Gigs: Forthcoming blues at Bury Met

Posted on: Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015

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As ever Bury Met has a fair sprinkling of forthcoming blues gigs . . . including Laurence Jones, The Idle Hands, Absolution, Mud Morganfield and Moreland & Arbuckle.

Check out the website for more information:

http://themet.biz/

We’ll highlight some of the shows as they come up.

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Review: Linda Sutti – Wild Skies

Posted on: Tuesday, Jan 20, 2015

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Linda Sutti – Wild Skies

(Cable Car Records: CCR 0311-44)

When Linda meets Henrik, great things happen. These aren’t immediately clear but slowly a door opens, ever so gently, to reveal subtle delights. This is the debut album from the singer-songwriter from Piacenza, Italy, and the fact that her talents have fallen under the guidance of German blues master Henrik Freischlader, is something we should celebrate. She produces a superb showcase of her versatility and he delivers no less than a production masterclass.

They got together to perfect the songs, all written with the impressive confidence of those who have perfect command of a second language. There’s a jazzy feel to a lot of the set but with plenty of bounce along the way as Sutti veers occasionally to a poppier sound before turning it down as she enters a smoky late-night mood while still remaining, just, the innocent side of sultry. She has a folk-blues pedigree and is a big fan of both Janis Joplin and Sandy Denny. Touches of Norah Jones, Suzanne Vega are briefly brought to mind but the high-quality variety of Sutti’s output puts her in a bracket of her own.

Freischlader does what Freischlader does – the whole job, well almost. As well as co-writer and producer he plays guitars, bass and drums and arranges the session band’s keyboards, pedal steel and strings to perfection. Light and shade are consistently in contrast with backing vocals usually used just to add colour to a certain phrase before he lets Sutti stand alone.

Opener “Hurry” deliberately lets us do just exactly the opposite offering a gentle jazz feel with an almost reggae beat and suitably chunky guitar and organ.

The poppy, almost anthemic “Try” hits territory occupied by many a smash-hit, in the pop-country crossover world anyway. Sutti’s phrasing is spot-on and Freischlader adds yet more subtlety. Not for the last time here, he adds waves of cymbals to rush behind some elements of the song and the stripped-down build-up to the final chorus is a masterstroke of understatement.

“Every Tick Of Our Time” overtures with a gorgeous string section before Sutti’s almost narcoleptic delivery lazes over simple acoustic guitar. The violin and cello then return alongside Omer Klein’s wonderful piano.The duo get all Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger on us with “Down The Road” even if the psychedelic snarl here is fat, distorted guitar rather than organ.

In that parallel world mentioned earlier “Silence” would be the big-hit follow-up. There’s that cymbal rush again before Freischlader’s guitar solo unexpectedly blasts the song into orbit only for its perfect landing just ahead of the song’s gentle chorus and abrupt ending. The funky “Dear Mr So-and-So” gives Sutti the chance to rock out but, of course, she does so with fine restraint.

Back in that imaginary world I seem to have created for Sutti’s chart success, the pop-rock finale “No Fear” would surely be the ideal B-side of either of those two big hit singles – and again showcases Freischlader’s guitar work. The four songs I haven’t mentioned aren’t too shabby either.

Okay, this isn’t really a blues album – and we have been a little tardy in reviewing it – but this is surely one of the best debut releases of 2014.

JOHN BOTTOMLEY

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News: Eddie Martin seeks gig – 26th/28th March

Posted on: Monday, Jan 19, 2015

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Just in from the great Eddie Martin:

Hi Eddie Martin here,
Is anyone interested in booking my one man band show March 26th or 28th? I have taken a short notice booking in Sheffield at The Honey Bee Blues Club and need a show around it? eddie@eddiemartin.com 0797 4120418.

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Review for ‘THE WAYNE CARRICK BAND’ @ BJ’s ‘Rock in the Blues’ Club, The Minstrel, Chorley – 15/01/15 http://waynecarrickband.co.uk/

It’s always good to hear ‘class’ musicianship – and with the Wayne Carrick Band, that is certainly what we got! It was a welcome return of the NW band, to BJ’s ‘Rock in the Blues’ Club at the Minstrel in Chorley, where they were certainly a crowd pleaser.

Fronting the band on superb vocals and guitar was stalwart Wayne Carrick, with Matt McGrory on excellent guitar and keys. The rhythm section of Dave Linley on bass and backing vocals and Phil Escott on drums gave the band that certain drive.

Kicking off the evening with Muddy Waters, ‘Blow Wind Blow’ followed by a Rolling Stones classic ‘Under My Thumb’ the scene was set. Moving onto some Clapton influences with ‘Little Queen Of Spades’ and ‘Badge’, this led into an excellent self penned number ‘Leave You Baby’.

Some classic covers followed with Muddy Waters ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’ , a bit of reggae with ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ and to finish off the first set a touch of soul with ‘Knock On Wood’.

The second set also gave us some classic covers with Derek and the Dominoes ‘Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad’, the funky ‘Black Cat Bone’ and a great rendition of BB King’s ‘The Thrill Has Gone’. Bringing in a bit of good old rock ‘n roll with Eddie Cochran’s ‘Twenty Flight Rock’ then a couple more brilliant Clapton takes ‘Cocaine’ and ‘Old Love’.

To finish the excellent set, rockin’ it up with ‘Shake Rattle And Roll’ then a bit of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s ‘Pride And Joy’ and a well deserved encore of Clapton’s ‘Early In The Morning’ .

A great performance from ‘The Wayne Carrick Band’, with meaningful vocals, excellent interplay with the two lead guitars, superb keyboard playing and some technically classy drumming, working so well with the full on bass. A great evening with a great band!

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and independent reviewer

www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive

Review: Altered Five Blues Band – Cryin’ Mercy

Posted on: Monday, Jan 19, 2015

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Altered Five Blues Band –  Cryin’ Mercy

(Omnivibe Records: OVR 0001)

The A.F.B.B. came into being in 2002 when part-time musicians Jeff Taylor; vocals, Jeff Schroedl; guitar, Mark Solveson; bass,  Scott Schroedl, drums, and Raymond Tevich; keyboards, got together to play; as Jeff Taylor recalled in an interview: I had taught piano at a music store, and a mutual friend said they needed a piano player. I auditioned for that and they asked, “By the way, do you sing?” I said, “Yeah, I sing a little bit.” They said, “Hey, why don’t you try a couple of tunes,” and it went from there.

Since then they have played at numerous venues in their home state of Wisconsin and are once again making Milwaukee famous, this time for rip roaring, driving blues. Although, this is their third album to date it is their first on the Omni Vibe label, their first two albums Bluesfield and Gotta Earn were released by the Minneapolis based label Cold Wind. Adding particular interest to this album is the fact that Tom Hambridge occupies the producer’s chair; his solidly rocking approach to the blues only adds fuel to the bristling and powerfully raw type of playing that is displayed by the A.F.B.B.

There are eleven numbers here for your delectation, which mix light and delicate soulful emotions with no nonsense down and dirty gritty twelve bar, muscle bound blues guitar work, if this was not enough then the driving and urging gravel, rust and glass shards vocal delivery of Jeff Taylor, which is definitely a suggestive mixture of B.B King and Howlin’ Wolf, will certainly raise more than eyebrows.

The opening number “Demon Woman,” is an immediate onslaught of prowling stinging and ringing guitar which is underpinned by a wailing and punching organ that is coaxed along by a thumping coalition of bass and drum. The Stax inspired rolling, heart pulling ballad “Find My Wings,” presents a melancholy slowburning organ and a solemn melodic guitar matching Jeff’s troubled vocals as tries to find his own salvation. Another slowburner is “Move House,” which finds that Jeff is romantically and intimately ‘homeless’ his pleading for female accommodation is accompanied by a sympathetically urging and equally desirous guitar and organ.

“Urgent Care,” utilises a mixture of funk filled guitar and organ riding over urging percussion work that is as raucous as a boy racer bombing along a country lane. “I Got You,” fuses a light, airy bubbling and bobbling organ with a compulsive martial New Orleans drumbeat that funkily struts it’s stuff in this tale of a paramours description of the possessions of  love of his life and more importantly, that he’s got her.

On the searing and scorching guitar led “Who’s Your Lover?” Jeff gets to display his howling vocals to great effect over a burning and wailing organ, on this driving tale of adulterous liaisons.

Recommended!

BRIAN HARMAN

www.alteredfive.com

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YouTube: Ian Siegal & The Mississippi Mudbloods

Posted on: Sunday, Jan 18, 2015

Here’s some great footage from the Peer festival in Belgium a few years ago, featuring Ian Siegal & The Mississippi Mudbloods . . . featuring Andy Graham and Paddy Milner, together with Cody and Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars.

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Review for SEAN WEBSTER & THE DEAD LINES- CD – ‘See It Through’ – 2015 http://www.seanwebsterband.com/ Self Release

Sean Webster has returned with a brand new line up, in the form of The Dead Lines, to create an outstanding new album ‘See It Through’. After some years away in Australia, Sean is now back firmly on the European circuit and will be touring in early 2015 to promote the new album.

The line up consists of Sean Webster on outstanding vocals, guitars and piano, Ash Wilson on guitars and backing vocals, Phil Wilson on drums, percussion and backing vocals with Greg Smith on bass. All the tracks, bar one, are self penned.

The first track throws you straight into some heavy rock with a fabulous full on sound on ‘The Mayor’ In a complete change ‘Always Here’ is a bluesy ballad, followed by ‘Whisky’, which has acoustic input and country blues influences. It is a great stomp track with some super slide and one of my favourites on the album.

‘Stay With Me’, again with acoustic input, has some haunting slide guitar and great vocals. With a leaning towards country it has some class guitar work with wondrous bass and an epic electric guitar solo. Continuing with the acoustic input, ‘I Still Remember’ is a ballad with a full on sound, becoming something of an anthem track.

A change with the slow ‘Heart Still Bleeds’, which has its leaning towards soul. This leads nicely into the Etta James classic ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ , which has become one of Sean’s best known and loved numbers. I’m not sure a recording can do it justice, as it is a track that has to be heard live to get the full impact, but a brilliant take all the same with a superb guitar solo!

Getting into a bit of rocky blues on ‘Leave Me’, then slowing the pace down on the penultimate track, ‘Hear Me Now’, a slow blues with excellent slide guitar and a brilliantly put together rhythm section. The final number and the name sake of the album, ‘See It Through’, has shades of a 60’s bluesy ballad. A great finale to a great album.

Sean’s voice is in a class of its own and the musicianship of the band is evident. It was good to hear a mix of musical styles on the album, with blues, Americana, classic rock, country blues and a dash of soul. It all adds to the interest and makes the album ‘See It Through’ a great listen.

Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive

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Festival: Bowness Bay Blues full line-up

Posted on: Saturday, Jan 17, 2015

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Bowness Bay Blues
Organised by the Rotary Club of Windermere

THE FOURTH BOWNESS BAY BLUES WEEKEND
Weekend 27-29 March 2015

A stunning line-up of brilliant blues musicians in the heart of the Lake District, on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere.

www.bownessbayblues.co.uk

STOP PRESS: ZOE SCHWARZ BLUE COMMOTION ADDED TO THE LINE-UP!

‘A flagship for the very best of British blues’ – www.bluesinthenorthwest.com

‘A thoroughly great weekend’ – North West Evening Mail

Bowness Bay Blues 2014 was hailed as a great success, and Bowness Bay Blues 2015 will be even better with top-quality music on offer all weekend – ranging from sizzling electric to mellow acoustic blues and foot-tapping R’n’B – in some wonderfully atmospheric venues surrounding Lake Windermere.

Blues at the BBC

Posted on: Saturday, Jan 17, 2015

Repeated again last night, but well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it before.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00k36m5/blues-at-the-bbc

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Review: Raphael Wressnig – Soul Gumbo

Posted on: Friday, Jan 16, 2015

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Raphael Wressnig – Soul Gumbo

(Pepper Cake: PEC 2094-2)

For his follow-up to the superb “Soul Gift”, the Austrian Hammond B-3 groove ‘king’ Raphael Wressnig has made the trip to New Orleans to produce the equally enjoyable “Soul Gumbo” . . . nine cuts of blues, r&b, funk and soul in the company of such household names as Alex Schultz, George Porter Jr, Stanton Moore, Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington, Jon Cleary, Larry Garner, Tad Robinson and more . . . wow, that is some cast list!

“Soul Gumbo” captures the feel and ‘grease’ of New Orleans over its 52:47 and is a joy from start to finish. Proceedings open with the delightful funk of “Chasing Rainbows” – the first of two guest vocals from the great Tad Robinson – and also highlights Alex Schultz’s always tasteful guitar and Wressnig’s own super Hammond B-3 playing, which is inspired by the past masters but has its own modern edge and feel.

The following “Soulful Strut” is very much in the territory of The Meters and is driven by the horns of Eric Bloom (trumpet), ‘Sax’ Gordon Beadle (tenor and baritone saxophone) and Max The Sax (alto saxophone), with particularly impressive trumpet solo by Bloom.

Veteran New Orleans legend Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington takes a vocal and contributes stinging lead guitar to his own “I Want To Know”,  which never overstays its welcome at a leisurely 7:10 on a big slab of ‘Crescent City’ soul. Again massive contributions from the players on board, with again Raphael Wressnig’s brilliant Hammond B-3 work and noteable contributions from Jimmy Carpenter on saxophone; and the stellar, absolutely unbeatable rhythm section of George Porter Jr and Stanton Moore, on drums and bass respectively.

Our very own Jon Cleary – now so established as part of the New Orleans music hierachy – gives a trademark class performance on his song “Sometimes I Wonder”, a gorgeous sweet soulful tune, on which he contributes lead vocals, grand piano, Wurlitzer and acoustic guitar!

Let’s be honest, we are being spoiled on this album, and the quality continues with the standout “Room With A View”, a Lowell Fulson/Billy Vera blues, that sees Tad Robinson back on the microphone, delivering a ‘smooth as silk’ vocal with Alex Schultz and Raphael Wressnig both supplying dynamite solos, with the brass of Jimmy Carpenter, Antonio Gambrell (trumpet) and Werner Wurm (trombone) right ‘on the money’.

Wressnig salutes fellow native of Vienna, Joe Zawinul, on the jazz funk instrumental “Slivovitz For Joe”, that sees just him, Alex Schultz, Stanton Moore and Harry Sokal (tenor saxophone) possibly tearing it up! “Soul Jazz Shuffle” is pretty self-explanatory, and features Craig Handy on tenor saxophone as Wressnig and crew again stretch out over 8:07, again with the tune hitting a marvellous groove that goes with the turf of a New Orleans recording.

Frequent UK and Eurpean visitor, Baton Rouge bluesman Larry Garner – a great singer, guitarist and writer – contributes his own song, “Nobody Special” to round off “Soul Gumbo” – a lovely mellow, soulful blues from the man whose band once featured a young Raphael Wressnig . . . it’s a fitting end to a most highly recommended and very classy recording.

GRAHAME RHODES

www.raphaelwressnig.com

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In Baton Rouge, They’re Still Singing the Blues – NYTimes.com.

Great article about Baton Rouge.

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Review: David Philips – Angel (download only single)

Posted on: Thursday, Jan 15, 2015

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David Philips – Angel

(Black & Tan B&T 948)

This download only track is a taster single release for British singer and songwriter David’s upcoming album “If I Had Wings”, due in March 2015 from this Dutch label. It is not a blues performance as such, but is a bluesy folk item, with David’s heartfelt vocal backed by a bluesy guitar and hints of electronica. A promising performance then, and with David’s own attractive art-work, it is available on iTunes and Spotify, or go to:

https://twitter.com/dphilipsmusic

NORMAN DARWEN

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Tickets: £6   book here

Its that man again ! Once more Barry Barnes returns to Bluefunk with his band the mighty SINNERBOY. With the UK’s best loved celebration of the life and work of the sainted Rory Gallagher, in this, the 20th anniversary of the great man’s passing.

We last saw Barry when he guested with Jim Kirkpatrick which was a total blast. Its going to be a busy year for Barry and the boys, help Bluefunk launch it with a bang.

http://bluefunkclub.wix.com/blues#!biog/c6lx

Review: 2014 Revisited Addendum

Posted on: Thursday, Jan 15, 2015

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2014 Revisited Addendum

It is with profound embarrassment that I humbly confess to a glaring omission from my review of 2014. In August, the superbly organised, first Mold Blues & Soul Festival added another significant component to the UK’s wonderful array of blues-related festivals. Featuring, among others, Connie Lush and Blues Shouter, the Stevie Nimmo Trio, the Cadillac Kings, The Brothers Groove and Forty4 and offering excellent food and drink facilities, the festival was a huge success and surely bound to be an annual delight in the future.

Much thoroughly-deserved praise was heaped on the festival’s chief organiser, Charlie Broadhurst, who also graced the stage with his own band, A Shrewdness Of Apes, and I offer my sincere apologies to him, in particular, for the omission of his excellent festival from my original review.

LIONEL ROSS

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Review: Peaches And Crime – Do Bad Things

Posted on: Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015

Peaches And Crime – Do Bad Things

(Peaches And Crime Records)

Did your mother warn you against running away to go on stage? If so, she’d probably heard of these guys. Out of upstate New York – without doubt some kind of disreputable dance hall – circa 1935, they describe their approach on the back sleeve of this CD as “Vaudeville Variety Show”, which conveys rather less than the half of it.

Don’t be fooled for an instant! I doubt they know how to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Why, even the piano player is called Mikey The Fist and I’m pretty sure that’s not the name on his NYPD record. They’re pretty twisted – they sing like angels but I can’t shake the suspicion that they might even dare to try to corrupt The Andrews Sisters.

They do things like jailhouse work songs, warped klezmer, crazy polkas, Cab Calloway styled jazz and some hokum-ish vaudeville blues, interspersed with spoken comic skits, just like the real thing (not that I would know, of course, I’ve just been told about it). Chances are you’d enjoy this, but don’t let your mother catch you listening to it – she probably wouldn’t be happy. I’m off to confession right now…

Norman “Guardian Of Morality” Darwen

http://peachesandcrime.wix.com/speakeasy

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