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

Share Valentines Love VOTE Today FORMUKBlues Awards

Share Valentines Love VOTE Today FORMUKBlues Awards

A reminder that there are just two weeks left to make sure that you have had your say in deciding who are the winners in the inaugural FORM UKBlues Awards.

Already many thousands of votes have been cast. UKBluesFederation thanks, everyone who has shown their support for what the UKBlues Federation is doing with these new Awards.

UKBlues Federation is delighted to say that by and large, people have been playing by the rules, we even sorted out the anomaly mentioned in our last Newsletter and confirmed that the votes were genuine and that they have been counted!

There are those who have suggested that they have been over-zealous with our security measures but they would, almost certainly, be the first to cry foul if our system was less robust.

Overall the UKBluess Federation is delighted that so many people have complimented us on the robust steps we have and are taking to ensure that the Awards have integrity and credibility. We also congratulate the management of some of the finalists for mobilising their teams and fanbases.

It has taken a great deal of work to set up a bespoke voting system and to keep a watchful eye on the voting process and our thanks go to the Board members, and others, undertaking this. When voting closes we will be carrying out a major data analysis and, we will be contacting those whose entries are flagged up as potentially suspicious to verify them, or otherwise!

If you have already cast your votes, thank you. Both we and the finalists appreciate your support.

If you have yet to join in, then you should be aware that there is a simple, two-step process to do so.

First, you must register and you can do this by visiting www.ukbluesawards.com/register where you will be asked to create a username, a password and supply your first and last names and e-mail address. You will then be asked to prove you are not a robot and, assuming your registration is accepted, will be taken to the voting page.

If you have any problems with this process, there is a help e-mail address shown on the Registration page which you can contact for assistance.

All the finalists in the 17 categories are detailed on the Finalists page  – where you will also find links to their websites and, where appropriate, video of the artists/acts so that you can familiarise yourself with all the finalists.

Share Valentines Love VOTE Today FORMUKBlues Awards

But remember, voting closes at midnight GMT 28th February 2018

Share Valentines Love VOTE Today FORMUKBlues Awards

Will Wilde Harmonica Stylishly covers Classics in a unique way

Will Wilde Harmonica Stylishly covers Classics in a unique way

Will Wilde hails from Brighton and his first foray into performing was when he formed The Neptune Blues Band in 2005 when he was 17 years old, and released his debut album “Nothin’ But Trouble” in 2008. Since then he has released two studio and one live album under his own name.

He comes from a musical family. “Music was always around me.” He says. “British hard rock and blues was the soundtrack to my childhood.” His grandfather was a wartime jazz ‘n’ blues pianist and his sister, Dani Wilde, is an acclaimed blues performer with whom I’m sure you are familiar.

Wilde studied drums at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music and yet it was the harmonica, guitar and vocals that ended up captivating him. None more so than the harmonica, obviously.

His latest release is one that brings shivers of expectation or horror from music lovers. Bring It On Home is covers with a twist expect the choice of numbers to be unexpected. This album pays homage to blues and rock giants, including Purple, Free, Sabbath, Tull and the master mouth organist, Sonny Boy Williamson II amongst others. Anyone brave enough to cover such recognisable classics needs to be not only good but also able to interpret in a way that pays tribute while being distinct. Not an easy job; does he achieve it? The answer is a conservative yes; musically they are all very faithful yet imaginative interpretations. The finest one of all is the last track. Parisienne Walkways has to be heard to be believed. The harmonica/mouth-organ/blues harp/moothie or gob-iron (as Ian Gillan calls it) playing actually replicates Moore’s guitar sound in a way beyond comprehension…stunning!

Many of the original tracks featured the harmonica, making it more acceptable to hear, albeit featuring more prominently. The first track is the brilliant Gallagher song, Bad Penny. There is quality guitar backing, recalling the ‘jangling’ intro of the original. There is a very flat sounding foot/bass drum on this, and some of the tracks, which irritates, However, the vocals are up to scratch too, but it’s when the harmonica takes the solo that the fascination grows. It actually works! Lazy, too had harmonica sections, but here Blackmore’s guitar and Lord’s Hammond are replaced by it. Again, it actually works. Vocally Wilde is no Gillan, but it doesn’t spoil the enjoyment, and Danny Giles puts in a very decent guitar solo too. I’m You Witchdoctor is so faithful; you would think Mayall was a guest (he isn’t). Harmonica instead of the ubiquitous flute on a Jethro Tull cover? Locomotive Breath is still instantly recognisable and enjoyable. Great guitar backing again from Giles. Peter Green era Mac is next. Love That Burns does just that; it is a superb reading of a great blues track. Sabbath’s The Wizard is the first misstep; this is the only time when Wilde’s vocals just don’t fit. Musically it is good, and the bass playing is actually the highlight. His version of Yer Blues reminds me of Jeff Healey’s brilliant take on this Beatles song; except with harmonica, of course. My Brother Jake sounds a little empty as the track is played straight, with the harmonica just echoing one verse. Next, a song written by the great Willy Dixon and first performed by the king of the mouth-organ, Sonny Boy Williamson II (oh, and Zeppelin), Bring It On Home is faithful to the Robert Plant version.

In summary then, a very enjoyable album with some exquisite interpretations and a few disappointments. It is worth getting for Parisienne Walkways alone and I doubt you will be disillusioned with many of the songs. A very worthwhile effort.

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing: (original artists in brackets)

  1. Bad Penny (Rory Gallagher)
  2. Lazy (Deep Purple)
  3. I’m Your Witchdoctor (John Mayall)
  4. Locomotive Breath  (Jethro Tull)
  5. Love That Burns  (Fleetwood Mac)
  6. The Wizard  (Black Sabbath)
  7. Yer Blues  (The Beatles)
  8. My Brother Jake  (Free)
  9. Bring it on Home (Sonny Boy Williamson II)
  10. Parisienne Walkways  (Gary Moore)

Note: The commercial release should also include Politician by Cream

The Band:
Will Wilde: harmonica/vocals
Danny Giles: guitar
Victoria Smith: bass
Alan Taylor: drums

Recorded at Brighton Road Studios
Engineered by Ali Gavan
Produced by Danny Giles

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

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

Cameo of Rainbreakers Live Performance Jaks Skegness 2018

Cameo of Rainbreakers Live Performance Jaks Skegness 2018

Cameo of Rainbreakers Live Performance Jaks Skegness 2018. Rainbreakers are back to set Skegness alight once again. This year they headline Saturday in Jaks; the stage organised by Blues Matters. The venue that is dark, moody hot had the venue that has seen amazing nights we all still talk about the night Larry Miller set Jaks ablaze with his music. The anticipation was high amongst the many who have heard The Rainbreakers play live before. Into the mix and those who just came to see what the fuss was about or party and drink into Sunday morning.

Cameo of Rainbreakers Live Performance Jaks Skegness 2018The band was on fire full of energy as the band from Shrewsbury blended the music to create a music fuelled party atmosphere. Having spoken to members of the audience many just popped in for five minutes and now determined to stay to the end. This was no surprise to me as having been captivated by the sound since I first heard and reviewed in 2015 Blood Not Brass. 

What is Rainbreakers sound? What makes then stand-out on a crowded circuit? They have stretched the blues from the Mississippi Delta, up to Chicago across to the sun-drenched West Coast and sound drenched in the seventies full of soul. Musicians ready to conquer the here and now.  A quartet mix power with subtlety. A rhythm section drummer Sam Edwards and bassist Peter Adams lay down the scaffolding of their brand of Blues-rock. Guitar work from Charlie Richards bending the notes as vocals are delivered by Ben Edwards. The unit is tight and the live sound electric.

Cameo of Rainbreakers Live Performance Jaks Skegness 2018Tonight in Jaks they came set-up and allowed their music to conquer. That is exactly what they did. Saturday in Jaks was a happy place to be as they played music that made you get up and dance, smile and be happy with tracks from the second EP; Rise Up. This is what Jaks as we all rose up as one and enjoyed the moments they played a storming set, to be remembered long after Jaks falls silent. The Rainbreakers were the last Saturday night headliners to play the small stage in Jaks.

Cameo of Rainbreakers Live Performance Jaks Skegness 2018

Bluesdoodles Reviews:

2015 E.P. – Blood Not Brass

2017 E.P. – Rise UP

In Conversation about 2017 UKBlues Challenge

 

Now on tour supporting, Wille and The Bandits, do not miss any opportunity to see this young band play live as we await the anticipated full-length studio album from The Rainbreakers

 

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cameo of Rob Tognoni live Performance Centre Stage Skegness 2018

Cameo of Rob Tognoni live Performance Centre Stage Skegness 2018Cameo of Rob Tognoni live Performance Centre Stage Skegness 2018

Marmite of the blues from Tasmania via Germany Rob Tognoni gave the devils music a rocking workout across the Centre Stage. On Centre Stage heard and loved the range of blues of every hue across the weekend.

Joining Rob Tognoni on stage for the ultimate power trio a rhythm section that allows his trusty guitar to deliver.  A sound full of energy and tonal magic. The guitar may be travel-worn, battered and bruised the sound is addictive as he pulls you into the party-time rock n’ roll sound via influences from Rory Gallagher woven deep into the sound.  Rob, is no clone of Rory other influence pulled from playing Blues-rock live, loud and with vigour caught by your ear as a fleeting moment a soupçon of Hendrix, and curl of AC/DC and a huge dollop of his own effervescent style. Today has he hit the stage he was on sparkling good form in his shirt red, shiny and bright reflecting is wild personality.

His guitar is like a third limb connected with an invisible chord that electrifies his whole performance. He is the ultimate show-off with a set that delights and Dark Angel blow you away, allowing the trio of Rob, Mike Hellier drumming and bassist Gaz Rackman interact with each other with an explosive sound on a Sunday afternoon in Skegness.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Read overview of the Great Rock and Blues Weekend over at Bluesdoodles

 

Cameo of Rob Tognoni live Performance Centre Stage Skegness 2018

 

Unmissable King King Touring from April to June 2018

Unmissable King King Touring from April to June 2018

King King (L-R) Jonny Dyke (keyboard), Alan Nimmo (vocals & guitar),
Lindsay Coulson (bass), Wayne Proctor (drums)

Photo Credit: © Rob Blackham

Unmissable King King Touring from April to June 2018

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.

Unmissable King King Touring from April to June 2018King 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.

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

With 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 Alum of The Year – Blues Song Writer of The Year.

Unmissable King King Touring from April to June 2018

*WITH SPECIAL GUEST STEVE HILL
BOOK TICKETS: www.kingking.co.uk/tour

Worcester, Huntingdon Hall  Saturday 14 April – Book Online

Sheffield, HRH Festival   Sunday 15 April – Book Online

Aberdeen, The Lemon Tree   Friday 20 April – Book Online

Darvel, Town Hall   Saturday 21 April – Book Online

*Hastings, St. Mary in The Castle  Thursday 3 May – Book Online

*Pontypridd, Muni Arts Centre  Friday 4 May – Book Online

*Southampton, The 1865   Saturday 5 May – Book Online

*Liverpool, Epstein Theatre   Thursday 10 May – Book Online

Whitley Bay, Playhouse  Friday 11 May – Book Online

Clitheroe, The Grand   Saturday 12 May – Book Online

*Chester, The Live Rooms   Thursday 17 May – Book Online

*Leeds, Brudenell Social Club   Friday 18 May – Book Online

*Holmfirth, The Picturedome  Saturday 19 May – Book Online

*Frome, Cheese & Grain  Saturday 26 May – Book Online

*Exeter, The Phoenix Arts Centre   Sunday 27 May – Book Online

*Bilston, Robin 2    Thursday 31 May – Book Online

*Bury St. Edmunds, The Apex   Friday 1 June – Book Online

*Newport, Rock 7 Blues Festival  Saturday 2 June – Book Online

 

 

 

Unmissable King King Touring from April to June 2018

In Conversation Tommy Emmanuel with help from his friends

In Conversation Tommy Emmanuel with help from his friendsAustralian born Grammy award-winning Tommy Emmanuel has been wowing audiences and guitar players across the globe for some time now. His unique playing style, pure musicality and to quote Chet Atkins, his “fearless fingerpicking”…surely Tommy needs very little introduction. His new album “Accomplice One” is a veritable delight of 16 tracks of duets with a wide range of musician friends of Tommy’s who were all keen to lend a pair of hands or a voice…

 

“Accomplice One” is brimming with talent, what was the idea behind getting all of these great players together?

It’s really come about from living and working in Nashville over the last 15 years which has grown a group of artists and friends who I get to work with from time to time on various things. I got the idea that I wanted to collaborate with some really good artists, good singers, good songwriters to see what we could come up with. It was over 2 years of trying to find time between my touring and everyone else’s touring and projects for it to all come together. It was great in the way that everyone had suggestions of songs and it really came together quite beautifully. With all the schedules involved it was my recording and mixing engineer that really glued everything together what with me being in and out-of-town all the time, we’d book the studio ahead of time and he’d be ready to go as soon as I and the other artists were in and we wasted no time at all as time is precious for everyone. The tracks were cut with just the acoustic guitars and vocals and we would add bass, drums afterwards. It gives a warm and live sound for sure. Each of the artists recorded more that what’s on the album, like Amanda Shires who I duet with on Madonna’s “Borderline” did a swing track that’s not on the album, I have other tracks as well and we chose the best tracks for the first album. That’s why it’s called “Accomplice One” as there’ll be another one.

JD Simo, Amanda Shires, Ricky Skaggs are some of the artists you duet with – why did you pick these artists?

The fact that these are young people coming up in the business and really talented artists who are all really soulful. I thought that rather than trying to get Keith Urban or another well-established artist in that younger people, new and fresh could bring something else to the album and be a great opportunity in their stage of their career for us to be seen working together. Then again, Mark Knopfler, who I’ve know since 1984, certainly doesn’t need any help from me but that fact that he wrote back to me and said: “Sure, I’d love to play on your record, but can we do one of my songs?” – you know, I just couldn’t deny him that as I love everything he writes. Mark invited me over to his studio in Chiswick London, we sat down and went forth and back with who was going to sing which line and play what part. From the moment I arrived in his studio, it took an hour and a half to arrange, record and Mark’s keyboard player/assistant mixed and mastered the song and I was out of there with it that quick.

Having produced the album yourself, what were you looking for sound wise?

First of all, I didn’t want it to have anything on it that was unnecessary, more stripped back, lush, warm and earthy. The only track that has keyboards on it is “The Duke’s Message” the very last track which I cut with Suzy Bogguss and one of my original songs. I had Grammy award-winning piano player Will Barrow come in, listen to the song and just play along with what was going on already instead of embellishing parts. The rest of the album is really just guitar, bass and drums, sometimes no drums. Where there are bass parts they’re well thought out and I played some of those, I even played the drums on it – no programmed nonsense here mate! On “Saturday Night Shuffle” I purposely mic’d the drums at a distance and made them sound almost like they were in a garage. All the acoustic guitars are mic’d up just how you would playing live so I really took an approach to producing the album in the most organic way as possible.

Alongside your original tracks, there are a few covers, what’s behind the choice of those?

Trying to find the right song for a person, you know that’s the key. Mark and I could have done anything but doing an original that’s something different is always great. With Mark’s song we really approached it like Tom Waits meets Randy Newman! JD Simo is such a great guy and we have a shared love for Elvis Presley but cut Otis Redding’s “(Sitting On) The Dock of The Bay” where you can really hear the fun we had playing it. There’s a contrast in going from “Keep It Real” with it’s Celtic feel into “Rachel’s Lullaby”. Clive Carroll and I have been friends for a long time (he’s one of my favourite musicians on the planet) and we worked up that medley of “Keep It Real” together. There’s a lot to it already but it could of easily have gone on for another 10 minutes as you know how it is when you get a good thing going playing! You mentioned the “Purple Haze” cover, I hate to tell you and most people will not believe it, that was one take. Jerry Douglas, the dobro playing wizard, came in to play on another track and we got that finished so I said to him “Do you want to have a shot at Purple Haze?”. Jerry’s response could not have been more emphatic; “What a great idea! That’ll really piss off all the bluegrass purists! Let’s do it!”. I brought my guitar into the control room, showed him how I played it, Jerry’s like “Just nod at me when you want me to play…” and away we went with it in the purest moment of inspiration and improvisation.

On the note of improvisation and for the guitarists out there, what advice/approach can you pass on?

Well there’s a certain amount of not being afraid to step out and try stuff. You know, everybody worries too much about what people will think of them if they fly their kite to high, you know what I mean? I really try to get rid of that as it will only hold you back and to just play what I feel like playing in the moment and this is what my instincts are telling me to play. You’ve gotta have fun with it but at the same time have something to say musically that works, makes sense to you and let it fly. There’s a time to really jump in and a time to hold it back, listen and find the right spot to come in – you know Jerry is just like that, no boundaries, no filters and just runs at things dead ahead. Jerry and I have some shows coming up together in 2018 in addition to the shows JD Simo and I are doing together and you can bet on us improvising in the moment on those. At the base of it, it’s about being in the moment and really listening as that’s the first thing a real/good musician does.

In the Spring you’re running a guitar camp in Scotland, planning to give away your guitar secrets?

Oh definitely as that’s what teaching is all about, you have to give the student everything. That’s happening in May 2018 and it’s 4 days of lessons, masterclasses, evening concerts and there’s also time for one-on-ones with students at the camp with myself and the other instructors. It’s one of those where we want people to come along, be challenged in their playing and change the way they experience playing and learning music. It’s a whole different ball game and I really think that the people who are going to be on that camp with me are going to have the best time. It’s really about immersing yourself and seeing things in a different way.

More information and booking for Tommy’s Guitar Camp in Scotland can be found HERE

If you could go travel back in time, what would you tell the Tommy Emmanuel in his early 20’s?

Don’t be so worried about what people think, have a great time and just try to learn as much as you can.

Accomplice One is due for release January 19 on the new label Players Club via Mascot Label Group and can be ordered here  MASCOT LABEL GROUP

 

In Conversation Tommy Emmanuel with help from his friends

The Mid Wales Rhythm and Blues Club Diary Dates

The Mid Wales Rhythm and Blues Club Diary Dates

The Mid Wales Rhythm and Blues Club Diary Dates

The Mid Wales Rhythm & Blues Club supporting live rhythm & blues in Mid Wales. A monthly Blues club promoting the best of contemporary blues, from traditionally acoustic to mashed up nu-blues and everything between. It is a live club with flair and atmosphere.

The Mid Wales R&B Club was started by Chris and Cath Rogers in 2014 and started in pubs around Powys’ but soon moved to Rhayader in 2015 at CARAD until the end of 2016 and in 2017 The MUSE Brecon.
The Mid Wales R&B Club is currently run by a small but perfectly formed husband and wife team. Chris started the club with Cath and new team member Angus Kings as a way to bring together people as passionate about Blues as they were Since then, the club has grown increasingly in size and popularity, with the monthly gigs selling out and Blues artists from far and wide wanting to play.

THE MUSE

The Muse at Brecon, a new arts and community venue based at the Old Museum in Brecon Town Centre.

Built in 1837 as a Congregationalist Chapel, the building later became the town museum. Now privately owned, we want it to be used again to inspire, entertain, educate and amuse.

The Mid Wales Rhythm and Blues Club Diary Dates

Feb 16th Beki Brindle from The USA at The Muse Brecon, Tickets £10. Doors open at 7.30 and music starts at 8.00 Licensed Bar. Limited capacity.

Beki Brindle – Guitars (lead and rhythm) and Vocals (lead and harmonies)
New York Blues Hall of Fame 2014 Inductee, Beki Brindle was discovered at Indiana University by Rick Danko and Richard Manuel of “The Band,” while she was Blues Legend James “Yank” Rachell’s lead guitarist. A consummate player at an early age, Beki toured repeatedly with Jerry Lee Lewis, as his guitarist. A native of Indiana, she spent time living in Ireland where she shared the stage with Hot House Flowers, The Waterboys, members of U2 and Thin Lizzy, The Pogues and Francie Conway, as well as recording & touring with blues artists such as Carey Bell, Johnny Mars, Joe Louis Walker, Mary Stokes Band, Tampa Red, Fenton Robinson and more. She was also commissioned by Bono of U2 to create and run a blues workshop on Irish National Television.

Although Beki is a renowned blues guitarist and singer, with a style that is a mix of classic and original blues, peppered with sounds from Chicago and The Delta, she was also the guitarist for the Warner/Reprise band Grace Pool, as well as releasing several albums featuring other guitar stylings.

 

Upcoming Dates at The Muse Brecon

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeMarch 2nd Elles Bailey AT The Muse Brecon, Tickets £10.

Elles Bailey has a talent for crafting and seamlessly weaving rootsy blues, country, and soulful rock, with a contemporary edge. What’s more fate has blessed her with a ‘smoky vocal’ style that perfectly fits her music, after a stint in hospital as a child changed her voice forever.

Reviewers have been wowed by Elles’ debut album Wildfire(which charted at no.2 in the iTunes Blues Charts) with Maverick Magazine gave ‘Wildfire’ top marks (5/5) calling every song ‘Fresh & Original’ And Blues In Britain reminding us that ‘It’s a fact that very few make it to the big stage but Elles Bailey has the necessary talent, the drive, and now the product.’
Bluesdoodles review of her scorching Debut album Wildfire can be found HERE

 

April 6th Mat Walklate & Paolo Fuschi AT The Muse Brecon, Tickets £10.

Mat Walklate-Harmonica & Vocals
Paolo Fuschi-Guitar & Vocals
Mat and Paolo play a diverse, dynamic live set illustrating all shades of Blues and allowing each other’s instrumental, vocal and improvisational qualities to shine. Each performance is rock-solid, yet full of inspiration and spontaneity.
Mat and Paolo are an “Electric Blues Duo” as they use old tube amplifiers creating a rich tone that brings the listeners back to the very early days of the 1950’s Chicago Blues. Think of Muddy Waters plugging in his red Telecaster for the first time into an old tube amplifier and Little Walter blowing his harmonica through an old Fender Champ amplifier. The result is a magical performance that stands out for its intensity and energy. Although there are two people on stage, they sound like a 10 piece Blues band.
Living in Manchester and strongly influenced by its Afro-Caribbean community, Mat and Paolo also pay homage to Ska, blending the uplifting rhythms of this genre with the spirit and sentiment of the Blues.
Walklate and Fuschi have an extensive repertoire that covers over two hours of music.

Check-in for updates on Mid Wales Rhythm & Blues Facebook Page 

 

The Mid Wales Rhythm and Blues Club Diary Dates