Review: Cry Baby & The Hoochie Coochie Boys – True Blues Club at Earlestown Conservative Club, Newton-le-Willows

Posted on: Monday, Mar 11, 2013

This six piece band from the Stoke-on-Trent area are without doubt a force to be reckoned with if blues is your thing. Since about 2008 the band have been entertaining crowds at blues venues all over the country in pubs, clubs and festivals too numerous to mention, with their 50’s American blues and British blues – they kick it, as they say and are damn good at it.

The band formed after seeing a live concert of Nine Below Zero the rest is history as they say.  Rob Wilkinson – alias Cry Baby from his wailing blues harp –  is one of the best I’ve heard and I’ve heard a few he plays it seemingly without any effort such is the talent of the man. Graham Sells – a gentle giant of a man with his distinctive gravelly voice (he gargles with rusty nails and razor blades – honest!) has immense stage presence it’s what you need as a front man and not a bad musician and lyricist either.

The ‘engine room’ – the rhythm section – is always an important part of any bands make up there is no exception here, with on drums Andy Carr and bassist Trevor Pinson; with Vince Cutliffe on lead guitar and keys man Mark Hargreaves rounding up this very impressive band of musicians.

The band played the blues classics that we all love mixed with the bands original material from their CD “Sweet Thing” – 11 cracking blues tracks and it is a good and honest account of this great band and what they are about musically, marvellous.

The True Blues Club is modelled on a Chicago Blues venue in America. They have top acts from both sides of the Atlantic such, is the pulling power of the venue in the heart of Earlestown, presented and promoted by the dynamic duo of Graham Woodhouse and Steve O’Donnell. They had a dream and the dream has come true a true blues club second to none that has a fast growing reputation of putting on excellent musically gifted bands, and is keeping the blues alive and well –  fantastic.

The venue was selected for the second time unheard of really as the North West’s prime venue for the heats of the New Brunswick Battle of the Blues. The final will be held in London this month and the winners will be taken on an all-expenses paid trip to Canada to perform at the elite Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival.

KEITH BLACKLEDGE

National & International Music Reviewer

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