Bristol – Trio of Bands, Women, Punk Revival and Politics

Bristol - Trio of Bands, Women, Punk Revival and Politics

Trio of Bands, Women, Punk Revival and Politics

Opening the proceedings of a night organised by Victoria Bourne of Husky Tones are a young band Drunken Butterfly. The trio is retro punk with modern lyrics. At times it was so retro it was nostalgic, bring back memories (well for the older members) of a diverse audience at The Louisiana tonight.

Tonight the trio bought energy as they performed their own numbers form current EP and a cover of PJ Harvey a big inspirational force on Darcie, bassist & vocalist, Alice guitarist & Katie on drums summing up the power behind them with the slogan Girls Unite. The band is raw and youthful as they open tonight’s proceedings; With Sister, Not all Men and Socialist in The City, title track of the EP with confidence they played a new number performing it live for the first time tonight,; Good Bye Union, reflecting on Brexit. Drunken Butterfly with hints of many bands from the past including Poly Styrene have the potential to make a noise that will be long appreciated on the music scene.

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Bristol Trio of Bands, Women , Punk Revival and PoliticsNext Husky Tones, a duo that re-defines what combining  vocals, guitar and drums can achieve. Tonight the music was loud, punk-blues fitting in with the evening. Victoria Bourne & Chris Harper have a wide catalogue, always shaping the music to the audience.  Opening with Round The Wrekin from the inspirational album Who Will I Turn To Now. The title track a salutary tale of the reality of the UK benefits system in 2017.  The music fell out of the speakers with spirited, raw attitude from the power of the sticks and the sublime edgy and raw licks of the guitar. . Momentum; one of the highlights live with the combination of Victoria’s drumming, vocals, strong lyrics and  deep chugging rhythm from Chris’ guitar.  The upbeat party vibe lifted the mood These Hips Are Made For You, fast furious and still angry hence ‘punk-blues. Short set, including to celebrating living in Bristol for six-years a Portishead cover, Glory Box they may have sung the lyric-‘ I’m so tired, of playing’, truth is we never tire of listening to the duo that is never afraid to stretch the blues with punk and fun.

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Bristol Trio of Bands, Women , Punk Revival and PoliticsClosing the night, the legendary Rita Lynch. Rita has sung punk since the days in London with her own band in the 1980’s. He fame rose as  bassist in Bristol band Blue Aeroplanes. Her music is always edgy politically motivated and so much more. Rita creates sonic imaginary as she explores social, philosophical thoughts and sexuality . Music with a clear message.  Closing with an authentic true Punk Rock sound with hefty chords, great rhythm guitar from Rita tonight augmented her voice as she stood on tip toes to deliver here recognizable sound.  The set was accomplished weaving in tones of Patti Smith, Pat Rook and The Kinks. A very infectious sound played by a top-notch performer.  The set list was full of numbers and we were left wanting to hear more; opening with Tied To You , with hope and losing included this was a set where the lyrics covered the hurt and never-ending cycle of life, at the heart Hope. We all say thank you Pandora for leaving that in the box.

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Tonight, we heard three bands united by feminist lead attitude. Led by three strong musicians who happen to be women and for once women on the stage outnumbered the men.  A great night of local music celebrating beliefs, hope and above all punk inspired entertaining sounds and lyrics that cut through to the heart of the issues. Long live music and welcome the day when fairness and equality is a reality not a hope.

Who Will I Turn To Now for a Conversation Has To Be Husky Tones

Who Will I turn To Now for a Conversation Has To Be Husky Tones

Who Will I Turn To Now for a Conversation Has To Be Husky Tones

 

 

BD: I was delighted you asked Bluesdoodles to review Husky Tones latest album Who Will I Turn To Now.  It is an album very different from the previous one size of band downsized and upsized the energy.  Victoria: Ha Ha, That is a pretty good summary!)

Before we talk about touring and the album Husky Tones will be a new band for many so Bluesdoodles readers be interested in getting to know you, Victoria Bourne & Chris Harper the Husky Tones.

 BD: What were your first musical influences?
VB: 
First albums people like John Lee Hooker – The Healer, Buddy Guy other influences were Blondie, Patti Smith huge huge influence who kick started my love of music as a teenager. ABBA when I was eleven laughing my little secret no more. I loved all the depressing albums about divorce that was quite fun laughing and Howard Jones was in there too, enormously into Prince I saw him as a teenager and a lot of rock bands through my brother including Metallica, Rainbow so huge variety and a lot of classic as a teenager was added into the mix. I was quite random what I listened to at University Pearl Jam and Madonna danced to her songs.

We didn’t have internet as teenagers who can listen to wide range of easily accessible music. Now teenagers, have YouTube, music is so accessible. We have got into and listening to a lot of Gun Club, PJ Harvey & Iggy Pop two current favourites from 2016 along with contemporary classical music people including Steve Reich among others listen to them a lot when studying music.  I did a Contemporary Classic degree in Music prior to that did a course in Musical Theatre at Trinity, London. I really thought musical theatre was what I wanted to do, but then thought I do not want to be in a show for six months, singing the same cheesy musical theatre songs. That was when I met Chris, I auditioned for his band and started our journey thirteen years ago at the time doing Indie Rock. As they say the rest is history!

The influences continued including Jeff Buckley, Radio Head as you talk you think of so many influences.  At the moment listening to Blues Rock, Bonneville’s from Northern Ireland and Guadalupe’s Plata Spanish Blues-rock then people like RL Burnside, Cedric Burnside, one of the best gigs I’ve been to like a juke joint in a tiny bar in Bath.  Local man Bob Log, Hill Country Blues has been a huge influence.  Everything and anything can be an influence even our cats name is Osvaldo named after contemporary classical musician Osvaldo Golijov, The cat got the name as this was who we were really into when we got him. Golijov, the musician not the cat! Wrote some amazing music around the Spanish poet Lorca’s work.

BD: How did the unusual combination of drums & vocals come about.
VB:
I like to be different! I learnt the piano from the age of four. I realised that I would not be able to combine piano and vocals to the standard I would want to play. I would always want to play the piano to a higher level not as a chord-led accompaniment. I started playing drums and loved them the power and energy.  Starting with my kit. I have an unusual blend of cymbals, people usually have one brand. But I got some Zildjian and Sabian mix of bright and dark. I chose my cymbals by closing my eyes so couldn’t see the brands using the sound they produced as the selection criteria.  In the crash ride, I have a Sabian which sounds like a massive gong it sounds awesome, it is huge which is brilliant especially for big events.  I have a little Zildjian splash which is a dark at twelve inches it is one of the bigger ones. I also have a Zildjian dark ride to get this really deep and dark sound really very different to the Sabian. Then on the other side, I have Zildjian Crash and Mastersound high hats quite common but the bright version. So I have a mix of bright and dark, cymbals are quite personal and this was the sound I wanted. The Sabian was great when recording with Stuart for the latest album as it had real power. I have them in strange positions compared to other people I have them quite low but that is because I am singer it is a visual thing as well on stage. Others gave combined vocals and drums; Cedric Burnside, other women who have combined the two, Karen Carpenter a phenomenal drummer, contemporary artist Cara Robinson and Donna Dahl based in Memphis.

It is a very strong thing to do at the same time,  drumming it is very physical, it is getting that fine balance between drumming and vocals especially now we are quite loud so that you can hear yourself live so as not to be shouting across the drums.  It is hard to do the two together but it is fun. When we were recording I had the luxury of doing them separately, which was beautiful. Now when playing live I pull my voice back, slightly sexy, gentler way of singing. It is harder as I get out of breath, I wouldn’t not to be on stage without an instrument. Now we are a duo we have been changing how we deliver the songs. For example, Island of Barb Wire I come from behind my drums and to the front of stage concentrating on my vocals. We are looking at having more opportunities to come to the front even if for part of a song. Part of the stagecraft, we enjoy jumping around front of the stage. Another example of variation throughout the live show is on One Good Reason, in the middle section I move away from being behind the drum kit, sing my vocals front of stage and then go back. Helps to keep the audience engaged with me as lead singer and become part of the Husky Tones stagecraft. Can be a bit of a nightmare at festivals where the drum kit is right at the back of the stage.  I do enjoy jumping up and down at front of the stage.

BD: Why did you choose Drums out of all the Instruments? What made Drums so Attractive?

VB: In fact it could have been keys, trained to play piano. Especially when teaching I play piano for my students. Piano would be too difficult to do both. It would take a huge amount of practice to be as good as I would want to be doing it in the blues. Thinking about chord structures and singing on top would just not work for me. Yes, playing three chords backing the vocals is fairly straightforward but not what I wanted to do. Guitar tried in the past, I hate how it hurts your hand. Thought about Bass but that was learning a whole new instrument. I started dabbling with percussion about 10 years ago when we had our own studio. I used to teach a blues singer who was also a drummer. I was also involved in the electronic music scene I used a basic drum kit doing weird electronic things, loops etc. started from that. When thinking about a band the drums are always nightmare so tempted to give it a go. Started 4-5 years ago with a small kit without a kick drum, really cheap so said I would give it a try and really liked it. So bought a cheap kit, had some drumming lessons, Ken Pustelnik, from the Groundhogs, who I knew from the music scene. He gave me some lessons, his way not the way a college would teach the drums. I learnt on the cheap drum set-up which I used until I was sure that I wanted to play drums. The reality was I loved it went crazy for it.  Practiced loads, went off and did gigs after year upgraded to a Yamaha. Year later upgraded to the kit I have now which was very expensive a Gretsch Renown Mahogany not made any more so very special, beautiful instrument. Gradually added cymbals sold those I didn’t like and ending up with the set I have now. Takes time to build up the kit I enjoy it. It is interesting that the piano is percussive as well so has strong connection, started learning piano when I was four. Lessons through rogue teacher like Ken meant that I didn’t follow traditional structures initially people questioned the way I played asking what I was doing. In fact on this album I don’t think I play a single shuffle. Each song has different pattern that is something I aim for, audiences get bored If they hear the same over and over again. I have also been studying punk drumming which is fun. Been long and continuous process. You have to be fit for three-hour gig and sing.  Drums has been the instrument I have most enjoyed playing.

 

BD: On the album you Husky Tones are a duo is that now the format you will be touring with? What are the advantages and will the three-piece be back?

Chris H: (joined in with his perspective) Now there are just the two of us it is easier to keep a handle on what we are doing. We are freer to jam our way into different corners of the music. Now the two of us can rehearse every day. One of the problems with the four-piece was difficult to all get-together. Plus now only one standing up front I have a different pressure. Enjoying being a duo we said let’s do this getting very quickly feeling good. It was scary at the beginning, you do not have the safety of numbers when part of a twelve piece. Chris as only one standing up has nowhere to hide. When the Crowd are on side at a good venue you will have a good time. We had to re-write older stuff for the two of us; whereas the new album was written for the duo Husky Tones. It is getting easier now bookings coming in now are for us as duo no one expects to see the band now. The promoters/venues have heard the new stuff and reacting positively some exciting gigs lined up for 2017.  VB: Plus all the re-writes are getting grungier

We only changed because Liam lives in Swansea and was not financially t working out for him plus clash of commitments with his other bands. Matt bassist got more successful than he thought it would be found this difficult. It had been suggested that we should be a duo and we are loving it.  The transition for the tour with two weeks rehearsal it was a great chance to jam together. Now we have more material written for the two of us, new album and it is only our availability to worry about.

Now we have Skegness to kick the year off the set will be a mixture of songs from album, older stuff rearranged and some acoustic numbers we have leant that we have to be ourselves trying to adapt and second guess what the audience is expecting doesn’t work. We know that Husky Tones is not going to please everyone. Our Blues will be too loud for some we are definitely not a traditional 12 bars. We know that we will only be pale imitations of what we are copying. Have to remember that many of bluesmen seen as traditional like for example Elmore James they were cutting edge. Need to think about what will reflect the times. No artist has ever stayed in one place.

BD: Tell us a bit about the making of Who Will I Turn To Now – and deciding on Stuart Dixon to produce the album and deciding the studio space

VB: We got on with Stuart really well. We didn’t know we would, having had really bad experiences making the first album. We had three or four pre-production meetings with him and though he is pretty cool. When it came to the sessions completely got what we were trying to do. He knew what microphones to use, the settings. He knew how to get the best out of us both.

We started off recording drums and guitar at the same time. These are all one takes so no chopping, he would make us play until the take was right. Two/three songs where we completely re-wrote the drum part we actually put in some real African drums into Jungle Blues. And then following re-writes had to learn them in half a day and record the tracks it was tough and challenging but was good improving the songs so much.  Chris as well did lots of Electric, acoustic and slide guitar. Then the vocals were recorded over a couple days loved recording them separately can concentrate and focus on the voice so songs sound so good.

Then added other bits like Wah wah on Jungle Blues and other added extras on top of the recordings.  We laughed a lot. The whole ten days. The view at Platform is a lake it is just stunning such a beautiful atmosphere to record in.  Stuart third wheel of the band for that week, he got involved, very intense and we were all on the same page. He would come up with ideas so everything was improved working for ten days on album was amazing very proud. Another benefit, as the two of us we could book in a solid period where as with the band he has to work around their diaries. We were there for the mixing and he then mastered it. He cared about it so got it right.

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

VB: Always write together always have, lyrics and music.  We ask what shit experience can we use from your past can we use this time Victoria.  Who Will I Turn To Now, was a reflection of the less than positive experience of signing on after my masters. Let’s make that generic lots of people unfortunately, have experienced get door slammed in face by those who should be there to help. Relatives in the past luckily have to draw on.  My Gt. Gt. Gt. Uncle was interned inspired Island of Barb Wire.  Looking for interesting things in your family. Round the Wrekin I use the phrase a lot it is a Midlands colloquialism going long way round a gift for a song. Momentum, build up people getting together deeply political about protest and the right to protest. Then there are the cheeky ones like These Hips Were Made For You little personal love song.  Drawing on things that mean a lot to us have a meaning. Writing is a continuous process I have some ideas. Some take a long time. With lots of re-writes to get lyrics right some are from the newspaper articles of the time and how the interns were actually referred to. One of us will start and then we will tidy them up, we try to avoid clichéd, the obvious.   Bits of lyrics, riffs sometimes lie around and have left overs from the album.  We created too many songs probably have enough for another album, we wanted to make sure that the songs we chose will be the right mix.  Love jamming it comes as it does not have hard or fast rule sometimes it’s a riff, drums or a line. We are a bit obsessive and crazy we work at something every day.

BD: What plans do you have to get Who Will I Ask Now? Noticed?

VB: We do our own PR. For two reasons, we have no money to pay someone. But it is not the main reason we trust ourselves to approach and deal with people in an empathetic way. So far we are getting lots of notice, played on Paul Jones on BBC Radio 2, just before Christmas from an album we sent in September. Done lots of research on how to write to people who do blogs, contacting magazine editors etc. How to format things, what they like to be informed about and getting lots of interest from a wide range of people. You have to do a lot of work yourself to make it happen. This one is doing all right actually with the people we are contacting.

BD I am sure you have many plans for 2017 and beyond for Husky Tones

VB: Album Launch 25th Feb Crofters Bristol, Benjamin Bassford will be Pay What You Can reflecting the album’s songs highlighting that people can’t always afford to pay for a gig. We are going to pre-record some interviews co-op environment homeless group refuge and relating to songs and what can do to help.  Going to Isle of Man to perform Island of Barb Wire for my Uncle live acoustically and video it as part of the album launch. Last event in a fans house, many may be more acoustic, in London with more than one song.  Hopefully if it works to go out on Facebook as live performance then put up pre-recorded interviews. Later in 2017 tour and number of festivals including Field Good Bar a Women’s Music festival in Bath. Headlining on Saturday night others in the pipeline so keep checking our website.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
VB & CH:
Drums:  Cedric Burnside
Bass:  Tina Weymouth
Guitars:  Ry Cooder, Bob Log
Vocals:  Patti Smith
Backing Vox:  Jeff & Tim Buckley
Sax:  PJ Harvey

 

Bluesdoodles Review of  Who Will I turn To Now HERE

Tour Dates: HERE

Who Will I Turn To Now asks Husky Tones with Attitude

Who Will I Turn To Now asks Husky Tones with Attitude

Who Will I Turn To Now asks
Husky Tones with Attitude

 

Husky Tones, not as you have heard them before. This is the raw, urban blues with attitude which illustrates the direction Victoria Bourne and Chris Harper have taken the duo.  Previously a four-piece band they now with have the energy of Victoria and Chris harnessed to the full on the new album showcasing their unique interpretation of contemporary blues as they ask Who Will I Turn To Now. The answer is Husky Tones for modern blues, described by them as Punk Blues. This is blues that is fresh, full of zing and attitude, slightly zany but always melodic and with textures that have grit this is a sound to get your teeth into.

The punk element is that these are songs of pain, protest and self-belief. Husky Tones, want you to sit back and go on a journey of discovery and self-awareness with blues that is for the here and now full of relevant beats and chords that hit the mark as Victoria spits out the vocals with melodic charm.

The album, Who Will I Turn To Now takes you on a journey via the power of Victoria’s drumming, the eloquence of her vocals and the guitar that radiates the texture of blues with attitude as Chris makes the six-strings purr, howl and jump for joy.  Opening with Round The Wrekin; a West Midlands colloquialism taking the longest way to get to where you want to be a description says Victoria of the musical journey her and Chris have been on.  The opener certainly hooks you in with guitar licks that make you want to learn more about the duo with a sense of the dramatic. Throughout the album, they remind me of the Two Timers with the depth and at the same time sparsity of sound. They know when to make a statement loud and clear and then they take the foot off the pedal. Jungle Blues is an example, here Victoria uses her voices as another instrument before picking up the lyrics laid bare above Chris’ guitar licks full of moody intent, reflecting the political message as we empathise with those caught in the refugee crisis. Perfect follow on to Momentum, with its optimism found in protest.

Half-way through an acoustic number has the power that silence and reflection hold. The Island of Barbed Wire is based on the experiences of Ludwig Dollitz, Victoria’s great uncle, interned on the Isle of Man as a German residing in the UK during WW1. The feeling of powerlessness resonates from a century ago to the global events of now. The rhythm is deep and strong on the title number Who Will I Turn To Now? Personal experience gives the words a passion and truth as Victoria explores her (she is not alone) experience of the Benefits system.  Making you feel invisible, unimportant, worthless.

Then we are ready for fun and Husky Tones deliver that with upbeat party vibe These Hips Are Made For You, fast furious and still angry hence ‘punk-blues’. Closing with World’s End Lane, the album brings this part of the Husky Tones narrative using blues to a close. The album leaves you feeling emotionally drained yet empowered. Ready to protest and have an attitude that music is a force for change.

The album recorded at Platform Studio, Reading produced by Stuart Dixon has captured the essence of now. The feeling of loss, we want change, we want things to be better, fairer and a safer place to be.  Husky Tones have set down the marker and the duo will be getting attention as they hit the road and the progression of this dynamic pair will be interesting.

NINE pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Round The Wrekin
  2. Momentum
  3. Jungle Blues
  4. One Good Reason
  5. Island Of Barbed Wire
  6. I Worry About Nothing
  7. Who Will I Turn To Now
  8. These Hips Were Made For You
  9. Put Your arms Around Someone You Love
  10. World’s End Lane

Support Husky Tones Result Second Album Recorded

Support Husky Tones Result Second Album Recorded

Support Husky Tones Result
Second Album Recorded

Husky Tones asking for your help to produce our second album, the follow-up to the debut on Time To Change . The second album is always a challenge and Husky Tones, Victoria Bourne, and Chris Harper will be delivering their exciting, contemporary twist on the blues as a duo.

The songs are written for the punk-blues album with working title Who Will I Turn To.  With Victoria;s dynamic drumming and pure and emotional vocals combine with Chris’s guitar that sings and adds deep licks and memorable riffs.
Making an  album is emotionally challenging and expensive if you are going to make the songs stand out, support is need from manager Jerry DaCosta leading to the decision to record the album with the awesome producer Stuart Dixon.  Stuart understands blues without boundaries, his approach stretched the artist to deliver the album that they imagined and dreamed off.

Listen to the little taster riffs in the videos without much vocal deliberately so you can enjoy the finished record in full. Any help you feel you can give will mean so much this is one of the only ways for albums to be made. Its going to sound fantastic.Who Will I Turn To Now?’ This will be recorded in Nov 2016 at Platform Studios, produced by Stuart Dixon and released in 2017. They are represented by Robmont Music and will be appearing at national festivals later this year and touring Europe in 2017.

Original punk blues album by Bristol-based duo Husky Tones

Support Husky Tones Result Second Album Recorded

 

Sisters Bring Blues and Friendship To The Stage

Sisters Bring Blues and Friendship To The Stage

Sisters Bring Blues and Friendship To The Stage

 

Sisters Bring Blues and Friendship To The Stage Tonight Celebrates the long tradition of women vocalists and the blues. Five members of the Blues Sisterhood UK hit the stage at The Convent. This consisted of the five acts and a Q&A session between each act all streamed live via Netgig. Without weeks of planning, hours of rehearsals tonight was the outcome of short collaboration and run through. Achieved by  women supporting each other and producing the goods, two hours of music and smiles. Massive thanks to the dual forces of Matt Roberts at The Convent and the powerhouse that is Kaz Hawkins without this collaboration tonight’s unique celebration of the blues would never have happened.

The sound check ensured that the three drum kits, four guitars, three bass guitars, keyboards and five vocal mics were ready and waiting for the show to begin on the stroke of nine when the Convent stage went live on air. The logistics in place for the night was going to be a rollercoaster of energised music celebrating women, blues, and rock.

Tonight was all about celebrating female vocalists and their contribution to the contemporary British blues scene. A wall of sound started the fiesta with all the artists on stage, the three drum kits merged the guitars blended and the groove was deep in this mass 12-bar jam. Kaz started off the vocal jam as the five women vocalists sang I Believe, the baton passed onto to Olivia, Andi, Lorna and then Victoria and back again. Wow! this was music that raised your heart beat capturing the community of music that binds us all. We had the pure joy of stage magic in action. With the acts leaving the stage, Bluesdoodles had the first interview session with Kaz. The first band was Husky Tones with Victoria combining vocals and drums, everyone knows Victoria is in charge as she joyously points drums sticks first at Chris Harper on guitar and bassist Matthew Richards. With a mix of blues slow, and fast this as a set that left you wanting to hear more. Husky Tones certainly gives blues a lift with style and smiles, closing with a new track, potentially the title track of their new album, they certainly gave the show Momentum. Then from the first duet of the evening singer Olivia Stevens of Ruby & The RevelatorsOlivia calmly walked on stage joining Frazer Wigg on keys. The contrast worked well with a stripped down take on the blues. Olivia’s vocals were full of emotional tone and texture adding layers of blues power. Her set of four songs was a mix of originals with Shattered Not Broken particularly capturing the sorrow and the hope of the blues.

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The music empowering women to continue growing in strength whatever life throws at them. Next up a complete contrast as rock band Eve’s Secret took to the stage. With Bluesdoodles interviewing their up-front vocalist Andi Hall before they started their set. Rock is the next door neighbour of the blues and the links are strong. Andi Hall fronts the band as a rock diva with her bassist Jeanette (Tig) Kirkham and the two women joined by guitarist Bruce Drummond and drummer Dermot Hall. The rock flared out of the stinging guitar and hard-hitting drums and Andi’s vocals powered through the three tracks, including Bad, Sad, Glad. There was definitely an air of the bad vibe, the music they played was definitely not sad and they were definitely glad to be rocking out at The Convent tonight. The tempo changed as the Northsyde duo Lorna and Jules, sat side by side on stools. Jules on acoustic guitar and Lorna with her voice. The power seared through the night air with vocal colour, emotional texture and empathy with the heart and soul of the music. This was a delightfully different dimension to Northsyde. A marvelous acoustic duet with Lorna and Jules playing in complete stripped down harmonies. The acoustic vibes of the Allmans reshaped poured out as the blues from the porch recreated this was definitely a set you wanted to hear more of. Laid back, musical and dipped deep into the essence of the blues.
Up last and definitely not least was Kaz Hawkins Band with her larger than life stage presence. Vocals that wrap around you, drenching you in layers of emotions, from the travails, joys and hope of life. Gospel meets Blues with buckets of soul Kaz supported by her band that combines deft touches of guitar from Nick McConkey his solos contrasting with Kaz’s vocals. The rhythm section brothers, drummer Peter Uhrin and Janny on Bass. There couldn’t be a better act to wind up the fiesta celebrating women in the blues. Even with a short set Kaz’s energy, class and joy she shares when performing shone through. What a phenomenal performance as she sang Soul Superstar. Kaz is a superstar. With all the sisters joining Matt and Bluesdoodles on the sofa for a group hug and short chat the bands congregated on the stage. The jam kicked off with the drums and proceeded to gather momentum as the vocalists re-joined and the closing minutes were full of smiles, camaraderie and the shared joy of live music.

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Sisters Bring Blues and Friendship To The ConventThroughout the evening each of the vocalist took turns to answer questions from Liz, Aiken, Bluesdoodles. Providing an insight into inspiration, the role of the newly formed Blues Sisterhood UK it was a friendly, fun and informative interludes between the main focus of the even the glorious music. Tonight, was an impromptu celebratory festival of the Blues Sisterhood and it went not just very well, it exceeded expectations in brilliance, companionship and the power of coming together through the Blues.

Sisters Bring Blues and Friendship To The Stage

Big Thank you to Eric Hobson for some of the photographs used – check out his website HERE

Husky Tones ~ sizzling, modern blues rock: Tour & Album

Husky Tones ~ sizzling, modern blues rock: Tour & Album

 

Husky Tones 2-1

Husky Tones bring their own brand of sizzling, modern blues rock to their 2016 UK tour in support of their debut release Time for a Change. Feisty fronted by singer drummer Victoria Bourne the
Husky Tones approach to the blues mirrors what they love as audience members: inventive,
individual and fully aware of tradition without being a slave to it. Described variously as ‘exciting’,
‘inventive’, and ‘a breath of fresh air’, this dynamic quartet (guitar, bass, harmonica and the
aforementioned Victoria Bourne) pack a vibrant punch of modern blues with an energetic and
stylish presentation.
October 2015 saw Husky Tones release their debut album ‘Time for a Change‘ to great acclaim.

Here are some quotes from the press about the record:
‘The playing is a joy throughout from all the members, tones change, it is like a musical
kaleidoscope in variety, a stunning and entertaining debut’
Blues Matters
‘Blues that reaches deep into the heart and soul of the music’ <strong>Blues in Britain
‘This is a very modern blues album….it’s fresh, vibrant and full of attack’ The Blues Man in The Hat
‘Time for a Change is a superbly crafted modern blues record’ Bristol 24/7

 

Husky Tones ~ sizzling, modern blues rock: Tour & Album

 

Listen and watch video – I DARE YOU

 

Keep Checking for tour updates HERE

 

Husky Tones Tour

 

Album Cover Husky Tones 'Time for a Change'

Bluesdoodles review of Time For Change – HERE we said… This is a band drenched in the blues,.. a debut album that makes you want to see them live across the country, …an album that is worth exploring with ten fine tracks that always holds your music ear’

Listen on SoundCloud – HERE

 

 

 

Husky Tones ~ Time For A Change

Album Cover Husky Tones 'Time for a Change'

Husky Tones ~ Time For A Change
Independent

Time For A Change is most definitely a modern blues album, self-penned originals with links to the past but not tied up in knots with trying to recreate the sound of the many blues influences cited by Husky Tones. The biography of the band members instantly hints at why for a debut album the music has a polished honed feel there is a confidence in the sound they want to produce, they all have earnt their music spurs playing live gigs.

Sometimes, when the words contemporary and blues are used together it is a shorthand for diluted blues or music that nods to the heart and soul of the music, not so with Husky Tones this is a band drenched in the blues.

Husky Tones have achieved the difficult mix of contemporary tones and beats without losing the integrity that is the blues meaning that Time For A Change is an album that needs to be listened to carefully and re-visited so that the feel of the music permeates into your music DNA. It is worth it as the music hums along the vocals are strong and the harp playing deftly applied on the tracks a debut album that makes you want to see them live.
With the combination of roles, Victoria Bourne is both vocalist with beguiling husky vocals and drummer, the rest of the band add voice as backing vocals giving a lyrical depth. Matthew Ricards with deep bass completes the rhythm section and then up front is Chris Harper guitarist and blues harp player Liam Ward a powerful quartet of musicians.

The inspiration behind the tracks are standard fodder for a blues album, personal to the band are a failed marriage, criminal ancestry, struggle and then there are the vexations that life brings us, bad luck, paying bills and uphill struggles. This Bristol based band has captured it all in music that is tight and recorded in the studio replicating the live sound as close as possible for example Victoria’s drumming and vocals were recorded simultaneously on all tracks.
Ten tracks that ebb and flow with changes of tempo, one thing that is consistent is a tone that makes the Husky Tones have a definitive sound. I am convinced Victoria is both back and centre of the band she leads the music with her commanding vocals that have a colour that changes reflecting the mood of every song. Eight of the numbers are full on band numbers with superb interaction between the harp and guitar two tracks break the template. The slower, It’s A Bitter Love With You Every Time has the combination of mournful harp from Liam and Victoria’s vocals capturing a mood that is both of now and from the past. It is a blending of what make blues still a fresh and relevant sound this is a track that allows the musicians to explore the emotion of the blues. The second track out of the loop that works equally well in shaping Time For A Change, is an instrumental Daybreak, Chris’ guitar is sweet and Liam’s Harp playing divine as the chords and tone creates a dark blues based mood. Every note perfectly placed in this instrumental picture in sound.

Other stand out tracks were Uncle Walter opening with the harp and the guitar underneath reminded me of early Hokie Joint, then the vocals that shaped the story giving this a tonal landscape for this ancestor. Some twangs added to the guitar and a beat that gets the feet tapping Rent Party Blues revisits not having enough money and the blues that brings but remaining positive by having a “Rent Party”

Closing the album with the title track reminds you that this is an album that is worth exploring with ten fine tracks that always holds your music ear. Definitely a band to go out and see live as they promote the album across the country.

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

Track Listing

1. I’m So Happy I’ve Got The Blues
2. I Dare You
3. Uncle Walter
4. Shelter
5. Fortune Seeker
6. It’s A Bitter Love With You Every Time
7. Give Me Love
8. Rent Party
9. Daybreak
10. Time For A Change

The Band
Victoria Bourne – Lead Vocals and Drums
Chris Harper – Guitar and Backing Vocals
Matthew Richards – Bass and Backing Vocals
Liam Ward – Harmonica and Backing Vocals