Review: Bonnie Mac Band – BJs Rock In The Blues at The Minstrel, Chorley: Thursday, 12th June

Posted on: Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014


This brilliant five-piece blues band travelled from West Yorkshire to entertain an enthusiastic crowd in Chorley. Sheila MacFarlane, lead vocal and front woman, opened the bands account with two covers – one by Mel Brown and recorded by Junior Wells entitled ‘Little By Little, and ‘Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean’ by Ruth Brown. Brilliant renditions of classic blues from the band’s new album entitled “Pleasures And Pains” –  ten tracks in all containing original works in a wave of blues styles.

Sheila MacFarlane has that vocal range suited to the blues genre; subtle and gentle for the slow –mid tempo numbers, then kicks in with a controlled power rush for the up -tempo ones – cracking stuff, renditions from the likes of Koko Taylor, Gary Moore to Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Ray Vaughan to Muddy Waters, Canned Heat to Nine below Zero-  just a brilliant blend of blues.

The original works were ‘Ball and Chain’ ’Heart and Soul’, ‘Queen Jealousy’ and their first ever single, ‘The Flood’ – all hitting the spot, a bonanza of blues. The bands line-up was on lead guitar Geoff Waddington-  he was awesome; the rhythm section, on drums John Sharp and Craig Jackson on bass guitar and backing vocals – a fantastic twosome, and Ian Scaife on harmonica – why he hasn’t won any blues awards is beyond me, he was immense. In my book the band’s moving in the right direction and are working hard to bring you the blues.


National & International Music Reviewer

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