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.

Devon Allman beguiles Swansea with Hot Swampy Rocking Blues

Devon Allman beguiles Swansea with Hot Swampy Rocking Blues

Devon Allman beguiles Swansea with Hot Swampy Rocking Blues


The second time Bluesdoodles have seen Devon Allman Band during 2016. Anticipation and expectation was very high as in the review of the night back in March in Derby ended with –  “A magnificent ending to a fantastic gig – WOW! – this was certainly going to be one of if not the Bluesdoodles gig of the year”.

Tonight the line-up as all American, as they stepped onto the stage, following a storming warm-up set from Texas Flood who never fail to please the audiences at The Scene. Joining Devon tonight guitarist and backing vocalist Bobby Schneck Jr, drummer Anthony Nanney and the only change in the line-up from March bassist Steve Duerst joining the band to add that twist to the blues, and rocking up the jam.

The venue was hot and there will be many in Wales who did not turn-out for this post Bank Holiday Tuesday that will be regretting it as friends tell them that this was a night to remember. Devon tonight was on sparkling form, his guitar was on fire the six-strings smouldered with emotion, the vocals soared through the venue and his shimmies across the stage picked up the mood and attitude of the music.

The set list picked out gems from his back catalogue with tracks from Ragged and Dirty including Half The Truth and Midnight Lake Michigan to close the set. Confirming that this album is full of textures and music that is tight with the band adding layers of sound for Devon to bounce off from. Once again, Booby Schneck Jr’s guitar was electric with controlled energy the two guitars fit each other perfectly with tones complimenting and never trying to outplay each other.

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of Torch we were treated to a live favourite Mahalo and Devon’s take on Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry. The band adds to the flavor of reggae and makes the song their own and the Welsh audience delightedly joining in the chorus. Devon really enjoyed interacting with the crowds so we all sang No Woman not once, twice but many times.

Devon would not have the freedom to jam, play with his honey dripping fluidity of he did not have a rhythm section that ensured the shape of every number maintains, tonight Anthony Nanny’s drumming was exceptional, crisp and always empathetic to the sound being created. Whilst, bassist Steve Duerst created the core bass lines and then added some funk and interplay between himself and Devon

Within the music tonight was the undercurrent of the blues, the legacy of the impact that this roots music has had on popular American music as the jamming vibe and rocking beats add to the poetry of the lyrics.  It is all about the emotion and feel of the music, he refuses to be caged within a genre, as into the numbers latino beats of rumba and samba are melded in so that at times the lead breaks are redolent of Santana.

It is all about the music, as the only plug for his forthcoming album as at the beginning of the encore we all demanded. As he played the opening track of Ride Or Die, Say Your Prayers which really wooed the crowd. Tonight, at The Scene he left the stage, animated and interacting with the crowd as he stopped to have his picture taken never dropping a note as he jumped on the table and climbed over the sofa’s at the back of the venue. Devon was enjoying the party atmosphere and ensured everyone was joining in the fun!

Tonight, Swansea will say one prayer – come back soon Devon and enchant us some more. If I had to pick between Derby in March and Swansea tonight it is the Welsh gig. The band was driven by a lust for the music with St. Elmo’s Fire lighting up our music soul as the band hit us with music that we wanted to hear again and again.

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Make sure you go and see the phenomena that is Devon Allman and his band check out the remaining dates in the UK & Europe HERE

Ryan McGarvey kicking up a Music Scene in Swansea

Ryan McGarvey kicking up a Music Scene in SwanseaRyan McGarvey kicking up a Music Scene in Swansea

Tonight Swansea was in for a treat. Tuesday night’s House of Rock and Blues kicked off the planned regular blues and rock delights with a double delight of Texas Flood opening for Ryan McGarvey. The Scene, Swansea is back delivering Rock and Blues live music that gets the happiness index rising.

Texas Flood, a rocking trio from South Wales played a dynamic set that had the music vibe deep and raw flowing through venue. We anticipated a great set having first heard them not in Wales but in Skegness R&B Festival earlier this year when they deservedly won the Introducing Stage vote. Tom Williams on drums hits them hard and the band plays a tight rock riff, the rhythm runs strong from Ben Govier’s Bass with Tom (Sawyer) Bradford’s guitar and vocals completing the Texas Flood sound. The drums definitely thundered reflecting the raw impetuous playing, but it would be good if Tom sometimes remembered that slamming the backdoor shut isn’t the only way of getting attention. Yes, rock is fast and loud but some subtle and gentler touches ring in the changes and keeps the set interesting. The set warmed the venue Gambling Man with its Southern Rock tempo hit the spot, and the title track of their debut album Young Dogs, Old Tricks certainly sold the album. This is a band audiences always warm to, why? Hard driven enthusiastic rock.

Ryan McGarvey kicking up a Music Scene in Swansea” width=”150″ height=”150″ class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-12653″ />After a short break the anticipation was raised as the main act stepped on the stage. Welcome back to Wales Ryan McGarvey, bluesman from Albuquerque, New Mexico tonight throughout the set delivered music from his three albums, The Road Chosen, Redefined and Forward In Reverse. Tonight was electric blue from start to finish. Joining Ryan on stage tonight legendary bassist Carmine Rojas and drummer Christopher Antoine Hill. The rhythm section was imaginative and was the perfect platform for the superlative guitar work from award-winning Ryan McGarvey to strut his stuff. Ryan fronts the band with a combination of swaggering confidence and humility. He loved being in Swansea for the first time and being back in the country of Wales, he loves performing and enjoys communicating with people through vocals and guitar that will never go unnoticed.

Ryan McGarvey kicking up a Music Scene in Swansea

Ryan had a great mix of sounds, textures and tempos that flexed the muscles as he produced nifty licks, stylish riffs and lead breaks that curled around the venue and delighted everyone in the audience. The instrumentals between the vocals were addictive, yes the guitar was sparkling added to the magic was a Carmine’s bass with fingers walking the strings everywhere and into the mix drumming that was harsh, delicate and always adding the drama of the beat. The music generated was blues that is superb! From his second album, redefined Starry Nights, light up the evening air with classy blues. The mood changed with deep blue Cryin’ Over You going deep into his back catalogue with a guitar into that leads you gently into the lyrical story unfolded by Ryan. Ryan’s talents and skills keep growing he is a top drawer musician that deserves everyone who loves electric blues attention. His dexterous fingers shape the blues with a zinging blast. The music played on the lead breaks explored the six strings as we entered the world of fairy tale with Little Red Riding Hood and the tales of a trip that went from bad to worse and written as he left town, Memphis will always get your attention. We had love songs, we had upbeat numbers, the blues conquered all with the power of the trio.
Live blues back in Swansea what an opener, come back soon Ryan McGarvey.

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Banned From Utopia – Gig Review December 2014

BAnned FRom Utopia - The Scene - Dec 2014 - _0014lBanned From Utopia
The Scene, Swansea
December 2014

No one can argue that Frank Zappa was a hugely influential and talented composer and musician opening up a wide range of sounds and approaches as he delivered Avant-grade music that gained a huge following up to BAnned FRom Utopia - The Scene - Dec 2014 - _0116lhis untimely death on December 4 1993. It was special that Banned From Utopia were delivering his music on the eve of the 21st Anniversary of his passing. Band From Utopia comprises an imposing line-up of artist who are immersed in ZapBAnned FRom Utopia - The Scene - Dec 2014 - _0255lpa’s music, two lead singers up front are Ray White and Bobby Martin who also played keys, French Horn and Saxophone then Frank’s longest running drummer Chad Wackerman; Tom Fowler on bass, Jamie Kime, guitar and vocals and Albert Wing Saxophone combining years of experience of playing with Zappa and definitely had the spirit of Frank with them tonight. Banned From Utopia, refers to Frank Zappa’s album ‘The Man From Utopia‘; they bring the music alive with true freeform interpretation and the packed house loved every note delivered.

BAnned FRom Utopia - The Scene - Dec 2014 - _0227lThe set list was magnificent with a mix of the better known numbers and those that are truly difficult and eclectic this is music to savour as you absorb the tones and interplay and let the music take you to a different dimension.  They are the real deal this is not a tribute reproducing note for note, they played with Zappa have a wealth of experience of how Zappa shaped the concert so that it had a feeling of you were not sure what would happen next. This band formed a year after Zappa’s death put on a performance of music that was amazing, playing with passion and they wanted the audience to enjoy every note and phrasing from all the instruments. This was a gig where you were entertained, from the opening Chunga with an amazing Saxophone reprise from Albert Wing, through to the closing track from the second encore Peaches.  Every song/instrumental was in the set list for a reason and the conducting by Bob was fantastic as he BAnned FRom Utopia - The Scene - Dec 2014 - _0028lasked the members to play louder, fuller, softer, harder stop this is not a band it is an orchestra of sound.  We had audience participation and even some getting up on stage to emulate Bobby with the conducting anything goes when Banned From Utopia come to Swansea. Including Ray having the opportunity to use the guitar played and made famous by the great Welsh guitarist Mickey Jones the founder and constant member of Man. The highlights for me were Jamie’s guitar playing on Zomby Wolf, the collective skills on City of Tiny Lights and a divine cover of the Allman Brothers, Whipping Post. They played for two and half hours gave the packed crowds two encores and we wanted more but sadly the concert was ended with the cleverness, invention and the essence of Zappa ringing in our ears.

For more photographs – follow this link Liz Aiken Photography

SET LIST 3rd December 2014

1. Chunga
2. No Heart
3. Marqueson’s Chicken
4. I’m The Slime
5. You Are What You Is
6. Dupree’s Paradise
7. Trouble Every Day
8. Village
9. Zomby Woof
10. OC Lumber Truck
11. Baltimore
12. Society Pages
13. Banboozled By Love
14. City OF Tiny Lights

Encore 1
Whipping Post

Encore 2


Band Members

Robert (Bobby) Martin – Frank Zappa 1981-88 – vocals, keyboards, sax, French horn
Ray White – Frank Zappa 1978-84 – vocals, guitar
Tom Fowler– Frank Zappa 1973-75 – Bass
Albert Wing – Frank Zappa 1988 – Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax
Chad Wackerman – Frank Zappa 1981-88 – Drums
Jamie Kime – Zappa Plays Zappa 2006-12 – Guitar, vocals





.BAnned FRom Utopia - The Scene - Dec 2014 - _0014l BAnned FRom Utopia - The Scene - Dec 2014 - _0050l