The crowd was building and so was the atmosphere inside this arena. I was ready to be entertained.

The first band up was BROTHERS GROOVE a band from the Birmingham area. This is the band that put’s the funky groove in the blues, with a heavy bass guitar line from Deano Bass and a pincer movement involving the two lead guitarists, Shaun Hill and Nigel Mellor, sharing the load and on the drums Jim Simpson who has played with Bonnie Tyler, Magnium and U F O. This is the music that gets your head nodding and your feet tapping and your fingers snapping; as far as the groove goes I haven’t heard anything this good since the early days of Brand X.

The band’s first studio album entitled “PLAY THE GAME” is followed by a live album entitled “LIVE AT THE CROSSING”. These guys are exceptional musicians; it’s hard to ignore the brother’s groove.


This rocking trio from Hull certainly hit the spot. They do what it says on the tin, classic hot and fast rocking blues. Steve Fulsham front and centre on lead vocals and lead guitar, with Jon Whinham on bass guitar and a very impressive drummer by the name of Sean Clough. This band gave us original music penned by Steve, “Say Bye Bye”; “Tell the Truth”, “Shufflin’ Feet” a tribute to Rory Gallagher.


This exciting new band from the Blackburn area is what live music is all about, fresh, edgy, and a little bit of an attitude that lets rip. A mix of original material and covers to sharpen their teeth on. New blood is vital for the music scene; we all have to have this learning curve which is essential to any fruitful existence in the business. They have a future and they are grabbing it with both hands. The band fronted by the” Hell Kitten” herself Kayley Davies on lead vocal, aided by lead guitarist Squire and on bass guitar Russell and on the drums the powder keg that is Maxwell Harvey William Newsome the third. Buyers beware they may bite, but they will certainly claw their way up.

SLACK ALICE and Friends

This legendary band has nothing to prove and it’s always a pleasure to see a good band that has done it’ apprenticeship, helped others along the way, and still enjoy playing to a crowd. Some would say that its bands like Slack Alice that inspires others to pick up an instrument and join the music industry and be a success like them. Cliff Stocker and his associates are the industry, the nuts and bolts of it. The band that is Slack Alice is Cliff Stocker on lead vocals, Chris Preston on guitars and mandolin, Colin Redman guitars and vocals, Paul Nuttal on keys, Liam Barber on drums and Alan Sager on bass guitar, his solo was tremendous. The guest musician with this great band was a young lady of 12 years old called Maddie G on saxophone; she has just been awarded a scholarship at the Giggleswick College of Music, and was a little cracker of a performer.


This is another young band that has had some success already having had air play on Paul Jones’s radio 2 shows. I’m sure we will see and hear a lot more of this lively band who have a rock/ blues agenda. Fronted by Jane Chloe Pearce on lead vocals, she has a voice and a gutsy approach to the music they play. Alex Butler on lead guitar plays above his years and in my humble opinion will be a name in the future as I predicted when Aynsley Lister started out on his musical career. Mike Topp on bass guitar a very accomplished musician, Charlie Simpson was a star on the drums.


Over the years the members of this band have been there and done it and are still doing it. I refer to of course Johnny “Guitar” Williamson on lead guitar and vocals. Yes the very same man that played with the Animals and Titanic and Skeleton Crew, he is truly a gifted player and it was a pleasure to hear him play and sing. On lead vocal and guitar was Peter Barton, marvellous vocals, ex Animals,and the great Wayne Fontana band. On the drums was Wally Day ex Lipstick and Shady. On bass guitar and vocals the deep vocal tones of Chris Allen currently front man for The Troggs and ex Denny Laine band and LT Pidgeon.

With marvellous harmonies from these giants of popular music, nothing short of a supreme performance by these totally professional musicians. The Country Blues Band covered, Proud Mary, I Put a Spell on You, Run through the Jungle, Justify My life (Williamson) and a great version of I Heard it through the Grapevine, and many more, just brilliant.

Keith Blackledge

National & International Music Reviewer






Master of Ceremonies MR PETE CUDDY

Hello Fans of Live Music.


I settled down to hear some live music at the British Stage on Sunday the 24th of August, with music fans from Chorley. The band STUMBLE was up first on the afternoon slot. A fantastic band that I saw at the 1st Preston Rocking Blues Festival last May. They got off to a tremendous start and a rapturous welcome by the hundreds of admiring fans that had come to see this amazing band. An hour of fantastic blues by this very talented band of musicians fronted by the powerful vocals of Paul Melville, with Colin Black on lead and slide guitar, on bass guitar was Cameron Sweetnam, Boyd Tonner on drums, Anthony Scapens on guitar and Simon Anthony on a mighty sax.    The bands original MY LIFE and another cracker was BUS STOP got the crowd by the neck and shuck them with the blues, fantastic. The place was bouncing and the atmosphere was electric. STUMBLE are a force on the electric blues scene and give an audience what they want 100% commitment and cracking music.

The British Blues awards were next please go to the web site for details.

An impromptu performance from the man they call HALF DEAF CLATCH, a man, an acoustic guitar and a stomp. The man aka Andrew Mclatchie he gave a slide and drive, stripped back performance of the blues that any enthusiast would covert. He had appeared in the acoustic arena earlier and was up for an award runner up in the category emerging artist of the year, which found him in the room as they say. Andrew delivered two great songs “Good Ol’ Diablo and Ol’ Death train. One word would not justify his performance, but it’s fair to say he was sensational.


A Derbyshire band that has been playing their blues up and down the Country and celebrating 30 years on the road, a band that oozes professionalism. Frontman, lead vocals and bass guitarist Pat Rowbottom with Rob Barnes on lead guitar and vocals, Keith Bonthrone on drums and vocals and what a voice he has terrific, Joe Orban on keys and guitar and backing vocals. A mix of original material penned by Pat and Rob with covers from Jethro Tull, Cream, and Peter Green, blistering stuff they were magic.


I have heard a lot about this band on the bush telegraph but never had the privilege to hear a live performance; I was in for a treat. The master stroke of all this was to gather these very talented individual musicians under one roof so to speak and perform as a band and thanks to Chris Bevington this happened, and the result was Dynamite. The brass section of the band was a stroke of genius, Jamie Bannister on alto sax with Adrian Gibson on trumpet. The miracle that is George Glover on keys, he was amazing. The rhythm section of Chris Bevington on bass guitar and Andy Carr on drums was a match made in heaven, and Scott Ralph on lead guitar and lead vocals and frontman was to put it bluntly the Detonator, a fire cracker of a performance and no one can forget the singing duo of Sarah Miller and Kate Robinson. The covers they did were fabulous here is just a taster, Dark Side of Love, She’s out there Somewhere, Purple Rain featuring Sarah Miller and Kate Robinson, Don’t Need No Doctor, Crossroads, Bogie Man, need I say more, tremendous.


This young four piece band was new to me and I enjoyed what they did. This band together for only two years is from the Harrogate area, and they like to do their own thing and got to grips with the pop, rock, and blues genres. A combination of talent and strong musicianship from a band that have a place in today’s scene. The writing talents of the band were evident they only did two covers from a set that held seven, one from Joe Bonamassa ”Steal Your Heart Away “and “Bright Lights “ from Gary Clark Jnr, both excellent versions. The bands frontman and lead vocalist and guitar was Johnny Brown, with Paul Randles on lead guitar, Steve brown on bass and Carleton Pape on the drums. Watch this space these guys are Lions and perhaps for longer than a day.


Wow this six piece band knocked my socks off. The band from Liverpool took to the stage and took command from the word go, stage craft is very important. Paul Dunbar the frontman on lead vocal and guitar was exceptional and held my attention from the start. He has a presence that puts the band high on the pedestal. Plenty of energy from him and the band that are not only top musicians but have the writing talents as well, with terrific arrangements. They treated us with tracks off their new c d entitled “Earth Sky or the Raging Sea” just brilliant, the band were, Paul Dunbar, Mike Mc Leod lead guitar, James Orin sax, Rory Ballentyne on trumpet, Chris Pearce bass guitar and Phil Stevens drums. This is soul rock and blues, perfection.


This mighty band that has a tremendous following did us proud and the City of Manchester where the band is based. Franny Eubank lead vocal and harp was sizzling he loves to mix it up and the energetic Tom Attah was ‘at it’ he is an act on his own wonderful. Tom’s guitar skills are becoming legendry, playing at a hundred miles an hour he floored the audience with his fiff’s, a powerhouse indeed. With covers the likes of “Help Me” “Kansas City”” “High Heel Sneakers” the crowd went orbital. The band finished there hour long set with “Got My Mojo Working” the bands Mojo worked, no doubt about that, with Bo Lee on bass guitar and Luke Flowers on drums.


A guitar musician with skills a plenty, he has a great style and panache, and any up and coming guitarist would try to emulate. If there is any one better from Norwich I haven’t heard them yet and they would have to be better than brilliant. The whole band, I have to say were worth a sack of gold. Charlotte Joyce on vocals and keys was tremendous. Charlotte’s vocal range was supreme not only clear but concise and a perfect pitch complimenting Ron on every note. Mr Lance Fickling on a busy bass guitar and Paul Wooden on drums were the rich icing on this perfect confection. Their superb performance ended the third day of this Rhythm and Blues extravaganza.

Keith Blackledge

National & International Music Reviewer        

Gig: September at BJ’s in Chorley

Posted on: Sunday, Aug 31, 2014

September line up at BJ’s Rock In The Blues Club

  • 4th – Doctor Truth
  • 11th – The Shakers
  • 18th – Rhythm Zoo
  • 25th – Tin Pan Alley

Free admission every Thursday

9-30pm to 11-15 pm

The Minstrel
Eaves Green Road, Chorley

Review for the GREAT BRITISH R&B FESTIVAL @ Colne 2014 – A ‘Trail’ viewpoint

Rosy Greer from Lancashire Blues Archive goes to Colne

For 25 years The Great British R&B Festival has graced the streets of Colne, so this was a special celebration for a special festival on the Lancashire calendar.

For us the festival kicked off on Friday afternoon at the Rugby Club, Roadhouse venue, with the delightful ‘Clare Free’, playing an acoustic medley of songs from her lovely album ‘Butterflies’ and more. A great way to start the day.

Heading on down into town we dropped by the Acoustic Stage to catch Mal Gibson doing his acoustic set with a bit of Dylan-esque, country blues. Mal runs the Acoustic Stage throughout the festival and what a show case of bands have been on the table!

Then it was off to the Matthew Clark British Stage for the Radio Lancashire Night with Nick Dow presenting.

‘Ged Wilson’ from Manchester was providing the acoustic interludes throughout the evening with some honest acoustic blues.

It was a milestone for ‘The Welsh T Band’, from Yorkshire, as it was their 50th performance at the festival and it was wonderful to see it celebrated on the British Stage. They have been stalwarts at Colne every year, for many, many years and hopefully will continue to do so. They did a magnificent set showcasing their excellent album ‘Where The Road Leads’. Good down to earth honest blues with some great musicianship.

A bit of harp driven ‘rockin’ boogie rhythm and blues next, with the ‘Marauders’. From Lancashire they gave us a taste of the great rock ‘n roll era with a touch of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Some powerful blues harp and vocals, a great set and great for a boogie!

The final band of the evening on the British Stage were ‘Doublecut’ from Manchester, delivering classic rhythm and blues. A rockin’ end to a great first evening.

Heading back to the campsite we popped into Rugby Club Roadhouse. The local solo guitarist ‘Baxter Rhodes’ was playing finger picking country folk. Although not hitting the ‘blues’ note he has a great voice and writes his own material and the music was a good ‘wind down’ to a busy day.


A bit of a late start today, but we decided to hike up to the Legion Roadhouse to take a peek at ‘Maia’. An interesting group of four acoustic musicians from Huddersfield, playing what I could describe as world music, an alternative band leaning towards folk. Using a variety of instruments, including ukulele, cajon, trumpet, banjo and mandolin it was enjoyable set which went well with the beautiful views from the Legion.

Getting stuck in an Italian restaurant, we sadly missed the ‘Mentulls’ on the British Stage, but listening to the reports from other friends, I think they did an outstanding job. A great young band from the north east, their music has influences of 70’s progressive rock, blues. As a young band they are growing from strength to strength, especially Andrew Pipe, whose guitar playing is faultless, with his vocals getting stronger as he matures.

We were delighted to see ‘Kyla Brox’ and her band again. From Manchester she is one of the best female blues soul jazz artists around at this time. She and the band have an ease on stage and having listened to her ‘Live At Last’ double album, what you see is what you get, superb. An amazing set throughout, with the added bonus of an appearance from her dad, Victor Brox, magic!


The final band on the British Stage, ‘Bad Moon’ from Wales, fronted by artist in residence Pablo, gave a rockin’ set. This was the first time I’d seen the band electrified and I wasn’t disappointed. Great showmanship and good rockin’ blues.

Back up to the Rugby Club Roadhouse marquee for ‘The Ramblin’ Riversiders, from Leyland in Lancashire. They are a brilliant seven piece rock ‘n roll, skiffle band with guitars, double bass, bucket drum and washboard, and have been going now for 50 years or more, great music and a whole lot of fun! There was such energy and I think the band enjoyed it as much as the audience did!

The final act at the Rugby Club were ‘Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective’. They are an Americana band with blues roots hailing from Essex. A really good sound from this band in such a small space with some cracking vocals. A great way to end the Saturday nights entertainment.


A big day today at the British Stage, with the British Blues Awards taking place. Opening today were the high class ‘Stumble’, a powerful six piece band from Preston, Lancashire. They play Chicago blues based on the 50′s and 60′s and what a performance of old and some new material, possibly one of the best I’ve seen for a while. They played to a packed crowd with a great following in and around Colne. Top class musicianship and what a brilliant set to start the day.

We now had the prestigious British Blues Awards, giving a chance for bands and artists, well known or not so well known, to be nominated in various categories, with the final votes from the public. There were also awards for the ‘Blues Greats’ and ‘Lifetime Achievements’ . I was honoured to be asked to present an award for Victor Brox, one of the Blues Greats.

Victor and me by brian.jpg

To round off the Blues Awards, a solo artist, singer songwriter and roots blues musician ‘Half Deaf Clatch’ took to the stage for a couple of numbers. He was also a runner up in the Emerging Artist category. Some great raw acoustic slide guitar and an earthy gravel voice that takes you straight back to the Delta. He has a great new album out ‘Blues Continuum’ which highlights the ‘live’ feel.

Next on the British Stage were the blues rock band ‘Cold Flame’ from Derbyshire. A great no frills band that just play good music, as they did today. They play their own style of blues rock with some self penned works and some covers, many taken from their new album ‘Blue Shadows’. A great band to see live and all players are excellent musicians. It was a shame that there were so few people in the hall, but those there, appreciated what they heard.

It was a great treat for me to finally see ‘Chris Bevington and Friends’ live on the British Stage. Hailing from the Stoke on Trent area. Chris had a vision of putting together an album to include many of his notable friends. The album, ‘Chris Bevington and Friends’ was the product of a lot of hard work and time, but it has certainly paid off!! Now Chris and the band have been able to play some of the excellent album to the discerning public. The performance was a great success with full on brass, superb guitar solos and excellent vocals. A great big band sound giving us blues with a funky edge. The musicianship was second to none.


Next a set from Yorkshire band, ‘Lions For A Day’ who played some good rock blues.

A treat from Liverpool followed, ‘The Midnight Ramble’. As a six piece band, they gave a great performance with a big band sound leaning towards Southern rock, soul and blues. With superb earthy vocals and brass input, what an excellent set, definitely a band to watch out for.


A favourite at Colne, ‘The Franny Eubank Band with Tom Attah’ played a great set. From Manchester, Franny fronts the band on vocals and a mean harp, with Tom giving a great blues take on guitar. They gave a class performance supported by the rest of the band with some super raw harp driven blues.

The final act for the Sunday evening was ‘Ron Sayer Jr’. A well established guitarist, singer songwriter, he played a mix of blues, rock and funk, alongside Charlotte Joyce on keyboard and vocals and the rest of the band.


On the last day of this great festival, one of the best bands on the circuit at this time, ‘Brothers Groove’ from Birmingham opened on the British Stage. They were runners up in the Emerging Artist category in the British Blues Awards this year, which was well deserved. They played an amazing set of blues funk, with most of the tracks from their brilliant self penned CD, ‘Play The Game’. The spine tingling number ‘Another Girl’ was sung to perfection by Shaun Hill and the guitar solos from Shaun and Nige Mellor were faultless. Deano Bass kept in the groove, especially on a bass solo, with Jim Simpson maintaining the rhythm on drums. A superb set from a superb band.


Following were the ‘The Steve Fulsham Band’, a standard blues rock band from Yorkshire.

Off to the Acoustic Stage we caught an acoustic duo ‘New Rendition’ from Colne, certainly not blues but good at what they do.

Again on the Acoustic Stage, a second set for the brilliant ‘Brothers Groove’. Unaccustomed as they are to playing an acoustic gig, they compromised by using a cajon (drum box) instead of a full kit, but continued with the electric take. What a set, it raised the roof, certainly one of those ‘magic moments’ and what an applause. Just brilliant!!!

Back to the British Stage to catch the excellent ‘Slack Alice’. From the North West, the band is fronted by the original member of the 1970′s Slack Alice band, Cliff Stocker. What a fantastic set with great gravel vocals and excellent guitar solos, fabulous rockin’ blues as it should be played. A very young lady on saxophone also joined the band for a couple of numbers and went down a storm. A memorable set.

Following a young and lively rock blues soul band, ‘The Red Butler Band’ from Brighton. Full of energy, they did a great job.

Back again to the Acoustic Stage where our Lancashire lass, singer songwriter, ‘Lucy Zirins’ was just starting her solo set. Lucy has had great press over the last couple of years and her album ‘Chasing Clocks’ has made good inroads. She was also runner up in the Young Artist of the Year category in this year’s British Blues Awards. All I can say is she has the voice of an angel, can play guitar beautifully and keeps an audience well entertained. She gave us great arrangements of traditional blues songs and her own tunes. A truly talented young lady.


Following Lucy, a bit of ‘weird and wonderful’ from ‘The Devils Jukebox’. Theatrical springs to mind, but it’s all entertainment. Cabaret time with ragtime music from the 20′s and 30′s and a smattering of Hungarian folk , with clarinet, ukulele, harmonium, beat box and an interesting drum shaped bass. A front man like a Johnny Depp meets Tom Waits, but it all made an interesting change from the ‘blues’ per say.

Back again for the last act of the evening and of the festival on the British Stage, ‘The Country Blues Band’. A coming together of some prestigious personnel, playing a mix of easy listen country and smooth southern blues, with Mr John E Williamson (Animals & Friends)on guitar. An easy listen set from these quality musicians.

So there endeth the Great British R&B Festival for another year and what a good’n!!! Having missed so much of the good music on offer I thought it only fare to share some of the highlights from others.

Matt Woosey and Dave Small on the Acoustic Stage, Callum Ingram on the Acoustic Stage, The Maz Mitrenko Band at the Rugby Club, Peoples Republic of Mercia at the Legion, TC & the Moneymakers on the Acoustic Stage and Bluesoul on at various venues through the town. It’s well done to all the artists who have played at the festival and well done to all the organisers and volunteers who made it all possible.

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

All pictures (c) Rosy Greer apart from the one of Rosy and Victor Brox which is (c) Brian Kimberley

YouTube: Matt Anderson

Posted on: Friday, Aug 29, 2014

Here’s a taster for the upcoming gig at Johnny’s Blues Club at Liverpool Marina on 03 Oct.

This is the Matt Anderson Band live.

Watch this space for the full press release about the Liverpool gig.

Review: Tim Aves & Wolfpack: Never Saw Chester

Posted on: Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Tim Aves & wolfpack CD 2014.jpg


(Square One Records: Square 035)

All the way from the ‘Essex Delta’, Tim Aves & Wolfpack have put together their splendid second album, ‘Never Saw Chester’. Inspired by Howlin Wolf, the excellent new CD gives us a mix of many of the ‘Wolf’s’ classic numbers, along with some self penned tracks by Tim.

A line up of ‘class’ musicians, with Tim Aves on main vocals, harmonica and guitar, Joel Fisk on outstanding slide and electric guitar with backing vocals, Rob ‘Tank’ Barry on bass and Paul ‘Dougie P’ Lester on drums. Guests on the album were Dale Storr on keys, with Dave ‘Werewolf’ Richardson and Jane English on some backing vocals.

This super album opens with this Willie Dixon number ‘I Ain’t Superstitious’, a classic blues rock track with a great heartfelt guitar solo and a rhythm section doing a fantastic job. Following some super slide guitar, on the ‘Wolf’s ‘The Red Rooster’, gave us a class acoustic take, with great vocals from Tim.

A self penned track and the name sake of the album, ‘Never Saw Chester’, is a tribute to the late, great Howlin Wolf. With funky rhythms and some excellent Hammond input and guitar work. Then onto the Wolf’s deep, dark number ‘Evil’, sung to perfection by Tim. Some great fuzz on the guitar giving an excellent authentic sound taking us back to the Delta.

‘Back Door Man’ was a total ‘wow’ for me. The Willie Dixon number that the ‘Wolf man’ made his own, was performed with perfection. Great vocals and blues harp from Tim and wild slide guitar from the amazing Joel Fisk, brilliant. Next a self penned upbeat country rhythm and blues number, ‘Delta Angel’. Super slide on the resonator, love it!

Onto one of my favourites on the album, ‘Your Funeral And My Trial’ by Sonny Boy Williamson. A great up tempo 12 bar blues with superb harp, with the whole band playing ‘the blues’ as it should be played. Fantastic guitar solo and great rhythm section. This is followed by ‘Who’s Been Talking’, well put together a classic blues.

Absolutely loved the self penned track, ‘Wageslave’. Haunting harp playing and guitar work with plenty of fuzz and reverb on this rockin’ number, just excellent. A great harmonica intro’, leads us on to the classic Willie Dixon number ‘Wang Dang Doodle’. Done in the style of John Lee Hooker, with shades of vintage Canned Heat spring to mind. Brilliant slide guitar yet again.

The final track on this exceptional album is another Willie Dixon number, ‘Built For Comfort’. A great classic 12 bar blues with some class acoustic slide from Joel and harp playing from Tim, superb.

A fabulous album from a fabulous band, all working together to create a truly authentic sound but with an individual take. Definitely recommended!

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

Greg Coulson – Squat That Rabbit

Posted on: Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014

Greg Coulson ‘Squat That Rabbit’ Debut Single release

“Just 23 years old, Northamptonshire’s Greg Coulson is definitely one to watch. Informed by the organ masters Ray Charles, Steve Winwood and Booker T, his style is rhythmic, fluid and above all, very exciting.” Classic Rock Blues magazine

Over the years Greg’s influences have changed but he’s always had an absolute passion for Rhythm and Blues. Greg started fronting blues bands at the age of twelve, both singing and playing, and was gigging regularly in pubs and clubs around Northamptonshire. This was the style of music he loved and cherished, “I knew then that this wasn’t just a hobby but would be my career”.

Greg got his first big break at the age of 19, with the legendary two-tone band The Selecter. Known as a Hammond player, and not just a keyboard player, Greg has been with the current line up for the past 4 years, having toured extensively throughout the UK, Europe, Australia and America. Greg is also a very talented multi-instrumentalist, and as well as being a hugely accomplished organ and keyboard player he is also a gifted guitarist, which you will hear on his soon-to-be-released single ‘Squat That Rabbit’. “This song and new arrangement is a tribute to my hero Taj Mahal and I’m delighted to be releasing it in the autumn of 2014″ .

Here’s Greg playing live

News: Mike Zito to leave Royal Southern Brotherhood

Posted on: Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014

Mike Zito 1.jpg

News just in is that Mike Zito is to leave the popular Royal Southern Brotherhood, and is to be replaced by Bart Walker:

Here’s the official news:

A heartfelt farewell from the Royal Southern Brotherhood to Mike Zito and a warm welcome to our new band member Bart Walker…

It’s bittersweet when your brother leaves home. It’s a time of sorrow and loneliness as well as a time of freedom for him. The love is strong and it doesn’t die, because he is always yours and Mike Zito will always be our brother. The memories and shared time will last forever.

We announce to you first, with joy-filled regret, that Mike Zito is rolling onward with his band Mike Zito & The Wheel. Mike will release a new live record and DVD on Ruf Records, SONGS FROM THE ROAD, which is due on Sept 9th. You’ll get to see him live, in action, as we did playing side by side with him every night.

Mike will play his last US dates with Royal Southern Brotherhood through Bedford Texas at the end of August, then Europe and the Blues Cruise in October.

As the band’s royal journey continues, we welcome guitarist/singer and Ruf Records mate Bart Walker to the band. Bart has led his own Nashville based group, which featured Reese Wynans of the Stevie Ray Vaughan band, as well as guitarist for lead singer Mike Farris of the Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies.

It is an exciting time for both Mike and Bart musically as one departs and one enters the wild world of the Royal Southern Brotherhood. Cyril, Devon, Charlie, and Yonrico send Mike Zito and his band best wishes. Catch Zito LIVE in October and for more RSB dates please visit

The Midnight Ramble

Posted on: Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

This morning I have been enjoying the band The Midnight Ramble.

Formed in October 2010 by singer/songwriter Paul Dunbar the 6-piece soul/rock/blues outfit is an award-nominated (‘Album of the Year’, Liverpool Music Awards 2012) and critically-acclaimed outfit from Liverpool, UK.

The band has featured on BBC Introducing, had consistent radio plays nationally and internationally, had tracks such as ‘Lions’ and ‘Black Dirt’ (taken from Sink The Pieces, 2012)  featured in UK feature films and US documentaries and has performed with Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, James Taylor Quartet, Big Country, BLEECH and Phantom Limb to name a few.

Having performed to consistent sell-out audiences on their own headline shows, The Midnight Ramble has gained a reputation as a highly energetic, original and powerhouse of a live act.

“I was blown away by The Midnight Ramble…a band that for me was the find of the festival…Paul Dunbar (singer/songwriter) is not only an assured singer of songs but he can write a mean lyric, he has the soul of a poet” at Blues On The Farm Festival 2014

***** 5 stars
“A thrilling, aural, rollercoaster ride”
Radio Clwyd

“Unpolished, Unashamed and ready to blow you away”

“One of the musical highlights of 2013”
Radio Caroline

“…a dirty, soul infused, bluesy rock sound…their single ‘Lions’ embodies what they’re all about!”
Liverpool’s finest purveyors of big, stomping rock & soul”
Bido Lito Music Magazine

“…fusing sounds and grooves of classic soul and rock combine with powerful songs and big voice of Paul Dunbar”

Review: King Size Slim – Milk Drunk

Posted on: Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

King Size Slim CD Cover

King Size Slim – Milk Drunk

(Tree House 44: TH44CD0101)

King Size Slim, aka Toby Barelli, hails from the Deep South – the south coast of England, that is – and his musical style is very much influenced by the heritage of the Delta blues region – in the United States, that is. The eleven original compositions that make up the album present a modern slant on the traditional roots of the old bluesmen, galvanised with a gripping, rhythmic energy.

The title track starts things off with a contemporary take on the seminal field holler with more than a hint of Adam Ant. The highly percussive “Wake Up The Town” is in similar vein but significantly faster with rhythmic shades of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”, powered by the East Brighton Rhythm Section, while “Hard Way To Fall” provokes echoes of Lennon’s “Come Together”. “Roast Beef Blues” is in the style of Mississippi John Hurt with some tasty finger-picking and is followed by a couple of country blues – “Angel Dear” and “Leaving Portsmouth Town”.

The Latin-rhythmed “I Hope It’s You”, with Aimee Grinter guesting on vocals, is followed by the waltz tempo of the folksy ballad “”Rising Spring”, which features Roger Hubbard on mandolin. “Dark Soul” ups the pace again in advance of the hypnotically rhythmic “Monkey, Where Are You?”, splendidly driven by Andy Newmark on drums. The album is concluded with “She Lies”, on which King Size delivers superb Joe Cockeresque vocals.

This is a little gem of an album – the eleven tracks lasting only slightly more than thirty minutes, with five of them running for less than three minutes each. King Size Slim is a talented songwriter and guitarist and is capable of delivering a range of vocal styles. He is unsurprisingly in demand on the acoustic blues circuit and would certainly offer a very different and entertaining contribution to any blues festival.


Review: Red Butler – Freedom Bound

Posted on: Monday, Aug 25, 2014

Red Butler album cover by Jim Holder Photography.jpg

Red Butler – Freedom Bound

(Self-release: AJCS21UBFE14)

Here’s a  most promising full-length debut from young Sussex band, Red Butler. “Freedom Bound” features almost entirely all original material penned by the band, and a most interesting cover . . . more of which later. The band comprise: Alex Butler (guitar and backing vocals), Jane Chloe Pearce (vocals), Charlie  Simpson (drums and percussion) and Stephen Eveleigh (bass and backing vocals), with assistance from Maik Pehrsson (piano) and Darren Vassie (trumpet).

The band deliver a mainly uptempo rocky edge to the blues, but with plenty of ‘light and shade’ for good measure, and in guitarist Alex Butler have a very fine player who really has it all; together with Jane Chloe Pearce’s tough vocals and the tight rhythm section.

The music kicks off with the strutting “Jaywalker” – recently awarded a play on the prestigious Paul Jones Radio 2 blues show, with Butler’s guitar answering Pearce’s vocals before the pace is taken up with a swaggering riff and all the band kicking in; the following “Pension Blues” again rides on a lovely groove from the guitar of Alex Butler – it’s a curious tale of the perils of pensions and money from a young age to much older. The rocking “Danger Zone” reminds me a little of Free, with Charlie Simpson’s thunderous drums kicking it off, and a fine vocal from Jane Chloe Pearce.

A  highlight is the 2:52 of “Young And Free” – a bluesy shuffle that fairly rattles along – with confident performances from all, and a nice contribution from guest piano player, Maik Pehrsson. Next up is the cover of Johnny Kidd & The Pirates “Shakin’ All Over” – it is given a radical slowed-down reworking and doesn’t really work for me – although well done to the band for taking a different approach to a much-covered standard. “Hoodoo” features Alex Butler’s acoustic slide, giving a stripped-down Delta blues feel.

Another standout is the atmospheric slow blues of “River Of Smoke”, that shows the more delicate side of Butler’s guitar work; and it is followed by the very rocky “Hard Drivin’ Man” that again rides on a terrific hook and riff, with the almost duelling voice and guitar.

This enjoyable release ends with the title cut, “Freedom Bound”, a slow bluesy number with another rich vocal from Pearce and more guitar fireworks from Butler . . . inspired by the singers interest in the history of slavery . . . check this band out, with festival appearances and high-profile gigs they seem set to be firmly ‘on the rise’!


The British Blues Awards were handed out at Colne yesterday; here is the full list of winners:

The King Biscuit Blues Festival

Posted on: Sunday, Aug 24, 2014

Can anyone understand Dutch?

Anyway – unfortunately there will be no away team at the Biscuit this year  :-(

Neither can I read the article – however there are some cracking photos that make me pine for the Delta.

Friday 5th September, 2014
Danny Bryant
Tickets: £12, £10 Concessions
Doors: 7.30pm

Fresh off the plane after five weeks in the USA and Canada fronting Walter Trout’s band, national blues treasure Danny Bryant is coming to The Citadel for what promises to be a special night as he launches his new studio album ‘Temperature Rising’.

Bryant was always destined to be a road hardened blues-rock warrior, since being mentored by Trout and touring Europe in the company of Mick Taylor, Santana and Buddy Guy. He signed a deal with Rounder records in 2007 and a licensing deal with Virgin/EMI Asia which allowed Danny to feature on the hit blues compilation “The Best Blues Album In The World Ever”.

Danny was in illustrious company on this collection with several giants of the blues-rock genre, including Johnny Winter, Gary Moore, Albert Collins, and ZZ Top. Whilst each album has been like a chapter in an ever-evolving story, it’s since signing with the German based and ever dynamic Jazzhaus label that he’s enjoyed the kind of backing and focus needed to match his unquenchable thirst for making ever more exciting records, embarking on world tours and progressing his career into the upper echelons of the modern day blues-rock scene.

If you’re passionate about great British blues music, then you’ll have a fantastic evening with Danny Bryant here at The Citadel. Book early to avoid disappointment!

For further information or to book tickets call the Citadel Box Office on 01744 735436 or visit the Citadel website:

Review: Kaye Bohler – Handle The Curves

Posted on: Saturday, Aug 23, 2014


 Kaye Bohler – Handle The Curves

(Independent release)

This is a wonderful old school blues and soul album from California vocalist Kaye – she’s a big and brassy and sassy singer, aided on this set by some of the Golden State’s finest, including Rob Dzibula (as it says on the sleeve) on sax and the excellent Pete Anderson on guitar and bass.

The sound alternates between slow, deep, soulful blues and a full Stax type soul feel, and Kaye handles both with ease and skill – she also wrote all ten numbers herself and they have a honest and autobiographical feel to them, whether she is dealing with women’s inner strength , life’s trials and tribulations, or simply the double-entendre of the title track.

Well worth investigating this release, lovely packaging too- and I’m not just talking about the front sleeve photo…


Hans Theessink 01

(Doors: 8 pm, show: 8.45 pm)

Dutch master, Hans Theessink, is one of the finest European exponents of the blues. He complements his rich baritone vocals with top class finger-picking guitar work and binds his performances together with a warmly-presented selection of intriguing stories.

No stranger to Liverpool, Hans has already delighted Johnny’s Blues Club audiences and packed The Rodewald Suite at Tthe Philharmonic Hall with his legion of admirers.

This will be another world-class acoustic blues concert at the Marina, which the connoisseurs of that genre of music are eagerly anticipating.

Liverpool Marina is situated at Coburg Wharf, Sefton Street, Liverpool L3 4BP.

Tickets for the concert (£12 each in advance) are obtainable from John Welsh on 0151-428 2855 or from Please also visit for a fund of information on the region’s excellent blues scene.

(Pic: Lionel Ross)

About this site is your one stop shop for blues information for the northwest of the U.K.

We feature news, reviews and a comprehensive gig guide. Contribution, discussion and feedback is positively encouraged.

RSS feeds are provided for posts and comments. We publish a comprehensive gig calendar, this can be accessed using the CALENDAR page above or by using the shortcut in the links menu.