Review : Paul Byrd- Warrington Blues Club – 18 Nov 2005

Posted on: Sunday, Nov 20, 2005

An excellent gig, an excellent review; I said that Grahame would come up trumps and write a proper review and here it is — nice one mate, thanks ……

One of this year’s most eagerly awaited gigs for me, was the return of the superb Paul Byrd, from Fort Worth, Texas – and at Warrington Blues Club he again gave the crowd a magnificent display of ‘blues from the heart’ – with his top-notch guitar playing, coupled with his great, rich voice.

As ever the tour has been put together by Chris Lomas, who handled the bass duties, with the band completed by Fred Skidmore on keyboards and Micky Barker – on one of the smallest drum kits I have ever seen! No such problems about a dodgy pick-up band with these guys on board!

Two brilliant sets included several covers from the three Kings – BB, Freddie and Albert, along with songs from Paul Byrd’s latest release – “Without Further Adieu”. The all-round nice guy was on top form and by the end of the night had the dance floor in front of him full.

He knows how to pace his sets and early treats were the rollicking “Owe, Owe, Owe” of his own, and a great, funky reading of the chestnut “Key To The Highway”, done Freddie King style, with a glorious rendition of Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” featuring some stunning guitar and heartfelt vocal.

The pace was taken up for the rocking “Sugar Free, Sugar Mama” – probably the nearest he gets to a pure Texas shuffle in the show – with some sparkling playing from Fred Skidmore – who was give ample opportunity all night on both organ and piano.

Second set highlights included Percy Mayfield’s often-covered “Serves Me Right To Suffer” and an absolute stonking version of BB King’s “Sweet Little Angel”, with his black Les Paul firing out the BB-style licks. Nods were given to both Freddie King, with a take on his “Boogieman”, and Albert King, with a fluid, emotion-filled “I’ll Play The Blues For You”.

A top night was rounded off with a brace of encores, concluding with a romp through Louis Jordan’s “Let The Good Times Roll”, with the latter part of the song featuring some dynamic slide playing – recalling classic Duane Allman.

For a classic straight blues show there is nobody to beat this guy – as I have said before he should be on main stages at the major blues festivals in this country – Gary Hood get to it!


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