Review: Half Deaf Clatch – The Blues Continuum

Posted on: Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014

half deaf clatch CD.jpg

Review for ‘HALF DEAF CLATCH’ – CD – ‘THE BLUES CONTINUUM’ – 2014 Self release

‘Half Deaf Clatch’ from Hull, is a singer songwriter and down to earth blues man. He was aided in the writing and the performing by Red Burley on this exceptional self penned, self produced album ‘The Blues Continuum’. He was recently runner up in the Emerging Artist category of the British Blues Awards 2014 and deservedly so.

It was good to hear a raw take that has not been over mastered, with plenty of slide and stomp, it’s Delta blues as it should be played!

The first track on this down to earth blues album, ‘Storm Brewin’ is probably my favourite . It gives us great slide on the resonator guitar and is a really well put together number with earthy vocals to complete the ‘feel’.

Plenty of stomp on ‘Hill Country Rain’ and ‘Get Your Stomp On’ , with ‘Movin On’ showing Clatch’s expertise in finger picking on the resonator guitar for this melodic number.

‘R J Blues’ is a classic 12 bar blues with some great stomp and finger picking, moving on to a rolling blues number ‘Deathly Blues’. ‘Bury My Bones’ has some super slide on the resonator, terrific gravel vocals and great use of the stomp box.

Another superb finger picking blues, with some over dubbed slide on ‘If The Cap Fits’. Some more finger picking on the up tempo ‘Good Things’, this time on a standard guitar and with shared vocals with Red that worked well. Slowing it down with a southern country blues ‘Go It Alone’, showcasing the super slide on the resonator guitar. The final track on the album, and a bonus track is ‘Movin On’ again, this time with the use of a banjolele giving the number a real country feel. Great shared vocals with Red yet again.

All in all a good honest album that has a rawness of how the blues began. Clatch’s guitar playing, whether on resonator slide or finger picking shows how the influences of the old Delta bluesmen have impacted on his writing. His voice complements the style of music with its down to earth gravel sound and Red’s dulcet tones compliment his voice well. It was good to hear some authentic blues in this modern day electric market for a change.

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

News and video: Willowdean

Posted on: Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014

This is great.

Here’s a new Folk/Americana band called Willodean. The band is comprised of Eric Holden and Randy Wooten, aka as the cofounders of Cheap Lullaby Records/The Bloody Lovelies and lead singer Dan Barrett, from the Austin roots band Porter Davis. Full Bio below.

They have just released their self titled debut album, here’s their lead single/video, “Julie Drinks with Demons”. The video was shot exclusively on the iPhone 5s.

Willodean – “Julie Drinks with Demons”:


Willodean isn’t a mainstream moniker. It’s an anachronistic name, one for a band that chronicles longing, loneliness, and lost loves.

Willodean’s self-titled debut album exposes someone as afraid of finding love as losing it. Dan Barrett’s gravelly baritone has a toughness suited to — maybe rooted in — the vulnerability of the lyrics. Producer Eric Holden’s upright bass resonates with sturdy, near-ancient melodies. Guitarist/pianist Randy Wooten’s lyrics evoke a dreamy world of misgiving and missed chances.

Yet the band discovers a playfulness in the songs, a confounding curveball that makes the album fun.

Buy Willodean on iTunes now:
For more on Willodean:

Gigs: Blues in Saddleworth

Posted on: Monday, Sep 15, 2014

Paul & the Boys

News from Neil Williams of a couple of upcoming gigs in Saddleworth:

Friday, 3rd October: Civic Hall, Uppermill – Paul Lamb & The King Snakes / Kyla Brox Trio

Friday, 24th October: Friezland Church Hall, Greenfield – The Legendary Shack Shakers

Further details:

RRB UK Tour Photo.jpg

A bit ‘off topic’, but we here at BITNW love The Black Crowes, and what a thrill to have the Rich Robinson Band playing in Chester, so here’s the info on The Live Rooms gig:

The team at The Live Rooms is very happy to announce that the Rich Robinson Band will be playing in Chester on November 20th as part of their world tour to support their new album, The Ceaseless Sight.

Rich Robinson is one of the founder members of the Black Crowes along with his older brother Chris.  His expressive, inventive guitar playing became a feature of The Black Crowes and helped bring a new, younger audience to bluesy, roots rock.

The Ceaseless Sight is Rich Robinson’s third solo album, following on from Paper (2004) and Through a Crooked Sun (2011).  “I’ve always approached writing songs for an album as part of a larger work,” says Robinson.  The Ceaseless Sight as a whole is one piece, and how it fits into my whole body of work is the other. My new record follows the path of my musical journey I’ve been on for 25 years. I feel a strong connection to where I’ve been musically, but more importantly, where I’m going.”

Robinson was born in 1969 and formed the The Black Crowes with his older brother Chris in Atlanta in the 1980’s. At the age of 17, Robinson began writing the music for the songs that would land on the band’s 1990 debut album, Shake Your Money Maker, which sold 7 million copies. Over the next 10 years, Rich’s songwriting evolved into the musical engine that powered the band to sales of more than 25 million albums.

Before taking a hiatus in 2001, the Crowes catalog included classics like The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, Amorica, By Your Side, and Live at the Greek: Excess All Areas, a double album that captured the teaming of Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes for performances of Led Zeppelin, Crowes and blues and rock standards.

Rich Robinson brings his band, his songs and his legacy to The Live Rooms in Chester……for fans of honest, well crafted music, this show is a must.

Support from Federal Charm

100 Bass Riffs is a brief history of groove performed on bass guitar and drums. Marc Najjar of CME and Nate Bauman of put together this incredible followup to Chicago Music Exchange’s viral video sensation “100 Riffs”, with a compilation of killer bass riffs performed in one continuous take. To view the gear used in this video go to

Read more on Open Culture

Back in June, our very own Josh Jones took us on an audio tour of five great rock bassists, breaking down the styles of Paul McCartney, Sting, John Deacon, John Paul Jones & Geddy Lee. If you got into the groove of that post, you’ll almost certainly enjoy watching bassist Marc Najjar, accompanied by Nate Bauman on drums, taking you through 100 great bass riffs. The rhythm duo covers 60 years of music history, in 17 minutes, just above.


The Jordan Patterson Band – The Back On Track Recording Project (EP)

(Flaming Cheese Records: fc2014-0701)

After some 15 years out of the business pursuing a highly successful career in artist tour management, it is good to have harmonica player and vocalist Jordan Patterson back to his first love . . . playing the blues! This four track ‘taster’ showcases new self-penned songs, ahead of a full length new album.

Jordan Patterson recorded for JSP records and his 1996 debut featured blues legends in the late Bobby Parker and also Bobby Rush. He toured extensively at home, and also played many festivals in Europe, and has shared stages with the likes of Robert Cray, Son Seals, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and more.

He now has a new Canadian band, featuring, on this release: Darryl Romphf (guitar), Darius McKinley (bass), Benjamin Rollo (drums), and guest guitarist, Shawn Kellerman – usually to be found plying his trade with Lucky Peterson.

The four new songs feature Patterson’s strong voice and harmonica and kick off with the funky “Play My Song” that features a nagging guitar motif and is a very strong opener; the following “Don’t Take Me Down” is a more traditional blues shuffle that fairly rattles along with more fine performances from all the musicians.

The slow blues of “If You’d Help Me Please” is reminiscent of classic Chicago blues, but with a more contemporary edge to it, with some tasteful slide guitar and harmonica; the closing “Heartbreaker” is a strutting bluesy rocker, but again with a funky edge to it, and more really nice guitar work.

A really fine return to the blues for Jordan Patterson, which should ensure the forthcoming album is well worthy of a listen.


Review: Garry Cogdell – Bandito Of The Heart/Peace

Posted on: Saturday, Sep 13, 2014

Garry Cogdell | What's a 45: 001

Garry Cogdell – Bandito Of The Heart/Peace

(What’s A 45? 001)

Based in Wilmington, Delaware, initially inspired by Sleepy John Estes, partially tutored by “Philadelphia” Jerry Ricks and with some strong George Thorogood connections (he gave a young George guitar lessons and he still frequently plays with Thorogood’s sidemen), singer and guitarist Garry Cogdell has issued this “cyber 45” as he calls it.

Although neither track is a straight blues – unlike most of the remainder of Garry’s sporadic output – both are still worthy of your attention. ‘Bandito’ is a driving, ever-so slightly psychedelic instrumental, with some fine stinging blues guitar. To my ears it owes something to The Yardbirds’ “freakbeat” sound from around 1966.

What would at one time have been the flip-side, ‘Peace’, is slower with a more wide open sound and with one word lyric lines; it sounds perhaps a little like a cousin of ‘Albatross’, once or twice removed. Garry’s music is always worth a listen (see YouTube) and once again, these two tracks are well worth checking out…


(available from

News: John Emil – upcoming gigs

Posted on: Saturday, Sep 13, 2014

09-2013 Nr. 10 John Emil © BEATE GRAMS_.jpg

American roots and blues guitarist John Emil has the following upcoming gigs:

27th September: The Wharf,  107 Brook St , Macclesfield,  SK11 7AW, 8:30 pm

28th September:  The Buxton Taphouse, George St, Buxton,  SK17 6AT , 8:30 pm

29th September:  Hopstar Brewery, Unit 9 Rinus Business Park, Darwen,  BB3 2QX, 9 pm

All shows are free admission

Review: The Jake Leg Jug Band – Next Stop!

Posted on: Friday, Sep 12, 2014

The Jake Leg Jug Band.jpg

The Jake Leg Jug Band -Next Stop!

(Lake: LACD330)

Recorded around one microphone in the studio, this CD may lack a jug but there is precious little else missing – there’s even a musical saw to complete that 20s and 30s ambiance! Next Stop! is the wonderfully good-natured second album from this five piece band from Staffordshire.

They do play the blues – there is a large influence from the likes of The Memphis Jug Band and The Hokum Boys, and Bo carter’s ‘My Pencil Won’t Write No More’ is given an exquisite treatment by the band’s guitarist and mandolin player Neil Hulse – with lovely detours into vintage jazz (try the version of Fats Waller’s ‘Your Feet’s Too Big’, sung by Purcy Harmonica), old-timey music, the latter best represented here with the lovely ‘Alabama Blues’, originally by bluesman Robert Wilkins, and ragtime with a couple of fine banjo workouts in the style of Reverend Gary Davis by Andy Anderson.

Esther Brennan conjures up the spirit and sound of Bessie Smith on ‘Sugar In My Bowl’ and of Sophie Tucker, “The Last Of The Red Hot Mamas”, with the latter’s theme song, ‘Some Of These Days’. For those a little worried though by all the hokum, high spirits and general hilarity, they should take a listen to the convincing ‘Jesus Is A Dying Bed Maker’, based on Charley Patton’s version and with superb counterpoint vocals by Esther – and the musical saw has never sounded so spooky!

These guys are well worth looking out for… and this CD is well worth hunting out.


Here’s a nice piece on Liverpool Acoustic highlighting the last three gigs of the year at Johnny’s Blues Club, courtesy of Graham Holland.

RIP Cosimo Matassa

Posted on: Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Cosimo Matassa, the legendary recording engineer and studio owner who helped introduce and shape New Orleans’ early rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll sound and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and recognized with a Grammy for his efforts, died Thursday. He was 88.

Brothers Stevie and Alan Nimmo come together to prove once again that sibling rivalry brings out the best in both of them!

Picture the scene, a stage full of Orange valve amps, two guitar wielding brothers teasing out some of the most magisterial notes with ultimate Glaswegian intensity from their Les Paul’s and Fender Stratocasters, and playing some of the most explosive material of their career from their ‘Brother To Brother’ CD on Armadillo Records.

Tickets: £12

Review: Suit Ty Thurrsty – People In The Street

Posted on: Thursday, Sep 11, 2014


Suit Ty Thurrsty – People in The Street


Although, Suit Ty Thurrsty might sound to some like a weekday wardrobe attire reminder but, they are in fact a refreshingly witty and thought provoking, outside looking in power trio who consist of  Tom ‘Suit’ Forst; vocals, guitar and synthesiser, Tyree ‘Ty’ Pope; vocals, bass and Pedro ‘Big Thurrsty’ Johnson; vocals, drums. They are based in New York City / Connecticut and between them they have in the past played with a wide range of artists who include; Dionne Warwick, Melba Moore, Marshall Tucker, ‘Busta’ Rhymes, C.L. Smooth and the Atlanta Rhythm Section to name but a few.

Together they sound like everyone and nobody all at the same time; a powerful and intoxicating mixture or if you like, a combination of; soul, funk, rock and hip hop with a blues thread weaving and entwining throughout the eleven original numbers. “I Got The Blues”, is a loping, grooving, blues stroller but, the lyrics turn it all upside down by listing all the material benefits of a successful middle class blues player. This upside down theme is lyrically explored on most the subject matter on the album.

Strutting horns back a mean Chicago lead on “I’m Never Gonna’ Leave You”, while the band quietly explain the wish list of deranged stalker.  The comforting deep bass of “Diamonds”, beautifully glides alongside gentle harmonies and asks, why would you part with your love easier than you would diamonds to a thief? The funky street strutting “People In The Street”, and the barking “I’m Already Against The Next War”, are definitely anti politics and anti politicians that question their ethics, methods and morality.

This is a very engaging and entertaining musical journey into what the blues may be like in the future; witty, lyrically provoking and musically breaking down barriers, infusing the known with the jarringly unknown and yet magically inspiring and highly enjoyable.




This five piece band based in the Manchester area have had a few changes to their personnel over the years, but now it seems they have settled down to incorporate the wonderful soul blues voice of Jocelyn Knight, who has an impressive CV, working in the past with M People no less.

With other top bands seeking her vocal services and for work in the recording studios this lady of the blues is busy making music. Chris Roach on lead guitar is well known on the Manchester band scene, a musician who works his guitar with that picking blues/jazz feel at times.

The rhythm section is as good as it gets with Rick Lacey on the drums and Mike Collinge on bass guitar. Rick is a top musician, again a drummer who has many styles to suit the band type you can see him play in a few North West bands when the need arises. Mike Collinge a well-respected bassist and a perfect match for Rick that is hard to beat. Mike has a solid sound and an easy going style that lends itself to the blues genre.

The one element that was missing from this impressive line- up was keys man Paul Ashton who was on holiday. The band played original works off their CD “Code for the Road”. Doctor Truth heels the soul, and a tonic for them blues.


National & international music reviewer


Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra

Posted on: Wednesday, Sep 10, 2014

The UK’s finest purveyors of Western swing, country blues and ragtime

With their debut Money Isn’t Everything (2012) having received numerous plaudits, summer 2014 sees the eagerly anticipated release of Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra’s second album Talk About The Weather.

Following three successful tours of the UK and Ireland, Talk About The Weather sees the band making a natural progression from their debut. Rob Heron’s songwriting is even more engaging, quirkily satirical, the band’s ever impressive musicianship yet more refined. And the variety of musical styles covered broader still, featuring as it does a healthy dose of upbeat ragtime numbers, a couple of straight up country songs, a crooner, and a mambo!

The subject matter explored in the band’s songs is a key part of their identity, and the new album of mostly original songs covers such disparate topics as the Great British weather (hence the title), coffee, the proposed HS2 rail network, arcade gambling, rogue landlords and kitchen utensils!

One of the hardest working bands on the UK roots circuit, with thousands of touring miles under their collective belts since forming in  2010, Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra have deservedly earned themselves a sizeable fan base in the UK, Ireland and beyond.

Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, they play their own brand of Western swing, blues, Gypsy jazz and country, or “North Eastern Swing” as they’ve memorably coined it.

Drawing on an eclectic range of styles and influenced by early 20th century American music, with the addition of “razor-sharp” solos, irresistible arrangements and an expanding repertoire of original material; their music harks back to a golden age whilst staying perfectly modern.   The band’s songs, full of character, satire, and good old fashioned hollerin’, are primarily penned by enigmatic front man Rob Heron.

In addition to Rob Heron (vocals, guitar), the white-hot six-piece comprise Ben Fitzgerald (guitar, vocals), Tom Cronin (mandolin, harmonica, vocals), Colin Nicholson (accordion, vocals), Rob Blazey (double bass, vocals) and Paul Archibald (drums, kitchens utensils, piano), with the majority of the band meeting while studying Folk & Traditional Music at Newcastle University.

The 2012 release of their debut album, Money Isn’t Everything was followed by a string of dates supporting Pokey LaFarge, where the band played to large audiences in venues such as Brighton’s Concorde, London’s Koko and Manchester O2 Academy.

The release of their newest record, Talk About The Weather in July 2014 will be supported by a summer full of festival appearances and selected club dates, followed by an extensive tour of the UK, Ireland, and mainland Europe in the autumn.


Review: Dexter Allen – Bluez Of My Soul

Posted on: Wednesday, Sep 10, 2014


Dexter Allen – Bluez of My Soul

(Deep Rush Records)

Dexter Allen can rightly claim to say that he owes his unique outlook on life and music to two different people; his father and Bobby Rush. As a member of the church, his father was the pastor of the local church in their home town of Crystal Springs, Mississippi and he had a gospel quartet called the Christian Travellers, of which Dexter joined at the age of twelve as the bass player.  As was the tradition at the time the quartet played in a good number of other churches across the south and it was whilst performing at The Saint Luther Church in Jackson, Mississippi, that Dexter first met Booby Rush, who was a member of the congregation.

Aged 18 Dexter decided to spread his musical wings by joining other gospel groups those being the Dixon Singers and the Robinson Brothers. Due to the fact that the Robinson Brothers; Joey; guitar, drums and keyboards, Fred; bass and Jeremy; drums and Dexter were at a younger age than the Christian Travellers they decided to develop funkier elements in their style of play and as a consequence they played all across America for a number of years.

After meeting up with Bobby Rush again Bobby invited Dexter to join his band which he accepted and spent three eventful years being mentored by Bobby as they toured across the world. He subsequently formed his own band and paid his dues by playing in the clubs and concert halls of America. After the release of two previous albums, Dexter is now reunited not only with Bobby on this album which is on Bobby’s own Deep Rush label but also, with the Robinson Brothers who add their musical talents to the proceedings.

All eleven numbers here are Dexter originals and contain that unique open and stirring atmosphere created by the heady mixture of humbling angelic Gospel harmonies and raw, sawing tumbling Blues, this is very much the case with “Coming Home to Mississippi”, where Bobby Rush lays down a marker with his rasping down home harmonica play that interjects over a spiralling crying guitar,  on “Ride This Train”, the hacksaw tearing harmonica once again from Bobby duels with snapping, sapping drumwork while over the top Dexter pleads for passengers to board this special train. Guns, drugs and family breakdowns are the 21st century painful causes of “Still Called The Bluez”, a heartrending lyrical guitar drives this slowburning plea for compassion and belief.

Elsewhere there is an entwining thread of smooth slinky Jazz and late night, funky pleading guitar that is at times both elusive and cavorting “Come Out And Play”, eloquently displays the seductiveness of the former while the grooving and funky “Have A time” and “Bluez Party”, effortlessly ooze out the latter.



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