Live review: Rhythm Zoo at True Blues Club, Newton-le-Willows – 8th May

Posted on: Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Review for ‘RHYTHM ZOO’ @ True Blues Club, Newton Le Willows – 8/5/15

What a privilege and pleasure it was, to catch the charming ‘RHYTHM ZOO’ at the True Blues Club in Newton-le-Willows. The band are working hard at the moment , putting together tracks for their new album ‘Tempest Sky’ , which will hopefully be released later this year.

Fronting the band on outstanding vocals was Andi Hall, with Phil Dean on amazing lead guitar, Pete Betts on bass and Dermot Hall on drums – the fifth member, and collaborative writer in the band, guitarist Pete Rea, was unable to be there. The whole show went out live on WA14 radio, from this great little ‘juke joint’ that is the True Blues Club in the heart of Earlestown, Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside.

A great raunchy opener of ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You’, with Andi doing her ‘thang’. Then followed ‘Good Girl Bad Thing’, an up tempo funky number with superb guitar, solid bass and drums and excellent vocals.

‘Part Time Love’, taken from a Reba Russell number, had a great bass and drum intro’. Then bringing in some rock and earthy vocals with Henrik Freischlader’s ‘I’, all added to the variety of the set. A class take on the Robert Cray number ‘Playing In The Dirt’ gave us a slow sexy blues. A great drum intro’ with haunting guitar and superb vocals on ‘Going Back To Memphis’.

One of the self penned songs from the new album, ‘Steal Your Love’, had a rocky feel and showed off the magic fingers of Phil on guitar. Another Zoo song to follow, with ‘Crazy Kitten Blues’ and to finish the first set another from the forthcoming album, a cover of the Shemekia Copeland song, ‘Whole Lotta Water’, with a soul, funky, rock feel.

The second set brought us a great rock opener, with Phil in charge, on ‘River Of Tears’ another self penned track from the album, with fabulous earthy vocals from Andi. Then a down and dirty blues with the Etta James classic ‘I Sing The Blues’, followed by an epic version of T-Bone Walker’s ‘Stormy Monday. A brilliant take and one of the best of the set, with an amazing guitar solo and incredibly powerful vocals, spine chilling!

A fabulous cover, written by Dee Martin (USA) called ’12 Bar Blues’ with a great story line and the self penned ‘Coco Blue’, a slow poignant electric blues with sultry vocals, are both destined for the new album. The vocals were then handed over to Phil for the next two numbers, with an excellent version of ‘Badge’ and the classic ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’. Phil’s guitar playing is just way beyond good!. Andi returned with another excellent self penned track from the album, ‘Sold For Love’, this time with a hint of Americana.

They rounded off the evening with some classics, ‘Got My Mojo Workin’, Sweet Home Chicago and a great take of the Door’s ‘Road House Blues’ , with an encore of ‘Wild, Wild Woman, a rockin’ rhythm and blues.

Rhythm Zoo have certainly raised their game over the past few years and gave a show that is varied with class vocals and great musicianship. I will look forward to hearing the exciting new album in full when it is released.

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

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