Stevie Westwood Talking About Bad Touch Headline Tour

Stevie Westwood Talking About Bad Touch Headline Tour

Stevie Westwood Talking About Bad Touch Headline Tour



BD: Thank you for taking time to talk to Bluesdoodles again before you head out on a headline tour with Mollie Marriott, Celebrating the tour you have just released a video with the download available from Monday 23rd October.  The number Baby Get It On sounds fab love the inclusion of Mollie’s vocals.  Let’s start off with how did you decide on this Tina Turner Classic?
SW: We wanted a new number to promote the tour for our first headline tour. Delighted to have the amazing Mollie Marriott as our special guest real privilege she has such an amazing voice. Seeks our guitarist said let’s try this one and he had a cracking arrangement. We demoed it and recorded the number and sent it to Mollie. Mollie liked it as so she came up to the studio and we recorded the video. The whole this was a quick turnaround from Seeks first suggesting Baby Get It On and then half day in the studio recording the number.



BD: Bad Touch has been touring with some great acts including King King and recently Kentucky Headhunters how does it feel to be Headliners?

SW:  Headlining, yes feel bizarre weird place excited nervous, a good nervous will give chance for fans a chance to come out and support us. We are planning to get everyone who has seen us play live out the nights will be good value for money. Good times to be had. The support from Mollie will be immense. So we are asking everyone who has heard a radio play or seen us supporting some amazing acts, come out and support live music.  We have as everyone keeps saying come a long way in a relatively short time we just now have to keep moving forward.
BD: How do you keep the music contemporary when the influences are clearly out of the 1970’s, that bluesy Southern Rock sound. How do you manage not to be a retro band, but one with a relevance for audiences here and now despite being compared to Black Crowes and others?

SW: Ha! Yes, we do keep getting compared to bands of the ‘70’s. We didn’t go out to do that. Yes, we are all fans of many bands from Lynyrd Skynyrd through to Led Zeppelin. The music we write is what we want to write the music we want to play to audiences. We are also influenced by contemporary bands, including Temperance Movement, The Answer, Rival Sons and Blackberry Smoke. Listening and absorbing music from a variety of bands keeps our finger on the pulse. The truth is Bad Touch sound is the one we have shaped by all the members of the band.  You have to keep going nowadays, writing the music you want to write, Bad Touch are creating a sound that is getting us heard.
BD: Your album Truth Be Told was out last year and has gained you lots of fans with radio airplay. Will we be hearing some new music in the Headline set list?

SW:  Yes thanks to stations like Planet Rock for the support. We have four new songs that will probably be on the new album which we are planning to release in the first half of 2018. It is good to play them live, can see what people think. How audience reacts to them and keeps the set list fresh.  So yes there will be some new music on the set list every night we play.

Check out Tour Venues, Dates and a click away from buying your Ticket  HERE

BD: For people who have missed out on seeing Bad Touch Live how would you describe your sound and live performance. What makes Bad Touch the band to see in 2017.
SW:  Mmmm… honestly that is hard to answer.  None of us has seen ourselves play live or reviewed our shows! What I can say is we play to make people feel good about themselves. We are a feel good Rock N’ Roll Band. We aim to break down the space between band and audiences we want to create that one good party feel. You have reviewed us what do you say?

BD: Ha! That is cheating turning the tables. Yes, feel good music that makes you smile. You certainly are a high energy performers that raise the temperature of any venue.
SW: Glad you have enjoyed the show.

BD: Stevie, you are the vocalist and frontman of Bad Touch share with our readers how you interact with the band.  From your performance on stage, it always appears that you are having fun.
SW:  Truthfully why would we be doing this, playing in a band, if we were not having fun? Without being too pessimistic it is certainly not for the money! As a band, we look at it as we are all brothers together. We all communicate on stage I find a raised eyebrow works well along with a quick word in ears. We do talk to each other between numbers. The fun is doing the numbers different to the studio version, keeping it fresh reacting to the audience building a conversation between the band and the audiences.

BD: Having seen you play live a few times, you always include a couple of covers how do you choose them. Also, will the new single Baby Get It On make an appearance in the forthcoming tour?
SW: Mmm…. playing number live, the stage could be cramped come to a show and find out. Would be fun Mollie is such a great singer full of talent. So may make an appearance. We always have a couple covers up our sleeves, audiences know these songs which is great if it is the first time they are seeing us live, Secondly used to feel up the time of the set if we have run ahead of ourselves, in fact, that is generally the reason why we add them into the set.

BD: The world of music is tough. Bad Touch seems to have an upward trajectory getting your music heard is a challenge and you have had lots of Radio Plays from the album. What impact both positive and negative is of downloads and streaming services such as YouTube, Sound Cloud, Spotify for Bad Touch’s music and getting the sound heard to a wide audience?
Music business is tough. Thank you, we like to think we are moving upwards long may that continue. I am old fashioned I like to buy the CD. I like building my collection and being able to browse and choose what I am going to play. I cherish what I have bought.  That said I am definitely not poo pooing anyone who listens to their music using streaming services. That said though I do feel that there has been a huge devaluation in the value of music now have the ability to have what you want without paying(or only paying minimal amount) for it. It is very hard, don’t know really we use YouTube and Sound Cloud for our music and it is a way to find music. I do though believe that streaming stops people from having to pay for music if you pay you put more value on the music you are listening to. BD: Read recently that people only listen to few seconds of intro before trying another track. SW: Yes, attention spans are now so short need to catch people attention in first few seconds or they move on. Technology is both amazing and scary everything is available in the instant which definitely has positives and negatives. I still like having my CD’s on a shelf they are always available even when Wi-Fi is down.

 BD: What other plans and excitements have you got planned for 2018 following a very busy 2017?

SW: Taking it as it comes. First priority is the new album follow-up to Truth Be Told. Bookings for 2018 are coming in so we will be keeping getting out there performing in front of audiences.
BD: What was the first album you bought and what is the most recent?

SW: Big Willie Style – Will Smith Like an Arrow by Blackberry Smoke
BD: We asked you your fantasy band when we talked last year so what are you listening to at the moment; whether on the tour bus or relaxing?

SW: Everything and anything. When out on tour we all bring the music we are listening to. We talk about it what we like about it.  All that we listen to sculpt the Bad Touch sound as we get down and write new stuff together. Currently, we have been listening to lots of Country having been on Tour with Kentucky Headhunters. Some great music out there to be discovered.

Bad Touch are:

Stevie Westwood
Rob Glendinning
Daniel ‘Seeks’ Seeking
George Dewry
Michael Bailey

BD: Once again thanks for your time and looking forward to seeing you with Bad Touch and Mollie Marriott at The Tunnels, Bristol


Youthful Guitarist Aaron Keylock is a Cut Against The Grain

Youthful Guitarist Aaron Keylock is a Cut Against The Grain

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!

Aaron Keylock – Cut Against The Grain – Mascot Label Group

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. All The Right Moves
  2. Down
  3. Medicine Man
  4. Falling Again
  5. Just One Question
  6. Against The Grain
  7. That’s Not Me
  8. Teg
  9. Spin The Bottle
  10. Sun’s Gonna Shine
  11. No Matter What The Cost

Lisa Mann Hitting the Bass Line Playing Live in The UK

Lisa Mann Hitting the Bass Line Playing Live in The UKLisa Mann Hitting the Bass Line Playing Live in The UK; the perfect post tennis concert. Lisa brought to show tonight twin-talents award-winning, captivating bass and wonderful vocals. With a depth of varied sound and shapes from her six-string beast that for most of the gig was nonchalantly draped over her right shoulder as she sung. Not looking for a moment as her fingers walked the frets she drew all the emotion out of every song.

Tonight and for the rest of her UK Tour, Lisa is accompanied by a trio of well-known musicians. Dudley Ross, guitar, instantly identifiable with stylish chords and jazz infused licks. Stevie Watts adding an array of chords with his dancing fingers across the Hammond and keys. He even sang tonight! then completing the rhythm section John Sam on his rhythmic drums.

Opening. with a Jimmy Reed number Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby, setting the road for a night full of blues and music that charmed and delighted the audience in the venue.

The venue provides an atmospheric backdrop that gives the artist a dramatic platform to play from. Lisa and her band distilled the environment and delivered a stylish set full of interest, variation of textures and tone, we had urban and country blues, funk and some good all feet tapping Rock n’ Roll the deep bass vibe interacting with Stevie on keys on Blues Is My Medicine, from her Move On album. Lisa charmed the audience warning of bad language on Big Long List from the same album, we all could relate to Lisa’s list of chores that haunt her and are never-ending she is right to call it ‘shit’.

Lisa Mann Hitting the Bass Line Playing Live in The UKTonight also saw Lisa dip into her latest album, Hard Times, Bad Decisions.  Doghouse audience participation as they joined in making dog noises at the end. My Father’s House is as strong performed on stage as it is in the studio format on the album. It is no wonder Lisa is an award-winning bass player,  her vocals should not be ignored with emotive tones and range from pure soprano to deep down and dirty. Lisa Mann it certainly wasn’t either Hard Times, or a Bad Decision to tune into your show tonight come back soon you will always be welcomed on a British stage.  Lisa still has these town’s to visit on her 2016 tour playing Deal, Merthyr Tydfil, Evesham, Putney, Edinburgh, Maidstone and Bristol – check out dates and venues HERE


lisa mann

Hollow Bones Album filled with Rival Sons Rock n’ Roll

Hollow Bones Album filled with Rival Sons Rock n’ Roll

Hollow Bones Album filled with Rival Sons Rock n’ Roll

Hollow Bones, Rival Sons, is another rock fuelled stop on the bands journey of development as they stride across the rock-stratosphere. This album fixes them firmly near the top the music just keeps getting better.

Jay Buchanan on vocals and the driving power of the band opens with the first part of Hollow Bones. The earworms are in the chorus, the riffs and the curdling cry of Hollow Bones. Rival Sons once again infect your conscious with fuzzed-up; fuelled up Rock n Roll that is sublime. The album was recorded in Nashville’s LCS Studio with Dave Cobb taking on production duties once again. Who can argue when he says “Rival Sons are the best rock’n’roll band on the planet”!
The music is drenched in a flow of sounds that are distilled into notes of raw emotion. The distinctive vocals of Jay Buchanan are full of fire, passion and the tonal depth of intensity, grabbing your attention and keeping your ears fixed in awe to the speaker. The music cascades and falls with a gushing complexity of textures which, when played loud, adds to a tonal journey of pure wonder and enjoyment.

Rival Sons are not a one-man outfit, guitarist Scott Holidays playing throughout the album adds tonal texture and aural interest. The fuzzy signature and the searing chords play their part in underpinning the emotion and tones of Jay’s Vocals. None of these theatricals would be possible without the rhythmic engine room of Dave Beste on bass punctuated by the stylish drumming of Michael Miley.

The weather changes with Thundering Voices the bands intro full of an underlying menace and tension. The tension wraps around the spirituality held within the vocal delivery and driven by Scot’s guitar and the driving bass line from Dave. The driving Drum and Bass shape the track Baby Boy, this is no gentle lullaby the lyrics are hard ‘Look at the Baby Boy with a gun in his hands’ sings jay as the drumming picks up the underlying message in a punctuation that is pithy and questioning. Many of the tracks are destined with time to become rock classics. Who could resist the guitar riff within Pretty Face? Combined with a mega-chorus this track must be high on the demanding shouts to be released as a single, destined to become a firm favourite with the fans.

The combination of drums, guitar, and bass-line of Fade Out gives the simplicity of the track the shape to contain the vocal power and tension held within Jay’s vocals and the lyrics. This is a stunning track play it loud and often and it will blow audiences away every time it is performed live with its shades of blues merging in with the driving rock. The tempo picks up for caffeine fuelled riffs of Black Coffee, with its bluesy licks from Scott’s guitar. This Humble Pie number is given the Rival treatment included in the album having first been released for 2015 Record Store. The 1973 track fits neatly into the hollow of the bones within their latest album.

This studio album has a rawness a sense of the unknown around the corner that you get with live music they are taking you on a musical ride that leaves you invigorated, drained and wanting more. They create this feeling of giving you an encore by placing Hollow Bones Pt 2. as the penultimate track. Pt2; picks up the beat with plaintive Jay making the lyrics work and our bones feel hollow as primeval chanting picks up the pace. This is epic. Left exhausted, thrilled and hyper all at the same time like a show you want more. So they do with the last track All That I Want. The tempo calms, the electric flow dampened with a tender, breath-taking number. Jay’s vocals thirst-quenchingly beautiful as he sings “hope it pleases you” Oh yes this pleases me immensely as it leaves me with tears in my eyes. Only an ice-queen or King could remain unmoved! Jay’s vocals. Acoustic guitar and the haunting power of strings as the album closes. Hollow Bones is an album that has nothing hollow about it. Filled with lyricism, music and a feeling of wondrous enjoyment that only perfect rock ‘n’ roll can deliver.

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

Rival Sons – Hollow Bones – Earache Records

Track Listing 

  1. Hollow Bones Pt.1
  2. Tied Up
  3. Thundering Voices
  4. Baby Boy
  5. Pretty Face
  6. Fade Out
  7. Black Coffee
  8. Hollow Bones Pt. 2
  9. All That I want

With No Sinner Album Old Habits Die Hard

With No Sinner Album Old Habits Die Hard

With No Sinner Album Old Habits Die Hard

No Sinner are back with a follow-up album to their debut Boo Hoo Hoo; an album we really enjoyed. Have they achieved with the difficult follow-up album a feeling of progression, growth? Oh Yes, Old Habits Die Hard has the wow factor.  Colleen Rennison (say my name backward it’s No Sinner!) has vocals of such an intensity they heat up the lyrics so that you are absorbed deep into the melodic phrasing.  Kicking the album into top gear All Women casts the tone and shape of Old Habits Die Hard, and with the energy and vibe it is a musical habit we want No Sinner to keep.  The textures and tonal colours of Colleen’s voice changes and the passion shines through from Leadfoot where a snarling Colleen is matched by the harmonica snarl; or on Hollow, a mellower number with a ballad and the building of this juxtaposition between good and evil or love & hate. Hollow is no gentle syrupy ballad it has a hard edge this is music that makes a rock n’ roll statement.

No Sinner delivers blues that puts grit in your soul and melodies that curl around your music antennae and stays there as you delve deeper into the lyrics and become immersed in the raw power of her vocals. This is a voice made for rock-coloured blues it is that of a confident woman who knows what she wants to sing. Comparing her with others is pointless this is a voice that will stamp its own mythology and love in the twenty-first century.  The instrumentation excites the platform for the vocals to soar on A Friend of Mine the energy cannot be caged it has to flow loud and clear from the speaker. She may sing Tomorrow Gonna Fade Away after a drum and bass entry, there is one thing for sure No Sinner ain’t fading anywhere as they reflect in the album’s music. The intro of simplicity of piano and voices gives a quieter cooler moment; Lines On A Highway is blissful as we remember that at times we need to take time out. Coleen is less rock warrior more gospel hippy on this thoughtful introspective track.  Closing out the album with sumptuous deep blue slide guitar Mandy Lyn. This is an album full of maturity and expectations as to where No Sinner fronted by Colleen Rennison will take us next. Step on board it is going to be a rock roaring journey of musical sliding and aged energy. .

This is a modern album fresh and pitching to be mixed in with bands that are vocally led including Rival Sons, Temperance Movement and Northern Ireland’s Kaz Hawkins Band. Now this would be a gig as two hard-edged full on voices challenged each other in attitude and power.  Out of Vancover, No Sinner with Old Habits Die Hard are going to leave scorching music marks through every speaker they are played through. The indentations of musical power on every stage they step. Colleen fronting No Sinner is a force to be reckoned with no one will turn away but will turn and face the maelstrom of delights they have to offer.

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

No Sinner – Old Habits Die Hard – Mascot Group Label – Out 20th May 2016

Track Listings

  1. All Woman
  2. Leadfoot
  3. Tryin
  4. Saturday Night
  5. Hollow
  6. Get It Up
  7. A Friend Of Mine
  8. Tomorrow Gonna Fade Away
  9. When The Bells Ring
  10. Lines On The Highway
  11. One More Time
  12. Mandy Lyn

In Conversation with Guitarist JD Simo

 In Conversation with Guitarist JD Simo

In Conversation with Guitarist JD Simo




BD: I was delighted when Mascot Label asked us to review your latest album Let Love Show You The Way.  It is an album full of twists and turns and luscious tones. In other words enjoyed the album very much.


BD: What were your first musical influences growing up in Chicago?
JD Simo:
Early influence was Rock n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Heard Elvis and fell in love with his music and the Family Tree of music leads up to him and then all the music after him. Went on exploring music after the initial influences.
American music Hillbilly Country and Country are a melding of working class black and white, a co-mingling of styles. Gospel and Rn’B are inter-related. Back in the 50’s lines between genres were blurred, listen to music including  Hank Williams, Fats Domino, Howlin’ Wolf listen and the similarities are working class primeval places.
BD: Genres have become fixed putting musicians into categories.

JD Simo: I understand the need in a commercial environment. There needs to be high levels of brand recognition so that the consumers know what they are letting themselves in for.  All of us in the band do not mind at all being associated with the blues. Blues is a big foundation of our music, but we don’t really play the blues live. Feel embarrassed in the respect of the art form as I feel we are not representative of blues and what is being said about us. We are a Rock, Rock n’Roll band to our core.

BD: In the preamble Joe Bonamassa has quoted you JD as one of the best around. Quite a recommendation how does that add to the pressure?

JD Simo: Not added pressure, just grateful that he has been so kind. Joe has been a good friend of mine for a while, love him as a friend. It goes deeper than just a friendship. Compliments are always good from others, in fact, make me feel bashful with all the kindness and grateful. The pressure, we put that on ourselves, pressure to do better tonight and the next night.

BD: Having reviewed the Album, can you tell us about recording in the Big House and the inspiration behind Let Love Show The Way

JD Simo: Incredible experience, it was all haphazard just happened. We went with intention of just doing a couple of bonus tracks that the label, mascot wanted. The rest of the album was already recorded. I have friends involved with Allman Brothers so seemed to be a good place to record Macon Georgia. As a session musician I’m not that keen on recording in a studio and like to record in different spaces, quirky places. We had two days set aside. I have found that essentially the recording process is either fast or slow and not many points in-between. So a truck load of equipment arrived from Nashville. All worked perfectly and after an hour we had the bonus tracks recorded and had the extra time to fill so just kept working and then eight, nine, ten tracks were cut and usable. We just repeated the whole process the next day and left feeling really good but reserving judgment until starting mixing after we finished a bunch of shows. So mixed 2/3 songs really happy with them so decided with the engineer to keep mixing result a better album than the one we already had! Now with new running order sent off to Mascot – they agreed.  Yes, we were inspired didn’t go with idea of making a record. Core was raw a jamming feel we are a bit of a schizophrenic group.  We mix tightly constructed songs around three minutes including Please and I Lied, these are concise songs. Others are vehicles for improvisation when playing live and recording, We enjoy doing both. The mix jam and structured songs bring a balance we love them both and gives records a balanced feel keep trying to achieve this on the next record as well.

BD: Everyone is always interested in guitars what are your preferred set-ups plus the obvious thrill it must have been playing Duane Allman’s 1957 Goldtop

JD Simo: Guitar set-up is minimal. I do not have a complicated rig – no pedals just plug straight into the amp. I have a great love of vintage equipment it is a passion and a hobby. Old Gibson electric is my main guitar and 1960’s Fender/Marshall amps. For me, this gives a clear sound not muddled in the way of playing. Leave it to the hands to decide what to do, treat it like a voice you sing straight into a microphone. It’s pure that is what I am trying to accomplish.

Playing Duane Allman’s Goldtop was a thrill all that history. I am friends with the gentleman who owns it and have used it multiple times, on display in the museum in Macon.  I was told I was welcome to use it what an honour, especially in that environment the Old House and old guitar. It is definitely one of those career moments you will always look back on and say Wow!

It is amazing that Duane is so well remembered not just in America but over here as well, the biggest pity is he never got to see the success. Allman’s were playing in front of fifty or so people in colleges and less in clubs often only around fifteen.  Filmore’s was the exception and being on big bills at a handful of festivals. He never experienced the full wack of all the hard work. Boy did the Allman’s work hard and then Duane was taken. When he passed in 1972 Allman’s then started to headline he missed the success by a matter of months a real shame.

Being a new group getting established equates  to the amount of hard work takes will play a lot and not sleep you have to be rigorous playing lots shows so climb to the point where people are aware of you. Nothing has really changed, it’s the same process. I am grateful people take time to listen, review, interview us and come to our shows it keeps the momentum building.

BD: I have always been interested in the lyrics of a song. Where do you get your inspiration for your songwriting?

JD Simo: All very personal. I Lied is me talking about not feeling very comfortable admitting when something is wrong. Expressing something that troubles me can do it in a song. Pulled a couple passages from Allen Ginsberg around his love of Jack Kerouac – being a man who is frightened not clear but the spoken phrasing encapsulates the inner madness and not having the acumen to do it. Then I’ll Always be Around is not a romantic song, but about a very close friendship coming to an end. There are also ethereal songs I’d Rather Die In Vain internal struggle of not letting negative side of one’s thoughts. One thing to be positive but often easier to yield to the more negative side. Internal struggle not always been easy. Songs have to be real not a penchant with something made-up. Normally I have to express a reality. Easier through songs than the spoken word.

BD: Having talked about guitars and lyrics do you consider yourself as a guitarist first, vocalist second or they equally important

JD Simo:  Always be a guitarist. Older I get the vocals become more important. People including me respond to the singer more than another instrument. The voice conveys the emotion in every song, so I get to express myself. Analogy of a guitarist or any instruments use it as a shield to express, it is what you hide behind. When you sing you have nothing raw as ever but nothing to hide behind. Taken long time to feel confident. Gratifying as no purer way to express yourself. With an instrument all the notes are right where you left them. Whereas the human voice is not like that, it is more temperamental, every night it is different. Depending on what you have eaten, how much talking on a daily basis the voice changes, how you express yourself with the voice is most human.

BD I am sure you have many plans for 2016 and beyond for SIMO – hope you are going to do a more extensive tour of UK.

JD Simo: We are back in Europe in July and have lots of festivals including Ramblin’ Man and Cornbury in the UK. Then we are back in the fall for extended Planet Rock tour throughout the UK. BD: I hope that includes Wales.

JD Simo: Love to visit there too. Be amazing how recognition of band has grown from first London gig last year then the recent three gigs London. Sheffield and York. Taken aback by the audience it was wonderful lovely that an unknown band was sold out in London and Sheffield. Real thrill to see people queuing to get in. Always been influenced by UK RnB. Thanks to British groups playing the sound was re-energized as beginning to wain in America back in the 60’s. Getting to play in the UK has been very cool and becoming a fan of sausage and mash.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
JD Simo: This is fun….

Drums:  Elvin Jones – Jazz drummer Miles Davies, John Coltrane etc.

Bass: Carl Radle – Derek & the Dominoes, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton etc.
Guitars:  Daune Allman and of course JD Simo have to be able to play with him on my fantasy band.
Vocals: Steve Winwood – Traffic, Blind Faith etc..

Organ:  Billy Preston
Steve Winwood

Horn Section:
Tenor Sax: King Curtis
Trombone: Tom Malone
Trumpet: Wayne Jackson

Now should I have two drums moment consideration and it was yes so

Second Drums Al Jackson Jnr joins the band drummer at Stax and Booker T drummer.

SIMO – Members: J. D. Simo, (guitar & Vocals) Adam Abrashoff, (Bass), Elad Shapiro (drums).
Albums: Let Love Show The Way, Love, Vol. 1
Genres: Blues-rock, Psychedelic rock, Jazz fusion
Read more about SIMO HERE
Read Bluesdoodles review Let Love Show You The Way HERE

Another Good Friday Tramshed with Tax The Heat and Reef

Another Good Friday Tramshed with Tax The Heat and Reef

Another Good Friday Tramshed with Tax The Heat and Reef


Another Good Friday Tramshed with Tax The Heat and ReefAnother packed auditorium and the upper balcony full of happy Reef fans, the vibe was hot and the music was going to rock as the darkness descended on the Good Friday Cardiff crowd. Opening for Reef tonight were Tax The Heat, and the quartet wasted no time to impress the audience opening with Learn To Drown and then the title track of their forthcoming debut album Fed To the Lions. This is a band that just want to play the Rock n Roll, Rhythm and Blues they love with the overarching twist of British attitude and rock. This is no retro quartet, they are building a fan base across the UK having opened with Reef on the 2015 Thunder tour. With two guitars upfront and Alex Veale’s vocal prowess getting lots of harmonizing and support from all of the band in their role as backing vocalists they certainly impressed. Alex plays guitar and sings and JP Jacyshyn adds a mean slide guitar to add a layer of sonic tone that creates shades and interest. Added to this mix is a powerful rhythm section drummer Jack Taylor in the centre and bassist Antonio Angotti they create a sharp modern sound that excites. We were all delighted to hear their latest single Animal and the closing two tracks are not a reflection of the reality of the band. They have definitely not Lost Our Way, (on Debut album) this is rock that connects and the Highway Home will be a long and winding one as they have more and more gigs to play. If you missed them in Wales this time you get a second chance as they are back playing Steelhouse Festival in July another mighty fine reason to get tickets for the weekend.

Another Good Friday Tramshed with Tax The Heat and ReefWith the stage set the excitement was palpable as Reef strode onto the stage and greeted with a deafening roar of pure delight from the crowd. With Just Feel The Love kicking the band into action, the love was a two way interaction as they built the energy they were in excellent form. If the only track you really know by Reef is the 1996 top ten hit Place Your Hands, then by Higher Vibration the second number your ears and rock mindset should be pure Reef. With its catchy chorus everyone was soon singing and feeling a part of the show. Reef is an inclusive sound. The set that entertained and set the Tramshed alive with Reef Mania was a mix of old and new, as they explored the tracks from Albums from Replenish through to Live in St Ives, then a couple of new numbers slotted in.  Reef today were a band of five with the addition of keyboards who joined the West Country quartet. Garry Stringer, vocals; Jesse Wood, guitar and a rhythm section bassist and sometime acoustic guitarist Jack Bessant and drummer Dominic Greensmith. Gary Stringer’s vocals are full of power, they demand your attention he is in full control and like the band is having as much fun as the audience. On bass Jack, bare footed and with a mane of hair is loud, full of dynamism that is the perfect foil to the antics of Gary up front. With its bounding drum intro courtesy of Dominic and the twang of the banjo makes New Bird, a new song surely already in a box marked next single. It has a stand out rhythm that set this number out from the crowd of Reef delights.

Another Good Friday Tramshed with Tax The Heat and ReefCardiff crowds never need to be asked twice to sing and tonight they were in full voice. The chorus of Stone For Your Love, was perfect, everyone in good voice enjoying the musical athletics of Gary as he straddled the stage and the barrier to get close to an ecstatic front stage. Delighted to add their voice to the proceedings and to touch hands it was a case of Place Your hands. The set was blistering every track further animating the backed audience as hands went up into the air it was party time as we all sang along. The Tramshed once again, thanks to the music, was on fire and the atmosphere electric, crammed and good-natured full of laughing and camaraderie of shared musical experience.   Reef’s West Country rock is infectious with a combination of great melodies, chorus lines that demand audiences to join in. The rock my not be heavy, grungy but it is mighty fine and they can rock with the best as the encore closed with a new track Revelation and closing with Yer Old. While you stand listen and dance to bands like Reef your youth remains an eternal flame.  The many Reef fans left the auditorium full of pure enjoyment from hearing Reef up close and an opportunity to belt out the choruses of the many tracks they knew off by heart. Those newer to the Reef chain they knew that this is a band they want to hear again very soon.


Live music the perfect start to a Bank Holiday weekend, Another Good Friday Tramshed with Tax The Heat and Reef a winning combination.


Ian Siegal Band, Jazz, Bristol Sunshine

Ian Siegal Band, Jazz, Bristol SunshineIan Siegal Band, Jazz, Bristol Sunshine

Ian Siegal Band, Jazz, Bristol SunshineColston Hall was teeming with jazz in the foyer and a myriad of acts playing from Friday through to Sunday evening. Sunday afternoon Ian Siegal with his band entertained and thrilled the audience in The Lantern, Colston Hall. Opening with I am The Train, the show was underway this was going to be a journey through blues, rock n’ roll blending the tones to create the sound instantly recognizable as Ian Siegal at his very best. The quartet are stunning, what a combination. Ian Siegal with his vocals that growl, then lightens delivers a piercing squeal and the guitar coils around the notes and melody. Adding to this heady mix of sounds are a trio of Dutchmen; the miraculous guitar supremo Dusty Ciggaar, on bass Danny Van’t Hoff and completing the power hub of a rhythm section is Raphael Schwiddessen.

Ian Siegal Band, Jazz, Bristol SunshineIn between the numbers that flowed from across Ian’s deep and wide repertoire this afternoon we had interlude music adding fun to the proceedings with the hint of a jazz beat at times. Mortal Coil Shuffle was so highly charged with emotion, with Ian on slide on this magnificent number it is the lyrics and vocal textures that standout. Dusty on this and every track doubles the intensity with his adept manipulation of the six-strings creating layers of tone as the chords created blow your mind including the signature James Brown special licks and riffs. This short festival set had tracks that Ian always shines on including Brandy Balloon and a great rendition of the Siegal classic Early Grace. Live this track retains its poignancy and relevance it is a timeless treasure from Britain’s outstanding Blues man. This is blues that has every tonal shade stretching the genre including Hill country wonders, and rock n roll a baby of the blues family. Ian was on top form this afternoon, with his story-telling and raw wit and the trio of numbers that leaves you breathless with wonder and the dexterity, ingenuity and skill of Ian and his band; She’s Got The Devil In Her, and then Gallo del Ceilo, with Tom Russel’s lyrics shaped to suit the Tex Mex arrangement that calls for Dusty and his mighty Baritone guitar, what an outstanding tone. Then Falling on Down breathless with music that overloaded the senses with its power and variation. Ian Siegal never disappoints and this afternoon he was beyond amazing. With guitars and bass plugged straight in to the amplifiers the strings were strummed, picked and slid over to create a sound that exhilarates; guitar heaven. Ian said quite rightly, Dusty is the best guitar player on the planet whilst for me Ian continues to be the best guitar/vocalist on the circuit today.

All too soon it was encore time, with a Dylan cover, and closing the afternoon that we all wanted to go on and on; Take a Walk in The Wilderness dedicated to Big George was sung with a poignant wistfulness.

Ian Siegal out of Portsmouth via the high and oft turbulent high seas of gigging throughout U.K. and Europe; now based in Netherlands Ian Siegel brings the Southern rocking winds to Colston on a Sunday Afternoon as aort of Bristol Jazz Festival.

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Ian Siegal back on Tour with Jimbo Mathus check out the dates HERE

Ian Siegal Jimbo Mathus

Get Close to Geoff Carne and the Hatz

Get Close to Geoff Carne and the Hatz

Get Close to Geoff Carne and the Hatz

The album has a blues intensity encapsulated in the title track Get Close. Geoff Carne and the Hatz British Blues with an edge that ensures that Get Close is blues stepping beyond the legacy of the British music scene of the Sixties & Seventies.

The grinding guitar with a fuzzed-up edge is a signature and we are introduced to the relentless beat and drive in Out To The Country. The opening track is how we escape from the grind from daily commute and urban stress and demands to breathe out and reconnect with blues skies out in the country. Opening with a gale force guitar power that doesn’t shriek but has a deep rhythmical chant that allows the vocals to explore the words so that the lyrics are given the space to tell the tale of Shot Down in Ten. This is blues that doesn’t drown you in a 12-bar riff but works its way deep into your music brain. There are memories of riffs and licks of yesteryear, they flick in and out as part of the overall freshness of the Carne & Hatz sound created on Get Close. The blues are deep in the DNA of Giving Me The Blues with a raunchy edge and a foot-tapping rhythm once again the vocals are a tonal pattern more spoken that sung that creates a sound that is interesting and recognisable as their interpretation of how blues works.

We are back to the rhythmical driving beat on Nine Miles to the Border the drumming is so persistent and this is a darker journey with a border tantalizingly close before a word is sung. The track is again full of a raw unrestrained energy. The closing number an electric piano version of Get Close, taking the tempo down leaving the listener mellow and they will Get Close to the power being explored by Geoff Carne and the Hatz.

This is a collaboration between Geoff Carne and Mick Hatz; Get Close aimed to re-light the sparks from their early career. There is no doubt that there is a raw sizzling energy captured in the album which shows the chemistry between them still has a creative form and shape. The album is British Rock N’ Roll infused with the history of the blues. The tracks have an energy that drives the album forward. Some variation in guitar tone and textures of the sound would have given Get Close that little bit extra to make it a real stand out album.

Get Close – Geoff Carne and the Hatz – Independent

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


Get Close – Geoff Carne and the Hatz – Independent

Track Listing

1. Out To The Country
2. Lost In You
3. Shot Down In Ten
4. Get Close
5. Another Piece of Me
6. Giving Me The Blues
7. Whatever Will Be
8. Who’s Fooling Who
9. Nine Miles To The Border
10. Get Close (Electric Piano Version)

Sunday 24th January Equals Rock & Blues – Skegness

Sunday 24th January Equals Rock & Blues – Skegness


Back to the Church of live music on Sunday the last day of Skegness Rock and Blues weekend and what a way to start; Babajack back on REDS after raising the roof last year with their unique talented re-working of blues roots music the Babajack way! 

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Feels strange to be listening to them at midday instead of late at night. Babajack are special they refuse to be pigeon-holed into any genre they just play the music they love with verve and excitement and Becky wins you over every time with a sparkling smile and voice that carries you into a world of music with emotional twists and turns. Babajack sum themselves up as – rooted in the passion of live music! Opening as a duo, Becky & Trevor fill the auditorium with deep chords and zinging energy that ignites with Hammer & Tongs. Then the tempo rises with an additional rhythm section Tosh on drums and Adam on bass. The creation of a four-piece frees Becky up to dance and sing with the freedom of not being the percussionist as well. It works every time I hear Babajack and they transport me into their roots fuelled energy bubble of music. Gallows Pole a  British folk tune travelled to be reinterpreted by Leadbelly then back again for a Zep rock number. Now it is Babajack’s! the centre piece of their set. The new material from their forthcoming anticipated album sounds good, very good. Once again winning new fans and there were a few if the length of the queue at the merch desk is a measure. Staying in Reds for some heavy metal from part of the movement NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal ) Tygers of Pantang rocked REDS. A charismatic and grand entrance for this energetic visually appealing and musically heavy band.   The Tygers deliver rock with an edgy rawness that connects, In-your-face rock always works. This is always going to be a band that fans of heavy rock are going to enjoy time and time again. This is heavy rocky and the guitar riffs rock through the vocals. I popped my head around the door and dropped into the jazz zone and to my surprised it was packed. Up front crowds were dancing smiling and delighted to be basking in the sound waves of Courtney Pine’s saxophone. What a diverse sound this afternoon Babajack, Tygers and then Courtney; shows once again music is a broad church and Butlins brings it all to a stage at Skegness over the weekend.

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Sunday’s Introducing Stage provided four bands that again reflected the difference in grassroots music across the country. Opening with Rainbreakers, I had heard and reviewed the album so looking forward to hearing them live. Rainbreakers delivered live a young band full of style and energy. Rainbreakers delivered a tight high quality set full of delectable riffs and licks. The stage craft was great and the vocals strong this was a set that got the crowds around the stage excited. They set the bar very high for the following three bands. Voodoo Sheiks followed performing amixed set of covers and their own material all getting the giving them ‘Voodification’ treatment. Dancers were delighted and stepped up to dance and this was blues that rocked with urbane panache. This was a popular band that certainly will always be a hit at festivals and clubs. From Scotland, The Brian Rawson Band, this was a solid set as they re-shaped classic blues, including On Top of the World.  Tamira Herrebrugh up front, recently re-located from her native Amsterdam to Glasgow and is a perfect fit for this easy going blues band.  The last of the 2016 bands playing for the chance to play on a main stage in 2017 were Derbyshire based These Wicked Rivers. Love the originality of the name. Unfortunately for me this rockier band missed the originality test. They played a rockier set with a big voice up front. For the numbers all merged the tone and beat did not have a contrast and thus the groove didn’t stand out enough in each number.

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Sunday evening the end of the weekend and still so many bands to fit in. Opening on Centre Stage were The Della Grants. They won last year on the Introducing Stage so this was their moment in the limelight of a main stage. They stepped up, smiled and played their socks off. The Della Grants loved being on the big stage and the audience loved hearing them, hence the huge queue to buy the EP launched tonight. They opened with Lay My Head a harp driven ditty delivered with confidence and charisma. The majority of the set were their own numbers, the exceptions being Keb Mo’s Am I Wrong with change of vocalist from Max to Tom, and the classic Stones track Miss You. A magnificent set, enjoyed by the packed audience they played with aplomb and passion it was a fun ride to hear this band step out on a big stage. Joined by Steve Walwyn, guitarist from Dr Feelgood for Red Mist finishing the set in style. The atmosphere was electric what a thoroughbred R n’ B start to the evening.  Bluesdoodles stayed for another helping of British R N’ B from Dr Feelgood. An evergreen band, always deliver the music that people enjoy whenever they appear and they often do in Butlins in January. They come back because they are popular people danced sang along and had pure festival fun.

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Quick trip out of the heat of Centre stage and some welcomed fresh air to catch up with Martin Turner plays Wishbone Ash. Opening with a couple of new numbers then we were plunged back into the 1970’s back catalogue.  The songs were near-perfect reproductions of the original numbers, Warrior was terrific. Wonderful prog-rock, where the music speaks for itself. Winding up with Jailbait this was a set of nostalgia rather than quality. Closing act on Reds was Wille and The Bandits, quirky is their unique selling point.  This was a set full of drama and interest. The lyrics were strong and the music was full of textures and tonal shapes, with a mix of electric and acoustic instruments. The upright bass created a delight full sound as the bow was passed across the strings. The slide and lap guitar sound was rough and powerful that hits deep into your solar plexus. The vocals were full of gravelly tones adding emotion to the lyrics. Their version of Black Magic Woman was spellbinding.  The whole set was quirky and controlled refreshingly different and who can resist a cow bell.

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The last band for Bluesdoodles was Paul Lamb and The King Snakes, They produced a set that always worked the venue was packed and Paul’s harp curled around the stage and beyond. Like the Feelgoods, and Nine Below Zero they will always draw the crowds and have a loyal following. Why? It is quality blues that just leaves you with a smile on your face and spring in your step and the beat of music pulsing through your veins.

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