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.
NINEdoodle paws out of TEN …
Where I Belong
Don’t You Wanna Know
All Of My Life
Blame It On You
Don’t Want To Be Lonely
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
Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival: Blues takes centre stage 17 – 26 July 2015
Edinburgh goes blue of every hue for the 38th year of Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival the festival mood is growing as they deliver a programme that covers jazz, blues, swing, funk, soul and gospel. There will be 150 concerts over 10 daysda. 2015 has a very strong line-up of varied styles and always high quality blues acts with over 25 major blues shows from 17th – 26th July 2015.
We present a host of major American names, many of whom are making exclusive UK appearances. We have a big night of Chicago Blues, and a celebration of the centenary of Willie Dixon. In a special project, two leading Scottish blues musicians have been on a US road tour, hooking up with great musicians from San Francisco, Memphis, Mississippi and Florida along the way. They’ll be coming over to Edinburgh in July.
Ticket Information: Tickets are available from midday on Wednesday 6th May:
· Online at www.edinburghjazzfestival.com
· By phone on 0131 473 2000.
· In person from The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE.
Check out the whole programme HERE With Dates, Venues and time
Edinburgh crosses all blues styles, from Mississippi country blues to contemporary rock-blues, but our emphasis is on the core of the music, and picking out the original, the special, and the innovative.
With MAGGIE BELL and TIM ELLIOTT And featuring Micky Moody, Papa George, Sandy Tweeddale, Brandon Santini, Ben Rice. Maggie Bell and Tim Elliott lead an all star cast paying tribute to one of blues’ most iconic writers and performers, Willie Dixon, in his centenary year.
Energetic and lively Vintage Jazz – a mix of Tin Pan Alley, the Great American Songbook standards, and traditional New Orleans Blues as sung by Bessie Smith, Mildred Bailey, Louis Armstrong and Ma Rainey from “stunningly expressive” (San Diego Union Tribune) singer Alison Affleck and her all star Edinburgh band. With 60 days to go until the
Chicago Blues sparked the British blues boom in the 60’s – The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall – and it was Muddy Waters who personified Blues from Chicago. Muddy Waters’ son, Mud Morganfield, sounds uncannily like his “pop” and sings his great tunes with a band that recreates the authentic sound. Lurrie Bell is another great son of Chicago, and the guitarist is currently enjoying a golden moment with his latest album winning awards for the best Blues Album of the year.
Supercharged harmonica and vocals from the hottest ticket of today in Memphis’s legendary Beale Street Clubs. Santini is the new man on the block “evoking the sounds of his forefathers, hypnotising the crowd” ( National Geographic).
Born and raised in Holly Springs, Mississippi; singer and drummer,Cedric paid his dues by going on the road aged 13 with his grandfather, the legendary RL Burnside, and learning the North Mississippi Hill Country blues heritage from a master. An intoxicating drummer and powerful vocalist, his long term Project partner is the brilliant electric guitarist, Trenton Ayers.
An instant Edinburgh favourite at last year’s Festival, Singer/pianist, Davina Sowers, is back from Minneapolis, with her high-energy band, for another set of rocking blues, New Orleans charm, Memphis soul swagger, dark theatrical moments that evoke Kurt Weill, and tender gospel passages. Not strictly a blues act, but her rollicking piano playing and singing is soaked in blues, as well as swing, and boogie, early rock n’ roll, and traditional N’Orleans.
The rolling sounds of New Orleans, blues, funk, and jazz are what piano player, Dom Pipkin, and his great band play to perfection. They make every night into a relaxed party with good time-music from the Crescent City, just like the Doctor (John) and Professor (Longhair) and Fats (Domino) would have liked.
In 1960s Edinburgh, a young blues band shone out. Not surprising, because they featured a guitar player who would become one of the most respected and sought after guitarists in the industry, Ian Bairnson. Just for tonight, three of the original members, Bairnson; vocalist, Jimmy Nellis; and bassist, Kenny Ellis, have reformed the band.
featuring GILSON LAVISwith special guest MARC ALMOND and guest vocalists RUBY TURNER, LOUISE MARSHALL & MABEL RAY plus support The undisputed king of boogie woogie, swing and r’n’b is dazzling audiences of over 500,000 a year. No wonder.
Three distinctive female blues singers offer an afternoon of rocking and soulful sounds. Opening up is Edinburgh’s own singer / harmonica player, Dana Dixon, with her Texas, Chicago, and west coast jump blues plus rockabilly and 50s R&B. Then there’s the unforgettable voice of one of Britain’s foremost blues divas, Connie Lush, back with her powerhouse band.
“A bazooka assault of foot-stompin’ blues and slow-burnin’ knee-bucklers” (Chicago Sun-Times). Fiery, flamboyant hard-rocking blues out of Chicago. This is music to get parties going: incendiary slide guitar and rough, passionate singing from Lil Ed, with the Blues Imperials cooking like mad alongside him. For lovers of serious blues – and good time fun!
First time in the UK for “The Mississipi Blue Child” and 2014 International Blues Challenge Winner. The guitarist and singer from McComb, Mississippi is steeped in gospel music and only switched to playing blues full time recently. Yet he won the prestigious Memphis Blues competition last year ( in a field of c.250!). He’s an infectious character, a natural entertainer, and a powerful and emotional exponent of traditional electric Mississippi blues. This is the real thing!
The blues-rock supergroup make their Festival debut. Their soul, funk and jam band roots, conjoins two southern USA music dynasties: vocalist, Cyrille Neville, and guitarist, Tyrone Vaughan, plus young blues guitar sensation, Bart Walker, and award winning rhythm team of Charlie Wootton and Yonrico Scott. White-hot musicianship with incendiary guitar duels and soulful vocals.
In a sensational double bill Mr Sipp (“The Mississipi Blues Child”) delivers his soulful and gritty music combining guitar excellence and vocal power, he cries out Mississippi blues with every note he plays.
Chicago’s leading blues drummer and vocalist fronts an all-star band featuring ex Blues n Trouble guitarist. Alan Jones and Richie O’Donnell get together with the Memphis harp sensation, Santini; then we feature the great, soulful singer and guitarist, Grainne Duffy, with her hard rocking band. Also featuring one of Scotland’s leading bands, The Jensen Interceptors, led by singer and harmonica player, Gary Martin.
Grossman studied fingerstyle blues with the originals – Rev Gary Davis, Mississipi Fred McDowell and Son House, and in the 60s he brought his guitar to Britain influencing and playing with a range of musicians from Bert Jansch and John Renbourn to Eric Clapton. Stefan Grossman is not a local, he’s from New York, but he studied and played with the masters of country and folk-blues – notably the Rev Gary Davis – and he’s now probably the most influential player of the old finger-picking style of guitar playing and a great singer and raconteur too.
Three great bands kicked off by the ever popular Jensen Interceptors fronted by harmonica player and vocalist, Gary Martin. Guitarist and singer, Ben Rice, from Portland, Oregon is a young man making big news in the States with his twisting, soulful west coast blues.
Terry’s the real deal. He learned authentic country blues from his forebears and now he plays them all over Mississippi and Tennessee. Guitarist, Harmonica player, vocalist, and very special guy! Bringing Juke Joints to Edinburgh!
Chicago blues drummer extraordinaire (and a classy singer too) is touring the UK with a great band featuring guitarist, John Bruce, plus James Ohara (guitar,vocals), Ali Petrie (keys), Clinton McFarland (bass). Catch one of the blues world’s legends.
Gráinne Duffy’s [pronounced Gron-yer] second album Test Of Time brings into your home some amazing singing guitar playing and the band. Many of the tracks included are on the set list when Gráinne and her band hit the stage and entertain you.
Test Of Time showcases her wonderful voice full of soulful sassiness, that make the lyrics fizz. The opening track may be called Everyday but there is nothing mundane about a single note, the opening introduces the power of the band before we hear her voice from our speakers for the first time with the lyrics and vocals full of nostalgia and will have you truly hooked on the message and sound being delivered.
We have a rocky number Rockin’ Rollin Stone full of blues and the guitar playing just shines through, the following track is a complete contrast with a swizzle of reggae beat added to the mix thanks to the drumming skills of Eamon Ferris and the guitar work of Paul Sherry keeping the lyrics on beat of Sweet Sweet Baby. This is a band that is so tight every note is made to count throughout this album of eleven songs written by Gráinne, Davy & John .
The album flows as the tempo and emphasis changes with the title track nestled in the middle of the album it is an upbeat number with a gravel and growl in her voice this is a track and album that means business and should be heard loud and often.
The horns opening Don’t You Remember is perfect for getting your attention as Gráinne’s vocals take a lighter approach full of optimism and joy, showing the range of her voice shaping the song to fit the mood.
Her vocals are warm and poignant on I Know We’re Gonna Be Just Fine; this is the diamond among the pearls that make this album work it is my favourite track with its endearing chorus and the piano from John McCullough hits the mark. Gráinne is a singer who plays guitar and the whole sound works as shown on the final track In My Arms; where every musician delivers music they love to play full of soulful and emotional musical intelligence.
The music created by Gráinne and her band is full of nooks and crannies of intriguing licks and chords, changes of tempo and textural tones creating an Irish rock-blues that is so much more with its inclusion of soul, country and even reggae vibes creating a modern sound that should be attracting a high following of everyone who is united in liking quality music, whether delivered via recording studio or on a stage and this album proves once again Gráinne delivers every time. So buy the album and go see the band live next time they are touring you will not be disappointed on both counts.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE doodle paws out of TEN ….
2. Let Me In
3. Rockin’Rollin Stone
4. Sweet Sweet Baby
5. Test Of Times
6. Don’t You remember
7. Please Take Care
8. What More Can I Do
9. I Know We’re Gonna Be Just Fine
10. Falling For You
11. In My Arms
Gráinne Duffy: Vocals & Guitar
Paul Sherry: Second Guitar
Davy Watson: Bass
Eamon Ferris: Drums
John McCullough: Piano
Grainne Duffy and her band are on a perpetual tour but tonight was a continuation of their ‘Reason To Be’ Tour; starting off in Wales then dates in England, Wales and Scotland before heading off to Europe from 6th October which, with an expectant crowd, created an atmosphere which got this leg of the tour off to a cracking start.
As ever Grainne hit the ground running with a powerful opening number from her latest album Test Of Time; ‘Let Me In‘; this band knows how to make a statement with a combination of talent, style and a fluidity in the music created that can only be achieved with a band in which all the members are delighted to be once again on stage and playing the music they love. This is a band that have played together for several years and it shows in the almost telepathic understanding they have between them creating that smooth rhythm and layers of sound that mesh and meld together giving the music an edge and timing that is immaculate. It is Grainne though, with her distinctive voice and guitar style, that is the Royal Icing that makes this a harmonious band a mixture of sweet and sour, lyrical and rocking. It is so easy to compare Grainne with Bonnie Raitt and it easy to see why but this does not portray the real Grainne who has her own style and take on every track she does and no more demonstrated in her rendition of I’d Rather Go Blind which she has made into her own song as a signature offering every attendee at a live show wants to hear. We were treated to a music overload of one quality track after another as the set list below shows with a selection of tracks from her début album Out Of The Dark and her latest acclaimed offering Test Of Time. Her empathy on stage is sublime with all the band members especially for tonight her right-hand man Paul Sherry on lead guitar is simply awe-inspiring and mesmerising to watch and hear; Grainne’s Les Paul and his Strat complementing each other chord for chord this is no competition but two fabulous musicians getting the best out of each other’s performance.
There is no doubt that this is a band that just keeps getting better as they set the bar higher and higher with every performance and crack the challenge they set themselves every-time. After a short break they leaped back on stage full of vim and vigour and Grainne’s guitar playing was firing on all six-strings. Highlight if there can be one of this set was ‘Sweet Sweet Baby’, with its fusion of blues and reggae, a really great delivery of bleggae led from the back by some pin sharp cracking reggae drum bits delivered by Eamann Ferras and complimented by some bass from Davy Watson, this was bass and drums Grainne’s way.
All to soon they were leaving the stage, but quickly they returned to meet the genuine demand for an Encore and they willingly obliged. With the fading of the last notes from the title track of her latest album Test of Time the whole audience including the self-proclaimed “Duffettes” – dancing at the back of the ballroom were more than satisfied tonight; they would have liked the band to have played on.
Lead Vocals & Guitar – Grainne Duffy
Drums & Backing Vocals – Eamann Ferras
Guitar & Backing Vocals – Paul Sherry
Bass & Backing Vocals – Davy Watson
Let Me In
What Am I Supposed To Do
Each and Everytime
Drivin Me Crazy
Be Just Fine
Don’t Know Why
Reason To Be
Fallin’ For You
Love Me Like A Man
Times Not Enough
Sweet Sweet Baby
Rockin’ Rollin’ Stone
I’d Rather Go Blind
Bad To Worse
Saturday, the second day of the festival, was to provide twelve hours of solid entertainment. The show got under-way at Midday with a trio of local performers,
starting with festival regular opening as an Acoustic duo Gordon Wride and Simon Gregory with an homage to early blues especially Robert Johnson. The Sam Andrews Band followed – today in a cut down format of a trio with Sam on slide guitar accompanied by Glen Dee on Acoustic Guitar/Bass and Leila Dee who had a lovely voice. This was a short but excellent set portraying their skills and proved to be popular with everyone arriving at the festival. They were quickly followed by The Breeze, who describe themselves as Southern Rock coloured Blue and straight out of the Newport Swamps. Their re-arrangements of Lynyrd Skynyrd numbers got the afternoon festival folk up on their feet and dancing, it was hot enough to be in the Southern States of USA. The band was tight and the vocalist’s voice suited the music they were delivering with a grizzly tone. This band knew how to entertain; this is a quality pub band that would delight the crowds wherever they played and their take on Led Zepplin’s classic ‘Rock and Roll‘ certainly gave everyone something with which to sing the afternoon away.
With an efficient change of bands, the Marcus Bonfanti Band stepped up onto the stage in the mid afternoon heat. Did this slow the enthusiastic Marcus down? – no of course not. We were treated to a typically barn-storming performance which may not have raised the temperature on this hot July afternoon but did thrill the crowds with great self-penned numbers from previous albums and his recently released album “Shake the Walls” with the clever and relevant re-naming of ‘Alley Cat‘ to Valley Cat. Yet again he gave a fantastic performance and as ever his deep luscious vocal shone through, it is so easy to forget his guitar playing skills, I really do think he is underrated as a guitarist and plays in the top league of U.K. Artists today. The stand out song in this all too short set was ‘Honey‘ it was simply sensational, and the last song of the afternoon from Marcus was fittingly ‘Gimme your Cash‘ as he reminded the delighted audience that he had CDs for sell. There was then a change in the programme as Grainne Duffy and her band were delayed due to an accident causing massive tailbacks on the motorway.
So a local duo from Ystrad Mynach took to the stage ‘Henry’s Funeral Shoe‘. As ever they produced a very full sound for a two piece pleasing their many fans and delighting those who had not met the brothers with ‘Gimme Back My Morphine’, with Aled’s great slide combined with his distinctive gravelly voice and as ever from Brenning on drum a solid rhythm combined with displays of frenetic performances there is more that a hint of Keith Moon in his performance. His antics and animated attack on the drums provides an entertaining backdrop for Aled. There was good use of effects combined with controlled feedback that was effective and was always in keeping with all of the self-penned numbers including a favourite with many ‘Dog-scratched Ear‘. This was a lively set that refused to be put into a straight jacket of traditional blues and was definitely full of rock energy combined with an edginess when something a little bit different is being experienced.
After an unavoidable delay Grainne Duffy and her Band arrived, they were on stage in lightening quick time, with Grainne looking relaxed and as fresh as a daisy she went straight into her first number; a true professional, and any frustration in the crowd due to the wait was melted away as soon as they heard her sing her first note. Grainne, truly is the nightingale of the blues circuit at the moment with a clarity and superb articulation no mumbling of words when Grainne is on stage, her band provide her with more than just a solid platform they provide form, shape and texture that her voice can weave around creating a soulful sound that is magical. The set was a mix of tempo’s and opportunity for audience participation, a tribute to Bobby ‘Blues’ Bland and her now signature rendition of ‘I would Rather Go Blind’; the only disappointment with the crowds was that, due to time constraints, her set was curtailed and Grainne and her band had to leave the stage far too soon!
Next to grace the stage were the re-formed Nightporters at the start of their short 2013 tour, this was a fantastic high-energy set of Rock n’ roll/Rockabilly music whose roots are drenched in the blues, producing an infectious racy beat and rhythm with the interplay between double bass and lead guitarist was entertaining enough to make you miss a beat in your dancing as the double bass was wielded across the stage to be used as a prop without missing a beat. The set included lots of favourites including ‘Shake Your Hips‘ & ‘Rolling and a Tumbling‘ that got the crowds participating by dancing on the grass, this was a high-octane band who were also extremely tight and every member interacted and added another layer of interest. Nightporters have been missed on the blues scene and it is great they are back again with some 50’s Memphis / Chicago blues tradition including the suits, harmonica, cleanish guitar sounds, no sophisticated effects pedals, upright bass and putting on a show. This was just the right band for this slot in a fantastic mix and varied approaches to the blues.
Now followed the two top acts, many were waiting in anticipation for The Blockheads to take them back down memory lane to their teens. There is no doubt that Ian Dury is missed and this is a tribute to the great lyrics, what a songsmith, that he produced and keeps the music live and fresh. All of the songs people wanted to hear were included in this dynamic expose of a very British eclectic mix of styles creating their own distinct sound. Opening the set with ‘Sex, Drugs & Rock n’ Roll’ they had the audience eating out of their hands as people whistled and sang along creating a real summer festival after a hot day in the sun feel. Yes, we had classic after classic including ‘What a Waste’, ‘Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick‘ and ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful‘ and yes we had lots of reasons to be cheerful with an electric atmosphere great music and still an act to follow, they would have to be good to keep the crowd on its high that The Blockheads had produced.
Lucky Peterson Band featuring Tamara Peterson… there was a palpable sense of anticipation, few people seem to have heard of Lucky Peterson and for those who had it was courtesy of albums and You Tube! No one should have been surprised by the quality of the headline act as Lucky has been preforming since the age of five and is the son of James Peterson so Blues is in his DNA and flows through his blood. Many of the festival goers were asking the question who could follow the Blockheads who had had the crowds eating out of their hands.. we soon had the answer Lucky Peterson Band. His band opened the proceedings which was to become a roller-coaster of musical delight. Canadian Shawn Kellerman took the front with his white Fender, with his choppy guitar playing, searing licks and provocative ripping blues straight from the hot southern States at its best; accompanied by the Rhythm section comprising of Tim Waites on his six string Bass and Cuban drummer Raul Valdes. The festival crowd were already enthralled when Lucky Peterson strolled on the stage and took his place behind the Hammond we were now going to enter the Church of the blues. This consummate professional calmly dealt with technical gremlins and got the lead changed on his mike – this was blues that soared over the valleys and melted in the hot evening breeze spreading and weaving its magic. Lucky Peterson had now shown his double threat stunning Hammond Organ playing and his powerful voice and the audience knew they were listening to the headlining act of the weekend that had just got even better! This was not the end as there were soaring mountain heights of musical delight still to be heard as Lucky stepped away from the keys and picked up is cool blue Epiphone; whose strap line is performance is our passion and Lucky Peterson was living proof that this guitar delivers a wonderful sound. This was going to be the set of broken strings Shawn, was playing with 5 strings, he had dug out a new string from bag and was looking for an appropriate moment to re-new the string when snap went the same string on Lucky’s guitar as he continued to sing from the front of the stage a distinctive, delightful version of ‘Little Red Rooster’ with a medley of blues favourites interspersed. What power to the voice as he sang without a microphone across the festival crowd as clear as a bell, with the Welsh always glad to sing-a-long and participate howled and barked into the clear night sky. Returning to the stage with the band filling in with its amazing combination of funk bass playing that was the best of the festival and there had been some amazing bass players; metronomic drumming and the glorious blues lead breaks from the guitar. Lucky resumed his seat at the keys and invited his wife Tamara to join him on stage as the evening just got better with her soaring funky vocals giving the late shift of the festival a high-octane boost. Then in a flash it was all over and the they left the stage… still always next year clear the diary as I am positive the team at Blaenau Gwent Council will be wanting to celebrate their 10th anniversary in style.
SATURDAY 13th July 2013 second day of live music in the sun starts Midday in Abertillery The signs have gone up – and here is a map or for sat navs postcode is NP13 1TZ
You know when you are nearly there this is the sign….
Midday today’s is the START of music, laughs, dancing and pure enjoyment!
Kicking of will be a trio of local artists a fantastic opportunity to showcase their talents:-
Gordon Wride from the Revelators
Sam Andrews Band
Touring the country Marcus and his band are delighting audiences with tracks from previous albums and his latest acclaimed album “Shake The Walls”
Grainne is a popular performer across the U.K. and Europe at festivals and popular gigging venues. Grainne has taking hold and made her own the classic blues number ‘I Would Rather Go Blind’.
Henry’s Funeral Shoe
Henry’s Funeral Shoe local band from Ystrad Mynach is a duo of talent brothers Aled Guitar and Brennig drums/percussion they are popular in the valleys and beyond having successfully performed in U.SA.
Nightporters are back touring! The kings of Rockin’ Rhythm and Blues – they are at Abertillery on the second night of the tour we are going to be dancing in the aisles and cheering them to stay if the reception from last night is anything to go by! see this clip
This is what they sound like from the archives:-
The Blockheads are the penultimate act and they will raise the temperature even higher! They will be pumping out to the crowd pleasing tracks for the past intermingled with recent creations wow this will be fun 🙂
Lucky & Tamara Peterson
What a headlining act at Abertillery this year! Lucky Peterson is an awesome talent – delivering world quality blues when singing, playing the guitar or on the keys he is a one man band of excellence.
His live performances are electric and everyone will be wanting more and the festival not to end sadly it will but I am sure Abertillery Blues Festival will be back July 2014…