New release: King King – Reaching For The Light

Posted on: Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015


The new KING KING album ‘Reaching For The Light’ is now available to pre order (Release Date 4th May).

Pre Order now from Amazon, itunes or

Amazon :

View a sample here:

Next North West date:


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Just a reminder that the ever-popular Nantwich festival is being held over Easter Weekend in the lovely Cheshire town . . .  with as ever, a varied selection of gigs, throughout the town centre:

(Andy Fairweather Low pic: Judy Totton)

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News: Happy 70th birthday to Eric Clapton

Posted on: Monday, Mar 30, 2015

Happy 70th birthday today to Eric Clapton . . . one of my favourite albums:

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British guitar legend Robin Trower stops off at The Live Rooms in Chester, as part of his current UK tour – this coming Thursday, 2nd April.

Support comes from Joanne Shaw Taylor.

(Picture: Mike Prior)

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Review for ‘COLD FLAME’ @ BJ’s ‘Rock in the Blues’ Club @ The Minstrel, Chorley – 26.03.15

COLD FLAME have been on fire for 30 years and hail from Derbyshire. As a five piece tonight, they play their own style of blues and folk rock with a collection of self penned works and some covers.

Playing at the premier venue of BJ’s ‘Rock in the Blues’ Club at the Minstrel in Chorley, the band line up was – Rob Barns on guitar and vocals, Pat Rowbottom on bass and vocals, Joe Orban on keys, Phil Marke on drums with Mark Parkinson from Chorley, guesting on flute.

Kicking off with a medley of Jethro Tull songs – giving the flute a high profile – the scene was set for a great evening. Giving Mark a rest, they also gave us some original songs, including an up tempo rockin’ number ‘End Of The Line’, with great keys and guitar input and a classic blues rock ‘Blues For The Cats’. We had a ‘rockin’ end to the first set .

The second set began with some more folk rock with Tull influence, then on to one of my favourites, the great rhythms of the Ian Anderson’s number ‘New Day Yesterday’ with a great bass line from Pat. Rob made great use of a multi track pedal to give a full on sound on the Cold Flame take of Hendrix’s ‘All Along The Watch Tower’. They also introduced a new self penned number to the set, ‘Thoughts From The Heart’, a great rockin’ track.

To finish off the evening a class cover of the Deep Purple classic ‘Hush’, a touch of classical piano with some more original material, a dash of Tull and final song of the evening, the classic Peter Green number ‘Oh Well’. Superb!

These guys are class musicians, whether playing their own material or covers and we will look forward to their return to BJ’s next year.

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive

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Review – Toots Lorraine – Make It Easy

Posted on: Saturday, Mar 28, 2015

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Toots Lorraine – Make It Easy


Now this is a straight blues album – unusually for a contemporary album, there is no rock influence at all, but there is a strong Chicago or West Coast club blues feel, with guitarist Chad Mo exhibiting a strong Otis Rush/ Magic Sam/ Freddie King/ T-Bone Walker feel whilst vocalist Toots gives it all she’s got, singing the blues – not soul or rock.

Take a listen to the slow and moody ‘Hindsight’ for a good example. A little oddly, Toots does not change the gender of the lyrics for her storming version of Howling Wolf’s ‘Built For Comfort’; the only other borrowed items are the closer, Jimmie Vaughan/ Mac Rebennack’s gospel styled ‘Love The World’, with a slight Hill Country approach, the old spiritual ‘Wade In The Water’ revived in the 60s and the basis for this version, Big Joe Turner’s ‘Low Down Dog’ on which Toots reveals a mighty powerful set of lungs, and a rollicking cover of Big Mama Thornton’s ‘Let Your Tears Fall Baby’.

This set was recorded at Kid Andersen’s famous Greaseland Studios in California and indeed, Kid helps out guitar, vocals and piano occasionally here; all credit to the band themselves though, this is a wonderful set for all the real blues lovers in the house!


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3 Kings return to Kash Taprooms, Station Road, Chester, tomorrow, Saturday 28th March – for the 4-7 pm ‘happy hour’ slot.

Expect all that is good in down home North Mississippi hill country blues, with a touch of Chicago and Texas too, from the trio consisting of Ken Peace (harmonica and vocals), Neil Partington (guitar and vocals) and Lance Donnelly (drums).

FREE ADMISSION – Fine ales and good food!

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Bowness Bay Blues Weekend 2012

Here’s an idea for a spring treat fit for a KING.

A lovely little blues weekend set in one of the most beautiful places in the country. Bowness Bay sits on Lake Windermere right in the heart of the fabulous Lake District.

The Bowness Bay Blues Weekend was popular in 2014 but this year, with its highly impressive line up, it’s a gem waiting to be discovered.

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Review: Climax Blues – Broke Heart Blues

Posted on: Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

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Review for CLIMAX BLUES – CD – ‘Broke Heart Blues’ – 2015 SJPCD465

Originating in the Midlands the ‘Climax Blues’ album ‘Broke Heart Blues’ was completed in 2013 when legendary blues guitar player, Pete Haycock and founder member of the original Climax Blues Band, joined forces with rock legend, Robin George. Sadly Pete died shortly after creation, but the album has now been released to the global market.

This superb album, produced by Robin and Pete and mixed by award winning engineer Klaus Bohlmann, features world class musicians, forming a virtual super group. With Pete Haycock (The Climax Blues Band/ELO) on vocals, guitar and slide guitar, Robin George (Thin Lizzy/The Climax Blues Band) on vocals and guitar, Mel Collins (King Crimson/The Rolling Stones) on sax, Jacquie Williams  (Sister Sledge/M People) on vocals , Charley Charlesworth (Dangerous Music/Life) on bass and  Charlie Morgan (The Elton John Band/Eric Clapton) on drums. Most of the tracks on the album were self penned.

Hitting us with rock and funky blues there is a great ‘big band’ sound, with plenty of multi tracking. The first track ‘Blue Monday’ gives us rock with great sax input and vocals. This is followed by an up tempo rock number ‘Cruel’, with the drums working hard and superb guitar input.

Some raw guitar and great vocals on the 12 bar blues rock, ‘Gossip Is Gold’, then raising the tempo on the funky blues number ‘Miss You So’ with multi tracked horn input and full band sound. Again a ‘full on’ sound with the superb Jacquie sharing the lead vocals on the rocky track ‘The Rubicon’, with some eastern flavours and sexy sax.

Next a Ray Charles classic ‘Lonely Avenue’ and what a great take. Some more basic rockin’ 12 bar to follow on ‘Gotta Get It Right’, with jazzy blues on ‘Blues Song’ – a lovely track with sax, acoustic guitar and electric slide, one of my favourites on the album. Onto the name sake of the album, ‘Broke Heart Blues’, again this gave us some great slide guitar and horn input with funky overtones.

Slowing the pace on ‘Miracle’, which has a magic sax intro’ on this slow epic rock number, with great slide guitar and vocals. On ‘I Feel So Blue’, Jacquie takes the lead vocal, with acoustic guitar input leading into a ‘full on’ band sound with the multi tracking working well. ‘You Ain’t Got The Right’, has an interesting mix of acoustic and electric slide on this blues track. Loved the intro’ and the mix of sounds, so another of my favourites.

The penultimate track ‘Oxygen’, is more on the ‘pop rock’ front with shared lead vocals. The last track on the album ‘Bluesong Acoustic’, is a re-run of a previous number but a more basic version, but it still hits the spot!!

A powerful album with some great musicianship. I think it would be a difficult one to put together in a live take as there is so much ‘work’ on each of the tracks, but a great listen and if you like a big band sound, this certainly has it!

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

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YouTube: Ian Siegal Band – Early Grace

Posted on: Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015

Ian Siegal and band on Dutch TV . . . stunning.

Appearing at The Railway, Bolton, tonight!

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Review: My Own Holiday – Reason To Bleed

Posted on: Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015


My Own Holiday – Reason To Bleed

(Eclecto Groove Records: EGRCD517)

Recently released on the excellent Eclecto Groove Records is this label debut for the Californian duo, My Own Holiday – namely Joey Chrisman (guitar and vocals) and Nick Bartolo (drums). The pair hail from the inland resort community of Lake Arrowhead, and on “Reason To Bleed” have fashioned a most engaging 13-track collection of original songs, which are all self-penned.

As a duo it would be easy to compare the band to The White Stripes and The Black Keys, with their stripped down guitar and drums sound, and indeed maybe the material does at times nod that way, but the strength of the songs and the musicianship carries the songs – which at times rock hard, and at others have pop, punk and folk touches.

They get down to business with the opening riff of “Hold On Me” – a tough rocker, that is followed by the equally appealing “Razorblades”, with the driving drums of Nick Bartolo and Joey Chrisman’s growling guitar chords. The pace is taken down for the folky “Memphis”, an ode to one of America’s foremost influential music cities. “Devil In Me” takes the pace back up and rides on a lovely guitar groove from Chrisman.

The pretty “Whiskey In The Well” is almost an acoustic lullaby; with another ‘gear change’ for the brooding guitar riff of the standout “On The Floor Blues”, with fine performances from both players. Elsewhere the rocking boogie of “Smile” is another gem, as is the closing acoustic number “Right Back Where I Started” – the nearest track to country on the album.

A most promising Eclecto Groove debut and very enjoyable!


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Review for HARD TO HANDLE @ BJ’s ‘Rock in the Blues’ Club, The Minstrel, Chorley – 19.03.15

Rockin’ it up at BJ’s ‘Rock in the Blues’ Club, The Minstrel, Chorley were the North West band ‘Hard To Handle’. With their own take on Southern Rock with a good mix of popular covers, they went down a storm.

Fronting the band with a great voice on lead vocals and guitar was Max Cottam with Martin Degaris on guitar and vocals. Keeping the rhythm pounding was Karl Nadin on exceptional bass and Stu Fielden on hard hitting drums.

They kick started the evening with some power rock and a great version of AC/DC’s ‘Long Way To The Top’, then onto the name sake of the band, Otis Redding’s ‘Hard To Handle’. An eclectic mix to follow with Thin Lizzy, Free, Rolling Stones and Stealers Wheel with a dash of Ian Hunter’s ‘Once Bitten Twice Shy’ , Free’s ‘I’ll Be Creepin” and a great drum intro on Creedence Clearwater’s ‘Fortunate Son’ to finish the set.

The second set equaled the first with a cracking version of ‘Proud Mary’ followed by AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’. Onto some classic Free with ‘Little Bit Of Love’ and a great take of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’. A mix of ZZ Top, Lenny Kravitz, and a compilation including AC/DC, The Beatles, T Rex and Fleetwood Mac. This led to the final number of the evening – Hard To Handle’s version of the Kinks ‘You Really Got Me’, which also included a touch of Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke On The Water’. A great end to a great set.

A superb evening from a ‘class’ band, with a good mix of music to suit all tastes. We will hopefully see them back next year at BJ’s.

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

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Hat Fitz is a “veteran” wild man of the blues scene in Australia.  He has a record 18 straight appearances at Byron’s East Coast Blues and Roots Festival, a record that is not likely to ever be broken, and one which bears testimony to his amazing live performances and popularity with festival goers.

Cara draws on her soul background (she’s toured Europe and the United States with singers such as Jamiroquai and the hugely popular Corrine Bailey-Rae), and although blessed with a sensational voice she was not content to be labelled as ‘just a singer’. She has taken to drumming duties as well as washboards, flute and tin whistle, sometimes all at once.

Aussie bluesman and Irish Songstress get married, form a band and make great music together. This shabby hill country blues oozes cool”.?Guitar & Bass

“Before you utter the words Sea…. ……, let me put you straight. This Australian/Irish duo is something else and something special”   – Properganda Magazine

With Wiley Ways, Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson have crafted as genuine a blues record as you can hope to find in this day and age – simple, powerful, full of the inherent realism we’ve come to expect from these two, a stellar effort.” Samuel J. Fell, Rolling Stone

Hat Fitz & Cara take to the stage on Saturday 28 March at 7.30pm. Tickets are  £8 advance  / £10 doors and are available online at or by calling theBox Office on 01704 533333. They are also available over the counter during The Atkinson opening hours.

Please be advised that there is a £2 booking fee for telephone and online sales. From 1 April booking fees will increase to £2.50 per transaction.

Review: Greg Nagy – Stranded

Posted on: Sunday, Mar 22, 2015


Greg Nagy – Stranded

(Big O Records 2421)

As the notes tell us, this is the sound of a marriage breaking up after 24 years: brooding on the opening moody rocker ‘Stranded’, desolate, as on ‘Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City’, a little similar to Bobby Bland’s early 70s rendition, or thoughtful, melancholic and ultimately redemptive as on ‘I Won’t Give Up’.

Michigan based Greg made his solo recording debut in 2008 after working with the acclaimed Root Doctor. His singing is soulful and reflective throughout this album, whilst his guitar work is economical and always effective. He works mainly in blues and soul styles here. ‘Long Way To Memphis’ rides a tough blues riff, and ‘Still Doing Fine’ has a strong southern groove and positive feel – nice guitar break too.

‘Been Such A Long Time’ shows a fine funky approach, with an excellent vocal and another strong guitar break again, whilst ‘Sometimes’ is a little like Little Feat crossed with Freddy King , with guest Zach Zunis providing the meaty guitar work and lyrics that indicate a man getting back on his feet, before this fine set closes out with a gospel flavoured ‘Welcome Home’. Well worth a listen.


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Review: Dan Patlansky – Dear Silence Thieves

Posted on: Sunday, Mar 22, 2015


Dan Patlansky – Dear Silence Thieves

(Self-release – out 27th April)

Anyone looking for a new ‘guitar hero’ in the rock and blues world could do a lot worse than check out this latest release from South African musician, Dan Patlansky. He’s been recording for ten years and “Dear Silence Thieves” is his seventh release, and it is a 10-track set that is completely self-penned by the man himself, with two co-writes.

This UK release for the album seems certain to raise his profile on these shores for his mix of finely-crafted rock, blues and funk. Apart from Patlansky himself on guitar and vocals, the band comprise of Clint Falconer (bass) and Andy Maritz (drums), with additional string arrangements and keyboard from Theo Crous- who also produced the album.

The emphasis on a lot of  the tracks is groove as opposed to excess, and the album is all the better for that – indeed it kicks off in explosive fashion with the dynamite “Backbite”, which rides on a superb guitar and keyboard treat – a great start indeed! The following “Pop Collar Jockey” slows the pace a little, but contains fine work from all concerned; the rocking “Fetch Your Spade” has a thunderous riff from Patlansky, but with a beautiful string-laden chorus and hook.


“Taking Chances” is a lovely bluesy shuffle, with more impressive soloing from Patlansky and the driving rhythm section of Falconer and Maritz. The lovely folky “Windmills And The Sea” features some delicate acoustic playing and the storytelling aspect in the writing.

The slow blues of “Your War” has a slight nod to the late Gary Moore’s playing with some mighty fine guitar work. The funk returns for the cracking “Feels Like Home”, with another telling contribution from the keyboards of Theo Crous, and some spectacular bass from Clint Falconer.

Definitely a new name to check out, and “Dear Silence Thieves” comes highly recommended!


(Band pic: Justin Dallas)

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Eddie Martin has been at the forefront of the UK blues scene for 25 years playing at all of the major venues and festivals of the UK and Europe and he is one of only a few British musicians to have toured the USA. Indeed, he had a residency on Beale Street in Memphis and played regularly at the juke joints in Clarksdale in Mississippi.

He appears either with his big band, a power trio or a finger pickin’, slide guitar and harp one man band and it is in this latter format that he will be appearing in Worthenbury promoting his latest and 12th cd.

His press plaudits are many but the following two sum up this super musician:-

A master songwriter, acoustic and electric guitarist, harmonica player and powerful singer, Eddie Martin has been described as “the most remarkable blues man of his generation” by Blues in Britain.

The biggest circulation blues magazine in the world, Blues Revue, concurred: “One of the UK’s best, whether solo/acoustic or loud/electric, he’s a master of both..,years of experience separate him from pretenders. An exceptional guitarist he’s also been gifted with a most expressive blues voice.

His greatest skill, however is his slide-playing. Add to that standalone harp skills and Mr. Martin’s ability to coin a phrase and build a song, distinguishes him from others. Songs like the haunting “Kind Lady Moon” underline his storyteller abilities..completing the spell with his guitar mastery.”

Goin’ Up the Country, Worthenbury Village Hall, LL13 0AL

Saturday, 28th March – £12

Tel:   01948 770215

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