Tour: Doug MacLeod – upcoming dates

Posted on: Sunday, Apr 26, 2015


Based in Southern California, Doug is an incredible Americana, blues and folk singer-songwriter; his music touches the heart and soul.

An abused child, Doug’s early life was tough and he suffered from a crippling stutter. It was only when he found the blues – or the blues found him – that he was able to overcome his childhood adversity.

Doug learned his craft from the masters, his mentors and friends – he lived the music, survived the life, and carries forth this valuable tradition. Doug is the winner of dozens of awards including two Blues Music Awards in 2014 and two Blues Blast Music Awards in 2013 and he’s spent a long career on the road working with some of the greats of the blues music scene; his songs have been covered by numerous artists including Albert Collins, Albert King and Eva Cassidy.

Doug MacLeod is known for his superb songwriting, guitar wizardry, warm soulful vocals, his wit and charm; all of which contribute to his unforgettable live performances.

Doug’s new album (on  Reference Recordings)  ‘Exactly Like This’ was released last month. Here are just some of the reviews:

One of the very best acoustic blues exponents in the world… strongly recommended – Blues In The North West

… a superb album, from a genuine blues troubadour.  A truly authentic voice – Chophouse,

… an eleven track masterpiece…  A marvelous album from a marvelous musician – Ian Patience – Music News Nashville

‘Exactly Like This’ is the IBBA (Independent Blues Broadcasters Association (UK) Pick Of The Month for April!

Only really two dates within our area:

Friday, 22nd May: Big Wheel Blues Festival, Isle of Man

Sunday, 24th May: Bluefunk, Poynton Legion, near Manchester

Review: Peter Novelli – St. Amant Sessions

Posted on: Saturday, Apr 25, 2015


Peter Novelli – St. Amant Sessions

(Chalet Music CD-1501)

A new name to me, but this is singer and guitarist Peter’s third CD. I’m going to have to hunt down the others. Peter is based in New Orleans and there is a strong bayou feel to this album – he even has Cajun accordionist Sammy Naquin on a couple of items and zydeco accordion star Chubby Carrier on a further two, and the comparisons that have been made with slide guitar ace Sonny Landreth are not far wide of the mark.

As if to underline this, Sonny himself guests on the opener, ‘Louisiana Sunrise’. The French influence crops up naturally enough on ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’, and Peter can remind the listener of the great, sadly under-rated Bobby Charles (Robert Guidry) on a number like the mellow(-ish) ‘Bourbon Street Blue’, which follows on from the raw, churning swamp boogie-blues of ‘Spirit Passing By’.

The instrumentals ‘Boudin’, the 60s inflected ‘Shreveport Stomp’ and the joyously rocking ‘I-10 Boogie’ (a crash course in Louisiana sounds) all showcase Peter’s guitar mastery. This CD was a lovely surprise and one I will return to again and again. As Clifton Chenier said, “Laissez les bon temps rouler!”


YouTube: The Sideshow Tragedy

Posted on: Saturday, Apr 25, 2015


Overton-on-Dee Blues, Roots & Real Ale Festival, May 8 & 9th
The Village Hall, Overton on Dee, Wrexham, LL13 0EE

Overton-on-Dee is a beautiful little old village on the Welsh borders situated approximately 8 miles south of Wrexham

Friday, 8th May – 7 pm doors for 8 pm


Saturday, 9th May – 12.30 doors for 1 pm


Limited tickets available so early booking recommended

Tickets: Weekender £30 – Friday £10  – Saturday £25

Send cheque made out to OVHMC with SAE to :

Overton Blues Festival, Church Cottage, High St, Overton-on-Dee, Wrexham, LL13 0DT

For camping and caravan info ring before 9pm: 01978 710413

Five food outlets available in village + 12+ real ales and ciders – donation car park available

Shuttle service available to outlying b&bs and hotels

Festival organised by Goin’ Up The Country Blues Club, Worthenbury
Info contact and

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David Migden and Ken Peace (3Kings) pictures courtesy of Ian Williams

News: UKBlues Federation progress report

Posted on: Friday, Apr 24, 2015


UKBlues – working to promote, support and create a focal point for the Blues in the UK

It has been some time since I last wrote so I think I should bring you up to date with such progress as there is.

First of all, there will be some of you for whom this is the first communication regarding UKBlues as you may only recently have been included on this mailing list. If you want to catch up on what has been said so far by reading the previous e-mails on this subject then links to them are available on our Facebook page or you can read them here and here.

Big thanks must go to Mike Cole who has drafted a ‘Statement of Purpose’, effectively a set of principles for the UK Blues Federation which establish how it will operate etc. We are currently fine tuning these. The existence of such a Statement will be essential to help create some ‘bona fides’ for UKBlues, particularly in our dealings with organisations such as the Blues Foundation and the European Blues Union.

Thanks also go to the handful of people who have indicated a willingness to be considered for a role on the initial Board as well as the many people who have written in or posted on Facebook offering their support.

We already have someone who has offered to be Treasurer and also someone who is prepared to act in a legal role plus people from a marketing/sales/management background etc.  We could with a wider range of skills and capability and so are keen to hear from people who have the desire and energy to supporting UKBlues by serving on the Board.

If you are interested in serving as a member of the Board of the UK Blues Federation and feel that you have a particular skill set or talent which would be of benefit to UKBlues then please contact me now as we are very close to the point where the next logical step is to form a Board so that there is a team of people to work on moving things forward rather than just me!

I am very conscious of the fact that membership of UK Blues needs to offer members some benefits and is not just a one way street. UK Blues will need to levy a membership fee to fund the Federation and its promotion, membership fees of the EBU and the Blues Foundation, cover website costs etc. and to try to help acts/artists to defray the cost of participating in the IBC and EBC and so on.

I have been looking at what other similar groups do around Europe and have no reservations about looking to adapt and adopt things that seem a good idea that they do. France Blues – – is a good example. They have several categories of membership and members have the opportunity to be profiled on the website  –  see Digital Blues’ entry here

On this page you will find details of some specific benefits offered to new members of France Blues by some record labels along with details of various festivals that offer free or reduced admission.

I would like to see similar benefits which could be offered to members of UKBlues and if you represent a record label, a festival, a venue or anything else who/which would be prepared to offer some sort of benefit to membesr of UKBlues, then please do get in touch and let us see if we can’t put something together which will, hopefully, benefit not only UKBlues members but also you!

Clearly, membership of UKBlues is going to have to be something for which members pay and we need to decide upon types, levels and costs of membership. If anybody has any particular thoughts on this, your comments/input would be interesting to receive.

Well, that’s it for now and I hope to hear from you. Please keep spreading the word, there are still many, many people who don’t know about UKBlues and the more people who are involved, the better.

Thanks for reading this far and I hope to bring you more news soon.

Ashwyn Smyth for UKBlues 

Review: Ghost Town Blues Band – Hard Road To Hoe

Posted on: Thursday, Apr 23, 2015

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Ghost Town Blues Band – Hard Road To Hoe


This is a rather versatile outfit out of Memphis, Tennessee. They can tackle the tough, slow blues-rock of ‘Nothin’ But Time’ which is a little Zeppelin-esque and the raw, dirty Hill Country stomp of ‘Dime In The Well’ as convincingly as the whimsical ‘My Doggy and the rotgut whiskey soaked country tinged closing track, ‘Road Still Drives The Same’.

Among the other tracks, ‘Big Shirley’ is a supercharged rocker, ‘Mr Handy Man’ is a brass band tribute to Memphis musical hero and blues figurehead W.C. Handy, ‘Hate To See Her Go’ is a tough but humorous slab of bluesy R&B, ‘Tied My Worries To A Stone’ is gritty blues-rock, and ‘Dead Sea’ leans towards Americana, with some excellent slide guitar work by bandleader, singer and songwriter Matt Isbell.

It is not difficult to understand why this outfit managed second place in last year’s International Blues Challenge – but I suspect they won’t be satisfied with that, they’ll be pushing for the top spot!






Critically acclaimed Finnish blues guitarist and vocalist Erja Lyytinen is pleased to announce the UK release of her new live album Live In London, via Tuohi Records on June 8th. Live in London is the follow up to her 2014 album, The Sky is Falling, which is a tribute to the legendary blues artist Elmore James.

On October 7th 2014, Erja Lyytinen rolled into London’s iconic venue the 100 Club for an evening of live music. At her side, Erja was accompanied by a crack band featuring long-time musical partner Davide Floreno, bassist Roger Inniss and drummer Miri Miettinen. Live In London mixes high-spirited, technically brilliant covers and an impressive block of original material. Since first stepping foot in a recording studio nearly 15 years ago, Erja Lyytinen has become a bona fide star in her homeland and a celebrated fixture on the international music scene, earning the title “the Finnish slide goddess” from UK’s The Blues Magazine.

To dovetail the release of the new album, Erja will embark on a 12-date UK tour this October along with a string of UK festival appearances.


2015 UK Tour Dates
















Photo Credit: © Juha Seila

Thursday 30 April – British Blues All Stars – £17/£15 advance, £31.95 with dinner

Announcing a fabulous brand new band The British Blues All-Stars. Featuring Pete Emery, Dave Kelly, Pick Withers, Gary Fletcher & Zoot Money.

These guys have played together in various combinations of twos and threes, but never before have all five played together in the same band. Their collective professional experience amounts to 250 years of playing blues and rock professionally.

They have played with some of the greats over the years (in no particular order): Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Dire Straits, Son House, Alexis Korner, The Allman Brothers, Jimmy Witherspoon, The Blues Band, Bob Dylan, The Animals, Nina Simone, Jo-Ann Kelly, Chris Farlowe, Maggie Bell, Ralph McTell, Dave Edmunds, Andy Fairweather -Low, Brinzley Schwartz, Nick Lowe, Bert Jansch to mention but a few, more ? OK, + Junior Wells, Freddie King, Del Shannon, Bernie Marsden, Georgie Fame, Alan Price – enough ?

Their love of the blues has brought them together to play as a band – they have just returned from a 16 date tour of Germany, Switzerland, Austria & Denmark.


Mezze Board
With Falafel, Crudités, Selection of Patés, Olives & Crusty Bread with Olive Oil and Balsamic Dip
Vietnamese Lamb Shank with roasted Sweet Potato, served on a bed of Rice
or Sweet and Sour Tofu with summer roasted Vegetables served on a bed of Rice (v)
Pimms Jelly with Summer Fruits

(Note: Bernie Marsden, featured in the video, is not on the tour)

Texas guitarist Shawn Pittman on top form recently in Holland, backed by our good friend Erkan Ozdemir and his sons.

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The 24th Street Wailers – Where Evil Grows

(LMB Records)

Here’s a super fun album of vintage r&b, blues and rock ‘n’ roll from the Canadian-based outfit, The 24th Street Wailers – made up of Canadian and American musicians, namely Mike Archer (bass), Lindsay Beaver (vocals and drums), Elliot Sowell (guitar), Jesse Whiteley (piano) and Jon Wong (saxophone) – together they make a joyous,  retro 40s and 50s sound!

To add even more authenticity and grit to the music it was recorded at the legendary Fort Horton Studio in Austin, Texas and produced by Billy Horton, who was responsible for those classic early albums from the late, great Nick Curran, and also a member of his band. The album is the follow-up to “Wicked”, which was also recorded at Fort Horton.

The music starts off in explosive fashion on this 13-track collection, with a blast from Sowell’s guitar on the rocking “Cursed”, with Lindsay Beaver out front with her dynamite drums and big voice; the following just wait takes the pace down – but just a little – with some rollicking piano from Jesse Whiteley and honking saxophone from Jon Wong. The runaway rockabilly of “Spitfire” fairly rattles along . . . all Imelda May fans will love this!

The soulful r&b of “All I Think Of Is You” has a New Orleans feel, with sterling performances all round again from the band; the title cut “Where Evil Grows” is a slow burner, with lovely guitar work again from Elliot Sowell, and nice vocal from Beaver, with telling contribution from her rhythm section partner, Mike Archer. The galloping swing number “You Know” is another showcase for Jon Wong’s saxophone, and more tinkling ivories from Jesse Whitley.

“I Found A Love” is another standout, with Lindsay Beaver again to the fore on this r&b classic first recorded by The Falcons with the legendary Wilson Pickett on vocals; the pace goes up again with a blast of superb saxophone on the swinging “Rock Step”, again with sharp and snappy piano and saxophone solos.

For all lovers of great retro music “Where Evil Grows” is a joy from start to finish. The phrase ‘all killer, no filler’ may be over used sometimes, but it certainly applies here . . . highly recommended indeed!



Burning Black – Goin’ Up The Country at Worthenbury Village Hall: Friday, 24th April

Burning Black is everything you ever expected to hear from a blues band and more, hard hitting rhythm with dynamic riffs and fills to classy acoustic numbers from some of the great classics to their own original self-penned songs.

The band are Steve Blackstone on vocals, harmonica, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, stomp box and tambourine and Russ Cowburn on backing vocals, harmonica, electric guitar and acoustic guitar.


Steve and Russ are passionate about the blues and were members of The Baloo’s Band for many years  playing many major venues and festivals like The Great British blues festival at Colne (British stage) and the Guinness Blues Festival in Dublin, the list is endless.

Bringing all their experience to Burning Black the duo are now thrilling blues lovers up and down the country with their live shows.

For all gigs, please check availability first by mailing or ringing 01948 770215.

Doors 8 pm for 9 pm show – price TBA

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Recently in from Barry Barnes, with plenty of advance warning:

The very good news is that after some great Rory gigs at the Cavern, the 20th Annual British Rory Gallagher Tribute concert is returning to Manchester on 17th October, at The Ruby Lounge on High Street slap bang in the Northern quarter of the city. The hotels seem better priced than Liverpool and the venue’s got air con (Or so they tell me) If you were at the Cavern last year you’ll know why that’s important!

Tickets £15 –

Music from 4 pm – 11 pm with:

Sinnerboy (UK),  Jaques Stotzem (Belgium), Fall Apart (Germany), The Aidan Pryor Band (UK)

Looks a great day for all Rory fans!


Review for ‘THE ESCAPE COMMITTEE’ @ BJ’s ‘Rock in the Blues’ Club, The Minstrel, Chorley – 16.4.15

To cheer up a Thursday night, we had a welcome return to BJ’s ‘Rock in the Blues Club’ at The Minstrel in Chorley, the premier Warrington based band, ‘The Escape Committee’.

As a trio tonight – with Pete ‘Sarge’ Frampton fronting the band on excellent guitar and vocals, with the solid rhythm section of John Gibson on bass and Paul Burgess (10cc) on drums – they gave us a varied selection of 60’s & 70’s classic songs with a definite penchant for Eric Clapton.

Kicking off the evening with a BB King number and a bit of slide guitar, the quality of the band was laid down. Continuing with some classic takes of Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’, Clapton style ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ and a superb version of Hendrix’s ‘Little Wing’, they rounded off the first set with a great version of the standard ‘Rock Me Baby’.

The second set brought a plethora of standards with ‘Keys To The Highway’, ‘Nobody Knows You When You Are Down And Out’, ‘Georgia’, ‘Before You Accuse Me’ and ‘Crossroads’. They performed an epic version of ‘Have You Ever Loved A Woman’ with superb guitar work from Pete, which was just brilliant.

Changing the pace with some rocky Americana and slide guitar and a dash of rock ‘n roll, which led nicely into a great version of ‘Cocaine’ and ‘Badge’. To wind up the evening, Blind Faith’s ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’ and the finale of Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ ending, what was, a great gig.

The excellent musicianship was evident and we will look forward to the return of the Escape Committee next year at BJ’s.

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

Review: Red Mouth – Toska

Posted on: Sunday, Apr 19, 2015


Red Mouth – Toska

(Red Mouth Records: RMRCD0020)

We have waited far too long to get round to looking at this one, perhaps because nobody quite knew what to make of it. Yes, this is American roots music but a headier mix you would struggle to find.

Eric ‘Red Mouth’ Gebhardt was born in Texas, lives in Muscle Shoals and has assembled a fine array of musicians to help him stir what is a potent moonshine. He’s certainly got soul – plus a vocal delivery that factors in Tom Waits, Screaming Jay Hawkins plus Beefheart and a dash of Nick Cave.

He calls his songs “dark tales of love and the bizarre” and his lyrics do remind me of the scorched earth and dark melancholia of Seattle’s The Walkabouts, musically as well on opener ‘Black Old Bones’, with its haunting organ and violin, all behind Gebhardt’s swampy howl.

Rhythm section throughout is bass man Jimbo Hart and Chad Gamble (drums) from former Drive By Trucker Jason Isbell’s 500 Unit. Cody Gaisser is main guitarist, chewing away gently at the bluesy ‘Sugar Sugar’. Harvey Thompson’s baritone sax rumbles on this one but on one or two other tracks he plays a stormer. Backing vocals from Louisa Murray, Kim Tibbs and Britany Faith are used sparingly, adding more standard phrasing into the vocal mix.

There are two covers, neither being what you might call rearranged but with Red Mouth’s vocal style, they certainly are more demonstrative. Heavier than Iggy Pop? Well the version of Osterberg’s ‘Johanna’ has a weighty, almost anthemic quality, Gaisser, for once, going wild plus glorious sax by Thompson and punchy piano from Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes.

The other non-original is ‘She’s Got A Crush On Me’, so wonderfully covered by Paul Thorn a couple years back. Red Mouth’s vocal delivery is at its most undemanding here on a southern country-soul song which could have been from Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham but was actually penned by Donnie Fritts and Billie Lawson. The masterstroke here is getting Fritts to sit in on the session, underpinning his song with glorious electric piano. The addition of trumpet and trombone is also just perfect.

But Gebhardt can deliver the country stuff himself too. ‘Long Gone Train of Mine’ may have a slightly twisted delivery but it could be a standard, helped along by the return of Kate Tyler Hunt’s fiddle. Here’s one hipster who deserves to wear his beard with pride.


News: Satan and Adam documentary

Posted on: Sunday, Apr 19, 2015

This looks interesting.

"King King" am 14.04.2013 im Eckersmühlener Posthorn im Rahmen der 22. Rother Bluestage.Foto: Tobias Tschapka

Burnley Mechanics hosts a day of blues on Saturday, 2nd May.

The New Front Room venue will be hosting an ‘open mic’ of local talent.

The main gig commences at 7 pm and features Virgil & The Accelerators, Mike Zito & The Wheel and King King – the latter two appearing at their only festivals this year.

Tickets: £20

(King King picture by Tobias Tschapka)

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