From the first note you know this is a blues album that will delight everyone who enjoys high-energy R’n’B with its mix of five classic covers and eight original songs that never stray from the track. This is safe blues music taking you back to a bygone age; that makes you smile, want to kick off your shoes and dance and then listen again. This is a band that has honed its style over years on the road and recording numerous studio albums, delivering their own take on the good time blues and boogie mix. Tim Elliott’s vocals are strong on every track and with his distinctive harp sound adds tonal depth and clarity to the tracks such as ‘Cadillac’. ‘Money’s Tight’ is a slower beat with great boogie piano, and lyrics that are so relevant today they resonate with the feelings of many and show that R’n’B is still the perfect idiom to connect with people; this is a clever track that is written by Sandy Tweedale, whose guitar and backing vocals shine throughout, and particularly in ‘Try Anything Twice’. This is a studio album that has a live feeling due to the fact that on every track you can hear that these boys from Livingstone are having a great time and want you to have one as well. There is no doubt that this is a cracking album – it is a great clean sound delivering that high tempo feel-good feeling that makes it a great CD for driving to, partying to and definitely when firing up the BBQ this is a hot album full of fun. As the guys say on the title track… this is the real McCoy.
Mike Sanchez and his U.K. band does not have a set list they let the music flow and the crowd is welcomed to shout out the numbers that are special to them creating an eclectic and inclusive set of blues, rockabilly and rock and roll delivered with style by Mike and his band of superb musicians. You cannot avoid being taken in by Mike’s giant warm personality with buckets loads of charisma that is natural and you know he is enjoying bringing joyful live music entertainment to you. The numbers ranged from Little Richard, John Lee Hooker, Fats Domino, etc… The supporting cast to the luscious piano delivered by Mike were his regular U.K. Band comprising of Drums, Mark Morgan; Double Bass, Nick Whitfield and Guitar, Tom Bull provided a clean/tight back-drop for Mike with the combination of fine musicianship that was balanced and created a whole. There is no doubt that the double bass, Nick’s weapon of choice provides a special timbre to this style of music and Nick delivered top drawer double bass throughout the evening and the solo interludes demonstrated why this instrument provides a tone electric bass however played simply cannot deliver. Tom Bell produced some wonderful guitar licks delivered with a subtlety that made them a delight delivered with a twang and whole lot of soul, Tom made the guitar strings purr in a delightful contrast to Nick’s double bass strumming. Half way through the set out strode Sarah Wynne, Mike’s wife of one week, who took over the vocals and the tempo definitely went up a notch or two, enabling Mike to show everyone what a talent he is as a keyboard player and the chemistry between the two of them was electric.
By the end of the night, The Met @ Abertillery was a rockin’ and a rollin’ with lots of audience participation as they took to the space at the front of the stage to dance the night away creating a tremendous live event feeling, that makes live music so intimate and special. Mike, who played the local festival in 2011, gave a great plug for Abertillery 2013 and a lucky person in the audience won two weekend tickets; and Mike even hinted to delight of his many fans listening tonight that he could be at the festival n 2014! He then went straight into great rendition, with his own twist and musical turns, of Welsh rock star Dave Edmunds ‘Deep In The Heart of Texas’; delivering the approval of the audience. Also included was a clever, entertaining medley of great classics that was Mike’s version of ‘Name That Tune!; the medley included ‘Whole Lotta Love‘; ‘Boom, Boom,Boom‘; ‘Shake Your Hips’; finishing off with Mike playing the Maracas ‘Bo Diddly‘; this was pure fun to watch, hear and be part off. Mike’s expressive face made Howlin Wolf’s ‘How Many More Times‘, fresh and alive this is how covers should be performed; not as an exercise to show off the riffs, chords and beats that you have learnt but as a celebration of a classic number. To end the show he had the audience eating out of his hand, loving every moment as he took random request after request, his repertoire is quite staggering. Wow! What a brilliant evening everyone was truly entertained.
Liz Aiken Photography has more photographs click here
The support tonight was provided by a micro version of Dave Migden & The Dirty Words, comprising Dave accompanied by guitarist Joe Gibson, and what a fine duo they make delivering some superb covers including Taj Mahal’s ‘Fishing Blues’ interspersed with stripped back versions of numbers from ‘Killing It’, their recent acclaimed CD; with Reverend Jack Crow being quite sublime in this pared back acoustic version. This was a great performance including some new tracks demonstrating once again why they are storming the circuit at the moment and were definitely an ideal opening act, with Dave’s voice and their own unique and stylish take on the blues, for the only UK gig of Ian Siegal and The Mississippi Mudbloods. This was a sizzling evening which started on top form as the band opened up with ‘Picnic Jam’; featuring Luther’s slide guitar skills and great harmonising interplay between Ian and Luther. And layered on top of this wall of sound is Ian’s voice what a start to a set that just got better and better with the bar being constantly raised as they just played to ever higher standards. This is a band that enjoys the music and interplay between them and they never forget that it is audience they have to please so this is not a self-indulgent performance but one that takes the crowd with them who enjoyed every note and would have been happy if there had been no curfew and the band could have played on through the night.
The performance of ‘I am The Train’, which has developed into a great live number and is simply just fantastic and shows why this track has been nominated in the 2013 British Blues Awards, shows why the song has become synonymous with the latest album ‘Candy Store Kid’; This format with Luther on guitar allows Ian freedom that is not always available in the trio format, so his voice can really dominate and the extra guitar gives another layer of sound and when Luther plays the slide there is a rawness that slinks and slithers you all the way back to the darkest depths of a dirty prehistoric swamp… with the support of a superb rhythm section comprising Cody Dickinson (drums) and Carwyn Ellis (bass) to complete the sound sketching that draws you ever deeper into the darkness of a swampy bayou; as evidenced by the low down dirty rendition of ‘King Fish’. Then my head almost exploded as an old Siegal favourite ‘She’s Got The Devil in Her’ hit the airwaves; which has appeared on many a live set list and always performed differently as the story and musical techniques are developed – tonight was a simply superb version – for me it was sex on a guitar! The ending of for me an all too short set was a jam with Luther being experimental with the creative use of feedback creating a hauntingly effect an resulted in an unexpected creative finish. The evening would not have been complete without Ian; finishing with a moving tribute to Big George a truly fine Glaswegian bluesman, who has been an important part of Ian’s life; ‘Take a walk in The Wilderness’. The encore a clever rendition of ‘Hard Pressed’; with various tunes threaded through including Prince’s Sign of The Times; and closing with a beautiful version of ‘Forever Young’… phew what a fizzing evening of music which delivered the full gamut of emotions, the atmosphere was hot and steamy and everyone was energized by a great event of live music.
There is no doubt that the music played tonight by both acts is blues that is relevant modern and the sound of now, it is not trying to recreate a sound of yesteryear but taking the genre to places that need to be explored. This is music that is a live sound thus firmly rooted to the original bluesmen and women who toured and played to live audiences using equipment and techniques available; think what their talent would be producing if they had the resources available in the twenty-first century! I am pretty darn sure it would be very different from the traditional and dare I say it often bluesy Blues being produced by bands that are scared to loosen the apron strings of ‘blues tradition….
Missed this brilliant gig – Ian Siegal and The Mississippi Mudbloods are back in UK later this year appearing at various venues including at Gloucester Guildhall, 7th November 2013 The Flowerpot, Derby on 8th November 2013, courtesy of RAW Promo and Carlisle Rock & Blues Festival 8 – 10th November 2013, which includes two performances including the Mudbloods unplugged.
Federal Charm – Federal Charm on Mystic Records – Release Date 15th July
Federal Charm have been getting a lot of attention and that is not surprising with the PR and management support; but never mind the hype – does this début recording live up to the pre-release chatter – Bluesdoodles says yes, with a little ‘y’ – this is a band full of potential who have delivered. Federal Charm are a quartet of skilled musicians comprising: Nick Bowden, lead vocal & guitar; Paul Bowe, lead guitar; L.D. Morawaski, Bass and Danny Rigg, drums, who draw on a veritable list of styles though they are not boxed in by them. They have yet to really stamp their own style that makes them really stand out in the crowded arena of mixed genre bands borrowing licks from the blues and rock riffs from the 1970’s. What this début offering though does offer is a fresh modern sound, they are not retro. This is achieved by 11 self-penned tracks that means the material and sound produced suit the individuality of all four members; yet this is an album that conveys a neat fitting collective sound with a sparkle and fizz that makes the CD such an enjoyable listen. The quality of the production by John Green and the band keeps that raw edgy live sound and the addition extra musicians including keys and slide guitar add another layer to the sound but do not dominate so that it is the quartet that shines throughout.
The sound produced is British through and through and thankfully there is nothing that is faux American. They are reminiscent of many a rock band that borrowed from the blues because it is a genre they understand, enjoying the beat, and riffs but do not want to replicate the blues sound but add the in-your-face honesty of rock.
From the first track this is a band that plays with vim, vigour and vitality they are storming your stereo just as they would storm a stage creating in essence a live sound. The recording process has not misplaced this young band from Manchester their raw, earthy sound from the vocals through to guitar riffs and beyond. The only cover on the album ‘Reconsider’ showcases the guitar skills of Paul tipping his hat at Freddie King, as they rearrange Lowell Fulson’s ‘Reconsider Baby‘ they retain the laid back feel then suddenly for no reason the tempo changes and it should, like a poor re-mix interlude, have ended up on the cutting room floor. ‘Reaction‘; with its bluesy ballad feel is a strong track but what lets it down for me is though the introduction is a full sound leading into the vocals, it is simply too long. This is a common theme throughout and repeated on The Stray which for me is my favourite track; with its swirling guitar and strong vocals and the feeling that this is the real Federal Charm. On the plus side there are no long tedious over played guitar solos, the instruments are allowed to shine through as they blend together creating a sound that with a little more re-fining could provide a truly distinctive hook on which Federal Charm should hang their second CD. Tone down the rock dial and turn up the funky dirty blues that are hinted at throughout the recording. This would ensure that Federal Charm are the sound of 2013 and beyond and with their level of skill they do not need to look over one shoulder to the 1970’s stadia rock groups but a raw live embodiment of the spirit of the age today as they develop the building blocks of the past but not replicating them. This is a great first album and will definitely be one I will listen to and I am looking forward to seeing them live during 2013 when they visit Wales.
6th ROBIN 2 – Wolverhampton
New Generation Blues Tour featuring Mitch Laddie/Laurence Jones Band & Federal Charm
9th HOLMFIRTH PICTURE DROME, Holmfirth
10th THE RITZ, Manchester
16th PATRIOT CLUB, Crumlin
21st BEAVERWOOD, Chilsehurst
22nd BOOM BOOM CLUB, Sutton
29th LIMELIGHT CLUB, Aylesbury
Dave Arcari arrived with an impressive array of string instruments Banjo, his solid electric is a National Resolectric Junior, a shiny Silver National Style O and the one I describe as the black beast which is more precisely a National Delphi; both of these have been custom-made for Dave by National so they produce that Arcari sound the trade-mark of artist who in his own words delivers ‘Fucked Up alt. Blues! Delivering some exciting tracks from his excellent new album “Whisky In My Blood” including the fantastic track ‘Cherry Wine‘ showing a gentler side of Mr Arcari well know for his hell raising guitar playing and stage presence. Included in this opening set of an evening celebrating Trevor Steger’s 50th birthday in Babajack’s hometown, was some of Dave’s classics including Blind Lemon Jefferson, ‘Hangman’s Blues’ and ‘Stagolee‘.
As ever Dave played like a lightning storm heating up the Re-Con so the temperature was definitely tropical rather than a mild British spring evening and the crowds were loving it. What made tonight’s performance was Trevor and Becky joining Dave with a fantastic performance of Johnny Cash’s ‘Blue Train‘ As the video demonstrates that this was a collaboration that produced a stellar performance and everyone was delighted, excited and entertained, this is a live music moment that though captured on camera you really needed to be there to get the full on effect of the energy and good-time vibe they produced.
Now for Babajack’s showtime tonight a new addition forming a trio with the addition to the line-up; electric bass player – Adam Bertenshaw; storming the stage as on home turf they were at their confident best full of energy, vim and vitality. The crowds were enthralled and delighted as Becky delivered heart stoppingly beautiful vocals whilst providing the trade mark out of Africa percussive rhythms courtesy of the stomp box, African drum and the cahon combined with the 2013 British Blues Awards nominated harmonica player, who also plays acoustic guitar and wine box guitar which he makes himself and provides great vocals Trevor and providing a layer underneath this was the bass addition provided by Adam. It is no wonder that Babajack is so popular where ever they play. No Babajack set is complete without their trademark songs from previous albums including ‘Money’s All Gone; Death Letter’s Blues’ and ‘Gallows Pole’; this is not a band trapped in the rut of tradition every rendition is given the Babajack treatment giving the songs a modern and exciting edge whilst remaining true to the very soul of early blues music; understanding what made the likes of Leadbelly so very special. Trevor’s vocals are always a delight and tonight there was a roughness perhaps picking up the gravel tones of Dave Arcari, and demonstrating why there is such a great synergy between these talented artists; this was especially apparent on ‘Burn All The Bridges‘ and definitely added another tier of emotion to this powerful song.
Not only has Trevor been nominated for the British Blues Awards; but the title track of their last album ‘Rooster Blues‘ has been included in the final voting round of the Kevin Thorpe’s 2013 Award for Original Song – so Babajack will be celebrating long after Trevor’s 50th birthday is a distant memory. as well as old favourites interspersed throughout the set was tracks from their much-anticipated new album “Running Man”; this was an opportunity for Becky to thank all the contributors to making the album possible, this was received with a cheer as so many supporters were standing enthralled by the music at this sell-out show. A work song, ‘Hammers and Tongs’ was a duet with Becky on vocals and Trevor on harp, not a guitar in sight using a chain gang style, was effective and was for me the highlight of a wonderful set. Another new song from forthcoming album “Running Man”, ‘Falling Hard‘; followed by a dramatic rendition of ‘Skin and Bones‘. What an evening of full-on entertainment which included a rousing birthday song to Trevor; an end to a fantastic evening of music at The Re-Con in Malvern but I am positive Babajack will be celebrating throughout 2013…
Before the show, I had a quick chat with Derrin:
What was your first musical memories growing up in Australia?
My source was my Father’s vinyl collection BB King, Led Zepplin, Jimi Hendrix, it was all down to his good taste, opening my eyes and ears to blues and blues-based music.
Other than your Father’s Vinyl’s, who were your early musical influences in Australia?
Australia has a rich source of musical talent including Jeff Lang, Chris Wilson, Geoff Achison and Tommy Emmanuel, and in the days prior to the internet it was much harder to link up; but these three great guitarist; singer/songwriters showed me that I could make a living out of the music I loved.
Did you always want to be a musician?
Once I picked up a guitar yes! I felt an immediate connection; I started off on electric when I was 15 and lucky for me it came easy, I naturally seemed to understand the guitar and developed my skill splaying in bands playing blues/rock for 5/6 years; at 16 I dreamed of being the ‘White Aussie Jimi Hendrix’. Then I found acoustic when I was 23 and this felt right, this is what I wanted to work with the acoustic guitar spoke to me and let me explore the areas of music that I connected to and spoke to people. The acoustic expresses feelings and personally the electric guitar cannot compete.
Who influenced your song-writing?
My song-writing has been influenced by many people and music and lyrics heard whilst travelling been about my own experiences; to name them all would look like a list but the two that definitely are at the top of the list of influences are Bob Dylan and Richard Thompson.
Are you considering bringing the Dylan project that you were involved with last summer to the U.K?
NO! in one word, it was great fun and sold lots of tickets and was very, very popular, we all had a great time, Ian Parker myself and Spanish guitarist Miguel Banon. The trouble with the project ironically was it was too popular; and we could quickly be tagged as the Dylan cover specialist and that would then be what audiences would expect from me every performance.
How Do You View the Current Live Acoustic Blues Scene in U.K?
The circuit is vibrant with plenty of good acts; and the use of social networking and the internet makes it easier to find gigging venues that are thriving and to connect with both established and new audiences that appreciate my style of delivering the blues. Having toured the U.K. since arriving here from Melbourne 10 years ago, I am busier than ever so no complaints from me; you do have to adapt with changing times and good promotion is vital with the growing importance of all the strands of social media.
Last Year also saw a new CD; how does this differ from your previous albums?
Yes, Distant Empires, this is different from my previous albums, it is less of an introspective on personal experiences it is more outward looking. Writing an album is a long process and has a world perspective and has been a good challenge. When writing for a new project I tend to get the chorus and music then build around this, though during the process the chorus often gets modified! The finished result is my latest album ‘Distant Empires which is a little bit different.
What plans do you have for the future?
Well going to take couple of months off over the Summer and then start touring with a band later this year, touring as a duo has been great fun but feel that it is time to change.
Now on with the live music event review.
The evening was kicked started by a stylish upbeat solo performance by the ever popular local talent John Lewis, who always delivers a foot stomping and lively set with his mix of self-penned and a selection from his vast lexicon of tunes that are the very best from Rock n’ Roll/Rockabilly discography of the 1950’s & 60’s. He has a wonderful tenor voice which brings passion and verve to the set, combined with skilled traditional engineering skills when his faulty amp played up a kick quickly resolved the issue and the show was back on track. This is what a supporting set should be great music, entertaining repartee and being left wanting more, whilst looking forward the main event of the show.
A quick change-over and Derrin Nauendorf and Rick Foot were on centre stage, and from the off the audience knew this was going to be an evening of fine musicianship, with Derrin demonstrating the power of the acoustic guitar; he certainly uses the whole instrument getting a great percussive note out of the wood at the sides which amplify the words and emotion of this singer/songwriter’s superb songs. Adding to the emotion is the superlative Double Bass playing of Rick Foot whether plucking or using the bow, Rick gets every ounce of emotional tension out of the instrument as the growl and oft mournful notes grip your very soul and tug at your heartstrings. This is a duo that delivers a full sound that makes you feel good about live music and certainly gets those endorphins going – so it was no surprise to me that spell-checker gave me the option of endorphins for Nauendorf, a really fitting suggestion. The two sets delivered a mix of Derrin’s self-penned work from previous albums and his latest Distant Empires’ which since its release in October 2012 has been receiving critical acclaim; and into this heady mix some interesting covers.
‘Ghost Town’; gave Rick foot the opportunity to use the bow on his double bass creating such haunting sounds that perfectly complimented Derrin’s beautiful guitar skills and melded in and accentuated the lyrics and Derrin’s melodic voice. The other sparkling gems included ‘Shipwrecked’ and ‘History Repeating’ & ‘New World Order’ from Distant Empires, demonstrating how this album is different from previous recordings with outward looking lyrics and shows that Derrin’s skills are growing developing and changing. This is not an artist in a rut that he has formed and frightened or unable to get out, which is why every live performance is different and he will always put in something different and unexpected – tonight it was in the second set with an acoustic version of Rolling stones; ‘Wild Horses’; as Derrin said “Stones for a Tenner!” Also it was an opportunity for the audience to have a sing-a-long which was enjoyed by all. The next surprise was the totally mind-boggling awesome acoustic Hendrix/Pink Floyd medley. The Duo started with ‘Voodoo Chile’ which then melded into ‘Another Brick in The Wall’ and back to ‘Voodoo Chile’; illustrating what it is possible to accomplish by an acoustic duo when in the hands a pair of master musicians – wow the audience loved this.
What made this evening of live entertainment so special was the interplay between Derrin and Rick throughout the set served as an object lesson in musicianship of the highest order, which they combined with warm, friendly interaction with the appreciative audience. Then they were both happy to chat with the audience and sell the CD; one thing for certain this Duo is welcome to come back to Barry very soon; this may have been the first time the duo had played in South Wales but I am sure it will not be the last!
A packed house at, Odin’s Rock Club was geared up to be entertained once again by four acts, with ‘Henry’s Funeral Shoe‘ as head-liner. The evening started off with an acoustic act, Richard Gardner, the former ‘Circle Of One’ axe man who delivering powerful ballads delivered with an edge a mix of self-penned and surprising acoustic covers including AC/DC’s ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’; this was not a soft and gentle set it had a deep down dirty feel to it at times. Richard was followed by two local South Wales Rock Bands. First storming the stage with a full-on sound are local act ‘Dead Shed Jokers‘, delivered superb riffs and a solid sound, that showed this band were not joking about the delivery of rock that and twists of influences from Sabbath through to Muse that raised the temperature of the crowded venue.
They were quickly followed by another local band, ‘Fireroad‘, featuring Richard Jones as the band’s front-man, who played in his youth with Tragic Love Company the fore-runner of what became the Stereophonics. This band knows how to entertain delivering a class act that musically tilted their hat at the Phonics whilst have an originality that certainly got the crowds dancing to great songs from their album delivered with verve and energy playing great tunes by a band that really enjoyed playing together.
Then the head-line act that with a flourish this energised duo, Henry’s Funeral Shoe, stormed the stage with verve and energy that burned out of them delivering a high-octane mixture of their distinctive sound that defies pigeon-holing. They are definitely delivering spot-on music that is outside of the box whilst true to the roots of the sound they create they deliver song after song that is progressive blues rock with a large spoonful of attitude and a generous shake of punk. The brothers Aled on guitar and vocals and Brennig on Drums create an enormous sound that grows and grows as they shape their instruments to deliver a truly unique sound that pleases their growing following of dedicated fans. This is music that is different at times challenging but still accessible and pleasing to the ear, the pair are not different for the sake of it they are performing blues that is Welsh, edgy, rocky but still true to its original roots. Brennig’s percussive and powerful drumming leads the music on a journey that engages with the audiences with exciting use of sticks which he throws into the air catches and never misses a beat; he is the heartbeat of the band. Whilst Aled at the front displayed slide guitar skills that were simply awesome producing a swampy sound that merges with drum beat and at the same time soars above the rhythm section, which combines well with his gravelly rich voice adding texture and another tonal layer to this complex mix, that definitely does at times tip its hat to the Texan Blues/Southern Rock sound. Henry’s Funeral Shoe produces a full sound generating a quite unique take on the genre and is a band to watch out for and they are destined for success on the blues circuit having performed throughout Europe and USA and delivered two albums to date. These two a true showmen, who have drunk deep at the well of originality and merged this onto a solid backbone of blues that could only have been honed down at the crossroads; wow what more could you ask from a live act – stunning slide guitar and exciting colourful drumming hitting the right tempo every-time; no wonder everyone wanted more…. they could have played on and on and no-one would have complained.
This gem of a festival is returning for its ninth year… once again in the majestic setting of Abertillery Park, deep in the valleys of South Wales under the shadow of the Arael Mountain. The now familiar tradition of a big top circus tent and comparing supplied by Bob and Norm from GTFM; famous or is that infamous for their Monday night blues show who last night previewed the line-up for what is going to be a fantastic weekend of music from Friday 12th to Saturday 13th July with TEN confirmed acts and a special mystery band to be announced in May…
Another great Abertillery Blues Rock Festival line-up and a mystery guest which is all very intriguing and adds to a sense of excitement and anticipation so all very intriguing – the waiting game may be for the final act to be announced BUT that sold not stop you getting your ticket NOW as the line-up is already very exciting with a mix of local, national and international bands already lining up to entertain you. In addition to the bands the beer tent will keep you refreshed and once again Rhymney Brewery will be supplying Festival Ale; in addition to the beer tent will be food and hot beverages available throughout the weekend and camping once again as been laid on very near to the festival grounds. All this for a weekend ticket costing £40 (Friday and Saturday tickets are also available separately) and camping at £10 for the weekend including motor-homes.
The music will be provided by:-
Vincent Flatts Final Drive – The band originated in Birmingham, and from the sound they create you would be forgiven for thinking Birmingham, Alabama – not the West Midlands famous city! They blend together an energetic Southern Rock style with a swirl of ZZ Top all mixed into the blues cocktail shaker with a generous slug of Jack Daniels.
Mick Pini Band – Mick performing live is a genuine real deal he does not use pedals or effects, just plays his rare 54 Strat that strikes every emotion as he makes the guitar sing, squeal, weep and moan, this is smoking blues from a real master.
Jo Harman and Company – Is stoking up a musical storm and her reputation is growing which has been further enhanced by her debut CD Dirt On My Tongue Jo is a comet on the rise and will delight the crowds with her stunning rootsy blues voice and world-class band they will create a perfect storm of music that will have the festival seeing a real star of the future.
Headliner for Friday is the ever popular – Mud Morganfield returning to the festival by popular demand. Bringing to the festival authentic Chicago Blues, Larry “Mud” Morganfield, eldest son of the legendary Muddy Waters, who was naturally drawn to music from a very early age. close your eyes and it is difficult to distinguish between father and son so everyone is going to be treated to a legendary end to the first night of Abertillery Blues Festival.
With less than a week to go and tickets going fast what better way of dispelling the late winter blues than Theatre of Blues Festival in Shrewsbury Friday 5th and Saturday 6th April
The first Festival at Theatre Severn, was a resounding success as the review published in Blues Matters shows; definitely one of the many highlights was the talented young singer/guitarist Blues Boy Dan who was for me the find of the festival; what will they be pulling out of the hat this year? Blues Boy Dan will be making a special appearance at the festival this year following the recent news coverage in The Standard
5th April – Friday Night at The Lion Stage, The Lion HotelGetting the festival of the a flying start at 7pm – is the talented Jenna Hooson
The Legendary Slack Alice and headlining a quality evening of live music is the award-winning who are without doubt one of the UK’s most exciting and original crossover blues band 24 Pesos.
6th April – Saturday 2pm – 11.30pm. at Walker Stage, Theatre Severnopening the day of exceptional live music are The Drivetones a local band who always pleases, followed by the delightful Bex Marshall fresh from her successful tour of U.S.A.
the ebullient and energetic Tim Aves & The Wolfpack will certainly energize and delight the audience with blues straight from Chicago town. Fuschi 4 bring their own funk blues to the proceedings they definitely wow! festival audiences when ever they play. Dani Wilde will certainly add some glamour combined with her gorgeous voice and beautiful guitar playing and the band are excellent musicians in their own right this will certainly up the tempo even further. The topping the evening of is the Six-string Svengali himself all the way from Texas Buddy Whittington what a finale to a line-up that will definitely thrill and delight you. Live music at its best.
Another evening of Acoustic delights at West End Club Barry, local acoustic artist Cal Newman got the proceedings going and the atmosphere warm before ‘Rag Mama Rag‘s’ set which promised from the off to be a little bit different as there was an array of instruments on the stage and a pair of musicians. Ashley Dow, (Henderson Acoustic Guitar, National & Dobro Resonator Bottleneck Guitars, Weissenborn Acoustic Lap Steel, Ukulele and Vocals) with Deborah Dow, (Harmonica, Washboard, Percussion, Spoons and Backing Vocals); they utilised the full plethora of instruments during the two set show demonstrating their skills and how each instrument adds something to the party of Country Blues or Back Porch Blues. This duo takes you back to a period when music was played to entertain without a myriad of effects and is Americana from the 1920’s and 1930’s with their mix of Mississippi Blues, East Coast Ragtime, White Country, mixed in with other regional styles delivering a mix of covers and their own compositions.
This accomplished duo did a great version of Skip James’ ‘Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues’ along with a range of songs from their wide ranging repertoire. The enthusiastic audience participation during a real sing-a-long number ‘No Matter How She Done It’ helped to create a great atmosphere. The second set opened with a Hawaiian Guitar 1860’s instrumental, ‘Rally Round The Flag’, displaying the intricacy of this instrument played with a steel bar creating its own unique sound. All the songs were performed with enthusiasm wit and passion but like their name ‘Rag Mama Rag’ was ragtime tunes which suited their instruments and voices so well as demonstrated in ‘The Hesitation Blues’ by Rev Gary Davies and the great audience participation by the very willing crowd at The West End Club who definitely had fun during the well known and much loved ‘Jitterbug Rag’. The set was very interesting and thoughtful & well structured with a mix of Americana styles including an Appalachian tune, hill music often gets neglected in many musicians set lists, the great dance number ‘Little Liza Jane’; was such fun to listen to and more acoustic acts should explore this rich vein of songs and tunes.
Once again Mike Duggan achieved a great live music event, with a packed room, great act, good choice of beers at the West End Club looking forward to the next gig already – Derrin Nauendorf with Rick Foot at The West End Club on Friday 19th April – contact Mike or on 07561143114.
A preview of what you can enjoy on the 19th April 2013:-