As Walter Trout says, We Are All In This Together

As Walter Trout says, We Are All In This Together

As Walter Trout says, We Are All In This Together



As Walter Trout says, We Are All In This Together.  The love of the Blues unites music lovers around the world. The Blues has an unchanging heart and Walter Trout is a giant in the world of electric guitar fuelled blues.  Walter’s latest album is brimming with blues guitars they shimmer and shine like a brilliant sapphire as his Telecaster is joined by a phalanx of blues guitar maestro.

Fourteen tracks give Walter plenty of scope to play with the blues and sing some powerful lyrics. As Walter Trout says, We Are All In This Together. The album is a celebration of blues, a journey through Walter’s life with friends. Coming together with friends and laying down the music is the essence that makes Blues hum with power and emotion. All of life’s experiences are laid out before you captured in a few moments with lyrics and the emotive six-strings, love, hate, betrayal, loyalty and addiction all are explored. The friends that join Walter bring their own styles and interpretation of the blues. Listen to explore the intricacies they bring to Trout’s sound. You will hear a different musician on every track.

The embodiment of the blues is the shuffle and it is the perfect combo to extol its movement and rolling power as Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Walter join forces on the opening number, Gonna Hurt Like Hell, written with Kenny’s guitar style in mind up-tempo and gets the party off to a flying start. The narrative is central pleasure and can be short-lived coming down is Gonna Hurt Like Hell! The guitars meld and play off each other blues energy is up and running.

As Walter Trout says, We Are All In This Together; as we step aboard the blues bus. Exploring the myriad of tonal shapes and styles. The songs matching the attributes of Sonny Landreth whose slide playing is legendary the master of zydeco,   as we hear Ain’t Going Back. Then the harp of Charlie Musselwhite pouring out emotional wizardry on The Other Side of The Pillow; co-written with Musslewhite combine with Robert T. Bear’s lyrics. As the album takes shape one of my favourite tracks She Listens To The Blackbird Sings, with Mike Zito. It has a rawness with a driving riff of electric over acoustic and lyrics that just connect.   What an opening quartet of tracks phew! There are still ten to go will the album have staying power? Yes, of course, it has with Walter Trout at the helm.

No blues corroboration would be complete without a jam. The Sky Is Crying, the only cover, is a revisiting of a number he played with Warren Haynes many years ago at New Orleans Jazz Festival. The two guitars bring a fluidity as the number builds and builds leaving you breathless with delight. This is Trout and Haynes playing music that moves them and audiences.  The mood changes heavier, harder hitting as Eric Gales joins the party with Somebody Goin’ Down the energy is burning up the track.

A celebration of family style and talent as the question is asked, Do You Still See Me At All. The tempo as Walter is joined by his son Jon in the studio. The dueling between them is immense and this number definitely benefits from having both guitarists in the studio at the same time. Written together, played together this is a track that oozes an understanding of the electric guitar.

The closing two tracks leave you on a musical high. John Mayall joins Walter on Blues for Jimmy T, with searing harmonica mirroring guitar and vocals in a duet as they recall the day Jimmy died. The two bluesmen from different sides of the Atlantic. Acoustic works, stripping away layers and exploring the kernel lamenting the loss of friend and bass player Jimmy Trapp.  Closing out with the second track where both guitarist were in the same studio as Joe Bonamassa adds his guitar and vocals to the title track We’re All In This Together.  What a way to finish the latest Trout studio album. Just under eight minutes played live with the band, no overdubbing as they take us on a memorable road trip around the electric guitar. They had three hours to get the track completed sitting three feet apart they nailed it. Yes, We’re All In this Together.

The album is a shimmering exploration of the blues. The listener to Walter Trout’s latest studio album will discover some of the many tributaries that run from and into the great running river as wide and deep as the Mississippi that is twenty-first-century blues.  It is certain that this is an album about fun, enjoying the blues, celebrating the interaction of styles. The passion is played out in every night a perfect follow-up to the personal pain and intensity of Battle Scars.

Reviewers often say this is an album that will listen to often. In the case of We’re All In It Together that is a certainty. Celebrating the insight of Walter Trout a blues supremo bringing fourteen friends together with their own track shining a light on facets of the blues,

Walter Trout – We’re All In This Together – Mascot Label Group

TENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….


Track Listing

  1. Gonna Hurt Like Hell – Kenny Wayne Shepherd
  2. Ain’t Goin’ Back – Sonny Landreth
  3. The Other Side Of The Pillow – Charlie Musselwhite
  4. She Listens To The Blackbird Sing – Mike Zito
  5. Mr Davis – Robben Ford
  6. The Sky Is Crying – Warren Haynes
  7. Somebody Goin’ Down – Eric Gales
  8. She Steals My Heart Away – Edgar Winter
  9. Crash and Burn – Joe Louis Walker
  10. Too Much to Carry – John Nemeth
  11. Do You Still See Me At All – Jon Trout
  12. Got Nothin’ Left – Randy Bachman
  13. Blues For Jimmy T. – John Mayall
  14. We’re All In This Together – Joe Bonamassa



As Walter Trout says, We Are All In This Together

Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The Scene

Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The Scene

Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The Scene

What A Blues Scene Tonight Mike Zito, Albert Castiglia, and blues-harpist Will Wilde kick up a storm of a rich tasty music infused jam.


Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The SceneAn evening of a spectacular display of the power of blues with Albert and his Gibson Les Paul and Mike Zito’s Custom V shaped Silver Delaney Guitar everyone in the room was held spellbound by guitar magic through the whole of the two sets tonight. Joining the guitarist were Jack Bazzani on drums and bassist Jon Chase who added layers of rhythm picking up the tone and adding funky vibes when necessary. The tones were immense, the riffs and licks had an energy that was hard to define as the two guitarists bounced off each other building on riffs or adding those special licks that make the music pop with a verve; this was scintillating blues that shimmered. Will Wilde’s harp was added into a few numbers so now there were three virtuoso sounds as the chords blew the roof and captured the music soul of everyone.


zito-and-castiliga-0271The first set was planned at the set list which included Big Dog the title track of Albert Castiglia’s current album. Recorded it is good but live it has a different energy it is a huge blues number that pulls from the past and recreates a sound we want to hear now.  The interaction between Albert and Mike kept a fluidity through every number. One played a riff the other picked up the challenge with a curling lick building into another riff. The lead breaks were something in a different league., whether played by Mike or Albert and when they coalesced the Les Paul and Delaney were tuneful buddies.




Another title track this time, Keep Coming Back, from Mike’s 2015 album and the very special Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The ScenePearl River co-written with Cyrille Neville, with Will Wilde stepping up and adding his dynamic harp tones that whirl around the  guitar key picking up the emotional tone of the number. Then we were treated to a Will Wilde favourite Paranoia from his Raw Blues album. Now the band was kicking as they followed the twist and turns of Wills’ harp. No time yet for a breather as the last number of this set Down Down Down was given a special treatment tonight at the Scene.


zito-and-castiliga-0342There followed a short break where Mike and Albert chatted with the crowd and then it was back on stage for what was going to be a rollercoaster ride of blues delights as the unscripted second half kicked off.  This was an hour of musicians who were spinning a sparkling yarn of blues to capture everyone standing in front of the stage tonight. This was a jam that mixed up the flavours of the blues as they chose the next number to play. It was exhilarating to watch the dexterous fingers of Albert combining with the smooth slide of Mike. The guitar playing was jaw-droppingly good this is blues that lights a fire in your musical veins.  Full of excitement, twists and turns as the guitar and chords are melded into medleys that talk to every listener. Included in the mix was a funky number started by Albert and picked up by the band as they explained Women Don’t Lie a Luther ‘Snake Boy’ Johnson number that fitted in the set perfectly.


Nights like these are what define live music, why live music has the special something no recording can ever replicate.  Thank You House of Rock & Blues for putting on these nights of quality music. Support live music at The Scene in Swansea you will not be disappointed.

House Rock and Blues Presents Mike Zito

House Rock and Blues Presents MIke Zito


Bringing quality live music to Swansea

The Scene, Plymouth Street.

Wednesday 21 September


Mike Zito, Albert Castiglia

Special Guest Will Wilde

Tickets £12.50 ADV  DOORS 7.30pm


Mike ZitoMike Zito

Perhaps there were some sceptics who questioned Mike’s amicable departure from the Royal Southern Brotherhood last year, after two acclaimed albums that took the A-list outfit to the top of the world. Released in 2015, Keep Coming Back is both the explanation and vindication for that decision. “This album brings me back to what it’s all about,” says Mike. “Having fun and playing music you love and believe in. It’s all about the song.”


Read what Bluesdoodles said about his last show in Swansea –  HERE and His album  Keep Coming Back HERE



albert-cAlbert Castiglia

Meet Albert Castiglia. After five acclaimed albums and decades of blazing blues-rock shows, you might argue that you’ve already made his acquaintance. But by the Florida bandleader’s own admission, Big Dog is the first release to truly get under his skin. “I just wanted to make a record that best represented who I am, as a musician, singer, guitarist and live artist,” explains Albert. “With every release, I’ve come close, but this time, producer Mike Zito helped me nail it. He and label boss Thomas Ruf wanted me to make a raw, rocking blues record. That’s what I’m about. That’s who I am…”

Read what Bluesdoodles said about Big Dog HERE




Wilde Blues-Harp in HamburgWill Wilde

Will Wilde picked up his first harmonica at the age of 16 and played it until his lips bled. Weaned on the likes of Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson and Buddy Guy, Wilde grew up steeped in traditional Chicago Blues, yet his focus as an artist remains resolutely on the future.  Wilde fuses his passion for blues with his love of rock. He takes what’s authentic and powerful about the music he grew up loving and introduces the raw energy of bands such as Led Zeppelin, Free and Deep Purple without losing the heart and conviction of the blues.

Read what Bluesdoodles said about Live In Hamburg HERE



Get your tickets going to be an evening of stunning blues from

Derricks Music HERE

Ticket Link HERE


Facebook Event –





Albert Castiglia Big Dog Has The Blues

Albert Castiglia Big Dog Has The Blues

Albert Castiglia Big Dog Has The Blues

This is an album that is full of Albert Castiglia style from the first to the last note. Big Dog, his sixth album is accomplished and as he admits is the first album that really gets under his skin. Mike Zito producer of Big Dog has released the raw, rocking blues that Albert wanted from a studio recording. The album is a statement, a musical signature that makes Albert hit the stage; it is raw, unadulterated heavy guitar driven blues.

Big Dog is eleven tracks of self-penned, collaborative writing and covers that fit his style like a glove capturing the essence of blues as delivered by Albert Castiglia and his band. Joining him on the album are Mike Zito (electric and acoustic guitars, vocals, and percussion); Scot Sunderland (bass) Rob Lee (drums); Lewis Stephens (Piano, Wurlitzer Organ) and on tracks 8 & 9 Johnny Sansone (harmonica).

Opening with Let The Big Dog Eat, you know from the driving guitar that you are in for a journey full of energy, you are in for an exciting hot and sweaty listening experience. The guitar has an explosive zing that cascades as the chords form and the fingers working their magic on the fretboard. His vocals are assured and work well with the overwhelming star of the album his guitar. You can imagine at a live show the audience baying and barking at the end of this compelling opening number. The opening track was no flash in the pan the quality continues right through to the closing slower blues number Somehow. Co-written by Cyrille Neville addressing the plight of the homeless and displaced cuts that little bit deeper. The hope that it leaves you with of better days is a perfect way to end the ride with Albert Castiglia as it gives you time to reflect and listen to the lyrics and you know that the journey has been wild, fun and immensely enjoyable.

In between these tracks, the highlight was the fast guitar foot tapping Get Your Ass In The Van, the irony of the lyrics is insightful. Responding to pampered souls who think music is a reality show with fame a natural progression, who just do not want to do the long hard apprenticeship of playing on the road. The lyrics are modern blues as they reflect on today’s society. The pouring emotional harp of Johnny Sansone ensures Where Did I Go Wrong is another star moment of the album. Taken from Junior Wells’ iconic album You’re Tuff Enough also completes a circle, as Junior Wells invited Albert as a young bluesman into his band for several world tours. We visit the devil with more harp on Where the Devil Makes His Deals, you have blues with percussive twists and this is a dark blue place full of sultry dread and the glimmer of the power of hope.

Albert Castiglia (pronounced ka-steel-ya) vocals and the guitar sound steeped in the blues, the Big Dog is definitely a Blue Brindled full of emotional tension and empathises with your pain, joy and gives you hope of blue skies ahead.

Albert Castiglia – Big Dog – Ruf Records

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing 

  1. Let the Big Dog Eat
  2. Don’t Lat Them Fool Ya
  3. Get Your Ass in The Van
  4. Drowning at The Bottom
  5. Let’s Make Love In The Morning
  6. What I Like About Miami
  7. Easy Distance
  8. Where Did I Go Wrong
  9. Where the Devil Makes His Deals
  10. Where the Hell Was I Thinking
  11. Somehow

Bluesdoodles Top Fifteen Gigs 2014

The top fifteen bluesdoodles gigs 2014 – in alphabetical order…

Jeff Beck
Katie Bradley & Kirk Fletcher
Cut The Funk
Grainne Duffy
JJ Grey & Mofro & Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family
Hamilton Loomis
Jo Harman
Hat Fitz & Cara
Heritage Blues Orchestra
Layla Zoe
Royal Southern Brotherhood
Matt Schofield
Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus
Mike Zito

Sadly with any list I have missed of some amazing nights of live music …… Live music is amazing and there are fabulous venues around the country so get out and enjoy quality live music.

Make your 2015 resolution – go see bands you love and go see bands for the first time – it is fun seeing new bands my favourites for 2014 were Rita Payne, Ali Clinton and Midnight Ramble

Mike Zito & The Wheel and Samantha Fish @ The Scene Swansea – November 2014

Mike Zito Samantha Fish - The Scene - Nov 2014_0001l

Mike Zito Samantha Fish - The Scene - Nov 2014_0005lSamantha Fish and some of the Wheel, opened the evening of live music with her distinctive Cigar Box Guitar producing a rugged Southern sound that reminded me of Moreland and Arbuckle with the bonus of Samantha’s wonderful vocal delivery as she is one of the few female blues vocalists who can pull of such a weighty sound. The spokes of the wheel accompanying her were the rhythm section of flamboyant and stylish bass player Scott Sutherland and New Orleans drummer Rob Lee. This is a trio who loves the music they play and have a simple mission for you to have a great time, and everyone at The Scene tonight were having a great time delighted to be standing in front of three musicians of such calibre and the promise of Mike Zito to come. This was due to a very large part by Samantha’s great stage presence as she really connected with the crowd with charm, smile and above all her talent which oozes into the guitar as she makes the six strings sing. Mike Zito joined her for a duet which was a delight as they sparred on guitars and sang in harmony with the vocals contrasting with each other, a wonderful moment. The Wheel left for a moment and we were treated to an acoustic moment as she delivered a Rolling Stone cover, Dead Flowers, what an original re-working of a rarely heard stones classic from their Sticky Fingers album. We heard lots of tracks from her current album Black Wind Howlin’ including the title track, then far too soon it was time for her to leave the stage with a short break, where she mixed with the crowd chatting and relaxed as her album was purchased; she did not need to sell on stage as the music was a calling card that everyone would want to take home and hear again and again.

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Mike Zito Samantha Fish - The Scene - Nov 2014_0110lMike Zito and the Wheel stepped on to the stage to a loud cheer and applause, with many who had heard him earlier this year in Cardiff as part of Royal Southern Brotherhood now we could enjoy him centre stage. The stage was set for an array of songs that showcased his guitar skills, vocals and the skills of the Wheel now complete with saxophonist extraordinaire Jimmy Carpenter who added moody textures and a full sound to underlay the licks and riffs delivered by Mike. This is quality music that has blended, and mingled Blues with a Texan twang, southern rock and soul. We were treated to a selection of tracks including Pearl River co-written with Cyril Neville and from an earlier album and from his latest Mike Zito and The Wheel On the RoadRainbow Bridge, Gone to Texas and I Never Knew a Hurricane with Samantha joining him on stage as a vocalist – live music doesn’t get better than this. The set was inspired displaying the talents of everyone with Rob & Scot providing a platform that was not solid and staid but with a bucket load of free-form grooves they made the rhythm section so funky simply ACE!

Mike Zito Samantha Fish - The Scene - Nov 2014_0430l

Bad News was an outstanding version of Luther Allison’s, Bad News Is Coming, despite the Gibson Flying V guitar staying on its stand, this was dramatic music. We had a showcase moment when Jimmy Carpenter stepped into centre stage with a the title track from his current album Walk Away, showing there was a third singer/songwriter musician on stage as he delivered a smooth and funky sound with his voice and expressive tenor saxophone. With the audience hanging on to every note delivered by Mike, listening to every friendly comment they want more and more from Samantha, Mike, Rob, Scot and Jimmy leaving the audience excited, little bit breathless and wanting more, this is why live music is so infectious.

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Catch this amazing live act in Europe Nov 2014 – Click TOUR for further dates

Mike Zito & The Wheel ~ Gone To Texas – CD Review

texasMike Zito & The Wheel
Gone To Texas
Ruf Records

Mike Zito has created a deeply personal album full of thoughtful lyrics and considered skilful guitar playing and his delicious and distinctive vocals a holy trio of skills, lyricist, vocalist and guitarist an amazing depth of skills that have been delivered consistently throughout Gone To Texas his fourth album.

We have Sonny Landreth adding a sonic layer with his swampy slide, on Rainbow Bridge, referring to a spanning bridge near Port Arthur Texas and an upbeat temp that drives the lyrics along.

Death Row has a dark tone with a stripped down approach, Mike’s vocals are gruff with held-in emotions and the percussive drumming from Rob Lee is the perfect accompaniment to the acoustic (is it a National steel) guitar sound produced, it is a song that you are strangely drawn, as with many of the greats of early Delta blues, into as you find hidden nuggets in the lyrics that are full of regret and the acceptance that there is “ No-one to blame…”

The following song with it’s amusing lyrics Don’t Break A Leg lightens the proceedings with a Blues/Funk Jazz sound with the mixing of Lewis Stephen’s Keys, Jimmy Carpenter’s Sax and Scot Sutherland’s Bass with Zito’s guitar adding instrumental interlude that is pitch perfect and the production by Mike Zito is classy as there is just enough and then the vocals cut in giving this instrument dominated track shape and soul.

On the following track Mike is joined by Delbert McClinton, The Road Never Ends, and has an energy that wakes you up this is a journey that grabs you by the throat and Delbert’s harmonica playing adds that feeling that the journey is not the easiest and goes round and round this is a maze of a trip.

Gone To Texas is a personal pilgrimage of a blues-man who has the winning combination strong vocals and on his Fender Stratocaster he is master of the six-strings.

It is good to hear a blues album by a guitarist that allows the voice to be king of the show and using the guitar brilliantly as the glue that holds the instrumentation together and drives the music along, in an unusual minimalistic cut down style this is not about the power of the guitar but its soul.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch

Mike Zito – Guitar & Vocals
Jimmy Carpenter – Sax & Guitars
Rob Lee – Drums
Scot Sutherland – Bass

Delbert McClinton – Harmonica & Vocals
Susan Cowsill – Vocals
Sonny Landreth – Guitar
Lewis Stephen – Keyboards

From Over The Atlantic to Blues on the Farm 2014

Blues On the Farm 2014 – Four Class Acts from U.S.A.

In its 23rd year Blues on the Farm have again bought bands from across the Atlantic; sadly Saturday’s headline Dana Fuchs had to pull out at the last moment due to family illness, we can just keep our fingers crossed that Dana will grace the stage in 2015; many of us were looking forward to hearing her perform live tracks from her stunning album Bliss Avenue.

Blues on The Farm 2014 had four acts from the U.S.A and three appeared on the Friday all were different bring their own stylish brand of music.

Lisa Mills - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0010lThis year first up who included a stop of at the festival on her current tour was the effervescent Lisa Mills with Worcestershire born Ian Jennings on Double bass making this a duo delivering a little bit country, ballads and blues and cracking music bringing even more sunshine to a hot Saturday in June. Lisa has a fantastic voice that brings colour, light and emotions to every lyric she sings, with guitar in hand named Jezebel the sound is complimented by Ian’s stylish playing adding a depth of sound that makes this duo a winning and popular combination. Initially inside the marque was sparsely filled as festival goer sat in the June sunshine but as the voice radiated across the grounds people were drawn to the music and the powerful vocal range of Lisa’s voice. The set included request of I’m Changing’ from her many fans delighted to see her again, and reminding us why we like this duo. All the numbers were delivered with passion and feeling as Lisa linked the songs with stories that ensured everyone warmed to her and felt she was singing to them articulating feelings many have/are experiencing. You can be certain that this duo deliver every time sparing no energy for the next time they perform with energy and gusto that brings a feel good feeling to the occasion. Lisa sang two of my favourites from her last album Tempered with Fire, Keep on Smiling that had a great interactive instrumental interlude, with Ian mastering that oft illusive musical skill using silence to highlight specific notes and I Never Fall In Love Again with its boogie woogie feel , the style of music Ian loves to play with some superb slap bass and a virtuoso solo.
I can remember hearing her with a full band and that was very special so be good to see her back next time in this format; there is no doubt that Lisa can write a great country blues ballad about love lost and regained; it would ring the changes if the songs really stretched her melodious voice and crossed over to deliver some gospel/soul numbers to and even greater depth of tempo and sound. That said the crowds loved her and Ian just as she is and will no doubt be filling venues across the country this summer and we are all waiting in anticipation of her new album new remixed version of the I’m Changing – release date will be soon so watch for the announcement.


Hamilton Loomis - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0032lHamilton Loomis with his stellar line-up in the band of Armando Aussenac (Drums) born in Mexico City, Fabian Hernandez (Saxes, Keys, Background Vocals) a Texan from Dallas and Dante Ware (Bass, Background Vocals) born in Trenton N.J Opening the early evening slot with Partner In Crime the festival was full of the distinctive Hamilton style that feels the festival ground with a feeling of well-being. Tonight was no different as he delivered a very potent set of raunchy Texan blues This is a band that is so tight from the second perfect use of stopping and starting to the in time body swaying of Hamilton , Dante and Fabian; this is not rehearsed choreography but a feel of the music and the accentuation of a style Hamilton has always has, it works so well as their bodies move and stop in harmony matching the flow and syncopation of the music and real stage show that hits all the right spots. The set was professional, fun and interactive as Hamilton took the opportunity to display all the intricate musical shapes on his latest album Give It Back; including a dynamic live version of Eternally; Stuck In a Rut; that this line-up is definitely not with the rhythm section providing so much more than a solid foundation for Hamilton’s guitar playing out front, they add little licks and drum rolls that bring the music alive; then the other layer of sound that Fabian brings either on saxophone or keys, this line-up works so well making the sound fully with a bit more attitude. As ever Hamilton delighted everyone by jumping off the stage into the crowd during Bow Bow as he toured the marque getting up close and personal, left to their own devises the boys on the stage filled in with little quirky melodies turning Bow Bow into an exciting musical spectacular that every festival needs; and for me this is the best I have heard Hamilton Loomis play at any British Festival.


Royal Southern brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_1026lFriday’s Headline act were Royal Southern Brotherhood, see review Headlines @ Blues on the Farm.. This is a band that came, played and left a base of British fans who now have the essence off the band distilled into their musical blood and will be making every effort to see them again and enjoy listening to the music courtesy of the music they purchased whether the bands latest heartsoulblood or Cyril Neville’s Honey Magic; Devon Allman’s solo album Turquoise, Mike Zito and The Wheel, Charlie Wooton Project or Yonrinco Scotts’ Quest of The Big Drum…………

Moreland and Arbuckle - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0084lNow it is Sunday late afternoon, the sun has shone over the festival every day and now taking the stage are Moreland and Arbuckle; as they hit the stage and struck their first chords the volume had gone up you knew this was a high-voltage trio from across the pond! Formed in 2001 guitarist Aaron Moreland and vocalist/blues harp player Dustin Arbuckle met in Wichita, Kansas and quickly formed an acoustic duo playing traditional and delta blues today they are joined by drummer Kendall Newby which makes for a harder sound with the added depth of a solid back line.

They delivered a dynamic mix of standards and self-penned numbers; including Rollin’ and Tumblin’ which the trio have made their own with a stylish delivery. They have created out of the bedrock of rootsy sound that has blended and melded blues, Southern rock with more than a twist of Psychedelia and then into the musical cocktail traces of styles including soul and echoes of quality music from across time. This is a distinctive sound that makes them instantly recognisable. As they delivered tracks from their latest album 7 Cities, the sound just meant there was a queue to purchase the CD and take some southern magic home with you. There is no doubt about it Kow Tow and The Devil Me together helped album sales!and and the festival crowds got closer as they were pulled into the groove being created and dancing shoes were to the fore. The harp riffs that soar above the guitar have to be listened to and then there is the cigar box with its own distinctive sound with incorporation of the bass string that really suits the guitar style of Aaron Moreland. Just a Dream was driven by hardcore rhythm allowing Arbuckle’s vocals and harp playing take centre stage.

What a quartet Julian Mores and his team have assembled for 2014 all the acts were throughly enjoyed by the Blues on the Farm festival goers.

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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.

Royal Southern Brotherhood - The Globe Cardiff - June 2014_0207l

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.
Royal Southern Brotherhood - The Globe Cardiff - June 2014_0058l
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.

Royal Southern Brotherhood - The Globe Cardiff - June 2014_0200l


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

Headline Acts @ Blues On The Farm 2014

530586_10151220959912724_204957856_nBlues on the Farm ~ The Headliners
Friday 20th June – Royal Southern Brotherhood
Saturday 21st June – King King
Sunday 22nd June 2014 – Big Dez


Friday night the crowds had been fed a diet if superb music and as the sky darkened the anticipation was electric as everyone waited for Royal Southern Brotherhood to step on the stage.

Royal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0774lThis was for many the first opportunity that they have had to hear the band live and at Blues On The Farm you could get right up close to see the action and interaction between the five musicians on-stage. On drums the dynamic, energetic talented Grammy award-winning Yonrico Scott, Royal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0822lhe has played with an array of artists that read like a Who’s Who of the musical lexicon of the twentieth century including Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr., The Allman Brothers Band, Susan Tedeschi, Gregg Allman, The Supremes, and The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. His drumming is a loose jazzy style that provides a bedrock of sounds and freedom that allows the drums to ebb and flow through and over the music in perfect time. Strengthening the rhythm section on bass is Louisiana born Charlie WoottonRoyal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0807l who when not playing with RSB, like all five of them, has his own projects, and his bass solo mesmerised the crowds with the dexterity and tonal reach of his bass playing as he danced his fingers up the fret board and danced around the stage. Up front and lean are the trio of grammy award winner Cyril NevilleRoyal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0697l (Vocals & percussion) bringing to this music fest that is RSB style, panache and some Southern Soul that so personified The Meters where he backed the music and poetry of his brother Art; the guitarist Royal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0808lMike Zito who brings inventive guitar work as the guitar and him become one flowing with music, passion and fire; and the lead guitarist and vocalist Devon Allman,Royal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0914l making the Gibson sing bringing stunning blues rock guitar evoking sounds from the past with a twist of modernity solo’s that bring the whole band into a homogeneous whole. The set included numbers from their own albums and the latest RSB album Heartsoulblood. The highlights of this stunning set were Magic Honey with Cyrille’s vocals made the crowd hold their collective breath not wishing the track to end; Running Water; ‘Groove On
Royal - Southern Brotherhood - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0886lDuring the set there was the guest appearance of Hamilton Loomis who brought his blues harp to the jam and generating a real party atmosphere on the stage as the Blues on the Farm temperature rose. The encore included the re-working of Rush’s famous and instantaneously recognised track Working Man; wow is the only word to sum up this varied multi-textured sound from a band that is full of virtuoso musicians. These are individual musicians who independently have created solo albums and albums with other groups, they know how to ply their trade and what could be a clash of ego’s is in fact a collective who respect and value what everyone brings to the sound that is Royal Southern Brotherhood, creating great music that is fresh and lively and a joy to listen to.

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King King - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0249lSaturday, longest day of the year and the sky was dimmed rather than darkened as King King British Blues Award winning Band, were announced by Julian Moores, the crowd erupted as the ever popular frontman in a kilt Alan Nimmo who lights any festival fire entered the stage, with tonight on wurlitzer Hammond Organ the Dutchman Bob FridzemaKing King - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0072l who also provided backing vocals along with Wayne Proctor who provides the rocky Blues drumming that sets the tone of the band no wonder he has won British Blues Awards, combined with bassist King King - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0015lLindsay Coulson this is the platform that allows Alan to stand out front showcasing his wonderful vocals and guitar skills that leave you hanging on every note. It is no wonder that in many people’s eyes they are Britain’s best blues band, delivering polished performance of quality blues playing they do just keep getting better and better. The set included many of the numbers from their latest CD Standing in The Shadows interspersed with what have become King King classics that the fans expect. There was no standing in the shadow as they lifted the roof of the marquee and Alan engaged with the lively Saturday night audience who had enjoyed the hot day in the sun sampling the renowned delights of the famous BOTF beer tent. From the current album another fine live rendition of the Scottish rock singer-songwriter Frankie Miller’s, Jealousy that leaves the spine tingling as Alan pours buckets of emotional tension into the vocals and through the guitar strings along with two other fantastic tracks that were highlights for me A Long History of Love with vocals and award-winning Wayne ProctorKing King - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0079l drumming that shows the journey and Alan’s vocals ebb and flow like a tidal wave of lyrical out-pourings that are picked up and reflected back by his guitar and the keys this song could go on all night and the audience would still be delighted and Can’t Keep From Trying. Alan makes his guitar weep the performance is always super-charged as he represents an array of feelings from despair to confusion and the musicians around him build on this so that the atmosphere of the live music sound is taut with everybody’s collective reaction to the experiences they have gone through. Added into the mix were tracks fans in the audience just want to hear including Heart Without a Soul and Old Love which he did and he even with a master class in crowd control got the excited festival crowd to quieten down so that as the sound went down the magic went up. What a finale to the longest day of 2014 as the notes died away the crowd dispersed knowing first light was only a few hours away and another day and another headliner beckoned for the festival.

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Big Dez - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0023lSunday’s last act, last headline of 2014 the hours of Blues of The Farm 2014 were few… still there is next year and the festival ended on a high note with French band Big Dez. The only band I had not seen live or even heard a CD so was looking forward to what they had to offer. This six-piece played with a style that refused to be boxed in yes, Phil Fernandez on guitar more than doff’s his hat at Albert Collins combined with vocals that were easy on the ear and delivered a real electric blues sound. They delivered a set that echoes their latest album Wet Paint, that covers a palette of blues styles so they retain your interest and on stage with him were Big Dez - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0048lBala Pradal on keys and Marc Schaeller (blues-harp) and on rhythm & slide guitar Big Dez - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0019lRodolphe Dumont; the back line consisted of Bruno Maurin BassBig Dez - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0025l and Karim Bouazza on drums Big Dez - Friday - Blues On The Farm - June 2014_0012lproviding solidity and ensured every track had shape and form. Big Dez is out front with his spectacular guitar work full of control and hidden depths of passion and a voice that carries the lyrics. The set was a mix of styles and was not just an opportunity to sell is latest CD, his seventh with the band, who ply their trade, with selection of tracks from their various albums, including Anywhere Please from their 2009 album Late Live!; released the same year as with sponsorship of Blues Sur Seine, the band represented France at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Big Dez is full of blues energy that sparks between him and the band and the excellent rhythm guitarist Rod has the skill to spark off the guitar work of Big Dez and add layers of musical interest. Plying their trade around Paris they have developed a style that will not be boxed in this is not Blues set in aspic there is an open door in which they have welcomed funk, jazz and soul combined with lyrics that are full of wistfulness, regret and yearning a perfect cocktail that is Big Dez and French electric blues swizzled and stirred with Texan style and Chicago Ice they deliver self penned numbers that have licks and chords that makes the mouth water. The hardy festival goers left happy with the blues but left wanting more so come back and do a few more festivals blues of this calibre deserves to be heard blues numbers that included Lazy Star, You Can Smile,Ace Up Your Sleeve and a great version of Booker T’s Green Onions.

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So the headliners from over the Pond, British award-winning band and from across the channel and did the festival proud with three different acts showing that blues is open to musical interpretations that all have one thing in common they play with your emotions and deliver great music leaving you wanting more.