Gig: Kent DuChaine – Alexander’s, Rufus Court, Chester: 30th January, 2014

Posted on: Sunday, Jan 19, 2014

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Tickets – £7 adv / £8 otd

Alexander’s is proud to welcome back this American blues legend who will be entertaining his audience with a night full of Delta blues. He will be accompanied by his ever faithful Leadbessie, a beat-up 1934 National steel guitar that wows and astounds audiences when the equally beat up case she travels in is opened and her extra heavy strings are furiously played.

Kent DuChaine started in music when his father taught him to play the ukulele at the age of six, at thirteen he got his first electric guitar and formed a band with his buddies in his hometown of Wayzata, Minnesota, playing mainly popular music at private parties and school functions. After reading some liner notes of an Eric Clapton album Kent started researching blues music. He discovered a Robert Johnson album and was astounded and fascinated at the banging sound as the bottle neck knocked against the frets as Johnson slid it up and down the neck of his guitar. Kent used a butter knife at first determined to recapture the wonderful sound.

He immersed himself into the blues music of Johnson, Muddy Waters, Lightning Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, Bukka White and never looked back. Kent learned to play the slide guitar and soon developed his own ferocious wild style. In 1970 he opened a show for one his hero’s, the slide guitar genius, Bukka White. From 1972 – 1975 Kent performed in a band with Kim Wilson from the present day Fabulous Thunderbirds. The band backed up blues greats such as Fenton Robinson, Boogie Woogie Red, Luther Tucker, Hubert Sumlin and Eddie Burns. The reputation of the band grew and Willie Dixon arranged a recording contract and a concert sharing the bill with Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker, Howling Wolf and Margie Evens.

In 1991 the Smithsonian Institute honoured the ‘King of the Delta Blues’, Robert Johnson. Kent and Johnny were specially invited to perform and “Roots Of Rhythm And Blues: A Tribute To The Robert Johnson Era” was the result. This was recorded by Sony/Columbia and also Grammy nominated. Kent and Johnny’s wonderful partnership and friendship was cut short when Johnny Shines sadly passed away in in April 1992.

Since going solo in 1982 and hitting the roads, riding the rails, flying the skies and sailing the seas, Kent and Leadbessie have probably by now clocked up over two million miles together including over 80/81 overseas tours (yup, she’s faithful old girl!).

A (small) handful of wives have been picked up and lost along the way and many stories gained of friendships, loves, heartaches and the blues that he communicates to his audiences, most of which, leave folk laughing or scratching their heads in disbelief. He also speaks of the history of the blues music, the great men who developed it, and his incredible involvement with some of them to audiences far and wide.

The Times newspaper has named him as one of the best five concerts in the UK. Kent and Leadbessie have dedicated fans all over the world who are asking all the time for him to add another album to the seven (and one live DVD) that he has already released which include his own ingenious compositions as well as songs he loves and keeps alive that those wonderful, old boys produced.

“Two hours of genuine entertainment…closed proceedings amid something resembling a mass hoe down…I recommend you take advantage when he brings the ‘DELTA’ to your town.” – Blues in Britain Magazine 2008

“One of the best top five concerts nationwide (across all music genres)” – Sunday Times

Tickets available from the bar at Alexander’s Jazz Theatre, online at www.alexanderslive.com, by calling 01244 340005, or on the door.

Doors – 8 pm

Book in for food in advance to guarantee a table – 3 course meal + admission for £22.95

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