Review: Blues Boy Dan & Rhythm Zoo – True Blues Club at Earlstown Conservative Club, Newton-le-Willows

Posted on: Sunday, Dec 2, 2012

Friday, 23rd November, 2012

I was invited by my dear friends Graham Woodhouse and Steve O’Donnell the ‘Dynamic Duo’ and the driving force behind this very successful blues venue, which had a party fuelled atmosphere, Why? I here you ask, well not only was it Steve’s birthday (a mere boy and a nice bloke) but on the bill where two very special and different entertainers, and very good friends of Graham and Steve, and incidentally Steve’s choice to celebrate his birth.

I was ecstatic to find that a young man that I had seen and reviewed here once before was opening proceedings. I was blown away then by his mature approach and performance by one so young, his talents on display, as a blues singer/ acoustic guitarist and harmonica player, with a stomp box as percussion it’s as basic as that. So as I took my seat and the lights went down, my expectations were high. You could touch the atmosphere as Dan struck his first note, was I disappointed, no, not at bit. Blues Boy Dan alias Dan Owen kicked off with a great rendition of Walkin ‘Blues.

This young man just oozes talent from every pore he gets into your soul and” sings the blues”, this is how it must have been back in the day(30s) when the dirt poor Negros who Laboured hard and long in the fields for very little pay and the only respite for them was to ‘sing away’ their blues. This was another tremendous session by Dan, “Ramblin’On My Mind” ”Black Cat Bone” ”Dirty Dishes” ”Woody Gumfry” ”Roll Me Up and Smoke me” “Shotgun Blues” “Atlantic City” “ The Ballard of Hollis Brown”, I was filling up, just brilliant.

The audience shouted for more and Dan obliged with “Dog House” the last of his set. In the not too distant future I predict that this young man will take his first steps to stardom I just hope he is aware of what that entails and has the support of his family and friends, it certainly won’t be the lack of musical talent by this Blues Boy Dan.

It was a new line up and debut for this band playing home from home at the True Blues Club the delicious shaded dark tones of blues singer Andrea Jones, and her new branded Rhythm Zoo. Andi fronts the band and sings in her own uncomplicated style the way she knows best with that dark blue velvet voice of hers.

Andi has the reassurance of drummer Dermot Hall by her side the only other original member of the band which has moved to a more blues orientated sound not far removed from the jazz influences from before. New lead guitarist Adam Richards is a capable musician and has a rock / blues background and style about him, with Pete Betts on a cracking bass guitar and Dermot Hall on drums they are a hot rhythm section that are going to be a formidable pairing.

Andi was in the moody Blue as she slammed into the first number “Wild Wild Woman” followed by ‘Good Girl Bad Thing’, ‘Part time Love’,” Crazy Kitten Blues” their title track from their album of 2011 straight into ‘12 Bar Blues’ and ‘I sing the Blues’ then Andi invited Blues Boy Dan on to the stage for a duo of ‘Stormy Monday’ and ‘Rock Me Baby’, Rhythm Zoo concluded the first set with their rendition of ‘Sweet Home Chicago’.

The second set carried on from the first just a fountain of the blues with’ Jefferson Jericho Blues’’ Never going Back to Memphis’ ‘ Tore Down’ with guest guitarist Richard Kershaw from the band’ Hooson’ followed by ‘Mojo Working’ ‘Whole Lotta Water’ and concluding the second set and the show with ‘Road House Blues’.

The True Blues Club knows how to put on a blues show, second to none, if you were not on the planet then I’m sad you missed a cracking show, if you didn’t go then you missed a True Blues show of epic proportions, you won’t want to miss the next instalment from The True Blues Club.

Keith Blackledge. A Blues Fan.

National & International Music Reviewer


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