Pick of the Albums Reviewed – 2016: July – Sept 2016

Bluesdoodles Pick of the Bunch July-Sept 2016

 

Pick of the Albums Reviewed – 2016:
July – Sept 2016

Bluesdoodles listens to music recorded and live from across the genres. Bluesdoodles reviews all albums received with an open-mind and will always look for the elements that make the music stand out from the crowd!. The albums we award 10 doodle paws too, for us have a special connection, and acknowledge like all reviewers our scoring is subjective. Between 1st July and 30th September 2016 Bluesdoodles listened to numerous albums and reviewed 27 albums that reflect the depth and breadth of music being recorded in studios around the world. Remember 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 music full of passion and the special ingredient of a live performance.

This is the third quarter of 2016 and all of these will be in with a shout for the Bluesdoodles Dozen of 2016.


Honey Island Swamp Band  –  Demolition Day
Laurence Jones – Take Me High
Cadillac Three – Bury Me In My Boots


Aynsley Lister – Eyes Wide Open
Devon Allman – Ride Or Die
King King – Live


Joanne Shaw Taylor – Wild
Beth Hart – Fire On The Floor
Sari Schorr – A Force of Nature

Ride Or Die Sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece

Ride Or Die sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece

Ride Or Die Sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece

 

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. The fabric of the album is the winning and beguiling combination of Devon Allman’s triumvirate of power in equal measure Songwriting, guitar and those vocals. Adding to the fabric that creates a sound that across the whole album is full of emotional outpourings that shape each song are the superb tones and textures from his band and guests on the album. The phrasing of every instrument adds a musical emotion, there are no unnecessary layers every instrument compliments each other and are servants to the heart of the lyrics telling a powerful story.

Deep bass driven rhythms are laid down, setting the individual tone and tempo of each track is the combination of Tom Hambridge on drums and bassist Steve Duerst. They set the groove that is dynamic, exciting and certainly never static they are the warp and weft of the fabric that is Ride or Die. The fabric of the music is stretched, turned and reshaped with the addition of Saxophone, violin, and keys augmenting the message when required. Then the main pattern of this magical musical carpet, reflected in the wonderful cover design full of colour from Pepe Paras, capturing the integral heart and complexities as Devon sings the songs you want to hear again and again.

The dozen tracks all have a place on the album and add to the Ride Or Die journey, from the opening track Say Your Prayers through to the last notes of A Night Like This. Instantly recognisable as a Devon Allman melody and driving riffs that pull in the vocals that just curl around the lyrics is the opening number Say Your Prayers.  The judicious us of the wah-wah pedal adds to the low down dirty howling tempo of the opening number. The beat changes as we Find Ourselves, with an underlying Latin dance vibe; this is found again later in the album with Pleasure and Pain. Demonstrating the deep links within whole roots scene of American music from the Blues to Southern Rock of influences from steamy Latin dance moves from the Rumba to the Tango.

The tempo changes with the acoustic guitar of Lost, and a country feel as Devon’s vocals speak directly to you with a simplicity of the melody line contrasting the poetic depth of the lyrics.  The wah pedal is again used as an effect that says more than a thousand words the hurt and pain of this beautiful number.  As Devon sings “ Your clocks are all spinning, Your compass is bleeding now, Your Maps are all burning baby, You couldn’t be more lost”. If I had to listen to just one track from the album this would be it.  There is a feeling of another place and time, yet Lost is completely grounded in the now, with experiences, hurt and feeling of being lost we have all experienced.

Watch What You Say, has a foot tapping tempo where guitar and vocals are underpinned with drumming that give the lyrics a sense of purpose and momentum this is music which rocks and rolls it is emotionally poetic, this is experiences of life that is more about tears than laughs.  Vancouver gives a time and place a location where we can re-set the journey. Melodic violin and Devon’s voice has a lighter tone, the lyrics though are full of yearning that the saxophone reflects. As we live a love story and how we could have done things differently if you only had a time machine.

As Ride Or Die’s musical journey only has three more stops, the acoustic is picked up again for Live From The Heart, a philosophical song ‘look to your heart look to your soul’. The keys give the track shades that make it glisten and stand out in a crowd of beautiful numbers. The reflective sound continues with Butterfly Girl, his voice deepens in a Country feel. Another song about relationships with a searing violin as Devon gives advice that is so difficult to enact. Giving people the freedom to fly while caring from them.  The melody has a looseness, a freedom that allows you to fly and look down on the emotional journey the album takes you on.
An imaginative cover of The Cure’s A Night Like This closes the album, that mixes the influences of modern music, blending them into a textural tonal carpet that you want to ride on forever.

Ride Or Die Sings Devon Allman’s Latest Masterpiece, with ten of the tracks written or co-written by Devon he captures the sound that defies boundaries of genres that has the freedom to be itself. Full of strong lyrics and heartfelt melodies.  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.

Devon AllmanRide or Die – RUF Records

Release Date 16th September 2016

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

Track Listing

  1. Say Your Prayers
  2. Find Ourselves
  3. Galaxies
  4. Lost
  5. Shattered Times
  6. Watch What You Say
  7. Vancouver
  8. Pleasure and Pain
  9. Hold Me
  10. Live From The Heart
  11. Butterfly Girl
  12. A Night Like This

Devon Allman beguiles Swansea with Hot Swampy Rocking Blues

Devon Allman beguiles Swansea with Hot Swampy Rocking Blues

Devon Allman beguiles Swansea with Hot Swampy Rocking Blues

 

The second time Bluesdoodles have seen Devon Allman Band during 2016. Anticipation and expectation was very high as in the review of the night back in March in Derby ended with –  “A magnificent ending to a fantastic gig – WOW! – this was certainly going to be one of if not the Bluesdoodles gig of the year”.

Tonight the line-up as all American, as they stepped onto the stage, following a storming warm-up set from Texas Flood who never fail to please the audiences at The Scene. Joining Devon tonight guitarist and backing vocalist Bobby Schneck Jr, drummer Anthony Nanney and the only change in the line-up from March bassist Steve Duerst joining the band to add that twist to the blues, and rocking up the jam.

The venue was hot and there will be many in Wales who did not turn-out for this post Bank Holiday Tuesday that will be regretting it as friends tell them that this was a night to remember. Devon tonight was on sparkling form, his guitar was on fire the six-strings smouldered with emotion, the vocals soared through the venue and his shimmies across the stage picked up the mood and attitude of the music.

The set list picked out gems from his back catalogue with tracks from Ragged and Dirty including Half The Truth and Midnight Lake Michigan to close the set. Confirming that this album is full of textures and music that is tight with the band adding layers of sound for Devon to bounce off from. Once again, Booby Schneck Jr’s guitar was electric with controlled energy the two guitars fit each other perfectly with tones complimenting and never trying to outplay each other.

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of Torch we were treated to a live favourite Mahalo and Devon’s take on Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry. The band adds to the flavor of reggae and makes the song their own and the Welsh audience delightedly joining in the chorus. Devon really enjoyed interacting with the crowds so we all sang No Woman not once, twice but many times.

Devon would not have the freedom to jam, play with his honey dripping fluidity of he did not have a rhythm section that ensured the shape of every number maintains, tonight Anthony Nanny’s drumming was exceptional, crisp and always empathetic to the sound being created. Whilst, bassist Steve Duerst created the core bass lines and then added some funk and interplay between himself and Devon

Within the music tonight was the undercurrent of the blues, the legacy of the impact that this roots music has had on popular American music as the jamming vibe and rocking beats add to the poetry of the lyrics.  It is all about the emotion and feel of the music, he refuses to be caged within a genre, as into the numbers latino beats of rumba and samba are melded in so that at times the lead breaks are redolent of Santana.

It is all about the music, as the only plug for his forthcoming album as at the beginning of the encore we all demanded. As he played the opening track of Ride Or Die, Say Your Prayers which really wooed the crowd. Tonight, at The Scene he left the stage, animated and interacting with the crowd as he stopped to have his picture taken never dropping a note as he jumped on the table and climbed over the sofa’s at the back of the venue. Devon was enjoying the party atmosphere and ensured everyone was joining in the fun!

Tonight, Swansea will say one prayer – come back soon Devon and enchant us some more. If I had to pick between Derby in March and Swansea tonight it is the Welsh gig. The band was driven by a lust for the music with St. Elmo’s Fire lighting up our music soul as the band hit us with music that we wanted to hear again and again.

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Make sure you go and see the phenomena that is Devon Allman and his band check out the remaining dates in the UK & Europe HERE

Southern Rock bought to Derby Courtesy of Devon Allman

Southern Rock bought to Derby Courtesy of Devon Allman

 

Kev Andrews WM-6767The heat was rising on a cold February evening as the anticipation grew for live music tonight Southern style. Before, Devon, the local acoustic guitarist Kev Andrews warmed the stage with his recognizably deft guitar work. Kev made the six-strings zing especially with his acoustic re-working of Voodoo Chile. With a mix of authentic blues, slide playing that entertained using a glass from The Flowerpot bar we were musically warmed for the main act of the evening Devon Allman.

Southern Rock bought to Derby Courtesy of  Devon AllmanA grand entrance to a packed Flowerpot, and as usual Devon Allman dazzled everyone with his glorious guitar playing. No gimmicks, no pedal board just straight into the amp and his magical ability to manipulate the six strings of his Gibson; producing a mixture of tones from deep with the blues and the energy of Southern Rock this was a spellbinding set from Devon and his band.  Opening with Wash in A serving as the invitation to enjoy Devon Allman and his band on a whirlwind of notes that shaped the mood and we were ready for the party. Leading into the first of three tracks off his current album Ragged and Dirty; including Half The Truth, this is a track that curls around the manipulation and shaping of the fret board. Tonight adding to the honey dripping vocals was Bobby Schneck Jr on guitar taking the lead often his playing is monstrous what a pairing plus great harmonizing on and backing vocals. The rhythm section that sounded like they had been playing together for years. The reality was so very different joining regular drummer Anthony Nanney was bassist, Carl Stanbridge on his second gig with Devon. We were treated to Devon doing a Devon Allman Honeytribe cover Mahalo. The music was scorchingly hot with No Woman No Cry via Bob Marley and The Wailers heard in Derby. This was the perfect time for audience to join in on the chorus; the absolutely delicious licks and riffs contained within Back To You within the great blues undercurrent. The music of Devon and the band hits you deep in your music solar plexus, massaging your soul creating that huge smile of delight of hearing stunning live music unfolding in front of you.

Many remembered the last time Devon was at the Flowerpot with Royal Southern Brotherhood so the inclusion of Left My Heart in Memphis was thoroughly enjoyed. The blues that chugged and coursed around the venue, the wonder of Checkin On My Baby from Sonny Williamson via Junior Wells hit the spot.  Midnight Lake Michigan from Ragged and Dirty closed the set the lights dimmed they left the stage. We collectively drew our breath and then in harmony yelled for more.

Encores can be a number or two added to the set list. No Devon and the band hit the stage as if starting again rather than drawing the evening to a sedate close this was Rock n’ roll at its best. We were treated to a triple caress of the power of Devon Allman. The title track of his latest album led into a medley of music, colouring book of pop, rock blues and everything in between. The fastest version of Stairway To Heaven with the audience joining in the fun. This was a riff medley of huge proportions, a jam that had energy shape and a purpose. I think I picked out Sweet Home Alabama. Whole Lotta Love and Smells Like Teen Spirit many more I missed, when you are that enthralled by the sound your brain forgets to take note of tiny details. Closing an evening we would like to have just continued was One Way Out an Allman Brothers Number that we all loved and left Southern Rock and the legacy of Allman’s family talent resonating in the venues air and seeping into the walls as part of The Flowerpots DNA.

A magnificent ending to a fantastic gig – WOW! – this was certainly going to be one if not the Bluesdoodles gig of the year.

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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

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Ian Siegal – One Night In Amsterdam


 

Bluesdoodles Dozen

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Devon Allman – Ragged and Dirty

 

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

 

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Buddy Guy – Born To Play Guitar

 

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Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying To Live

 

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King King – Reaching For The Light

 

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Connie Lush – Renaissance

 

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Chantel McGregor – Lose Control

 

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Danni Nicholls – Mockingbird Lane

 

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Dan Patlansky – Dear Silence Thieves

 

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Joe Satriani – Shockwave Supernova

 

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Guy Tortora – Bluesman In A Boneyard

 

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Walter Trout – Battle Scars

 

 

Bluesdoodles Quartet of Live Albums

 

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Babajack – Babajack Live

 

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Erja Lyytinen – Live In London

 

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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

Bluesdoodles ~ Pick Of The Bunch Mar – June 2015

The Cream of the 45 CD’s Bluesdoodles has reviewed in the second 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..

Joe Satriani – Shockwave Supernova
Guy Tortora – Bluesman In A Boneyard
Danny & The Champions of the World – What Kind Of Love
Gill Landry – Gill Landry

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
Micke Bjorklof & Blues Strip – Ain’t Bad Yet
Giles Hedley – Rain Is Such A Lonesome Sound

King King – Reaching For The Light
Devon Allman – Ragged and Dirty
Layla Zoe – Live at The Spirit of 66

CD Review: Devon Allman ~ Ragged & Dirty

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Devon Allman
Ragged & Dirty
Ruf Records

 

This is an album that catches your attention with the bold font used for Devon Allman with the slopping capitals that emphasise the V in Devon and the A drawing you in to the surname, this is another workaholic Allman full of talent whether in the studio on the road with a band or solo. The colouring is Blue and White with the album title small in a quirky type that almost makes the words look like they have been scripted in Sanskrit; as do the titles of twelve tracks captured in the recording studio.

Opening with three of Tom Hambridge’s tracks that fit Devon’s driving style so well with the energy of Southern Rock tempered and controlled without losing its warmth and flow of the driving harmonies. Half The Truth, with a searing lead guitar and vocals from Devon filled out with the Rythmn guitar from Giles Corey; this full sound is then embellished with stylish bass from Felton Crews. The track seamlessly flows into Can’t Lose ‘ Em All, with drumming from Tom Hambridge who adds a shimmering symbol crescendo that highlights the vocals that just get better; Devon knows how to wrest every emotion out of words making the lyrics bend to his direction. The organ from Marty Sammon gives this a very Allman Brothers feel and there is something in Devon’s delivery that will always connect him to Duane. The third of the opening trio has a mix of Acoustic from Giles and Devon’s electric giving a jaunty country feel to Leavin’ it is a journey that has no sense of direction just hope; the music has a texture of a jam that has objectivity and control.

Midnight Lake Michigan, has a different ethereal shape to the preceding tracks. But fits in perfectly adding another sound pattern, throughout the 9 minutes of searing instrumental there is a fluidity that comes with intuitive playing this is the perfect jam on a moonlit night. The atmosphere created is full of mystery and there is a tension between the instruments making the playing sparkle with a shimmering energy. This centre piece of the album is fusion music that is not being clever but drawing in a primitive soul within blues/jazz movement and the stripping of the instrumentation down to Devon on guitar, Marty on keys and the rhythm section keeps the tempo light and fresh.
Then a change of colour, shape and form with Ten Million Slaves, this version of Otis Taylor’s track is stark and the words create a graphic picture with the harshness of Devon’s vocal’s there is nothing gentle about this track; it is an emotive track that stirs and leaves you thoughtful. We need another style and tempo to deal with gambling addiction so we have distorted vocals, funky beat that develops a feeling of fever that all addictions does to a person when under its spell.
The penultimate track is the title song and a shortened version of Luther Allison’s Ragged and Dirty and gives the album some fantastic Wah Wah adding another tonal shape and texture. Closing the album with Leave The City full of yearning for a simpler life the lyrics suiting the voice, resonator and drums, this minimalist approach reflects that need for something less complicated and leaves you feeling this album has been a journey for Devon, reflected on the track Traveling which alludes to the many airmiles accrued while touring with Royal Southern Brotherhood. The album finishes with a fade away that is a perfect ending for Ragged and Dirty; an album full of soul, funk, but very little blues is in fact stronger for that as Devon is creating his own blends that suits his style and the mood of the moment. A much darker more considered album than Turquoise, with a focus and drive to all the tracks whether self-penned or not have a shape creating an album with purpose and form.
Having listened to the album before starting to write it is the music that matters, there is a melodic flow throughout the album so every track meshes together creating a tapestry of sound with every instrument having a place in the waft and the weave of the lyrical fabric created in an album that is neither ragged or dirty but mighty fine musicianship delivered with passion care and an intuitive feel for the shape, colour and tone of the fabric of sound created.

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

Track Listing
1. Half The Truth (Tim Hambridge)
2. Can’t Have Em All (Tim Hambridge)
3. Leavin’ (Tim Hambridge)
4. I’ll Be Around (Thomas Randolph Bell)
5. Traveling (Devon Allman)
6. Midnight Lake Michigan (Devon Allman)
7. Ten Million Slaves (Otis Mark Taylor)
8. Blackjack Heartattack (Devon Allman)
9. Back To You (Devon Allman)
10. Times Have Changed (Tim Hambridge)
11. Ragged and Dirty (Luther Allison)
12. Leave The City (Devon Allman)

Musicians
Devon Allman – Lead Vocal & Guitar
Felton Crews – Bass (All Tracks except 12)
Giles Cory – Guitar (All Tracks except 6 & 12)
Tom Hambridge – Drums
Marty Sammon (All Tracks except 5,7 & 12)
Bobby Schneck Jr – Lead Guitar/ Harmony Vocals (Tracks 2, 7 & 10)
Wendy Moten – Background Vocals (Tracks 4 & 9)

From Over The Atlantic to Blues on the Farm 2014

Blues On the Farm 2014 – Four Class Acts from U.S.A.

In its 23rd year Blues on the Farm have again bought bands from across the Atlantic; sadly Saturday’s headline Dana Fuchs had to pull out at the last moment due to family illness, we can just keep our fingers crossed that Dana will grace the stage in 2015; many of us were looking forward to hearing her perform live tracks from her stunning album Bliss Avenue.

Blues on The Farm 2014 had four acts from the U.S.A and three appeared on the Friday all were different bring their own stylish brand of music.

Lisa Mills - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0010lThis year first up who included a stop of at the festival on her current tour was the effervescent Lisa Mills with Worcestershire born Ian Jennings on Double bass making this a duo delivering a little bit country, ballads and blues and cracking music bringing even more sunshine to a hot Saturday in June. Lisa has a fantastic voice that brings colour, light and emotions to every lyric she sings, with guitar in hand named Jezebel the sound is complimented by Ian’s stylish playing adding a depth of sound that makes this duo a winning and popular combination. Initially inside the marque was sparsely filled as festival goer sat in the June sunshine but as the voice radiated across the grounds people were drawn to the music and the powerful vocal range of Lisa’s voice. The set included request of I’m Changing’ from her many fans delighted to see her again, and reminding us why we like this duo. All the numbers were delivered with passion and feeling as Lisa linked the songs with stories that ensured everyone warmed to her and felt she was singing to them articulating feelings many have/are experiencing. You can be certain that this duo deliver every time sparing no energy for the next time they perform with energy and gusto that brings a feel good feeling to the occasion. Lisa sang two of my favourites from her last album Tempered with Fire, Keep on Smiling that had a great interactive instrumental interlude, with Ian mastering that oft illusive musical skill using silence to highlight specific notes and I Never Fall In Love Again with its boogie woogie feel , the style of music Ian loves to play with some superb slap bass and a virtuoso solo.
I can remember hearing her with a full band and that was very special so be good to see her back next time in this format; there is no doubt that Lisa can write a great country blues ballad about love lost and regained; it would ring the changes if the songs really stretched her melodious voice and crossed over to deliver some gospel/soul numbers to and even greater depth of tempo and sound. That said the crowds loved her and Ian just as she is and will no doubt be filling venues across the country this summer and we are all waiting in anticipation of her new album new remixed version of the I’m Changing – release date will be soon so watch for the announcement.

 

Hamilton Loomis - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0032lHamilton Loomis with his stellar line-up in the band of Armando Aussenac (Drums) born in Mexico City, Fabian Hernandez (Saxes, Keys, Background Vocals) a Texan from Dallas and Dante Ware (Bass, Background Vocals) born in Trenton N.J Opening the early evening slot with Partner In Crime the festival was full of the distinctive Hamilton style that feels the festival ground with a feeling of well-being. Tonight was no different as he delivered a very potent set of raunchy Texan blues This is a band that is so tight from the second perfect use of stopping and starting to the in time body swaying of Hamilton , Dante and Fabian; this is not rehearsed choreography but a feel of the music and the accentuation of a style Hamilton has always has, it works so well as their bodies move and stop in harmony matching the flow and syncopation of the music and real stage show that hits all the right spots. The set was professional, fun and interactive as Hamilton took the opportunity to display all the intricate musical shapes on his latest album Give It Back; including a dynamic live version of Eternally; Stuck In a Rut; that this line-up is definitely not with the rhythm section providing so much more than a solid foundation for Hamilton’s guitar playing out front, they add little licks and drum rolls that bring the music alive; then the other layer of sound that Fabian brings either on saxophone or keys, this line-up works so well making the sound fully with a bit more attitude. As ever Hamilton delighted everyone by jumping off the stage into the crowd during Bow Bow as he toured the marque getting up close and personal, left to their own devises the boys on the stage filled in with little quirky melodies turning Bow Bow into an exciting musical spectacular that every festival needs; and for me this is the best I have heard Hamilton Loomis play at any British Festival.
 


 

Royal Southern brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_1026lFriday’s Headline act were Royal Southern Brotherhood, see review Headlines @ Blues on the Farm.. This is a band that came, played and left a base of British fans who now have the essence off the band distilled into their musical blood and will be making every effort to see them again and enjoy listening to the music courtesy of the music they purchased whether the bands latest heartsoulblood or Cyril Neville’s Honey Magic; Devon Allman’s solo album Turquoise, Mike Zito and The Wheel, Charlie Wooton Project or Yonrinco Scotts’ Quest of The Big Drum…………
 
 

Moreland and Arbuckle - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0084lNow it is Sunday late afternoon, the sun has shone over the festival every day and now taking the stage are Moreland and Arbuckle; as they hit the stage and struck their first chords the volume had gone up you knew this was a high-voltage trio from across the pond! Formed in 2001 guitarist Aaron Moreland and vocalist/blues harp player Dustin Arbuckle met in Wichita, Kansas and quickly formed an acoustic duo playing traditional and delta blues today they are joined by drummer Kendall Newby which makes for a harder sound with the added depth of a solid back line.

They delivered a dynamic mix of standards and self-penned numbers; including Rollin’ and Tumblin’ which the trio have made their own with a stylish delivery. They have created out of the bedrock of rootsy sound that has blended and melded blues, Southern rock with more than a twist of Psychedelia and then into the musical cocktail traces of styles including soul and echoes of quality music from across time. This is a distinctive sound that makes them instantly recognisable. As they delivered tracks from their latest album 7 Cities, the sound just meant there was a queue to purchase the CD and take some southern magic home with you. There is no doubt about it Kow Tow and The Devil Me together helped album sales!and and the festival crowds got closer as they were pulled into the groove being created and dancing shoes were to the fore. The harp riffs that soar above the guitar have to be listened to and then there is the cigar box with its own distinctive sound with incorporation of the bass string that really suits the guitar style of Aaron Moreland. Just a Dream was driven by hardcore rhythm allowing Arbuckle’s vocals and harp playing take centre stage.
 


 
What a quartet Julian Mores and his team have assembled for 2014 all the acts were throughly enjoyed by the Blues on the Farm festival goers.

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Headline Acts @ Blues On The Farm 2014

530586_10151220959912724_204957856_nBlues on the Farm ~ The Headliners
 
Friday 20th June – Royal Southern Brotherhood
 
Saturday 21st June – King King
 
Sunday 22nd June 2014 – Big Dez

 

Friday night the crowds had been fed a diet if superb music and as the sky darkened the anticipation was electric as everyone waited for Royal Southern Brotherhood to step on the stage.

Royal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0774lThis was for many the first opportunity that they have had to hear the band live and at Blues On The Farm you could get right up close to see the action and interaction between the five musicians on-stage. On drums the dynamic, energetic talented Grammy award-winning Yonrico Scott, Royal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0822lhe has played with an array of artists that read like a Who’s Who of the musical lexicon of the twentieth century including Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr., The Allman Brothers Band, Susan Tedeschi, Gregg Allman, The Supremes, and The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. His drumming is a loose jazzy style that provides a bedrock of sounds and freedom that allows the drums to ebb and flow through and over the music in perfect time. Strengthening the rhythm section on bass is Louisiana born Charlie WoottonRoyal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0807l who when not playing with RSB, like all five of them, has his own projects, and his bass solo mesmerised the crowds with the dexterity and tonal reach of his bass playing as he danced his fingers up the fret board and danced around the stage. Up front and lean are the trio of grammy award winner Cyril NevilleRoyal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0697l (Vocals & percussion) bringing to this music fest that is RSB style, panache and some Southern Soul that so personified The Meters where he backed the music and poetry of his brother Art; the guitarist Royal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0808lMike Zito who brings inventive guitar work as the guitar and him become one flowing with music, passion and fire; and the lead guitarist and vocalist Devon Allman,Royal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0914l making the Gibson sing bringing stunning blues rock guitar evoking sounds from the past with a twist of modernity solo’s that bring the whole band into a homogeneous whole. The set included numbers from their own albums and the latest RSB album Heartsoulblood. The highlights of this stunning set were Magic Honey with Cyrille’s vocals made the crowd hold their collective breath not wishing the track to end; Running Water; ‘Groove On
 
Royal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0886lDuring the set there was the guest appearance of Hamilton Loomis who brought his blues harp to the jam and generating a real party atmosphere on the stage as the Blues on the Farm temperature rose. The encore included the re-working of Rush’s famous and instantaneously recognised track Working Man; wow is the only word to sum up this varied multi-textured sound from a band that is full of virtuoso musicians. These are individual musicians who independently have created solo albums and albums with other groups, they know how to ply their trade and what could be a clash of ego’s is in fact a collective who respect and value what everyone brings to the sound that is Royal Southern Brotherhood, creating great music that is fresh and lively and a joy to listen to.

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King King - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0249lSaturday, longest day of the year and the sky was dimmed rather than darkened as King King British Blues Award winning Band, were announced by Julian Moores, the crowd erupted as the ever popular frontman in a kilt Alan Nimmo who lights any festival fire entered the stage, with tonight on wurlitzer Hammond Organ the Dutchman Bob FridzemaKing King - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0072l who also provided backing vocals along with Wayne Proctor who provides the rocky Blues drumming that sets the tone of the band no wonder he has won British Blues Awards, combined with bassist King King - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0015lLindsay Coulson this is the platform that allows Alan to stand out front showcasing his wonderful vocals and guitar skills that leave you hanging on every note. It is no wonder that in many people’s eyes they are Britain’s best blues band, delivering polished performance of quality blues playing they do just keep getting better and better. The set included many of the numbers from their latest CD Standing in The Shadows interspersed with what have become King King classics that the fans expect. There was no standing in the shadow as they lifted the roof of the marquee and Alan engaged with the lively Saturday night audience who had enjoyed the hot day in the sun sampling the renowned delights of the famous BOTF beer tent. From the current album another fine live rendition of the Scottish rock singer-songwriter Frankie Miller’s, Jealousy that leaves the spine tingling as Alan pours buckets of emotional tension into the vocals and through the guitar strings along with two other fantastic tracks that were highlights for me A Long History of Love with vocals and award-winning Wayne ProctorKing King - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0079l drumming that shows the journey and Alan’s vocals ebb and flow like a tidal wave of lyrical out-pourings that are picked up and reflected back by his guitar and the keys this song could go on all night and the audience would still be delighted and Can’t Keep From Trying. Alan makes his guitar weep the performance is always super-charged as he represents an array of feelings from despair to confusion and the musicians around him build on this so that the atmosphere of the live music sound is taut with everybody’s collective reaction to the experiences they have gone through. Added into the mix were tracks fans in the audience just want to hear including Heart Without a Soul and Old Love which he did and he even with a master class in crowd control got the excited festival crowd to quieten down so that as the sound went down the magic went up. What a finale to the longest day of 2014 as the notes died away the crowd dispersed knowing first light was only a few hours away and another day and another headliner beckoned for the festival.

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Big Dez - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0023lSunday’s last act, last headline of 2014 the hours of Blues of The Farm 2014 were few… still there is next year and the festival ended on a high note with French band Big Dez. The only band I had not seen live or even heard a CD so was looking forward to what they had to offer. This six-piece played with a style that refused to be boxed in yes, Phil Fernandez on guitar more than doff’s his hat at Albert Collins combined with vocals that were easy on the ear and delivered a real electric blues sound. They delivered a set that echoes their latest album Wet Paint, that covers a palette of blues styles so they retain your interest and on stage with him were Big Dez - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0048lBala Pradal on keys and Marc Schaeller (blues-harp) and on rhythm & slide guitar Big Dez - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0019lRodolphe Dumont; the back line consisted of Bruno Maurin BassBig Dez - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0025l and Karim Bouazza on drums Big Dez - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0012lproviding solidity and ensured every track had shape and form. Big Dez is out front with his spectacular guitar work full of control and hidden depths of passion and a voice that carries the lyrics. The set was a mix of styles and was not just an opportunity to sell is latest CD, his seventh with the band, who ply their trade, with selection of tracks from their various albums, including Anywhere Please from their 2009 album Late Live!; released the same year as with sponsorship of Blues Sur Seine, the band represented France at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Big Dez is full of blues energy that sparks between him and the band and the excellent rhythm guitarist Rod has the skill to spark off the guitar work of Big Dez and add layers of musical interest. Plying their trade around Paris they have developed a style that will not be boxed in this is not Blues set in aspic there is an open door in which they have welcomed funk, jazz and soul combined with lyrics that are full of wistfulness, regret and yearning a perfect cocktail that is Big Dez and French electric blues swizzled and stirred with Texan style and Chicago Ice they deliver self penned numbers that have licks and chords that makes the mouth water. The hardy festival goers left happy with the blues but left wanting more so come back and do a few more festivals blues of this calibre deserves to be heard blues numbers that included Lazy Star, You Can Smile,Ace Up Your Sleeve and a great version of Booker T’s Green Onions.

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So the headliners from over the Pond, British award-winning band and from across the channel and did the festival proud with three different acts showing that blues is open to musical interpretations that all have one thing in common they play with your emotions and deliver great music leaving you wanting more.