Grahame’s Review of the 2009

Posted on: Friday, Dec 25, 2009

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REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2009

Top releases

A pretty good year for me, here’s a dozen releases I have really enjoyed and played more than most, in no particular order:

Jon Amor – Songs From The Crooked Room

The Soul Of John Black – Black John

JP Soars – Back Of My Mind

Missy Andersen – Missy Andersen

Fiona Boyes – Blues Woman

Paul Lamb & Johnny Dickinson – Playin’ With The Blues

Aaron Williams And The Hoodoo – It Ain’t Easy

Hill Country Revue – Make A Move

Davis Coen – Magnolia Land

Billy Walton Band – Neon City

Mike Zito – Pearl River

The Aces – No One Rides For Free

Here’s a few ‘bubbling under’, and well worth a mention:

The Insomniacs – At Least I’m Not With You

Woodbrain – Swimming In Turpentine

Jeff Healey – Songs From The Road

Joanne Shaw Taylor – White Sugar

Bullfrog Brown – Moon And Central

Jason Ricci And New Blood – Done With The Devil

The Soul Of John Black – The Good Girl Blues

Jay Tamkin Band – Sorted

I am really enjoying Tom Doughty’s “Have A Taste Of This”, but haven’t included it as it isn’t reviewed yet . . . also to come soon are several more cd reviews, including Joe Louis Walker, Maria Muldaur, Craig Hughes, Arthur Adams, Chaz Depaolo and Jeff Chapman . . . watch this space!

Live

A couple of gigs jump straight out this year – a stupendous show at Overton-on-Dee organised by the ‘Going Up The Country’ boys (Pete, Paul and Ian) saw Mud Morganfield deliver two hours of classic Chicago blues, mainly his father’s tunes – with a simply great British band led by Big Joe Louis on guitar and the thrilling harmonica of Steve Weston; recently Ken and I caught Andy Fairweather Low at Pacific Road, in Birkenhead for a trip through his long and varied career, with lots of blues, some pop, gospel and more – again with a stunning band and the man himself showed what a fine guitarist and singer he is.

Festival-wise, the first Warrington Blues Festival at The Pyramid back in May, was a great day. Organised by Dave and Shirley Sawyer, we were treated to two of the North West’s finest bands in The Smokehouse Blues and The Stumble, and the UKs ultimate ‘feel good’ outfit, the stupendous Cadillac Kings, who are now simply outstanding. With the ideal combination of no driving and a real ale bar this made for a most memorable (well, bits of it) day. The annual Worthenbury Roots & Blues Festival in the North Wales countryside was again most enjoyable – the star of the day being Australian roots man Rory Ellis – with sterling performances on the main stage from the reformed Down At Antone’s, Oliver Darling’s fine outfit, The Dirty Robbers, and also reformed, The Producers, who were excellent, with The Stumble rounding off a top day. Also due a mention was the lovely Naomi Mather, who did two nice sets on the acoustic stage. As ever a doff of the cap to Pete, Paul and Ian, and their team of helpers.

It was also nice to see Manchester’s finest, The Harpbreakers, out and about again – managed to see them twice, including a double header at Warrington with Down At Antone’s. A change of venue for Ray and Barbara O’Hare saw them move to Burtonwood Catholic Club, and in April Geordie harmonica man Lyndon Anderson and his fine band played a great show. Also worth a mention were further great nights with The Cadillac Kings at Telford’s Warehouse in Chester, the fab venue, The Academy in Buckley and also at Worthenbury Village Hall. The International Guitar Festival of Great Britain was held again at various venues around Wirral, and Catfish Keith played a great show at Pacific Road.

We are blessed with some fine venues and clubs now in the North West, and I wish all promoters, bookers, friends, etc., a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year . . . special greetings to Ray & Barbara O’Hare; Lionel and Jean Ross; Pete, Paul and Ian; Raphael Callaghan and Christine Purnell; John and Lorraine; Jeremy Horrill at Telford’s Warehouse, and all at Wirral BC and The Liverpool Philharmonic . . . and also to Ken of course, if it wasn’t for him I would probably be going to gigs on my own, and for putting up with my scribblings!

In summing up, I would also like to thank any band or artiste that send a cd to www.bluesinthenorthwest.com for review . . . all greatly appreciated! Special thanks to Betsie Brown at Blind Raccoon in Memphis, Mike Powers at Yellow Dog Records in Memphis, Golly Gallagher at GFI Promotions, all the guys at Sneak Attack in NYC, Chip Schutzmman at Miles High Productions . . . wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year . . . and looking forward to a great 2010.

GRAHAME RHODES



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Ken

December 25th, 2009 at 09:36
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1

When I looked for a picture of Grahame to use on this post, all of the ones of him alone also feature a pint.

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Pete Evans

December 25th, 2009 at 16:36
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2

Most unfair that!
Grahame of course is a master of “the session ale” so only the best ale will do!! lol!!!

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Pete Evans

December 25th, 2009 at 16:38
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3

Actually – it is rather sad that at 4.37 having eaten and drunk too much on Christmas Day I have to resort to blogging on BITNW!!!

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Grahame

December 26th, 2009 at 15:31
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4

Hey Pete, that ‘session ale’ year will live in the memory, it’s a good job YouTube wasn’t around to record the state of me when I turned up early on that Saturday morning, after the ‘session ale’ Friday night! Still managed to review it though, happy days at the Wrexham Rugby Club.