Bluesdoodles reviewed Cut Against The Grain “Aaron Keylock is a Cut Against The Grain Definitely on to keep watching a listening where will Aaron’s music journey take us? Get Onboard now!” – read the rest HERE
Tues 4th April: The Black Heart, London: Headline – TICKETS Sun 16th April: HRH Blues Festival, O2 Academy, Sheffield – TICKETS Sun 30 July: Ramblin’ Man Fair, Mote Park Maidstone – TICKETS
“A fabulous new talent” Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2 “Aaron Keylock is on the brink of international stardom” Daily Mirror – Top Tips for 2017 ““If anyone can shred like Gary Moore, this young buck can” Metal Hammer “The New UK guitar hero” Shindig “Toe-tapping electric blues beast” Total Guitar
Weds 24 May – Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh UK TICKETS Thurs 25 May – The Ferry, Glasgow UKTICKETS Fri 26 May – Arlington Arts, Newbury UK TICKETS Sat 27 May – Worthing Pier South Pavillion, Worthing UK TICKETS Sun 28 May – Mr Kyps, Bournemouth UK TICKETS Mon 29 May – Sage, Gateshead UK – Weds 31 May – Robin 2, Wolverhampton UK TICKETS Fri 2 Jun – Nell’s Jazz & Blues, London UK w/special guest Gary Hoey TICKETS Sat 3 Jun – Grolsch Festival – Shoppingen, GERMANY – TICKETS Weds 7 Jun – Tonelades – Valencia, SPAIN – TICKETS Fri 9 Jun – Leganes Blues Festival South Side – Leganes, SPAIN – TICKETS Sun 30 Jul – Ramblin’ Man Fair UK w/ Supersonic Blues Machine TICKETS
Bluesdoodles reviewedMiddle Of The Road – No doubting that Eric Gales is back producing the best music yet. Blues guitar with attitude, lyrics with a heartfelt understanding of the myriad emotions this album lays bare for the listener to explore and understand ….. Read the rest HERE
“One of the best, if not the best guitar player in the world” Joe Bonamassa “He is absolutely incredible” Carlos Santana “How Eric Gales isn’t the hugest name in rock guitar is a total mystery”Dave Navarro “This guy could be the best player on Earth” Mark Tremonti “Sounds like ZZ Top covering Stevie Wonder…If you’re looking for the blues album of 2017. This is going to be very hard to beat” Total Guitar 5/5 “The injection of danger and unpredictability that the blues-rock scene desperately needs…some of his best songs yet” Guitar & Bass 8/10 “The more you listen to it the more the brilliance of Eric Gales becomes apparent” Powerplay
Making Wednesday Rock at
The Marble Factory
Wednesday night, midweek low, no one informed the loud, enthusiastic Bristol crowd out to party and have fun with live music. Before the main event the stage and Marble Factory was filled with the German duo of The Picturebooks, Fynn Claus Grabke (Vocals, Guitar) and drummer Philipp Mirtschink. Alternative, primaeval with intense drumming and the acoustic guitar amplified. The rock is hard and heavy and the blues deep with very dark rhythms conjuring the dark history behind the blues. This is music that growls with the heartbeat of the drum booming through the venue. Returning to Bristol unsurprising the set was heavy with tracks from their new album Home is Heartache. The duo creating unique textures and tones that are mesmerising drawing you deep into the tribal grind of a combination for dirty acoustic layered with slide and the drumming that is hard and loud from a drum kit with not a cymbal in sight just a ships bell. The rhythms punch with heavyweight intensity on I Need That Oooh with its infectious chorus. With a metallic grandeur, Cactus filled the venue. The set was intense for everyone with Fynn & Philipp drenched in sweat, they really put themselves deep into the rhythmic groove they create and the audience is hot and excited the venue is now definitely ready for a Monster Truck fest.
Once The Picturebooks’, kit was removed from the stage, friends had time to catch up and then Canadian quartet Monster Truck took to The Marble Factory stage to a roar of delight. Vocalist Jon Harvey, centre-stage with his trademark toolbox to rest his foot on, with no monitor posturing he lets the classic rock do the talking. Completing the Monster Truck sound, fun loving hard rocking good-time music are guitarist, Jeremy Wilderman, on keys Brandon Bliss and drummer Steve Kiely. The set was heavy with tracks from the current album Sittin’ Heavy and the earlier Furiosity what a combination, a guarantee for a fun, energising rip-roaring Wednesday.
Opening the proceedings with Why Are You Not Rocking, the reality was the opposite we were ecstatic in the presence of great rock that had everyone jumping, cheering and empowered by music that hit home deep in your musical soul. Classic rock given a modern twist doesn’t get better than this. This is rock that is uncomplicated and honest delivered by a band whose stage presences is warm and the playing is tight and as Monster Truck are having fun playing it would just be stupid not to join in the party they are having on stage. The set rolled on with favourite following favourite the truck was rolling with charismatic power that was controlled, wild and infectious re-energizing as you connected to the music, hands in the air singing along to the words. With The Enforcer full of steely determination recorded it is superb live it reaches another energy level as the iron fist of the track the chorus line pulls the whole audience we want to be enforced by Monster Truck. One of many highlights on the night was She’s A Witch, as Jon Harvey sung, ‘that girls got a demon in her soul’ we all had the demon that is Monster Truck rock in our souls tonight.
The rock was rolling, the audience sang loud and full of pleasure as Sweet Mountain River, we all wanted to be in the city with the truckers tonight. It may be work on Thursday, but time and reality stood still tonight we all wanted them to play on and on through the night. The sheer quality of the set totally blew me away. No wonder tonight Bristol redefined Wednesdays as the new awesome live music night at the Marble Factory. Once again, words cannot do justice to the musicianship and power of live music, get out and see them for yourself you will not regret listening to the classic rock that is Monster Rock, riffing good fun with a tinge of blue.
With an encore of three wonderful numbers closing the proceedings with The Lion. The lion of rock definitely roared tonight thanks to Monster Truck. Come back soon. Monster Truck Making Wednesday Rock at The Marble Factory
With Eric Gales sitting in the middle of the tracks we know we are stepping aboard a musical experience that is anything but Middle of the Road. The eleven tracks do not take the middle ground they are assertive, full of intent and the energy is boundless from the vocals, stinging guitar and a rhythm section that rocks. In fact, the title reflects where Eric Gales a child prodigy who has experienced the good life and the bad as he says, “It’s about being fully focused and centred in the middle of the road. If you’re on the wrong side and in the gravel, you’re not too good and if you’re on the median strip that’s not too good either, so being in the middle of the road is the best place to be.”
Eric Gales is a renowned guitarist, his fans are many including Carlos Santana, Joe Bonamassa, Mark Tremonti from across the spectrum of music that rocks your socks.
Opening with a riff that just connects you to man and guitar as Eric says, ‘Now that’s how you start a record’ then the backing vocals picking up the chorus Good Time is the intention here with a gospel-fueled blues opener. The guitar sings with Change In Me (rebirth), and is a statement this is the new Eric Gales full of music and the drive to deliver blues that has a freedom as we all join him on a new road. The track is the anthem that holds the album together and a motto for many who want to or have changed something in their own lives.
Nestled among the originals is Boogie Man featuring Gary Clark Jnr; keeping the form of the classic whilst adding his own twist in Freddie King’s Blues. The interpretation of the cover fits in with the vibe of Middle Of The Road, with the inspiration drawn from the idea that whatever is happing the bad man is coming round the corner and you have to be on your toes.
The beat and tone changes with Been So Long; the guitar riffs are structured, tight with truncated phrasing with a reggae feel underneath the blues and the lyrics. Picking up the feel of the songs about giving yourself space and freedom to find yourself and be true to your own destiny. Free from the demons that have been holding you back. Half way through and the lynch-pin of the album takes us to a pinnacle of sound that is infectious and meaningful.
The blues now picks up the heat and drive of Texas co-written with Lance Lopez (Supersonic Blues Machine) and featuring Christone ‘Kingfisher’ Ingram a young guitarist that is setting Mississippi aflame. Reflecting that Eric has helped himself and now is in a good place to help others. As the song says Help Yourself first then reach out. Another song full of blues hooks that are about self-awareness. The album is reflective as Eric explores his past experience, but never self-indulgent it reaches out to the listener who connects with many of the subjects explored throughout Middle of The Road, I’ve Been Deceived is exactly that, who hasn’t been deceived by people they love and trust. When truths as you see them become lies. The meanings of the song are endless and the guitar is sharp with lead breaks that encapsulate the pain of deception.
His brother Eugene joins in the journey through the Middle of The Road on Repetition displaying his songwriting skills. The bass opens giving a darker deeper tone when combined with the drums and vocal delivery that has a feeling of Prince’s Sign o’ The Times in timing and phrasing but words and delivery totally Gales’ way.
The penultimate track again is blues re-shaped with a modern beat, is a song about when you have the confidence of liking yourself, being happy where you are the journey is nearly complete when you can say I Don’t Know when you do not know something. There is nothing to fear someone will know and be able to help and give you the answer you are looking forward as rap tips into the blues before the magnificence that is Eric Gales’ guitar takes over and we are back on familiar territory that we do know and understand.
Closing the album full of confidence and style with an instrumental Swamp, we are definitely heading for clear waters with an album that leaves you delighted with the music. No doubting that Eric Gales is back producing the best music yet. Blues guitar with attitude, lyrics with a heartfelt understanding of the myriad emotions this album lays bare for the listener to explore and understand.
Youthful Guitarist Aaron Keylock is a
Cut Against The Grain
The descriptive accolades for this young man are many. For me, the jury is still out. Aaron Keylock is definitely a guitarist who can shred, slide and more. Yes, a young guitarist with all the necessary potential to mature and fulfil the accolades being showered down on him with glittering ferocity YES! In the here and now in the studio, the sound is so different why? The power and clarity of the vocals, yet when Aaron performs live the clarity is lost when playing live.
Cut Against The Grain, saw this young guitar slinger pick up the axe and travel to Los Angeles to record the album. Producer of choice was Fabrizio Grossi, the choice of many including Alice Cooper, Slash and Zakk Wylde. The album has been produced to showcase this young talent, who is gaining attention, for being a young guitarist with flair now. As Aaron says himself. “I guess what I’ve always loved about Rock n’ Roll is that you’re free to express yourself in many ways and to use many guitar techniques to convey different emotions …. My influences really vary!” Now with an album under his belt he needs to shape the tone and style so that it is instantly recognizable as the Keylock sound, not an imitation of an axeman who has been and done it before whether Gary Moore on Just One Question, with its lead break straight out of Moore’s back catalogue in style and delivery. Elsewhere we hear hints of Rolling Stones, Rory Gallagher. Johnny Winter and others
Opening with All the right Moves we are introduced to the fast Aaron, with a catchy beat and it makes the perfect first single off the album. Medicine Man, well-known by people who have seen Aaron play live displays the ability to write lyrics that tell a story that has a Southern feel and instantly recognisable. Spin The Bottle, is a simple guitar lick growing as the lyrics pull the guitar along as we are asked to Spin The Bottle with Aaron and take a chance, the sun might shine tomorrow he sings. Slower blues test a guitarist and the slide and pull of the rhythm show that this is no challenge to a young confident musician stepping out on a road where a long and successful career beckons. Falling Again has a Stones whoo hoo and takes the heat down with the guitar shining once again.
The title track is strong, but then he has been playing it live at festivals and venues since it was penned three years ago and has changed on the road. With a Zeppelin feel and Aaron’s innate ability to not be tempted to cram as many notes into a second as possible. The slide zings and the rhythm swells out the lyrics that tell a story. This track like the whole album shows a young guitar player that demands a wider audience with a crossover appeal emulating the rock n’ Roll heroes of the sixties and seventies!
Youthful Guitarist Aaron Keylock is a Cut Against The Grain. This is the debut album on a musical career that Aaron at eighteen has the potential to shape and reach the heights he has the desire, drive and latent talent to reach. Cut Against the Grain, is a studio album showcasing the guitar skills of a young man who understands what makes Rock N Roll stand out from the crowd and make people listen. Personally, as I said at the beginning the jury is out but Cut Against The Grain is a solid footstep on the road to producing a sound that defines now without losing the retro and Keylock himself. Youthful Guitarist Aaron Keylock is a Cut Against The Grain Definitely on to keep watching a listening where will Aaron’s music journey take us? Get Onboard now!
Little Hurricane, the San Diego dirty-blues duo of front man Anthony “Tone” Catalano and drummer Celeste “C.C.” Spina are gearing up for the release of their third full-length studio albumSame Sun Same Moonon April 14, on their new homeMascot Records
Their story began in San Diego, where Little Hurricane formed. Having recently resumed playing drums after an eight-year hiatus, CC placed a musicians-wanted ad on Craigslist. Among the myriad of respondents was Tone, a studio engineer who’d worked with artists ranging from John Paul Jones to Gwen Stefani. The two musicians were neighbours who had never met, and bonded over mutual interests including the blues, unusual and vintage gear, and their individual experiences playing in high school jazz bands. A year later, Little Hurricanewon three San Diego Music Awards, including Album of the Year for 2011 debut Homewrecker.Little Hurricane’s explosive live show soon landed them slots at major festivals including Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza, and garnered media attention from outlets including Rolling Stone, which profiled them in an extensive behind-the-scenes piece at SXSW 2012.
The evolution of Little Hurricane is especially evident on the album’s first single “OTL”, a love song woven from understated keyboards and intertwined vocals. Married in summer 2016, the creative partners elected to openly share their happiness with listeners for the first time.
Little Hurricane New Album Same Sun Same Moon Listen To The Single NOW
Times Have Changed
Blues remain for Ronnie Baker Brooks
The album title reflects so much more that the ten years that has gone by since the last Ronnie Baker Brooks recording. No-one can argue with the statement Times Have Changed the world is a fast-moving cauldron of change and uncertainty. Having listened the one certainty is Ronnie Baker Brooks blues is class.
Opening with Show Me that is full of soul that sets the juices going featuring Steve Cropper, and booming bass saxophone a promising start but without a feeling of urgency I want to hear more. The album has five self-penned tracks and a mix of covers. The Memphis shimmer is heard on the instrumental Twine Time, with Lonnie Brooks adding guitar with many of the same musicians and mics this is Stax Records sound captured for the here and now. It fizzes retro looking back trying to recapture when as the title says things have changed.
The title track does just that building up to a surprising inclusion of music of now. Opening with a traditional feel cool guitar with stinging licks, it encompasses Blues where the guitar loops around the lyrics with a percussive pull that allows the guitar to soar higher and higher. Then we have the difference rap! Courtesy of Al Kapone as not just the neighbourhood has changed, music has changed. What hasn’t changed is the working class blues of the chasm between rich and poor and the despair that being at the wrong end brings. The hip-hop beat adds another contemporary dimension, a part of another link in the chain of music that yearns change. Out of Memphis has the pull of history and the roots of the blues is strong. The title track is strong and the lynch-pin that holds the album together. As you re-listen again.
A funky soulful retro mood is shaped and moulded with Give Me Your Love (Love Song), Angie Stones voice is full of sultry warmth that pulls in the vocals from Brooks that are delivered with an almost hushed reverence over the horns. This Curtis Mayfield classic was the first song recorded and has a fluidity that sometimes the album as a whole on first listening lacks. For, me a tempo change after eight minutes would have added a flinty spark but now we have another slice of funk on Give The Baby Anything The Baby Wants. Then the inclusion of Old Love, his Mother’s favourite song. We have a change of tempo with a feet tapping, horn churning number Wham Bam Thank You Sam. His vocals have a Robert Cray feel. The chorus is catchy full of energy as the album closes out with When I Was We. Another demonstration of Ronnie Baker Brooks vocals that cajoles and never plays second string to his guitar.
Times Have Changed, is an album that digs deep into the Memphis tradition produced by Steve Jordan, recorded at the Royal Studios with an ‘A’ listers roll call of musicians this album was always going to be class.
Like time, the album is slow to mature and takes a few spins before the facets really glint and shine. This is blues with layers of soulful funkiness delivered with style. The standout let’s do something different moment is definitely the title track showing how blues can be stretched and reformed to capture the music of now without losing its basic integrity.
Check out the brand new track ‘Carry Yourself’ here:
“One of the best, if not the best guitar player in the world” Joe Bonamassa
“He is absolutely incredible” Carlos Santana
“How Eric Gales isn’t the hugest name in rock guitar is a total mystery” Dave Navarro
“This guy could be the best player on Earth” Mark Tremonti
“Unfortunately you have to go through some things to be free”, says Memphis born Eric Gales. “Now, I feel the most free I’ve ever been in life, even more so than when I was a kid”, he opens up. “You gotta help yourself man, once you can help yourself you can genuinely help someone else.”
The title of his new album Middle of the Road will be released on 24 February 2017 and is the running theme throughout the record. “It’s about being fully focussed and centred in the middle of the road. If you’re on the wrong side and in the gravel you’re not too good and if you’re on the median strip that’s not too good either, so being in the middle of the road is the best place to be.”
Middle of the Road is Eric Gales fourth album on Provogue/Mascot label Group (Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart, Black Stone Cherry, Warren Haynes, The Robert Cray Band, Robben Ford, Eric Johnson, The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band) after Transformation (2011), Relentless (2010) and The Psychedelic Underground (2007) and it sees him at his most expressive yet; it is a deeply personal and reflective record that echoes where he is in his life right now and he opens himself up and allows himself the chance to really flourish.
Recorded in several locations; Room A Studio and Fab’s Lab in North Hollywood as well as Cuz Studio and Sound in Cleveland, MS and ‘Cotton Row Studios in Memphis, TN. With Aaron Haggerty (drums), Dylan Wiggins (B3 Organ), LaDonna Gales (All backing vocals), Maxwell ‘Wizard’ Drummey (Mellotron on Repetition) and Eric Gales providing all lead vocals, guitar and bass. It’s a beautiful snapshot of life right here, right now. “I played bass on the entire record, it was beautiful” he beams. “I’m a bass player at heart so Fabrizio was like ‘bro you need to be playing the bass’. It was something that was very natural for me to too, I loved it.”
Talking about the accolades he is starting to receive he humbly adds;” It’s absolutely great, I’m grateful to see the recognition for the work that God has allowed me to continue to progress with. It’s beautiful to see the recognition to be finally coming and in the proper way, unlike times where I was engaged into heavy addiction, where it wasn’t such good publicity, but to see it be changed around, it’s a great turn of events.”
This refers to the time he spent in jail serving at the Shelby County Correction Center in 2009 for possession of drugs and a weapon. Elaborating he adds; “While I was in there all the officers and guards were like, ‘bro you know this isn’t where you’re supposed to be. When you get out of here, go take the world by the horns and ride it all the way out.’ It took a couple of years after but, I’m here.” Whilst he was incarcerated he was able to play shows, for the Mayor, the city and festivals, his own version of Johnny Cash Walk the Line.
This is where Middle of the Road finds the rebirth of Eric Gales. A new album that has seen him more free than he’s ever been and on the biographic songs you take this journey with him. Along the way he brings in not only a host of guest and collaborators, but also those closest to him: Lauryn Hill, Gary Clark Jr, Eugene Gales, LaDonna Gales, Lance Lopez, Raphael Saadiq and Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram.
Much of the album is achingly heart on its sleeve and Change in Me [The Rebirth]is one of those moments, it’s about a new change in life. “I changed up some things in life and decided to go a new route”. “I wrote Carry Yourself with Raphael Saadiq and strangely enough, as I sit here looking at her that song is about LaDonna actually. It’s about how we met and how we grew to get to know each other through life and how she’s always carried herself. It has always been something I’m fascinated with. The only cover is the mesmerising interpretation of Boogie Man featuring Gary Clark Jr is something to behold. “I’m a fan of Freddie King anyway and I like that song. I just enjoyed the original version and I just put a little twist on it and music wise.” “Basically”, Gales adds, “The Boogie Man is about, so watch out cos there’s a bad guy on the way and you know, I’m coming! I think me and Gary did a really good job on that song.” Continuing the rebirth is Help Yourself, features 16 year old guitar sensation Christone ‘Kingsfish’ Ingram. I’ve Been Deceived has a multi-layered meaning to it. “Personally, I was talking about how I was deceived by addiction” he confesses and on Repetition, he goes back to the very beginning and where it started by collaborating with his ‘mentor’ and older brother Eugene Gales
“When I say the world will hear about it, you’ll see what I mean when you hear the record,” he says. “This record is going to take me everywhere that I’ve never been, and everywhere I’ve ever wanted to go.” Eric Gales
Releases in first quarter 2017 are looking exciting and this is top of the pile when measure against the Bluesdoodles excitement meter!
QuinnSullivan has been a music professional for more than 75 percent of his life. He’s shared the stage with Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Los Lobos, The Roots, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and Joe Bonamassa, and he opened for B.B. King, who later invited him to play his treasured “Lucille” guitar. He has performed on concert and festival dates throughout the United States – including at storied venues like Hollywood Bowl, RFK Stadium and Madison Square Garden – travelled overseas – performing at both the Montreux Jazz Festival and India’s Mahindra Blues Festival – and played several editions of the Experience Hendrix Tour, backed by Jimi’s original bassist Billy Cox. He’s also appeared on national TV, with guest appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Oprah, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien and twice on The Ellen DeGeneres show.Yes, Sullivan has packed some extraordinary experience into his decade-long career, and that’s even more remarkable when you consider that he’s only 17. His third studio album, Midnight Highway, was produced by multi GRAMMY® winner Tom Hambridge – who also does double duty as Quinn’s studio and road drummer – and will be released on January 27th in North America, and on March 24th in the rest of the world. The album is yet another milestone in Quinn‘s extraordinary journey, which began with him jamming with the kids music combo Toe Jam Puppet Band at age three, appearing on Ellen when he was six, and being taken under the wing of blues legend Buddy Guy at age eight, whose protégé he remains to this day.Quinn’s age and enduring relationship with Buddy Guy is certainly notable, but so too is his total dedication to his craft. “I wanted to see how far we could get musically on this album. I had a lot more creative input on this one and was more active in writing, so it’s something of a mixture. I didn’t want to completely break away from the blues – that’ll always be my home ground – but I just wanted to stretch out. Mastering the vocals was important too and was the result of a lot of playing and touring, and studying with a vocal coach. I’ll admit I hit an awkward stage with my voice when it was changing a few years ago, but I like the way things have worked out so far.”Quinn confides, “My major goal as an artist is to get into songwriting more,” and he’s well on his way with Midnight Highway, for which he had a hand in writing three of the stand-out tracks, “Eyes For You”, “Lifting Off” and “Going.” One of the other songs that Quinn tackled is George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” While Quinn will forever be rooted in the blues, he’s extremely passionate about The Beatles, so every effort was made to replicate the Harrison classic as faithfully as possible. Producer Tom Hambridge remarked, “We really tried to make it sound like it was off the White Album, so we researched everything about the track, where the mic placement should be, how to get the organ to sound like the original. Quinn is such a huge Beatles fan so, of course, he really loved the process.”The album was recorded primarily at Nashville’s prestigious Blackbird Studio with some of the greatest players in Nashville, including many of the same musicians who played on the Buddy Guy albums that Hambridge produced. These include bassists Michael Rhodes and Tom Macdonald, guitarist Rob McNelley, and keyboard player Reese Wynans, a veteran of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble. Hambridge notes, “Quinn was anxious to make an album the way I make those Buddy Guy albums, and he did, in fact, tear it up. Quinn felt the mojo and he ‘brought it’ in a big way.”As a young child, Quinn was brought to numerous festivals and concerts by his music-loving parents. He was the “kid with the guitar “ in the audience, who would strum along with what was happening on stage. Through videos, Quinn became enamored with Buddy Guy, so his Dad made arrangements for him to meet his idol when Guy came to his hometown. Backstage before the show, he asked Buddy to autograph his guitar which, of course, he did — but on condition that the boy play it for him. That led to Buddy calling Quinn onstage to join him during his set and an unlikely, though solid bond was then formed between the great Chicago bluesman and the eager youngster from Massachusetts.Tom Hambridge calls Quinn “a sponge who soaks up everything that’s around him,” adding, “he’s listening all the time and he just so happens to be around great artists. Every time he plays, it’s a little deeper. Buddy Guy is, of course, his mentor, so he channels Buddy’s over-the-top reckless abandon.” That’s completely understandable, as Buddy has, more than once, advised Quinn, “Just go out there and show them why you’re here… make them remember you.”Off stage, Quinn is well aware of the unique opportunity he’s been afforded and is focused on music as an ongoing pursuit. He contrasts his experience with many of his contemporaries’ – “They’re struggling to come up with what they’re going to do when they’re out of school, but I’ve decided this is what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life.”
1. Something For Me
2. Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming
3. Midnight Highway
4 .Crazy Into You
5. Eyes For You
6. Lifting Up
7. She Gets Me
8. Rocks *
10. Graveyard Stone*
11. Big Sky*
12. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
13. Buffalo Nickel
BD: Thanks, Big Boy Bloater for taking the time to chat with Bluesdoodles today. I was amazed that nearly a year has gone by since I reviewed your excellent album Luxury Hobo. Before we talk about the tour let’s start with the album. Review can be found HERE
BD: You have been quite open that the inspiration behind Luxury Hobo was your personal journey with depression
BBB: Think I had come through all the bad places and was in a good place when I was writing for the album, I had been down at the bottom but now in a good place looking back that is the inspiration for many of the lyrics and melody.
Sitting down, a good song may be grungy but not so grungy that it is hard to pick out the melody. It is the melody that attracts and makes people go back to a song and listen again.
BD: The title is intriguing title life of a Hobo is not normally associated with luxury!
BBB: It is a comment on the current way many of us live. Constantly on the move but wanting luxury. We definitely move around more from place to place; yes we travel but we want to surround ourselves with comfort, glitz and definitely luxury. Deep down we can’t have both.
BD: The video for It Came Out Of The Swamp was definitely attention grabbing how did you come up with the idea of using Lego building blocks?
BBB: Part of coming out of the Breakdown was stock animation as a hobby to keep my mind busy. I would grab a bag of Lego out of the loft and build, photograph and animate. Around this time Lego brought out the ‘swamp monster’ set so it was the perfect combination Lego and myself were in harmony and the video was born. Yes, it has had and continues to attract positive attention.
BD: Do you have a favourite/ special track on the album? And why?
Truly, I love all the tracks but it is the title track Luxury Hobo Blues that is most personal. It is semi-autobiographical I have traveled a lot with my music. It is about keep taking the tablets and moving on. Playing music has taken me all over the world it has been fantastic. The experiences have been good and bad. From travelling first class to being in the back of a transit.
BD: What were your first musical influences growing up
Mostly from my Dad’s records of from the 1950’s/60’s lots of rock n’ roll started me down the road of exploring the blues. At the end of the 70’s/ beginning of the 80’s lot s of the old bluesmen were travelling around Slim Gaillard and others. I love the way that the blues does not have to be played perfectly, not in tune these are the bits that give the blues character and flavour. John Lee Hooker listen to him, they are great songs, analyse the music and they are not that good but the feel and emotion makes his blues special.
BD: 2017 starts with you touring including a festival. Do you enjoy playing your music live.
BBD: I love playing my music live, and tracks from Luxury Hobo work so well live. Looking forward to getting on stage meeting people early 2017 and the April HRH Blues Festival in Sheffield. Not played there since the first one in Wales so looking forward to it. I do have some new music as it has been an eventful year and may even sneak a couple in at the live shows. There is definitely lots of life left in the album and I am chomping at the bit to get out there and deliver the songs live on stage. I know that people love to see something a bit different when a tune is performed live. It is always a highlight for them if they notice the band are giving each other that look when the music has taken them to a different place and we have to pull something special out of the bag to get back on track. It is good that little bit of living and playing dangerously. I remember once at The 100 club, I broke a string, something that rarely happens to me. I had no spare guitar so had to replace the string on stage whilst continuing to sing. That is live music as it happens you just have to be there to experience those moments.
BD: What other plans do you have for 2017?
BBD: Following on from the early run of dates will be doing festivals through the summer and a more extensive autumn tour is being organised in the UK and Europe so keep checking out the website. I am writing new music and hope to get back in the studio for the next Big Boy Bloater album.
BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
Drums: Earl Palmer
Bass: Willie Dixon
Guitar: Myself (it will be such fun to play with these guys)
Keys: Ike Turner
Vocals: Howlin’ Wolf
This is a super group it will be so much fun to play with these guys. How long it will last before a fight not so sure. Be great music but probably a short-lived group!
28th January – The Anvil, Basingstoke: BBB’s Lonely Blues Show 23rd February – Fat Lil’s, Oxford 17th March – The Railway, Winchester w/ Jack J Hutchinson 18th March – The Freebird, Newcastle-Under-Lyme 19th March – THE 100 CLUB, LONDON w/Jack J Hutchinson & DJ Jim Jones 16th April – HRH Blues Fest, O2 Academy Sheffield 28th April – VHRA Vintage Nationals, Santa Pod Raceway, Northamptonshire