The line-up for February at BJ’s ‘Rock in the Blues’ Club, The Minstrel, Eaves Green Road, Chorley.

Thursday, 5th February – THE ALAN KENSLEY BAND – 60’s rock-pop classics & blues

Thursday, 12th February – SLY FOX – Quality vintage blues rock band

Thursday, 19th February – THE AFTER HOURS BLUES BAND – Super blues rock trio

Thursday, 26th February – THE BOOZIE WOOZIE BAND – Fun time rock ‘n roll & blues


Blind Pig Records has released Fat Man’s Shine Parlor, the latest studio album from Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois King, one of the most talented guitar tandems in any genre. Joe and Bnois have been thrilling music fans all around the world with their red-hot Texas rockin’ blues for twenty-five years, and have developed into a dynamic musical tour de force, with Joe’s flame throwing guitar work complemented by Bnois’ cool, jazz-inflected playing and soulful vocals.

Their incendiary live shows feature two top flight guitarists intuitively locked in with each other and backed by a firepower rhythm section, making for a powerful and irresistible combination. Regarding the CD title – as a young musician, Smokin’ Joe Kubek would venture in the wee hours after a gig to a declining, somewhat unsavory Dallas neighborhood in search of fried chicken.

A commercial district for African-Americans, the area had been a hotbed for jazz and blues musicians from the 1920’s through the 50’s where you could also find gun and locksmith shops, tattoo studios, pawnshops, and pool halls.Joe was fascinated by one remaining establishment across the street called “Fat Man’s Shine Parlor.”

Ostensibly a place to get your shoes shined, to those in the know, it was also a place for other activities such as gambling, drinking, and womanizing. Joe sees this CD in a similar light – crack open the door, and inside you’ll find lots more than advertised.  Only in this case, the pleasures will be musical.


Review for ‘THE MARAUDERS’ @ BJ’s ‘Rock in the Blues’ Club, The Minstrel, Chorley – 29/01/15

Another great night at BJ’s ‘Rock in the Blues’ Club at The Minstrel in Chorley. The Lancashire based rhythm and blues band the Marauders, were back to rock the joint. That they did, with their takes of classic harp driven rhythm and blues, swing and rock ‘n roll. Fronting the band on vocals and master of the harmonica, Chris ‘Wizz’ Gee, with Pete Konnanov on excellent guitar. The powerhouse rhythm section of Andy Schemet on bass and Jon Lowe on drums completed the line up of this long serving band.

Kicking off the evening in great style with Bo Diddley’s ‘I Can Tell’ then onto a bit of the Wolf man’s ‘Pretty Baby’, set the scene for the evening. Giving us a few self penned works including a rockabilly number ‘Chevrolet’ shows the versatility of the band.

Adding a touch of Creedence Clear Water ‘Born On The Bayou’ and a dash of Jimmy Reeds ‘Shame, Shame, Shame’ we moved on to some classic blues and some harp driven rockin’ rhythm and blues. They finished off the first set with superb slide guitar on Feelgood’s ‘Back In The Night’ and more.

The second set was as equally ‘full on’ with some up tempo rockin’ numbers. A great take of Bonnie Raitt’s ‘I Believe I’m In Love With You’ and a couple of Stevie Ray Vaughan tracks. Adding to the repertoire, a bit of country blues with ZZ Tops ‘Sharp Dressed Man’ and some class, harp driven swing. ‘Cadillac’ gave us super slide on this rockabilly track and led into some classic Dr Feelgood.

The final number of the set was ‘My Babe’, with a well earned encore of ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ (could this be Chorley?) and the classic Stevie Ray Vaughan number ‘The House Is A Rockin”. Plenty of dancing was going on and a great time was had by all, including the band!

The Marauders are a classic rhythm and blues band at its best and wowed the audience at the Great British R&B Festival in Colne last year, where they appeared on the British Stage.

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

Mat Walklate and Paolo Fuschi live last week at Bury Met.


In the highly nomadic life of singer-songwriters, few have been able to keep pace with Matt Woosey and his ever evolving style.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Matt has toured his last 8 albums throughout Europe, Australia, South Africa and Scandinavia.  He has had great successes as a solo troubadour, as a duo and with any number of highly regarded session players making up his backing band.  When Matt performs, it’s not hard to tell that this is a man who has lived the life and has worked hard for his status as one of the most gifted songwriters and vocalists of his generation!

His most recent album “Wildest Dreams”, combines a vast array of musical influences which give life to an unaffected set of songs that have been reviewed in glowing terms by leading music industry critics, comparing it to artists as varied as Tim Buckley, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, John Martyn and Jim Morrison.  If you need convincing, you can see and have a listen to Matt play “Wildest Dreams” the title track from his new album at or the beautifully melodic “Exactly as we Please” at

When you have heard his poetic lyrics, his expressive and powerful voice and his unique blend of sound…………it will become clear why this artist is getting rave reviews wherever he plays!

Don’t miss out on seeing Matt at the Civic Arts Centre on Saturday, 14th March

The venue is located at 155 Union Road, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire BB5 3HZ

Advance tickets are £8 and to book, please call 01254 398 319 or go online at

To see, hear and find out more about Matt and where he is playing next, please visit

Don’t be late, doors open at 7.30 p.m.

(Picture by Stuart Stott)

Review: Magnus Berg – Cut Me Loose

Posted on: Thursday, Jan 29, 2015


Magnus Berg – Cut Me Loose

(Screen Door Records)

Magnus first got his hands on a guitar at the age of seven when his grandfather made one for him, this was in 2003 and by the age of 12 he was performing on stage. A few short years later at the age of 17 he had appeared on the stage of Buddy Guy’s blues club Legends in Chicago. One of his main early guitar playing influences was Angus Young the lead guitarist of AC/DC, this particular interest of guitar playing styles in turn led him into the logical tracing of the origins of that indefinable gut feeling style of guitar work.

As he pursued his own career in the blues clubs of his native home country, Norway; visiting American musicians made a mental note to keep more than one eye upon this young man’s progression in the blues world but, it was while accompanying his parents on one of their various trips to America that he had one particularly fortuitous opportunity to tread the boards and it was during a trip to Florida in 2012 that he was found to be jamming with Mike Zito in a Florida blues club, that also had Kirsten Thien in attendance.

She was so fascinated and taken by this young man that after their initial meeting not only was a friendship struck but, also a burgeoning writing and playing partnership evolved, which saw Magnus installed as part of her live band. So, to date Magnus has managed to balance his academic studies with playing in both Kirsten’s band and recording with his own band. On the recommendation of Kirsten, Magnus signed to her label and with Erik Boyd in the producer’s chair his debut album was recorded.

Joining Magnus; guitars and vocals, we have in no particular order, Bjorn “Daffy” Larsen; harmonica, Harvard Sunde; drums and Roy Oscar Pettersen; bass, together they have produced a fine collection of ten numbers, five of which are Berg originals. It is highly evident in Magnus’s guitarwork that the early seventies stridently aggressive and heavy rock approach is firmly entrenched in his playing D.N.A. Contrary to what you may think, this embedded feel is most certainly an advantage; for it solidifies the sound splendidly, especially so, on the sparkling Kirsten and Magnus composed early Sun Label influenced “One Way To Please You,” his rocking, urging rockabilly playing is almost frantic as he eagerly duels to the finish with the breathless, wailing and steamrollering harmonica and that is only the second number in.

Once again the harmonica and guitar are at each other’s musical throats on the tramping and swaying Chicago drenched “Drifting,” the guitar solos burn, wail and plead at breakneck speed. We have a change of pace with “When You Leave Me.” a slowburning slide moans and mourns as a dour harmonica wheezes in commiseration over the top of traipsing percussion.

Jim Jackson’s “Kansas City Blues,” continues the gentler pace with a breezy harmonica sliding in and out as burnished, burred guitar interplays with a gently rolling, glass tinkling piano. On the Magnus, Erik Boyd and Kirsten collaboration “When It’s Gone,” a molasses thick, summery and breezy slide guitar emotionally drives along underneath, Kirsten’s gentle, tender and intimate flowing vocals.

Very fine indeed!


Absa Vuka Showcase Cape town, Wembley Square20-22 November 2014awaken afro optimism ©Allan James Photo

South African singer-songwriter and guitarist Dan Patlansky is set to release his new album “Dear Silence Thieves” in the UK on Monday, April 27th. The album will coincide with a special London album launch showcase concert at London’s Borderline venue on the same day.  Tickets for The Borderline show are available from and the 24 hour box office – 0844 478 0898.

“Dear Silence Thieves” was recently Voted #1 Blues Rock Album 2014 by “Blues Rock Review’s Top 20 Blues Albums of 2014 poll. Other artists featured in the poll include The Black Keys, Rival Sons, Joe Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Walter Trout, Philip Sayce, and many more big names from the blues rock music scene.

In February 2014, Patlansky supported Bruce Springsteen in front of 64.000 people at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on his High Hopes tour. Personally approved by Springsteen as support act, this was the biggest audience Patlansky had ever played to.

Never far from likeminded genius, guitarist, singer/songwriter and globally respected purveyor of the blues, Patlansky, is hailed as one of the world’s finest blues-based storytellers of his generation.

Ever since his debut album, Standing At The Station, followed by his 2004 major label (Blue Note, EMI produced) masterstroke True Blues, Dan Patlansky has immersed himself in blues rock music.

(Picture credit: Allan James)

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Peter Price & Friends at Lymm Golf Club, Whitbarrow Road, Lymm, WA13 9AN

Saturday, 7th March, at 8 pm – doors 7.30 pm

Tickets: £11

YouTube: Fogpocket – Playing In The Dirt

Posted on: Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015

Fogpocket playing live at BJ’s Rock in the Blues Club, Chorley, on 8th January, 2015.


Nathan James: Hear Me Calling & Natural Born That Way

(Sacred Cat Recordings)

When the great blues and roots guitarist Nathan James was trying to plan his next album, he couldn’t decide whether to go with a full band electric release or a solo acoustic recording – so it’s a delight that he went for the added bonus of doing both! This turns out to be a treat for the listener, and also the unique situation of featuring four of his original songs on both formats.

Currently first-choice guitarist for the great James Harman, the West Coast-based James brings a mix of down home rhythm & blues, swamp pop and more to the electric “Natural Born That Way”, which features, apart from himself on guitar and vocals, Marty Dodson (drums, percussion and background vocals), Troy Sandow (bass, harmonica and background vocals), Carl Sonny Leyland (piano) and Big Jon Atkinson (guitar) . . . it is maybe the presence of Leyland that make some of the music on offer remind me of our own Big Joe Louis & His Blues Kings, with whom he also added piano.

“Hear Me Calling” features Nathan James completely solo, on vocals, guitars, rack harmonica and Skyway suitcase foot percussion! He says in his liner notes he was inspired for this by the great field recordings by Alan Lomax, Chris Strachwitz and Dr. Harry Oster; and his recordings were done in the dining room of Sacred Cat Studios direct to analog reel to reel tape.

The two releases are a joy from start to finish and the highlights are plentiful. “Natural Born This Way” kicks off with the Freddy Fender tune, the rollicking “I’m Gonna Leave”, which highlights Carl Sonny Leyland’s great piano; the low down groove of the title cut, with its scratchy guitar and lovely ‘retro’ solo; James own “Look Before You Leap” is a classic slice of New Orleans, with more rolling piano and fine work from Marty Dodson and Troy Sandow. The whole band kick up a storm on a great cover of the late Long John Hunter’s “Ride With Me Baby”.

It’s back to New Orleans for a gorgeous take on Earl King’s “It Must Have Been Love” – a standout on the electric album; Troy Sandow gets a chance to show off his excellent harmonica on the instrumental “Cow Pies”, that he co-wrote with James- it has the drive of an early Fabulous Thunderbirds tune, and is complete with some ‘snaky’ baritone slide guitar.

In contrast, as mentioned, the acoustic “Hear Me Calling” is very much a solo offering as Nathan James has a ball on a set of mainly originals and a couple of covers from Curly Weaver and Lonnie Johnson and one traditional tune – the closing “I Know I’ve Got Religion”. It’s very representative of the whole set as James sings his heart out and shows that as well as his electric playing, he is indeed a very fine acoustic picker and slide player. Other treats are the stomping, Elmore James flavoured original “She Don’t Make A Scene”, with the slide guitar and foot percussion to the fore; and, as he says, ” a very distorted” cracker in the shape of “Look Out Your Window”.

Definitely one of the best blues and roots musicians around today . . . and this is a ‘double delight’ sure to appeal to all fans of pure blues and more, and comes very heavily recommended!



News: 2015 International Blues Challenge winners

Posted on: Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015

The winners of the 2015 International Blues Challenge, held in Memphis, were:


First – Eddie Cotton – Vicksburg Blues Society

Second – Noah Wotherspoon – Dayton Blues Society

Third – Nico Wayne Toussaint – Southern California Blues Society

Best Guitarist – Band  (Gibson & Category 5)  – Noah Wotherspoon – Dayton Blues Society


First – Randy McQuay – Cape Fear Blues Society

Second – Brian Keith Wallen – Dayton Blues Society

Best Guitarist – Solo/Duo (St. Blues Guitars) Ben Rice – Ashland Blues Society

Best Self-Produced CD

Cryin’ Mercy – Altered Five Blues Band – Grafton Blues Association

Lee Oskar Harp Award

Nico Wayne Toussaint

Review: Tas Cru – You Keep The Money

Posted on: Monday, Jan 26, 2015

Tas Cru – You Keep The Money
(Crustee Tees)

This is the fifth album from this distinctive bluesman based in upstate New York. It contains a dozen original songs, played and sung by singer/ electric and acoustic guitarist/bandleader and songwriter Tas and his band, drawing on a 60s R&B approach in places – try the opener with its strong rhythm, backing vocalists and fine harmonica playing (shades of Sugar Blue here from Dick Earl Ericksen) and some memorable lyrics.

This kind of individual approach continues throughout the set’s 56 minutes, though with echoes of the UK 60s blues boom, classic Albert Collins, a nod to J.J. Cale and some contemporary Americana cropping up alongside the Chicago flavoured items.

There are a couple of very fine slow blues in ‘A Month Of Somedays’ and the beautiful instrumental ‘La Belle Poutine’, which both have traces of the 60s UK blues boom sound, whilst ‘A Little More Time’ is a fine and moody soul-tinged composition, and ‘One Bad Habit’ is a very loose limbed boogie.

Great band and great front man, “You Keep The Money” is a CD that is easy to recommend!



We rode on down to The Minstrel cantina, The ARMADILLOS had hit town and these good ole boys were playing. The boys are known in these parts for their western swing, blues and roots ‘n’ rhythm, stuff to get your toes tappin’.

Trail boss Greg Walker goes by the name of ‘The Tone Ranger’ on lead vocal lead guitar and lap steel guitar – a desperado with quick fire banter and a mean right guitar hand.

His old time pal Horace Dogson on rhythm guitar and backing vocals – another veteran cow hand; and the rhythm section of cow poke brander Andy Levy on bass guitar and driving the chuck wagon was Ian Gibbon on drums.

The first set started with “T-Bone Shuffle”, “My Baby She Worships Me”, “Get my Hands On it”, “Desert Skies”, “Spider And The Fly”, and “Steel Guitar Rag” with Greg on the lap steel guitar pulling out all the stops – superb.

The band were in full swing mode for the second set with “Folsom Prison Blues”, “Put Another Log On The Fire”, “Trashy Woman”, “Route 66″, “Ain’t I’m A Dog”, “Miles And Miles of Texas” and a 1955 rendition of Marty Robbins song “Tennessee Toddy” a swing version – brilliant.

The band were on fire and so was the cantina, pass another bucket of country swing – yahoo.


National & international music reviewer

Nice tune and video all the way from Brazil, featuring former Cry Baby & The Hoochie Coochie Boys vocalist and slide guitar player, Graham Sells.

Graham has been out in Brazil for a few years and is now moving on to Savannah, Georgia in the USA.


3Kings – ‘Goin’ Up The Country’ at Worthenbury Village Hall: 23rd January

The trio of 3Kings go from strength to strength on each gig, and it was a treat to catch them in the ‘juke joint’ that is the homely Worthenbury Village Hall, near Bangor-on-Dee, at the latest ‘Goin’ Up The Country’ gig, hosted by Pete Evans, Paul Taylor and Ian Williams. The band have taken the hypnotic lo-fi rhythms of the North Mississippi hill country and crafted a great show around covers from the legends of the genre such as R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, and younger ‘torch bearers’ such as the North Mississippi Allstars, Kenny Brown and Lightnin’ Malcolm – but also incorporated some other songs, from outside that area.

3 Kings comprise our very own Ken Peace on big-toned harmonica and vocals; and the Liverpool duo of Neil Partington (vocals and guitar) and Lance Donnelly (drums) . . . the three between them having years of experience on the live circuit. A most healthy turnout at Worthenbury, on a cold January night, were treated to two sets from the lads that showed their passion for the music and also their top musicianship. It’s great to hear the hill country blues tackled as it is not widely played on our ‘side of the pond’.

As mentioned each passing show has seen the band get better and better and here they were on top form! First set highlights included their low-down take on the ZZ Top classic, “Cheap Sunglasses”; the great groove of the hill country classic, “Miss Maybelle”; and possibly best of all, the superb “Riding On”, penned by the late John-Alex Mason and Cody Dickinson. All highlighting the superb harmonica and ‘dirty’ guitar tones of Messrs Peace and Partington and the abolutely flawless drumming of Lance Donnelly.

The shorter first set ended in rip-roaring style with the uptempo rocking “Blow This Joint”, penned by the great Texan blues guitarist, Shawn Pittman . . . with the guys fairly kicking up a storm which was well received by the appreciative audience.

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After a short break, which incorporated the legendary raffle and Pete Evans ‘parish announcements’ it was down to business again; the second set starting off with virtually a Ken Peace solo, showing off his ‘back to form’ harmonica playing and just Lance’s kick drum. More North Mississippi treats in the set were Lightnin’ Malcolm’s excellent “My Lyin’ Ass”; and a couple of ‘anthems’ in the shape of “Shake ‘Em On Down” and “All Night Long” . . . with a dip into a more standard blues cover for the late, great Eddie Taylor’s “Bad Boy”.

This super night ended with some more gems in the shape of a part-music, part monologue, featuring Ken on “Goin’ Down South” and the much-covered “Boogie Thing” – a Junior Wells tune that became part of the fabric for lots of UK blues bands. A great night to kick off those ‘January blues’ and an outing to see this fast-rising outfit is highly recommended . . . indeed, they have two Chester gigs upcoming and are looking for more . . . please contact through the normal channels for more information.


News: King King to release new album – 5th May

Posted on: Saturday, Jan 24, 2015








The wait is over. There’s no denying the buzz surrounding King King’s highly anticipated third studio album, Reaching For The Light. At a time when the shuffled playlist holds sway, along comes nine hot tracks that defy you to press skip.

In 2015, “Reaching For The Light” is the main event. Released May 5th on Manhaton Records, this third studio album is set to rubber-stamp King King’s status as the boldest creative force in the game, and dashes the hopes of rivals out to take their crown.

“We’re really proud of this album,” says front man Alan Nimmo. “It’s faster, louder, more energetic and more exciting. It’s got the potential to blow the roof off.”

Don’t call it a comeback. King King has never been away. Two years may have passed since the Glasgow outfit’s all-conquering second album, Standing In The Shadows,established them as pack-leaders of the British scene, but Alan Nimmo (vocals/guitar), Lindsay Coulson (bass), Wayne Proctor (drums) and Bob Fridzema (keyboards) have barely cooled their heels or left the headlines.

“We couldn’t settle with another album that was only as good as Standing In The Shadows,” says Alan. “We’d have got crucified for it. We’ve made a rod for our backs, because now we need something a few steps above. We’re always trying to improve – and I think we’ve managed it.”

In 2015, with so many bands seemingly content to settle for transient throwaway pop, Reaching For The Light is real music: an album to soundtrack the good times and soothe you during the bad. Of course, King King will take all the plaudits, sales and awards statuettes you care to sling their way – but that’s not the objective.

“We all want to take this band as far as we can,” says Alan. “You want to sell as many albums as possible, and anyone who says they don’t enjoy five-star reviews is lying. But most important is that we’ve got a great album that people can listen to and enjoy. That’s what really matters – and that’s the truth.”




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