Live review: 3Kings – Goin’ Up The Country at Worthenbury Village Hall: 23rd January

Posted on: Sunday, Jan 25, 2015


3Kings – ‘Goin’ Up The Country’ at Worthenbury Village Hall: 23rd January

The trio of 3Kings go from strength to strength on each gig, and it was a treat to catch them in the ‘juke joint’ that is the homely Worthenbury Village Hall, near Bangor-on-Dee, at the latest ‘Goin’ Up The Country’ gig, hosted by Pete Evans, Paul Taylor and Ian Williams. The band have taken the hypnotic lo-fi rhythms of the North Mississippi hill country and crafted a great show around covers from the legends of the genre such as R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, and younger ‘torch bearers’ such as the North Mississippi Allstars, Kenny Brown and Lightnin’ Malcolm – but also incorporated some other songs, from outside that area.

3 Kings comprise our very own Ken Peace on big-toned harmonica and vocals; and the Liverpool duo of Neil Partington (vocals and guitar) and Lance Donnelly (drums) . . . the three between them having years of experience on the live circuit. A most healthy turnout at Worthenbury, on a cold January night, were treated to two sets from the lads that showed their passion for the music and also their top musicianship. It’s great to hear the hill country blues tackled as it is not widely played on our ‘side of the pond’.

As mentioned each passing show has seen the band get better and better and here they were on top form! First set highlights included their low-down take on the ZZ Top classic, “Cheap Sunglasses”; the great groove of the hill country classic, “Miss Maybelle”; and possibly best of all, the superb “Riding On”, penned by the late John-Alex Mason and Cody Dickinson. All highlighting the superb harmonica and ‘dirty’ guitar tones of Messrs Peace and Partington and the abolutely flawless drumming of Lance Donnelly.

The shorter first set ended in rip-roaring style with the uptempo rocking “Blow This Joint”, penned by the great Texan blues guitarist, Shawn Pittman . . . with the guys fairly kicking up a storm which was well received by the appreciative audience.

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After a short break, which incorporated the legendary raffle and Pete Evans ‘parish announcements’ it was down to business again; the second set starting off with virtually a Ken Peace solo, showing off his ‘back to form’ harmonica playing and just Lance’s kick drum. More North Mississippi treats in the set were Lightnin’ Malcolm’s excellent “My Lyin’ Ass”; and a couple of ‘anthems’ in the shape of “Shake ‘Em On Down” and “All Night Long” . . . with a dip into a more standard blues cover for the late, great Eddie Taylor’s “Bad Boy”.

This super night ended with some more gems in the shape of a part-music, part monologue, featuring Ken on “Goin’ Down South” and the much-covered “Boogie Thing” – a Junior Wells tune that became part of the fabric for lots of UK blues bands. A great night to kick off those ‘January blues’ and an outing to see this fast-rising outfit is highly recommended . . . indeed, they have two Chester gigs upcoming and are looking for more . . . please contact through the normal channels for more information.


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