Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

 

Who are the four excited bands talking about 4th UK Blues Challenge? They are Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion; LaVendore Rogue, The Rainbreakers and Elles Bailey. There will be a fifth band joining the quartet of superb bands. The fifth band will be announced shortly after the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival taking place at Colne 25th-27th August. The Jessica Foxley Unsigned bands who will be playing on the main stages have now been selected. From these Eight bands one will be chosen to join the bands already announced to take part in the Challenge on the 10th September. Find out who the eight bands that are in with a chance HERE.   

While we all wait in anticipation as to which band are joining the four who have already been nominated read about the bands and what they said when Bluesdoodles spoke to them.

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFour Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeTell us what it means to Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

 ZSBC: Firstly, the fact that the number of our peers nominating is so large gives real credibility to the artists involved, so we are also proud about that.    We are also proud to be nominated as we see it as a recognition of our original music, concept and style.  We don’t write the songs to any kind of formula or to fit in with any cliche or pre-conceived ideas of what defines blues in 2017. Read more…..

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFour Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to LaVendore Rogue to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

LVR: We’ve been to hell and back a few times over the years, and playing in the states has to be a dream of any UK musician, so it’s an honour to be considered for the UK British Blues Challenge – we’ve been working hard over the last few years, and it’s great to see its been recognised by the UK Blues Federation. Read More …

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeRainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to The Rainbreakers to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

RB: We were overwhelmed to have been nominated, especially when we don’t really consider ourselves to be a blues band as such. We think it shows willingness from the scene to accept the new approach to the blues that some of the younger bands of today are displaying. Obviously we would be thrilled to go through to the European and American challenges especially as we are hugely influenced by a plethora of bands from the states! Read More….

 

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to Elles Bailey to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

EB: Love the fact that European Challenge at Hell – didn’t know it existed on Earth. I am chuffed to bits to be performing in the Challenge this year. I am a newbie on the scene over the last twelve to eighteen months I have been quickly accepted in the Blues community. It has just exceed my expectations, definitely delighted to be performing in Liverpool and looking forward to seeing the other acts. It is definitely going to be a great night. Read More…

More about The UK Blues Challenge

What is the UK Blues Challenge (UKBC)?

An annual event organised by the UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) at a different location in the UK at which a number of bands/acts compete in front of a panel of judges drawn from across the blues spectrum. The winning band/act is invited to represent the UK at the following year’s International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis and European Blues Challenge (EBC) which is held in a different European country each year.

The International and European Blues Challenges are organised by, respectively, the Blues Foundation  and the European Blues Union (EBU)

We are very pleased that this year’s event will take place at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool on Sunday 10th September 2017 starting at 16.00. More details can be found  and how to buy a ticket for the event HERE. UKBlues is excited to be bringing the blues back to the Cavern sixty years on!

How are the contestants in the UKBC chosen?

As an Active Member of the EBU meeting the EBU’s laid down criteria (see EBC rules here) and the sole UK Affiliate of the Blues Foundation, UKBlues are honoured to be invited to create and manage the selection process to choose the band or artist who will represent the UK at these prestigious events each year.
The first stage of the process this year saw a panel of more than 250 people from across the blues spectrum in the UK which included members of UKBlues, all UK based Active Members of the EBU, members of the Independent Blues Broadcasters Association, festival and gig promoters, writers (both online and print media), musicians, fans and blues supporters etc. being invited to submit the three UK acts that they felt would best represent the UK at the EBC and IBC.

Members of this panel were asked to place their choices in order (first, second, third) and points were awarded according to the position in which the acts are placed by you.

The 4 top scoring available acts after this process was complete were invited to participate in the UKBC where the contestants will perform in front of a panel of judges who will use the same criteria to award points to the contestants as are used at the EBC and IBC.
In a new departure this year, a fifth band will be invited to participate which will be selected from the bands who have been invited by Jessica Foxley Unsigned to play at the Great British Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Festival which takes place in Colne over the August Bank Holiday weekend –  These bands are, generally, under the radar and being selected to play at Colne is a big step up for them.

The band will be chosen by a panel of representatives of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned project and will be chosen on the strength of their performance at Colne.

The winner of the UKBC will be invited to represent the UK at both the 2018 EBC and IBC.

What are the selection and judging criteria?

When making their selections, the members of the panel are asked to bear in mind the following EBC rules which apply:

  • The leader of the band must have the nationality of the country he/she represents.
  • At least 50% of the members of the contestant bands must reside in the country they represent.
  • Acts who participated in a previous edition of the EBC, but did not win, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
  • Bands of which half or more of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
  • Bands of which less than half of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 2 years.

Contestants at the UKBC, EBC and IBC are expected to perform at least 50% original music in their set and they are awarded points using the following criteria as laid down by the EBU:

  • Originality
  • Instrumental talent
  • Vocal talent
  • Stage presence
  • Blues content

You can read the full EBC rules here

This process is the same as that which has been used in previous years and is approved by the Blues Foundation and the European Blues Union

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Elles Bailey Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

LaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

Elles Bailey Talks about 2017 Blues ChallengeElles Bailey Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

 

 

BD: Firstly, thank you for taking the time out to chat about participating in the 4th UK Blues Challenge, Blues, your music and more.

EB: Thank you this is so exciting

BD: 2017, sees the fourth UK British Blues Challenge.  This year the UKBlues Federation are “Bringing The Blues back to The cavern 60 years on..” Tell us what it means to Elles Bailey to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

EB: Love the fact that European Challenge at Hell – didn’t know it existed on Earth. I am chuffed to bits to be performing in the Challenge this year. I am a newbie on the scene over the last twelve to eighteen months I have been quickly accepted in the Blues community. It has just exceed my expectations, definitely delighted to be performing in Liverpool and looking forward to seeing the other acts. It is definitely going to be a great night.

 BD: What are the Blues to Elles Bailey? Do you feel British Blues has a different feel to what is being currently produced in Europe, United States and elsewhere in the world?

EB: For me British Blues has always been different.  Nowadays blues is the feeling as much as the sound. I have influences from all the different styles of the blues. To keep it fresh there needs to be a unique take on the blues. Definitely taking a different approach is having a huge effect on the blues today.

BD: Your latest album is Wildfire, Elles Bailey tell us a bit about your debut album the pledge campaign?

EB: It was always on the cards to do a full album this year, I have done a couple of EP’s so this was the next step. I went on a family road trip to USA; planning on doing Nashville, Memphis New Orleans etc. Dad decided before we went to put in a few calls to people he knew in Nashville. So the two days in Nashville became three weeks; I went to nowhere else, except for day trip to Muscle Shoals and recorded Wildfire. It was so unexpected and mind-blowing. The work was amazing, very different approach over there, they work so fast. When came back to UK to finish the album off here with Joe my guitarist & Jonny Henderson on Hammond and Zak on bass who is a monster in a good way! These three guys will all be at The Cavern.  Finished the album with acoustic seemed to fit a number that I wrote out there. Wildfire released 1st September and can be pre-ordered via pledge campaign.

 

BD: What do you feel The UKBlues Federation can bring to the UK Blues what would you like the Federation to be doing for Blues artists on the circuit in Britain today?

EB: For me, Blues audiences are really loyal, knowledgeable BUT they tend to be older. Need to get the blues to a younger audience, it is out there. Unfortunately ‘blues’ has bit of a band name there is a stigma that bit tame and boring. For the longevity of the music Blues needs to attract the younger audiences; it is in all our hands lot of people playing on the circuit are quite young. Also Keep doing what you are doing. We are bombarded with music today it is so easily accessible. I am a new convert to Spotify; downloading is now 50% of the music industry revenue. Spotify playlists are powerful I have done Ladies at Blues Festivals etc. Perhaps the Blues Federation could generate play list what we currently listening to. Will get a following. What you get paid as a musician is not huge – but it is like advertising I have got new fans, who buy a ticket to see me live; then often an album as well.  So in the round there is money to be made via Spotify, getting your music out there.  Lots of Blues artists are not on Spotify so can’t add to playlists I am a new convert just released my music onto Spotify and you do get some money and your profile is visible.

I also feel it is really sad that there are no British Blues awards this year. When you apply for a USA visa to play they ask if you have been nominated for any awards within in your scene.  It proves that you are part of the Blues scene in the UK, an active music that can be proved in the UK & Europe. So being invited to the Challenge was a huge thing for me when filling in the USA Visa application for a working visa; giving me credibility so thank you.

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

EB:

Etta James/Stevie Nicks/Chris Stapleton – Vocals
Staple Singers – BVs
Keith Richards – Guitar
Bonnie Raitt – Slide
Dr John  – Piano
Ray Charles – Organ
Leland Sklar – bass
Drums – Levon Helm
Engineer – Steve Blakmon
Triangle – Elles Bailey I have to be playing in the band

BD: Thank you for your time. The challenge at The Cavern on 10th September will be an amazing night of live music as we hear the five bands – LaVendore RogueElles BaileyZoe Schwarz Blue Commotion The Rainbreakers and the winner of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned to be decided at the 2017 Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival at Colne. Buy Your ticket here and be part of a great night HERE.

LaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

LaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

LaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues ChallengeLaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

LaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

 

 

BD: firstly, thank you for taking the time out to chat about participating in the 4th UK Blues Challenge, Blues, your music and more.

LVR: It’s our pleasure – we’re thrilled to have been put forward for the competition!

BD: 2017, sees the fourth UK British Blues Challenge.  This year the UKBlues Federation are “Bringing The Blues back to The cavern 60 years on..” Tell us what it means to LaVendore Rogue to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

LVR: We’ve been to hell and back a few times over the years, and playing in the states has to be a dream of any UK musician, so it’s an honour to be considered for the UK British Blues Challenge – we’ve been working hard over the last few years, and it’s great to see its been recognised by the UK Blues Federation.

BD: What are the Blues to LaVendore Rogue? Do you feel British Blues has a different feel to what is being currently produced in Europe, United States and elsewhere in the world?

LVR: A lot of the biggest British Bands in history started off playing Blues but took it somewhere else. Just look at The Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin.  Nowadays, it seems a lot of UK acts lean towards the heavier Blues Rock side of things, which is perhaps reflective of the US artists who took their influence from the 60’s Blues Boom. Whereas in Mainland Europe there is real wide variety of artists such as the Dawn Brothers or Daniel Norgren who are doing something different, but still with its roots in the blues. Obviously the US is where it all began and it’s good to see that despite the influx of “Blues Rock”, they are still producing artists who take their influences from early American Music, people like Blind Boy Paxton or the Carolina Chocolate Drops and even Mud Morganfield.

LaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues ChallengeBD: Your latest album is A Night In The North, LaVendore Rogue live in a Blues club; tell us a bit about your album and the reaction your interpretation of blues is received by audiences?

LVR: We recorded the album at Sedgefield Rock & Blues Club in January. We didn’t plan on doing so, until 10 minutes before show time, and we’re all really pleased with the result. Joel mixed and mastered the album, and we feel it’s the best thing we’ve done to date. Certainly the most honest.

We were keen to include a cross-section of everything that’s influenced us and that we’ve done, so the album goes from pre-war Blues (“Oh Death” by Charley Patton) to the 60’s British Blues Boom (“Get Off Of My Cloud”, by The Rolling Stones) and includes several Hokie Joint songs too (“Chocolate Cake”, “The Way It Goes…Sometimes”). Oh and obviously there’s some LaVendore Rogue material in there as well. To keep things fresh, there’s also a couple of new songs on the album too.

When we first started as LaVendore Rogue, the reception was mixed, although people generally either love us or hate us. However we’ve worked hard to put together a set that will appeal to lots of people, including ourselves. Songs such as “Chocolate Cake” and “Oh Death” always seem to receive a fantastic reaction, so we’re obviously doing something right when it comes to honouring The Blues.

In our opinion, a lot of the British Blues Scene is leaning more towards rock music more than Blues and songwriting has been replaced with too many guitar solos. Although is good to see a broad spectrum of the blues taking part in the UK challenge.

However our focus is on songwriting and using a song as a way to tell story. At the end of the day, 99% of people go home from a gig singing a chorus, not a guitar solo.

BD: What do you feel The UKBlues Federation can bring to the UK Blues what would you like the Federation to be doing for Blues artists on the circuit in Britain today?

LVR: It’s very difficult for a band to gain much profile without a fairly large budget. We feel there are a lot of great undiscovered bands on the British Blues scene that aren’t getting the attention they deserve for one reason or another. In fact, many are far more interesting that some of the bands that are at the top of the ladder. As artists in our thirties we hope to playing for another thirty and perhaps the Blues Federation could play a pivotal role in bringing the blues to a younger generation, perhaps through schools workshops or through making connections in Universities.

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

LVR: That’s a tough one…we all have very different tastes in music, in many different genres, so the result could be somewhat catastrophic!

BD: The band they would create is left to our imagination. Thank you for your time. The challenge at The Cavern on 10th September will be an amazing night of live music as we hear the five bands – LaVendore RogueElles BaileyZoe Schwarz Blue Commotion The Rainbreakers and the winner of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned to be decided at the 2017 Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival at Colne. Buy Your ticket here and be part of a great night HERE.

LaVendore Rogue Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern Liverpool

4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern Liverpool

 

4th UK Blues Challenge Announced At The Cavern Liverpool

 

 

UKBlues Federation are delighted to announce Tickets for the 4th UKBlues Challenge, which will be held at the world-famous Cavern Club in Liverpool on Sunday 10th September 2017, are now on sale via the Cavern Club’s website – HERE They are priced at £10.00 in advance, £12.00 on the door.

Members of the UK Blues Federation can enjoy a reduction of £2.50 per ticket (maximum 2 tickets per member). This discount will be applied when they next renew their membership after 10th September 2017. Join the UK Federation Today

The bands/artistes appearing are, in alphabetical order

Elles Bailey

LaVendore Rogue

The Rainbreakers

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion

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4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern LiverpoolThe fifth and final band for 2017 is an exciting new addition to the Challenge.

As recently announced, they will be joined by the young band chosen by representatives of Jessica Foxley Unsigned at the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival at Colne 25th – 27th August.

 

 

Get your tickets now for what promises to be a great celebration of Blues in the UK.

Doors will open at 15.30 with the first band on stage at 16.00. It is anticipated that the event will finish by about 21.00 and will close with a set from the winners and, we hope, feature some top guests who will be at the event.
Bluesdoodles invites you to  share this news, help support UKBlues in what it is doing. Visit our website – UKBlues to read about membership benefits and to join

UKBlues Federation supporting the 4th Challenge

“Bringing the Blues back to The Cavern 60 years on….”

4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern Liverpool

Elles Bailey Scorching Debut Album Wildfire

Elles Bailey Scorching Debut Album Wildfire

Elles Bailey Scorching Debut Album Wildfire

Wildfire, perfectly captures in a word the burning power of Elles Bailey’s vocals and stage presence as she sings blues that have captured in its blue flame, country, roots and soul. The voice is smoky with textures and tones that pulls out lyrics and coats them in Elles special brand of Bristol fanned Wildfire.

Often the word unique is used when talking about an artist especially on a debut album. In the case of Elles Bailey it is most definitely true. Her blues fuelled sound is lived-in, and is the fortuitous result of a childhood illness. Having recovered from both viral and bacterial pneumonia; her voice at the age of three had changed, leading to her ENT specialist prophetically observing, “If she ever wants to sing, she’ll be a natural blues vocalist!”

Wildfire started out as a demo that she had arranged to cut in Nashville whilst on a family road trip as Elles explained, “You know, ‘when in Rome’ and all that? But what was meant to be just one solitary track took on a life of its own. Before I knew it, boom, we had a whole album!”

Elles has surrounded herself with musicians chosen so that your ears mine through rich veins of blues tones and textures. Using musicians from both sides of the Atlantic, from USA guitarist Brent Mason and Chris Leuzinger, pianist Bobby Wood; and the rhythm combo of bassist Mike Brignardello on bass and Wes Little on drums. We always love some more glitz so joining the Wildfire party legendary Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriter Roger Cook came on board. Once back in the UK adding their depths of musical talents and blending the music into a continuous perfectly woven tapestry are Jonny Henderson on Hammond organ and Joe Wilkins on blistering guitar. Without the skills, oversight and direction from producer Brad Nowell this could have been a fire burning out of control instead we have music that is balanced and sumptuous.

Opening with a howl of guitar conjuring up wilderness, Wild West the scene is set with the title track as blues meets country coming back down the road. What really captures your musical ear is the voice; Elles has an understanding of the lyric taking it slowly, giving the words space and building the tension. The music and lyrics paint a visual picture in your minds-eye creating cinematic music. The winning combination of Bobby’s piano and Jonny’s Hammond soothes the soul as her vocals drop with smoothness of whipped rich cream sharpened with a jolt of citric.  The song is wistful and you empathise with the pain she is feeling as the drums beat out the road she has to travel as the perennial question What If I is asked again and again through the track. Leaving you wondering about your past asking your own What If I question.

Half way through the album and the delta slide guitar blues has an outing with Let Me Hear You Scream, again the shaping of the vocals gets the story told and we just want to hear her vocals growl with intent when she sings the title.  The tempo rises as if the wind is fanning the fire with Shackles of Love her soulful modulation and backing vocals curl around the instrumentation that she has under total control.

Again, the tones are full of interest country with added values as we check in to Barrel Of Your Gun, starting smooth the vocals harden and the mesmeric qualities of music that is rooted in the blues and flowers free using the qualities of lyrics vocals and musicians she has surrounded herself with. With a tribute to the blues man on Howlin’ Wolf we hear her howl and celebrate the blues in her own way that will become a trademark as her career further establishes itself. The music slows, her vocals sung softly as we have a true blues number with Girl Who Owned The Blues; Elles Bailey already owns her style of blues in her hands, Wildfire is going to win her more. Closing the album out with Time’s A Healer; leaving us with a quiet gentle number reflective and the voice shimmering like a reflection in a pool of silver water. Another picture painted and we want to listen to the album all over again.

The only slight dampening of the flames  in the music is that the tempo across the track is fairly similar, perhaps rather than blending the styles as she has in the majority of tracks. Some celebration of soul country and blues so listeners can see the variation and the power of the blending. This minor irritant did nothing to stop me enjoying the dozen tracks. Elles Bailey, has created a debut album that is sassy blues, modern using the rich treasure chest of roots, soul and country to create an album that burns hot and is fresh whilst being hot. This is music that crosses genres because it is excellent. The future of blues in UK is hot and strong with the fiery breath of Elles Bailey singing out to entertain and keep the blues alive. Wildfire, Elles Bailey What a Stunning Voice! Elles Bailey Scorching Debut Album Wildfire is hot with husky vocals blending roots sounds from Blues, country & soul set to be Voice of The Blues.

 

Elles Bailey  – Wildfire – Release date 1st September

Pre-order via Elles Pledge Campaign HERE

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Wildfire
  2. Same Flame
  3. What If I
  4. Barrel Of Your Gun
  5. Perfect Storm
  6. Let Me Hear You Scream
  7. Shake It Off
  8. Shackles Of Love
  9. Believed In You
  10. Howlin’ Wolf
  11. Girl Who Owned The Blues
  12. Time’s A Healer

Elles Bailey Scorching New Album Wildfire