Advent Day 18 What Bluesdoodles Talked about in 2017
Throughout 2017 Bluesdoodles has had the opportunity to talk to some wonderful musicians. Adding to the excitement We now have Wes O’Neill who will continue throughout out 2018 bringing you insightful interviews; Liz will be adding some as well. Bluesdoodles giving you an inside view of the artists we love to hear play live and recorded. Everyone at Bluesdoodles thanks, to the PR and Record Companies and most of all our gratitude to all the artists for their valuable time and willingness to answer the questions.
Bluesdoodles discussed, new albums, debut Albums, first Headliner Tour and what makes a great song. Explore the thirty conversations, listen and buy the music and see artist live where and whenever possible
Mascot Label Group once again building on the amazing year of 2016. Throughout 2017 from January to December the label keeps delivering albums from Artists & Bands Rocking the blues and more they excite the listening ear.
Beth Hart’s music stripped back, with the lyrics laid bare was an emotional journey for everyone tears were shed on stage and in the auditorium tonight. This is music that connects a great performer with the audience.
“The album, where nothing is overdone, acoustic authenticity maintained, Joe’s vocals the best I have heard. No theatrics, music and the power of lyrics telling the story in perfect harmony”. Full Bluesdoodles Review of the Album Live At Carnegie Hall HERE
BD:Hi JD delighted to have the opportunity to chat with you once again for Bluesdoodles. A year has passed and we have a new album to explore and enjoy Rise and Shine. The follow-up to the acclaimed Let Love Show You The Way. You have certainly gone off on a different journey as we Rise and Shine with SIMO.
JD Simo: It is always a pleasure to talk with you. On our way to Nashville to Rise & Shine Record release show.
BD: Tell us about the making of Rise and Shine and how the eleven tracks were weaved together as a tour de force?
JD Simo: Started the concept last year during that ridiculous touring schedule. There was a hint of the direction at the live shows on our last tour especially in the UK. We had so much material and not had time to work on so many songs. The concept came out as we got bored creatively with what we were putting out material wise. We wanted to push the sound by how we view this and push that so we could find a place that felt unfamiliar. That coupled with the determination to be the best we could be through writing and the music. We could have easily gone in and made an album that was familiar. We wanted to craft and make music with a purpose and with a refinement. Using a methodical approach to be the best possible. This takes time and effort and is a bit scary. It is easy to be lazy being tricked by praise and believing what you are telling yourself. That stops creativity.
The nucleus was when we finally got home in January. No shows and a month studio time already blocked off. So we bared down onto the album. It was a lot of hard work. Lots of time spent it was serious and fun definitely not stressful. It was like a good work out working through and feeling good at the end. Every day was a stretch, it took a long time to arrange and work out the songs. How we were going to do it, what the concept was how the track would sound and fit into the album.
Studio time we were there every day with long hours of crafting our music it was good not to have to rush. We had the time to capture a good performance. Sometimes a track took a long time others a lot shorter. It then took two months to mix. Making the album was a marathon rather than a sprint.
Rise and Shine is a piece of work that represents the best of what we are capable of. It feels like our first record. If it reminds you of other works that is not intentional. In the past it was intentional. Here we said lets deconstruct I am really proud of the result.
BD: You have described the sound as Psychedelic Blues, many have fused soul and funk onto the blues base but you have gone one step further for me this is progressive blues, experimental. Why do you describe your music as Psychedelic ?
JD Simo: What my music ends up being called is terms is meaning less and less to me. It has to be done in the world we live in. It is fun to hear everyone’s take on the music. Everyone has a different take, it is good that they are finding something that resonant.
Psychedelic is another way to say experimental not taking the norm. A lot of elements makes this experimental with different textures and sounds. The record is still Rock n Roll. Trying to push finding inspiring sounds is cool.
BD: How did you come up with the jaunty title Rise & Shine almost a pop feel?
JD Simo: There is a pun in that behind the name is a concept of growth and your inner light/beauty and the ability to convey that. There are miracle themes, spiritual elements. Rising out of whatever you are dealing with. Shine the message is don’t hold it in, it is okay to let your inner self be seen. There were other names considered. In the end we all liked the title it is kind of funny and suited the album..
BD: You made the decision to take a month out and producing the album yourself. Did this give you more control combine the feeling of a live show, energy of a jam and the experimental sonic tones all into the same album that makes sense and is never disjointed?
JD Simo: We had complete control it was incredible. I was astounded that I was given the opportunity, they had faith in me. So I was given the opportunity to see the vision through. We wanted the live energy on each song. They were treated singularly. There were lots of songs that didn’t make it and others were torn apart during pre-production. The aim was that on each song we nailed it, sonically what suited the track. Some link Meditate were laid back, with intense parts felt the track was laid back, not always easy to capture. It was great to have complete control. We took it really seriously there was no messing around.
BD: The opening track Return is a sonic assault as you tune in you realise that Return is not return to the same you have gone in a different direction as the band moulds influences from Beck to Prince with deep bass lines, vocals that are beguiling an opening track opening the doors on the new shape of SIMO?
JD Simo: Once we got to the mixing stage we were fairly methodical as we considered how the album would flow. The choice of opening with Return was to knock you of your balance, a track you would not expect us to do. In the end it felt the best, felt right to start that way.
A lot of thought went into how to sequence the record. We really loved the opening of the record and the rest made sense. Return, was lyrically a good place to start. The songs get more and more persona. They are what JD personally gone through. Light The Candle starts to gets heavier subject more about the world outside of me and more intense. It was just the way it worked out in the end.
BD: SIMO have been describe your sound as retro but that is for me too easy. Your sound is modern cutting edge how do you manage that?
JD Simo: Retro is a fair assessment of what we were creating before Rise & Shine. Not indicative of where we are now. We have turned away from retro it is a natural evolution. Where we are getting more genuine and comfortable. It is like not putting on someone else’s cloths. This is what we were doing with the best of intentions before. It is like growing up, at High School you dress like everyone else. You think man I don’t like this shirt I am not going to wear that anymore. Musically it is like that. Retro was a way of exploring a range of influence. Yet we have as many influences that are contemporary, including Alabama Shakes and Wilco we needed to re-group.
BD: Following on from moving on from being Retro, did you use different equipment on Rise and Shine?
JD Simo: Great question. Yes we did use different equipment. Didn’t use anything used on previous albums. It was all stuff I had found myself it was my own equipment. In the past I had used equipment used by people I admire and love used trying to be authentic.
Now I have collected equipment that suits me in fact none of the equipment was used before it was fresh start on Rise & Shine.
BD: The lyrics are often deep, very personal how much have you been influenced by your extensive travels in 2016 and the election of President Trump last November?
JD Simo: Majority a lot is about me. This is obvious the emotions I have been through and very observational. I was trying to work through stuff I had to deal with myself. I had to face myself. It is more honest not alluding but very stark, uncomfortable at times to listen to. This was a conscious choice on my part. I know I am a decent musician as a writer I have never forced myself to write as good as I can. It is important to work on writing. It is absolutely the most important thing is the writing. I love writing it helped me to have the confidence to work to be better and better. Focusing as much on writing as being a good musician that is not being neglected though. Just working harder to be as good a writer as I am a good musician. It feels really good.
We had a listening party. A bunch of people came round I felt really uncomfortable, sick to the stomach. It was hard for me to do, listening to the songs. Bringing stuff up not expressed before in front of a group of people. Once I recovered it felt fine through this journey I have become a decent writer I have revealed everything I needed to. Writers like Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan and Neil Young they do that all the time. I am not comparing myself to them but is sets the bar high to aim for that a better job than I have ever done before.
BD: Will you be touring Europe with this new exciting album?
JD Simo: Yes, have a three-week tour of Europe mainly Germany, one night Holland, Belgium and London. Just doing shorter tours, can’t do the 5-6 weeks just too draining for us. Early 2018 will be back in Europe more dates UK and some of the other countries missed including France, Italy, Switzerland and Spain. 2-3 week tours are so much more enjoyable and we are really looking forward to doing them. In fact some of the best gigs we have played have been in London so looking forward to 26th September at the Borderline.
BD: Last time we finished with what your dream band would be this time – what are you listening to and what SIMO track would you liked covered and by whom?
JD Simo: Without hesitation JD said – D’Angelo to cover I Want Love. That would be pretty sick, pretty incredible and a huge honour. Mind you it would make me never want to do the song every again.
I am a Spotify junkie, I have playlists of all types of stuff. I really am really love Jeff Tweedy solo record with its Meters influence. Also really digging Lily Mae from Nashville, who is on Jack Whites label Third Man. It is folk/country like Gordon Lightfoot. Classic country she is an incredible musician playing fiddle and guitar. Her vocals are unique at times frail sounding like she is crying.
BD: Thank you for your time and looking forward to hearing the new numbers live very soon.
Nashville trio SIMO widen their sound with slow-smoked soul ballads, psychedelic desert-rock instrumentals, hard-edged, bluesy barn burners and Stax-worthy funk rockers.
“Phenomenal” The Independent
“Simo’s future looks so bright that the trio needs shades” Classic Rock
“Raw and brimming with Mojo” Guitar & Bass
“An incendiary talent” Powerplay
Bluesdoodles talked to SIMO last year We asked about follow-up album to Let Love Show The Way. JD said “We have started work on next record actually started several months ago. We are doing the album in little phases. This is a different approach from previously and will be a different type of album putting it together over long period of time. We are about a quarter way through the process”. Read More…..
Rise & Shine took shape as they toured throughout 2016 playing 215 show. The trio on stage are a firework display of energy and musical style lead by frontman JD Simo; drummer Adam Abrashoff; and bassist Elad Shapiro. Touring across nine countries was inspirational SIMO hashing out chord changes in hotel rooms and tweaking song arrangements during soundcheck. It was a time of growth and self-improvement for everyone, and they became better friends, better musicians, and better people. At the same time, the outside world was changing. Political pundits were screaming at one another. Elections were pitting candidate against candidate, party against party, neighbour against neighbour. The need to write music that truly meant something — music that not only demonstrated the band’s explosive chops, but also sent a clear message — was greater than ever.
Rise and Shine with SIMO Forthcoming Album blurs the lines across genres as they look to future understanding the past influences whilst creating new contemporary sound. “If you go through my record collection and look at the more contemporary titles,” JD explains, “you’ll see the Roots, Wilco, Alabama Shakes, and Ryan Adams. I listen to a lot of old soul music, too. Isaac Hayes. Funkadelic. Bob Dylan. On Rise & Shine, I was just trying to cull from the vastness that is my normal music diet, and not trying to pander to some target that was easy to hit.”
Rise and Shine with SIMO Forthcoming Album was slowly recorded working long hours moving at their own deliberate pace. “There was a lot more sonic experimentation going on,” remembers Adam. “Every track has a different sonic imprint,” JD adds. “We took great care to make each track’s sonic identity match the mood of the song. Even though that meant starting from scratch every day with how the studio was setup.”
A former session guitarist who’s played on nearly 500 albums, JD didn’t take Rise & Shine’s lengthy creation process for granted. “I’ve never worked on a record that took this long to record,” he adds. “I was so grateful to have that opportunity.”
Rise and Shine with SIMO Forthcoming Album is the band’s most expansive album to date — the work of a band at its curious, adventurous peak.
CATCH SIMO AT THE BORDERLINE, LONDON ON SEPTEMBER 26TH
SIMO are a trio fusing music from every genre into a river of guitar magic and have hints of Cream flavoured with Zappa and their own unique rock music. Tonight opening there was a plan, less of a jam as they showcased new songs and with a short set the opening track Don’t Waste Time was particularly pertinent. The trio have power, control inventive licks and riffs and an intuitive understanding of where they are taking the music. Drummer Adan Abrashoff has magic sticks reminiscent of Chad Wackerman technical and full of interest. The link that holds the band in shape with bass playing that is deep and rich is Elad Shapiro. The focus of many eyes is on JD Simo his guitar playing is mesmerising, energetic, full of details and little licks that curl around the rhythm section. This is a band that warms the room with Light The Candle and the spectacular Shine. This number really did shine with all the glories that are SIMO. The set tonight closed with Long May You Sail, the only number tonight from their current album Let Love Show The Way. Yes SIMO is definitely a band you want to sail on the crest of a wave with.
Up next, loud, electric young gun Aaron Keylock and his band. Tonight’s outing was still loud, fast and furious but I have to say there was more control in the performance. The sound was better and the vocals were present tonight. This is a power trio with rock energy bassist Jordan Maycock adds depth to the sound as the drummer Sonny Greaves completes the trio. As we await their forthcoming debut album due out January 2017, Against The Grain it is the live experience that is building this young band’s platform. The trio appear to be going down rock’s path, yet Aaron with his love of the blues needs to incorporate the control of blues into his live show. This was seen in Medicine Man and then Spin The Bottle has a chorus that excites audiences. Aaron with his raw potential will definitely be taking fans on an interesting journey will the road be rocky or blues? We wait with anticipation.
Finishing of tonight’s instalment of the Roadstars tour are Mancunian band Federal Charm much to the delight of the fans in the room. With the revolving order there were some disappointed as they would have liked to have heard SIMO ending the evening as they were the new band for many and are definitely exciting audiences wherever they play. This quartet with the two guitars up front of vocalist Nick Bowden & Paul Bowes as they interpret the blues with energy and charm. Occasionally it is hard to determine who is playing lead and rhythm as they meld the tone into the Federal sound. Completing the foursome are bassist LD Morawski and drummer Danny Rigg who do so much more than provide a solid platform. Federal Charm bringing a swagger to the music and always a delight whenever they play loud. It would be great if they could add some extra to the tracks from recordings so that the live version of numbers like Guess What have a bit extra pizazz. This would add excitement and a hint of danger to the live set that once again won them fans. Closing once again with Silhouette, the single from their much-praised album Crossing The Divide, they delivered and satisfied the crowd tonight.
Roadstars hit The Tunnels Tonight leaving behind a night of live music ringing in our ears as they pack up and move onto the next show on the road. Check out the tour dates and venues HERE.
Roadstars Hit Cardiff
SIMO Keylock and Federal Charm
The Globe, Cardiff, cold damp November night is just about to get hot with blues-rock guitar shredding that will ignite the audience. Why? On the third night of The Planet Rock ‘Roadstars’ sixteen-night tour has arrived in the Capital city. The Roadstars are young guns that are causing heads to turn wherever they play with youthful verve and enthusiasm. Who are the Roadstars? They are two British bands Aaron Keylockand Federal Charm and from Nashville, U.S.A. SIMO. Tonight we are definitely going to hear a lot of guitars that have strings that will be fast, furious and loud with a long streamer connecting the six-strings to the Blues. This is a trio of bands who are taking turns on who will headline, and tonight it will be SIMO.
The evening kicked off by being exported back to the roots of the blues with field hollers loud and atmospheric from the PA system. Tonight, Aaron Keylock was opening the show. This young band with the much talked about guitarist who has played many gigs and festivals that for a teenager is amazing the rhetoric about his skills is stratospheric so my expectations were very high. As for a variety of reasons, Bluesdoodles has not caught up with Aaron playing live. Completing the power trio drummer Sonny Greaves and bassist Jordan Maycock. I was expecting fireworks as the blues influences combine with the rock as sabbath collides with Winter. One thing for sure the guitar was loud drowning out the vocals so I never heard a word Aaron sang even on his closing number the title track, Against The Grain, from his anticipated debut album due out January 2017 on Mascot.
The set was loud, raw Aaron, for me did not live up to the press I have read and comments from others who have seen him live. With power you need control and the blues is about feel and tonight these were not evident. The set was more rock than blues, enthusiasm over style. Aaron changed guitar but textures and tone stayed the same loud and raw. He is like moonshine straight from the still, we need to have some of the oaky smokiness, smoothness of flavour from maturing that a good sipping whisky has. Aaron, has the potential, he can play the guitar and interaction between the three friends on stage is honest. Opening with a shorter set perhaps didn’t allow for a set that shows the varied side of this young man with so much potential. The slide guide was good and the lead breaks solid but there was no flashing and sparks to really light up the evening.
Short break and Federal Charm hit the stage with a customary energy and smiles as they said we are glad to be back in Cardiff. With full on Mancunian charm they hit the ground running. They too chose to close with Silhouette, the single from the much-praised album Crossing The Divide. Federal Charm produced as strong set the brand of blues rock is delivered better everytime we see them play live. The two guitars, of Paul Bowe and Nick Bowden sometimes in competition but always in harmony. Completing this tech quartet are bassist LD Morawski and drummer Danny Rigg who do so much more than provide a solid platform they bring tonal shape and control for the frontman allowing Nicks vocals to roll and bounce off the music. Federal Charm’s set was full of attitude and at times an arrogant swagger giving the music a hardened edge softened by the blues. The set warmed the venue lifting the audience as they got them closer to the stage singing along and dancing. Nick engaged with the audience who were delighted to have the boys back in town even if for a brief set tonight. The music was played with authority as the rock grooves were as solid as granite with a sparkling strata of blues as the harp was given an airing and the licks and riffs had the shape and feel that is the perfect recipe for a blues-rock band.
Now for the main act SIMO a trio fusing music from every genre into a fluid psychedelic whirlpool that lit up the stage. Keeping up with virtuoso guitarist JD Simo are bassist Elad Shapiro and Adam Abrashoff on drums, they provide rhythms that explode allowing JD to fly with sparkling effervescent guitar fireworks.
The music flowed, no set list this was a hothouse jam full of control, innovation and excitement as slide, met finger picking and the playing of the fret board with both hands was mesmerising. Defining SIMO is like trying to capture mercury in you fingers, you just think one band and the music changes and it is totally different as jazz collides with Hendrix and the Allmans are threaded into the mix. The sound is a musical tapestry of every hue and colour, The vocals powered through it was a perfect aural picture. You see and hear musician and guitar, musicians who excel JD and his band are merged into one being and the connection is complete, seamless as he astounds with rock n roll that has you listening with delight. Into this maelstrom, I heard hints of Tom Principato, Stevie Ray Vaughan stretching the blues colouring the tones with funk and world music. The set had everything, fast and furious, complex, simple and slower numbers this was a jam that was very, very tasty indeed.
The set was everything they promised on the album Let Love Show The Way; and the audience agreed with gasps of wow, utterly brilliant never heard seen anything like this they are stunning. closing the set that was like a river at times still, then a raging torrent then a gentler flow with the only cover of the set their unique interpretation of With A Little Help From My Friends. SIMO certainly made new friends tonight who will be spreading the message to their friends as they tell them what a night they have missed.
With three nights gone, there is still plenty of opportunities to hear these Roadstars live and make your own mind up.
Today, teenage guitar legend Aaron Keylock has released an audio stream of his new single ‘All The Right Moves’ on YouTube
Talking about the album Aaron reflects; “Against the Grain was penned about 3 years ago now and has grown on the road; I had a Led Zeppelin style riff, mixed it with some Johnny Winter vibe and stamped my own style on it.” Crowd favourite Medicine Man was the first song he ever demoed whilst the hints of Rory Gallagher on All The Right Moves is a lightning rocker that’s fast becoming a live favourite.
The song features on his upcoming debut album ‘Cut Against The Grain’, which is released on Friday 20th January 2017 by Mascot Label Group. Things have been building momentum and in Cut Against The Grain, Aaron Keylock is set to launch himself on the world full throttle.
Aaron Keylock has released the audio stream to coincide with his 16-date UK tour with Nashville blues-rock trio SIMO and British blues-rock guitar band Federal Charm, which gets underway at the Talking Heads in Southampton on 16th November.
JD Simo Talking about Touring Albums Vinyl and more
Bluesdoodles was delighted to have a chat with JD Simo once again, In February shortly after we reviewed the stunning album Let Love Show The Way read what we talked about then HERE. Today we talk about vinyl the up and coming Roadstars tour throughout the UK,
BD: Hi JD. Good to have the opportunity to chat with you as you are about to hit Europe, we chatted about the album, influences and dream band.
JD Simo: Thank you, remember talking to you earlier in the year not sure where I was now having couple days back home before heading on over to Europe.
BD: Now your surname and band name are creating lots of discussions about how it should be pronounced so let’s start off the pronunciation of the name SIMO
JD Simo: Well, it has to be good being talked about. The correct on is sI MoH where the I is dominant we answer to anything, eventually as we become better known and more people see us live everyone will know but until that day all is good (laughing).
BD: Your current album Let Love Show The Way, Please the latest single is getting plenty of airplay. Tell our readers about deciding the tracks, writing the songs and opening with an Elmore James classic Stranger’s Blues.
JD Simo: While we were sequencing the record that track we all liked how it slowly builds up, it is not an abrupt beginning. Lots of bands start with an initial brash aggressive number but this for us was a nice way to start the record. More to do with the sound rather than the fact it was a cover or that particular song we didn’t want something abrupt as it were. As a group we put some thought into the order and which tracks to include we do this process as a collective talking about what assembly of tracks works, at the end we believed this sequence worked. Reality, nothing too exciting just a process we went through we do all the creative side and Mascot as the record label have very little involvement in what we produce. They leave us to do on creative end yes there is some correspondence but what you hear is the product of the band, it is SIMO.
BD: Like many you have released your latest album on vinyl, is this a niche or rising in appeal and will be expected by people as they continue to buy vinyl or is it a trend that will fade away?
JD Simo: I know that here in America vinyl is not a niche thing it is a pretty big thing with people especially my age group. Not sure what is happening in Europe & U.K. , sure we will find out when we are back touring over there very soon. Vinyl has become a big part of my generation who are true music fans not those who follow mainstream. It is how they buy their music whether new or old recordings. I grew up with vinyl it then went away in the nineties and then came back again. Let Love Show The Way, vinyl sales have been huge I have lost count the number of re-pressing of the album since its release. I do know we have sold more vinyl than other acts on Mascot record label and there have been occasions when we have sold out and the label has had to have them rushed to us on the road, Vinyl is the number one merch in terms of volume at our shows. The reality is it depends on your preference. I collect vinyl and have a portable record player set up where ever I go definitely in the dressing room. Every town I visit I find local record stores it is integral part of my life releases in that format very important to me. Luckily the tide has turned I think vinyl is here to stay a while.
BD: Are there plans to record a follow-up album and how do you find time with your busy touring schedule to even think about let alone write new songs?
JD Simo: We have started work on next record actually started several months ago. We are doing the album in little phases. This is a different approach from previously and will be a different type of album putting it together over long period of time. We are about a quarter way through the process. When get back home before Christmas we will finish all the pre-production stuff. We have a space in the calendar January through February to finish the album. It is not difficult to find time to write as it happens, I write when the thought, idea hits me. That can be on a plane, in the van, dressing room or walking down the street. This year SIMO have played well over 200 shows so finding the time for three of us to actually work out the material is problematic. As a group we need time to work out how each song is to be played, arranged, this takes time it can even take up a whole day. We have tried using the time in sound checks to try our new material and ideas, when we do this we are all open with each other. Contributing what we like don’t like, free to have heated discussions the trouble is at sound checks there are people around strangers, it just didn’t work as the presence of people not involved in the process made us self-conscious, inhibiting the process. So finding the time for the three of us to set time aside has been difficult but we have found spaces sometimes a couple of days or longer break say ten days. Sometimes though you have a real break not have the pressure to work so we take couple days off then it is back the three of us working on the new material. We discuss together how to flesh out songs so that they are ready to be sent as a demo for our producers to review. At the end of the day I just love making music.
BD: SIMO have been around for five years? Let’s hear about the band how Adam Abrashoff and Elad Shapiro work around your attention grabbing guitar playing and vocals?
JD Simo: Laughing, It may be one to ask Adam & Elad. For me it works because it is very much that I have one vote of three, it makes perfect sense to use. The outcome of how it works if your readers come and see us play live it makes more sense then… (Bluesdoodles – you are in luck they are touring UK & Europe October – December – check out dates here) Plus we all have role on and off stage, my responsibility may be a little bit more prominent interviews like this one, singing but the three of us are all very equal in all the decision making like what playing that night… Very democratic, that can be difficult I can get frustrated as much as they can perhaps it is easier if the leader dictates and rest band follows but that is not my way. We all have strong personalities, we fight and argue, we are like brothers we make up quickly and do not take it personally. We are like a dysfunctional family – all three guns a blazing all the time and most of the time there is a healthy balance. In end better way to be invested in common goal inevitably better that both the guys have a democratic input.
BD: As you mentioned when we talked earlier in the year, Simo is back touring Europe including extensive UK Tour with extended Planet Rock Tour – Roadstars tour with Federal Charm and Aaron Keylock. By the end of the tour and festival set at the sold-out Planet Rockstock SIMO will no longer be a stranger to blues lovers across the UK. With the promises of three exciting acts what plans have you got to get attention with your style of the blues.
JD Simo: Not met guys in Federal Charm yet, though we did meet Aaron very briefly at Ramblin’ Man Fair. Looking forward to our tour of U.K. So far we have only done random one-off gigs in UK; a couple shows in the North and press show and support in London then in the Summer some festivals. Now we have the opportunity to play at 16 venues and a spot at Planet Rockstock. We will actually get time to see your country and visit all corners of the U.K. The plan is to share the ninety-minute slot so some nights that will be Federal Charm and other night Aaron Keylock, on these occasions we will play a shorter set. Every night we always play different songs so for people who come to multiple nights will see different shows from us. This is going to be a real opportunity to get to know the U.K. and meet a lot of fans, many will be seeing us for the first time.
BD: Normally I ask for your band but did that last time so this time I am interested in albums that have influenced/ delighted you as a musician. And the favourite at the moment?
Time was running short JD Simo is in demand we all want to talk about a band that brings excitement to the blues so his answer was an unequivocal – Alabama Shakes Sound and Colour their latest album is my favourite hands down I just can’t get enough of the album.
So lets give them a huge British welcome and go see the band on tour with Federal Charm & Aaron Keylock.
Tickets will then go on sale to the general public on Friday 17th June via www.thegigcartel.com or from the 24 hour box office: 0844 478 0898.
Federal Charm stream new single “Silhouette” . The song features on their Across The Divide album, which launched last year via Wire Sound
Bluesdoodles chatted with Paul Bowe on 7th October the day Silhouette was released this is what he had to say —-BD: Do you have a favourite/ special track on the album? And why?
PB: My favourite has always and remains Silhouette. I love playing it live it gets to me more than anything else we play. The vocal production shapes the meaning of the words. The chorus works so well, every time I hear it or play Silhouette it gives me goose bumps. When I play the song live I hear what we were trying to achieve in the studio and look forward to playing it every night.
BD: This brings us neatly onto the single, Silhouette being released on 7th October what are your hopes for the single? PB: I am obviously delighted that Silhouette is being released as a single showcasing Across The Divide and our music. What an opportunity with air play on Planet Rock and a video that is being made this Saturday exciting times.
Planet Rock in association with The Gig Cartel presents
THE BEST IN BREAKING BLUES AND ROCK RULES “ROADSTARS” SIMO / AARON KEYLOCK / FEDERAL CHARM NOVEMBER 2016 UK TOUR
ALL TICKETS: £14 REGIONAL / £15 LONDON 24 HOUR BOX OFFICE – 0844 478 0898 BOOK ONLINE – HERE
Three of the most exciting new prospects in the world of blues rock will tour together for the very first time in November and December 2016. Touring under the moniker of“ROADSTARS” – the tour promises to be one of the hottest live concert triple headers to hit the UK in 2016.
The tour includes American blues rock guitarist Simo, British blues rock guitar sensation Aaron Keylock, and British blues rock guitar band Federal Charm. Every night each band will change headline spot, giving each of the artists an equal share of the limelight.
Planet Rock will run a 48-hour ticket pre-sale from Wednesday 15th June viawww.planetrock.com. Tickets will then go on sale to the general public on Friday 17th June via www.thegigcartel.com or from the 24 hour box office: 0844 478 0898.
SIMO’s song, “Stranger Blues”, is the perfect introduction for the Nashville power trio’s vibrant new LP, Let Love Show the Way. The song is a blueprint for reinvigorating the fusion of jazz improvisation, down home blues and classic R&B, as well as these genres’ psychedelic Brit Invasion and countrified Southern-rock manifestations. The rest of the record follows suit, a souped-up vehicle transporting the band on a deeply satisfying, off-the-cuff musical journey.
The first album ever recorded at Macon, Ga.’s Big House—the communal home of the Allman Brothers Band during their late ‘60s/early ‘70s heyday—Let Love Show the Way finds SIMO not just revelling in the hallowed space’s unique mojo and history, but taking it to a fresh and inspired place. As a musical unit, Simo, his long-time drummer Adam Abrashoff and bassist Elad Shapiro have an undeniable chemistry, taken to even greater heights with JD playing Duane Allman’s 1957 gold-top Les Paul for every track on the record. This is the same six-string heard on the first two Allman Brothers LPs, the same storied guitar that delivered the unforgettable riff on Derek & the Dominoes’ “Layla.” JD is now part of an elite group of artists—including Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes and Wilco’s Nels Cline—who share the rare honour of having wielded this talismanic instrument.
Bluesdoodles reviewed Let Love Show the Way HERE
Bluesdoodles in conversation with JD Simo HERE
Every now and then an artist comes along that blows you away and Aaron Keylock has fast been cementing his reputation as one of the most exciting and brightest young talent’s in the UK. A mesmerising live performer with over 200 shows to his name. In January 2016, Aaron flew to Santa Clarita, California to record his self-penned debut album with producer Fabrizio Grossi (Steve Vai, Alice Cooper, Joe Bonamassa,
ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons).
Whilst referencing Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher, The Faces, T Rex and Blackfoot, Aaron writes all his own songs. Sporting clothes and hair straight out of 1974 (“I just like them”). Aaron references his heroes in a shockingly authentic yet millennial way. He explains, “It’s the music I grew up with, it’s what I like, but you can’t base yourself on someone else. You’ve got to be inventive and see what comes out.”
Aaron’s album campaign is scheduled to start in October 2016 with release in first quarter 2017.
“Federal Charm invest swaggering riffs, sleazy flourishes and cinder-raw vocals with a confidence that is utterly winning,” says Classic Rock.
The Manchester quartet released their second album, Across the Divide, on the Wire–Sound label in October 2015. Available via Cargo Distribution, the album was released on CD, digital download and 180gm vinyl. The band released their debut to critical acclaim in the summer of 2013. Classic Rock called the album “jaw-dropping.” High profile opening slots for, amongst others, Michael Schenker, UFO, Black Star Riders, Ian Hunter and Rich Robinson cemented the buzz and promptly realised an impressive 5,000 sales.
In September and October 2016, Federal Charm were special guests for the Planet Rock sponsored Joanne Shaw Taylor UK tour. 20 dates culminating in two sold-out shows at London’s The Jazz Café. Drawing from a deep well, spanning the classic rock curve from the Allman Brothers to Zeppelin with the indie blues of The Black Keys and the contemporary bluster of Rival Sons, Federal Charm are full of melodic twin-guitar twists and stop-start rhythms. Their fresh direction has turned many an industry head, describing the band as having the most cutting edge sound in recent years.