Review: The Pete Harris R&B All Stars – Live At The Talking Heads, Southampton

Posted on: Sunday, Apr 5, 2015

The Peter Harris R&B All Stars – Live At The Talking Heads Southampton

(Sotones; STCD070 (CD), STMP070 (download))

Southampton has long had an active blues scene as detailed in Bob Pearce’s highly informative and enjoyable autobiography “Beginning To Beginning: My Story – So Far” a couple of years ago. Pete Harris has been an associate of Bob’s for over thirty years (they recorded together under Bob’s name for the later incarnation of the Blue Horizon label) and as this excellent CD proves, he is an impressive performer in his own right.

The very first notes of ‘T-Bone Shuffle’ are guaranteed to attract any blues lover, and this high standard continues throughout this live set, with a big sound, nice sax work by Paul Tasker, excellent vocals from Pete himself and young Jeradine Hume, Pete’s clean and always relevant guitar work, Ray Drury’s rocking piano and organ, ace rhythm section, and a wide ranging repertoire from Bessie Smith, and BB King to Jimmy Reed, Earl King, Sam Cooke and Robert Cray.

Although everyone acquits themselves incredibly well, I must point out that Jeradine is a real find – try ‘Sweet Nothin’s’ where she comes across like a young Tina Turner on a raunchily innocent slab of classic R&B. To sum up, this CD/ download release offers the kind of thing you’d expect from a hard-touring, tight as the proverbial, US outfit of, say, the early to mid-60s, and all in crystal clear sound – in short, highly recommended.

NORMAN DARWEN

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