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

Recorded Music Reviews Delights of 2016

Recorded Music Reviews Delights of 2016

What a fabulous year for music at Bluesdoodles HQ. I have enjoyed listening to all the recorded music sent. Liz makes a note (must do better in 2017 and review more! I have started a new hopefully more organised system!).

One Hundred and Forty-eight reviewed. What an array of music from Folk to Metal Rock to Blues. The genre to everyone at Bluesdoodles  HQ is unimportant, that is a marketing tool it is whether the music vibes hits our collective DNA. Liz, Kevin & Othello a very discerning Bandana wearing Labradoodle.

Recorded Music Reviews Delights of 2016

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016  read why these albums HERE

pawprint half inchTen Doodle Paws of 2016 read why HERE

Below are the album covers of the recorded music we reviewed throughout 2016 – click on the cover to be taken to the review. Every recording has something special. remember the doodle paws rating is subjective. This is the view of the reviewer you may differ I am pretty sure that your album of the year will probably be different from Bluesdoodles. It is how we hear and enjoy music differently that makes listening to music something very special.


Love recorded music  – live music has that special edge – read the Pick of the Gigs we travelled to in 2016 HERE. Make sure you support live music throughout 2017.

Holding On being the companion to Heal My Soul

Heavy Chimes with Glenn Hughes Resonate

Here We Go says Simpson and Flemons Sing Favourites

Slim Butler Blues Has No Bad Intention

Larry Miller Delivers Larry Miller Blues That Rock

Starlite Campbell Band Baking Up Tasty Blueberry Pie

Federal Charm Crossed Wires into Acoustic

Live Trouble with Gerry Jablonski Electric Band

The World Moves On with The Hitman Blues Band

Definitely NOT The Wreck of The Blues Pontus Snibb

It Is not Broke as Mick Ralphs Blues Band Set Down the Blues

Lightnin’ Malcolm Foot Soldier Delivering Roots Delights

It’s Christmas Time with John Cee Stannard

Riddle & The Stars Exploring Music Coastline

The Brew Shake The Tree of Blues Rock

The Leopard says Be Live With Rebecca Downes

Blues Full of Grit Grease & Tears with Deb Ryder

Listen to Beoga Before We Change Our Minds

Buckle Up with JOANovARC for a Ride Of Your Life

Nothing To Lose Sings Red Butler

Rik Emmet & RESolution 9 Album Delivers as Resolved

Robin Bibi Brilliance Is No More A Secret

On Safari with Rocking Rolling Kentucky Headhunters

Ian Siegal 2wnty5ive The Collection


More Is More as DGB Adding to the Blues


Michael Baker Making Dust & Bone Shimmer Musically

Rainmakin’ Guitar Driven Music By Steve Summers Band

Definitive Collection of Down Home Blues from Detroit


Bad Touch Bringing Rock and Roll Truth Be Told


Not A Wicked Day for Rock with Echotape AlbumMake Some Noise Shout Out The Dead Daisies

The Swamp Stompers New Single All My LovingWild Guitar with Joanne Shaw Taylor

Beth Hart Fire On The Floor

Feeling Exhilarated at last a King King Live Album

Bluesdoodles Pick of the Bunch July-Sept 2016

Aynsley Makes YOU Listen with Eyes Wide Open

The Apocalypse Blues Revue Bringing Heavy Blues

Small Town Talk with Ma Polaine’s Great Decline


Dan Owen Explores Emotions Open Hands and Enemies


One Of A Kind as Grady Champion Brings His Blues

Si Cranston-

A Force Of Nature Sari Drives the Blues

Bury Me In My Boots with Cadillac Three

Tempt Releases Debut Album Runaway

Gary Hoey Blues Putting Flesh On Dust & Bones

Sari Black Betty Single-

The Tel-Star Sessions Emerge Twenty-Two Years Later

Dan Bubien New Album Keeps Grinding These Gears

LAurence Jones-

Honey Island Swamp Band Demolition Day Review

Live In 1967 – Volume Two John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers

Virginmarys Never Divides Rock That Grabs Attention Now

Villiers and The Villains Songs Of Love And Fate

Albert Castiglia Big Dog Has The Blues

Royal Southern Brotherhood presents The Royal Gospel

Hard Times, Bad Decisions Sings Lisa Mann

Pick of the Albums Reviewed - 2016: April - June

Federal Charm reaching Across The Divide Album Review

Walter Trout Alive In Amsterdam playing Hot Blues

Hoka Epic Journey for Nahko and His Music

On Tour Harry Pane releases Changing

Rhythm Zoo Sold For Love Debut Album

Hellbound Where Else On Dave Arcari’s Train

Michael Schenker Enter the Temple of Rock Live In Madrid

Pick of the Albums Reviewed - 2016: April - June

Pick of the Albums Reviewed - 2016: April - June

Pick of the Albums Reviewed - 2016: April - June

Pick of the Albums Reviewed - 2016: April - June

For Those Who Need The Blues There Is Giles Robson

Enjoy The Ride, Debbie Bond instructs with blues and more

The Roots Collective Live and Kickin’ Up a Storm

Lucky 13 Kris Barras Band Ain’t Superstious

Rocking Time Will Come for Rod Scott

It is an Excellent Day sings Lizanne Knott

Livewire describing Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion

Robin Trower Knows Where You Are Going To

Musics Emotion Breaking Free with Layla Zoe

Breaking and Entering The Blues with Eliza Neals

Pick of the Albums Reviewed - 2016: April - June

Pick of the Albums Reviewed - 2016: April - June

Bygones will make you Smile thanks to Amy & Pete

Dan, solo acoustic from Dan Israel

Throw Away Your Blues, Listening To Kyla Brox You Will

Adam Norsworthy singer-songwriter Showcasing Soaring Rainbird

Guitar Blizzard Of Blues with Tommy Z

Red Sky July Exploring The Truth and The Lie

Blues is the Truth for Guy King

With One Eye Open – Swampgrass Will Get You Wide Awake

Get Close to Geoff Carne and the Hatz

There is a Magic Corner sings Pete Lashley

Solomon Hicks is definitely Carrying On The Torch of the Blues

A Bassist, Singer/songwriter and Drummer creation is Ghost Riding

Debut Album, Undone from The Black Circles

Blues are Alive with Johnny Rawls Tiger In A Cage

Monster Truck rolling into town Sittin’ Heavy

Behind The Wheel with Red Dirt Skinners

Sonic Gumbo spicing up music Mumbo Jumbo Way

Time Has Definitely Come for Ben Poole

Michael Messer’s Mitra Live at the Convent

The Sky Won’t Fall proclaims Stevie Nimmo

Benjamin Bassford's Songs From The Blue Door

West of Eden follows the emigrant path – Look To the West

Wink At July sings Rachel Garlin

Wolfmother’s Heavy Rock reigning Victorious

Self-Titled Ina Forsman Presents her Blues

Tasha Taylor bringing Honey For Your Biscuit

Unconditionally Live with George Shovlin & The Radars

Broken Witt Rebels take to the Road

First Fix from The Della Grants

Broken Wings Heal sings Caroline Aiken

Wilde Blues-Harp in Hamburg

Believe has Rebecca Downes Singing the Blues

Big Boy Bloaters Journey to Luxury Hobo Blues

In Conversation with Guitarist JD Simo

Midnight Call of the Blues with Fran McGillivray Band

Midnight Call of the Blues with Fran McGillivray Band

Midnight Call of the Blues with
Fran McGillivray Band


A new release from Fran McGillivray Band is always a welcome way to bring in a New Year, Midnight Call is just the album to sit and chill out with as the winter grinds it’s relentless mix of cold and bleak days. The eleven tracks break the January blues, with a mix of blues that blow a gentle breeze of musical hope. Ten tracks written by McGillivray and Burke with the last track closing out the album returning to the roots of the blues with Robert Johnson’s Walkin’ Blues.

The trio craft a sound that is easy on the ear and fills the speakers with the waterfall of textures that gradually builds and the melody harmonises perfectly with Fran’s vocal tones.  Opening with Hard Workin Woman, the album sets down a marker. This is country blues with an edge to the lyrics, percussion from Roger Nunn that steps out the beat and Mike Burke’s guitar adds a sting to the hard-working vibe of the track. Four tracks in and I Gotta Know, by now the listener will feel they have got to know the band style and friendly approach to the blues very well. Fran’s vocals have a gentle caress as she questions I Gotta Know, there is a sadness, and the instrumentation reflects this with a country feel. This is music that will always please as the styles of acoustic all, shaken and stirred so that you are caressed with a whisper of the blues. The beat picks up with When When When, which makes a compelling sound. The title track has a Hawaiian guitar backdrop that augments the simple beauty of the rootsy vocals delivered by Fran. The empathy between the musicians shines through they have an innate understanding of the sound they are creating and how the layers of sound interact with each other. There is nothing harsh or jarring as the music washes over you, connecting to your music soul and acts as a healing caress. Every note is considered, every pause, breathe upping the tempo has been taken into consideration ensuring that every song works on its own or part of the album Midnight Call. Without the collective skill of Fran, Mike and Roger the album could have been whimsical and saccharin sweet. It is not it is a music that weaves together textures and wraps emotions of lost, hurt and loneliness into a cocoon of safety.

As the last wistful phrasing of Missed My Chance fades away, the tempo changes with a sultry jazz infused number that takes you to a smoke filled bar full of prohibition gin as we shake hands with Mister Blue. Closing out with Walkin’ Blues the context of the album is pulled together, blues is the dominant driving force from the hot countryside of the Southern States.

The skilful delivery of the eleven tracks, should not be a surprise to anyone as the trio are founder members of the legendary urban blues outfit; So Long Angel. As, Midnight Call of the Blues with the Fran McGillivray Band, you know this is an album that will be visited often with pure enjoyment of blues that are both simple and complex.

EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Hard Working Woman
  2. Love and Regret
  3. Blood On Your Hands
  4. I Gotta Know
  5. When When When
  6. Midnight Call
  7. Missed My Chance With You
  8. Mister Blues
  9. End of the Road
  10. Get Back To Love
  11. Walkin Blues

Ten Doodle Paws Album Awards 2016

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded Music

Ten Doodle Paws Album Awards 2016


What a fabulous year for music at Bluesdoodles HQ. I have enjoyed listening to all the recorded music sent. Liz makes a note (must do better in 2017 and review more! I have started a new hopefully more organised system!).

Album Earning Ten Doodle Paws During 2016

One Hundred and Forty-eight reviewed. What an array of music from Folk to Metal Rock to Blues. The genre to everyone at Bluesdoodles  HQ is unimportant, that is a marketing tool it is whether the music vibes hits our collective DNA. Liz, Kevin & Othello a very discerning Bandana wearing Labradoodle.

Album of 2016

Now this was difficult almost impossible with so many contenders With Thirty-Six albums with the Ten-Doodle Paw accolade considered throughout December. what a delight to play and listen to them all again. The final choice is mine, yes it is subjective and has changed there are many that have not been mentioned that will continue to be regularly played and enjoyed in the House of Bluesdoodles

Bluesdoodles Picks of 2016 Recorded MusicAlbum of  The Year 2016

Beth HartFire On The FloorMascot Label

I wrote when I reviewed in September that it was a contender for album of the year I was right. The fire in the album burns brightly from the floor to the heavens. Beth Hart,  Fire On The Floor has gathered together a dozen tracks that flow and warm up the speakers with a raw, charismatic and open delivery of intensely personal emotionally driven lyrics.  Fire On The Floor is a majestic album and will burn brightly long after 2016 fades into a memory.


For all the other  category Winners check them out HERE

January – March

Jeff Healey – Heal My Soul
Kyla Brox – Throw Away Your Blues
Joe Bonamassa – Blues of Desperation
Monster Truck – Sittin Heavy
Red Dirt Skinners – Behind The Wheel
Mumbo Jumbo – Sonic Gumbo
Ben Poole – Time Has Come
Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus – Wayward Sons
Michael Messer’s Mitra – Call of the Blues
Stevie Nimmo – Sky Won’t Fall
Big Boy Bloater & The LiMiTs – Luxury Hobo
The Temperance Movement – White Bear
Danny Bryant – Blood Money

April – June

Kaz Hawkins – Feelin Good
Dan Patlansky – Introvertigo
Giles Robson – For Those Who Need The Blues
Albany Down – The Outer Reach
Jimbo Mathus – Band of Storms
The Rides – Pierced Arrow
No Sinner – Old Habits Die Hard
Rival Sons – Hollow Bones
Black Stone Cherry – Kentucky

July – September

Honey Island Swamp Band  –  Demolition Day
Laurence Jones – Take Me High
Cadillac Three – Bury Me In My Boots
Aynsley Lister – Eyes Wide Open
Devon Allman – Ride Or Die
King King – Live
Joanne Shaw Taylor – Wild
Beth Hart – Fire On The Floor
Sari Schorr – A Force of Nature

October – December

The Brew – Shake The Tree
Mike Simpson & Don Flemons – Ever Popular Favourites
Ian Siegal – 2wnty5ive The Collection
Jeff Healey – Holding On
Glenn Hughes – Resonate
RavenEye – Nova
Rival Sons – Hollow Bones

Here We Go says Simpson and Flemons Sing Favourites

Here We Go says Simpson and Flemons Sing Favourites

Here We Go says Simpson and Flemons Sing Favourites

Having heard all of the twelve tracks on the album live in 2016 when Simpson & Flemons visited Cardiff, I was delighted to be able to relive the night of live music once again. In fact, can re-live the experience as often as I like. The only things that are missing the presence of two great musicians and the interesting anecdotes and facts between the numbers giving context and a deeper understanding of the deep roots of the acoustic music being played. All twelve tracks have a purpose and in addition to the new arrangements and musicianship we have the blending, and mixing of British traditional music and blues in many guises and the common heritage of themes, lyrics and melodies the two traditions share.

The twelve tracks that are as they state ever popular to lovers of acoustic music, were recorded live during their sell-out autumn 2015 tour. Simpson and Flemons find a unity as they harmonise what are the common core of roots acoustic music from each side of the Atlantic. They find the common threads that show a deep psyche of roots music in the cultural memories of folk.  Martin Simpson and Dom Flemons champion traditional music that is still relevant and speaking to us today the modern audiences that packed their shows. The people travelled as did their music creating a river of creativity. Opening the album of delights with  Here we go as they pick up instruments and play.  Short Time Come Again No More reflects back across the Atlantic the suffering of the factory workers of the North West as well as those hit by the cotton famine of the American Civil War. A mirror image, re-working of Stephen Foster’s Hard Times Come Again No More it hits the message home hard and the lyrics win through. The instrumentation throughout is fresh, lively with an energy that makes your feet tap and becoming engaged. For many this album will be an introduction to the Quills as part of the multi-instrumentalist repertoire that is Dom Flemons, this pipe-like instrument can be heard on Bulldoze Blues, inspiration for Canned Heat’s Going Up Country this combined with his vocals that have an authority and intensity as he spans the octaves with a purity and a mighty fine holler when required. Combining Martin’s scintillating slide and acoustic finger picking style joining in with Dom’s Quills with a piping call and the percussive bones this is music that sings from the heart deep into your musical DNA. The vocals are full of emotional intensity, yet at the same time, every song has a simplicity letting the words tell that tale of people’s experiences we all recognise today. The mix is enticing with Champagne Charlie re-invigorated and Coalman Blues telling the story full of humour and pathos. Every track has something to say to you the whole album zings with the energy of a live performance with emotions,  and the charm of music delivered with love and care.  All the traditional numbers are arranged by Simpson and Flemons and into the mix is a Flemon’s original Too Long I’ve Been Gone fitting into the mix perfectly.  A definite for your acoustic collection. I recommend close the curtains block out the world, sit back and be absorbed into the music and the power of the lyrics.

Mr Martin Simpson & Mr Dom Flemons – Ever Popular Favourites – Fledgling Records

TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. My Money Never Runs Out
  2. John Hardy
  3. If I Lose
  4. Little Sadie
  5. Pay Day
  6. Short Time Come Again No More
  7. Too Long (!’ve Been Gone)
  8. Bulldoze Blues
  9. Stealin
  10. Champagne Charlie
  11. Coalman Blues
  12. Buckeye Jim

Michael Baker Making Dust & Bone Shimmer Musically

Michael Baker Making Dust & Bone Shimmer Musically

Michael Baker Making Dust & Bone Shimmer Musically


The debut album from Brighton’s Michael Baker is not dry as Dust & Bones, there is not a hint of morose self-indulgence. The reality across the ten tracks that make up Dust and Bones there is a lightness of touch and innocence that glows through the flowing melodies. It is more the openness of a sunny spring day than the closing down the year with a foggy autumn day.

The sound created flows and swoops you on a gentle ride that is full of soothing rhythms and lyrics that are thoughtful both simple and complex.  The album opens its doors into the world of Michael Baker with Steady & The Stuck a cascading chorus of sounds before the sting of the acoustic guitar pulls in the vocals from Michael. This is folk that is for the here and now with modern blending of tones and a waterfall of melodic chords and the vocals acting is much as an instrument as a bearer of lyrics that make sense and connect.

The title track as a melodic innocence with the beautiful gentle singing of Georgia Mason who entrances with her girlish quality that reflects the darker more mellow tones of Michael and acoustic.  The tonal quality is light and warm the very oxymoron of the title Dust and Bone.  Three tracks in and the music connects with less is more, Revolving Door 1 we never revisit the Revolving Door with its mesmerising Piano again, promising perhaps  another session with  a door that revolves perhaps that is  a gem for the next album.

This is an album that has one tempo a gentle gushing stream of freshness, there is no drama, not anthems or shocks. It retains interest with crisp production the use of Georgia’s voice and introductions on tracks like The River that has that quirky busking in the street feel. The River is upbeat foot tapping in a gentle soothing way. Closing with Some Kind, Michael Baker will have strengthened his fan base with Dust and Bones. If you love contemporary folk, singer/songwriters that have the ability to connect and music that calms the troubled soul then Dust and Bone is for you. Dust and Bones from Michael Baker, works as a piece of reflective music, it is  a debut album that lays out the musical stall of the artist as he builds on the success of previous releases Caroline and Keys To the Kingdom.

EIGHT pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Steady & The Stuck
  2. Dust & Bone
  3. Revolving Doors 1
  4. Half My Love
  5. Pulling The Strings
  6. Only Human
  7. The River
  8. Slowly
  9. Anywhere Anytime Soon
  10. Some Kind

Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of Music

Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of MusicJimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of Music

Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of Music


Tonight The Tunnels in Bristol celebrated an evening with music that refused to be defined. It was all excellent and rooted in the experiences of folk, African, European, the Worker, the Poor and the Enslaved.  The colossus that is Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus hit town tonight on a tour spreading their approach to music, life and humour across Austria, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Slovenia and with eleven dates left to play.

Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of Music
Words barely capture the vibe, passion and the distilled essence of Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus’ music; they have a deep empathy and the harmonization and flowing tonal textures send chills down your spine and connects deep in your music DNA.  Tonight opened in a traditional Ian Siegal solo gig format with the wonderful Silver Spurs from The Dust he fills the stage and then when the last note of guitar recedes and his spinning fingers still he then invites Jimbo to join him on stage and the party begins. Ian introduces the multi-talented Jimbo with a new fact that he played on the score for Finding Nemo.  The flow of conversation linked the music and wove the tradition of storytelling with roots music this was a pair of troubadours in action.  Yes, there was a set list but this was flexible as they discussed what to play next, they dipped into traditional music and songs they have written and recorded on their live album Wayward Sons, and back catalogue of Ian’s including Man & Guitar, and Picnic Sessions. It was at the recording of Picnic Sessions that this pair of musical reprobates met and the happy partnership for music lovers was formed.

Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of MusicThe set list mixed gospel, Mary Don’t You Weep, Blues Charlie Patton’s, Pony Blues and Mississippi Hill Country of RL Burnside with Long Haired Doney,  Wilie Nelson Country with Crazy Soldier via Willie Nelson and Tex-Mex courtesy of the song that never has a happy ending Gallo del Ciello. We learnt about mules that they were the infertile progeny of a Horse and an Ass, Jesse James’ pistol in the possession of Jimbo’s Dad and Rosetta Patton the daughter of Charley who bought Jimbo up. His music is steeped in the traditions and folk memories of Mississippi. Ian has a passion, deep understanding for the feel of the blues in all its shades and textures and when in Mississipi recording his name Ian was difficult for the rest to get to grips with, so he got called Overseas. Yes, he is from overseas but his understanding of the music makes him a natural, hence the Talkin Overseas Pirate Blues. This was artistry the show was immense and the music rolled on as guitars changed and for some of the songs Jimbo added harp plus delicious mandolin so sweet you could taste it.  Tallahatchie, a Jimbo number with a fantastic mandolin lead break, bringing more cheers and whoops of delights from an audience that sat in and listened in delight at the power of these two on stage. Favorites were included into the set  I Am The Train, Casey Jones and Hard Times Come Again No More, weaving the storytelling, connecting with our emotions as quality folk/roots music of the people for the people should.Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of Music


Tonight’s show was a tour-de-force entertaining, funny and the music sublime we were transported into a land where music ruled we were in harmony and the singing  that accompanied the duo spontaneously on Dirty Old Town an encore that left us wanting more. You can tonight they move on to The Convent in Stroud. Continue to support live music if you can’t get there the solution is watch it online via Netgig – link HERE

Checkout the rest of Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus tour dates HERE

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Bygones will make you Smile thanks to Amy & Pete

Bygones will make you Smile thanks to Amy & Pete

Bygones will make you Smile thanks to Amy & Pete

If you think Bygones are yesterday’s newspapers to wrap your chips, then think again Bygones captured by Grammy Award winner Amy Wadge and long-time musical partner Pete Riley have redefined the word. Every song written by this stunning partnership has an emotional backdrop, the song-writing selects and captures the words and phrases so that life is held within the art of a 4 minute song. Picking up where Afterglow finished the artwork in shades of blues and green reflecting the tone of Bygones.
Amy and Pete are a duo who meld into a single entity. The warmth of the musical relationship, mutual understanding, friendship and the experiences of touring all blend and weave together creating the sound that is distinctively Wadge and Riley. The instrumentation strengthens the narrative of the song, the choice of guitar, piano, lap steel, mandolin or bass are the river of melody that the songs swim effortlessly through.

Opening with Bright As The Star with Pete on guitar and harmonies that curl around like the warming smoke of a log fire. The words are batted back and forth and the interactions of a relationship are explored. This is a musical partnership that fits together like a hand in a warm glove. The shortest track Little Problem, has Amy singing what we all have struggled with as ‘we don’t talk about it anymore’. The relationship is cracking and the sadness is sweet and the little problem just will not hide so have to confront them. Amy sings with emotional sadness, strong with an air of vulnerability with the soft harmonies as Pete and her voices meld. I can never resist a track with shoe in the title so Odd Shoes had to have a mention. The guitar has a strong tone and Pete sings about a boy in the photograph. This is luscious emotional chords stripped back to the bare necessities that make the song personal and up-close. Bygones is about finding what life is really about through different stages of relationships. The tempo picks up with a tipping of their hats to country a full sound that is toe-tapping and makes you smile. I Believe is Amy and Pete enjoying a moment in the sun of the harmonies they create. Revisiting the wonderful track from Amy’s previous album, No Sudden Moves. It is a song that leaves you with a tear in your eye, Amy sings with the grief and hurt that leaves you Shattered, and the addition of Pete’s vocals rejuvenates a song that encapsulates the wondering of why people build you up, let you down and leave you shattered. This is Amy Wadge’s songwriting glory captured again and leaves you emotionally drained as the longest track fades away. The use of Pete’s vocals on Undertow balances the fervently charged Shattered. The mood lightens the Hammond adds a layer and lap steel adds its distinctive tonal textures. Then the album fades with the title track, Amy on piano and her signature vocal tone this is a moment where she shares her soul with you. Pete’s guitar is texturally sharp and reflects the harder edge of Amy’s vocals and we are left letting Bygones be Bygones.

Bygones, twelve acoustic treasures, tempos change, influences are gathered in whilst the consistency is the power of words shaped by melodies that cajole and temper your spirit.

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

Bygones – Amy Wadge & Pete Riley – WR Records

Track Listing
1. Bright As The Stars
2. Stay With Me Tonight
3. Little Problem
4. Odd Shoes
5. Shooting Stars
6. Leaving Now
7. Tip Toes
8. I Believe
9. Troubled Man
10. Shattered
11. Undertow
12. Bygones

The Road Not Taken Sings Adam Beattie

Adam Beattie-

The Road Not Taken Sings Adam Beattie


Adam Beattie may sing The Road Not Taken on his latest recording, and it is without argument that music was the only road he should travel. The Road Not Taken is not a journey of straight streets where the end is in sight. The music takes you on an intricate path through all the alleyways of mystery, small paths that open onto an amazing vista. This is achieved by weaving the melodies through folk, traditional and the twizzle of jazz beats creating tunes that engage and act as the perfect backdrop for the lyrics to drop on to like glistening diamonds.
The opening track The Man I’ve Become is full of sounds that twist and turn borrowing from the beats of French street music, jazz, and folk. The violins are counterbalanced by a deep percussive tone and above all, it is the lyrics that shape the song and lead you into an album you want to hear. The curve in the journey ends at the Middle East with a 5/4 groove of I’m On Your Side before the title track The Road Not Taken. This has a purity, the simplicity of the melody opens up the lyrics reflecting how choices are made. The harmonies between Adam and Brooke Sharkey shape the mood created perfectly. The following track is much darker with the music sharpened with a sinister edge again this is a ballad that tells the tale of You Only Kill The One You Love. The darkness is brightened with a Celtic folk lilting number The Family Tree. We have hints of blues on The Man Who Loves Too Much. The album draws to its finale with a title that tells the tale Catch The Biggest Fish And Let It Go an intimate ballad as Adam shares the lyrics with you. Closing with Welcome Home this is a warm track that leaves you delighted, intrigued and wanting to get to know Adam’s music.

On this album Adam Beattie is joined by Brooke Sharkey backing vocals, Marco Quarantotto whose drumming shines through. Piotr Jordan violin sears to the deepest heart of the music and the multi-instrumentalist Co-producer Fred Thomas plays the other instruments.

Adam Beattie understands the deep-rooted honesty of traditional music in its many forms. As he has woven them into a tapestry of sound of his making he has not over complicated the mix. The Road Not Taken Sings Adam Beattie; demonstrating a deep understanding of traditions made modern, kept fresh and the power of the word.

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


Adam Beattie – The Road Not Taken – Independent Release Date: 11th May 2016

Track Listing

1. The Man I’ve Become
2. The Same Sea
3. I’m On Your Side
4. The Road Not Taken
5. You Only Kill The One You Love
6. The Family Tree
7. The Man Who Loves Too Much
8. There’s No Postcard For This Town
9. Catch The Biggest Fish and Let It Go
10. Welcome Home

Mary Coughlan Songstress holds St David’s Hall Enthralled

Mary Coughlan WM-7167

Mary Coughlan Songstress holds St David’s Hall Enthralled




The stage was set, Grand Piano and a microphone. Tonight was entertainment from the first to the last dying note. The music interspersed with waspish anecdotes about ex-husbands, alcohol, drugs, and life in all its darkest glories.

Mary Coughlan sings with a husky voice that pulls every ounce of emotion from the lyrics from songs that are an ethereal mix of blues, folk and jazz. This is ethereal of real Fearie not those with gossamer wings but of dark tales. Ancient folklore often portrayed as powerful beings who could wreak havoc on the lives of humans. These and other ancient mysteries Mary seamlessly connects with and turns into modern day living nightmares. Here conversation flows through the night giving context to the sadness and heartbreak of the songs chosen tonight. We hear about her five children ex-husbands alcohol abuse as she sips water and says her last drink was in 1993. The combination of blues fuelled jazz is delivered with a mix of ironic amusement and at times a feeling that everything that happened was just ordinary. The result was an evening of a devastatingly engaging musical journey as she sung about betrayal, love lost and taboo subjects including child abuse, sex trafficking the dark underbelly of life that breathes emotion and gritty realism into the blues.

The selection of songs were shrouded in misery with some happier numbers as she explored her back catalogue and latest studio album Scars on the Calendar a collaboration between Mary Coughlan & Erik Visser. The music covered Billie Holliday and Joy Division and so much in between. Her version of Love Will Tear Us Apart is a re-working of the music stripped down raw and, like everything her tonsils curl around, is rasped with raw emotion. Every song was special and life-affirming Ancient Rain fell across an audience absorbed in the deep silence of appreciative listeners.

Mary is back with new projects including a musical of her album The House of Ill Repute, singing the title track and a couple of numbers from the album that explores life in a brothel there is no glitz, glamour or plush red velvet. This is hard, gritty and the reality of what women’s lives in a house of ill repute is like. The highlight was the emotional a cappella delivery of Antarctic, this is vocal purity as she sings of a “rotten, stinking cheat” her ex-husband.

The encore was her slap at the world as she sings Ain’t Nobody’s Business What I Do. Having conquered many demons through her life, her delivery and choice of songs are of a woman with powerfully views on the role of women throughout society. Roots Unearthed once again delivered an evening of musical delights as Mary Coughlan Songstress holds St David’s Hall Enthralled.

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