Review: Kent DuChaine at The Harbourside Club, Liverpool – 17 January 2008

Posted on: Sunday, Jan 20, 2008

Kent DuChaine at the Harbourside by Peter Young

The Georgia-based blues troubadour, Kent DuChaine, was warmly welcomed back to Liverpool, having played to a full house at the Allerton Manor Club twelve months ago. Once again he delighted the audience with a vibrant performance, enhancing his vocals with stunning rhythms on his 74-year old National steel guitar, Leadbessy.

He combined brilliant deliveries of a number of Robert Johnson favourites with songs by several other of his influences and a generous helping of original compositions. The first set included “Edgemont Station”, with its driving train-like rhythm and Bukka White’s “Parchman Farm Blues” and “Aberdeen Mississippi Blues”. There was also a wonderful rendition of “St James Infirmary Blues”, on which he never fails to hit the mark, “Sixteen Guage Steel”, Kent’s tribute to Johnny Shines, and the love song, “I’ve Been True To You”.

The second set was even better, with enthusiastic audience participation on “Little Red Rooster” and a sparkling delivery of “Rock Island Line”. “Trouble In Mind” was superbly performed as was Little Willie John’s “Fever”. There were also some surprises – in particular, excellent versions of “Summertime” and “When A Man Loves A Woman”. The marvellous show was brought to a close with the whimsical “Fifi Bordeaux” and Freddy King’s “Boogie Man”, followed, as encores, by “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “When The Saints Go Marching In”, which prompted further contribution from the happy punters.

It was a terrific way to start the new year programme at the Harbourside, with a bluesman who genuinely forges a link with the original blues greats. The occasion provided top class entertainment, melding excellent performance with heartfelt tributes to iconic heroes in a finely drawn historical perspective. Long may he visit these shores.

Lionel Ross
(photograph by Peter Young)

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