Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

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

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

More about The UK Blues Challenge

What is the UK Blues Challenge (UKBC)?

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

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

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

How are the contestants in the UKBC chosen?

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

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

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

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

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

What are the selection and judging criteria?

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

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

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

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

You can read the full EBC rules here

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

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Rainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues Challenge

Rainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues Challenge

4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern Liverpool

Rainbreakers Talking About 2017 UK Blues Challenge


 

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

RB: Thanks for having us.

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

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

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

RB: To us the Blues is just good music that is soulful and portrayed with meaning. The blues has influenced almost the entirety of modern day music, so to us it’s a huge umbrella term covering a wide variety of different styles. We would say that the British Blues scene has just as much variety and depth as any of the styles we’ve seen coming from Europe and the US. The bands we’ve met from both places have their own unique style and are usually influenced by a melting pot of artists from both sides of the pond anyway. So, yeah the Blues here has its own feel as much as the Blues there has its own.

Rainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues ChallengeBD: Your latest EP is entitled Rise Up; tell us a bit about your EP and do you have plans for a full album.?

RB: The latest EP was a chance for us to explore our own songwriting and recording ability. We have a friend, Robin Andrews, who is an amazing Drum and Bass producer signed to Blu Mar Ten Music, and he was willing to spend time with us in our own studio to explore some different ideas and come at the recording process in a different way. The hope was always to use his differing background to most producers in the scene and see what came out of it. We were pleasantly surprised with the results and all of the feedback from reviewers and fans alike has given us huge encouragement to keep on experimenting with our ideas when it comes to recording again. For now all we can say is that we do have plans for another record. You’ll have to wait and see….

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

RB: The main task of the federation has and should always be to reenergize the scene in the country so that more people keep music live and try new ways to draw in the younger crowds because without the younger audience taking the mantle the scene won’t last forever. All they can do for now is continue to give new bands, like ourselves and the other acts in the challenge, a chance to perform in front of people and push their careers further. Without opportunities like this we couldn’t keep reaching new fans and keep performing.

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

RB: Good question!! We’d have to have the drummer from The London Souls, Chris St. Hilaire, insane rhythms and ability. Then with Chris Wood of The Wood Brothers, incredible player on both electric bass and double bass!! Oh and then we’d have Brian J from Pimps of Joytime as the frontman, great vocals and guitar work! Then for us it would have to be King Zapata from Gary Clark Jr’s band for his guitar work, both as lead and his playing ability as rhythm. That’s a band right there! Especially when you complete it with Mariachi Flor de Toloache, the backing singers and players from The Arcs, doing what they do best! If you havent’ heard of them, look ‘em up, you will be amazed!!

 

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

Rainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues Challenge

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge


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

ZSBC: It’s our pleasure… it’s going to be a new experience for us, and we are determined to enjoy the whole occasion, performing and listening to the other bands… we don’t normally think of music as being a competition… but it’s going to be a great night.  A big Thank you.

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

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

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

ZSBC:  Being born and raised here in the UK, the Blues to us the germ and seed planted by the British pioneers of the 60’s Blues Boom.  However, our influences have not stopped there, and we have just blended all our collective experiences into what we believe is OUR personal sound and concept.

  

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion Talks about 2017 Blues ChallengeBD: Your latest album is This Is The Life I Choose, to Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion, tell us a bit about the album, and is the title a reflection of your own feelings being a musician in Britain today?

ZSBC:  The title ‘This Is The Life I Choose’ talks about the fact that our current way of living which does not accommodate the existence of live music at all, it is simply not valued by a bureaucratic system that does not accommodate ‘art’.  However, we have no choice, it’s a desire and passion that overrides all else.  The song describes the hardships of making enough money to live on, but on the other hand describes the joy of making music no matter what.   Typically, the songs for this album are very diverse because once again we imposed no artistic restraint or prejudice to the way we felt like writing.

  

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

ZSBC:  Firstly, work towards unifying all elements of British Blues, bringing cohesion and unity, breaking down destructive and unproductive factions working against each other.  From what we hear, and understand, this very element ultimately fragmented and undermined the Blues Boom of the 60’s.

Perhaps the UKBlues Federation can apply for funding with a view to helping bands tour/record/promote.

Provide a central database of information, re venues, festivals, musicians directory, recording studios etc..

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

ZSBC:  We are very lucky that within our band, that the guys are not only personal friends of many years, but also have CVs so immense that they cant help but bring colour, experience, diversity and finesse into the melting pot.   Chemistry within a band is a huge factor.

Rob’s heroes include, Stevie Winwood, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Robben Ford, Matt Schofield.

 

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

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion Talks about 2017 Blues Challenge

4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern Liverpool

4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern Liverpool

 

4th UK Blues Challenge Announced At The Cavern Liverpool

 

 

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

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

The bands/artistes appearing are, in alphabetical order

Elles Bailey

LaVendore Rogue

The Rainbreakers

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion

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

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

 

 

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

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

UKBlues Federation supporting the 4th Challenge

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

4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern Liverpool

Joe Bonamassa UK tour 2015

jb 2015Photo Credit: Christie Goodwin

Following the recent announcement of Joe Bonamassa’s live DVD, Blu-ray and album, Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks, and his critically acclaimed 2013 studio album Different Shades of Blue, the internationally renowned guitarist embarks on 7-date UK arena tour during October 2015.

JOE BONAMASSA
2015 UK NOVEMBER TOUR
THE GUITAR EVENT OF THE YEAR

NEWCASTLE METRO ARENA
Wednesday 21st October 2015 – Ticket Prices: £45, £60, £75
Book Tickets Online:

LIVERPOOL ECHO ARENA
Friday 23rd October 2015 – Ticket Prices: £45, £60, £75
Book Tickets Online:

LEEDS FIRST DIRECT ARENA
Saturday 24th October 2015 – Prices: £45, £60, £75
Book Online:

NOTTINGHAM CAPITAL FM ARENA
Sunday 25th October 2015 – Ticket Prices: £45, £60, £75
Book Tickets Online: www.capitalfmarena.com

CARDIFF MOTORPOINT ARENA
Tuesday 27th October 2015 – Tickets: £35, £45, £60, £75
Book Tickets Online:

BOURNEMOUTH BIC
Wednesday 28th October 2015 – Ticket Prices: £35, £45, £65, £75
Book Tickets Online:

BRIGHTON CENTRE
Saturday 31st October 2015 – Ticket Prices: £35, £45, £60, £75
Book Tickets Online:

Download a free MP3 “Tiger In Your Tank” taken from the forthcoming live DVD, Blu-ray & CD “Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks”

Click here to download the song for FREE

The Midnight Ramble Sink The Pieces & High Time Live Double CD Review

Sink Th epiecesHigh Time Live
The Midnight Ramble
Sink The Pieces and
High Time Live
Independent – The Midnight Ramble

 

I was blown away by The Midnight Ramble when I heard them for the first time at Blues on the Farm 2014 this was a band that for me was the find of the festival so was delighted to have not one but two recordings from the band; A studio offering Sink The Pieces. (2012) and High Time Live (2013); High Time in the studio and Live on The Unity Theatre Stage .

Sink The Pieces is an eight track gem, and yes two do reappear on the next album and from the core of the stage show but they are worth re-hearing in slightly different forms. The opening track Lions greets you with a wall of sound from a carefully crafted mix of Rory Ballantyne on Trumpet, Nick Branton on Saxophone and Drums from James Hackett makes you sit up and want to roar like a lion, then we hear the lion roar in the form of vocalist and front-man Paul Dunbar and then into the mix is some deft licks from lead guitarist Mike Mcleod with a bass line driving and mixing it all together from Chris Pearce. If you have both albums, which are a great addition to a collection, you get a chance to hear a live version on High Time/Live proving that this band is as good outside the studio as it is in it! The album is produced and delivered with an assured confidence of a youthful band in a hurry to go places and stamp their mark in the music scene.
This is an album of eight strong tracks with Black Dirt standing out with a bluesy bass line with a simmering of jazz from Trumpet and Sax and the power of Paul’s presence pulling the song together, it is full of angry energy. The next track is a contrast smoother as Caroline opens with guitar licks that you will be humming along to very soon a quieter moody number that allows the lyrics and Paul’s voice to take the centre stage and he can sing with emotion and feeling. Paul is not only an assured singer of songs but he can write a mean lyric he has the soul of a poet and the heart of a minstrel. The sound is fresh, modern it is like many bands around a fusion of sounds; this is definitely a clever and balanced mixing of genres creating The Midnight Ramble vibe that drives straight home.

High Time/Live is no rambling it is music and vocals that is crisp, sharp and sets out their stall of musical potential of this young band, they want to be noticed and so they should. This album lets you get a glimpse of the stage presence and confidence of the lead vocalist Paul Dunbar combined with the guitar skills of Mike Mcleod as they deliver some tracks both ways and three new tracks. Southpaw Billy is one of these and this strong song we hear twice in studio form and live it has a real fizz of excitement combined with a hint of danger this is a song that goes along at a pace has a free form feel about it but at all times Paul is in control ensuring the shape is retained. The other two new tracks added are Last Thing on My Mind which flows and bends like your thought processes and has some delightful guitar cameos from McCleod to get his teeth into and the interplay between drums and Paul’s vocals again brings in something refreshingly different. Then there is the title track High Time with its mournful opening from Trumpet and Saxophone introducing a wistful vocal that has a breathless yearning in tone and great use of the backing vocals. Now we have been introduced to the new songs we have the delights of seven live tracks now the energy levels really are bouncing off the ceiling, this band may be good in the studio but they belong on stage playing live interacting with audiences.

I know a new album is in the offing and it will be interesting to hear the progress and get to know and explore a new set of numbers created and performed by The Midnight Ramble.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD  

EIGHT  doodle paws

out of TEN ……… pawprint half inch