Review: CD Woodbury Band – Monday Night!

Posted on: Saturday, Sep 28, 2013

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CD Woodbury Band – Monday Night!

(Wild Willie Productions)

The CD Woodbury Band was formed by the pairing CD himself and the remnants of Tim Casey’s’ Bluescats at the Snohomish Blues Invasion in 2009, prior to that CD has had the distinction of playing in front of two American Presidents and on one occasion playing the music of  Jimi Hendrix before the Hendrix family.

CD’s invaluable Texas roadhouse experiences and his jazz and blues background has, over the years stood him in good stead; especially so on the meshing of the fine musicians that make up CDWB who are; CD guitar, lead vocals,   Don Montana; drums, lead vocals, Mike Marinig; lead vocals, saxophone, Chris Klienman; keyboards and last but not least Mike Fish; bass.

The device of varying who takes lead vocals has the advantage of giving greater texture and depth to the varied styles and types of music that is to be found on this album. The opener, “These Blues Keep Me Right Here,” has jolly, jaunting rolling piano and organ joining a rich and lusty guitar that shares centre stage with a panting saxophone, with the clean crisp vocals grooving over the top; while “Mean Jenny,” moves into a swampy piano boogie led mode that is not only compulsorily footapping but also, has a very catchy chorus.

This mood is continued on “Been So Long,” which features a punchy guitar, rolling piano and drums alongside wheezy saxophone. On the numbers “Monday Night,” “Pleasures All Mine,” “Burn the Bridge” and “Two Wheels,” a refreshing change of mood is fully explored, that is the world of jazz and funk; from the classic strident James Brown guitar and brass riffs to the seventies soft, caressing, bubbling and burbling keyboards style, that is succinctly matched with an insistently exhilarant, brusque swaying saxophone which is neatly underpinned with nut tight, riveting,  urging guitar passages that takes the mood further on up the road.

The rolling piano led slowburner “Pawn Shop,” has building vocals and a grooving Jazz tinged saxophone while over the top a searing and scorching guitar wails away some painful blues. The equally mournful and melancholic mood of “SauBall Blues,” contains breathily drawling saxophone riffs that are coupled with Jazz tinged maudlin piano rolls, gentle brushwork lazily flows alongside rich sombre guitar picking.

Highly recommended!

BRIAN HARMAN

www.cdwoodbury.com

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Thanks to Keith Blackledge for the October gigs at The Hop Pocket, Chorley:

3RD   TIN PAN ALLEY

10TH   KING BEE

17TH   BLUESTOWN

24TH   FULL FAT BOOGIE BAND

31ST   THE BACKWATER BLUES BAND

FREE ADMISSION  – 9-30PM START.

Video: Southern Hospitality – Long Way Home

Posted on: Friday, Sep 27, 2013

NEW SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY VIDEO
“Long Way Home”
http://mailman.305spin.com/users/blindpigrecords/images/JPLongWayHomeweb.jpg

Blind Pig Records has released a new video from Americana roots music sensation Southern Hospitality, whom some critics have dubbed a “southern rock supergroup” reminiscent of Little Feat, The Allman Brothers, and The Marshall Tucker Band.

Led by a trio of young virtuosos, (Damon Fowler on lap steel, JP Soars on guitar, and Victor Wainwright on keyboards), Southern Hospitality has crafted a highly compelling mix of Southern soul, rootsy rock, and swampy blues with echoes of Muscle Shoals and Macon.  Their debut release, ‘Easy Livin,’ was produced by Tab Benoit, who said, “Damon, Victor, and JP are the future of roots music.”

The “Long Way Home” video, filmed at a live show in a Florida nightclub, features JP Soars’ performance of his own composition.  In its CD review Living Blues said, “Another highlight is the gravely voiced Soars’ ‘Long Way Home,’ which has classic southern rock written all over it, with grinding guitars and surging B-3 organ lines.” No Depression magazine added, “Soars’ ‘Come Back Home’ is a rollicking throwback that sounds like it tinkled out of Jerry Lee’s keyboard in the ’50s.”

To watch the video of “Long Way Home,” please click HERE

For more info and samples from Livin’ Easy, or to see more videos of Southern Hospitality, please click HERE.

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Gary Fletcher Band – Giant From The Blue

(Arone 1301)

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Gary Fletcher – In Solitary

(Arone 1302)

Here’s not one, but two new releases from The Blues Band stalwart Gary Fletcher . . . one with his band, and the other, as the title suggests, a solo offering – and very pleasant they are both are!

“Giant From The Blue” sees Fletcher with his band, namely ex-Dire Straits drummer Pick Withers; Jack Fletcher, his son, on bass; Steve Ling on guitar; as well as the man himself on vocals and guitar. The album consists entirely of self-penned songs, and he has called in some excellent guests, namely British jazz trumpet giant Guy Barker, Nine Below Zero harmonica man Mark Feltham and backing vocals from Kokomo. The tracks were cut in 2011 but only saw limited release then.

The music is a gentle mix of sweet, rolling melodic rock and blues, all beautifully played and sung with no unrequired histrionics from those involved. Treats here are the bluesy slide-driven “User Man”, enhanced by Feltham’s tough-toned harmonica playing; Guy Barker shows off his prowess on the lengthy “It’s Not My Call” . . . imagine a jazzy Dire Straits and you’re there! The driving “Can’t Live With, Can’t Live Without” recalls the heyday of The Blues Band, with some more impressive slide guitar work.

The album closes with the stripped-down “That’s My Way”, giving way to a ‘hidden track’, a long, rambling blues with more great trumpet from Guy Barker.

“In Solitary” by contrast was recorded ‘live in the studio’, with just Gary Fletcher’s acoustic guitars and vocals and as well as his own fine songs, contains three covers – two blues ‘chestnuts’ in the form of Willie Dixon’s “The Same Thing” and Blind Willie Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault” – highlighting Fletcher’s prowess on different tunings and also resonator guitar; the third cover being Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene”.

Things get off to a lovely gentle start with the heartfelt “If You Were Me”; the gorgeous finger-picked instrumental “Affric” is quite enchanting; and also among the original tunes the slide blues of “Delta T79″ is engaging; with “Fall From Grace Blues” highlighting Fletcher’s very fine voice, and with more nice finger-picked acoustic guitar.

Two very fine releases from a seasoned-pro of the British music scene, with fine, sympathetic musicians on the band offering, with strong and well delivered songs . . . and both well worthy of investigation . . .

GRAHAME RHODES

www.garyfletchermusic.co.uk

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The fast-rising blues rockers, Virgil & The Accelerators, appear at Telford’s Warehouse in Chester on Friday, 18th October.

Full details here:

http://www.telfordswarehousechester.com/2013/10/18/virgil-the-accelerators/

Review: Marshall Lawrence – House Call

Posted on: Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013

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Marshall Lawrence – House Call

(self-produced: ML10400)

Marshalls interest in music was piqued at the age of ten in 1996 by rock and roll, inspiring him to ask his father for his own guitar; at this time the family moved from their home in Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada to  Windsor, Ontario. At the age of thirteen he was listening to Jimi Hendrix and making his own live appearances.

Through his teens he eagerly expanded his knowledge and interest by listening to the likes of Chuck Berry and Johnny Winter while working in a car factory in Windsor, he later went on to Kingston to gain his Ph. D in Psychology; all the while absorbing a wide array of influences and styles ranging from blues legend B.B. King to Eddie Hazel from Funkadelic.

After playing in various bands and in various styles he found over time that he was inextricably drawn to acoustic blues, one instrument in particular that he has mastered and has also had an overriding influence on his playing style is the mandolin, due wholly to the fact that whilst in Northern California in 1996 he could only find work playing in a bluegrass band named Tubtones.

Now, after firmly re-establishing himself in Canada he has not only produced distinctive and singular albums but he has also created a picking sound like no other; the deep, haunting and resonating warm rolling tones of his picking combined with an upbeat voice combine to draw you into a rural world where getting your life on an even keel is somewhat of a victory.

The endearing and  mellow rhythms that Marshall envelopes you in cradles your thoughts into a timeless mixture of old time blues and Americana; some of the folk music played here, seems to possess at times a similar formality to that which is found in  its English cousin.

The wonderful downbeat vocals of Marshall on “Factory Closing Blues,” are sublimely backed by the beautiful despairing harmonies of the Holmes Brothers playing against guitar, chain and pipe. An urging Hammond organ and wistful harmonica drive the almost meandering “Please Help Me Find My Way Home,” While “The Ballad Of Molly Brown,” mixes a rolling, rising insistently toe tapping acoustic guitar with plaintive harmonica and joyously unbridled thigh slaps.

The slowburning, wailing and dragging harmonica and guitar led “Rich Man, Can’t Get The Blues,” explains that no matter what or who you are the blues will still get you. The highly expressive harmonica of Dave ‘Hurricane’ Hoerl and stand-up acoustic bass of Russell Jackson are to the fore on the swinging and jumping “Hey Girl (Tired of Your Lying.)” The more respectful gospel / military nuanced drum on the traditional “Little Black Train,” invoke a more sombre mood.

Recommended!

BRIAN HARMAN

www.marshalllawrence.com

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News: Willie & The Bandits – new album and tour

Posted on: Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013

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Having toured their unique brand of rock music with the likes of Deep PurpleJoe BonamassaJohn Butler Trio and Status QuoWille and the Bandits release their first nationally distributed album, ‘Grow’ on October 14th 2013.

The album will be supported by a 20 date UK tour, kicking off on Nov 1 in Penzance.

WATB are renowned for creating an astonishingly huge sound, incorporating eclectic grooves from world music to heavy rock. Using unusual combinations of instrumentation such as tongue drum, djembe, lap steel guitar and double bass, they push the boundaries of what is expected of a modern three piece.

Although difficult to pigeonhole, Wille and the Bandits are taking ‘rock’ music to new places, with a unique take on songwriting that is fresh, but at the same time laced with nostalgia. Their success has been built on successfully engaging three generations of fans, each captivated by the exquisite musicianship and soulful song writing which flows effortlessly throughout their performances.

Even the most experienced music lovers will have their head turned by the spellbinding concoction of Wille Edwards’ mastery of the slide guitar, Matthew Brooks’ wizardry on the 6-string bass and Andrew Naumann’s ability to conjure an irresistible groove from his vast array of percussion.

Based in Cornwall, but playing over 250 shows a year worldwide, their songs are a social commentary on what their road worn eyes have seen, never shying away from even the most poignant subjects.

The band has developed a loyal underground fan base right across Europe, mainly from their explosive live shows. Their success in building a core fan base is a result of their versatility; whether busking or in a sold out arena, the band have the songs and musicianship to command an audience and connect with people who will return for more

After playing many major festivals including Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and the Olympic games, the band were chosen by The Kaiser Chiefs as one of the top unsigned acts in the UK, declaring them, “destined for big things”

With the release of ‘Grow’, the anticipation is that the UK’s best kept secret is about to be let out.

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Wille And The Bandits ‘Grow’ – Track listing

1.    Got To Do Better

2.    Gypsy Woman

3.    Try To Be Yourself

4.    Under The Grove

5.    Butterfly For A Day

6.    Still Go Marching In

7.    Why’d You Do It

8.    Son Of The Gun

9.    Keep Moving On

10. Forgiveness

11.Angel

Tour Dates:

November

01 The Acorn, Penzance

02 Louisiana, Bristol

03 Cavern, Exeter

05 The Winchester, Bournemouth

06 The Bullingdon Arms, Oxford

07 The Islington, London

08 Farnham Maltings, Farnham

09 Bridport Arts Centre, Bridport

10 The Cellars, Eastney

12 The Greystones, Sheffield

13 Brudenell 2, Leeds

14 The Bodega, Nottingham

15 The Met, Bury

16 The Cluny 2, Newcastle

17 The Continental, Preston

20 The Bicycle Shop, Norwich

21 The Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

22 Westcoast Bar, Margate

23 The Brass Monkey, Hastings

24 The Latest Bar, Brighton

Links:

http://www.willeandthebandits.com

http://www.facebook.com/willeandthebandits.official

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Review: Eugene Hideaway Bridges – Roots And Vines

Posted on: Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013

Eugene Bridges CD Cover

Eugene Hideaway Bridges – Roots And Vines

(Armadillo Music: ARMD00034)

On reaching fifty years of age in 2013, Eugene Hideaway Bridges was inspired to compile an album that reflected his major influences, including the gospel and blues music that laid the foundation of his early musical development in his native Louisiana. “Roots And Vines” contains 16 tracks, which include twelve original compositions. Eugene’s vocals and guitar playing are backed on the album by Pat Manske on drums and percussion, Lloyd Maines on pedal steel and David Webb and Clayton Doley on keyboards.

After a rousing version of the traditional gospel number, “Glory Glory”, and a cover of “Farewell My Darling”, the next three tracks are essentially well-crafted songs in the Sam Cooke mould, one of which, “Good Old Days”, is imbued with a country flavour. A lovely version of “They Call The Wind Mariah”, leads into the first blues-based track in the form of the shuffle “Rise Above It”. The slight taste of country is back on the table with “I Will Still Be In Love With You”, followed by the bluesy “A Thing Called Love” and the funky-edged “Under My Roof”.

“17 Miles To Go” is a slow-paced gospel number in complete contrast with the upbeat and bluesy “How Long Will It Take” before the energy level is raised even higher with “Nelly Bell”, a tribute to Eugene’s much-loved 1981 Datsun 720 truck. A leisurely rendition of “Wayward Wind” is the final cover version on the album, followed by the fast-moving “Basil’s Bar”, complete with some lyrical guitar artistry. The album is completed with the slow and bluesy “Don’t Call It Supper” and the slow blues “School House Blues”, accompanied by a splendid, trademark guitar solo.

This is a delightful album, which fully exhibits Eugene’s impressive songwriting ability, his exceptional vocal skills and his masterful guitar playing. It is little wonder that his appearances in the UK are so enthusiastically supported by his discerning band of admirers.

LIONEL ROSS

www.bluearmadillo.com

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Wigan lad, John Fairhurst returns to Telford’s Warehouse in Chester, on Friday, 4th October with his kick-ass blues.

Full details here:

http://www.telfordswarehousechester.com/2013/10/04/john-fairhurst/

Review: The Paul Garner Band – 3 Get Ready

Posted on: Monday, Sep 23, 2013

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The Paul Garner Band – 3 Get Ready

(Progressive Roots: PR0011)

Here’s a fine release from New Zealand-born guitarist Paul Garner and his band, which actually first saw the light of day in 2012, but has been ‘re-pushed’ by Outlaw PR, so it is a sort of re-release for “3 Get Ready” – and it is well worthy of investigation, being a little different from a standard blues release, with the ‘jazzy shuffle’ to the fore, which can not be a bad thing!

The Paul Garner Band has been around, based in London, since 2006. Their first album, “What Colour Will You See” was recorded in 2009 and was very well received on its release. The band trimmed down to a trio in 2011, with keyboard man Claudio Corona handling bass duties with his left hand!

This latest release was recorded live in the studio, and as noted was originally released in July 2012, supported by constant touring both in clubs and on the festival circuit. Making up the band is drummer Jason Ribeiro, completing a very fine trio of musicians along with Garner and Corona.

The ten tracks here are a mix of Paul Garner originals and some interesting covers, kicking off with a funky re-working of Willie Dixon’s “My Babe”, and a super take on the Jennings/Hooper composition “Never Make A Move Too Soon”, covered by the likes of BB King, Bonnie Raitt and Joe Bonamassa, in which Paul Garner stretches out with a glorious lengthy guitar solo which shows off his lovely economical style.

The first of two Bob Dylan tunes, “Lay Lady Lay” is given a bold slow blues treatment which works; this is followed by the lovely jazzy shuffle of “Police Dog Blues”, a song dating all the way back to the immortal Blind Blake – some sparking keyboard work here from Claudio Corona and the great drum work from Jason Ribeiro.

Paul Garner’s own “Blue Morning Light” rides on a funky guitar and keyboard riff, with his “Louisiana Blues” following – again in a funky, soulful groove. The original “Another Day In New Orleans” capture the flavour of ‘The Crescent City’ as Ribeiro works a nice rumba feel, with the guitar and keyboards effective but not overdone on top. Paul Garner has a serviceable voice, probably a ‘work in progress’, but more than makes up for it with his playing.

Definitely an outfit to catch when they head your way . . . highly recommended!

GRAHAME RHODES

www.paul-garner.com

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At this popular venue for blues fans, hosted by Lucas Campbell, ‘The Shakers’ from the Fylde gave a well received performance.

The Lancashire blues band describe themselves as “a hard rockin’ rhythm & blues band from deep in the Fylde Coast Delta” and did not fall short of that! With John Caroll fronting the band on guitar, vocals and harmonica, Chris Peacock on guitar, Brian Hunter on bass and vocals and Craig Holland on drums, the band gave a rockin’ show.

Kicking off the evening a Clapton style instrumental blues ‘Stepping Out’, John set the scene by taking his guitar into the audience. A great beginning to a fun evening. Next ‘King Bee’, with a masterful guitar solo from John, which got the dancers up early!

They gave a nice rendition of the John Lee Hooker number ‘Dimples’, with John on harp, followed by a T Bone Walker slow blues ‘Stormy Monday’. Then a change of tempo with ‘Unchain My Heart’, a well put together track with Brian on vocals and a great guitar solo.

The standard ‘I’ve Got My Mojo Working’, but performed in a ‘bluegrass’ style made a refreshing change with Brian on vocals and John on harp. Then on to my favourite track of the evening Howlin Wolf’s, ‘Little Red Rooster’ . A brilliant performance of this number … and they even invited Beryl up on stage with her tambourine, excellent!

A couple of well performed classic numbers to end the first set, ‘Crossroads’ followed by ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’

After the break John did a solo blues number on his resonator guitar, with some great slide. The band then went into a classic Hendrix number ‘Foxy Lady’. Followed by a standard 12 bar blues ‘Before You Accuse Me’.

Another Hendrix number ‘Red House’ , with some great slide guitar from John as he disappeared into the audience yet again. The next number was more pop than blues, ‘ Feel Like Making Love’, but was popular with the dancers. As was the next up tempo soul number.

A good cover of the Otis Rush track ‘All Your Love’ in a Mayall style, then on to the last number of the set, a nice version of the up tempo ‘Treat Her Right’ … with the added bonus of Beryl again!

A well deserved encore gave us ‘Superstition’, which was played to a packed dance floor. A good end to a fun night. The Shakers don’t claim to be the best blues band in the world, but with great interaction with the audience, they made this a memorable evening. Let’s hope we see them back at BJ’s next year.

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Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive – ‘KEEPING LIVE MUSIC ALIVE’

For information on blues based gigs in the local area and around the NW check my website: www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive

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Just in from John Welsh is that Kent DuChaine appears at The Saughall Massey Hotel, Saughall Road, CH46 5ND – near Moreton, Wirral, this coming Wednesday, 25th September.

The evening is free and will start between 8-9 pm. Further details from Graham on 0151 677 2854.

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Kirsten Thien – Solo Live From the Meisenfrei Blues Club

(Screen Door Records: SDR0003)

After three studio albums Kirsten has chosen to release a live solo acoustic album; this, is no mean feat, as many an  artist or band mostly only attempt  this kind of concert after a good number of albums, a well rehearsed repertoire and a good deal of self confidence. So firstly, congratulations are in order to Kirsten for having the courage and confidence to embark on such a venture.

The concert took place on the evening of 30th October, 2012 at the Meisenfrei Blues Club in Bremen, Germany. A venue that is more usually associated with a louder and brasher sound, rather than singular vocals and acoustic guitar.

The set consists of fifteen numbers that are a mixture of originals and covers; “Hold on To Me” and “A Woman Knows,” start the proceedings and  are delivered with a powerfully assured, clean, crisp vocal clarity that expresses her convictions and beliefs, her gentle, confident strumming infuses the numbers with a greater dramatic effect than first thought.

The crowd are at first somewhat cautious about the music, responding with the odd burst of handclapping and cheering but, ‘slowly but surely’ they are drawn into and under Kirsten’s evocative spell. The captivating “You Got Me,” loosens the crowd enough for them to happily participate in call and response with Kirsten on her rousing version of Ida Cox’s “Wild Women, Don’t Have the Blues.”

A vibrant and almost carousing version of Bob Dylan’s “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train Cry,” ensures that the audience are most definitely with her and stay with her throughout the evening.  A stark and plaintive version of Sheryl Crow’s “Leaving Las Vegas,” is a fine example of how much of the blues can be found to exist in a popular song.

The jaunty cautioning Sippie Wallace’s “Women Be Wise,” is without doubt as relevant and valid today as it ever was. By the time Kirsten lustily performs Elvin Bishops “Fooled Around And Fell Love,” and Freddie Kings “I Rather Be Blind,” the joint and her are without doubt rocking. The show is ended with a very interesting and nonetheless captivating amalgamation of “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and “The Thrill is Gone.”

Impressive!

BRIAN HARMAN

www.kirstenthien.com

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Article on the King Biscuit Festival

Posted on: Saturday, Sep 21, 2013

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Review: Wooden Horse – This Kind Of Trouble

Posted on: Saturday, Sep 21, 2013

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Wooden Horse – This Kind Of Trouble

(self-release)

Wooden Horse hail from Worcestershire and are primarily a duo with Jamie Knight on guitar, vocals and stomp, Ben Church on guitars, harmonica, backing vocals, National guitar, Weissenborn (lap slide) and banjo, but have been joined on this album, by Stuart McIlroy on piano.

The album encompasses a mix of country blues, bluegrass, Americana and more, with some great original tracks which shows the strength of vocals by Jamie and the variety of instruments using bottleneck and finger picking to harmonica and banjo from Ben. Also some great boogie piano playing from Stuart.

The self penned first track on the album, ‘A Big Deal’ has the bluegrass feel with banjo. A good opening number as this sets the mood for the rest of the album. Next an up tempo country blues, ‘You Ain’t Letting Me Down’, again written by Knight & Church. A well put together track with some great slide guitar, one to get you stomping!

‘Get It Right’ is a slow blues, then ‘All Along’, a bluegrass number with a touch of banjo, both written by Knight & Church were not ore inspiring, but were well put together.

The Robert Johnson number ‘Kind Hearted Woman’ provided a nice classic blues with some great slide guitar and piano. Following this, another self penned country blues track ‘This Kind Of Trouble’ with some exceptional slide guitar and finger picking with a definite Ry Cooder flavour.

I really enjoyed the next track, a JJ Cale number, ‘Crazy Mamma’. A real up tempo foot tapper with some superb boogie woogie piano, a real ‘rockin’ number. ‘The Walking Rain’ by Knight & Church slowed to tempo down. A nice country number with the use of a lap slide and a haunting harmonica.

Reminiscent of Eric Clapton, this well put together version of the Vinson/Chatmon number ‘Sittin’ On Top Of The World’ showed the versatility of the instruments used . A mix of electric and National guitars for slide with great piano. Loved the vocals on this track especially.

The final two tracks on the album couldn’t have been more different. Both by Knight & Church, ‘Kinda Man’ was a real up tempo, rock n’ roll number, with some great boogie woogie piano. ‘Time I’s Leaving’ however, was a slow, bit doomy country number which didn’t do it for me I’m afraid.

The album was an easy listen and I think the addition of Stuart McIlroy on piano added a new dimension to the band. Jamie Knight has a terrific voice which reminded me at times of Eric Clapton. Ben Church has great versatility with his use of so many instruments and provided some great harmonies with Jamie. Stuart McIlroy is a class boogie pianist, so all in all a really impressive album.

ROSY GREER – Lancashire Blues Archive

www.woodenhorsemusic.co.uk

http://youtu.be/YFtkuFaqDs4

Walter Trout, Virgil & The Accelerators, Ben Poole, Federal Charm & Mitch Laddie

Saturday, 9th November: The Picturedrome, Holmfirth

Sunday, 10th November: The Ritz Manchester

A veritable feast on offer here for the blues rockers out there. Two gigs, one just out of our area, and one firmly in it!

Five of the most popular rocking acts around!

Full information:

www.picturedrome.net/tickets/WalterTrout/20131109.htm

http://mamacolive.com/theritz/listings/upcoming-events/9457/walter-trout-manchester-blues-splash/

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