Rebecca Downes Opens For MAGNUM Entertainment

Rebecca Downes Opens For MAGNUM Entertainment

The Tramshed on a cold February night as the queues lengthen and the anticipation rose for MAGNUM back in town tonight as part of the Lost on the Road to Eternity tour.  The chatter was about how many tracks from the superb new album, and what favourites from the past would be on the setlist. For the majority waiting, Rebecca Downes was the unknown. For Bluesdoodles who has followed her career we knew they were going to be in for a vocal treat and no-one would be left disappointed by the support tonight.

The band stepped on to the stage and then the blond dynamo that is Rebecca Downes opened her lungs and got the musical journey underway. The band were on top form tonight surrounding Rebecca’s vocals that are sultry, bluesy, rocky shaping the song. Rebecca’s vocals that change with colour and tone can be defined as stunning. Rebecca fronts the band she is the consummate show woman. Opening with Never Gonna Learn, that may be true in a song. The reality is Rebecca and the band keep on developing building on experiences of playing songs live from her albums Be Live and Believe.  The set was too short but perfectly formed. A lively opening to the evening, as ever very professional. Rebecca’s stage presence has changed the constants are her voice and the touch of leopard skin, now found on the guitar that adds a layer of rhythm to the sound, adding to Steve Birkett’s guitar playing. Birkett’s guitar is crisp with a mix of the slide, blues and harder edge rock.  Night Train was a highlight and Sailing on a Pool of Tears is always a musically emotive charged journey. Then the hint of the music to come on her anticipated album with a new number If I Go To Sleep, with its intriguing sonic opening and heavier sound this is Downes and her band stretching the musical style with accomplished maturity. Rebecca will always charm the audience with her warm smile and charismatic chat. The fans bathed in her vocals as she complimented the MAGNUM fans for turning up to hear her play. As she succinctly said, “Magnum fans really know their music”.  Closing the set giving the audience opportunity to give voice a Joplinesque cover of With A Little Help From My Friends. Tonight got off to a flying musical start with the huge talent that is Rebecca Downes.  An opening set has heated up the venue and has built up everyone’s expectations for the headline act to follow.

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The atmosphere rose a notch or two in the anticipation of the entrance of tonight’s progressive star turn MAGNUM. With their excellent latest album Lost On The Road to Eternity adding to the thrill and expectation. With a new line-up since the band’s last visit to the Tramshed May 2016. Joining original members Bob Catley and Tony Clarkin plus long-term bassist Al Barrow are Rick Benton on keys who with a synergy was Rebecca Downes’ keyboardist and Lee Morris on his spectacular drum kit.

Opening with Why We Were Younger taking us back to the 2007 album Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow our evening of MAGNUM immersion therapy begins. The band tonight hit the ground running as with Rebecca’s set the sound was superb. MAGNUM was on fire tonight, great sound, great mix of numbers and entertaining the fans with every note and dramatic swirls from Bob.  The tour name may have coincided with the album, but the set-list was not a sales drive from the album. The four carefully selected tracks, the title track, Peaches and Cream, Without Love and Show Me Your Hands gave the perfect taster. The four tracks were probably even better live than on the album they were superb.

We danced and cheered and sung along as old numbers were re-imagined and enjoyed. New numbers including from 2016 album Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies”, Crazy Old Mothers morphed into Without Love from the current magus opus from the Prog Rockers we love to hear played live and up close.

With every number the excitement rose, the heat in the room increased as the Tramshed was lit up by music that compels you to listen. The fans loved to hear How Far is Jerusalem and join in on the chorus. What a number that remains ringing tunefully in your ears long after the venue falls silent. When Bob sang Show Me Your Hands, the Cardiff crowd did just that with hands held aloft in unison. The crowd were very animated and bouncing with every note from keys through to guitar. Mesmerised by the drumming and feeling the bass groove. MAGNUM with Bob conducting the atmosphere feeding out of their hands. The stagecraft, interaction with the audience was a masterclass for any aspiring rock band/performer. The MAGNUM hits just kept pouring through the speakers we were already to be part of MAGNUM’s Vigilante force.

All too soon the stage fell silent. Not for long MAGNUM were back for the obligatory encore and ten more minutes of MAGNUM joy.  Starting with The Spirit and rock spirit was strong tonight as we Chase The Dragon in Cardiff. Closing the night with When The World Comes Down tonight we were on a high as we stepped back to Vigilante album from 1986. This was an anthemic classic which they don’t always play live. A fantastic top quality gig full of progressive rock enjoyment and fun.

What a night of live music on fire the audience purred with delight a set list full of old favourites forgotten gems and new songs to hear live for the first time. Result! Tonight On A Storyteller’s Night fell silent replaced by a new live favourite Peaches and Cream.  We all say come back to Cardiff really soon Rebecca and her band and MAGNUM you will always be welcomed.

 

 

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SetList – MAGNUM

When We Were Younger
Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies
Lost on the Road to Eternity
Crazy Old Mothers
Without Love
Your Dreams Won’t Die
Peaches and Cream
How Far Jerusalem
Les Morts Dansant
Show Me Your Hands
Twelve Men Wise and Just
All England’s Eyes
Vigilante
Don’t Wake the Lion (Too Old to Die Young)

ENCORE
The Spirit
When The World Comes Down

Rebecca Downes Opens For MAGNUM Entertainment

Creating Black Magic Jared James Nichols Guitar

Jared James Nichols Announces New Album Black Magic

U.S. guitarist, Jared James Nichols, has a new album Black Magic. It is the follow up to 2015’s impressive debut album Old Glory & The Wild Revival. Since that release, Jared has built up a solid reputation on the back of touring in support of his debut. With such luminaries as ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Zaak Wylde, Glenn Hughes, Walter Trout, Blue Oyster Cult, UFO and Saxon giving him a support slot, this gives a guide to the uninitiated as to where his music has its roots. Rock, Blues and a bit of Soul make up Jared’s sources of inspiration and he uses them to great effect on this new release.

Listening to this, and his debut reveals an instinctive approach to his playing. I cannot detect a plectrum in use anywhere. Picking styles (apart from the master, Jeff Beck) tend to be the reserve of acoustic players. Jared proves the exception and, even when playing slide, this style works very well indeed. The ‘power trio’ cliché will have to be deployed too. This three piece are tight, complimentary and accomplished. Vocally he is very strong too and has that rare quality of being able to sing while enunciating clearly.

Before we go any further, however, I do have one major complaint with this album… out of ten tracks, only two last longer than 3 minutes and none more than 4. It is too short Jared!

Opener Last Chance, starts with phased guitar and kicks into a storming riff. A solo of barred strings and hammering is a delight. The next song, The Gun, is a delta shuffle electrified. Subtle slide phrases expand the riff and it builds into a potential crowd-pleasing call/response section. A slide solo spoiled only by being too short (a repeating theme?!). Don’t Be Scared follows with a riff, which has echoes of Deep Purple’s Never Before. A talk box is deployed, but not overplayed. Honey Forgive Me brings funk into the equation. This could have been on the Stax label in 1970. Backed by the delightful vocals of Jessica Childress (apparently, she was a huge success on The Voice in America in 2013) she helps ensure that a soulful feel is to the fore. A bit of Southern-tinged rock comes into play on Home. Slide guitar warms the opening and reminds me so much of the Allman Brothers in its structure and execution. A Chicago style electric blues shuffle opens Got To Have You. This is such a good track in every way…apart from being too short. Makes a lie out of the assumption that blues should be sad; this is a rocking, blues love song with bite. Yet another glorious solo of picked perfection. End Of Time is out and rock with a blues tinge. Reminiscent of Pat Travers in many ways, it is another short and sweet song. Simple can be good, and Run is notable for gaps in the chord progressions. Inevitably, this style brings Free and Kossoff to mind, and the solo is similarly expressive without forcing too many notes into it. Back to 70s rock with Keep Your Light On Mama. Structured like a  Mountain song in the Mississippi Queen era, this has acres of power.  A power trio will always make Cream spring to mind; particularly on the final song, What Love. A Badge like bass intro opens into an echoey slide and vocal. Again, Jared shows he understands that less can be more and doesn’t try to overload every song with a guitar ‘attack’. The picked slide solo here is just sublime and makes this my favourite of a great bunch. Although have I said this before? It is far too short!

This is a great album for blues, rock and blues/rock enthusiasts and should cement Jared’s reputation as a guitarist of rare skills. So, if you want long widdly solos do not buy this. If, on the other hand, you want high-quality guitar playing with crafted, unflashy yet excellent solos, then buy this…you will not be disappointed. Praise too for Holm and Sandin for such solid and empathetic backing. The production by Perry ensures that we can appreciate their playing throughout. I only wish other producers would consider this before they bury sounds in electronic wizardry. (Are you listening Mr Ezrin?)

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing:

      1. Last Chance
      2. The Gun
      3. Don’t Be Scared
      4. Honey Forgive Me
      5. Home
      6. Got To Have You
      7. End Of Time
      8. Keep Your Light on Mama
      9. What Love

The Band:
Jared James Nichols (guitar, vocals), Dennis Holm (drums), and Erik Sandin (bass, vocals), Jessica Childress (backing vocals)

Recorded at the Boneyard, Boston and Johnny Depp’s home studio.
Produced by Tony Perry and Jared James Nichols.

Creating Black Magic Jared James Nichols Guitar

Blues Celebrating Friends Along The Way With Mitch Woods

Blues Celebrating Friends Along The Way With Mitch Woods

We all need friends. The harmony and deep joy sharing what we love with friends sustain you through hard times and dark times. Friends Along The Way, Mitch Woods eleventh album, is the perfect soundtrack to celebrate friendship. Mitch has gathered around him a galaxy of music stars on Friends Along The Way. The musicians are friends from across his career that has spanned four decades. Joining Mitch on the album are Van Morrison, Taj Mahal, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Ruthie Foster, Joe Louis Walker, Maria Muldaur, Cyril Neville, Marcia Ball, John Hammond and Kenny Neal.

The album celebrates, friendship. The musical harmony of blues played together as guitar, drums and harmonica join forces with the boogie of the piano allowing the vocals to tell the narrative of life on the road.  Friends Along The Way is a timely reminder of the central roll the piano has played in the blues. Blues is not just guitar-driven it has also been nurtured and fulfilled by the tinkle of the ivories. Mitch Wood’s piano playing is astounding with a personal acoustic connection. Classically trained his boogie-based piano has an energy and finesses that shines through as he plays with his friends.

Every track brings a blues spark ad element to the album. Opening the party with his friends Mitch Woods goes back in time joined by Van Morrison and Taj Mahal on a Leadbelly classic Take This Hammer. Van Morrison’s vocals are joined by his percussive tambourine playing as a drumstick tinkles the tambourine so the sound cascades with force across Taj’s guitar and the signature of the album, Mitch’s stylish piano playing.  Ruthie Foster’s vocals on Singing The Blues adding textures with her guitar and the piano playing underneath. The urgency of the beat is intensified by an energy as the words take centre stage.  John Hammond’s vocals take us back in time with Mother in Laws Blues. Leaving us Cryin For My Baby with a healthy dose of blues harp from Charlie Musslewhite. This is blues that is sharp, defined and shaping your mood with the piano of Mitch Woods never silent. No album with Mitch at the keys will be without a helping or two of Boogie Woogie. First up is Nasty Boogie, the party now is swinging who can resist smiling and swinging the hips with this vibe, as Joe Louis Walker adds to the mood with his stinging guitar and vocals.

Empty Bed Blues with Maria Muldaur on vocals, is deep, moody and sultry, a jazzy take on the blues. Wow, what a classy number that flows and her smoky voice caresses you as you succumb to her embrace. Cyril Neville and Mitch have a conversation as The Blues are celebrated. The legacy as we move forward and the musical heritage teat lives on in The Blues. This track is spoken narrative. I recommend that you sit back and listen to Cyril as his narrative is accompanied by Mitch’s piano. You will be captivated for five- minutes.

The tempo changes with more boogie as we turn for home with Saturday Night Boogie. Wow ow Wow the slide guitar from Elvin Bishop just fizzes against the piano. The six-strings and ivories are in musical harmony.

By track fourteen blues have been shaken and stirred, then we hear the guitar and vocals of John Lee Hooker joining Mitch’s piano on Never Get Out of These Blues Alive. This is blues played with a clarity of form and simplicity of shape. The result is perfection. Closing the album with In The Night. Friends have come together had fun and now Marcia Ball & Mitch Woods duet on the piano and vocals. This is pure fun the perfect closing number as Professor Longhair is celebrated full of vim and energy.

The combination of the songwriting skills across the ages, instrumentation of the melodies are the underlying essence of the blues. Mitch Woods, has proved on Friends Along the Way that without friendship, companionship blues would just be notes and words. It is the interaction with humanity good and bad that makes the blues an emotive force as relevant today as yesterday. Blues is relevant that is why Friends Along The Way.

 

Mitch Woods – Friends Along The Way – Entertainment One

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

  1. Take This Hammer
  2. CC Rider
  3. Keep A Dollar In Your Pocket
  4. Singing The Blues
  5. Mother In Law Blues
  6. Cryin For My Baby
  7. Nasty Boogie Woogie
  8. Empty Bed Blues
  9. Blues Mobile
  10. The Blues
  11. Saturday Night Boogie
  12. Blues Give Me A Ride
  13. Chicago Express
  14. Never Get Out Of These Blues Alive
  15. Midnight Hour Blues
  16. In The Night

Blues Celebrating Friends Along The Way With Mitch Woods

Danny Bryant Always a Revelation and Yours For A Song

Danny Bryant Always a Revelation and Yours For A Song

I have been a long time fan of Danny Bryant since his early RedEyeBand releases. He is a consummate guitarist and listening to all of those albums again, his development and maturity have been a revelation. So highly regarded is he by his peers that Danny was honoured (and brave enough) to front Walter Trout’s band while Walter was recovering from all of his well-documented health issues.

His last studio album, Blood Money, was simply superb. His profile had grown so much that he was joined by Trout and Bernie Marsden on that recording. His last release was a bit different. A live album with a full horn section and keyboards brought another level to his performances.
In light of all of that, I was looking forward to his latest release Revelation. I was expecting another rocking blues album along the lines of Blood Money and, at first, was disappointed. This is a slower paced, moodier and deeper album. The horns and keys add a different dimension to nearly every track.

However, after a few listens, you can start to appreciate what Danny is trying to communicate… passion and a deftness in his playing which makes you appreciate him anew. Perhaps the man himself best explains this: “When I began writing this album, I knew that it was going to be one of the toughest challenges of my career. It wasn’t lack of material, it wasn’t a lack of desire, but I realised from the beginning that, if this record was to achieve the things I wanted it to say, I would have to go deep inside of myself with these songs and confront memories and emotions I didn’t really want to face.”

The first, and title song, illustrates this perfectly as, after a piano introduction he screams “Revelation” and it sounds torn from the bottom of his heart. The guitar riff stays subtle as the horns cut in, colouring of the middle section in an unexpected way. The vocal, in addition to his guitar prowess, points to why he was the perfect front for Trout’s band. Towards the end, we get a fluid, laid-back wah, wah solo.

Isolate drenched in emotion and features some beautiful guitar, both in the solo and as he underpins the melody of the verse. A slow-paced piece of genius. Liars Testament with the lyric “I believe in a life of resentment”, gives a hint of the darkness occupying a lot of the songs and gives us more guitar soloing and horn backing. This is drenched in the blues in every way and is one of many spine-tingling moments. Next up, is the acoustic Some Day The Rains Will Fall. This is the only let down for me on the entire album. Yes, the atmosphere Danny generates is palpable but it soon becomes a little repetitive.

Truth Or Dare lifts the pace up again, supplying a ‘traditional’ full-blooded blues shuffle. Here we get the horns and guitar sounding so natural together and then the bonus of a sultry keyboard solo. A nice call/response section leads to the concluding guitar solo. Shouting At The Moon is a slow, burning blues number, with lovely yet understated keys. The voice is straining at the high notes of the chorus but the solo arrives to make you lean back, close your eyes and listen to every carefully thought out, spacious note. Sister Decline has bass, drums and keys backing the verses before guitar and horns fill out the choruses. Another fluid solo, again proving it isn’t how many notes, more how they’re played and how they fit…they fit!

May I have A Talk With You is classic blues. The introduction is very familiar, before the horns, interspersed with illuminating guitar phrases, take the song into a pattern of its own. Yours For A Song wraps up the album. Another slow, classic and crafted blues. The gentle chord picking surrenders to a power chord or three and gives a Bonamassa kind of feel to the structure, but it is still all Danny.

A word has to be said for Alex, Dave and Stevie. The bass is so carefully pitched and played (particularly as it warms the backing of Isolate) and the drums are solid and so supportive of the music. The keys are never intrusive; always providing the right fills, solos and backing.

Revelation is a very, very good blues album by any and every definition. Danny’s voice occasionally doesn’t quite match the song behind it, but that is totally forgivable as the music takes you on a journey of light and shade, and it is a journey really worth making.

As I hinted at the beginning, do not be tempted to form an opinion on the first listen. This cultured album needs to be absorbed to be appreciated. Give it the time and the rewards are simply stunning.

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing:
1. Revelation
2. Isolate
3. Liars Testament
4. Some Day The Rains Will Fall
5. Truth Or Dare
6. Shouting At The Moon
7. Sister Decline
8. May I Have A Talk With You
9. Yours For A Song

The Band:
Danny Bryant: guitar, vocals
Alex Phillips: bass
Dave Raeburn: drums
Stevie Watts: keyboards
The Big Horns

Produced by Richard Hammerton

RELEASED FRIDAY 20th APRIL 2018 VIA JAZZHAUS RECORDS

AVAILABLE ON CD, DIGITAL DOWNLOAD AND 180 GRAM VINYL
“SISTER DECLINE” AVAILABLE AS INSTANT GRAT TRACK ON
ITUNESAMAZON AND SPOTIFY

For exclusive bundles and signed merchandise, visit the official
Danny Bryant “Revelation” store

 

Danny is touring U.K. May/Jun 2018  dates & venues can be found here

Danny Bryant Always a Revelation and Yours For A Song

Blues and boogie from One Man One Band Extraordinaire

Blues and boogie from One Man One Band Extraordinaire

Blues and boogie from One Man One Band Extraordinaire

When I was a youngster, all those years ago, a one-man band was a novelty act on programs such as Opportunity Knocks. Ah, remember Hughie Green and the Muscle Man etc.? Just me then!
This trip down memory lane is to assure you that Steve Hill is not a novelty act; one man he may be, and he does play guitar, bass and snare drums, cymbals and harmonica simultaneously, but he does it with flair and it actually works. (He even has a drumstick attached to the head of his guitar).
Hill is very successful in his homeland of Canada and has racked up a lot of support for his previous releases. On his own, he is able to effortlessly bring to mind full bands such as Foghat, the Bluesbreakers and the Faces. Blues and boogie from One Man One Band Extraordinaire Canadian Steve Hill is more than a One Man Band He Rocks on Solo Recordings Volume 3.

The opening number, Damned, sets the scene for most of the electric numbers which follow. There is a distinctly live feel to the recording and, Hill’s voice, whilst not being the best in the genre, is a perfect match for this kind of blues. Added to that, he brings a sense of fun with the backing rhythm his various limbs provide, as he expands on the song’s main riff.

Dangerous is laid back blues with a smooth rock lilt, throughout which I keep hearing early Gary Moore’s approach to the blues. Still A Fool and A Rollin’ Stone, the first cover is probably best known from the version by Muddy Waters and has Hill pulling real emotion from every string. Similarly, the rocker Rhythm All Over has a great riff and moves into a slide solo which is so fluid it just melts! Can’t Take It With You has sublime, echoey guitar moving neatly into a mid-paced guitar section. The other covers, Rollin’ & Tumblin/Stop Breaking Down are faithful, albeit electrified, to the Robert Johnson originals, including some glorious slide guitar.
When Hill moves to acoustic, as on Slowly Slipping Away, we see the other, mellower side to him. This track and Smoking Hot Machine feature some smouldering harmonica to show the depth of writing and performing that Hill can bring to the party.

Troubled Times is a fingerpicked, folky blues tune, and he uses the body of the acoustic as well as the strings, really effectively to evoke the “cold is coming” theme. Emily is a rhythmic bluesy shuffle, bringing to mind The Kinks in their heyday.
Going Down The Road Feeling Bad is undoubtedly blues with a slight hint of a thoughtful ballad. A beautiful acoustic introduction takes us into the body of the song. The Grateful Dead is probably best known for this track, although the original is a 1927 folk blues covered by many, including Woody Guthrie.

The album finishes with a true, fuzzed blues-rock track. Walking Grave has Hill letting rip with guitar soloing that tips its hat to, I’d guess, influences such as Hendrix and Gallagher.
When listening to this great album, it can be difficult to remember this is just one man. How he coordinates all of the instruments is beyond me, but I am more than happy to benefit from this man’s skills. Blues and blues/rock combine on a very satisfying album.
Catch Hill live and believe! in the power of blues and boogie from One Man One Band Extraordinaire. Check out tour dates NOW!

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing:
1. Damned
2. Dangerous
3. Still a Fool and a Rollin’ Stone
4. Slowly Slipping Away
5. Rhythm All Over
6. Smoking Hot Machine
7. Troubled Times
8. Emily
9. Can’t Take It With You
10. Rollin’ And Tumblin’/Stop Breaking Down
11. Going Down The Road Feeling Bad
12. Walking Grave

Band Members:
Steve Hill… just him, on all instruments!

 

Steve Hill is back in the UK as the special guest on King King & Danny Bryant’s tours throughout April, May & June 2012018.

Special Guest King King Tour April / May 2018

Special Guest  – Danny Bryant Tour May/June 2018

Blues and boogie from One Man One Band Extraordinaire

Cameo The Bad Flowers Band Creating A Hurricane

Cameo The Bad Flowers Band Creating A Hurricane

Cameo The Bad Flowers Band Creating A Hurricane

Cameo The Bad Flowers Band Creating A Hurricane

The Bad Flowers have released their new single “Hurricane” taken from their debut album “Starting Gun” (released Friday, February 16)

Over at Bluesdoodles, we have rules but with a band this good stirring up the rock in our inner soul. As Bad Flowers Firing A Bouquet with Starting Gun they were blown out of the window – no wonder the latest single is Hurricane.

Read why we broke our own rules:-

Bad Flowers Firing a Bouquet With Starting Gun

 

The 3-piece band hail from Cannock, West Midlands. Have a listen this is rocking good music that blows away the cobwebs. The Flowers will play their album release show at Birmingham’s Asylum 2 on Saturday 17th February, – only a few tickets remaining.

Following the September release of their recent single Thunder Child, The Bad Flowers were named as one of Planet Rock Radio’s “Ones To Watch”.  Thunder Child, the first single taken from the Starting Gun, gained heavy airplay and was described by the station as “pure, dynamic, riff-heavy rock ‘n’ roll delivered with passion and prowess.”

HURRICANE – Single review

Bluesdoodles – says this about the Single – Track eight on the album –  musically heading for home. We are now in a for heavy weather with Hurricane. The opening bars of guitar in a hurry and then the vocals of Tome burst into the eye of the storm.  This is a love song that is fast loud and full of rocked up venom. Dangerous as a storm trying to get away from her love. This is a young band laying down the chords with the intent they want to be heard, they will be heard when they can invoke a Hurricane of musical delight.

With the album launched The Bad Flowers Head out on TOUR with Jared James Nichols and headliners Stone Broken. Venues, Dates and links to buy the tickets HERE

So learn the lyrics to sing along when the energy is unleashed at a venue near you!

THE BAD FLOWERS – “HURRICANE” – SONG LYRICS

I’m running, I’m running as fast as I can
I’ve gotta get away from you.
I’m screaming, I’m shouting at the top of my lungs I don’t know what else to do.

And try as I may, try as I may
I just can’t get, get away from your love.
From your love

Sweet little hurricane with your howling wind and rain
I can’t get, get away from my sweet little hurricane.

You took all the air from my lungs and now I can’t catch my breath
You turned my blood into stone and now my heart sinks in my chest.

And try as I may, try as I may
I just can’t get, get away from your love.
From your love

Sweet little hurricane with your howling wind and rain
I can’t get, get away from my sweet little hurricane.

I can’t get away from your howlin’
Your howlin’ wind and rain

I can’t get away.

The Bad Flowers Debut Album Starting Gun Announced

In Conversation with Tom Leighton

In Conversation As the Starting Gun Fires Up For Bad Flowers

Bluesdoodles knows the future is shining brightly for The  Bad Flowers they are blowing in on a Rock powered Hurricane.

2018 UK Tour Dates

 

Babajack In Departure Lounge Before A New Destiny

Babajack In Departure Lounge Before A New Destiny

Babajack In Departure Lounge Before A New Destiny

Departure is a collection of recordings made in 2 017, originally intended to form part of a full CD now released as a Limited Edition. Following the decision of Trevor Steger to leave the band and pursue his solo career, the band decided to release the tracks already recorded as a tribute to the original Babajack line up  The band are now working on new songs, with a new band member, Troy Redfern, who had joined them on tour in 2017.

The first track, Daddy’s gone, asks “What are you going to do when your Daddy’s gone?”. It is a familiar-sounding rootsy Babajack track, with Becky’s voice and Trevor’s guitar blending well and a driving beat from Becky’s cajon drum to take us on.

800 miles is a gentler song, showcasing Becky’s voice and a full band sound. Some soulful guitar work in the middle before the vocals build again, gently and steadily to the chorus. A really dynamic track, this one, building and sinking away to a quiet and poignant finish.

It’s your parade is a rhythmic song with some great harmonica in the middle. It is hard to hear the lyrics on this album without thinking of the back story and the emotion is clear throughout. This is particularly so on Nobody’s fault but mine, the old Blind Willie Johnson classic, This is the only non-original song on the EP and it is sung with enormous feeling by Becky, with some superb slide guitar from Trevor. The song starts with just the vocals, then the slide comes in and the voice picks up, echoed by harp. With lyrics part sung, part spoken over a solid instrumental background the track develops, accompanied by Trevor’s growled “how hows ” before dying away to the single voice to end. This is one of the best versions of this song that I have heard in a good while.

The final track on the EP is Long time dead. Once again, this brings us the familiar Babajack approach and showcases the strengths of all the band.

I came to this disc with mixed feelings, but having played it several times, I am glad the band have chosen to release these tracks. They show how strong there were and this, for me, is the key indicator of how much more they have to give in the future. I will look forward with relish to hear.

Babajack – Departure – Running Rooster Records

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

 

  1. Daddy’s Gone
  2. 800 Miles
  3. It’s Your Parade
  4. Nobody’s Fault
  5. Long Time Dead

 

Babajack In Departure Lounge Before A New Destiny

Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the Drum

Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the Drum

Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the Drum

 

Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the Drum with support from SKAM & Dead Shed Jokers. With two acts before Headliners to warm The Globe on a cold Monday in February.  Local scuzzy rocking band Dead Shed Jokers always make a statement. Loud and mixing influences from Nick Cave to Black Sabbath via The Doors. Energetic vocalist Hywel Davies keeps the band on track. Though at times tonight the sound drowned the vocals and the rest of the quintet at times seem to be off track with each other. That said as the crowds grew they filled The Globe, Cardiff with a rocking vibe to get Monday night exciting.

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Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the DrumSecond band on the menu from Leicester a powerful trio SKAM. With a new album that is attracting attention as we are all falling for the Hard Rock concept album The Amazing Memoirs of Geoffrey Goddard.  The Globe pumped up for the performance and the entrance by the trio did not disappoint. With Steve Hill upfront on vocals and guitar, and a hard rocking powerhouse of a rhythm section comprising bassist Neal Hill and drummer Matt Gilmore. Every track smashed through the venue with the sound that is glorious traditional hard rock power, with a very charismatic style from Steve up front. Stand out numbers were Between The Eyes from the latest album and from the past Holy City from 2014 album Peacemaker. This was a really up-front no holds barred performance with great timing and knew how to get the live effect from every studio number played. They are definite crowd pleasers as Fading Before The Sun was given the live and proud treatment. We no longer cared it was a Monday and work beckoned tomorrow this is music that you want to play on. With the current single getting lots of Planet Rock airplay we were overjoyed to hear it up close and personal as Take It or Leave It filled the speakers, one thing for certain no one in the audiences was leaving not a fan of SKAM. Closing out a dynamic set with a War Pigs rendition giving the crowd no excuse but to join in an excellent closing medley.

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Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the DrumThen to close out marvellous Monday 6th February RavenEye back in Cardiff and we were hot to rock. The venue was packed for RavenEye the excitement rising as Oli Brown and the band always excite with performances that are energetic and full of rocking bounce. Having seen Oli mature from the early days singing the blues into a rocker that captivates the audience’s energy and distils it through his guitar and vocals. This is a trio of extroverts who come alive on stage bouncing off the speakers and bass drum literally during a mesmerising live performance. With Adam Breeze joining the pairing of Oli and Aaron Spiers on bass. This is a trio that is hard-hitting, the music punches you in the solar plexus and then spirals in a chaotic force as the rock courses through your veins. This is exciting live music. Fast, furious with scintillating licks and riffs from Oli’s six-string weapon of choice. Leftover from the days of blues is the ever-present thumb pick giving his guitar a sound that lingers long and hard. The threesome delivers real showmanship, as they use every inch of the venue from the top of the drum speakers and then Oli Brown was given a piggyback ride through the crowds on Aarons’ shoulders. This is not showmanship for effect, not a note is missed the music is never sacrificed for the show. Music is the show. They know how to entertain. And tonight they entertained so Monday becomes the new Saturday night.

Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the Drum

RavenEye is no one-trick pony of loud and hard-hitting sound they bend and shape the sound as tracks from Nova show. Opening with Hate this is hard, heavy with a rawness that is the title in music and then towards the end the slower ballad Eternity no bass, no drums vocals and guitars as Aaron’s and Adam’s acoustics join Oli’s electric. Both from Nova the album that set down the parameters of the band.

Rocking The Globe RavenEye Headlines from Top of the Drum

Now, lead singers often take the mic from the stand. Not many guitarist/singers do. But the Oli likes to mix it up so he does playing the guitar left-handed and spitting the vocals down the mic held in the right. You have to pay attention as relax for a split second and an awesome action will be missed. The music is fast and so are the band members the music and movement changes in a split-second. We were told of the new app between Madeline and Oh My Love. Through the set, we step back in time as we visit the first E.P. Breaking Out, with tracks interspersed through the set including Hey Hey Yeah early in the set to the closing number You Got It.  By the end of the night, we certainly Got It we were on a rocking high and once a RavenEye song their strength means they always have a place on the set list. We also heard new music that just fits Oli’s amazing vocals and Turn The Lights Out the penultimate song promises that the new album due later this year is going to be another winner for RavenEye fans. We are already excited that soon there will be new songs to learn. Everyone left The Globe with that Monday feeling dispelled by hard rock that delivered with an energy that is uplifting and revitalizing. Cardiff says come back soon RavenEye.

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Americana Duo The Grahams UK Tour 2018

Vibrant Nashville-based Americana duo The Grahams (pronounced Grams) announce extensive February-March 2018 UK tour previewing material from two eagerly anticipated projects due later this year – their new studio album produced by Richard Swift (Black Keys, Arcs, Shins), and continuing their adventurous exploration of the USA – this time around on two wheels – the soundtrack to their new feature-length documentary Love & Distortion. So while we wait for the opportunity to hear The Grahams play live in the U.K. – here are two new numbers enjoy!!!!

On the first taster from the soundtrack, which will only be available as a limited edition 7” single at UK shows, until the full soundtrack’s official release later this year, The Grahams interpret The Pretenders’ ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’, a Top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic in 1986, and Mazzy Star’s 1994 cult classic ‘Fade Into You’.

In the Fall of 2016, while the country reels from a seemingly unstoppable vortex of disorientation, musicians & lifelong soul mates The Grahams, set out on a spectacular motorcycle expedition across America’s time-warped Route 66. Amidst the neon, the romance, the heat, the music and the sheer power of nostalgia, The Grahams explore the concept of “real” America with the eccentric and notorious characters who live and work in the strange and mysterious world that is Route 66.

Featuring a surreal soundtrack with contributions from Nashville’s finest; Elizabeth Cook, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Dylan LeBlanc, Chuck Mead, Lilly Hiatt, The Grahams and many more, Love & Distortion is not a travel guide or a musical biopic. This feature-length documentary, which follows The Grahams down the Mother Road, is an unconventional narrative weaving in and out of moments and realities that can be found in the various sub-cultures of America’s Main Street.

Bluesdoodles reviewed Glory Bound the tour will give everyone the opportunity to hear the new music as The Grahams share the sound the duo create live for our enjoyment

Get to know the Grahams before you hear them live in the U.K.

Americana Duo The Grahams UK Tour 2018Alyssa and Doug Graham have spent nearly their entire lives exploring music together. Friends since she was 7 and he was 9, they became a couple in their teens, then husband and wife. Somewhere along the way, they also became The Grahams, a dynamic Americana duo who’ve married their love of adventure with a desire to build on foundations laid by their musical predecessors. Their first song-crafting expedition, along the Mississippi’s Great River Road, became their 2013 debut, Riverman’s Daughter. For its follow-up, Glory Bound, they rode the rails – and wound up recording not only a studio album but Rattle The Hocks, a documentary and live album recorded on the move and in venues from Sun Studio to Amtrak’s famed City of New Orleans train.

THE GRAHAMS · FEBRUARY-MARCH 2018 UK TOUR

Buy your tickets HERE

FEBRUARY

Wed 14      Taddingtonnr. Buxton                         Village Institute

Thu 15       Swayfieldnr. Grantham                       Village Hall

Fri 16        Caunton Dean Holenr. Newark            Community Centre

Sat 17       Crichnr. Matlock                                  Crich Glebe Field Centre

Sun 18      Yoxallnr. Burton-on-Trent                       Parish Hall

Thu 22       Drimptonnr. Beaminster                       Village Hall

Fri 23         Ashmorenr. Shaftesbury                       Village Hall

Sat 24       Hinton Martellnr. Wimborne                 Village Hall

Sun 25      Milborne St. Andrewnr. Blandford         Village Hall

Tue 27       Liverpool                                          Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Music Room

Wed 28      Sheffield                                           The Greystones

MARCH

Thu 1        Bristol                                               The Tunnels

Fri 2          Poole                                                Lighthouse

Sat 3         Lichfield                                           Lichfield Arts

Sun 4        Maidenhead                                      Norden Farm Centre for the Arts

Mon 5        Cardiff                                              The Moon

Thu 8        Newbury                                           Arlington Arts Centre

Fri 9          London                                             C2C, Country to Country, The 02, The Big Entrance stage

Sat 10       London                                             C2C, Country to Country, The 02, The Big Entrance stage

Praise for The Grahams

“full of warmth and a generosity of spirit that ensured the audience was happy to join in making its music in the round.” Bluesdoodles

“Americana doesn’t come much better.” Acoustic magazine

“The Grahams are never far away from waving the banner of the road though they change the mood of their songs like the scenery flying by outside a southbound boxcar.” Alternate Root

“Doug’s mastery of the resonator guitar is matched by Alyssa’s spectacularly dexterous vocal chords ensuring their blend is beautifully matched to the breadth and scope of their music” American Roots UK

“This is mighty fine modern cowboy, ride those rails music, strong on evocative lyricism and driving, piston-pushing instrumental ability.” Cashbox magazine

“Alyssa and Doug deliver songs alive with wit, detail, interesting asides and hooks” Country Music magazine

“…really impressive…diverse articulate songs…expertly performed” Country Music People

“Highly recommended” Folking.com

“The Grahams guarantee a good time that captures the rhythms of the past with some cracking vocals and a healthy head of contemporary steam.” Get Ready To Rock! 

Never In Exile Full Of Grace King King Back Touring

Never In Exile Full Of Grace King King Back Touring

Never In Exile Full Of Grace King King Back Touring

*WITH SPECIAL GUEST STEVE HILL

BOOK ONLINE: Tour Tickets

Huntington Hall, Worcester
Saturday 14th April 2018

Book Online: www.worcesterlive.co.uk/events
Facebook 
24 Chapel Walk, Worcester WR1 3LD
www.worcesterlive.co.uk

HRH Blues, Sheffield
Sunday 15th April 2018

Book Online: www.hrhblues.com/tickets
Facebook / Twitter
O2 Academy Sheffield, 37-43 Arundel Gate, Sheffield S1 2PN
www.hrhblues.com

The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
Friday 20th April 2018

Book Online: www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/events 
Facebook / Twitter
5 West North Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5AT

www.aberdeenperformingarts.com

Darvel Town Hall, Darvel
Saturday 21st April 2018

Book Online: www.darvelmusiccompany.com/shop 
Facebook / Twitter
10-12 West Main Street, Darvel, East Ayrshire KA17 0AQ
www.thequeenshall.net

St. Mary in The Castle, Hastings
Thursday 3rd May 2018

*WITH SPECIAL GUEST STEVE HILL
Tickets: 01323 841414
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
7 Pelham Crescent, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3AF
http://spyboy.co.uk/ / http://stmaryinthecastle.co.uk/

Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd
Friday 4th May 2018

*WITH SPECIAL GUEST STEVE HILL
Book Online: www.seetickets.com 
Facebook Twitter / Instagram
Municipal Buildings, Gelliwastad Rd, Pontypridd CF37 2DP
http://muniartscentre.com

The 1865, Southampton
Saturday 5th May 2018

*WITH SPECIAL GUEST STEVE HILL
Book Online: www.seetickets.com 
Facebook Twitter
Brunswick Square, Southampton, SO14 3AR
www.the1865.com

Epstein Theatre, Liverpool
Thursday 10th May 2018

*WITH SPECIAL GUEST STEVE HILL
Book Online: www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk/events 
Facebook Twitter / Instagram
Hanover House, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ
www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk 

Playhouse, Whitley Bay
Friday 11th May 2018

Book Online: www.thegigcartel.com
Facebook Twitter
Marine Ave, Whitley Bay NE26 1LZ
www.playhousewhitleybay.co.uk

The Grand, Clitheroe
Saturday 12th May 2018

Book Online: www.thegigcartel.com
Facebook Twitter
18 York St, Clitheroe BB7 2DL
www.thegrandvenue.co.uk

The Live Rooms, Chester
Thursday 17th May 2018

*WITH SPECIAL GUEST STEVE HILL
Book Online: www.thegigcartel.com
Facebook Twitter Instagram
1 Station Rd, Chester CH1 3DR
www.theliverooms.com

Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Friday 18th May 2018

*WITH SPECIAL GUEST STEVE HILL
Book Online: www.thegigcartel.com
Facebook Twitter Instagram
33 Queen’s Rd, Leeds LS6 1NY
www.brudenellsocialclub.co.uk

The Picturedome, Holmfirth
Saturday 19th May 2018

*WITH SPECIAL GUEST STEVE HILL
Book Online: www.thegigcartel.com
Facebook Twitter
Market Walk, Holmfirth HD9 7DA
www.picturedrome.net

Cheese & Grain, Frome
Saturday 26th May 2018

*WITH SPECIAL GUEST STEVE HILL
Book Online: https://cheeseandgrain.ticketsolve.com 
Facebook Twitter
Market Yd, Justice Ln, Frome BA11 1BE
www.cheeseandgrain.com

Phoenix Arts Centre, Exeter
Sunday 27th May 2018

*WITH SPECIAL GUEST STEVE HILL
Book Online:www.exeterphoenix.org.uk/events 
Facebook Twitter / Instagram
Gandy St, Exeter EX4 3LS
www.exeterphoenix.org.uk

Robin 2, Bilston
Thursday 31st May 2018

*WITH SPECIAL GUEST STEVE HILL
Book Online: www.thegigcartel.com 
Facebook Twitter
20-28 Mount Pleasant, Bilston WV14 7LJ
www.therobin.co.uk

The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
Friday 1st June 2018

*WITH SPECIAL GUEST STEVE HILL
Book Online: www.thegigcartel.com 
Facebook Twitter
1 Charter Square, Bury Saint Edmunds IP33 3FD
www.theapex.co.uk

Rock & Blues Festival, Newport
Saturday 2nd June 2018

Book Online: www.newportbluesfestival.co.uk/tickets 
Facebook 
The Neon, Clarence Place, NP19 0 Newport, Wales
 www.newportbluesfestival.co.uk

King King released their fourth studio album “Exile & Grace” in October 2017 via Manhaton Records. The album features the band’s singles (She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’ and Long Time Running which have been big hits on Planet Rock radio in the UK.

Hot on the heels of King King’s January 2018 UK tour – including their biggest London show at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire to date – Britain’s No. 1 rock blues band announce their April – June 2018 UK Tour including shows at HRH Blues in Sheffield and the Rock & Blues Festival in Newport.

 

Special Guest Steve Hill is an act not to be missed –  When it comes to one-man bands, guitarist and singer extraordinaire Steve Hill has no limits. The truest definition of a one-Never In Exile Full Of Grace King King Back Touringman band; Hill performs standing up while singing and playing guitar, his feet playing bass drum, snare drum, hi-hats and with a drumstick fused to the head of his trusty guitar, any other percussion within reach. An overnight sensation 20 years in the making, Steve Hill is an ambitious and raucous force to be reckoned with.

Throughout his career, Hill has shared the stage with many of his musical heroes including Ray Charles, BB King, ZZ Top, Jimmie Vaughan, Hubert Sumlin, Jeff Beck and many others. Over the course of nine albums, he’s explored everything from hard rock, country, and stoner rock to folk music while always incorporating the essence of his first love, the blues.

 

Never In Exile Full Of Grace King King Back Touring

 

Bluesdoodles said, ” The music has the solidity of granite rock and definitely a new cadence to the vocals from our kilt-wearing Alan Nimmo.” Read the rest Exile & Grace Review

 

 

 

Never In Exile Full Of Grace King King Back TouringWith Four nominations for 2018 inaugural FORM, UKBlues Awards 2018 Exile & Grace is following in the footsteps of 2015’s multi-award winning “Reaching For The Light.”

King King nominated Categories are:-

  • Male Blues Vocalist
  • Blues Band of The Year
  • Blues Album of The Year
  • Blues Song Writer of The Year

Register to vote NOW! Voting Open 1st – 28th February

REMEMBER The Rules: UKBlues Federations states – Whilst it is appreciated that voters may not wish to vote in every category, voters are requested to cast votes in as many categories as possible. To avoid the possibility of the voting being ‘hijacked’ or unduly biased, the UKBlues Federation reserves the right to disallow votes from voters who have not voted in at least six of the nine main categories (1 to 9 inclusive).

 

Never In Exile Full Of Grace King King Back Touring
copyright Laurence Harvey