Review of the Year: Grahame Rhodes (Part 2)

Posted on: Friday, Jan 17, 2014


Not really so many blues gigs for me in 2013, but a few well worthy of mention. The splendid Heritage Blues Orchestra played a masterful show of blues, soul, gospel and more in the grand surroundings of The Philharmonic Hall – and a couple of my other gig-going highlights were also ‘over the water’!

In support of their duo album Paul Lamb and Chad Strentz wowed the intimate Rodewald Suite for two hours of blues, soul, rockabilly and more; and then, in December, my favourite British outfit, The Cadillac Kings had a large crowd at Garston RBL on their feet with their customary swinging show, as ever containing fine musicianship and no lack of humour.

Back in my home city of Chester it was great to see Torbay’s finestĀ The Nightporters stop off at Telford’s Warehouse on their reunion tour – they delivered a fantastic high-energy set as ever. Fast-rising Marcus Bonfanti graced the new Live Rooms venue with his trio for a gritty set to promote his latest album; with a special mention for a super support set from local favourites, The Loving Cup.

Away from the blues, a first for me was finally catching up with the magnificent Richard Thompson; and also seeing Steve Earle and band for the first time in years – again both at The Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool.

In 2013 we said farewell to many great blues artistes . . . thanks for the music and memories to, amongst others Bobby Parker, Pete Haycock, T-Model Ford, Bob Brozman, ‘Big George’ Watt, Alvin Lee, Roscoe Chenier, Magic Slim, Ann Rabson, Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland . . . and locally the passing of Steve Brown, bass player with Forty4.


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