Seeking Festival VolunteersThe festival seek volunteers to help at the event.In return for skills, time and energy, volunteers receive free festival tickets, vouchers for food and refreshments, an exclusive crew t-shirt, plus of course, be part of what is shaping up to be one of the best blues-rock based event of the year.Colin Hill, the CEO of Colne Town Council comments “And… for any young person over 16, not yet experienced in the workplace and wanting to gain some hands-on experience of what running an event like this entails, this a great opportunity to be part of something exciting and challenging…”To register interest and for further information, here’s more…Festival ‘Headline’ Sponsors Announced
Barnfield Construction are based in Nelson and have been established for over 40 years. The family run contractors, developers and investors offer honest, thought-through and practical solutions to a diverse array of new and refurbishment building contracts ranging from industrial, commercial, retail, leisure, plus hospitality and residential schemes.
Roaming Roasters are a farm shop and deli on Barrowford Rd, Higham, and sell locally sourced, grass fed and free range meat, along with handmade pies and loads more tasty stuff.
Further information on the festival supporters is right here.
Hippodrome Theatre, Friday Evening, 25th August
Ian Siegal & Band – celebrating 25 years of professional touring with his songs that are real, shows that resonate and vocals served raw +
Joanne Shaw Taylor – UK’s number one star in the blues rock world +
Stevie Nimmo Trio – one half of Scotland’s highly respected ‘Nimmo Brothers’ +
The Revelator Band – unpredictable, fun festival-style blues.
Hippodrome Theatre, Saturday Evening, 26th August
Aynsley Lister When explosive natural ability collides with fiery, emotionally charged compositions, the result is Aynsley Lister… +
Rob Tognoni Explosive guitar playing and unique songs +
TJ & The Suitcase Vocal / Harmonica / Suitcase drum / Home made tambourine beater pedal… Its time to get packed!
The Muni, Saturday Evening, 26th August
Grammy nominee Janiva Magness + the blues, soul, gospel of Jo Harman + The Kaz Hawkins Band – Northern Ireland’s fun, heartfelt, soulful rock ‘n’ roll-blues…, Lisa Mills
Lucky Peterson –Searing lead guitarist, fantastic organist, and first-rate vocalist
Clay Shelburn – Funk, rock, blues and country from this incredible selftaught multi-talented artist
Michael Messer’s Mitra – A remarkable fusion of country blues with Hindustani music
King King – Soulful, dynamic, blues-rock from Glasgow
John Fairhurst – The Wigan Jimi Hendrix
Gwyn Ashton – Solo, hardcore, 21st Century, alternative blues
This is just a snap shot of the array of music available at the Festival:-
The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival:
12 Official venues
1 Great Festival
Nikka & Strings Soulful New Album Underneath and In Between
Nikka Costa delivers an album full of soul, funky attitudes and emotional blues on Underneath and In Between. Her fist single released in March Nothing Compares 2 You opens the album and introduces you to the luscious strings. The gentle re-working of the Prince number written for Sinead O’Connor retains the hurt as the singer confesses Nothing Compares 2 U. Later in the album Silver Tongue co-written with Prince who released his version as the B side for his single Call Your Name and never performed live by Prince now is given the Nikka & Strings treatment. Silver Tongue so elegant with Nikka’s vocals darker and smooth again the arrangement its simplicity with the power left to the vocals and sophisticated musicianship.
The piano and strings open the Ray Charles Classic then Nika’s honeyed vocals sing Love To Love You Less. The strings are sharp and the horn acts as perfect punctuation on one of Nikka’s self-confessed favourites previously recorded on her album Pebbles To A Pearl. It is not surprising that in the mix is Frank Sinatra’s Come Rain Or Shine, originally arranged by her father Don Costa. The emotional bond with her father can be heard as the arrangement is for a string quartet rather than a 50 piece orchestra. The sound is still full with the strings pulling the lyrics with a determined and sassy approach. The tones of Nikka’s voice change as it deepens, darkens or lightens depending on the lyrics as she emotionally engages with a maturity to the chosen numbers. Her voice gently growls as the lyrics explore the pain of loss. With the modest orchestration the number has an intimacy a feeling that this is being sung directly to and for you as a salve to your own loss and pain. Headfirst takes us to a sharper place, the sound is electronic, contemporary from the ProWhoa EP; it has a ghostly feel as the change in direction making you sit up and listen displaying the depth and breadth of Nikka’s vocal skill and range full of originality.
Closing the album out with two powerful classics from The American songbook of popular songs, Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying and Stormy Weather. Ass her soulful voice pulls in her blues heart the song is a comfort blanket empowering and this classic gets the Nikka treatment with style. Closing the album with Stormy Monday, forever associated with Judy Garland here Nikka sings with a quiet vulnerability as her tongue caresses the lyrics. The strings add to the feel leaving you with the pleasure that Nikka has created from the first to the last note on Underneath and In Between.
The album sings to you there is a freshness in every arrangement, reflecting the talent of every musician and the confidence of Nikka as she achieved her goal of recording her album in a single day; and produced by Justin Stanley (Eric Clapton, Prince) and Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie) at Henson Studios, with Nikka & the Strings mixed at Clearmountain. Underneath and In Between flows with intensity with strings that fill out the sound and every track is scrumptious delight for the ears. The clarity of every note and word adds to the tonal template with the sounds cascading like a sparkling waterfall from the speaker.
Nikka Costa sings beautifully making everything number a sonic work of art on Underneath and In Between is full of classics delivered with spirited originality.
TENdoodle paws out of TEN ….
- Nothing Compares 2 U
- Ain’t That Peculiar
- Love To Love You Less
- Come Rain Or Come Shine
- Cry To Me
- Arms Around You
- Lover You Should Come Over
- Silver Tongue
- Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying
- Stormy Weather
Nikka & Strings Soulful New Album Underneath and In Between
Who, What and Where the album details
Produced by Justin Stanley & Bob Clearmountain
Engineered & Mixed by: Bob Clearmountain
String arrangements by Jeff Babko
Engineering: Justin Stanley
Assistant Engineer: Sergio Ruelas Jr.
2nd Assistant: Kyle Stevens
Recorded at Henson Studios
Additional recording at the Apogee Studio & Clear Lake Studios
Mixed at Mix This!
Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering
Management by Andre Recke
String Arrangements & Piano by Jeff Babko except “Come Rain Come Shine” arranged by Don Costa, rearranged by Jeff Babko
Shawn Davis- Bass except tracks 4 &11
Sean Hurley- Acoustic Bass on tracks 4 & 11
Aaron Redfield – Drums
Songa Lee – First Violin
Marisa Kuney – Second Violin
Caroline Buckman – Viola except tracks 5, 8 & 10
Tim Loo – Cello
Tom Lea- Viola on tracks 5, 7, 8 & 10
Elizabeth Lea on tracks 3 & 11
Kevin Ball – Triangle
Thanks to all our friends who came in and sang their hearts out:
Jamie Lidell – track 5
Shonka Dukureh – track 5
Gerald Jenkins – track 5
Holly Palmer – track 1
Lucy Woodward – track 1
Jenny Karr – track 1
Danielle Vaughn- track 1
Arnold Mcculler – tracks 1, 5 & 8
Fred White – tracks 1, 5 & 8
Lamont Van Hook – tracks 1, 5 & 8
Thomas Wynn and The Believers Album Wade Waist Deep
Thomas Wynn and The Believers album Wade Waist Deep their third album and should get the name known far and wide with this cross over album that is not a road trip but the weaving of the lexicon of American music from roots to rock. Labelled a Rock album Wade Waist Deep is so much more exploring how we can build an open better world, not through preaching but a common understanding of tolerance and love. Wade Waist Deep moves beyond the confessional songwriting as he sought relief from heartbreak and addiction on the previous album and look beyond self to a collective conscience. The music is mature, thoughtful with strong lyrics, powerful harmonies and ear catching melodic rhythms. For Thomas Wynn, life & music have changed since the birth of his son Abel a year ago; “It’s that yearning, that longing for the person that you want to be,” says Wynn.
Joining Thomas as The believers are his sister Olivia, her vocals have a searing purity shaping harmonies that sing with an ethereal energy. With vintage Hammond sound from Colin Daniel Fei and wail of the blues harmonica from Chris ‘Bell’ Antemesaris. The rhythm and deep grooves are laid down by David Wagner and Ryan Miranda; on bass & drums respectively. Enough of the background what about the music? It is superb from the first note to the last, clarion clear, gentle and urgent full of light and dark phrasing from every member of Thomas Wynn and the Believers.
Opening with a harmony of voices Man Out Of Time lets us step onto the spiritual musical journey this album will take us on over the dozen tracks. This is primeval, raw and full of growing tension as the blues captured and shaped the sound is hypnotic as we learn about Man Out Of Time. The chorus is melodic vocal wail no words required as the emotion unfurl, calling us to explore the music and lyrics. ‘In The darkness light was mine’ intones Olivia as the music builds around her this is raw power energy that rocks. Following on is the title track, the drums are hypnotic the guitar wields the power of the six-strings as Thomas’ voice implores as we go down to the water and we are Waist Deep in the water. A title track soaked in emotion the guitar weeps and Thomas finds the tonal texture to ‘wash my feet wash my soul… and I will find my Peace’. This is rock that is full of nuances and is not about the volume but tcomposition of melody and lyrics taking us out of ourselves to be part of the story that Thomas Wynn and The Believers are sharing.
Heartbreak Alley, the angst is raw, the organ swelling with emotion the singing from Olivia soulful and powerful. The album now has three different sounds and they are held together by a narrative that flows and the linking back to the wealth of music that has shaped modern America. If you are exploring life then Death cannot be ignored and with the powerful rhythms from David & Ryan shaping the emotional outpouring from Thomas’s vocals and the cascading harmonies as Olivia joins him on My Eyes Won’t Be Open; with the Hammond adding tonal depth after the chorus this is a song that remains long after the last note is sung.
The guitar opening of I Don’t Regret is sweet, with acoustic feel and adds another element to the yearning in Thomas’ vocal, simple with an inherent beauty. As the guitar volume increases the music opens up like sun coming out from behind a cloud the music fills the room. Gospel meets Country Rock and we realise that regretting what has been done is pointless it is the future that can be changed.
The rock in the band falls out of the speaker with the penultimate number We Could All Die Screaming; volume and intensity are raised but the clarity is never lost. This is Thomas with a determination in the delivery of the vocals, a tinge of anger and it builds throughout the four minutes. Closing with Turn It To Gold, the intensity is captured as the musicians bring an album to a climax. The bass deep and with a drone like quality catches the ear with wonder a rock anthem that is so much more.
Wade Waist Deep has layers of complexity, thought-provoking vocals and a message never preaching it is about Country Rock from a band that has something to say connecting us all back to Orlando, Florida where they live. Through a to Sputnik Sound studio in Nashville, where the band recorded Wade Waist Deep with four-time Grammy award-winning producer, Vance Powell (The White Stripes, Jack White, Chris Stapleton). “I really wanted to do it outside of our hometown,” said Wynn. For the month of August 2016, Wynn and The Believers went on a journey to a sonic place that’s big, bright, and visionary.
If I had to describe the album full of complexity in a simple sentence. Spiritual, Country Rock that has gathered into the music blues, soul; with the awakening hope brings when combined with the power of love. This is Life in Music, things can be different, it can be better. I thoroughly recommend you immerse yourself and Wade Waist Deep in to the musical waters that are Thomas Wynn and The Believers.
TENdoodle paws out of TEN ….
- Man Out Of Time
- Wade Waist Deep
- Heartbreak Alley
- My Eyes Won’t Open
- Thin Love
- I Don’t Regret
- You Can’t Hurt Me
- Mountain Fog
- Burn As One
- Feel The Good
- We Could All Die Screaming
- Turn It Into Gold
Jo Harman People We Become Tour 2017
(Full/extended band show)
Thursday 2nd February 2017* EXETER PHOENIX, DEVON
Friday 3rd February 2017 BROADWATER, WILTSHIRE MUSIC CENTRE
Thursday 9th February 2017 PARADISO, AMERSTERDAM
Saturday 11th February 2017* DORCHESTER ARTS, DORSET
Tuesday 14th February 2017* JUNCTION 2 CAMBRIDGE
Thursday 16th February 2017* MUSICIAN LEICESTER
Sunday 19th February 2017* JAZZ CAFE, LONDON
Weds 22nd February 2017* TRADES CENTRE, HEBDEN BRIDGE YORKSHIRE
Thursday 23rd February 2017* BAND ON THE WALL, MANCHESTER
Friday 24th February 2017* BREWERY ARTS CENTRE, KENDAL, CUMBRIA
Friday 3rd March 2017 1865 SOUTHAMPTON HAMPSHIRE
Thursday 9th March 2017* APEX, BURY ST EDMUNDS, SUFFOLK
Tuesday 28th March 2017 JOE’S PUB, NEW YORK, USA
Friday 31st March 2017 ARTRIX, BROMSGROVE W. MIDLANDS
*With support from very special guest ELLES BAILEY
For more information, Jo Harman
Long Awaited Jo Harman Album People We Become
Recorded in Nashville, at Sound Emporium and other noted studios, with acclaimed producer Fred Mollin (Billy Joel, Jimmy Webb, Carly Simon, Joe Cocker, Johnny Mathis and many more) the album features Michael McDonald on the first single ‘When We Were Young’.
Award-winning Soul and Blues singer-songwriter Jo Harman announces a 3rd February 2017 worldwide release date for her much-anticipated second studio album, People We Become, the follow-up to her critically acclaimed and commercially successful 2013 debut ‘Dirt On My Tongue‘.
An Evening With Todd Rundgren – Live At The Ridgefield
Live At The Ridgefield, the first thing you notice on this fourth live album from Todd is the cinematography is not the quality expected from a live professional shot DVD. BUT the most important part, the sound is excellent and captures the energy, enthusiasm that is Todd Rundgren. The appeal of the DVD is also the under production, this is who I am Todd Rundgren while he moves from Rock to Soul, it is his eclectic take on music the fans love the individuality, energy and connection with the audience. The show they chose to film was December 2015 at The Richfield Playhouse in Connecticut.
With a back catalogue that spans the decades from the1960’s up to now, as Todd adroitly says the evening is not long enough to fit the set list in. The set reflects the journey Todd has taken with his guitar and vocals and the set list moves from one song to another including his early days with The Nazz. The fans will love the choice yes, some favourites will not be there but he has ensured fans from all and any era will have the sound they love. From funky through to rock.
Picking out highlights as Todd puts down the guitar and funky drives the theatre, Love Science with some smart footwork as the band takes over. Following from funk Buffalo Grass a complete contrast with its luscious harmonies and a guitar that sings. The twenty-five tracks show the scope and range that Todd has delivered, melodic soulful ballads through to lead breaks that are understated letting the guitar strings do the talking. He has performed live songs not heard for decades and if you love music from both rock and soul genres this DVD/CD has it all delivered with verve and an intent to entertain with quality music.
As ever, the DVD has those extra nuggets that no CD or vinyl will ever have, this is no exception with band members interviewing each other.
The DVD/CD combo, An Evening With Todd Rundgren – Live At The Ridgefield is one for the fans, this is a Todd Rundgren trip down memory lane. Every fan will remember the first time they saw Todd live, heard the number played creating a visual and aural treat to revisit the music that defines Todd Rundgren and the band.
The CD/DVD package comes in a special 6-panel digipak.
Also available on limited edition vinyl.
To purchase “An Evening With Todd Rundgren – Live At The Ridgefield”:
SEVEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
CD: Track Listing:
1. I Saw The Light
2. Love Of The Common Man
3. Open My Eyes
4. Sometimes I Don’t Know What To Feel
5. Black And White
6. Buffalo Grass
8. Lost Horizon
9. Bang The Drum All Day
10. Kiddie Boy
11. Black Maria
13. Secret Society
14. Love In Action
15. Couldn’t I Just Tell You
16. Can We Still Be Friends
17. Hello It’s Me
18. One World
DVD & BLU-RAY EDITIONS
1. Intro / I Saw The Light
2. Love Of The Common Man
3. Open My Eyes
5. Sometimes I Don’t Know What To Feel
6. Black And White
7. Love Science
8. Buffalo Grass
10. Lost Horizon
11. Bang The Drum All Day
13. Kiddie Boy
14. Black Maria
15. God Said
17. I’m So Proud
18. Ooh Baby Baby
19. I Want You
20. Secret Society
21. Love In Action
22. Couldn’t I Just Tell You
23. Can We Still Be Friends
24. Hello It’s Me
25. One World
Beth Hart Fire On The Floor
The mood is set sultry, melodic, moody with Beth at her Piano and her vocals that cajole you to get into the jazzy swing with Jazz Man. Opening Fire On The Floor is intimate setting the next forty-five minutes, it is a journey exploring the interaction between words, vocals and melodic lines underlying the texture of every song. The shape of the number changes, with a landscape created with the feel of a cinematic film score. This is a vocal painting of Love Gangster with a flinty edge and the driving instrumentation that never overpowers but adding layers of textures and tonal pathways. Throughout the album it is Beth’s vocals that are the lead breaks and the mixture of musicians carefully selected by acclaimed producer Oliver Leiber that are the foil for the majesty of Beth, the singer, songwriter extraordinaire.
Fire on The Floor is scorching hot as the range of genres are explored creating at the heart of the sound Beth, the reason the album exists. The mix of styles, reflects the vagaries of fire, white heat then cooler blue flames, the emotional wrenching of the red and orange flames that lick around the boots of the songs the lyrics.
The energy is both raw and controlled, rocking and reflective as Love Is A Lie, full of dark and deep undercurrents. Half way through and the path of Beth’s fire changes again with Fatman, with a rocking full on sound we are full of Beth’s energy. The title track is ringing with western country vibe, the soundscape is huge and then the intimacy of Beth’s vocals. She is singing to you as an individual controlled and full of her own self-determination. We feel her pain and understand the journey as a relationship fades into the Fire On The Floor every emotion is smoldering with a purpose.
The whole album has a feeling of a solo album, yet it is the instrumentation that punctuates and adds shadows and colouring to Beth’s words. The band is superb empathetic to the feel Beth is creating with a carefully chosen mix of keys, guitars and percussion at times stripped down other times a fuller sound. We feel for the emotions of a Good Day to Cry and Picture In the Frame captures a moment in time forever, the simplicity of the music lets the words shine like a fiery halo. Closing with No Place Like Home the piano and vocals are in perfect harmony they are as one as you are pulled deep into the lyrics. We all can celebrate the wonders of home a place of love, warmth and dreams where we can be ourselves.
Beth, growls, cajoles, yearns is angry and sad these infections are the components. In this follow up to Better Than Home, we have an album that crosses genres celebrating the power of the song and the singer. Every track works there is a logic to the order. This is a personal album that is more than an introspective self-indulgent project, it is an album you will want to hear from beginning to end. The listener will cry, sigh and chuckle with Beth and throughout will have the pure unadulterated pleasure of being in the company of Beth Hart an amazing artist.
Beth Hart, on Fire On The Floor has garnered 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. Must be a real contender for album of the year.
Beth Hart – Fire On the Floor – Mascot Label Group:
Release Date: 14th October 2016
TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Jazz Man
- Love Gangster
- Coca Cola
- Let’s Get Together
- Love Is A Lie
- Fat Man
- Fire On The Floor
- Woman You’ve Been Dreaming Of
- Baby Shot Me Down
- Good Day To Cry
- Picture In A Frame
- No Place Like Home
BETH HART – NOVEMBER 2016 UK TOUR
Sunday 13 November – Gateshead Sage
Monday 14 November – Glasgow O2 Academy
Thursday 17 November – Bristol Colston Hall
Saturday 19 November – Bournemouth Solent Hall
Monday 21 November – Manchester Bridgewater Hall
Wednesday 23 November – London Royal Festival Hall
Dan Bubien New Album Keeps Grinding These Gears
Following a debut album can take time, three years has passed since Dan Bubien’s debut Empty Roads. Choosing to self-produce again, Grinding Those Gears is a rootsy fueled album of Ten original songs. The album has an easy listening traditional feel with the tracks seamlessly flowing with changes of tempo never grinding on your ear.
Opening with Palest Rider, the wide open spaces of a cowboy painted across the opening guitar chords and relentless drumming. The music expands with key and vocals and the undercurrent of blues structure the emotional feeling runs through the vocal delivery and underpinned by the music. The closing track, The Struggle Is Real pulls the albums exploration of roots together with an industrial sound that evokes the Chain-gang blues of the past. The bass drum once again used again to powerful effect by Andy Taravella a constant tour-de-Force throughout the album.
The title track picks up the beat, with the driving force of melodic rock, the piano from Joe Munroe makes the track pop with an energy fueling the guitar to rock. The fine solo from Eddie Manion’s saxophone sets this as a track that rocks at a different level to many. Three tracks in and the Grinding Gears take us in a different direction now we have soulful Dan with a hint of blue we are in the heart of Detroit with his vocals full of yearning. The chorus picks up the mellow tones that cuddle your souls and soothes the tired spirit with Forever Yours
The album is a journey that never grinds the gears of musicality. The slide guitar used to great effect for a stripped back number Dark Hearted Woman. The underlying tone is Soul but the stamp of Bubien’s guitar and vocals make this darker number explore misery.
The opening of Second Hand Man makes you think another soulful track, but no we have some funky beats added to this up-tempo number full of horns and widens your horizons.
Blues comes in many colours and forms, the whole album dips into the blues of many shades. Memphis Murder Blues goes deep into Texas. We can boogie the night away, tap our feet as the blues deepen and we sit back a listen with delight as he bends the genre with honkie tonk and a relentlessly driving rhythm. The penultimate Coming Clean is a mix of sultry, emotional vocals and keys from Joe Munroe once again adding a royal blue texture. The album never grinds, perhaps never quite sets you on fire the promise of his full potential is yet to come from Dan a fine singer and songwriter.
The cover is industrial grey, with Dan Bubien’s name in muted beige. He looks lonely, thoughtful sitting on a bench. He should never be lonely but a musician with his band in high demand, way beyond the borders of his native Pennsylvania. Dan has no need to be pensive he has surrounded himself with fine musicians, powerful songs, and the album has a real listenability.
Dan Bubien – Grinding Those Gears – Dan Bubien Music
Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Palest Rider
- Grinding Those Gears
- Forever Yours
- Dark Hearted Woman
- Second Hand Man
- Memphis Murder Blues
- I will Take Care Of You
- Coming Clean
- The Struggle Is Real
Royal Southern Brotherhood presents
The Royal Gospel
Royal Southern Brotherhood are back with their signature mix of funky roots driven by a percussive platform overlaid with vocals that tell a compelling and lyrical story. RSB excel in that special hot and spicy funky southern soul and blues that hit your musical radar with a tasty thump. Royal Southern Brotherhood presents The Royal Gospel their fourth studio album. The Gospel hasn’t changed, despite the change in band members with only Cyril Neville & Yonrico Scott of the Royals remaining from their great Heart Soul Blood album.
The reason is the music chemistry is still strong reproducing a swampy, tasty and rich cocktail of The Royal Gospel. Joining Cyril, Yonrico and guitarists Bart Walker and Tyrone Vaughan for this album is Darrell Phillips on bass and guest Norman Caser with his B3 Hammond adding chords of depth and textural contrast. “As far as the men making the music and playing the songs,” says Neville, “the mission of the band has never changed.” It is the collaboration the essence of a brotherhood that makes the sound deep and strong so it is unsurprising that the songwriting is a partnership between band members, yes Cyril as ever is the beating pulse within many of the tracks. The connection between Cyril and Bart is strong and songwriting collaboration happens despite the distance of 800 miles between their respective homes in New Orleans and Nashville. There is a telepathic link between them Cyril says “I kinda laughed, because Bart was getting ahead of what I was thinking” technology is the new way with phone conversation and the exchange of ideas. The lyrical gumbo created is very, very tasty on The Royal Gospel.
The shimmering guitar and percussive power laid down with the opening of Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire. Their guitars are hot, smoking with raw energy and an impatience to get the album on the road, pouring out of your speakers. Then joining in the fun is Cyril whose vocals are distinctive and harmonising with the deep percussive beat laid down by Yonrico. Royal Southern Brotherhood still full of strong soulful, blues southern comforting music. The lyrics develop from this common or garden saying that we all use. The lyrics co-written by Neville and Vaughan pull on the underlying meaning and shape the soul of the melody. This writing partnership pops up on the penultimate track, with Can’t Waste Time. The hooks are spiky as we meet a “Girl, you’re like a ship without a rudder” as we hear all about her behavior as a two-faced lover.
A collaborative album, the grooves are deep and the brotherhood-wide and held in the deep understanding of each other. Royal Southern Brotherhood, definitely not a rudderless collective. They are a band of brothers, a band of musicians who pick up the vibe and the rhythms flow and gather energy as the lyrics unfold. The beat powers through Blood Is Thicker Than Water where Cyril’s vocals are pure and full of emotion that proves the strength of family. The blues vibe is strong on Everybody Pays Some Dues, with Bart and Tyrone playing off each other, once again the lyrical story holds your attention as the moral of the story everybody pays some dues, restated by backing singers so we know what the song is all about. There is no escaping, but no one wants to escape from the guitar breaks the licks curl around and paying your dues is a light price to pay!
RSB as ever change the tempo and the soulful, gentler Face Of Love half way through gives a gentle repose as the instruments interplay and weave through the trellis of the vocals. Sit back and let the song cascade over you music as the deep bass and crack of drum beat adds a deeper groove to the guitar which has a bluesey feel with a touch of Spanish flamenco – wow compelling listening. Then upping the tempo for the ride with the brotherhood home with funky keys and the trademark percussion we visit the Land Of Broken Hearts. Spirit Man is a classic RSB take on the blues, rocky, swirling and deep with blue emotions and clever shading of tone and texture. The album closes with a happy clapping along foot tapping melody as we Stand Up and praise in true gospel fashion the joyous power of RSB. Yes, we Stand Up and salute you. The Royal Gospel spreads the word. Power and glory of roots music full of southern heat and swampy spice.
Royal Southern Brotherhood – The Royal Gospel – Ruf Records
Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire
- I’ve Seen Enough To Know
- Blood Is Thicker Than Water
- I Wonder Why
- I’m Comin’ Home
- Everybody Pays Some Dues
- Face Of Love
- Land of Broken Hearts
- Spirit Man
- Hooked on Plastic
- Can’t Waste Time
- Stand Up
Royal Southernbrotherhood are:-
Cyril Neville: percussion vocals
Bart Walker: electric & acoustic guitars vocals
Tyrone Vaughn: electric guitar vocals
Darrel Phillips: Bass backing vocals
Yonrico Scott: drums percussion
Norman Caesar: Hammond B3
Kaz Hawkins Band Created a Warm Red Musical Glow
Tonight, Kaz Hawkins Band Created a Warm Red Musical Glow. Her music is wrapped in the blues but never shrink wrapped in conformity. Her music embraces you with open arms embracing the spirit and soul captured in the power of words and true emotions. The Altar stage was bathed I a warm, enticing red glow as her Band of men picked up their instruments and then started to play, her entrance was bold, loud and a swirl of a deepest red dress. The Black gloves were soon disposed of as this was a night of rejoice. Her vocals have a spectacular range, full of power and they colour each lyric with its own musical tone. Kaz Hawkins is the business, her music is the real deal. Songs are all written from the heart that connects with the hopes, fears and disappointments we have all experienced on life’s journey.
This is a night where we explore her life, inspirations, and her two studio albums. The Feelin’ Good Tour, is promoting her latest album, and building on the loyal following she has around her, and then opening with Don’t Make Mama Cry, from the Feelin Good album. Kaz with her huge heart dedicated the number to Paul Gallagher who is about to graduate as a mature student and is really ill back home in Belfast. Once a friend of Kaz she is your friend for life, Kaz relishes the joy her music brings as she connects with her fans. Picking up her acoustic guitar adding another guitar tone to those of the electric Dr Nick to her left, the music is empowering with This Is Me, an anthem that celebrates the joy of presenting yourself to the world. Combined with I Saw A Man, affectionately known as Norman’s song in honour of the homeless man who was the inspiration behind the music of a moving track from her debut album Get Ready.
Kaz creates an aura that absorbs everyone around her into a bubble that is ruled by music, including one of the Convent cats, not sentimentally sweet but full of the realities of life. Nina Simone’s classic Feelin Good is given the Kaz treatment as she re-works the number with the energy and electric sparks that is Kaz. Her rhythm section affectionately known as the Slovakian Army are brothers who have settled and made Belfast their home. On Bass, Mr Janny and drumming out the beat that drives the song is Mr Pete, who was joined by Kaz at one point. The music flows with a live vibrancy reflected in the red glow and swish of Kaz’s petticoats and flutter of her fan. Highlights are impossible to pick out as every track is superb. Touching my soul tonight is the wonderful song written for her daughter Because I Love You, and the celebratory feel good sing-a-long energy of Hallelujah Happy People. During Hallelujah, Kaz does her own thing once again, leaving the stage to sit in the audience, yet without missing a beat takes time to apologise to camera as she intuitively decides she wants to sit with us. Closing with her very special re-arrangement of Willie Dixon’s I Just Wanna Make Love; the re-shaping of a classic takes guts and Kaz has the confidence to make the song work for her and more importantly for the audience. It is like hearing the song for the first time and I am positive that Willie Dixon approves. This was a night where everyone’s energies raised we felt the music flow through our veins and deep into our collective souls.
The encore Shake, may only be four minutes on Get Ready, tonight we have a jam and weaving of tunes and songs as we have a very special extra fifteen minutes and that wasn’t enough. A marvelous animated set of great music celebrating the glorious vocals of Kaz as she delivers her commanding lyrics.
Once again, The Convent has created a vibe of miraculous proportions as Kaz Hawkins and Her Band, do more that entertain she invigorates, empowers sending joyous shivers of happiness through our bodies. Tonight is what memories are made of!