Posted on: Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

Review: The Mannish Boys – Wrapped Up And Ready

Posted on: Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014


The Mannish Boys – Wrapped Up And Ready

(Delta Groove Music: DGPCD165)

The latest offering from label boss Randy Chortkoff’s Mannish Boys originally started  out with a very different plan from the star-studded previous releases . . . it was going to be a simpler, stripped-down affair . . . but as the CD notes say, “that plan went out the window on day one” . . . so over the generous 16 tracks a host of blues stars help out the core band, to fine effect as ever!

Produced by Chortkoff and Jeff Scott Fleenor “Wrapped Up And Ready” was recorded over just three days back in February this year in Torrance, California, with The Mannish Boys line-up being: Sugar Rayford (vocals), Randy Chortkoff (harmonica and vocals), Kirk Fletcher (guitars), Franck Goldwasser (guitars and vocals), Willie J. Campbell (bass) and Jimi Bott (drums) . . . one hell of a core band!

Hard to single out any particular track, but the guest contributions sparkle as ever, and the whole things sounds tremendous . . . the ‘norm’ for a Delta Groove release, and the music fairly blasts out of the speakers. A few standout guest appearances come from Candye Kane, with her guitarist Laura Chavez, on Ike Turner’s “I Idolise You”; and stunning guitar contributions from Steve Freund and Monster Mike Welch . . . who stars here with blistering playing on several tracks. Current UK visitor, guitarist Kirk Fletcher, is let off the leash on the closing “Blues For Michael Bloomfield” . . . which doesn’t overstay its welcome at 8:13.

Guest harmonica players feature as ever with the great Kim Wilson on three tracks; Bob Corritore appears on a Mike Welch tune “I Have Love”; with teenage player Jacob ‘Walters’ Huffman – a Chortkoff discovery – contributing to one track. It’s also superb to see the legendary Kid Ramos back after serious health issues – he lays down his obligatory powerful guitar on “Everything’s Alright” and “She Belongs To Me” . . . it’s brilliant to see him back!

A nice touch is the dedication to the late, great Nick Curran and a big dedication to the stricken original Mannish Boy, Finis Tasby . . . highly recommended for all lover of great blues, with a mix of orginal tunes from the musicians present and also some top handpicked covers versions.



Matthew Fox


Matthew Fox is a guitarist and songwriter whose Texan roots run deep. He has steeped himself in a variety of styles, from acoustic and bottleneck blues to swing, and his acclaimed originals are rooted in the great Texas story-song tradition. Matthew has appeared on stages throughout the US, UK and Scandinavia, and is a proud endorser of Big Hollow Guitars, Diamond Bottlenecks and Elixir Strings.

‘Matthew has such facility with the guitar, with such an easy-going stage presence, that you don’t really care what his left and right hand are doing (as a guitarist watching another), you are only being carried off to where he is taking you.’ Acoustic Guitar Magazine

Dan Phelps is an Illinois native who has been performing acoustic blues for over 25 years. He has played all over the US as well as the UK and Europe. His CD releases have met with critical acclaim in US and British blues magazines such as Blues Revue and Blues and Rhythm. In addition to packing small clubs and large theatres, Phelps has shared festival billing with the likes of Pat Donohue, Woody Mann and Alvin Youngblood Hart and many others.

‘Phelps’ following is justified… with a strong, percussive attack on steel guitar and powerful vocals.’ Blues and Rhythm Magazine


Dan Phelps

Review: Timo Goss – It’s All About Love

Posted on: Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014

Gross, Timo, It's All About Love (Cover)

Timo Gross – It’s All About Love

(Inakustik: INAK 9134 CD)

Timo Gross is a German singer and guitarist, born in Hanover in 1964 and who has established himself as an internationally acclaimed musician since his first album “Down To The Delta” in 2005.

This set moves away from the straight blues he sometimes plays towards a classic blues-rock and Americana styled album. Timo’s guitar playing, with its hints of vintage Clapton and just the slightest tinge of Hendrix, is forceful, strong and always appropriate, and his voice as gritty as it has ever been.

Those who grew up with the blues-inflected music of the early 70s will have no difficulty at all appreciating this set, nor will those who enjoy the more thoughtful side of the modern blues scene. Occasionally he recalls the vintage sound of The Rolling Stones – and he does actually cover 1971’s ‘Bitch’ here – with riffing, crunching guitar work, but he is a lot quieter on the slow burn blues of the title track.

‘Rusty Nail’ neatly combines blues and Americana, and is something of a vocal tour-de-force, as is ‘Weep’. ‘Flying Bird’ has just a hint of vintage Dire Straits (there is a lovely guitar break), and those looking for out-and-out blues are well served by the boogying and very aptly named ‘Lots Of Fun’. Watch out for this man, and look out for this album.


The Kash Taproom Saturday happy hour sessions continue this week with some up-tempo live blues. Live on stage from 4 pm to 7 pm.

North West based trio 3Kings will be featuring for their second visit.  Playing a danceable mixture of lo-fi bluesy material – they are sure to make happy hour pass with a bang.

The band feature three of the region’s highly regarded musicians – NOT TO BE MISSED.

Kash Taprooms is a US style bar with great drinks and fabulous food. Try the legendary burgers and the beer brewed on the premises. Drinks and food promotions are always available for happy hour. Five minutes on foot from the city centre, five minutes on foot from Chester Station, oodles of free parking the other side of Hoole Road behind Dominos Pizza.

Mud Morganfield & Kim Wilson – For Pops (A Tribute To Muddy Waters)

(Severn Records: SEVCD64)

Lovers of classic Chicago blues read on.

Mud Morganfield is the eldest son of blues legend Muddy Waters; blessed with the genetic pipes of his late father there can’t be a person in the world better suited to making this album of his dad’s greatest hits.

An absolutely crack band led by harmonica ace Kim Wilson provide the backing for these 14 tunes of classic Chicago blues – the production is absolutely top class – as is standard for Severn Records – the songs really bounce out of the speakers. Right on the cone. It’s a real pleasure to listen to proper locked in twin guitars and piano – especially in this age of high octane self indulgent guitar slingers.

This record is not covering any new ground, nor is it intended to. But if you want the best tribute band around then this is your choice.

Mud Morganfield: Vocals
Kim Wilson: Harmonica
Billy Flynn: Guitar
Rusty Zinn: Guitar
Barrelhouse Chuck: Piano
Steve Gomes: Bass
Robb Stupka: Drums



Just in from Mat Walklate:

We’re starting a weekly blues jam at The City pub, Oldham St, Manchester  M4 1LN, from Tuesday 18 November, 9 pm

The house band is Mat Walklate, Paolo Fuschi and Bo Lee. PA and amps provided. There isn’t room for a kit, but percussionists are welcome.

YouTube: John Alex Mason

Posted on: Sunday, Oct 26, 2014

RIP: Jack Bruce – 1943-2014

Posted on: Sunday, Oct 26, 2014

The legendary Jack Bruce has passed away at the age of 71 – a true great of British music:

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A nice gig coming up at The Citadel in St. Helens . . . the Stevie Nimmo Trio, supported by The Hexmen.

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Kim Wilson with obligatory great band . . . “Everything Is Gonna Be Alright”

News: Rod Mayall joins The Lol Goodman Band

Posted on: Friday, Oct 24, 2014

Great news from The Lol Goodman Band, we are pleased to announce that keyboard legend Rod Mayall, John Mayall’s brother, has officially joined us for live gigs.

Since Rod’s involvement on our second album, “Tautology”, we have been keen for Rod to agree to join the band permanently, which he now has.

Rod’s pedigree stretches back to the 1960s when he played Hammond with possibly Manchester’s most popular band  –  Decca recording artistes Ivan’s Mead.

Since then he has worked with just about everyone who is anyone in music, particularly blues, including his brother John, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Aynsley Dunbar, and Victor Brox, to name but a few.

Saxophonist, David Turnbull, will continue to join us on gigs & festivals from his Glasgow home when commitments allow.

We look forward to the future as a four/five piece band with excitement after the initial gigs we have already played.

Please check our website for all forthcoming gigs:


Review for WILLE AND THE BANDITS @ The New Continental, Preston – 19.10.14

A treat was in store for the audience this evening at the versatile venue of the New Continental in Preston. Opening the show were Spiral Scouts, a five piece who are a collective band, playing popular folk with songs penned by George Spittal. Following was Mark Black, a singer/songwriter from Donegal. He was playing a solo set tonight, with exceptional 12 string guitar and stomp, providing a mix of blues and country with Celtic overtones. He also uses a mic’d up didgeridoo which gave an amazing sound.

Now for what we had been waiting for. The amazing Wille and The Bandits … and they didn’t disappoint. Hailing from Cornwall, their music covers a wide range of genres from roots fusion and rock to blues and world music. Fronting the band, the versatile Will Edwards on powerful lead vocals, lap slide and guitar. He was supported by the incredibly talented bass player, Matt Brooks on upright bass and six string electric bass, with the power house and rhythmic genius of percussionist Andrew Naumann on drums, tom tom and glockenspiel. They have three exceptional albums under their belt and tonight was part of the tour to promote their fourth album ‘Live From Gouvy’ which has only been on sale at the gigs so far.

Some great showmanship in the openers and hitting the spot with ‘Mammon’, from the ‘Breakfree’ album, a beautifully put together slow melodic track. Plenty ‘rock’ and raw acoustic slide guitar work to follow and excellent electric lap slide from Will, as well as outstanding vocals. Bringing in a bit of their own individual blues style on Robert Johnson’s classic number ‘Crossroads’ was a great take. Some class bass playing on upright and six string bass was evident throughout the evening from Matt.

‘Running With The Stars’ from the ‘Breakfree’ album, had a leaning towards country, with lap slide and an input of reggae. Consistently varied drum patterns and percussion input on so many of the numbers puts Andrew in a class of his own.

The guys played the track ‘Trouble Down The Line’. This was put together last year in aid the victims of the Cornish and SW flooding and can still be purchased as a download. Moving on to one of the most popular tracks from the highly successful ‘Grow’ album, gave us a superb rendition of ‘Gypsy Woman’. Finishing the evening with ‘Angel’, probably my favourite and another exceptional track from the Grow album, a haunting song with a fantastic bass solo. Mark Black also joined them on this number with his didgeridoo, so ending the set.

The enthusiastic audience demanded more … and rightly so. The encore was a great ‘Wille style’ take on the Dire Straits number ‘Money For Nothing’ and what an excellent number to end this memorable evening. They are a brilliant band to see live and hold the attention of the audience well. As a three piece their sound is huge and varied and it’s great to break away from the standard band format with their fantastic musicianship that crosses so many boundaries of musical genre. Wille and The Bandits are a band I would rate highly.

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer


The band travelled from Preston, Southport and Stockport to entertain the packed crowd in Chorley and they really rocked the blues.

Front man and lead vocals Richie Richardson was just superb. Richie’s vocal range for the plethora of covers the band played was amazing, he just has that tone, and very much a Joe Cocker sound alike on ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ and Aerosmith’s ‘Walk This Way’ and Lead Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ he is a vocalist that gets very close to portraying the original versions.

The magnificent lead guitar work from Tom Walkerdine again was brilliant, and with very little technical assistance from his foot pedals, his riffs and solos were top drawer, enough said.

The rhythm section, this pairing of these two high calibre musicians was fabulous, with Ben Titus on a stunning bass and Stu Robinson on drums, they were tight, and steered the band on, and I suspect that their heart beats were in time, amazing.

The bands second set was as good as the first, they started with Aerosmith’s ‘Sweet Emotion’ then ‘Black Dog’ by Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top’s ‘LaGrange’ and ‘Just Got Paid’ they covered AC /DCs ‘Back In Black’ and a stunning Who medley, ‘My Generation’ ’See Me Feel Me’ ’Pinball Wizard’ and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ and an encore of ‘Alright Now’ by Free.

This was an amazing gig by this hard working band that enjoyed their time here, we certainly did.


National & International Music Reviewer

Review: Blues Boy Kings – self-titled

Posted on: Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

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Review for BLUES BOY KINGS – CD – ‘Blues Boy Kings’ – re-release 2014 Self release

From Lincolnshire, the Blues Boy Kings are a blues band of high calibre and are active on the festival circuit. Their debut album, ‘Blues Boy Kings’ was initially released to a small audience in 2011 and it was decided, as the bands popularity has grown, to re release to a wider audience.

Although the line up is slightly different from today, it is a well put together and professional album, recorded at Tabby Road Studios, Swinderby, Lincs.

The line up on the album is Jase North on vocals, guitar and harmonica, Sam North on bass and vocals, Rich Taylor on rhythm guitar, Phil Aldridge on organ and Mark Barrett on drums and percussion. All the tracks on the album are self penned.

A great opener and beautifully put together track, ‘Trouble Come To My Back Door’ . A slow sultry blues with superb Hammond input and penetrating bass. Following was ‘So Alone’, leaning more towards southern rock, it had some great harmonies.

Loved the slide guitar on the 12 bar blues classic ‘Love That Woman’, with some great blues harp input. ‘East Shore’ has shades of Pink Floyd and is a pleasant melodic listen with acoustic guitar strumming in the background and heavyweight fuzzed guitar in the forefront, with superb vocals from Jase and Sam and a great guitar solo. A change again with a funky number, ‘Thing About Love’. There is some class guitar work and interesting backing vocals.

Rockin’ it up with a pounding Feelgood beat on ’21 Days’ , then back to some funky rhythms with Sam taking the lead vocals on ‘Make It Right’. For the next track, ‘Can’t Get Any Worse’, think Z Z Top, what a great number. ‘You Said You Love Me’ has Santana rhythms but what an epic track and amazing guitar. The final number on this exceptional album, ‘No Trains Coming’, gives us some funky blues and as with all the tracks on the CD, it is well performed and well put together.

The album has been beautifully produced and mastered and I wish Blues Boy Kings success ‘second time around’

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer


Martin Harley (supported by Sam Lewis)

at Fogherty’s Function Room

Friday, 14th November, 2014 (doors: 7.30 pm, show: 8.30 pm)

A lifelong devotee of acoustic guitar music, especially the ageless blues/roots sounds, Martin Harley has travelled the globe absorbing a plethora of diverse influences and honing his craft into the classic songwriting style he possesses today.

Renowned for his prowess as a slide guitarist, Martin is almost unique in the UK in his playing lap slide. In other areas and styles, however, he has proved himself a master guitarist and a consistently astounding songwriter. Not only very popular in the UK, he has also earned a huge following in the US.

As in November last year, Martin will be supported by East Nashville rising star Sam Lewis, who plays a modern style of blues infused with the influences of Ray Charles and Van Morrison, in what is guaranteed to be another evening of genuine quality. and

Fogherty’s Function Room is situated at 1 Blenheim Road (just off Smithdown Road) Liverpool L18 1EH. Tickets for the concert (£11 each in advance and £12 on the door) are obtainable from John Welsh on 0151 428 2855 or from A fund of information on the region’s excellent blues scene can also be found at

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