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Hero. Legend. Good Bloke.
John Peel OBE, 1939 - 2004

Red Lick Records



 

 

Early Blues Interview
Mitch Laddie, guitar/vocals - The Mitch Laddie Trio

© Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

Mitch has played guitar seriously for five years since he was 13 and first met Walter Trout at a gig in Sunderland three years ago.  Walter asked for a CD and soon after hearing the tracks invited Mitch to guest at his Colne gig in 2006.  Since then Mitch and Walter have been playing together on UK gigs on a regular basis including Newcastle, Leeds and Milton Keynes. 

Mitch's first band was Vanilla Moon in 2006, which evolved into The Mitch Laddie Trio in 2008, with the original bass player and drummer from Vanilla Moon namely Rhian Wilkinson (bass) and Lee "Cliffy" Clifford (drums).  The band have enjoyed success on both the MCC Rally and festival circuit.  Mitch is now 18 - Cliffy and Rhian are 19 and 17 respectively.  They play a mixture of original and cover material.  The Band is County Durham based but Mitch prefers to be linked to Newcastle. He is signed to Provogue and currently awaits a recording schedule for the first album.  The official website  is www.mitchladdie.com.

I first met Mitch Laddie waiting to go on stage with Walter Trout at the Colne R&B Festival 2008. Little did I know what an impact an 18 year old would make. Awesome!

The Mitch Laddie Trio recently did a gig at Barrow R&B Club where I interviewed Mitch.

ARW    Mitch, thanks very much for agreeing to this interview.  Letís start with when you first became interested in music.

 ML       It all started when I was around two years old. My Granddad was really into his country music and I spent a lot of time with him because my parents both worked.  I just latched on and got really engrossed in it. The more I listened, the more I loved it.  Also, my Dad played guitar so Iíd pick up his guitar and have a bit of a strum and it went from there.  I broke my leg playing rugby when I was 12 and I started to play guitar seriously in the hospital; after being told I was going to be spending a few months there.  I couldnít stop playing, couldnít put the guitar down. My Dad would have something new for me to learn with each visit and I just felt really enthused by the whole thing.  

ARW    Did you always want to become a musician? 

ML       When I was a kid, yes. Then I had a few years of acting and drama which was good fun, but I grew out of that and it was back to the music and itís all Iíve wanted to do for a very long time.   

ARW    What is it that attracts you to blues music? 

ML       Itís how real it is, the emotion. The dynamics, how raw, how subtle, how balls to the wall you can make it sound and how you can really move people in so many different ways. Every player does it differently too.  Players like Stevie Ray Vaughan who really pulled me over to the blues; I mean the emotion he displays in his playing is extraordinary. The older guys too, players like Albert Collins and BB. King can flatten you with one note, you know? You just donít get that with a lot of other types of music. It can really hit you hard.  

ARW    Whatís the music scene like in County Durham where you live? 

ML       Well, itís not the best really.  There are local bands but until you go into Newcastle, there isnít really a lot going on. 

ARW    And is Newcastle very vibrant? 

ML       Itís a very cultured city and thereís a huge amount going on in lots of different genres. 

ARW    Who are your favourite blues artists? 

ML       Stevie Ray Vaughan for sure.  Then a lot of the old guys like Buddy Guy, the 3 kings, Albert Collins, Jimi Hendrix, Walter Trout, early Clapton and Paul Kossoff. Then there are the newer players like Joe Bonamassa, John Mayer, Eric Gales, and Derek Trucks. There are players who wouldnít be classed as blues but play the blues great you know? Eric Johnson is definitely one of those players.  

ARW:   Whoís influenced you most in music? 

ML       Iíd say My Granddad was the earliest influence.  He sat me down and showed me all the different aspects of it and I just really latched onto it at a very early age. My Dad is up there too. Heís the first person to have sat me down with a guitar.  

ARW    Whatís the best album you ever bought? 

ML       Thatís a hard question!  Iíd probably say Texas Flood by Stevie Ray Vaughan.  I know there are a lot of guys out there on the blues scene who have the Stevie Ray Vaughan thing going on, and they get stick for it with people saying itís old, but I just think he was truly one of a kind.  He was the one who made me go ďWow! I want to do thatĒ Texas Flood did that to me.

ARW    Tell me about your gigs with Walter Trout.  How much of an influence has he been? 

ML             Wow!  Heís been a massive influence on my playing. Weíll be just chilling out back stage and heíll guide me in the right direction.  Last time I saw him, he said, ďJust slow down a bit, keep the feel thereĒ and he was really making sure that I didnít lose that, which I must thank him for. Heís a really great guy and heís given me all the support, opportunities and guidance I could hope for; especially from an idol, itís all very surreal at times.  

ARW    Are there any particular songs you play that have special meaning for you? 

ML       Well, all of them really.  When Iím up there and close my eyes and try to go to that place, thatís why I do it.  

ARW    What guitars do you play and which is your favourite? 

ML       The main guitar I play is a USA white Eric Johnson signature Strat.  Iíve also got a black/white Japanese Strat which is rare because itís an Ď89, Pre 1990 Japanese Fenders were up there with the quality of USA models.  Itís a great guitar and was the first Strat I ever bought.  Another favoured Strat is a silver USA Stratocaster Plus also from í89. Theyíre a few others, but they are the 3 I play most.  

ARW    Whatís it like as a young musician in the current music business? 

ML:      Itís frustrating in a way. Especially because of the music I tend to lean towards.  The whole industry is just a massive money making machine today, especially pop music.  Itís really frustrating but, at the same time, I love playing to the people who want to listen and you know even if they donít, I love doing it.  

ARW    Tell me about the band Ė when did you get together. 

ML       The two guys Iím with now, Rhian Wilkinson and Lee Clifford, are from the first band I ever started.  Those two guys, plus another guitarist got together when I was about 13.  Iíve known them both for a long time.  Theyíve always been my band. 

ARW    What sort of material do you play as a band? 

ML       Blues rock of course.  But we are prettily heavily funk influenced and Iím quite into my fusion and jazz too.  Iíd say we generally just gather our influences and throw them all together and see what happens. 

ARW    Tell me about your experiences so far in trying to make your first album. 

ML       All the writingís done and I start recording on 14th April with the legendry Bernie Marsden from Whitesnake.  Iím really looking forward to it.   

ARW    A lot of music styles come and go, but the blues is always with us.  Why do you think that is?

ML       I think itís because, no matter when or who it is, everybody plays the blues differently and everybody moves you in a different way.  Even if players are similar, theyíve still got their own touch that makes the hairs on your arms stand up.  Itís not just the guitar side of it; the diva blues singers do it too.  Itís the raw emotion and the feeling that is put into it and you just donít get that in other types of music.  The passion is always there. Itís real.  

ARW    How do you see the future of blues music? 

ML       Thatís hard too!  When you see guys like Joe Bonamassa, heís definitely moving it forward.  But itís becoming a lot heavier and our band would probably, in terms of blues, be considered quite heavy.  I canít see the passion and sentiment fading; that will always be there, but itís going to expand and that heavier blues rock sound seems to be very popular at the moment.  

ARW    What are your future plans? 

ML       Iím just going to continue playing and writing and see where it goes. 

ARW    Thank you very much, and the very best of luck with your career. 
Iím sure you are destined to go far!

Alan White  -  earlyblues.com

www.mitchladdie.com

Check out Mitch's signing with Provogue records

http://www.mascotrecords.com/index.php?cid=13&aid=125

http://www.mascotrecords.com/index.php?cid=15&nid=171

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