Born to be wild, from rock star to wildlife advocate we hear from John Kay all about his journey with Wolf World and what he’s up to now following his 50 year career.
US bassist, bluesman and songwriter Buscuit Millar catches up with us and we hear about his time in the Lonnie Brooks Band.
Nine Below Zero were born in London in the late 70’s and are still out there today producing meanigful contemporary music and touring the country in celebration, we catch up with Dennis to give us the low down.
Plus we bring you reviews of new albums, festivals, gigs and so much more!
Ruff Record’s artist Ghalia Volt talks to us about her new record and recording at Luther Dickson’s Zebra Ranch.
Fiesty blueslady Janiva Magness tells us about her latest record of Fogarty’s material spanning 3 decades.
Mike Zito catches up with us to talk about his latest record and how he got fire and fury from Joe Bonamassa.
Marco Cinelli and Danny del Toro serve up a dollop of Delta blues stripped back in all its acoustic glory with their new album Delta Overflowin’
In this issue, we cover many exciting topics including our regular Phenomenal Blues Women piece and this time its Lucille Bogan and LGBT Blues; we also have more Scandinavia Blues; Blues Down Under; Son House Pt.2; Piano Blues – Radiating the 88’s; Nick Westgarth – Carlisle Blues & Rock Festival.
Festivals, Gigs, Books, DVD’s & Albums covered just for you.
Blue Blood – Newcomers to introduce you to this issue are Amanda St John, Jack Broadbent, Delta Fuse, Iron Kyte, Wolf Band ft. Zoe Green.
Nicholas David embarked on his musical career over two decades ago, and in that time he’s been a singer, writer, pianist, band member and band leader. Whether on the St. Paul, Minnesota circuit, touring in Europe, or on national television in homes across America, he’s always adorned with his hallmarks: a full-bodied, lived-in voice, a joy for music, and some truly unique outfits. Blues Rock Review was able to catch up with him just before his upcoming tour, and the release of his newest album, Yesterday’s Gone.
As a young kid, how did you start in music? Was there a seminal moment, a strong memory, an artist, a band, or a person that made you realize that music was going to be a big part of your life?
It kind of coincided that it was both of my grandfathers, to be honest. On one side, my grandfather played the accordion and the piano. On the other side, my grandfather drew and painted, and so those are both pieces of my youth. And then I found out I could do both of those—kind of a wild moment. So, it was such a part of my life. Then when I was at a young age, my grandfather passed away. You know, my name is Nick, and he had told my grandmother, “Tell Nicky never to stop playing.” That was one of the last things he said on this earth. So, I feel that that was big. I remember being eight or nine. Having my grandma pull me aside and tell me that(…)when I have these wild moments, you know, because I’ve been playing music ever since, I have these moments where I kind of hear her words. She’s still with us too, but I’ll still hear the words of her saying, he said never to stop.
That’s pretty awesome.
Oh, yeah, it’s pretty powerful. So I definitely feel that is like the family thing. You know? Totally my grandfathers. It’s my earliest influence, musically—my grandfathers. Both of them.
What I know about you is that you seem to be mostly self taught, but it sounds like you have a little bit of music education. How do you feel about the balance of self-taught versus training? At one point, you were offered a scholarship to study jazz singing at Roosevelt University in Chicago, and you opted not to take that.
I feel like self taught versus teaching(…)I feel that I’m a mixture of both, like my grandfather. You know, he couldn’t really read music, but it was in him and he could hear it and play it. So it’s like on one hand, that’s amazing. Over then on the other hand, it’s like he didn’t apply himself to learn the tools that could have allowed him to maybe branch out, or learn more. That’s not to say that he was a bad player at all, because he was awesome.
But you know, as with anything in life, there’s a balance. Like there’s some people that, you know, can only read music. They could read (Sergei) Rachmaninoff to a tee. They’d be like, “well, I still want to play piano like Janis does,” because she feels it. Janis can take a lyric and music and feel it, but she’s like, “I want to play like Susan. Susan can read it.” So I think sometimes we want maybe what we can’t do. Though that drive creates the action forward. But I feel the answer to your question, I think it’s a balance of both.
About the Roosevelt (University) thing, that was kind of crazy because I remember doing that as a senior in high school and meeting these jazz players at the university, They’re like, “we’re going to accompany this today.” Upright bass and drums and the piano player(…)the guy says, “Okay, which music? I’m going to play on one song.” The guy is like, “I can take a break for a couple of songs.” I remember thinking, “Wow, look at these guys! They can just come and pick up a piece of music and play it and sound like a record!” I remember thinking, that shows me. I remember going outside and taking a minute and looking up at the streets, looking up at the buildings in Chicago and thinking, it’s not my time, for here, you know, it’s not(…)not the time. So I think, learning to listen to that inner voice is something too. Maybe a third part of that (self taught versus education), it’s like you can hear it. You can use it, but then you have to filter that, you know? That discernment, if you will.
That makes a lot of sense. I know you went from doing some opening work by yourself for the Devon Allman Project a couple years ago and then fast forward a year, you’re playing in the band as their keyboardist. You’ve spoken of the brotherhood and the camaraderie of being in a band, but that comes at the expense of someone’s autonomy. Do you have a preference between being solo or playing in a band and how do you feel about the core difference between the two?
That’s awesome. Solo versus playing with the band(…)There’s a freedom when you’re by yourself to go into uncharted territory and there’s very little risk because it’s just you, you know? If you’re in band and you start going off without communicating anything, trying to follow you will be colorful adventure, I think (laughs). So I think the freedom and solo, but I feel that when you play with a band you have this beauty where the many become one. They become almost a solo instrument. That is a really strong difference of solo versus band. We need to be able to communicate with other people, this one voice. I think that there’s a strength and a decipherability, I don’t even know if that’s a word, but it’s different from only one sound, one person.
I appreciate both. I really like when we would do the Devon Allman Project with Duane Betts. We were rolling with 12 guys on the bus, I don’t even know how many, I can’t remember how many on stage, nine or something just off the top of my head. You know, so many sounds, you’re assigned your part. Then every once in a while I’d have some solo gigs that I slide away to, so that was a really nice break—going from communicating with many different vibrations to one solo vibration, and you being that sole sound. I think they’re both cool. I learned to appreciate it all, man. I guess each one I’m hip to, and I think maybe that’s part of the thing that’s kind of fun is like, having the versatility to be able to do both. You know, feeling equally as confident out by yourself with you and an instrument, as opposed to with other people. There’s a strength in numbers I’d assume.
Cool. I learned that in 2012 you made a surprising choice to take part in The Voice and you did quite well! Why did you make that decision and how do you feel about it now, looking back?
It’s kind of connected to Chicago, which is pretty funny. So January 2012, I have two kids at the time, and I was booking myself. I had January through March booked. I had one weekend open, and had gotten a call from someone about some voiceover work. And she’s like, “you want to try out for The Voice?” and I was like, “absolutely not (laughs).” She said, “Well, I submitted your video. And out of out of 50 submissions. They wanted the bearded guy in the snow playing guitar.” That was me. I was like, oh my gosh. And so I said, “well, when is it?” She said, “the first weekend in March.” That was the one weekend that I had open that I tried to fill. I kept trying to fill it and for some reason couldn’t fill it. So when she says the first weekend in March, I thought that’s crazy. The one weekend that was open, it was almost like it wouldn’t fill because I was supposed to go there. Then I ask where it is. It’s in Chicago. It was almost like, here’s a chance to squash your regret. You know, college gives you the potential to elevate your life, gives you tools to do what you will with it, and potentially elevate your life. So I’m thinking this is crazy. The one weekend open, it’s in the land of regret.
I love Chicago, always pulled to Chicago, similar to New Orleans. So anyways, I go there and one thing led to another and before I knew it, I was on the TV show. Each week, I would continue to advance. In one week, you know, I meet Bill Withers and I’m thinking this is unbelievable. The next week we meet a horn player from Earth Wind and Fire. Romeo Johnson was a vocal coach who played sick bass with Jody Watley and sang with Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson! We became soul brothers from day one. All these things, like media training with Jim Henson’s best friend. Our building was home to those these grand staircases, Boris Karloff’s laboratory in Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, even Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks, they used the same thing. It’s like, Jurassic Park, Back to The Future all this history that I grew up watching and dreaming about. Being inside of it was unbelievable. Then you get to meet Smokey Robinson, then all of a sudden, you got third place on the show. It was unreal. Because I wore a lot of my own clothes, they even gave me a pair of snakeskin boots!
Back into the snow of Minnesota(…)when I was on the show, we were renting in a duplex. And right in the middle of a show they’re like, “Nicholas David, what’s your address? Well, we heard that you have to move out of the duplex.” So in between the show, I go back home and move my family out, and then go play a gig in Lacrosse, come back with enough time to blah, blah, blah(…)and hop back on a plane out to California. I find out that we got a new house. Then we do the “home video” the first time I’m in my new house, on the TV show. Later I come home and I’m running into boxes because I’ve never even been in this place, you know? So 2012 is when the dreams started to mix with reality and I’ve been trying to strike the balance ever since.
That’s a wild story. When you write, do you sit down and do you push yourself a bit to compose or are you ok with some lengthy spaces between songs and creative bursts. Are you more of the kind to let it come to you, or do you sort of go search it out?
Every once in a while I feel like I kind of listened more for it and let it come to me. Like I’ve said before, to kind of listen for the notes that are already there, the rhythms that are already there, and almost just kind of tap into them. But then I feel sometimes I’ll try to be like, “Oh, well, I play music. I’m supposed to write music. You know?” I think people get together and do it in writing groups sort of like, “I should write sometimes.” This inner voice to push it. But then that same inner voice will ask, “why are you forcing this?” Because I’m used to it coming. Then sometimes when it’ll come to me, it’ll come in multiple melodies, multiple songs even. Sometimes the songs will come fully done, and then I’ll maybe add a little bit to it. But sometimes, yeah, they’ll come almost like, fully born, you know?
I’m almost 40 years old, I’m in the middle of my story, hopefully. You kind of learn a little bit about yourself and I feel like I, I try not to force it, you know, because it’s come to me all these years and that’s kind of my method. I feel like other people sometimes coax, like we should write or co-write, but it feels…I don’t know if contrived is a strong word. But yeah, that force. I almost kind of wait for it to come out, as it feels like that’s kind of the way that I vibrate. Does that make sense, or is it a little confusing?
No, no. I think that that makes a lot of sense and I think that what you said resonates in your sound. I think it’s organic, it’s natural, it’s occurring, you’re part of it, not forcing it. Or at least that’s what I gathered from your answer.
Yeah. I feel like life is honestly noisy enough. So it’s like, if I’m going to say something and try to fill the space with more sound, I want it to be real. I want it to say something that’s(…)I don’t mean to sound cheesy, but that has a depth, you know, a few layers to it as opposed to just surface stuff. There’s a depth available that I don’t know if we really tap into as much as we should or could.
Earlier this year you decided to head down to New Orleans to record Yesterday’s Gone. Samantha Fish is producing. What were some of the things that drew you to her to feel comfortable enough to want her to have a big influence on your album?
You know, I think when I initially started to play with Devon (Allman) and Duane (Betts). It was coming off of The Voice. It was interesting because, you are all of a sudden thrust from what was a smaller circle around the Midwest, that became national, even global, as to the knowledge of me and who I was. So it came with some bumps and bruises. Joining Devon, Duane and those guys brought the ability and opportunity to trust again, after things at times became interesting if you will.
So in the middle of all that, we met, I met Samantha Fish. We had to learn a few of her songs. There was a song that we had to learn that she wrote called, “Need You More.” When I heard it upon first listen, I found myself crying. It really shook my spirit, and spoke to my spirit in the language that it understood, and I understood. The next thing was Samantha asking, “Hey man, do you want to come down to New Orleans to record a record?” And I was like, “Oh my gosh, absolutely!” Her music spoke to my spirit. The city, like I said earlier, has been calling me my whole life. I guess it was like one and one, you know, equals two, and there we go. Again, just the opportunity…I released a bunch of records on my own, but then to do it with Sam and to trust again, to share the music, recover your soul, if you will. The songs that we write, and these stories we tell, these pictures we paint, and the creative process, to share that and to trust someone, to produce it and do what they will was…I looked at it like it was an opportunity to grow. I feel so blessed it happened. So cool, so fun.
Getting into the album, Yesterday’s Gone. There’s a song on it called “Times Turning.” It has a lot of reflection. There’s a lot of feeling. There’s a line in there, “You remind me of the good times. Sometimes it feels just like I’m waking up.” Is that directed at a specific person?
I think, yeah. I think it’s directed honestly, to life. I think there’s many people. You know, I feel it’s like when you meet somebody for the first time and it’s familiar. Sure, I feel like maybe the reason that it’s familiar is because we’re one and the same and we just keep meeting each other over and over again. And if that’s what it is, the word they call God or Goddess, or science or spirit or universe, or whatever word, or whatever thing you put on it, if what it is, is here and we’re in it, and we’re made of that, and it’s in each of us, then we’re in a constant dialogue with it. Sometimes I feel just like I’m waking up, and sometimes I’m scared. It’s not black and white, it’s all of it. I feel like the song is like, coming close, and love me with your heart, almost even to yourself, to love yourself, so that you can give love, to forgive yourself, so you can be forgiving. If you’re not whole, how can you give? I feel like that’s kind of the trip on that song. It’s like it’s unanimous. It’s all of us, even ourselves, you know?
Yeah, that’s an awesome answer. Yesterday’s Gone is the title of the album. There’s no song on the album called “Yesterday’s Gone.” What was your reason for choosing and settling on that name for the work?
I feel the reason for titling it Yesterday’s Gone was that it captured the overall message of the record if there is one, because there’s a bunch of different flavors. Like you said, in that “gumbo,” if you will. So it’s a similar thread and that is the message. Trying to maybe let go of the past so you can be present in the now, so you can move forward. I like the album title not having to be a song. I feel part of it is that I’m also like a librarian, man. I got tapes and records and CDs, in their genre, alphabetized. One of the things I love is when a record’s name is nowhere in any of the song titles. It kind of separates that a little bit. Not to say one’s better than the other, it’s just a personal preference.
If we lived in an alternate universe, and a listener could only listen to one song off Yesterday’s Gone. Which one would you have them listen to and why? I know it’s it’s an unfair question, but I’m throwing it out there.
If I had to have somebody listen to one song of the record, which one would it be? I think maybe if I’m feeling a little spicy and a little sassy I would say, “I’m Interested.” I’d say if I’m feeling a little more, you know, more optimistic, or looking into the future, I’d say maybe “Hole In The Bottom” or “Times Turning,” or perhaps “Stars.” I think “Stars” is kinda like a movie. I think if you’re in the mood for a movie, I’d rock and roll with “Stars.” I think if you want to get a little sassy maybe “I’m Interested,” or “With or Without.” I think that’s like driving through California in the ‘70s. I wasn’t even born yet (laughs).
I will get you out with this one last question. What is next for Nicholas David? Obviously, you’ve got the tour starting soon in support of the album, but looking a little further down the road, is it more solo work, maybe back in a band setting, or none of the above?
Man, I continue to watch my children grow and be with my wife, and I can’t wait to continue to make records. I’m a huge fan of Disney. I love all the Disney movies and all the soundtracks and all the theme park music. I collect all that stuff too, but if I could be in a Disney movie someday, or make some music that would be in a Disney movie someday, that would be the top, the top of the top. You know, as Zig Ziglar would say, “I’ll see you at the top.” That would be my top. The cherry on top. But, I’ll keep making music, man. I’ll keep being with my family and sharing the gifts that we’ve been given. I’m going to make music regardless, you know what I mean? If we keep taking it to the streets, or if we pull it back and make it more local, my plan is to keep sharing the music with the world. We were in Europe for 31 days last summer and that was a crazy, awesome energy. So cool to be over there. I’d love to get back over there. You know, I love to just keep bringing it to the people. Bringing music from the heart for the heart.
by Steven Ovadia·Comments Off on Nicholas David – Yesterday’s Gone
It’s very easy to write off reality show music competition contestants/survivors because their paths don’t mirror those of past artists. The reality genre, for Americans, pretty much began with Kelly Clarkson almost 20 years ago, and the music competition output since then has been inconsistent talent-wise. But given the overall state of the music industry, where artists fight to be paid fractions of pennies to be streamed, going on a TV show to gain exposure, record sales, and sell show tickets seems a lot less crass, and perhaps even wise. But maybe I’m just making excuses for Nicholas David‘s Yesterday’s Gone, with David a finalist from the third season of The Voice TV show.
His appearance on that program doesn’t take away from his musical talent or the quality of the album. I enjoyed his piano-driven blues, soul, and pop well before reading about his not-so-secret reality show past. And given that Yesterday’s Gone is produced by Samantha Fish, and that he’s also signed to the blues singer/guitarist’s imprint, Wild Heart Records, he’s obviously more than just a musical competition oddity.
The Voice, as I understand it, is a show built upon a high-concept furniture set-up. Coaches
take on protégés without seeing the performer. The coach uses a call button to signal interest in a contestant, sort of like Tinder, but without the swiping, and the potential mentor’s chair whips around, allowing the coach to lay eyes on their potential trainee. At some point in the process a pairing is made (also like Tinder). One can see how David’s voice would get coaches’ easy chairs spinning like a demonic possession in a La-Z-Boy showroom. His vocals are sweet, soulful, sexy, but also very accessible and his talent is impressive without being threatening.
The strongest tracks are the rhythm and blues tunes, which provide the perfect showcase for
David’s voice. “Heavy Heart” feels like it’s from the 1960s and while a lot of the credit goes to David’s fantastic vocal performance, that’s somehow restrained and intense, his beautiful organ work also deserves a shout-out, helping to root the song in the past. Jonathan Long, himself a singer/songwriter/guitar-playing powerhouse, and also from Fish’s talent stable, lays down a perfect, spartan guitar line that hops along like a healthy EKG reading.
“I’m Interested” is a slow jam that brings David into the 70s. His singing is pure sexual energy
and as it inter-plays with his backing vocalists, you can’t help but feel like you’re overhearing the world’s greatest pick-up artist ply his trade. Long lays down some funky rhythm guitar, but also some trippy lead work. And David’s organ playing shines here, too, giving the track what can only be categorized as an old-school cool. It’s a seriously energized track, but also fun.
Many of the other songs are more straight-forward piano-led pop. “Okay” has a low-key Jack Johnson energy. “Curious” has a Bruce Hornsby vibe. “Stars” is anthemic, probably the closest David comes to a straight-ahead rock track.
David has an unbelievable voice and is a strong songwriter. But Fish did an incredible job
producing this, pulling in loads of talented supporting artists that never overwhelm David, whom, it should be noted, seems like he would be tough to upstage. Guitarist Duane Betts also adds some engaging lead guitar to a few tracks, gilding the musical lily even more. The album’s funk and soul tracks are especially noteworthy, so while David seems of the blues/Southern rock world (although he’s a Minnesotan), it would be great to see him delve deeper into those classic rhythm and blues sounds on future releases.
by Bob Gersztyn·Comments Off on The Black Keys: Moda Center Gig Review
Wow is the first adjective that comes to mind when describing the Black Keys current Let’s Rock tour that stopped at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon on Friday, November 22, 2019. The 18,000 capacity venue was sold out up to the nose bleed sections that went for $60 and a seat down to the front row section cost nearly $800 a seat. It was a triple bill featuring Shannon and the Clams, an Oakland, California punk rock quartet as the opening act at 7:00 PM. After a forty-minute ear-blasting set of diverse indie punk rock renditions, the stage was reconfigured for Modest Mouse.
The band was fronted by founding member Isaac Brock who is the lead singer and guitarist. After a twenty minute delay for some technical sound issues, Modest Mouse took the stage and performed a dozen of their classic songs like this writer’s favorite, “Bukowski” and “Satellite Skin.” With three drummers the driving rhythm throughout their set was so contagious that it was impossible to be present without tapping your foot or somehow being affected. Brock is an excellent guitarist and demonstrated his ability to create a driving force out of his six-string that was both sonically moving and visually entertaining as he played with his teeth.
Around 9:15 PM the Black Keys took the stage with drummer Patrick Carney and lead singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach occupying front and center stage. The duo originated in Akron, Ohio the same town that “Devo” came from, so it was understandable why during the thirty minute stage setup period a “Devo” song or two played over the PA system. Ohio itself has produced a number of prominent music artists including guitarists like Glenn Schwartz, Joe Walsh, and Phil Keaggy along with pop rock stars like Chrissie Hynde, Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznor. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney were childhood friends that formed the Black Keys in 2001 after dropping out of college. They released their first album, The Big Come Up in 2002 on an independent label and the current tour is to promote the 2019 release of their ninth studio album, Let’s Rock.
Dan Auerbach performs with The Black Keys at Moda Center.
Although the “Black Keys” are a guitar & drum duo made up of Auerbach and Carney just like the White Stripes were made up of Jack and Meg White, they augmented the band with additional musicians. For the current tour Steve Marion and Andy Gabbard played guitar behind Auerbach along with bass player Zach Gabbard completing the rhythm section. At this point in my life I’m not easily mesmerized by a band’s performance but right from the opening number with “I Got Mine” from 2008’s Attack and Release they blew me away. Auerbach started out with a Gibson Les Paul that he used to create his unique signature sound that would be comparable to Dick Dale or U2’s Edge. “I was a moving man in my younger days, but I have grown out of my rambling ways,” he sang with as much passion in his voice as the sounds his dexterous fingers derived from the fret board. The next couple of songs were the rocking out “Eagle Birds” and the soaring guitar of “Tell Me Lies” from Let’s Rock.
“Gold On the Ceiling” from 2011’s El Camino had the crowd singing the chorus as Carney pounded his drum kit with an intensity that nearly produced a driving beat that was equal the volume of sound that it took three drummers to create in the previous act. “Fever” was the title song of the 2014 album of the same name and it was one of many familiar songs in the twenty-one song set. When you attend a concert and are familiar with the artists work you expect them to sound as good as their recordings. Tonight my expectations were exceeded as I sat there in awe while I witnessed another great band performing at their peak.
They played six songs from both Let’s Rock and Brothers with three songs from El Camino, two from Attack and Release and one each from The Rubber Factory, Magic Potion, Thickfreakness and the already mentioned Fever. Just as Let’s Rock is a totally guitar driven album so was the entire concert with the absence of keyboards and the dominance of a driving guitar sound. Auerbach changed guitars almost every song and played a variety of different models and brands from a rectangular Bo Diddley style model to a “Harmony” “National” and” Guild Thunderbird.”
Auerbach and company moved from one song to another without too much chatter in between numbers so it was a pure adrenaline rush that threw out all the stops for ninety-minutes of balls to the wall rock & roll. The last time that I was in the Moda Center it was to cover Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band a few years earlier. The crowd tonight was just as enthusiastic singing back the chorus of “Baby I’m Howlin’ For You” as they were singing Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” that night. The song selection spanned a variety of styles, but other than a couple of semi acoustic diversions everything was electric to the ninth degree.
Patrick Carney performs with The Black Keys at Moda Center.
Audio wasn’t the only sense that was entertained because the screens behind the band were continually changing images with a variety of visuals ranging from projections of the band performing to more abstract variations in high contrast. By the time that the band concluded their set with “Lonely Boy” from El Camino the crowd wasn’t ready to call it a night so they created enough of a commotion that after a minute everyone returned to the stage for a three song encore consisting of “Hi/Lo” and “Go” from Let’s Rock to the finale “She’s Long Gone” from Brothers.
Click the link above to view their Chicago Blues Challenge performance
Born in Chicago in 1952, Dave was first influenced as a child when he found an old Victrola in the basement and wore out the blues 78’s. In high school the Stones, Clapton and Mayall first came out but Dave traded those records for Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin Hopkins, and BB King. After high school Weld moved to New Mexico, and studied guitar under Kurt Black, a jazz player who worked with Benny Carter from the New York jazz scene. Dave drove to Nevada and met and jammed with Gatemouth Brown. Weld bought Hound Dog Taylor’s first Alligator album, heard Howlin Wolf over the radio in the desert one night, packed up and drove back home in his 67′ Ford.
Dave found out the West side of Chicago in the black hood was friendlier than the North side, and started sitting in at clubs, and landed a gig with Hound Dog Taylor’s band. During this time Weld was under tutelage from JB Hutto, a Grammy awarded Blues Hall of Fame slide man from Georgia. He studied at JB’s house for three years until JB introduced Dave to his nephews, Little Ed and James Young. They started the band “Little Ed and the Blues Imperials” and played every joint in the West side for ten years until Bruce Igauer from Alligator recorded them in a historic session “Roughousin'” and they started world tours. Dave is the most energetic man in the business.
Click the link above to view their Chicago Blues Challenge performance
“This is an utterly original mélange of all the music that we have enjoyed for around 80 years. It is also compelling as all get-out.” –Blues Matters UK
Like many blues and soul vocalists of note, Deb Landolt cultivated her soul/gospel honey-dipped voice in church as a child. Her VizzTone debut “Raise Your Hands” gained heavy rotation on Sirius/XM’s“Bluesville” and garnered attention both for her vocal dynamics and songwriting: owing a lot to her Texas/Mexico border roots.
Transpacific Bluesman Colin John received his early touring miles with Teeny Hodges, Little Mike andThe Tornadoes, Henry Grey, Pinetop Perkins, Michael Hill, Hubert Sumlin, Phil Guy, Big Jack Johnson, and Gary Brooker of Procol Harum.
Their one-of-a-kind sound incorporates a solid bedrock of blues and soul sensibilities cross-pollinated with their respective deep roots in Texas and Hawai’i and topped with world roots influences gleaned from their travels throughout the world.
Together, Long Tall Deb & Colin John have performed across Asia, Europe, North America and the Pacific and continue to license their songs in TV and film.
Youth:Mud City Blu Band
MudCity Blu is a trio including Kendall Carter on guitar and vocals, Peyton McDowell on bass, and Stacy Norris on drums. Kendall’s influences include Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn. His originals integrate multiple genres, reinterpreted and fresh. Peyton has been steeped into the blues and jazz from an early age with great Chicago mentors. Stacy’s influences include Clyde Stubblefield, Buddy Rich, and Tony Royster Jr. The band got its start playing for the community at Jazzin’ and Jammin’ in Bronzeville, a venue which aims to bring jazz and blues back to its historic Chicago roots.
by Marketing-PR·Comments Off on HOLY MOLY & THE CRACKERS, RUTH PATTERSON I’d Give It All – Redux
Released independently by Blank Studios, the word redux at the end of the song title indicates this is a revival of a ballad from the gipsy-folk and rock band’s best selling Take A Bite album. However, it is much more than that because I’d Give It All marks the debut solo single release of Holy Moly & TheCrackers’ charismatic frontwoman, lead vocalist and violinist Ruth Patterson.
Anyone witnessing the band’s raucous live performances will confirm the power and sincerity of Ruth’s solo vocal interlude with piano accompaniment as she bares her soul with amazing courage, conviction and just a hint of vulnerability. This vibe shines throughout the song which whilst only lasting four minutes encapsulates emotions so deep they become embedded in the listener’s heart. Only Beth Hart comes anywhere near the Newcastle Upon Tyne based chanteuse in terms of songwriting acumen, vocal intensity and keyboard skills.
In the same way that Little Girl Blue launched the career of American legend Nina Simone over 60 years ago, Ruth’s inspirational composition has the power to do the same for her. Other similarities include both women being gifted songwriters, arrangers and instrumentalists who initially aspired to be classical musicians and whose music spans a broad range of styles including folk, jazz, blues and pop.
This beautifully crafted love song opens with attitude rather than sentimentality, the emphatic piano chords a precursor to what Ruth doesn’t want. Not for her “the dozen red rose roses laid at my front door” or the fine wine and dining which “sticks in my throat”; and when it comes to diamonds, “well it might as well be coal.”
The strong poetic lyricism of this song is emphasised in the next observation: “And though I know it’s all to please me but the perfume stings. My eyes are not adjusting to the bright lights.” The jazz-inflected vocals and carefully orchestrated atmospheric background string quartet set the scene perfectly for the killer line, “You’ve missed the point babe: love is always silent.”
It is at this point that the chorus takes the words and meaning into another stratosphere as Patterson knows what she needs and is going to take her time to find it. The sumptuous strings and Ruth’s mellifluous backing vocals merge in a series of soaring, subtly layered crescendos as the quest to discover the right kind of love, keeping it and never letting go reaches its climax. “And when I find what I’m looking for I’m gonna run, run, run, run, run away with you.” Rarely has a single piece of music left the listener feeling so energised, empowered and exhilarated.
I’d Give It All is available on most music streaming platforms and is best listened to in conjunction with the surreal, evocative music video by renowned film director, artist and activist Antonia Luxem and cinematographer Tegid Cartwright.
The film complements perfectly the flow and emotion of the music. The underwater scenes are literally breathtaking with the ‘mermaid’ who is unable to walk on land moving confidently, effortlessly and gracefully in a mesmerising aquatic scene.
Track Review by THE BISHOP
Ruth Patterson Interview about the song, love and the music video
I wanted to re-work ‘I’d Give It All‘ because it has always felt the most authentic track on the album to my personal voice and story, and allowed me to explore and develop my own artistic vision. From orchestrating the string quartet to working with Sam Grant at Newcastle’s Blank Studios and with mixer Gareth Jones in London, we sought to create a warm intimacy and emotive fragility in the soundscape. I think we achieved it. I am a huge fan of Beth Ditto of Gossip, and her song ‘Coal ToDiamonds’ was a big inspiration. I wanted to capture that same emotional intensity.
‘I’d Give It All’ is about wasting time with friends or lovers who think that affection is all about ownership, flashy gestures, selfies and about what is seen from the outside looking in. I had an older boyfriend when I was a teenager and he dressed me up with flashy jewellery, like some kind of prize horse rather than someone with whom he had any emotional or spiritual connection. I remember coming home one day with roses stuffed with diamantes all over my front door with him nowhere to be seen and I knew it was all wrong. He hadn’t come to spend any real time with me, just to remind me who I belonged to.
For me, love is silent. It’s a knowing look, a smile, a joke which nobody else gets, taking your time, painful sadness and the kind of happiness that makes you feel drunk. Most importantly it’s about refusing to settle. Love looks different to every single person but when you find it, in whatever form, you give everything you have to keep it.
Working on the video with director Antonia Luxem was a dream come true. Inspired by my love and study of Japanese avant-garde fashion and underlying philosophy of “beauty in imperfection“, we worked together to explore new ways of having me move on screen to express emotion but without being able to walk or dance in a conventional sense. As a disabled artist, it was totally empowering.”
Piano, all vocals including backing vocals: Ruth Patterson
Cello: Ceitidh Mac
Viola: Grace Smith
Violin 2: Merle Habron
Violin 1: Jo Montgomery
Guitar and production effects: Sam Grant
Ruth Patterson is Artist In Residence at the iconic cultural venue, Sage Gateshead, where she will write and develop her debut CD. Ruth is also a regular activist and speaker for the charity Attitude IsEverything which helps fans and artists with disability in the music industry.
by Marketing-PR·Comments Off on EUROPEAN BLUES AWARDS WINNERS 2019
Here are the 2019 winners.
Award certificates will be distributed as normal during 2020.
Best Band – Larkin Poe
Best Guitarist – Joe Bonamassa
Best Vocalist (Female) – Kyla Brox
Best Vocalist (Male) – Alan Nimmo
Best Solo/Acoustic – Dom Martin
Best Musician (Performance) – Eric Gales
Best Album – Kill or be Kind by Samantha Fish
Best Event/Festival – Culemborg Blues Netherlands
Best Radio Show – Pete Feenstra Blues and Rock Show
Best Magazine/Publication – Blues Matters
Blues Matters, Editor-in-Chief – Alan Pearcesaid…
“It is indeed great that we have been voted, for the 3rd year running, for best magazine/publication in Europe by the voters of the online community of the Blues. To all the voters my and our deep thanks for recognising our efforts in the Blues world. My thanks also go to our terrific team of writers around the world to whom this shows appreciation of our work.
2019 has indeed been an eventful year with us being invited to enter and attend the Nat West BankEntrepreneur of The Year Awards where we reached a final of 6 from an entry of over 3,000. Sadly we did not win, but with the winner being a technology firm who have a processing chip currently sitting in the Mars space probe then I reckon that tale is a bit hard to beat. We were also invited by my local Bridgend Business Forum to enter their local Entrepreneur Awards. Here we were in a final of 3 from over 800 entries. For Blues Matters! to have been selected and invited is indeed a measure of the recognition we have earned these years.
My thanks to all our team members, in their various roles, current and past for the work and efforts that go into making this one of the top publications in our field around the world today. We have existed for 21 years and have received 6 worldwide recognitions/Awards and that says a lot. Considering I almost ceased after a life-threatening cancer when the magazine also nearly died is amazing, and I also want to thank our supporters across the board back then for their encouragement that helped me focus my efforts and re-build and move forward and develop while improving presentation.
To all our supporters and subscribers that contribute and help in this, you all are important!!
A huge thanks to you all, now go and spread the word so we can do more…wishing good Blues to you!”
by Pete Francis·Comments Off on Vote for the Top 20 Albums of 2019!
On December 12, Blues Rock Review will reveal its 9th annual Top 20 Albums of the Year list with the Top 20 Albums of 2019! Place your votes for your favorite studio albums from 2019 and count for 50% of the vote! The remaining 50% will be voted on by the staff of Blues Rock Review. December 10 is the deadline to vote to help determine the year’s top blues rock album!
*By submitting your vote for Blues Rock Review’s Top Albums of 2019, you agree to sign up for Blues Rock Review’s mailing list, which you may unsubscribe from at any time. Live albums and EPs are not included in the top 20 voting*
by Lauren Leadingham·Comments Off on Mr. Handy’s Blues: An Exchange With Producer/Director Joanne Fish
Just like me and you
He’s trying to get into things
More happy than blue
A minstrel of the changing tide
He’ll ask for nothing but his pride
– Gordon Lightfoot
Mr. Handy’s Blues is a never before told saga of W.C. Handy, or the Father of the Blues as he is affectionately known all over the world; it is also the brainchild of Emmy-winning producer Joanne Fish. The producer/director has worked in film and television for 30 plus years. Her work has been seen on History Channel, A&E, Lifetime, CBS, NBC, CMT, etc.
With a predilection for both history and roots music, Joanne naturally gravitates toward musicians who blazed their own trail and inaugurated concepts in artistry not previously devised by anyone else before them. Her last independent documentary was called The Sweet Lady with the Nasty Voice, about Wanda Jackson. Just as Handy was the Father of the Blues, Jackson was the Queen of Rockabilly.
W.C. Handy was born seven years after the Civil War to former slaves — a life fraught with hardships as he had to endure so many years of violent racism, extreme poverty, and disapproval. His father once told him he would rather visit his grave than witness him play an instrument, “the plaything of the devil.” But Handy’s abiding fortitude (and reproach from others) always emboldened him to be hell-bent and triumph-bound. St. Louis was the place he would spend too many days homeless under a bridge, contemplating suicide. And “St. Louis Blues,” written in 1914, would be his magnum opus. The song became a worldwide phenomenon as it was the most recorded song of the first half of the 20th Century.
Ten years in the making, this film achieves exactly what Joanne originally set out for: to find “that one thread that runs through somebody’s life that explains how they got this level of success,” as she puts it. She hopes that this film will spark curiosity and cultivate knowledge, as Handy’s legacy is sadly fading away. Interviewees of Mr. Handy’s Blues include Bobby Rush, Taj Mahal, the late Gip Gibson, and more. The director’s cut with more performances is now available on DVD internationally: Mr. Handy’s Blues
Lauren for American Blues Scene:
What drew you to the history of WC Handy to begin with?
I’m interested in roots, the history of music. My last film was called “The Sweet Lady With the Nasty Voice” about Wanda Jackson, who was a real pioneer of — she went from country music to the newfangled rockabilly, which then morphed into rock and roll. I decided to go back further and explore the roots of the blues. It’s a rabbit hole when you go down it. It’s a never-ending story. You know from being on a magazine that features blues. When I got back as far as W.C. Handy, I thought that was something I could really sink my teeth into, because it’s such a positive story. It doesn’t sound like the usual blues story, because he was born 40 years before all of that history started. It’s interesting to me to see how he achieved such great success and great notoriety. He’s still revered all around the world, so that’s what got me going.
Can you tell me about the odyssey of this film? The research, the interviews, how it all came together… What are some highlights you can discuss when thinking about this whole process and the making of the documentary, and now seeing it to fruition?
A highlight for me was finally finding somebody who actually knew a lot about Handy. There’s a lot of researchers out there. The only book about Handy was a book written by Handy. It was his story, but it was kind of more colorful and written in a language that wasn’t easy to cipher.
He was very eloquent.
Yes, and it’s very colorful and flowery language and really neat. But it wasn’t like — what were the facts? Exactly where were you at that time? So, that took a long time. What surprised me the most was when I first went to Handy’s home, I thought, “Well, I know any minute now I’m going to find out there’s a huge documentary about him.” I happened to be in his hometown for another film festival at the time for my last film. I went to the museum and thought I’d find out somebody has already got the jump on this or it’s been done. The more I dug, no one has ever done this. No one has even written a book about him.
That makes it all the more interesting.
Yeah. So then you think, well, why not me?
I was kind of blown away. There’s a lot to know about this guy.
Yeah, a lot of history. Some people said, “You can’t do it, because you have to tell the whole story of the Civil War to figure out exactly where he fits in.” But hopefully people — if people are interested, it’ll spark their interest and they can go back.
Kind of like a Ken Burns documentary.
Yeah, it’s kind of like that. I’ve done a lot of biographies for television networks, for A&E Biography and Lifetime and the History Channel. And that’s how I spent my whole career was working in L.A. in the television business. And then I lived in Nashville for a while and did a lot of biographies of country music people.
Who are some country artists you’ve worked with?
Well, I did things like “100 Greatest Songs of Country Music” and “50 Greatest Women of Country Music” and “50 Greatest Men of Country Music.” And then I did shows on Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, the band Alabama, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, George Jones…
George Jones is my favorite. Favorite of all time.
I mean, he is the sweetest guy.
Oh, my god. Since I was five. I named my first goldfish George Jones when I was five.
Did you really? He is just…
I love him so much. I have a George Jones tattoo.
So, you know he’s just the best. I did a music video for him, a song called “I Don’t Need Your Rocking Chair.”
Yes! I love that song.
It won Vocal Event of the Year at the CMAs.
(Fun fact: Nancy Jones accepted it on his behalf since he was in the bathroom.)
You did that video!
Yes, with George Foreman. And we got a boxing ring.
I remember that! So, you produced that video.
Yes, when I lived in Nashville.
That’s amazing. I’m so glad I asked you. See, you and I speak the same language. Don’t put an artist in a box. It all goes back. Country, blues, rock and roll. It’s all roots.
Yeah, and it should be looked at that way, like it’s a tree and there’s all the roots.
I like the concepts within this film — interstices of very talented musicians playing WC Handy songs between interviews, archival footage of Louis Armstrong and George Gershwin paying homage, recordings of Handy speaking to Alan Lomax…
I didn’t want to use a narrator, so I had to use the old timey silent movie screens.
It added a very nice touch to the film throughout.
I appreciate that. I really avoid having a narrator. And I had the luxury of having Handy’s voice.
It works for certain documentaries. I like how Ken Burns will interview a lot of people and then he’ll do his own narration. And then he’ll also have musicians play. What you did was very artful.
I tried. You know, after years of writing narration for people to come in and do, it’s like, “If you just do it first person, it would be amazing.” And since Handy’s been gone for so long, let’s bring him to life a little more. So having those recordings was a godsend.
They’re very clear, too.
Yes. He has a great voice. And he sings and it’s so cute.
He didn’t really have a speaking voice like a lot of — like you’re used to hearing blues singers. He had a very unique voice and diction.
Yes, he did. And kind of a higher voice.
I like how the film always came back to his fortitude as the reason he overcame hardships and what made him stand out as a musician of substance. You know, he was the first to publish music in the blues form. I think he kind of changed the landscape. There’s a poetic quality to the kind of musician he was.
Yeah, it’s really — that era. Most of the musicians were minstrels or traveling around. A lot of it is not in the film where he was physically threatened during the minstrel period, and he had to have a gun hidden on the train. And it was a means to an end for him. I think he just walked that line between being treated like a second-class citizen sometimes, but I’m confident and strong enough in my spirit that I can overcome it. Deal with it now, but I’m going to get past it. He never gave up, because he believed in himself so much. That’s something that everybody goes through, that they need to dig deep. And he had to walk that line between being black in a white world and not thinking of himself as subservient.
And he was able to reclaim his publishing rights, which I thought was very ahead of his time.
He was. He was ahead of his time. I think somebody says, “He was kind of a visionary, a prophet,” they said. Going to his home — it’s a little cabin in Florence, Alabama. It doesn’t take long to go through, but you go, “Oh, my gosh. This is such a positive story.” Everybody could feel good watching this.
Yeah, I feel inspired by him. I kind of drew parallels with him and Tom Petty. The way he was able to reclaim publishing rights, his fortitude, and the way his father didn’t show support for him until he was famous. I felt the rock and roll spirit. It kind of determines your success. I mean that’s the measure of true success; not just money but also not backing down.
Right. Right. His spirit — Wynton Marsalis isn’t in the film, but I did have a long conversation with him about Handy. And he said he thought — I said, “Where did he get that strength to keep going?” He said he didn’t know a lot about Handy, but he said his father was a preacher. It was kind of born into him. He wasn’t real religious. He went back to spirituals later in life and arranged them and did a book of Negro spirituals. He wasn’t a regular at church or anything. But that might be the reason. In all my years of doing biographies I always want to know, you know, what is that thread? Because we’re all born equal. What is that one thread that runs through somebody’s life that explains how they got this level of success? It’s always fascinating and it never gets boring.
I think a lot of the time it’s you have people telling you that you can’t do it.
Yeah, that’s a good one.
Seems to be a catalyst. And I can relate to that.
Yeah, me too.
He’s such a considerable amount of the blues songbook. With that said, why do you think “St. Louis Blues” was regarded as his magnum opus?
That’s a good question. I just think it was a combination of different — it has its fingers in a lot of different types of music, even classical. It just can be translated into so many different genres. And I think, for him, it was a combination of all the things he was working on and putting together and mixing bits of this and bits of that. And I think that one just struck a chord with people. It’s true that it’s the timing, the way it came out and the way it was presented. With recordings coming out it got spread around more, because before that his songs were just on sheet music and played live. I think the Bessie Smith recording and Louis Armstrong…
I love Ella Fitzgerald’s, too. She did a great rendition. But I think the Bessie Smith clip was my favorite part.
Yeah, that’s really a highlight because we’re lucky we have that. That’s how the word got out. So in France, In Paris, where jazz was starting — and that record came out and people started hearing it played different ways. They thought it was like “The Star-Spangled Banner.” They thought it was America’s anthem. So I think it was like lightning in a bottle with timing. And he was at a mature level in his career. He was a very good musician who knew how to read and write music for all his musicians. I think it was his — he intended it to be his opus. Putting it all together and putting in the strains of habanera music from Cuba. It’s the first one where he combined all of his musical interests. And one thing that somebody said — and this is really true — in Europe, all the classical composers would take music from folk music where they were from. They all did that and would turn it into these symphonies and these great works of art. And that’s what Handy was trying to do with the blues: take it from the Delta, take this raw music and turn it into a classic. I think that song was a combination of all his attempts to do that. And he had the fame, so he could basically do whatever he wanted.
Definitely. What is your personal opinion of Handy’s signature on Memphis blues?
Well, he is the father figure. He’s a symbol. The “Father of the Blues” was more of an affectionate nickname for him. He’s the father of the blues because he’s older. He’s like 40 years older than all these guys. He set the tone. And Memphis was the first music capital of the United States. That’s where there were lots of German music societies and a huge black population and the Delta people coming up from Mississippi, and a lot of trained musicians. Music was just happening. There were lots of ballrooms and lots of things going on. He — introducing a new format while he was there and publishing that first song really solidified Memphis’s reputation as the place to go for music. Luckily, it continued with the blues and they haven’t quite forgotten who started it all, putting that brand on there. They regard him now as the father figure for the whole area. They give him respect. My friends say it doesn’t sound like the blues.
Well, he brought a folk sensibility.
Yes. Yes, he brought it to the masses. He brought it to the mainstream, and it would have gotten there anyway. But he did it.
I think he brought his own unique fusion of folk and blues to a wider audience and earned the title.
He had the initiative and the drive. He staked his name and reputation on it. This is the true American form of music that needs to be recognized as something other than just what they do down there in the mud.
Exactly. How do you think his journey through the Delta, and the sounds he heard along the way — from live music to trains to someone literally playing slide guitar with a knife at the train station — shaped his musical style?
It’s amazing to think that he was 30 years old or so before he ever heard this, even coming from Alabama and traveling all over through St. Louis, all his jobs and everything, that it took him being 30 years old — leading an orchestra in Mississippi. It’s funny. They said he would play at brothels and big ballrooms. His band was a little higher-toned. So I guess in that respect, maybe he never did hear anyone singing on the side of the street. He heard a lot of snippets when he was traveling through Mississippi particularly. One side note: he had been collecting a lot of things from St. Louis, people on the street and the way they talked, their form of expression, when they spoke. Different dialects in different parts of the country. He had always been interested in that. He would make up songs when he was younger, when he was traveling around. That’s how they told the news. You’d hear — the local news would be someone standing on the corner riffing about it. He was really good at doing that, singing songs like, “Hey, old man…”
Oh yeah, just rapping.
Yeah. So that was white and black people. But when he got to the Delta he felt the really deep African-American roots. He could identify with that. He saw the disconnect with what he was doing with more classical tunes and popular songs of the day, and what he was hearing there. It’s like, that’s where my soul lies and I need to incorporate that into what I’m doing as a professional.
One quote that resonated with me was one from his grandson, in which Carlos said his grandfather “incorporated the musical structure that people could listen to and enjoy.” He defied and broke down genre barriers. Those are the artists that are the most inspirational to me, so I totally agree with that.
Yeah, he wanted to make it more palatable for a wider audience. He said it was the weirdest music he had ever heard, but he could relate to it.
Why do you think “Jelly Roll” Morton branded Handy as “the stenographer of the blues”? What made him so sorely misinformed?
I guess that he was kind of that ornery type of guy. It was that period when he made that claim and spoke out so vehemently about it — and everyone else too, by the way. He was kind of on the skids in his career. I mean, I love Jelly Roll Morton. Don’t get me wrong. I wish I could have used some of his piano in the film. He plays Handy songs. He recorded his songs. And they’re beautiful renditions. It’s crazy.
It’slike something out of a movie. Like, this guy can’t be serious.
Right. And that’s why it’s kind of puzzling. From my expert, who I trust 100 percent, he said he was just at that point in his career where he wasn’t getting enough attention. His career was on the wane, because everyone loved Handy and not so much Jelly Roll Morton. I don’t think he had the kind of personality, for whatever reason. He didn’t ingratiate himself or have a lot of friends. I think that’s what it must be. But he was literally listening to the radio and heard that Ripley’s Believe it or Not show, and it got under his skin. It was an affectionate nickname for Handy because he was so much older than everyone. They called him Daddy of the Blues, and everybody called him Pops or Dad.
It was self-proclaimed, but it doesn’t mean that he was narcissistic. He earned the title.
That’s just how people referred to him, mostly because of his age and because of “St. Louis Blues” and the big songs that came out before that people really grasped onto.
And he brought elements that weren’t there before.
That’s right, and the way that it was on the cusp of early jazz. That’s so interesting. It was just the right place at the right time, and he deserved the respect. But Jelly Roll Morton heard that on the radio, the Father of the Blues and the Father of Jazz. Handy was never called the Father of Jazz. But Ripley, hey, believe it or not, right? He said that, and that got under his skin. He did have the wherewithal to start writing letters and articles about how it was him, and he spread a lot of spurious rumors. It really was conspiracy theories. He said things about Paul Whiteman. Once he got going, nobody was safe from being accused of thievery by him.
Yeah, and Downbeat did go back after they published and made an apology. But it was out there. I don’t think he was the only one that harbored those resentments or thought that Handy was getting too much credit, in my mind because of a silly nickname. But also because of his fame and how he was so well-known, just for being himself and not even for his great playing.
People don’t know what to believe, so rumors are so inflammatory.
Yeah, so you’re going to get a few side eyes, a few glances.
I felt bad for the guy.
I know. I did too. I felt really bad for him. I try not to make it be like Handy could do no wrong.
You were definitely unbiased. I did not get a bias.
Ok, good. I feel like after a while you lose perspective.
No, I think everyone reached the same consensus on their own that he didn’t rip anyone off.
That would be a much more exciting film. But he wouldn’t have gotten that far.
Exactly. But see, that’s another good thing about this documentary is that it will bring to light the truth if there were possibly any detractors left.
I hope so. I hope it does, because — one fella did say it was the most authentic blues documentary he had seen in a while.
He’s a deep researcher of all this stuff, so that made me feel good. I thought he was going to be the one who pointed out all my mistakes, all the things I left out.
I loved it.
Good. I’m so happy to hear that. I mean, it’s just something different. I’m going to be taking it on a tour; the film got picked up for a tour. It’s called the Southern Circuit. My circuit is Alabama, Kentucky, and North Carolina. I’m really excited. I hope it’s entertaining, but I think it’s really educational.
Have you ever done a film tour?
No. I’ve done a lot of film festivals with this one and with Wanda Jackson. We went to South by Southwest with that one and so many. Wanted to show that one, because Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello are in it. And she’s in it. So I’ve done that, stand up in front of an audience and talk about it, but not where it’s the only film being shown and chosen for a purpose. That’s going to be interesting.
Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers about the film? Perhaps what you learned?
It took me 10 years to make it. I’m glad it took so much time, because it really settled in. My original idea was the same as it came out. Nothing really changed in between. That’s unusual when you have the time to do something. The more time went by, I realized, I talked to people from day one to the last day 10 years later. And fewer and fewer people had any idea what I was talking about. Oh, you don’t know who W.C. Handy is? Well, here. And people might discover him. His legacy is totally fading away, even in Memphis. People don’t walk the extra block to go see his house at the end of the street, so I hope it fosters more interest in him.
by Pete Francis·Comments Off on Gary Moore: “Live From London” announced
The career of Gary Moore was a jagged timeline, full of twists, turns and wild tangents. And yet, through it all, the Irishman never lost faith in the power of live music. On December 2nd, 2009 – just fourteen months before his tragic death aged 58 – the fabled guitarist played a special one-off club show at London’s Islington Academy. Now, 10 years later Provogue, a division of the Mascot Label Group, will be releasing this never before released recording, Live From London on 31st January 2020.
As adolescence hit, Moore fell headlong into the blues flavours that dominate Live From London‘s tracklisting, mostly drawing on US giants like Paul Butterfield and Brit Blues godfather John Mayall’s seminal 1966 ‘Beano’ album with Eric Clapton and during that same formative period, at Belfast’s tough Club Rado, an early lesson in the emotional impact of live blues came from Peter Green.
Moore’s own first semi-professional steps had been with the Beat Boys and Dublin’s Skid Row, who offered an escape-route from Belfast, plus the camaraderie of the band’s chaotic frontman, Phil Lynott. Lynott was soon fired, but he remembered his old wingman when his new band, Thin Lizzy, needed a stand-in. It was a gig in which Moore played the guitar hero role to the hilt. But despite the adulation, Moore feared Lizzy was nurturing his self-destructive streak, and left to explore the outer reaches in Jon Hiseman’s virtuoso jazz-fusion outfit, Colosseum II.
However, every time he picked up a guitar in the dressing room, he immediately went to the timeless licks of the Mississippi Delta, Moore suddenly saw the path. So began 1990’s Still Got The Blues, the multi-million-selling comeback album on which the Irishman’s rebirth as an authentic bluesman was given added credibility by collaborations with A-listers like Albert King, Albert Collins and Harrison himself. ”
The material from Still Got The Blues became the cornerstone of Moore’s shows – and it never left the setlist. Fast-forward to December 2009, and as a sea of punters streamed into the Islington Academy for the show that would become Live From London. The pace was set by Albert King’s Oh Pretty Woman, and the home straight taking in the raucous Walking By Myself and the weeping melody of the title track. And of course, there was room for Parisienne Walkways, the guitarist’s UK#8 hit sounding younger than yesterday on this new release. “I can hardly get away without doing it,” noted the guitarist of that fan-favourite encore. “It’s quite a long version, because I like to draw things out. Us guitar players, if we can squeeze a bit more out of it, we’re gonna do it, aren’t we?”
Between the opener and encore, Moore gave us everything he had in Islington, revisiting some of the key crossroads of his career. From his 2008 swansong album, Bad For You Baby, there’s the energetic title track, plus Down The Line’s high-velocity country-blues and the emotive leads of Donny Hathaway’s I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know. Reaching further back, there’s the heartfelt guitar hook of Otis Rush’s All Your Love and an emotive reading of John Mayall’s Have You Heard, both songs that Moore would have first heard on ‘Beano’ as a teenage guitarist.
All the more poignant, then, that just over a year later, Moore would be gone, his screaming-hot Les Paul falling forever silent. In the blues community, it left a chasm, and while the scene has welcomed a roll-call of master guitar players since, the Irishman’s absence still stings. Live From London is one last shard of genius, catching a generation-best performer firing on all cylinders, and reminding us one last time why he was put on this planet.
1. Oh, Pretty Woman
2. Bad For You Baby
3. Down The Line
4. Since I Met You Baby
5. Have You Heard
6. All Your Love
7. Mojo Boogie
8. I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
9. Too Tired / Gary’s Blues 1
10. Still Got The Blues
11. Walking By Myself
12. The Blues Alright
13. Parisienne Walkways