band in Nashville in 2010. Bill and I grew up together in Newberry, SC and met when we were 12 and 13 years old in a local music store. Graham is bills cousin so we would all 3 hang out every summer and play music. We formed ATH when we met Zach through a mutual friend in 2010. We named the band after a song we wrote when we formed the title A Thousand Horses.

We all write in the band together, separately, and with other writers here in town. Everyone in the band brings a great deal of creativity to song writing and our sound whether it be lyric, melody, or music, it’s a group thing. You never know where a song can come from or inspiration can spark!

BD: Bridges, is your follow-up album to your success with your debut Southernality last year. Produced by the Band, Corey Crowder & Dann Huff. With many involved in producing the sound who gets the final production say?

Thousand Horses:
Bill: Well, Corey Crowder and Dann Huff both really wanted to make the best A Thousand Horses record that we could, so at the end of the day we were the ones with final approval on the album and they wanted it to be that way. But they’re so badass that there wasn’t much to be debated about in the end.

BD:  How did you choose the tracks and then decide that Preachin’ To The Choir should be the single to proclaim the album?

Thousand Horses:
Graham: We love every song that is on the new album. We are always writing and creating new music and these are some of our favorites that we wanted our fans to hear. We chose ‘Preachin’ to the Choir’ as our first single because we thought it was a great song for our fans and a great first impression and representation of the new musical project (Bridges) as a whole.
 Bill: I think that every new song we write, record, lyric we jot down or melody we try and refine, we are always pushing it and ourselves to be better than what we have done before. So, in a way, yes it’s more challenging because we are pushing harder to be better. So most the pressure or challenge comes from within ourselves. As far as the album title “Bridges” goes, we decided to name the project that because we feel that song’s meaning encapsulates everything we have been through in the process of creating this new music. It’s a song about light heartily looking back and being able to laugh at the mistakes you made along the road of life. It kind of defines our point of view at this time in our lives.

BD: Bridges has seven of the thirteen tracks recorded live. Six of them at Metropolis Studio in London what do you feel this approach adds to the music and what made Metropolis the place to be for Bridges?

Thousand Horses
Zach: I think we wanted to show something real and raw with the Metropolis sessions. So much music coming out these days is so computer heavy that sometimes people don’t even know what artists actually sound like. We wanted to do something stripped down, one take, just us and our instruments. Metropolis has one of the only direct to vinyl machines left, so it was the perfect place to capture the live half of the record.

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

Thousand Horses:
Hobby: Song writing has always been a passion of mine since I got my first guitar and learned to play it. Instead of learning other people’s songs I would make my own up. Lyrically I always wanted to have truth in my stories. A lot of what I write about is real life things that I have lived or been a part of.

BD: The music Industry is constantly evolving with changes often not for the better, how have the changes impacted on Thousand Horses Country Rock style of music?

Thousand Horses:
Graham: I think that the music has become more accessible as the industry and the genre of country music grows. This allows us to reach more people with our music.

 BD: I am sure you have many plans for 2017 and beyond for the band do you plan to tour UK and Europe?

Thousand Horses:
Zach: We love playing in the UK and are really looking forward to getting over to the rest of Europe. We have a few things in the works so stay tuned!

BD: Is there anything you want to say to your fans reading this interview?

Thousand Horses:
Hobby: Thank you for your continued support and believing in our music. We love ya and can’t wait to rock with you soon.

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

Thousand Horses:
Graham: Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes on drums, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd on bass/vocals, Billy Powell of Lynyrd Skynyrd on keys, Mike Campbell of The Heartbreakers on guitar, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin on lead vocal.
Zach: Gotta start with the rhythm section cause it’s the backbone of the band. I always wanted to play drums like Keith Moon growing up so I’d have him on drums and Ashton Barrett, who played with Bob Marley, on bass. Then I’d add my favorite guitar duo, Keith Richards and Ron Wood, because they sound cool playing anything! I’d round it out with Freddie Mercury as the front man.
Bill: Rich Robinson – Guitar, vocal. Joe Walsh – Guitar, vocal. Liam Gallagher – vocal. Steve Gorman – Drums. Benmont Tench – Keys. Paul McCartney – Bass, vocal. Produced by Jeff Lynne.
Hobby: Tom Petty, Dwight Yokam, Max Martin, Jon Paul Jones, Steven Tyler and Prince on drums.


Thank you for taking the time to chat with Bluesdoodles.  read the review for the latest album Bridges – HERE

A Thousand Horses In Conversation with Bluesdoodles

The Cadillac Three Delivers New Album Legacy

The Cadillac Three Delivers New Album Legacy LEAVE THEIR MARK WITH NEW ALBUM
Leaving a lasting impression on fans across the globe with their high-octane live show and chart-topping songwriting skills, THE CADILLAC THREE continue to make their mark with LEGACY, out August 25th on Big Machine Records. The project fueled with lyrics of life moments from weddings and babies to celebrating their road-tested brotherhood as the three Nashville natives craft 11 songs exuding pure honesty over driving melodies.

The Cadillac Three Delivers New Album Legacy
The trio brings the same energy from their sold-out crowds into the studio, self-producing the new music. As critics have suggested “There is no doubt that The Cadillac Three have never been ones to play by the traditional rules of country music…” (Rare Country).The Cadillac Three will travel the world this summer, performing for their rabid fan base at Download Festival in Paris, France with Linkin Park on the 9th of June and in the UK with Aerosmith on the 11th. They also have a full summer tour of the USA and Canada, taking in cities across the whole of America. For tour dates and album updates, visit the home of The  Cadillac Three 

Bluesdoodles are always delighted when The Cadillac Three announce a new project.
This is what we have written about the threesome previously
Bluesdoodles Pick of the Bunch July-Sept 2016Album review – Bury Me In My Boots – This was a Ten Paw album then and now – we said “Cadillac Three, have written fourteen tracks of energised rocked up country steeped in southern delights, which work as a narrative within and album. For everyone who have had the joy to see them live, Graffiti, Party Like You , White Lightning and Peace Love & Dixie take you straight back to steamy, hot pack live music venues.”  Read the rest of the review HERE 
Live Review @ Tramshed, Cardiff – Read why this was a hot and steamy night of many fantastic music memories HERE

Ready The Horses New Album By Jarrod Dickenson

Ready The Horses New Album By Jarrod Dickenson


Ready The Horses New Album By Jarrod Dickenson


Ready The Horses New Album By Jarrod Dickenson, takes you on a lyrical musical ride that you will want to repeat. Music and storytelling are in harmonious unison under the reins of Jarrod as he Ready the Horses. Opening with Faint of Heart is the acoustic guitar with percussive power and the Hammond adding warmth to a number that has its hooks deep into your musical soul. You want to listen to more, Jarrod’s influences reach deep into the Lone Star State, where he was born, with his immense talent he builds on traditions and creates a depth of tone and feeling of modern Country with the cleanness of freshly mown grass.

The ten numbers work with the change of textures and beats, through clever songwriting and imaginative instrumentation that builds and adding to the focus of Jarrod’s distinctive tuneful vocals. The timing on Take It From Me adds drama, integrity and searing emotions as the number builds. The tempo slows, with the duet of Your Heart Belongs To Me, the vocal duties are sung by husband and wife Jarrod and Claire. The guitar and vocals combine with lyrics creating a heavenly love song.
His Debut The Lonesome Traveller was critically acclaimed and for many, the second album is often a tricky beast. No problem for Jarrod Ready The Horses, the stallions are punching the air with delight ready to take you on an exhilarating Country gallop.

A trio of Jarrod style Americana with California, Gold Rush and A Cowboy & The Moon three songs three distinct sounds. California, retro in its acoustic gentleness, mesmeric in its simplicity. This is a tale of questions, do you still think of me even though I am in the past. Then we darken with a heavier growling Jarrod, with Gold Rush. The power of the number is barely contained, nothing is rushed we are stepping out on a journey with a bluesy feel that adds but never defines the number. Jarrod’s vocals are the gold in this Gold Rush, Anyone listing to the album will be all the richer for having Ready The Horses in their collection. The cowboy meets his horses with A Cowboy &The Moon, a dose of Tex Mex a ballad that explores the cowboy’s feelings.

Closing out the album of ten delicious sonic treats with I Won’t Quit., in which the vocals shape the lyrics with hurt, sorrow and pain as he has said the words all wrong. A ballad that lingers and connects. One thing is positive once heard you will never quit the Jarrod Dickenson sound.

The album from first note to last has an honest elegance and integrity in the shaping of the lyrics and the music. This has been added to by the excellent production and recording the core band live onto 2” tape as musicians of yesteryear did. Jarrod anecdotally recalls, “recording to tape produces a much warmer sound’” Yes, the sound is warm, emotions are heartfelt so Ready The Horses and listen to Jarrod’s distinctive vocals.

Jarrod Dickenson Ready The Horses – Hooked Records
Out 10th March

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Faint Of Heart
  2. Take It From Me
  3. Way Past Midnight
  4. In The Meantime
  5. California
  6. Gold Rush
  7. A Cowboy & The Moon
  8. Nothing More
  9. I Won’t Quit

Ready The Horses Jarrod Dickinson Tour & Album

John Cee Stannard’s Latest Album Takes You To The River

John Cee Stannard’s Latest Album Takes You To The River

John Cee Stannard’s Latest Album Takes You To The River


With a jig in your step, you embark on John Cee Stannard’s latest album that Takes You To The River. The flow of music is fresh, free-flowing with the sparkling sunshine and the fish leaping with Stannard’s exploration of country blues with the Blue Horizon.

Behind the glow of the music are darker messages that explore life and human frailties. With ten John Cee Stannard originals with the essence of blues the done the British way and two re-worked classics by Jelly Roll Morton, Winin’ Boy Blues and the eponymous House of The rising Sun given a complete makeover.  The Blue Horizon are the lynchpin to the Stannard sound, Mike Baker and Howard Birchmore providing guitar and harmonica layers of texture and tone building on the rhythms laid down by drummer Julian Brown & Andy Crowdy’s double bass, with special guests keeping the music varied and full of interest.

The music and vocals have a bright spring in their step as the album opening with Do It All Over Again.  Full of sharp melodies and a witty look at life how we just do it all over again as we try to get ahead despite bills and taxes! This is feet tapping music that has a wide appeal as the tempo rises in Separation-2 rag blues suiting the tribulations of coping with several girlfriends. He shares the problem again with tuneful humour as he rhymes the ditty with the women names he has chosen. Opening with delightful harp, we learn about Margery, Eleanor and the rest of the girls. The styles of blues/country incorporated are done with a gentle and deft touch so the shape is always British keeping the Stannard feel and approach.

The title track, Run To The River, flows with vocals filled out with the Farnham Community choir and guest vocalist Julia Titus. A high point of the album full of gospel power as we reach the half-way point with the first cover.  Winin’ Boy Blues, beautifully captured harnessing the music of country in the America of the 1930’s. Gospel and slide guitar form a winning combination on The Good Lord Didn’t Tell Me, slow full of mournful shading with Julia and the choir returning. Starting slow almost at a funeral pace John opens House of The Rising Sun, the guitar picks up the pace as the classic is reformed and the harmonica just rises the sun superb.  Blues is the theme, so a train song is often hidden in the track list. With Simon Mayor’s fiddle adding a sharp piquancy and the extra vocal power from Julia provide a positive train song we are going home. This is a get up and dance tune, Let The Train Whistle Blow. The closing track Nothing is What You get leaves us up-tempo with Simon Mayor’s fiddle adding a ragtime beat when combined with the piano of Matt Epson that makes a statement that adds to the tonal texture and shape.  The clever lyrics, slightly tongue in cheek from wordsmith John Cee Stannard shapes the album, influencing pace and approach on a happy album as John Cee Stannard’s Latest Album Takes You To The River

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Do It All Over Again
  2. Separation – 2
  3. History
  4. Have Your Fun
  5. Run To The River
  6. Winin’ Boy Blues Jelly Roll Morton
  7. The Good Lord Didn’t Tell ME
  8. House Of The Rising Sun Traditional
  9. The Wretch
  10. Let The Train Whistle Blow
  11. Ain’t No Livin’ With The Blues
  12. Nothin’ Is What You Got

John Cee Stannard’s Latest Album Takes You To The River

Jamie Williams Sits Back Sharing His Beautiful Dreams

Jamie Williams Sits Back Sharing His Beautiful Dreams

Jamie Williams Sits Back Sharing His Beautiful Dreams


The album Beautiful Dreams and the second acoustic solo album from Jamie Williams, normally part of his big band sound of Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective. Songwriting flows from Jamie’s pen and as he says; “performing and writing are my way of taming my demons and are as natural as life itself to me” The album is fourteen mellow tracks out of Essex via Nashville more country than British Folk. The album has a flow the tempo nudges up and down with the addition of Paul Hollingsworth on trumpet adding an extra dimension on many of the tracks.  As you listen to the album you are soothed into a Williams zone gentle and never shocking. The beat stays true and for me, fewer tracks with more tonal shape and variance would have turned the image of a Beautiful Dream into a reality.  Sometimes you need a bolt of lightning and a clash of thunder to give the dreams shape and a sense of reality especially on tracks like In My Times of Darkness that are looking at the darker side of life.

Opening with Spare A Thought it is asking us to think of others and introduces us to Jamie’s distinctive vocals with the trumpet piercing through adding a rawness as the theme of love of humanity is explored with the feeling of disempowerment across Britain today. A political anthem with no real anger or passion that matches the lyrics in the melody.  Love of his wife is celebrated with Love of My Life; exploring love is the essence of the album and the romance continues with the release date of 14th February.

The title track is with a guitar that stings and Naomi Poole weaving her cello as the words are at times more spoken than sung a poem of a Beautiful Dream as the lyrics are intoned matching the chords of the weeping cello.

Pulling back into the English Countryside with Bitter Is My Beer, a melancholy song definitely warm British beer not fizzy light American beer from a bottle. This is beer that you cradle as you hold your emotions in and feel a deep sadness. The album has a vulnerability summed up with Box Marked Fragile this is music that drifts and turns dipping into emotions but never resolving your angst that is left to mournful trumpet and cello strings that shiver with tears.  Jamie uses the solo album to explore a variety of styles, snatches of mariachi style trumpet and echoes of blues on Whispering Blues with its percussive backdrop.

Jamie Williams’ solo album, Beautiful Dreams floats away off a soggy cloud. The musicianship is good, but for me something is missing an injection of purpose and a shaping of a sound that is acoustic Jamie. As the last notes of We Are One, the resounding memory is for the atmospheric trumpet the words have got lost in the mix. Acoustic album works if the lyrics empower, entreat and connect and in this dream land they didn’t for me.

Jamie Williams – Beautiful Dreams 

SIXpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….


Track Listing

  1. Spare A Thought
  2. Love Of My Love
  3. Lovely In Libson
  4. Beautiful Dream
  5. Mama
  6. Twinkle In Your Eye
  7. Bitter Is My Beer
  8. Remember
  9. Box Marked Fragile
  10. Trying To Get In Touch With Me
  11. Whispering Blues
  12. In My Times Of Darkness
  13. You Still Looked So Good To Me
  14. We Are One

Midnight Call of the Blues with Fran McGillivray Band

Midnight Call of the Blues with Fran McGillivray Band

Midnight Call of the Blues with
Fran McGillivray Band


A new release from Fran McGillivray Band is always a welcome way to bring in a New Year, Midnight Call is just the album to sit and chill out with as the winter grinds it’s relentless mix of cold and bleak days. The eleven tracks break the January blues, with a mix of blues that blow a gentle breeze of musical hope. Ten tracks written by McGillivray and Burke with the last track closing out the album returning to the roots of the blues with Robert Johnson’s Walkin’ Blues.

The trio craft a sound that is easy on the ear and fills the speakers with the waterfall of textures that gradually builds and the melody harmonises perfectly with Fran’s vocal tones.  Opening with Hard Workin Woman, the album sets down a marker. This is country blues with an edge to the lyrics, percussion from Roger Nunn that steps out the beat and Mike Burke’s guitar adds a sting to the hard-working vibe of the track. Four tracks in and I Gotta Know, by now the listener will feel they have got to know the band style and friendly approach to the blues very well. Fran’s vocals have a gentle caress as she questions I Gotta Know, there is a sadness, and the instrumentation reflects this with a country feel. This is music that will always please as the styles of acoustic all, shaken and stirred so that you are caressed with a whisper of the blues. The beat picks up with When When When, which makes a compelling sound. The title track has a Hawaiian guitar backdrop that augments the simple beauty of the rootsy vocals delivered by Fran. The empathy between the musicians shines through they have an innate understanding of the sound they are creating and how the layers of sound interact with each other. There is nothing harsh or jarring as the music washes over you, connecting to your music soul and acts as a healing caress. Every note is considered, every pause, breathe upping the tempo has been taken into consideration ensuring that every song works on its own or part of the album Midnight Call. Without the collective skill of Fran, Mike and Roger the album could have been whimsical and saccharin sweet. It is not it is a music that weaves together textures and wraps emotions of lost, hurt and loneliness into a cocoon of safety.

As the last wistful phrasing of Missed My Chance fades away, the tempo changes with a sultry jazz infused number that takes you to a smoke filled bar full of prohibition gin as we shake hands with Mister Blue. Closing out with Walkin’ Blues the context of the album is pulled together, blues is the dominant driving force from the hot countryside of the Southern States.

The skilful delivery of the eleven tracks, should not be a surprise to anyone as the trio are founder members of the legendary urban blues outfit; So Long Angel. As, Midnight Call of the Blues with the Fran McGillivray Band, you know this is an album that will be visited often with pure enjoyment of blues that are both simple and complex.

EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Hard Working Woman
  2. Love and Regret
  3. Blood On Your Hands
  4. I Gotta Know
  5. When When When
  6. Midnight Call
  7. Missed My Chance With You
  8. Mister Blues
  9. End of the Road
  10. Get Back To Love
  11. Walkin Blues

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded Music

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded Music

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded Music


What a fabulous year for music at Bluesdoodles HQ. I have enjoyed listening to all the recorded music sent. Liz makes a note (must do better in 2017 and review more! I have started a new hopefully more organised system!).

Album Highlights 2016

One Hundred and Forty-eight reviewed. What an array of music from Folk to Metal Rock to Blues. The genre to everyone at Bluesdoodles  HQ is unimportant, that is a marketing tool it is whether the music vibes hits our collective DNA. Liz, Kevin & Othello a very discerning Bandana wearing Labradoodle.

Album of 2016

Now this was difficult almost impossible with so many contenders With Thirty-Six albums with the Ten-Doodle Paw accolade considered throughout December. what a delight to play and listen to them all again. The final choice is mine, yes it is subjective and has changed there are many that have not been mentioned that will continue to be regularly played and enjoyed in the House of Bluesdoodles

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicAlbum of  The Year 2016

Beth HartFire On The FloorMascot Label

I wrote when I reviewed in September that it was a contender for album of the year I was right. The fire in the album burns brightly from the floor to the heavens. Beth Hart,  Fire On The Floor has gathered together a dozen tracks that flow and warm up the speakers with a raw, charismatic and open delivery of intensely personal emotionally driven lyrics.  Fire On The Floor is a majestic album and will burn brightly long after 2016 fades into a memory.

 Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicBlues Album Of The Year

Devon AllmanRide Or Die RUF Records

Ride Or Die, is a journey full of colour and texture in the tone. With flashes of blue and twists of granite rock and country green woven into a musical tuned magic carpet. This is an album that takes you on a journey full of anguish, hurt, pain and the pleasures of living life where you Ride or Die whatever your journey remember hope will be present.

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicFolk/Roots/Acoustic Album of The Year

Red Dirt SkinnersBehind The Wheel – Independent

Roots wither and die whether music or plants without green shoots.  Red Dirt Skinners are an imaginative duo creating beautiful shoots of glittering music that will ensure roots/country music will continue to thrive Behind the Wheel. With this, their fifth album, the duo with the unique combination of acoustic guitar, drum and saxophone have made a noise that pleases all who listen.

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicFemale Artist Album of The Year

Beth HartFire On The Floor Mascot Label


Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicLive Album

Martin Simpson & Don FlemonsEver Popular FavouritesFledgling Records

All twelve tracks have a purpose and in addition to the new arrangements and musicianship we have the blending, and mixing of British traditional music and blues in many guises and the common heritage of themes, lyrics and melodies the two traditions share.A definite for your acoustic collection. I recommend close the curtains block out the world, sit back and be absorbed into the music and the power of the lyrics.

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicCelebration Album of The Year

Ian Siegal – 2wnty5ive The CollectionNugene Records

Celebrating twenty-Five years of playing live with the band a trio od CD’s celebrate the enigmatic and varied tones that the wandering troubadour Ian Siegal delivers and delights. This is the Opus Majus of an artist who whether playing solo, as a duo or with a band electric or acoustic always entertains and the box set does just that. You would be Hard Pressed to find a better collection and this is a trio of delights that will never be sent to Quarantine

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicRock

Black Stone Cherry KentuckyMascot Label Group

The energy flows in a studio album that has a live, raw edgy feel and at the same time everything has its place and has been considered. Kentucky has a flow, no songs feel forced or put in as a filler this is Black Stone Cherry entertaining through the medium of brilliant rock grinding, demanding and immensely listenable.

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicBlues Rock

Stevie NimmoSky Won’t Fall – Manhaton Records

The combination of powerful lyrics, blues guitar of such purity it makes you weep and a Nimmo’s vocals we can be sure The Sky Won’t Fall when there is music of this magnitude being created. The album is a mix of tones, texture and tempos. Seven tracks in and you are Still Hungry for more music. This is power-driven rock-blues of the highest order. A track that would work well if stood out alone, surely this will get acres of radio play. It is full of smokey riffs, power and rocks your socks off!

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicOverseas Artist

Dan PatlanskyIntrovertigo

Introvertigo with its carefully crafted lyrics that blend urbane wit and honest observation, this is blues pertinent to today’s lifestyles, not so much whiskey and women more the corruption of power and social interaction. Ten tracks there are no fillers every number is full of strength and tonal power but there is not an off note or lyric. This has been achieved by production that keeps the live heat flowing from guitar and vocals.

Debut Albums

There are three that really made us sit up and listen:-

Inglorious – Self-titled album reviewed late January. We are licking our lips and tuning our ears for the follow-up album early in 2017. Inglorious are stupendous live getting better with every performance the expectations are very high for 2017!

Broken Witt Rebels – Georgia Pines Reviewed in February. A perfectly formed EP leaving you wanting to hear more. An album with Huge Guitar Riffs and vocals that delight. Fingers-crossed a full album is out soon consolidating the marker they set down in 2016.

Sari Schorr and The Engine Room – A Force Of Nature, Reviewed in August. Sari Drives the Blues, bringing a wealth of experience from life, influencing her songwriting and vocal delivery. Looking forward to Sari playing live in 2017 and hopefully will be back in the studio very soon.

RavenEye – Nova – Frontiers Music s.r.l The album’s name NOVA is a perfect reflection of the explosion of recognition that RavenEye has achieved in such a short time. The band is a rock explosion they certainly have suddenly brightened the firmament of the British rock scene and will be shining their Supanova Rock for many years to come.

Special Mentions

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicKaz Hawkins – Feelin’ Good an album full of Kaz sparkle and joy. Having won the Blues Challenge organised by UKBluesFederation.  We wish you well as you head for the 34th International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2017. This is the first time that  British Blues has been in the challenge. Then she will be representing British Blues in Denmark at the European Blues Challenge a busy start for 2017.



Aynsley Lister, King King, The Temperance Movement, Albany Down, The Cadillac Three, SIMORival Sons, Jeff Healey, Jimbo Mathus, Big Boy Bloater & The LiMitsGlenn Hughes, Danny Bryant and Honey Swamp Island for albums that sparkle whenever they are played which is loud and often in this office.

Jo Harman People We Become Tour 2017

Jo Harman  People We Become Tour 2017

Jo Harman People We Become Tour 2017

(Full/extended band show)


Thursday 2nd February 2017* EXETER PHOENIX, DEVON


Thursday 9th February 2017 PARADISO, AMERSTERDAM

Saturday 11th February 2017* DORCHESTER ARTS, DORSET

Tuesday 14th February 2017* JUNCTION 2 CAMBRIDGE

Thursday 16th February 2017* MUSICIAN LEICESTER

Sunday 19th February 2017* JAZZ CAFE, LONDON


Thursday 23rd February 2017* BAND ON THE WALL, MANCHESTER


Friday 3rd March 2017 1865 SOUTHAMPTON HAMPSHIRE

Thursday 9th March 2017* APEX, BURY ST EDMUNDS, SUFFOLK

Tuesday 28th March 2017 JOE’S PUB, NEW YORK, USA


*With support from very special guest ELLES BAILEY

For more information, Jo Harman


Jo Harman  People We Become Tour 2017

Long Awaited  Jo Harman Album People We Become

Recorded in Nashville, at Sound Emporium and other noted studios, with acclaimed producer Fred Mollin (Billy Joel, Jimmy Webb, Carly Simon, Joe Cocker, Johnny Mathis and many more) the album features Michael McDonald on the first single ‘When We Were Young’.

Award-winning Soul and Blues singer-songwriter Jo Harman announces a 3rd February 2017 worldwide release date for her much-anticipated second studio album, People We Become, the follow-up to her critically acclaimed and commercially successful 2013 debut ‘Dirt On My Tongue‘.