Double Bill of Blues Delights, Kirk Fletcher Then
Memories and the music that is the sound portrait of his father. More Blues within the jazz with a double bill of blues delights, Kirk Fletcher followed by Mud Morganfield. Starting the late afternoon helping of the blues, Kirk Fletcher with Jonny Henderson on Hammond and Matt Brown on drums.
The second trio of the afternoon, again like Robben Ford earlier, there is no bass player. Who needs a bass player when you have Jonny Henderson’s left-hand prowess. For anyone who says the blues sounds the same come and listen to Robben Ford followed by Kirk Fletcher, two trios with the guitarist and vocalist the main attraction, both from the USA; inspired by the roots of the blues from the Cottonfields of the Southern states of America. Kirk Fletcher is more intense dripping in blues licks, soul and emotion. Kirk Fletcher recognised by many as an outstanding blues player, having been lead guitarist for four years with The Fabulous Thunderbirds and as part of the Joe Bonamassa sound. Everyone, who loves the blues was saddened to hear the death of blues harmonica maestro James Cotton, it was no surprise that Kirk dedicated a number to him.
As the afternoon morphed into early evening no-one was running out of the hall as Kirk played Run, Run, Run. With a new album in the pipeline joining his four previous albums, a live one and three in the studio; we had a preview with a number dedicated to Stevie Ray Vaughan a stylish instrumental that blended the trio together. The afternoon set consisted of tracks from his repoitoire made alive with the power and energy of a quality jam as Jonny and Matt took up the blues challenge laid down by Kirk’s dynamic guitar playing. If you didn’t know you would have thought they had played together for years, rather than just for the festival as he heads off to Europe for a tour. The good news is he is back in the UK in the autumn and will definitely be back in Bristol at The Tunnels. The set was smooth a cocktail of blues guitar with a new song included with Kirk exploring the eternal question Wish I Had The Answer. This is blues that is full of the whole palette and warmed the hall up for the second helping on the double bill Mud Morganfield.
As the band supporting Mud filled the stage it was the first harmonica, first bass and first grand piano, as we settled to enjoy the reliving of the blues power of Muddy Waters through his son Mud Morganfield brought up in Chicago by his mother and uncles, his father Muddy was an occasional visitor. He did not take up music despite being surrounded by music growing up until after his father’s death in 1983. Following a dream he decided to swap truck driving to being a professional blues singer with his vocals instantly recognisable in the similarity to downtown finger clicking Chicago blues as Mud Morganfield shared memories whilst creating a sound portrait of his father this is so much more than a tribute it is the reenactment, as near to the real deal as is humanly possible. We also had the first slide guitar of the day and it was deliciously sharp as Mud was dancing to the beat much to the delight of Colston Hall this evening.
The blues were hollered up in every shade with lead breaks and play from all the instruments in turn as hooks for Mud’s vocals as he delivered his father’s catalogue of classics. Mud Morganfield is the legacy that keeps the legend live on stages across the world. We definitely got our Mojo Working, as we met the Seventh Son and left with the Backdoor Man. The musicianship was fantastic and we all left with the soul of Muddy’s legacy ringing in our ears as we moved on to the next act at the Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival.