Blues is back in Sheffield HRH 2017

 

Blues is back in Sheffield HRH 2017

 

Blues is back in Sheffield HRH 2017

 

HRH Blues 2016 was superb read what we said HERE

 

New Jersey’s Billy Walton Band join King King, Ten Years After, Stan Webb, Simon Mc Bride & Dan Patlansky to complete the cycle 3 line up of HRH Blues.

What a line-up this not just promises to be exciting it will be with scintillating guitars, powerful voices as blues is twisted, turned creating a rainbow faceted jewel of every shade of blue. will be rocked, amazed and excited by the music from the first to the last note.

HRH Blues are proud to fly in yet another incredible talent for its 3rd round of Blues rock infused fun in Sheffield.

The Billy Walton Band compliment an already stellar Blues Rock line up and with under 90 tickets remaining, it looks like it will sell out even earlier than last year.

 Ten Years After and Bernie Marsden performing at last year’s HRH Blues 2

 Ten Years After

Bernie Marsden

HRH CEO Jonni Davis praised the band by saying  “ Walton’s talents are no secret among everyone in the Jersey shore music scene and with the founding of the Billy Walton Band, there’s little doubt his reputation will grow far beyond the Garden State. The Billy Walton Band’s sound is a combination of hard blues reminiscent of Hendrix, Clapton and Vaughn mixed with a healthy dose of Warren Hayes and Derrick Trucks.

“Live, Walton has always been an explosive performer with Jaw dropping talent but with the addition of bassist William Paris, Richie Taz on sax and drummer Johnny D’Angelo the Billy Walton band churns out a singular brand of funky blues that has deep roots in both the jam band musical tradition as well as the Jersey shore Walton has cut his teeth on. We can’t wait to see him perform next year in Sheffield.”

 

HRH Blues 3 takes place on 15th & 16th April 2017 @ the 02 Academy , Sheffield and the last few tickets can be booked online HERE  or by ringing Lisa on 0207 097 1521

 

 

Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The Scene

Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The Scene

Zito and Castiglia Create a Blues Storm at The Scene

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

House Rock and Blues Presents Mike Zito

House Rock and Blues Presents MIke Zito

 

Bringing quality live music to Swansea

The Scene, Plymouth Street.

Wednesday 21 September

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Mike Zito, Albert Castiglia

Special Guest Will Wilde

Tickets £12.50 ADV  DOORS 7.30pm

 

Mike ZitoMike Zito

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

 

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

 

 

albert-cAlbert Castiglia

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

Read what Bluesdoodles said about Big Dog HERE

 

 

 

Wilde Blues-Harp in HamburgWill Wilde

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

Read what Bluesdoodles said about Live In Hamburg HERE

 

 

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

Derricks Music HERE

Ticket Link HERE

 

Facebook Event –  https://www.facebook.com/events/1234010400025632/

 

 

the-scene-club

 

Wilde Blues-Harp in Hamburg

Wilde Blues-Harp in Hamburg

Wilde Blues-Harp in Hamburg

Will Wilde, Live in Hamburg is a mirror shining a light on why he is a live performer. Wilde Blues-Harp in Hamburg really does capture the playing from Will and the band in the moment. The adrenalin fueled energy that drives live music to that one feels is never quite captured in a studio. Live in Hamburg, has half-a-dozen previously unrecorded gems added to the mix are stand out numbers from his previous albums Unleashed and Raw Blues.

Opening with If I Get My Hands on You, greeted with cheers and driving guitar from Danny Giles we are on the road again with a Canned Heat/Southern Rock feel to the rhythm and guitar. This opening track reflects the always great Will Wilde re-enactment of Canned Heat’s On The Road Again. The opening and closing tracks are the perfect fit for a live album reflecting life of a touring musician getting the music live and personal to audiences far and wide. The opening track like the rest of the album captures the dual aspects of talent Will’s piercing Harp that shapes the melody and his vocals deep and emotionally charged.

Now the tempo rises and the music warms with Angel Came Down. The rhythm section drives this along with Victoria Smith laying down the bass line and Alan Taylor’s drumming punctuating blues-harp that weeps with a dripping intensity. A homage to the blues, What Makes People is a driving combination of the band as they artfully provide an inspired foundation for the harp to fly with energy into the musical stratosphere of free-form beauty. With a beat of the drum, weeping harp, Paranoia floats with intrigue almost as if the music has become paranoid itself. Then the lyrics are augmented with tasty riffs from Danny and the harp providing the licks. The layers of sound are complex, never over-stated as the track is all about the lyrics as the tale unfolds around the distrust Paranoia brings. As the deterioration of health and despair and frustration grows the harp becomes more intense the feeling of deep sadness overlaid with panic flows out of the speaker and dramatic track marking the half-way point. The instinctive applause after the harp-break is the reaction of a live audience immersed in the moment.

Philby, a Rory Gallagher number changes the tension with a Rock n Roll feeling number and the mood lightens the harp once again focuses your attention. Will is without argument a prodigious harmonica player. We now see a different side of Will as he plays lead guitar on The Girl I Love and Jealous Woman, a true multi-instrumentalist. The inclusion of these two tracks adds depth and another texture and tonal context as we listen for over an hour the wondrous music of Will and his band.

As the album draws to a close A Man and the Blues, a slower number that again contains that Wilde intensity that makes his singing and harp stand out from the crowd. His band is awesome and the guitar break from Danny is sublime; a blues beauty. The whole album is a testament to the power of live blues music reflecting the wonderful talent of Will and his band and how fortunate we are to be able to see blues of this quality at clubs and festivals around the country. Live albums capture the moment but not the same as actually being in the same room as when the artist performs.

Wilde Blues-Harp in Hamburg had full control of the audience and sparkled, buy the album and get to see him live at least once a year.

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

Will Wilde – Live In Hamburg  Release date 29th January 2016 Purchase HERE

Track Listing

1. If I get My Hands On you
2. Angel Came Down
3. Thirty Eight
4. What Makes People
5. Your Days Are Numbered
6. Paranoia
7. Philby
8. The Girl I Loved
9. Jealous Woman
10. A Man and the Blues
11. On the Road Again

Bluesdoodles In The Press – June 2015

Blues In Britain

Coolhand

Coolhand BiB CD Jun 2015

Will Wilde @ Borough Blues Club

WW BiB Jun 2015

Inside Front Cover

BiB June 2015 front cover

Blues Matters

Photograph used – Ben Waters
Phot BMJul2015

DA Foster ~ The Real Thing – Shaboo/Vizztone
DA Foster BM Jul 2015

Will Wilde – Live in Pontypool, South Wales

Will Wilde - Borough Blues Club - Apr 2015 -  5 - _0022l

 

Will Wilde @ Borough Blues Club, Pontypool.

Easter Saturday, 4th April 2015

 

 

Will Wilde - Borough Blues Club - Apr 2015 -  5 - _0026lThe Borough Blues Club always has a good attendance but tonight they were boosted by many who had traveled to see Will Wilde and his band, whilst some hadn’t even heard him live before but had heard enough to come and hear for themselves. There was no argument that their was a seven year-old who was the most excited and was delighted that Will Wilde took time before the show to demonstrate harmonica techniques to this young aspiring harp player and he really enjoyed the show as well before being taken home. By the end of the evening Will had many fans and will be invited back, with a regular saying the band’s performance was in the top three gigs since the club started ten years ago!
Will got the crowd going with some Raw Blues, sensational Harp playing, with a band that added tonal depths and textures to let the inspired harp playing shine through.

There was a mutual understanding between Danny Giles on Guitar and the rhythm section comprising Victoria Smith on bass and drummer Richard Newman. Angel Came Down, is a track that combines both Will’s vocals and harp playing , he has a wonderful voice that sings the blues adding that emotional soul that makes the lyrics become more than words. His vocals are powerful with a silky undertone that makes Thirty-Eight have passion and grit connecting with the audience and the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. Will Wilde’s harp playing sets him out from the crowd and his playing gets better – their appears to be no limits to the sounds, tonal qualities and musical shapes that he can cajole from his harpsichord. Paranoia as ever a very emotionally charged performance of this fantastic self-penned number, augmented by an intoxicating simple driving sound from the rhythm section.
We heard Buddy Guy’s A Man OF The Blues, from Buddy’s second album and tonight was a rousing rendition which we were told will feature on an anticipated live CD due for release later in 2015; one for the collection of anyone who loves blues with modernity and stellar harp playing. It was time for everyone to have a breather, refresh there glasses and revel in what they had heard and experienced in the first set, the buzz of delighted blues lovers was around the club, everyone was happy.

Will Wilde - Borough Blues Club - Apr 2015 -  5 - _0079lThe Second set opened with audience participation and the crowd loved it and then we saw Will put down the harp and swap to a guitar on The Girl I love, showing that this is a multi-instrumentalist as he played some great licks augmented Danny’s guitar creating a completely different tone and style from the rest of the evening. There is no doubt that Will is the complete artist when it comes to modern blues, it is always a pleasure to be at one of his gigs and tonight was the best I have seen him perform. Will and the band definitely deserve a greater recognition of his extensive talents, easy-going manner and the pleasure his music brings.
There was some great harmonizing and interplay between Will and Danny on lead guitar as they dueted on Jealous Women they certainly made those instruments dance to their delightful tune. Danny Giles came forward to take the lead for Johnny Guitar Watson’s number, Three Hours Past Midnight which really allowed Danny to display is guitar playing skills we have heard some fabulous riffs, licks and solos from him it wasn’t just about the harp tonight. I Got a Real Good Feeling, picked up the pace and got the Borough Blues Club Dancing their night away. All too soon the notes were faded but with much stamping of feet and cheering the band returned with an encore we all wanted to hear, they played a trio of delights Creedance Clearwater Revival’s, what a great take on this popular number, Suzie Q; followed by Blind Al Wilson’s number a fitting choice as one of the great influences on Will’s harp playing and closing with I’m On The Road Again, this Canned Heat number got even more people on the floor and the rest joined in the chorus line as the night reached the final crescendo of musical satisfaction.
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Raw Blues – Will Wilde – CD Review

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There is a rawness about this album, not the raw feel when a band is new on the scene but an emotional gruffness that strips back all emotions to the basics. Having listened to the superb “Raw Blues” album several times I realised the raw texture comes in three forms, firstly the lyrics that take you to the dark corners of life that good blues achieves and then on top of that is the rawness of Wills vocals and the emotionally onslaught he achieves when he puts the blues harp to his lips what a sound he creates. This is a very British take on Chicago Blues that has been stripped down and the pieces re-arranged creating a sound that is perfect for the twenty-first century.
The backing from Stuart Dixon playing guitar that keeps the tension, brings in some lightness to the musical journey providing the perfect foil for Will at the front. Into the mix is precision drumming from Richard Newman and knitting all the elements together through the bass strings is Victoria Smith providing some bass lines that grounds the emotions so that you do not drown. Despite the subjects addressed on the album on tracks such as ‘Paranoia’, ‘Citalopram Blues’ (Depression is the centre of the track); this is not a difficult album to listen to, it certainly does not leave you feeling empty but full having experienced a lyrical and musical journey.“Raw Blues” combines a variety of tones and ‘Thirty Eight’ has a up-beat tempo articulated by crisp drumming and soaring harmonica and ‘Get Me Some’ is a full on semi-rock approach to the blues once again demonstrating the full range of talent being delivered by Will and his band. Another strength within the album is the self-penned songs that mean something to will this comes over in the singing and the production of the CD, each track means something personal and that is what the blues is all about articulating through music personal journeys, the sorrows and the highs. Raw Blues is full of confidence and is a showcase of the fantastic live act this band is. They are worth looking out for at festivals and gigs, but until you can catch the band live this is certainly not a second best option but a CD that you will revisit often and enjoy. Why? – It is simply the powerful combination of strong vocals and a distinctive harp playing by Will Wilde that makes this more than just a little bit special.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD a doodle rating of
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To purchase your own copy of the CD available to buy from Will Wilde

Review – Bentworth Blues Festival August 2013

Celebrating the fantastic Bentworth Blues Festival and Bluesdoodles 100th posting…
This year prior to the festival, there were giant hurdles of bureaucracy that Matt Williams landlord of The Star Inn had to jump over to bring the delightful palette of sounds that is the unique come-back again draw of this festival. He surmounted the obstacle and once again the festival was delivered with the efforts of his whole team and the marvellous musicians who entertained us throughout the weekend delivering the whole range of blues music this was live music at its best, musicians enjoying playing and an appreciative audience whatever the weather threw at us.

This review cannot adequately cover all 29 acts that performed on the three stages, The Green, Garden and Bar what it hopefully achieves will be a flavour of the talent on show and the vitality of the event that is a sell out every year and attracts music lovers from across the land who camp in the allocated spaces nearby and those less hardy myself included who stay in local B&B’s and then there are the people who can simply shut their front door and stroll through the charming village to hear music on their doorstep. The weekend is truly a celebration of live music, good fun, meeting old friends and of course Matt Williams all this makes Bentworth Blues Festival that little bit special and keeps people returning.

Friday - Bentworth Blues Festival - August 2013_0197l

Opening the proceedings was the talented King Rollo with a complete acoustic set that got the early doors crowd into festival mood, the perfect accompaniment to the first pint of the weekend.

Friday saw a mix of bands and solo artists, acoustic and electric including Split Whiskers, Fran MacGillvery & Mike Burke and Will Wilde; though their approach to the blues was different the common link between the three was that they all had women bass players who kept the rhythm as part of the engine house of the band.

Split Whiskers managed to deliver many blues standards with a twist of whiskers magic making them come alive and delight in these tunes and lines all over again, this was a band that was a little bit different with a custom-built steel guitar that had its own unique sound. Fran McGillvray & Mike Burke set was a contrast with a great laid-back sound, created by the combination of Fran’s vocals, Mike’s silky guitar licks and beautiful lyrics with the three-dimensional sound completed by the percussive Djembe sound provided by Roger Nunn. The set was a perfect showcase of their style of country blues with tracks from their latest CD “Some Luck” and old favourites. Will Wilde delivered a powerful set with Stuart Dixon (Guitar) Victoria Smith (Bass) & Richard Newman (Drums) providing a great, solid accompanying foundation allowing Will’s powerful combination of vocals and searing harmonica-dominated blues to shine through – what a set. Harmonica playing that ranged from the raw to the gentile, teasing and caressing every displayed emotion as musical pictures were painted that reflected the lyrics. There is no doubt that every time I see this band they get better with a mix of tracks from their forthcoming album ‘Raw Blues’ and some covers. Not the normal string of covers which included a stonking rendition of Buddy Guy’s ‘Smokin Dynamite’ and Earl Thomas ‘ Soulshine’. This band is not just about Will’s talent, with the great emotional lead breaks delivered by Stuart Dixon adding an extra layer of sound that was incorporated to create a complete vibrant sound. Also on fire during the afternoon was Guy Tortora and his band in the bar who had to cope with a stand in bass player as the bass player was stuck in the accident tailback on the motorway which also delayed Stuart Dixon. Laurence Jones Band on the Green bought to the event youthful delivery of high energy blues whether playing self-penned or his covers delighting everyone as he strutted his guitar playing skills with a confidence and a swagger of a young man who loves the music he is playing and wants to entertain you. From youth to experience “Serious Blues“ fronted by drummer Sam Kelly, delivering that funky style, with layers of complexity with the fluidity of a jam creating an exciting and very listenable sound in the bar whilst Blues Associates set themselves up in the garden delivering an eclectic set that got everyone dancing and was a real change from the rest of the bands during the day back in the Garden. The sky’s were darkening as night fell and the last two bands of the first day – Stuart James Band with his rock-blues power trio approach blew away the crowds as they partied the night away with Bentworth festival stalwart Jules Benjamin bringing the first day’s proceedings to an end entertaining everyone and leaving us all very satisfied and already looking forward to the next day as we went humming to our beds from the selection of brilliant tunes we had heard over the last 12 hours.

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On Saturday, the weather was going to challenge us but started off fair as the Dave Raphael Band delighted everyone on the Green with a great set of traditional blues, including numbers by Koko Taylor. This was a great authentic sound ably complimented by Dave’s laid back vocals and harp playing. With the combination of great grooves and rhythms I really enjoyed the set, and then there was the twist in the tail as Dave took to the keys with a blues/reggae approach that woke everyone up ‘Bleggae’ a first for Bentworth. Saturday - Bentworth Blues Festival - August 2013_0063l Saturday is traditionally ‘hats day’ and there was a wide array of decorated hats that brightened the proceedings from Sombreros to Top Hats every shape and size was on display. “Red House, the first band in the Garden, certainly knew how to entertain and got the audience participating with lots of dancing this early on the afternoon, they were fun to listen to as they delivered for me a first at a blues festival Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In the Ball’ given the “Red House” Rock n’ Roll treatment and it worked. This was cider driven west country blues that worked well on a Saturday afternoon in the sunshine with a pint in your hand. Now the festival was hotting up as the next three acts were simply brilliant all delivering the blues with passion and all with their own distinctive interpretation of this genre. Kick starting the trio of delights was Ben Poole and his band, a class act and his CD “ Let’s Go Upstairs” showcased throughout the set is certainly one to add to your collection if you enjoy clean, solid and intuitive guitar playing. This is a complete band with an engine house of driving rhythm delivered by Craig Bacon (drums), Barry Pethers (Bass) and adding further depth of tone that complements and adds to the guitar there was Sam Mason on keyboards, and the sultry backing vocals courtesy of Amy Eftekhari. This is a band that delights on lots of levels and just gets better, and Ben is surely master of his own destiny now. He has managed to get the mix of vocal, lead guitar breaks and the showcasing of the band right. He does have clever tricks that work as he does not overuse them and he can definitely play guitar with one-hand as or even more competently than many using both hands. He may sing ‘They Call Me Mr Pitiful’ he is definitely not – this act was SENSATIONAL! Phew who could follow that power guitar demonstration – Clare Free could in the Garden with her own characteristic take on the blues with a style that uses emotions and a gentle touch making the guitar sing in perfect harmony with her voice. This is not a sickly sweet rendition it is full of sugar and spice and the music and lyrics are important to Clare as she introduces her songs which are a delightful mix of re-worked classics and self-penned songs, producing the perfect late Saturday afternoon set. Her band work with her so that the sound is complete and, if I have a comment it is ‘Clare believe in yourself, you are a really good guitar player producing a pleasing sound that is missing from the circuit – we want to see you playing at more gigs now you are back in the U.K’. The final act in my trio of delights is Bentworth festival favourites Northsyde; expectations were high on the Green, with a deputy drummer Joachim Greve the rest of the band Jules Fothergill, guitar; Ian Maurico, bass and fronting the band full of fizz and style is Lorna Fothergill. They ripped through a funky, bluesy rocky set with old favourites and tracks from there brilliant 5* new CD ‘Storyteller’s Daughter’ They are certainly one of the best live acts around confidently delivering their style which is so pleasing on the ear and Lorna’s interaction with the crowd is fantastic as she swapped hats to be part of hat day at Bentworth. Expectations were high and they delivered and to sum it up I overheard someone say “Wow that lady can sing!” The rest of the evening was a triplet of Bentworth stalwarts, these are acts that know what the festival goers want, a party to dance the night away to great music this was achieved by Pethers and Friends – an awesome jam of quality musicians having fun in the Bar, local band Five Field Holler from Hampshire in the Garden with their own take on blues-rock melding styles together so that you get a hint of Chicago, funk and a bit of swampy rock played with passion and vigour. The band also act as deputies for bands throughout the weekend, and more importantly ensure that the sound is perfect for the bands and the crowds and a brilliant job they do every year. They are soundmen extraordinaire who play jolly good entertaining blues. Ending the evening are the young guns who bring a party-like frenzy to the stage ensuring a feel good feeling at the end of the evening that energising combination of great music, fun, dancing clapping and happy people. Sugar Mama strutted across the stage, this youthful band from the West Midlands play favourites that bring back memories and are a sure bet the evening ends on a high; despite the rain and wind nothing could dampen the delighted festival goers.

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Sunday, sun was shining and spirits high – this was ‘Shirt Day’ so lots of gaudy prints and T-shirts that never normally see the light of day all adding to the fiesta feel. Sometimes tradition becomes stained and boring but Kyle and Shaw opening the proceedings on a Sunday is one tradition that really works. This laid back acoustic duo are just what everyone needs after a red-hot Saturday evening and heads need the gentle caress of this simple blues played well. ‘Andre and the J-Tones’ made a welcome return and the full sound they achieve with the addition of a superb horn section, they may not be the purist’s band but they are just the thing for the dancers and foot-tappers to delight in. The highlights of Sunday were two acts whose approach to the blues are different ‘BluesBeaten Redshaw‘, who combines a charming mix of Northern banter and blues songs from his new CD along with others. The audience warms to him as he interacts in an open and honest way including eating cheese and biscuits from a member of the audience’s picnic which he reckoned was just perfect with his Guinness. A great foot-stomping number reaching a furiously fast rhythm with his banjo ‘Rollin’ & Tumblin’, a really different version. He walked and charmed his way through the audience including serenading an appreciative dog. He saved his skills on his home-made diddley-bow until the end, when Barry Pethers joined him for lessons, but he soon realised he was not going to out play the master who was simply breathtaking. Look out for this spell-binding precocious talent near you, with his gruff voice and rough rootsy guitar a delicious combination of musicality. The only point is he needs to broaden his repertoire so that he has plenty of tunes in his back-pocket because audiences will always want more. The other act was Paint It Blue, a young five-piece band who deliver the blues with plenty of soul creating a freshness of sound. Vocalist Hannah Robinson has a beautiful voice and is ably supported by a quartet of skill on Bass, Blues Harp, Guitar and Drums. The whole band mesh together delivering music that fits together like a perfect-fitting glove. This is a comfortable sound that makes you want to listen to more, no wonder they are in demand at Blues Clubs and Festivals they bring real magic to any event. They delight in what they sing and play and in return the audience appreciate the music this is truly dancing blues. I have wanted to catch this band ever since I heard their début CD which was a really good listen but as ever live music gave us a little bit more. Loved their version of ‘My Babe’ and their self-penned numbers; with the intricate drumming in combination with the subtle accurate harp playing they deliver true authentic blues. As ever the stars that stole the show on Sunday were ‘Babajack‘, today in duo form with the effervescent Becky Tate on Percussion and Vocals and Trevor Steger on Guitar and Harp this is a winning combination full of style, energy and blues given a distinctive twist taking the sound back to Africa with the use of raw percussion courtesy of the Djembe and Cahon combined with home-made wine box guitars and with the clever use of the harp to blend the music together. The sound created is fantastic but it is Becky’s voice that soars above delivering the lyrics with passion this is a band that delight in each other’s skills and truly understand the essence of the blues. They delivered a set that was all the shade of emotions, a musical equivalent to all the colours of the rainbow. This was an opportunity to showcase the tracks we all love including Leadbelly’s ‘Gallows Pole’ and the new stuff from their forthcoming much-anticipated album ‘Running Man’. Bentworth was rewarded with the first live rendition of the title track which is definitely a little bit special. The rest of Sunday past with a wall of sound including blues soul delivered by ‘Soul Alliance‘, skillful playing by ‘Ivan McCormick’ and then the Big Jam at the end – leaving everyone happy with the scope of music they had heard and penciling into their diaries next year’s festival.

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Abertillery Blues Rock Festival – reviewed

Abertillery  Rock Blues Festival 2013Abertillery Blues Rock Festival will be returning for it’s ninth year on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th July with an amazing weekend of live music.

Line-up will be announced soon – early confirmation is on Saturday 13th July – the Kings of Rockin’ Rhythm & Blues, The Nightporters, together again marking 20 years since the band formed.
Ticket Prices:- (discounts for Blues club Members)                                                           Friday – £25 ——– Saturday – £35 ——– Weekend – £40

Held under a marquee in the picturesque setting of Abertillery Park, this year’s festival brings you the very best in British and International Blues.Previous festivals have had great line-ups as demonstrated in Blues Matters Magazine Reviews demonstrating why this should be a reserved date in your 2013 diary,

2011 Festival:-

Abertillery Blues Festival, got underway in the majestic setting of Abertillery Park , deep in the valleys of South Wales under the shadow of the Arael Mountain. The now familiar tradition of a big top circus tent and comparing supplied by Bob and Norm from GTFM, famous for their Monday night blues show. The festival showcased a selection of local bands, including The Hideaway Trio who started the 2011 show off and then Saturday afternoon, Bluesey Susie, who bought talent and style with her great voice that is both smooth and raunchy delivering old favourites and self-penned straight-edge traditional blues. Pat Grover and the Hawks delivered a great set with slide guitar strong vocals this was blues that took you on the hobo train ride. Luke Doherty Band this new line-up with vocals provided by Paul Morgan provides the perfect backdrop to allow Luke Doherty to concentrate on his guitar skills producing a brilliant sound that excites the crowds. Now he needs to develop a set that includes more than covers delivered in his inimitable high speed blues style.
Around this strong local backbone great bands from England and beyond delivered a fantastic weekend. Giles Robson and the Dirty Aces, a combination of great musicians and songs produced a dirty sound that whilst evocative of the past was contemporary and relevant, as they showcased their latest CD “Crooked Heart of Mine”. The highlights of the set included, ‘The Mighty Incinerator’, ‘Solidor’ with Giles providing an emotive harp solo and giving the band a break as they left the stage and Ian Jennings swapped his double bass for electric bass with fuzz pedal providing a different but strong bass line for ‘Ain’t Dead Yet’. This band definitely is one that gets your foot tapping and dancing along to the strong blues tempo. The encore was ‘House of the Rising Sun’ re-arranged with the distinctive Dirty Aces signature and it worked. Never The Bride with their effervescent stage presence delivered a selection of Rock Ballads. With their larger than life sound ‘The Living Tree’ and ‘April Rain’, they bought rock to the valleys pleasing the crowds and got the festival a buzzing and a talking. Friday closed with The Hamsters, making a welcome return as part of their farewell progress across the country went through an eclectic mix delivering a selection of there extensive back catalogue including a self penned track which was a mix of song titles and band names with the riff indicative of Tom Principato’s guitar style. As ever superb Hendrix covers, some traditional blues and rock & roll overall a great festival set.
Eugene Hideaway Bridges, bought a touch of Texas sun and magic. ‘Never Alone’, delivered as a capella was haunting and spellbinding captivating the audience. Very much a crowd pleaser, he uses clever changes of tempo between straightforward blues and more soulful numbers. Whilst delivering a mixed-up set from his extensive back catalogue.
This was followed by the surprise of the weekend, Hokie Joint, one night only Ian Siegel would be guest singer for the band! With no set list and no rehearsal the guys strode and strutted onto the stage. This was jamming at the highest level and gave credence to the expression living on the edge… Fortune favours the brave and with Ian knowing only two of Hokie’s tracks demonstrating the skilful song-writing of this dynamic, modern and exciting British blues band. Thus, ‘Back Where We Are Going’ and ‘The Way It Goes Sometimes’ were given the Siegal touch ……. The whole audience, whether Hokie, Siegal fans or seeing the artists for the first time were blown away by a demonstration of blues at its best; a delightful mix of covers and originals this was jamming, performing and musicality at the highest level.
To close the festival Mike Sanchez built on the energy that Hokie and Ian had instilled into the festival crowd. Mike was as ever enthusiastic, energetic and not only got the feet a tapping, but suddenly the chairs were folded away and the dancing began. There is no argument that this flamboyant front-man pounding the piano keys, licking up and down the scales resembling a whirling dervish of the piano, making this performance highly charged and delivered at break neck speed, and bringing the festival to a rousing finale. This festival bought music and sunshine to the valleys, and the numbers increasing this year.
As with all festivals its is the hard work of the organisers, stewards and bar staff that make the weekend a success and there is no doubt that Abertillery is lucky to have a great team making this event happen every year. So for another year the music fall silence and the hard work starts to make next years another positive event, feedback has been that this was one of the best yet… looking forward to 2012 already.
Liz Aiken
Slide Show – 2012 copyright all photographs LizAiken

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For 2012 – Blues Matters were back and delighted by the musicianship they heard and the friendly vibe they experienced over Friday 13th and Saturday 14th July 2012.
Opening 2012 were local band J Alexander and The Blues Devils playing a solid set of traditional and ever popular blues numbers, taking a chance by singing Muddy Waters, ‘Forty Days and Forty Nights’ with the long wet summer and St Swithin’s day just around the corner… The tempo was pushed up by Cornwall’s, Devil’s Creek, a confident mix of covers and own numbers with their rockier take on the blues so in the first two acts the Rock & Blues element of the festival had been met. What a great start to the evening and crowds were enthusiastic about the bands and waiting in anticipation for the next two bands as the evening flew by, next the McMahon brothers from Aberystwyth stormed onto the stage raising the temperature with atmospheric and stellar guitar playing that is the hall mark of Virgil and The Accelerators. This is a young British band which has taken its influences from Stevie Ray Vaughan and modified the sound with influences from Joanne Shaw Taylor and The Hoax creating their own take on the blues which continues to develop as they relentlessly improve their musicianship and stage craft. The comments from the audience were complimentary as jaws dropped at the quality and precision of the guitar playing supported by brilliant percussion and solid bass playing, the audience was captivated. Finally, Vintage Trouble what an ending to a brilliant opening night, this band hits all the right chords and gets the crowds up, dancing and feeling good about themselves. Vintage generated a real unique ‘party atmosphere a real contrast to the typical 2012 summer festival weather yes, it was pouring down outside of the marquee! They took the roof off the place and had the audience feeding out of their collectively talented hands. Charismatic lead vocalist, Ty Taylor, built an amazing rapport with the crowds with up tempo blues soul music with great songs including ‘You gotta believe me’ with enthusiastic audience participation.

Saturday was full of promise with a great mix of local, solo, young and famous artists and bands so the anticipation was high. Opening an afternoon session is always daunting and local band Panic Station were certainly up to the task with their mix of covers and own tracks showcasing blues musicianship they certainly kick started the proceedings getting people into the marquee to hear the music and soak up the atmosphere and the pleased the locals with self-penned ‘Rocking Down the A48’, the highway 49 of South Wales. For the next solo artist no stage is either too big or daunting as he fills it with his gigantic presence and personality of solo artist, Dave Arcari, love him or hate him this guy has bucketfuls of talent and is in my opinion, with his high octane stage presence, a Scottish Wizard of the resonator. His set was full of verve and energy and showcased his talent on the slide guitar with a selection of his tracks including ‘MacPherson’s Lament’ he is magic and as he leaps around the stage his energetic performance leaves the audience gasping for breath. Steve Roux and The Brass Knuckle Blues Band changed the tempo yet again with their brass instrument section and opening with an instrumental ‘You’re Gonna Need Me’ got the crowds swinging and swaying, the horn/sax section adding an extra dimension to the proceedings. The sound is very full rounded off with Steve’s slick guitar licks and soulful voice. This was a band where the whole was greater than the sum of the individual parts and great afternoon festival set, pleasing the crowds and raising the spirits. Next up strutting the stage was Dani Wilde Band, with Dani showcasing her guitar skills throughout the set, ably accompanied by her brother Will with superb blues harp playing and Stuart Dixon on lead/rhythm guitar. As a band they produced a set of controlled professional musicianship of the highest order, with Dani’s vocals providing the icing of a rich cake of musicianship. The title track of their latest CD ‘Juice me Up’ – demonstrated the great interchange between Stuart and Dani, during what overall was a great set delivered with real authority by Dani, leading the band from the front. They are definitely growing from strength to strength they certainly gave, aptly as their previous CD, ‘Shine’ to the festival.
Jon Amor Blues Group, the band members complimenting each other creating their own distinctive sound were the penultimate act. The band took the opportunity to showcase of two new tracks that may be included on their next CD due to be recorded very soon, ‘Wayfarer’ and ‘Good Thing Back’ As ever this band delivered a polished British blues set of the highest order and the members of the audience who had not heard Jon Amor before were blown away; they certainly gained a few fans at Abertillery. Once again a great set at a fast pace with Jon letting the music do the talking and keeping the talking between songs to the minimum. All too soon it was the last act and eagerly awaited by everyone as there was a definite surge to the front to hear The Zombies. They took us back to the ’60’s and early 70’s with a selection of their classics spanning fifty years. Rod Argent delighted the fans with an excellent display of keyboard work, and the appreciative crowds really enjoyed the set. They haven’t lost their voices after over fifty years, and were formed before the Rolling Stones. This was a headlining act that took many of the audiences down a road of nostalgic memories and the fans enjoyed the set immensely. Overall the running order of the festival worked really well with the atmosphere growing and moving on an upward spiral to a crescendo on each day. Yet again a fantastic festival with everyone saying roll on Abertillery 2013….
Liz Aiken

2012 saw
“IT’S not like Cardiff at all.” The precipitous hills and brooding clouds over Abertillery Park gave Vintage Trouble frontman, Ty Taylor, a whole new outlook on Wales as the band headlined the opening night of Abertillery Blues and Rock Festival.

2012 saw Vintage Trouble – a brilliant band as highlighted in Wales On-Line review – ”
“IT’S not like Cardiff at all.” The precipitous hills and brooding clouds over Abertillery Park gave Vintage Trouble frontman, Ty Taylor, a whole new outlook on Wales as the band headlined the opening night of Abertillery Blues and Rock Festival”. Read more: Wales Online