Tuesday Night Brightened Devon Allman Live in Bristol

Tuesday Night Brightened Devon Allman Live in Bristol

Tuesday Night Brighten with Devon Allman Playing Live in Bristol

 

Tuesday Night Brightened Devon Allman Live in BristolKick starting the evening loud, Mark Pontin Group who had traveled over the bridge to open for Devon Allman once again tonight. His set had a jam feel that didn’t showcase the music from his albums. Joined by Gwyn Ashton slide guitar was added to the rock-blues mix. They certainly got the crowd ready and impatient to hear Devon Allman in Bristol tonight.

Tuesday Night was definitely brightened with Devon Allman Band in town to play live music at The Tunnels. We were in for a guitar driven festival of music that hits all the right pleasure spots. Devon, jams, moulding the southern riffs and licks with vocals that have a tale to tell. Tonight Devon dipped into his back numbers from Honeytribe through to the last three superb albums.

Tuesday Night Brightened Devon Allman Live in BristolThe band that surrounded Devon, had a raw energy that bounced of the tone and textural delight that is the winning combination that sets Devon above many other troubadours of modern song; his and voice, he warms the room, engages the audience and leaves them wanting more of his music. This is why the atmosphere was electric, the audience surged forward as Devon played from the edge of the stage. Tonight, weaving the numbers together from his three Devon Allman Band albums on this Ride Or Die World Tour, with artful covers and a dip back into time to the Honeytribe his glorious licks from his Les Paul, a beautiful listening experience.

Following on from a favourite opening number Wash In A, we stepped on the Ragged & Dirty trail with Half The Truth, with that familiar yell of inclusion from Devon as he got the crowd clapping. Flowed by the distinctive open cascading of notes leads us into Can’t Lose ‘Em All leading us as the dance rhythm hits into Devon’s vocals, rich more and emotive.  The room ant the The Tunnels was awash with the vibe of music that flows with an organic texture and form, not contrived this is music from the hearts, soul and talented fingers of every musician on stage. The interaction between Jackson Stokes animated playing and Devon was spellbinding it was music that you want every track to last longer.  The rhythm section, powerhouse to any band did so much more that keep the beat. Between bassist Justin Corgan and drummer Anthony Steinhaur they shaped the music; providing the strong base for Devon to fly from.

Tuesday Night Brightened Devon Allman Live in BristolFrom his time with Royal Southern Brotherhood, Left My Heart In Memphis joined the party, and it was a true Tuesday night party atmosphere as the wonderful lyrically driven Turn Off The World from Turquoise held us all in the hands of Devon’s guitar hands, with pick in his mouth and the fret board manipulated under his powerful direction.

Dipping into Honey tribe we heard Mahalo (Hawaiian for Thank you) from their debut album back in 2006, a wonderful instrumental that allows the instruments to communicate with you. The vibe is cool hints of Santana but one-hundred percent Allman a jam full of depth and wonder. We collectively thanked Devon for the music by loud cheers, clapping and dancing. We didn’t need any encouragement to participate in Bob Marley & The Wailers, No Woman No Cry. The Tunnels rocked on a Tuesday.

The music was an amalgamation that is all the strong with southern rock and the interpretations of the blues with Checking In On My Baby (Junior Wells); the music has a raw edge, slightly dangerous as Devon grins you are never sure what trickery will come out of the Les Paul. It always weaves its magic and tonight was no different.

Closing the set with Midnight Lake Michigan, we could not believe the time had flown by. The interludes and extras that Devon and the band blended into the set list let everyone shine a true celebration of music, live, dirty and energised. There had to be more in the bands tank of music. Yes, there was as they came back for a demanded encore. First, Devon teased us, with licks and riffs, named that tune. Before two numbers from Ride or Die Night Like This and Say Your Prayers. If we are good and say our prayers lets hope Devon Allman is back in Bristol real soon. As the last notes of the encore faded away with, we were all on a live music, Tuesdays just became a Saturday night as no-one was thinking about work the next day we had the uplifting melodies of live music, meeting of friends lingering in a haze of delights from Devon and the band.

You know it was a fabulous night when writing the review the music you choose has to be Turquoise, Ragged & Dirty & Ride or Die. However, good words can be let live music do the talking for you the energy s dramatic, uplifting and the perfect tonic for a Tuesday night in Bristol.

Tuesday Night Brightened Devon Allman Live in Bristol

Royal Southern Brotherhood @The Globe Cardiff June 2014

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Mark Pontinn Band - Globe June 2014 - DSC_2713lSwansea based and British Blues nominated Mark Pontin Band opened the evening as The Globe started to fill, including many of Mark’s fans who had travelled down the M4 to Cardiff. Mark fitted his band around the Royal Southern Brotherhood equipment, as he delivered an accomplished set full of favourites that he delivers with a mix of covers given the Pontin treatment and self-penned numbers from his début album Days Of Destiny. Opening with Albert King’s Cross-cut Saw, title number from his album, Buddy Guy influenced Own It and the Best Blues song nomination – Just One More Day. The temperature was rising as was anticipation for the main act of the evening as The Royal Southern Brotherhood visited Cardiff the capital city of Wales for the first time, many in the audience were going to experience the live sound for the first time.

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Out on the stage came the band, with five multi-nominated artists who bring a heady mix of talent and styles, The rhythm section is Yonrico Scott (Drums) and Charlie Wooton (Bass) providing a very special back line full of exciting playing that drives the music along. Into the mix we have Cyril Neville (Percussion and vocalist) and then the guitarists stage left Devon Allman and stage right Mike Zito, both adding vocals and different guitar styles the sound is electric and exciting as they do battle on stage.


 

rsb-heartsoulbloodThe set list was a mix of the inevitable tracks from their acclaimed second album heartsoulblood on Ruf Records; including Ritual which combines the driving southern rock guitar of Devon Allman and the vocals of Mike Zito and then some blistering solo guitar from Mike which whipped up the audience along with Let’s Ride and World Blues, introducing the audience to the river of sounds that makes this album so special. The mix of a powerful Devon Allman solo and the vocals of Cyril Neville on Moonlight Over Mississippi from their début album Songs From the Road is full of hefty sounds that reverberate through you connecting the audience with the musicians through the power of sound. Then there was the bass solo from Charlie Wooton during Could Get Dangerous; letting the two guitarists and Cyril take a breather as the rhythm section took centre stage. It was mesmerising showing what the bass delivers in the background to keep the music tight, and with that it was Yonrico’s turn for a solo spot.. then the rest of the band rejoined and the music played on with Shoulda Known.
 


 
Into the mix of styles of funk, Latino, blues and some special magic of flowing harmonies and layers of tones and textures we have the vocals of Cyril delivering the title track from his album Magic Honey. This is a band whose music ebbs and flows like a river, one minute in full torrent rushing down to the bay and then slowly meandering as musical styles are drifting along as they interpret the music and deliver quality full of heat and passion.
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The encore was not long enough for the majority of the audience who would have been overjoyed if the band had played on and on; but they had to be contented with Melissa, the iconic Allman Brothers track and the inventive re-working of Rush’s Working Man. The crowd was left ecstatic, emotion delivering music that hits you in the solar plexus and sears into your musical soul and makes your heart beat that little bit faster and the newly acquired fans were delighted that the band took time to mingle chat and sign the albums just purchased. The Globe heard some special music tonight that will seep into the fabric of the venue and stay with everyone who heard and saw some classy live music tonight in Cardiff.
 

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EUROPEAN & UK TOUR DATES

29th June: Italy – Piacenza Del Mississippi al Po

30th June: Greece – Athens Volume 1

1st July: Italy – Ameno Ameno Blues Festival

3rd July: U.K. – St. Ives The Guildhall

4th July: U.K. – Kent Hop Farm Festival

5th July: Norway – Skaanevik Skaanevik Festival

6th July: Norway – Bremanger Opplev

CD Review – Mark Pontin Group – Days of Destiny

Mark P Group

Days of Destiny on Moochee Records is a début album that is delivered with confidence and demonstrates the raw, natural talent of this power trio led by Mark Pontin with his distinctive vocals. This confidence belies the tension that is described in the notes on the long and winding journey that has eventually resulted in a CD any band would be proud of delivering; throughout the nine self-penned tracks Mark has retained the authenticity of the group’s live sound. The title track ‘Days of Destiny’  sets the tone with its driving guitar and bold vocals this is a power trio that has a story to tell you through music and words combining rock and blues to make a wholesome honest sound achieved by some excellent production by Mark Pontin and Tim Hamill, (who also plays the Hammond organ on some tracks).

There is no doubt that this album demonstrates the full range of Mark’s voice that can be warm, then gruff, stern and mellow depending on the context of the lyrics. The guitar solos are not the long meandering lead breaks that stretch out the length of a track but add nothing to the texture and tone of the music, every one of Mark’s solos are there for a reason and add to the whole musical experience as demonstrated on ‘Outcast’. However, stylish the guy up front is he is nothing without the rest of the band and the rhythm section are simply superb providing a stable platform of immaculate timing from the combo of Alun Walters (Bass) and Christopher Baglole (Drums & Backing Vocals) The influences are there to be spotted throughout the album, with gentle nods to styles and approaches, the ghosts of Stereophonics and Stevie Ray Vaughan are captured within ‘Just One More Day’; creating a Pontin sound that I am positive will soon be as recognisable. ‘Traffic Lights’, one of my favourite tracks, has Mark’s growling out the lyrics; whereas the other stand out track has to be the slow blues intro on ‘Fallen Down Again’ followed by another song of strong lyrics with the opening lines of “ When I needed rain, All I had was on the line, I asked for holy water, You gave me holy wine…” and throughout that lovely blues melancholic sound produced by the whole band. The surprise sound, I was not expecting a Hoax sound within the collection but here it was on the penultimate track‘Forever On the Run’; what a glorious sound Mark has produced with the combination of powerful lyrics, vocalisation and that driving guitar sound phew definitely goosebumps-up-the-back time.
mark logo This is a debut that sells the band and it is definitely worth making a trip to see them, the promotion from this project should see the band at gigs and festivals throughout UK and Europe; though this does mean that they will be playing less often in South Wales – our loss will be your gain! On every listening this album reveals a little bit more about Mark Pontin and his band and is a sweeping zephyr of fresh Welsh air sweeping through the blues rock scene this is not jaded and a regurgitation of what has gone before – Days of Destiny is for me in contention for album of 2013, why it has it all, great song-writing, strong guitar sound, melodic backing vocals and a driving rhythm that melds and weaves together to create a live sound that you want to hear again and again.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD a doodle rating of
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Available at Mark Pontin Store

Catch the band live throughout the Autumn – check out the website and sign up to the newsletter click here for information