Double Bill of Blues Delights, Kirk Fletcher Then Mud Morganfield

Muddy Waters re-visited at Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival

Double Bill of Blues Delights, Kirk Fletcher Then
Mud Morganfield

Memories and the music that is the sound portrait of his father. More Blues within the jazz with a double bill of blues delights, Kirk Fletcher followed by Mud Morganfield. Starting the late afternoon helping of the blues, Kirk Fletcher with Jonny Henderson on Hammond and Matt Brown on drums.

Muddy Waters re-visited at Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival The second trio of the afternoon, again like Robben Ford earlier, there is no bass player. Who needs a bass player when you have Jonny Henderson’s left-hand prowess. For anyone who says the blues sounds the same come and listen to Robben Ford followed by Kirk Fletcher, two trios with the guitarist and vocalist the main attraction, both from the USA; inspired by the roots of the blues from the Cottonfields of the Southern states of America. Kirk Fletcher is more intense dripping in blues licks, soul and emotion. Kirk Fletcher recognised by many as an outstanding blues player, having been lead guitarist for four years with The Fabulous Thunderbirds and as part of the Joe Bonamassa sound. Everyone, who loves the blues was saddened to hear the death of blues harmonica maestro James Cotton, it was no surprise that Kirk dedicated a number to him.

Double Bill of Blues Delights, Kirk Fletcher Then Mud MorganfieldAs the afternoon morphed into early evening no-one was running out of the hall as Kirk played Run, Run, Run. With a new album in the pipeline joining his four previous albums, a live one and three in the studio; we had a preview with a number dedicated to Stevie Ray Vaughan a stylish instrumental that blended the trio together. The afternoon set consisted of tracks from his repoitoire made alive with the power and energy of a quality jam as Jonny and Matt took up the blues challenge laid down by Kirk’s dynamic guitar playing. If you didn’t know you would have thought they had played together for years, rather than just for the festival as he heads off to Europe for a tour.  The good news is he is back in the UK in the autumn and will definitely be back in Bristol at The Tunnels. The set was smooth a cocktail of blues guitar with a new song included with Kirk exploring the eternal question Wish I Had The Answer. This is blues that is full of the whole palette and warmed the hall up for the second helping on the double bill Mud Morganfield.

Double Bill of Blues Delights, Kirk Fletcher Then Mud MorganfieldAs the band supporting Mud filled the stage it was the first harmonica, first bass and first grand piano, as we settled to enjoy the reliving of the blues power of Muddy Waters through his son Mud Morganfield brought up in Chicago by his mother and uncles, his father Muddy was an occasional visitor. He did not take up music despite being surrounded by music growing up until after his father’s death in 1983. Following a dream he decided to swap truck driving to being a professional blues singer with his vocals instantly recognisable in the similarity to downtown finger clicking Chicago blues as Mud Morganfield shared memories whilst creating a sound portrait of his father this is so much more than a tribute it is the reenactment, as near to the real deal as is humanly possible. We also had the first slide guitar of the day and it was deliciously sharp as Mud was dancing to the beat much to the delight of Colston Hall this evening.

Double Bill of Blues Delights, Kirk Fletcher Then Mud MorganfieldThe blues were hollered up in every shade with lead breaks and play from all the instruments in turn as hooks for Mud’s vocals as he delivered his father’s catalogue of classics. Mud Morganfield is the legacy that keeps the legend live on stages across the world. We definitely got our Mojo Working, as we met the Seventh Son and left with the Backdoor Man. The musicianship was fantastic and we all left with the soul of Muddy’s legacy ringing in our ears as we moved on to the next act at the Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival.

 

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Robben Ford Bringing Blues to Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival

Robben Ford Bringing Blues to Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival

Robben Ford Bringing Blues to Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival

 

Robben Ford Bringing Blues to Bristol Jazz and Blues FestivalColston Hall over the weekend is filled with music, from the foyer to the main stage. Opening Saturday afternoon Robben Ford’s guitar and vocals were joined by Hammond Organ supremo Jonny Henderson and jazz/blues drumming wizard Evan Jenkins.  This was Robben Ford bringing blues to Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival.

The audience sat in anticipation waiting for the fireworks to spark as blues meets jazz creating the sound that defines Robben Ford across the years. The set list was a journey through various albums with a cluster from his acclaimed current album Into The Sun. The trio worked perfectly with an intuitive understanding of where the music was taking them forming shapes and colours that sparkled; with Jonny and Evan playing off each other, opening up the guitar leads breaks for Robben, they sat above the keys and drums but never distant from them. The three musician’s synergy added to every number they shared with us, the audience who collectively purred with the delights of music of the quality as part of a festival that is five years on becoming an integral part of the Bristol music scene.

Robben Ford Bringing Blues to Bristol Jazz and Blues FestivalMy favourite moment was Rose of Sharon from Into the Sun with the Hammond’s chords and Evan’s drumming creating a backdrop where Robben’s guitar could fly with the six-strings sparking with energy and blues-drenched style. We heard a firm favourite the tribute that Freddie King, Cannonball Shuffle, for a few moments Robben brought the spirit of Freddie into the auditorium. Robben’s vocals were full of warmth drench in the blues with a story to tell, yet the trio raised the bar with the instrumental, from Bringing It Back Home. On That Mornin’ wow, I truly believe the audience collectively held their breath so nothing disturbed the music being delivered, we were all in a special, unique collective musical moment.

No one would argue, Robben Ford was on fire this afternoon for the Bristol Jazz & Robben Ford Bringing Blues to Bristol Jazz and Blues FestivalBlues Festival. This was a masterclass in blues guitar playing full of timing, emotion and the soul that makes blues blend and bend around the lyrics.

Closing out the afternoon with an authentic blues number, Set A Date, provided a perfect ending as jazz collided with blues and many will be Setting a Date to see Robben Ford live wherever and whenever he plays in the U.K. again.

 

Matt Schofield ~ Far As I Can See – CD Review

download (9)Matt Schofield
Far As I Can See
Mascot Label Group

Far as I Can See is a stylish album masterfully produced and played with style and panache, confirming once again that Matt Schofield is the real deal when it comes to modern-day electric blues guitarists. He takes from the past the bends, shapes and then moulds the riffs and licks into a shape that is instantly recognisable as his. Added to this is Jonny Henderson the maestro of Hammond Organ who adds so much tonal colour to the tracks from full crescendo of sound to gentle extended chords as on ‘The Day You Left’ the perfect underpinning when combined with the precision drumming of Jordan John. Throughout the album there are little sparkles of fat bass sound not courtesy of Jonny’s left hand but from Carl Standbridge using electric or upright bass. ‘Hindsight’; has a bluesy, jazzy late-night feel with the added dimension of some glorious horns from The Last Minute horns who play off the Hammond. ‘Oakville Shuffle’ the instrumental that allows the guitar to take control an don this track we see the addition of Denny Ilett doing the first guitar solo with a deeper jazz infused sound-scape the music swallows you up as Matt’s clear guitar sound comes to the fore. Matt’s vocals are not to be ignored they are so often overlooked as we listen to the guitar work, is this track a bit Hendrix? or is there a Satriani influence?, or Robben Ford? or SRV… sit back listen to the groove being created let Matt’s personality infuse you with bluesy funky delight like the almost jam like feel of ‘Getaway’ The version of Neville Brother’s ‘Yellow Moon’ is something very special with its funky Latino beat that makes the re-working fresh modern, love-it!. Followed by a change of tempo with some rockin’ straight out of Texas and definitely gets the feet tapping and brings a smile to your face. The final track ‘Red Dragon’ leaves you in awe of the musicianship you are privileged to have on your deck at home, Matt’s vocals are full of soul and hidden depths perfectly matching the tone created on the guitar a demonstration of the skills of Simon Law as sound engineer on the album. Far As I can See is blues guitar musical tonic for the soul.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD out of TEN doodle paws a doodle rating of

TEN ……… pawprint half inch

Album Listing :-

Matt Schofield - Far As I Can See - Booklet (2-2)