Bluesdoodles Live Shows in England 2017 – Throughout 2017 Liz and Kevin travelled to hear good music to share on Bluesdoodles. Bristol was the number one city we visited not surprisingly as it is just across the Severn from South Wales. So behind Door Six, we are re-visiting the live music that made our feet tingle and ears buzz. Live music invigorates and is a great night out, meeting up with friends sometimes listening to bands for the first time. This could be they are a young up and coming band or one you have only heard the music captured in a studio. Whenever and wherever you are listing to live music supporting musicians and having fun it is a special memory moment. Coming up behind other doors will be Gigs in Wales and Festival fun that made 2017 such an enjoyable year.
With a crowd full of anticipation to hear once again the vocals of Dan Owen with his twenty-first-century mix of singer-songwriter angst, blues and ‘modern man with a guitar’ sound. Before the main act of the night, the evening opened with a singer-songwriter behind the keyboards as Billy Locketthit the stage. Billy set the scene for Dan with a set that may not have been exciting but was a solid start to the evening. The set was full of romantic originals and into this indie mix, he covered Nirvana, definitely not Kurt Cobain but an interesting choice. Closing the short set the Northampton-born Billy Lockett with his easy smile finished off with Burn It Down. The number that got him noticed when included on Made in Chelsea. Billy also has a full band which would pep up the numbers I am sure.
Short break and Dan stepped onto the stage in The Lantern, Colston Hall. Dan Owen has been touring and shaping his craft. The bluesman who captures the tones of the seventies all packaged in an Indie delight. This is solo music that hits the mark with all ages especially the young who connect with the angst, his tales and manner that connects with the audience. His voice has always demanded attention and he got it. Tonight as a duet his music was up close and very personal. Dan has certainly ‘come of age’ since I saw him last. As he opened with Parachute we knew we were in the assured vocal glow of Dan. The voice now has real controlled power, with a clarity of tone and delivery of lyrics. We flew with Dan close to the sun as he played Icarus. Wow!! Joining Dan on stage tonight was Lewis Cooper on Keys which provided an extra depth of tone and great backing vocals. Dan’s latest E.P. Open Hands and Enemies is a snippet of his talent and a full album is long overdue. From the E.P. he played What Is A Man and Moonlight, a slow burner that lights the auditorium. The tone changed with Splinter as Lewis swapped keys for electric guitar with a twang of Country-meets-Americana and curls into British Indie. With that Lewis left the stage for a couple of solo numbers from the past as Dan, his guitar and harmonica collided with Bob Dylan, Cohen and the seventies with a swirl of blues with the added power of the stompbox. No longer a biscuit tin with wires, now neat smart and full of drumming power. We were treated to a beautiful new song Hand That You Hold as he explored emotions with skill and empathy. Lewis returned to the stage and the set continued. What was noticeable the songs all had short intros the hallmark of songs today. Made To Love You, written about a friend who he had a drink with to make a plan about his relationship. The song Made to Love You was written about domestic abuse experienced at the hands of a woman his friend had experienced while still loving her.
Dan Owen left the stage and quickly returned with guitar and harp with a rousing rendition of Willie Dixon’s Little Red Rooster. Lifting the energy and ambience of the venue. Blues just suits Dan’s vocals.
The Lantern Bristol Shines on Dan Owen’s Vocals, the set was accomplished. But just far too short, I was left wanting to hear more, get to know the musician. So with that, the stage darkened and it was an early night as we left Colston Hall.
Dan Patlansky Joins Joanne Shaw Taylor November Tour
The UK tour dates includes Gateshead Sage (Nov 7), Cambridge Corn Exchange (Nov 9), Manchester Bridgewater Hall (Nov 10), Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Nov 12), Bristol Colston Hall (May Nov 14), London Royal Festival Hall (Nov 15), and Birmingham Symphony Hall (Nov 20). Tickets are available from the 24 hour box office 0844 478 0898 or The Gig Cartel and Dan Patlansky
Two of Bluesdoodles Favourite guitarist with 10 paws albums from 2016.
Joanne Shaw Taylor’s Wild
We said: There is a ferocity in the delivery that makes this an album where you want to hear the music live, the tempo and a sense of purpose that has a wildness in its sense of freedom. Joanne Shaw Taylor’s mighty potential has been unleashed and set free resulting in a ride of musical delights that is compelling and Wild.
We said: Introvertigo with its carefully crafted lyrics that blend urbane wit and honest observation, this is blues pertinent to today’s lifestyles, not so much whiskey and women more the corruption of power and social interaction. Ten tracks there are no fillers
In the studio they are outstanding, live they take Blues-Rock to another level the shows are going to be a sparkling manipulation of the guitar. Joanne Shaw Taylor’s special guest according to Music News “On record Dan Patlansky is quite superb but on stage, with a capacity crowd in his pocket from the off, he takes it to another level.”
Do not delay reserve you seat at shows that will heat up the coldest Winter Night
JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR NOVEMBER 2017 UK TOUR
WITH SPECIAL GUEST DAN PATLANSKY TICKETS –
Led Zeppelin Classics Mastered by Violins and more
Tonight, was the juxtaposition of classic rock courtesy of Led Zeppelin favourites with the Heart of England Orchestra, renamed for the UK Tour with Zep Boys Black Dog Orchestra. Tonight the Colston Hall stage had the unusual combination of Marshall Stacks with music stands for strings and brass; with the drummer front and left of stage held within a Perspex cage.
Australian Zep Boys have a passion for Zep’s music and have created something more than a tribute band. Does it work for me a mix of yes and maybe? The Colston Hall audience was definitely won over as they got up and danced and cheered the boys from down under. The lightshow was spectacular and the musicianship superb. For me though there was something missing, the orchestration by Nick Buck was good, but something was missing. What was it? Then it dawned on me it was the freedom of improvisation that a live rock show has that makes live music have that element of danger and interest as the rock on stage goes off-piste.
The thirty-Five piece Black Dog Orchestra added a new dimension of strings, brass and woodwind. The trombones overpowered at times, and more cellos would have given a deeper tonal texture. Upfront was the Zep Boys who knew how to rock with Vince Contario leading with vocals that capture the essence of Robert Plant. Joining Vince were Tzan Niko with a phalanx of guitars including the trademark double neck; bassist Warwick Cheatle and in his cage drummer Bradley Polain, who in 2017, thrity-Seven years after the untimely death of John Bonham found the inner Bonzo in the delivery of Moby Dick. The set list was divided in two halves and there is no doubt that some worked better than others in this experimental format.
The opening of the evening with Black Dog Orchestra, was an intriguing overture and insight into the evening as Black Dog, Stairway to Heaven Kashmir and other snippets flowed out over the auditorium.
The first set highlight was The Rain Song, though it did lose the balladic form with the addition of the orchestra. Ending with Rock n’ Roll the audience were left wanting more; there were a lot of happy Zep fans in the house tonight.
Opening the second set with Kashmir, the combination really worked the sound was balanced and the ethereal sound of the orchestra exploded with a wall of lush strings cascading over the guitar. In the set was Stairway to Heaven another outing for the twin-neck from Nico as was Song Remains The Same. Closing the night with Whole Lotta Love, the audience went wild and there was a lot of love on the room for Zep Boys and Black Dog Orchestra.
The combination was a crowd pleasing winner, proving once again the power of Zeppelin’s songs. Rock is a flexible beast and Led Zeppelin discography certainly met the world of classic instruments front on and came out on top. Yes, the combination of Marshalls and violin stands worked most of the time and certainly the first tour to the UK of Zep Boys combining with Black Dog Orchestra is a success in the eyes of the audience last night in Colston Hall.
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.
The audience sat in anticipation waiting for the fireworks to spark as blues meets jazz creating the sound that defines Robben Ford across the years. The set list was a journey through various albums with a cluster from his acclaimed current album Into The Sun. The trio worked perfectly with an intuitive understanding of where the music was taking them forming shapes and colours that sparkled; with Jonny and Evan playing off each other, opening up the guitar leads breaks for Robben, they sat above the keys and drums but never distant from them. The three musician’s synergy added to every number they shared with us, the audience who collectively purred with the delights of music of the quality as part of a festival that is five years on becoming an integral part of the Bristol music scene.
My favourite moment was Rose of Sharon from Into the Sun with the Hammond’s chords and Evan’s drumming creating a backdrop where Robben’s guitar could fly with the six-strings sparking with energy and blues-drenched style. We heard a firm favourite the tribute that Freddie King, Cannonball Shuffle, for a few moments Robben brought the spirit of Freddie into the auditorium. Robben’s vocals were full of warmth drench in the blues with a story to tell, yet the trio raised the bar with the instrumental, from Bringing It Back Home. On That Mornin’ wow, I truly believe the audience collectively held their breath so nothing disturbed the music being delivered, we were all in a special, unique collective musical moment.
No one would argue, Robben Ford was on fire this afternoon for the Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival. This was a masterclass in blues guitar playing full of timing, emotion and the soul that makes blues blend and bend around the lyrics.
Closing out the afternoon with an authentic blues number, Set A Date, provided a perfect ending as jazz collided with blues and many will be Setting a Date to see Robben Ford live wherever and whenever he plays in the U.K. again.
Bristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari Schorr
Colston Hall, returns with the Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival. The venue is awash with music, a chance to catch up with friends and chill in the foyer with an array of free spectacular shows. Tonight The Lantern shone bright as Lorna took the vocal lead for Northsyde and their distinctive blending of blues, funk twisted with the free flow of blues jam tradition weaving in the Allman Brothers and a rocky edge.
Tonight, Lorna was resplendent in Black Top Hat and flowing wig, by the end of the set both were dispatched to the wings and the cropped urchin beauty was revealed adding a vulnerability that is counter intuitive to the strong vocals. With a collection of Northsyde defined numbers the set list played to the combined strengths of the band, Lorna up front with vocals that curl and turning lyrics into an angst-ridden journey through the melody. The grounding of the melodies are defined by the powerhouse of a rhythm section, Hayden Doyle on drums and the distinctive bass lines of Ian Mauricio. Yes, you were right left-handed Ian has the stringing on his bass upside down. Pulling the rhythm together and building complexity is the wizardry of Jules Fothergill’s guitar explosions of licks, and hooks for Lorna’s vocals to build on and exploit using her vocal range from growl to pure soprano. With an outing of Mr Sistabish from the hotly anticipated fourth album due out this Summer, we had funky Cherry Picking, and Mercy – the live track from Storytellers Daughter. Tonight melded into the music adventure Living Colour, Stevie Wonder and with Denny Ilett entering the fold adding another layer of guitar as he played with Jules they were having fun. This made Northsyde’s signature cover Whipping Post rather special for their first trip down the M4 to Bristol. The interplay between Jules and Denny was unforgettable in its majesty. What a start to a night dominated by vocals that soar above the band. Short break, and Sari Schorr and The Engine room filled the Lantern with blues that rock with the dynamic energy and power of charisma being shared across the audience so that everyone is touched by the gentle dignity that is Sari Schorr.
No gentle warm up with Sari and her band, she hit the ground running and the tension power and sheer beauty of live music just kept coming. The set list was dominated by tracks from her critically acclaimed debut album Force Of Nature. The album title perfectly describes Sari’s voice it is a true force of nature. Sari leaps into the vocals shaping and building the lyrics, every song she has a tale that you want to follow. Yes, she has confidence in the lyrics and her vocal prowess, more importantly, is her unwavering confidence and joy with the Engine Room the band that surrounds her. With Innes Sibun on guitar, we are in for a pyrotechnic display, controlled and wild and cool under the pressure of the amp blowing during the first outing of Black Betty tonight. With no guitar on stage, it was Anders Olinder’s keys that seamlessly took over with chords that filled the Lantern. The Engine Room are an organic force that works around the demands of the song and Sari, with a rhythm section that fills out the melodies with textures as the two Kevin’s collaborate, O’Rourke on drums and Jeffries in charge of the bass line.
Sari Schorr opened with Ain’t Got No Money the set continued to build and flow, with a preview of what is to come in the highly anticipated second album we heard Cat & Mouse, a highlight of the set and really whets the appetite for more Sari live and recorded. No subject is taboo for Sari, with Domestic Abuse explored without judgement with emotionally charged Damn The Reason. With Sari, the voice is an emotionally charged instrument combined with theatrical movements of hands and swirling dance steps the tension builds as though you are listening through Sari’s whole being. Heroin and addiction is explored with Aunt Hazel and we visit Oklahoma. Closing with Ordinary Life, Sari in the introduction praises her musicians, record label but above all the audiences that gives her the stage to sing from. Ordinary lives are anything but ordinary, with the melody that is gentler and at times Sari sings A Capella with a vulnerability as we are all special we are all looking to find our true potential. Sari with the Engine Room has definitely found hers we want to hear that voice perform over and over again. The interpretation of every song is special full of energy if languid with pathos and Innes guitar matches the mood wild and reflective he is always entertaining and his solo lead breaks are a feat to behold every time.
The encore, was Black Betty as we should have heard it the first time, with the stupendous Innes Sibun solo written by him and with the darkness of vocal tone Black Betty is reworked and always a Sari spectacular and now her signature number. Tonight we heard high-octane blues of the highest quality and what a voice, what a guitarist to have both in the same band takes blues-rock to a different level.
Bristol Lantern shining on Singing Divas Northsyde & Sari Schorr, once again Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival delivers music that is special.