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Here are a selection of gig reviews (mainly in Northern England) as an occasional series, including a nostalgic set from BJ's Rock in the Blues Club, Chorley, Lancashire (2014 to its closure in 2015).

 

11:07:17 - JON CLEARY

Band On The Wall, Manchester

http://www.joncleary.com/


Photo courtesy Rosy Greer

What a treat to see Grammy award winning singer songwriter and finest British born, New Orleans keys player Jon Cleary, playing again at the iconic Band on the Wall in Manchester, UK. Playing as a quartet, he brought with him exceptional musicians Cornell Williams on bass, A.J. Hall on drums and Nigel Hall on keys.

Showcasing a variety of music from various albums, they kicked off the evening with a classic shuffle, setting the scene for a fantastic evening. Some great New Orleans sounds followed with smooth grooves including  'Know That She's Back' and an obvious  favourite of theirs, a slow New Orleans blues  'Frenchmen Street Blues', with some funky blues thrown in for good measure.

With Jon playing a grand piano, desk top keys and percussion, they played the classic Junkers blues 'Tipitina', just brilliant. Finishing the first set with a slow number, the appreciative audience gave a well earned and rousing applause.

The second set warmed up with 'Just Kissed My Baby', in funky New Orleans style.  A.J. Hall showed us how a super quality funky drummer should play!  'Beg Steal Or Borrow' continued the funky theme with the addition of some slow jazzy blues with exceptional piano to follow.

With the some excellent funky stuff the dancers hit the floor, continuing with a track from the award winning album Go Go Juice, the brilliant 'Pump It Up' an up tempo Ska influenced number.  A new studio album is on the way and Jon showcased a slow funky gospel style number, before moving on to some heavy funk to finish the set. For the well deserved encore they played the classic 'Sooth Me' with a smooth jazz influence, Cleary style.

I first saw Jon Cleary for the first time a couple of years ago and his music had and continues to have, a profound effect on how blues, funk and jazz are intertwined. As a Grammy award winning artist for the fantastic album Go Go Juice, it's amazing to find such a hard working musician playing in small intimate venues with the level of musicianship he has on offer.

Much respect to Jon and the band of superb musicians he has brought to the UK, for his current tour. The evening spent at Band on the Wall was pretty special.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer
http://www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive

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29:06:17 - THE RAINBREAKERS

Blues 'n Boogie, The Old Courts, Wigan

www.therainbreakers.com   


Photos courtesy Rosy Greer

It was a pleasure to hear this four piece band from Shrewsbury for the first time, I had heard good things about them and had read up on where they were musically, but seeing the band live took me back to the 60s and 70s, the rock fusion era, hearing a good solid blues/rock band with funk and soul influences, and a touch of the psychedelic from lead guitarist Charlie Richards, who was superb all night, with skilful riffs and well worked pedal effects. Frontman Ben Edwards was lead vocal, and rhythm guitar with Peter Adams on a powerful bass and Sam, brother of Ben Edwards on drums. Musically they are extremely good musicians and gave a wonderful performance. The two sets performed on the night, a mixture of original works from their two CDs “BOLD NOT BRASS” from 2015 and their latest CD “RISE UP” 2016 and a sprinkling of rock covers. The band will be heading to Spain to perform from September, then returning to the UK in October to continue with more live shows. Ben and the boys will be writing new material for another CD sometime soon, as well as touring the UK in the coming months. This band has the potential to go all the way, they will be always experimenting with their music, but they will have to work hard, there are a lot of excellent bands out there waiting to be discovered, so go and see them.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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25:05:17 - THE HEXMEN

Blues 'n Boogie, The Old Courts, Wigan

www.thehexmen.com


Photos courtesy Rosy Greer

Frontman and founder of THE HEXMEN George Wickstead on lead vocals, and blues harp has been around the music scene in Liverpool from the late 70s and has taken his musical influences from that period playing with the best musicians locally, building over the decades to what might be described as an indie band with blues/ rock and high energy punk influences. The music when you here it has a distinct blues nature but given the HEXMEN stamp well and truly.  Ian Fuller on lead guitar, one of the UK’s foremost blues indie rock guitarists is the latest member of the band his influences are Gary Moore, Peter Green, Rory Gallagher, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter and Cream, Ian started his musical career in and around London honing his craft.  The rhythm section of Mike Cain and Mat Shaw have been playing together for over 25 years before joining the Hexmen an excellent pairing of two experienced musicians. “KING BEE” is the band’s latest c d with ten tracks that some up exactly what The Hexmen are all about, powerful, energetic, with an aggressive indie edge it’s the blues with attitude.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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28:04:17 - THE JON CASEY BLUES BAND

Blues 'n Boogie, The Old Courts, Wigan

https://www.facebook.com/JonCaseyBlues/


Photos courtesy Rosy Greer

Another great evening was had by all at the Blues 'n Boogie night down in The Bailiff Bar, The Old Courts, Wigan. Stepping in at the last minute The Jon Casey Blues Band, from Liverpool, performed a blinding set with a mix of classic electric blues interspersed with their own material.

Fronting the band on outstanding vocals and guitar was Jon Casey.  With a maturity of style he was in charge, performing  incredible guitar solos and fantastic vocals. Steve Faulkner on bass and Jimmy Mack on drums formed the backbone of the band, highlighting the power of experience in a rhythm section.

Kicking off with the J. J. Cale song 'After Midnight', performed in a Jon Casey style,  set the tone for the evening.  At ease with playing a classic blues shuffle to earthy Hendrix covers, highlighted the versatility of the band.

'Reconsider Baby' , a slow blues from their new album 'Riot At The Wall',  showed their song writing  expertise. Followed by a well done  classics 'All Your Love' and 'Since I Met You Baby' with some great phrasing on guitar and solid bass and drums.

A mega compilation and a brilliant finish to the first set with a mix of 'Badge', 'Le Grange', 'Voodoo Child', 'Roadhouse Blues' and 'Oh Well'.

The second set opened with Jon on resonator slide guitar and some excellent 12 bar classics. A set wouldn't be complete without 'Hoochie Coochie Man' and they did a brilliant take of 'Cocaine'.

More from the new album followed with a slow 12 bar blues, 'Love You No More' and the name sake of the album 'Riot At The Wall', with plenty of wah, wah,  just excellent.

Another compilation of numbers with a great solo and full on back line on Hendrix's  'Hey Joe', running into 'Foxy Lady' , with a great drum solo from Jimmy, then straight into 'Messin With The Kid'.

A lovely touch, highlighting their Liverpool roots, they performed the Beatles number 'With A Little Help From My Friends', but totally made it their own. To end the set a jumping 'Bull Frog Blues' showcasing Steve on bass, excellent. With a well deserved encore they rocked it up with the Mersey Beats classic 'Poor Boy From Liverpool' a fitting end to a fabulous evening. I hope we will see them at The Old Courts again.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer
http://www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive

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20:04:17 - SEAN WEBSTER BAND

Bluefunk Rhythm & Blues Club, The Legion, Poynton, Cheshire

https://www.seanwebsterband.com/


Photo courtesy Rosy Greer

At the well attended and brilliantly run Bluefunk R&B Club in Poynton it was a joy to see The Sean Webster Band, appearing for the first time at this great venue.

Originally from the UK, Sean now lives in Holland and  is on  tour in the UK and Europe though April and May with his new band line up, promoting his excellent new album release 'Leave Your Heart At The Door'.  Sean Webster fronts the band on soulful vocals and outstanding guitar with Hilbrand Bos on keys, Vincent Leatemia on bass and tonight on drums, Craig Bacon (from The Stevie Nimmo Trio) A brilliant group of talented musicians, which was evident  when showcasing  the music they performed.  With a mix of soulful blues and well executed classics it was certainly an evening to remember.

Kicking off with 'Give Me The Truth', a track from Sean's excellent  new album 'Leave Your Heart At The Door',  laid open to what was in store for  the evening. Wonderful vocals and musicianship said it all.

A brilliant take on the classic 'The Thrill Has Gone' next, with outstanding guitar and keys, this was followed by 'Broken Man', another from the album, with an epic guitar solo. The band worked well together, even when the pace was slowed in a melodic ballad. Sean's voice was out on its own along with his guitar playing. The first set finished with a great blues shuffle highlighting  a solid back line and guitar and keys that complement  each other so well.

The second set just got better with  a heavy blues shuffle, Sean Webster style, of 'Every Day I Have The Blues', just superb. Some more epic numbers to follow, especially with the pièce de résistance of the Etta James classic 'I'd Rather Go Blind'. This was one of the most poignant songs and so beautifully sung with passion, just magic moments.

Next ,  a round and meaty ballad with plenty of keys, broke into 'I Shot The Sheriff' , fantastic.  Moving on to  'show time' for the band,  an excellent shuffle with a funky feel and a superb keyboard drenched sound, was soon replaced by just the bass and drums, giving them the opportunity to go solo, excellent!

Some of the songs were powerful  anthems with epic vocals in Sean's individual style and superb guitar solos. The evening was completed by a well deserved encore of 'Til Summer Comes Around' from the new album. A smooth and passionate number with an immense  guitar solo, what a great way to end the evening.  

The Sean Webster Band are in a class of their own and catching a live performance is a must.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer
http://www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive

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04:04:17 - THE TOM WALKER TRIO - https://www.tomwalkerofficial.com/

THE COURT ROOM, THE OLD COURTS, WIGAN, WN1 1NA


Photo courtesy Rosy Greer

As part of the Wigan Arts Festival, The Blues 'n Boogie hosted an evening of music in The Court Room at the Old Courts in Wigan, with the fabulous Tom Walker Trio.

The Tom Walker Trio from Birmingham, played a blinding set to a small, but appreciative audience. Tom Walker fronts the band on outstanding vocals and guitar and is ably supported by Deano Bass on bass guitar and  Nathan Anderson-Barr on drums.  

With a mix of self penned tunes and covers of blues, funk, rock  and shades of Americana, they gave an excellent all round performance. Tom has a superb voice and the maturity of his  guitar playing is well beyond his 22 years. With a new EP - 'Into Space' - due for release, they also played a couple of numbers from that.

An excellent  funky start with 'Black Cat Bone', then into their own take of 'Crossroads Blues' which was brilliantly executed. From the new EP the fantastic 'Sweet Angel' , a soulful melodic number with outstanding vocals and guitar solo. 

A bit more funky stuff, then onto a classic Clapton, 'Old Love', which Tom made his own with a passion. Some driving bass and great guitar upping the tempo, before heading into one the Tom Walker's own, from a previous EP 'Human Nature', just superb. The first set was rounded off with some classic Hendrix, 'All Along The Watch Tower' and what great take.

The second set was as good, if not better, kicking off with the title track from the new EP - 'Into Space' - a rocky blues with strong vocals and lyrics. A great version of Freddie Kings 'Have You Ever Loved A Woman' next, followed by a rocky funky number. With some classic super funky Stevie Wonder  on 'Superstition', it gave the band a chance to show off.  Deano performed a great slap bass solo and Nathan showed his expertise on the skins, fabulous!

A touch of heavy rock then onto a great 12 bar shuffle, before going funky again. More Clapton to follow with 'Before You Accuse Me'  Tom Walker style, with great wah wah on the solo.  The final number of the set, with some audience participation, was 'Knock On Wood'.  The audience made sure the band had a well deserved encore with a standing ovation, so the Tom and the band played  the BB King classic, 'The Thrill Has Gone', superb.

The Tom Walker Trio are certainly a live band to watch out for, offering a great mix of blues based styles. A greatly enjoyed evening was had by all.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer
http://www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive

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01:04:17 - THE ALFIE IBBOTSON POPULAR BEAT COMBO

YE OLDE BLACK BULL, 35-36 FRIARGATE PRESTON PR1 2A

ALFIE, they are called by their friends and fans are a four piece band based in the Northwest, and over the few years they have been together, have gone from strength to strength. Tony Wardle is the bands frontman, and lead vocalist, and plays a mean blues harp. Tony brings to the table an eclectic mix of covers from the 60’s on wards and is always up for a challenge musically as new covers are tried and added to their ever expanding repertoire. Paul Mason on lead guitar as a vast amount of experience and can turn his hand to any guitar riffs and flicks to suit any rock based cover. Ian  “Cookie “Cooke, is the new kid on the block playing bass guitar, another musician with many years of experience, playing in several bands over the years, having retired, then brought back to music via ALFIE. On drums we have the mighty Massey, Ian to his friends, who worked very hard and gave a solid performance, he brings it altogether, and has the ability to make it look easy. Many covers were performed, these are just a few ”Brown Sugar”, “Gimme Some Lovin’, Boom Boom, Gimme Shelter, Rebel Rebel, Day Tripper, Can’t Explain, The Hunter, Carol, and many more .The bands hard working approach I liked a lot, and they gave 100% you can’t say fairer than that.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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30:03:17 - THE MARAUDERS

BLUES AND BOOGIE AT THE BALIFFS BAR,
THE OLD COURTS, WIGAN, WN1 1NA


Photo courtesy Rosy Greer

It was a hot rockin’show from THE MARAUDERS who have been on the road since 1981 in one shape or another and continue to entertain all over the Northwest and beyond, at pubs, clubs and festivals and have supported legends of the music business, including Bo Diddley, Steve Gibbons Band, the Climax Blues Band to name a few, also a recorded session for the Paul Jones BBC Radio show ‘Blues On Two.

 The Marauders based in Rochdale have a repertoire as long as your arm, with the powerful harp playing and vocals from frontman Chris ‘WIZZ’ Gee, the lead guitar and slide guitar from the very busy Pete Konnanov, with the solid back beat of Arron Lloyd on bass guitar and backing vocals with the unstoppable Jon Lowe on drums, this concludes the line- up of this this Rockin ’band.

 With covers from the likes of Dr Feelgood, the late Chuck Berry, the Fabulous Thunder Birds, Jimmy Reed, Ronnie Earl, The Blasters, Albert Lee, and Credence Clear Water to name just a few. The Marauders are value for money any day of the week and continue to ply their trade in good live music.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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23:02:17 - CRY BABY AND THE HOOCHIE COOCHIE BOYS

THE OLD COURTS, WIGAN, WN1 1NA


Photos courtesy Rosy Greer

Here at the Old Courts in Wigan, a relatively new venue which is gaining popularity, are staging the best of bands from far and near to entertain lovers of live music, and last night was no exception. Cry Baby and the Hoochie Coochie Boys arrived all the way from the Potteries (Stoke on Trent area) to entertain and they did that from the word go. These musicians are top quality and take the Chicago Blues genre by the scruff of the neck and give it a good shake. Rob Wilkinson (Cry Baby) fronts the band and play’s a mean blues harp and has a vocal range which delivers time after time. Vince Cutcliffe (The Governor) on lead/rhythm guitar/ Mandolin and backing vocals is an experienced musician and gave a fantastic performance. Mark Hargreaves (The Reverend) on keys and backing vocals is the musical link threading and twisting his play through the heart of the band, magic. The legendary Chris Bevington on bass guitar, Chris has been at the forefront of the blues scene, and an asset to any band just superb, and lastly the new boy to the band, drummer Paddy O’Rourke, a safe and steady pair of hands who has fitted in magnificently into the vacancy when Andy Carr stepped down several months ago, all in all this band gave a show that I and the rest of the audience appreciated very much, with a mix of covers and original works from their latest c d, I Got News.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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17:02:17 - WILLE & THE BANDITS

The Fusilier Museum, The Met, Bury, Greater Manchester


Photo courtesy Rosy Greer

This was initially a 'sold out' concert for Wille & The Bandits at the Met main building, but last minute  decisions to move to the bigger venue at the Fusilier Museum, just round the corner, allowed more tickets to be sold. Sadly not the best venue for sound, but this didn't dampen the spirits of the audience. 

A great performance yet again from this talented trio. They cannot be categorised as they cross the boundaries of so many genres, with elements of blues, and roots rock  falling into the 'alternative', they have a freshness of sound which sets them apart with their own distinctive style. Will Edwards fronts the band on exceptional  guitar and  lap slide with raw and passionate vocals, with Matt Brooks on six string bass and also bespoke upright bass playing some breathtaking solos  and finally superb percussionist and drummer, award winning Andrew Naumann. 

Opening the first set with a couple of epic numbers from previous albums, they went on to showcase their new album 'Steal', beginning with the excellent 'Living Free', a superb  slide drenched track with strong vocals, giving a full-on sound. Following, the rocky psychedelic  number 'Hot Rocks' with solid bass and drums including African drums, really generating excitement in the audience. 

Plenty more to come with the amazing Matt Brooks on upright bass and Andrew Naumann up front on African drum, with excellent guitar work and spine chilling vocals from Will Edwards on 'Mammon' from a previous album, all played with a passion.

Another  number from the new album followed, with superb guitar and bowed upright bass on the slow 'Crossfire Memories', a beautiful and haunting track.  The first set ended with their own take of the Robert Johnson classic 'Crossroads' with a totally fresh approach.

The second set brought some classic material from their fabulous 'Grow' album including 'Gypsy Woman' and the beautiful 'Angel', with an astounding bass solo from Matt Brooks. With a well deserved encore, they raised the tempo  - and the roof - with '1970' from the new 'Steal' album. What a great end to a fabulous performance. These  guys seem to get better each time I see them.

Click here for a review of their new album 'Steal'.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer
http://www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive

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03:02:17 - NIGHT WRECKERS

THE JAMES STREET TAVERN, OXFORD


Photo courtesy Rosy Greer

At a fun event hosted by Sparky's Flying Circus at the James Street Tavern, Oxford,  this was the first time I had seen the Oxford based band the Night Wreckers and what a pleasant surprise.  With a mix of classic rhythm and  blues including numbers of Howlin' Wolf, Stones and Zappa, the seasoned musicians played an excellent set.

Fronting the band on lead guitar and super vocals was Deke Roberts, with  Richard Witoscynski on lead guitar, Jamie Long on bass and Nick Clack on drums. Sadly missing this evening, through ill health, was fifth member Barry King, rhythm guitar and vocals.

Kicking off the set with a Bill Haley classic 'Shake Rattle And Roll', they got the party started. Following with their own take on 'It Doesn't Matter Any More' and a Dylan number 'I Don't Believe You' , they showed the depth of their musicianship. A great version of 'It's All Over Now'  and The Standells number 'Dirty Water' with 'You really Got Me',  far away from the Kinks.

Enter Howlin' Wolf with a classic 'I Asked For Water'  and even some Zappa with 'In France'. Closing the set with 'Roll On Babe', Muddy Waters 'You Need Love' and the Wolf's 'Who's Been Talking, it was a great evening and although covers, they were played  with the Night Wreckers definitive stamp.

With some self penned numbers in the mix, they hope for a CD in the not too distant future. Certainly a band who are not a 'standard' blues band by the addition of pepper and salt to the interesting material in their set. A band well worth seeing.

http://www.facebook.com/nightwreckers

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer
http://www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive

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26:01:17 - THE NORMAN BEAKER BAND

THE OLD COURTS, WIGAN, WN1 1NA

This was a tremendous night of live blues music from this popular hard working band from the Manchester area. Norman Beaker has a reputation of performing to a very high standard in his music production and performance both here and abroad. Norman Beaker has worked with the best of the best in the music business for the last forty years, and has just been inducted into the American Blues hall of fame. Norman has surrounded himself with the best of musicians and his current line-up is no exception to that rule. The Norman Beaker Band gave us a mix of covers and original material from their albums entitled, Who’s He Calling Me Him, Into the Blues and The Older I Get the Better I Was. This energetic band delighted the crowd which appreciated each individual solo time after time throughout this blistering performance. Norman Beaker on lead vocal and lead guitar, on keys the talented Nick Steed, on saxophone Kim Nishikawara, a superb rhythm section of John Price on bass guitar and backing vocals, and Steve Gibson on drums. This inspirational performance of the blues by a Northwest band was without doubt an experience the audience will remember for a long time to come at this well attended venue.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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22:12:16 - KYLA BROX BAND

THE OLD COURTS WIGAN WN1 1NA

It was an absolute pleasure to hear the Kyla Brox Band live, performing back in the Northwest at this fantastic new venue here in Wigan. It was a terrific show and a standing ovation was very much deserved. Outstanding Kyla shows passion and desire, for her brand of red hot blues, sometimes rocky, sometimes soulful, sometimes funky sometimes jazzy, but definitely entertaining. Kyla has been singing from a tender age and has developed over time an incredible voice, well controlled, with a great vocal range that thunders through her voice box and shakes the walls. Kyla is one of the best female vocalists that I have listened to, and watched, perfect in her delivery, and as for her stage presence it was immense and powerful. Performing on stage seems a natural progression for Kyla, it must be gene related, her father is the legendary blues man Victor Brox, who joined Kyla on stage for a couple of numbers, again to thunderous applause from an appreciative audience.  Kyla and her band played several numbers off their new album entitled “Throw Away Your Blues” which is a mix of contemporary blues crossing the blues genres. Kyla is also an accomplished flautist playing a concert flute and an alto flute, Victor brought along his slide trumpet and was featured on the “Honestly Blues” number. Kyla during her act led tributes to Leonard Cohen “Hallelujah”  “Don’t Mess With My Man” by Irma Thomas, “Do I Move You” Nina Simone and Sam Cooke’s “Change Gonna Come”. The band line up was on Lead vocal and flutes Kyla Brox, Danny Blomeley on bass guitar, Mark Warburton drums and Paul Farr lead/rhythm guitar, all brilliant musicians in their own right.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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18:12:16 - EARLY MAC BAND

THE MINSTREL EAVES GREEN CHORLEY

SUNDAY NIGHT BLUES NIGHT


Photos courtesy Lucas Campbell

The Early Mac Band as the name suggests take the blues from the early years of Peter Greens Fleetwood Mac, a British Blues band that captivated the blues spirit of the late 60s. Peter Tallent formed the Early Mac band some time ago and is one half of the rhythm section, on his great sounding Ludwig drum kit, Craig Jackson on bass guitar is the other half and is a musician of some repute. The lead guitarist roll is shared by Luke Smithson also on lead vocal, and Joe Dalson this completes the line-up. Great hits covered by the band were, The Chain, Albatross, Oh Well, Black Magic Woman, Green Manalishi, and Shake your money Maker where amongst the favourites.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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17:12:16 - LAVENDORE ROGUE + FISK & AMOR + DAVE SHARP

BLUEFUNK R&B CLUB CHRISTMAS PARTY @ The Legion, Poynton, Cheshire

Joel Fisk and Jon Amor - photo courtesy Rosy Greer

With a fabulous atmosphere at this excellent venue, the evening kicked off with two of the most talented musicians around today, Joel Fisk and Jon Amor.

Performing together as an electro/acoustic duo, they gave a crowd pleasing performance.  Both Jon and Joel took the lead on excellent vocals and guitars, with some superb slide guitar from Joel. They gave us an eclectic mix of songs including some Robert Johnson and Howlin' Wolf numbers and a fantastic version of the Blind Faith classic 'I Can't Find My Way Home' . We certainly didn't get bored. They have a live album together - 'Live At The Farm' - which was recorded at Blues At The Farm in Billericay. They are a duo I can wholeheartedly recommend.

As a break away from the blues, Dave Sharp who is more  folk orientated, gave us an acoustic set with music that tells a story.

LaVendore Rogue - photo courtesy Rosy Greer

The main act for this evening were the totally amazing LaVendore Rogue. They are undoubtedly one of the most interesting and exciting bands on the circuit today, with their own take of alternative blues inspired Americana -  but you really can't put these guys in any 'box' as their music is 'LaVendore Rogue' and speaks for its self. 

The flamboyant  JoJo Burgess fronts the band, giving out fantastic vocals, aided by Joel Fisk who also plays some 'mean' guitar - electric and slide. Stephen 'Cupsey'  Cutmore  continues  to keep the rhythm in check on drums and percussion, along with  the cool Rob 'Tank' Barry on bass and Warren Lynn on keys. Tonight they were joined by Jon Amor adding some superb guitar work.

Playing a mix of numbers from the previous spirit of Hokie Joint, including 'Chocolate Cake' and 'Mrs Jones', they brought in some new material and numbers from their excellent album 'Light Up With .... LaVendore Rogue', including a fantastic take of 'Dead Man's Chest'. Also on the table, some alternative Charley Patton and the Stones 'Get Off My Cloud' , a great end to a brilliant evening which earned them a standing ovation and deservedly so.

I have to say a well done and thank you to Garry White for hosting yet another great and successful evening at Bluefunk.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer
http://www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive

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11:12:16 - THE MIDNITE JOHNNY BAND

THE MINSTREL EAVES GREEN CHORLEY

SUNDAY NIGHT IS ROCKIN’ BLUES NIGHT


Photo courtesy Lucas Campbell

This four piece blues band based in the Bolton region brought their brand of blues to a very enthusiastic crowd. Frontman Johnny Morano on lead vocal and lead guitar was just outstanding with his various styles of play from slide to glide he gave a perfect performance. Johnny originally from Florida U S A has played with the best of the best and goes back to play at prestige’s festivals and blues venues, Johnny has brought all that knowledge and skill to our shores and his audiences are richer for it. Norm Helm is a blues jazz bassist with a vast amount of experience, a valued top musician, linked with Tim Franks on drums this is a formidable rhythm section. Last but not least we have Ian Cross on keys, a man with a solid reputation and skills to match. Ian weaved his magic fingers across the keys, taking the lead at times, and then dropping back into the blues background a superb blend with Johnny’s guitar work. Renditions of “Cross cut Saw” “Hello Trouble” “Play the Blues for You” “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” “ Big Leg Woman” and more all great numbers from a fantastic band.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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04:12:16 - The Welsh-T-Band

THE MINSTREL EAVES GREEN CHORLEY

SUNDAY NIGHT ROCKIN’ BLUES NIGHT

This four piece band travelled from the Wakefield area to entertain, and they did that in spades. Frontman Terry Jon, aka Welsh- T-, on lead vocal and rhythm guitar set the pace with “Mojo Working” a cracking start to what was an excellent show. Mr Kevin “GEETAR” Ackroyd on lead guitar, he was on fire with great guitar skills, “Albatross” and “Parisienne Walkways”, were brilliantly played. The rhythm section of David Hoyle on bass guitar and backing vocals, paired with Robin Learoyd on drums, now a permanent band member. The band played a mix of covers, the likes of “All Your Love I Miss Loving” “Let’s Work Together” ”Sweet Home Chicago”, “Johnny Be Goode” ”High Heel Sneakers” and many more. The bands four original tracks from their CD entitled “Where the Road Leads” were “How Much” “April Fool Blues” “Place in my Heart” and “It’s Cold Outside”. This was a great night of live music, catering for all, the dancers danced and the band played on, cracking stuff.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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03:12:16 - THE ALFIE IBBOSTON POPULAR BEAT COMBO

THE WHEATSHEAF HOTEL,  COPPULL, CHORLEY

It has been two or three years since I last heard this band and I have to say I was impressed with what they did and how they did it. Tony Wardle the bands front man, on lead vocal and an excellent harp player kicked off the first set “Brown Sugar” with a good solid bass from Charlie Pearson and giving it large Ian Massey on drums, this rhythm section was spot on, and completing the line -up was  Paul Mason on lead guitar. The band gave us a shot in the arm of blues, and Rhythm and Blues with the likes of “Sunshine”, “Misunderstood”, “Boom Boom”, “Keep on Running”, “Rebel Rebel” just great numbers to boogie to.

The second set was just as entertaining a brilliant mixture of popular music, “House Party” “All Over Now”, “All Day and All of the Night”, “House is a Rockin’” superb stuff, “Mustang Sally” I thought was a particular good version, this band did it for me and the audience thought so as well, they will be appearing around the Northwest, check out their band site for their gigs, you’ll be glad you did.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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27:11:16 - THE LOL GOODMAN BAND

LIVE AT THE MINSTREL, EAVES GREEN, CHORLEY, LANCASHIRE

The Lol Goodman band based in the Manchester area came to the Minstrel in Chorley and gave a great performance, playing their original brand of blues, penned by Lol Goodman, and arranged by the band. Formed several years ago they have played all over the Country on the pub circuit, and at major Blues Festivals including Colne, Maryport, Skegness, Stafford, Lancaster, and many more. With this wealth of experience you might have said that this band had cracked it, however, every now and again a new band member is added and in this case has enhanced the band to a new level. Master musician Phil Barrett on Hammond organ and guitar was superb, and in my opinion gives the band that added element. This band is no Stranger in producing CD’s, they have released their third in February this year entitled ”Just Wanna Say”, in 2014 they released “Tautology” and prior to that, “Old Dogs ‘n’ Licks” in 2013. With plenty of air play off their new CD and live performances, this band are full on in entertaining and producing original blues numbers for the lovers of blues music far and wide.  The rhythm section have been the driving force over the years with veteran musicians Jon Firth on drums and James Horrocks on a booming bass, the backing singers The Cougars are Angie and Jane, and lastly, the man himself front and centre, the inspirational Lol Goodman on lead vocals and guitar rounds up this band of professional Blues makers.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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24:11:16 - RHYTHM ZOO

LIVE AT THE MINSTREL, EAVES GREEN, CHORLEY, LANCASHIRE

This five piece blues band fronted by the delicious Andi Hall on lead vocal, are gaining popularity at a steady pace. Touring the circuit from all points of the compass and finding the time to create a new C D entitled SOLD FOR LOVE, which is their best work yet in my opinion. I saw Rhythm Zoo a few years ago, and the changes the band have made, are to my mind now are bearing fruit. A brilliant and skilful lead guitarist in Phil Dean, from Harrogate, has brought to the table a harder rock blues feel to the band which works very well. Phil took the lead in two covers,” Badge” by Cream and “Red House” by Hendrix, two blues classics which went down very well with the crowd. The bands repertoire gave us a mix of covers and original works from their album, starting with “River of Tears” written by Andi Hall and rhythm guitarist Pete Rea, from the Northeast, their third number on the album. The rhythm section consists of bassist Pete Betts, with Dermot Hall on drums, a good pairing that drives the band. “Coco Blue”, “Misbegotten Man” “Crazy Kitten Blues” and “Red Moon” all off the new album, brought the first set to a close. The second set Andi let rip with her majestic vocals with “Stormy Monday” “I Sing the Blues”  “I Just Want to Make Love to You” “Whole Lotta Water” as well as the CD’s title number “Sold for Love” and “Steel Your love” the album’s opener.

Rhythm Zoo will continue to develop their own brand of contemporary blues, within the genre promoting their new album, and pleasing their audiences. This band have come a long way, and are determined to go places.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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19:11:16 - THE SHAKERS

LIVE AT THE MINSTREL, EAVES GREEN, CHORLEY, LANCASHIRE

The SHAKERS are based in Blackpool (The Mississippi Fylde Coast Delta) they gave us some hard and rockin’ rhythm and blues, just the tonic to shake off the poor weather conditions, but the Chorley posse came out and supported the band and made them welcome, here at the MINSTREL the home of LIVE music. This band gave us 100% in every quarter, with John Carroll from Manchester the founder of the band, on vocal and guitar and Blues harp. John was the fuel that burnt brightly throughout the bands performance, John also performed a solo spot on his Steel Dobra resonator guitar, with two numbers, one from an improvised 1800s parlour guitar tune and the Tampa Red song “Can’t Get that Stuff No More”, about the prohibition times in the 1930s, America, two cracking gems from the hands of John. With fellow vocalist and bassist Brian Hunter, originally from Glasgow, he can certainly belt out a tune. Drummer Craig Holland who kept them steady, and a second lead guitarist in Chris Peacock, a tremendous interchange between himself and John, two excellent guitarists. The band’s first set got off to a great start with an original number “Women and Whiskey” followed by great classic numbers by Wilbert Harrison, Slim Harpo, Jimi Hendrix, Otis Rush, the place was jumping. The bands repertoire is quite extensive with Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well”, and hits from John Lee Hooker, Little Walter, Joe Cocker, and to finish the first set another original entitled “Driving Me Crazy”.  The band turned up the heat in their second set with “Foxy Lady” by Hendrix followed by Bad Company’s “Feel Like Making Love” a brilliant rendition, and with more classics by Robert Johnson, Jimmy Reed, “Framed” by Alex Harvey, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and many more, just great music from the 30s/40s to the 60s/70s, what a show, what a night of great music from this hard working band, brilliant.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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30:10:16 - AFTER HOURS BLUES BAND

SUNDAY NIGHT LIVE AT THE MINSTREL, EAVES GREEN, CHORLEY,  LANCASHIRE

Another fantastic night of LIVE BLUES by this Preston based band, formed in the late nineties by Lee Wharton. Over the years the bands personnel has changed but the blues has always stayed constant. The current line up are Lee Wharton on lead vocal and lead guitar, Ann Batty on drums with Nigel Watkins on bass and the band’s latest asset is Martyn Hunt on electric piano/organ which gives the band a new  dimension.  After Hours began with covers from many blues greats, BB King, Peter Green, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimmy Hendrix to name a few. Lee has always had a passion for writing his own blues numbers his creative juices will be evident on the bands new studio cd which is going through the “process” and should be completed soon. Lee Wharton has always had a soft spot for Jimmi Hendrix and during the bands performance paid homage to this great blues god. Starting with Voodoo Chile followed by Machine Gun and “Red Patrol” which is Lee’s creative musical battle ground showcasing Lee’s exceptional guitar playing. This was a blues band with power and precise musicianship by all concerned, a blues night to remember certainly was.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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27:10:16 - TOM WALKER TRIO

THE OLD COURTS WIGAN WN1 1NA 

The Tom Walker Trio from the Birmingham area played out of their skins with some funky blues to entertain a loyal crowd of Blues music fans. From the first chords struck the band created a fantastic atmosphere, the place was jumping.  They gave us a mix of classic blues covers from Clapton to B. B. King from John Mayer to the Doobie Brothers, along with three original works, which are on the band’s first EP entitled The Stranger’s Face, which is available at the gigs.

The band have only been together for a short while but collectively they have a mountain of experience, with Deano Bass on bass guitar and Jimmy Simpson on drums, both locked themselves in to the groove and stayed there, just brilliant playing from this top rhythm section. Tom at the age of 21 is now leading from the front to promote the best of British Blues and has toured with the likes of The Move, Paul Jones, Devon Allman and John Lodge (Moody Blues) and worked with producer Richard Digby Smith. After the release of the EP Tom and the band went to Austin Texas U S A, to do a string of live performances, and world- wide radio play and in doing so the band achieved entering the top 30 in the IBBA charts. The Tom Walker Trio will be doing more gig dates and writing more cracking songs I’m sure of that, I can’t wait.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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BJ's Rock in the Blues Club Reviews: 

13:08:15 - OBLIVION

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

Oblivion a five piece covers band that travelled from North Wales and Cheshire to entertain were formed only a few months ago and playing their sixth gig. Antony Wilkinson fronted the band, on lead vocal and rhythm guitar. Antony has a good vocal range and every number he sang was as clear as a bell, he was excellent. Nick Prendergast on lead guitar is a very experienced guitar man note perfect and played with passion. Bryan Jones on key boards and saxophone another fine musician he gave the band a full round sound in fact the band’s sound was well balanced and the volume spot on. The bands bass line from Nick Skelson on a wicked bass guitar and drummer John Hodgson kept the band on an even keel a very impressive pair. The selection of covers got off to a cracking start with numbers from, Deep Purple, Paul Weller, ZZ Top, Fleetwood Mac, Small Faces and The Beatles. The second set moved into overdrive with the Zombies, Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dylan, Rory Gallaher, Chuck Berry, and Jeff Beck tremendous covers from a band that has expertise and musicianship all rolled up into one, their phone should be very busy, there was nothing oblivious about this performance they paid attention to detail.

Sadly I have to report to you all that BJ’s ROCK IN THE BLUES CLUB has for now ceased. This is a bitter pill to swallow not just for Lucas and his wife Heidi but for the fans of live music it will be greatly missed.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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06:08:15 - .44 PISTOL

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

This fabulous talented trio travelled from the Stafford area to entertain the faithful here at BJ’s in Chorley. If you like your blues a bit raw and edgy and in your face, with no frills then this Mississippi Blues trio is right up your street. They pride themselves on taking a classic blues number say Smoke Stack Lightening, and then give it the .44 Pistol treatment and the concept is very entertaining indeed.  Pete Wearn frontman and founder of the band on lead vocal, slide guitar and blues harp was outstanding, his energetic style is a must see, at one point he stood on top of a table playing his harmonica at full tilt a lung buster indeed just brilliant. Ash Jones on lead guitar and backing vocal has a more laid back approach but his sizzling guitar playing is extraordinary none the less. Lastly on drums is Mick Askey he keeps the tempo hot and heavy and with no bass player does the job admirably. The bands two sets were all classic numbers the likes of Shake Your Money Maker, Baby Please Don’t Go, Who Do You Love, What I’d Say, Got Love if You Want It, Got My Mojo Working, all classic numbers with a  canny twist. The crowd shouted and whistled for more the dancers were out in force and a good Mississippi Blues experience was had by all.  44 Pistol were absolutely smoking.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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30:07:15 - BRIDGEWATER BLUES BAND

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

This four piece band travelled from the Stockport area to give the blues faithful a cracking show.  New frontman Dave Eatock on lead vocal and blues harp has more than twenty years experiance playing the blues with different bands in and around his home patch of Greater Manchester. Dave has gelled well and fits right in such is the talent of this veteran performer, and indeed the rest of the band with their mature musicianship. Jon Ingham on lead guitar has always impressed me with his playing he’s a wizard and still plays the guitar behind his head and with his teeth and plays a mean slide guitar, he certainly knows his way around a guitar. The rhythm section is one of the best I have heard as tight as a bow and sounding brilliant with Chris Millward on bass and Andy Hart on drums just superb. This was a blues show bar none with covers from the likes of BB King, Sony Boy Williamson, Elmore James, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Howlin’ Wolf, Eric Clapton and John Lee Hooker you can imagine how that went down absolutely thrilling.  The second set was busting with more of the same with Fleetwood Macs “Oh Well” more from Hendrix a great rendition of “All along the Watchtower” and “Hey Joe” more from Howlin’ Wolf, Junior Wells, Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Big Bill Broonzey, Elmore James and Cream, blues wall to wall just perfect obviously.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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23:07:15 - THE INTERCITY BLUES BAND

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

The return of the Intercity Blues Band from Liverpool wowed the crowd with their gritty style of Chicago Blues. Archie Moore fronts this four piece band on lead vocal and a wailing harmonica.  Dave miles on lead guitar was outstanding, firmly rooted in the blues genre, he showed what he could do with the Albert Kings hit “Can’t You See What your Doin’ To Me”, brilliant work. The engine room consisting of Denis Sainter on a fantastic sounding bass guitar along with Mick Andrews on the drums, an experienced pairing indeed and the driving force of the band. A mix of classic blues and original works, six in all, and the first of these was “Black finger Boogie” featuring Dave Miles on lead guitar. Big Joe Turners “Flip Flop and Fly” was next, a great rendition of this marvellous number. Two more originals “Down Hill Blues “and the fantastic “Nothing Going Down”, this high-lighted the struggle in Liverpool in the 70s with wide spread unemployment. Slim Harpo’s “I Got Love If You Want It” demonstrated the many skills of Archie’s harp playing, finishing the first set with Howlin’ Wolfs “Who’s Been Talking” superb. The second set started with Henry Mancini’s “Peter Gunn” the instrumental, this was another excellent rendition, the set also produced covers from The Doors, two more original works, then Peter Greens “Stop Messin’ Around”, “Route 66” “I Need You Tonight”, Tommy Tuckers “High Heel Sneakers”, “Messin’ with the Kid” by Junior Wells and an encore with the Classic “Shake Your Money Maker” by Elmore James, bringing the show to a close with the deafening shouts and whistles for more. If you missed the INTERCITY Blues Band express catch the next one you’ll be glad you did.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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16:07:15 - RAMSHACKLE

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

On their return to Chorley RAMSHACKLE took to the stage and performed a fabulous show with a mix of covers and original works. Simon Noble fronts the band on lead guitar and lead vocals, with Andy Lewis on keys and vocals, a busy rhythm section are Craig Robinson on a mature sounding bass, and John A Hilton on drums, these four cracking musicians make up Ramshackle one of the best live bands playing on today’s circuit. The selection of covers from the likes of Bill Perry, Walter Trout, Bernard Allinson, The Beatles, Paul McCartney, Johnny Lang, and Eric Clapton certainly set the scene, the second set would have to be something special, and as it turns out it was.  B. B. Kings “Thrill Is Gone” opened the second set, a fitting tribute to a great Bluesman, “Lie to Me” by Johnny Lang, Susan Tedeschi “Little By Little” with more covers from Bill Perry, Freddie Kings “Tore Down” “Leaving Mood “by Toronzo Cannon, with other covers by Otis Rush, Junior Parker, Oli Brown and several original numbers starting with “Little Angel” “Mad Man on my Mind” “Blind Date with the Blues” “It’s Over” and “Long Way Home” superb works by Simon and the band which you can listen to on sound cloud. The crowd shouted for more and the band obliged with Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Tightrope” and “The Road Never Ends” from Mike Zito. This was a brilliant show by a band that puts the ROCK into the BLUES nothing ramshackle about the bands performance,   exceptional.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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02:07:15 - PAPA LEGBA

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

Papa Legba are one of the best Power Rock Trios to entertain us here in Chorley. The band travelled from St Helens to give us a show, and that they did. The guitar wizardry of Alan Kaishin Crawford on lead guitar and vocals was superb every time I see him he seems to get better, if that’s possible. Scott Crawford on bass guitar and backing vocals was brilliant, and his harmonising with Alan was spot on. Graham Brighouse on drums, he is one of the best I’ve heard, and in my opinion is the complete drummer, with terrific combinations of play, and when required plays a mean harmonica, all three are gifted musicians. The first set started with Deep Purples “Hush” with Led Zeppelins “Dazed and Confused” “Bring It On Home” and ”Since I’ve Been Loving You” “Killing Floor” by Hendrix, just superb guitar skills from Alan, “Back To Black “ by Amy Whitehouse, The Beatles “Yer Blues” Eddie Boyd’s “Five Long Years” and finishing with “Sunshine of your Love” by Cream absolutely dynamic.

The second set with covers from Robert Johnson, Led Zeppelin the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, the Animals, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, and a fantastic medley of” Voodoo Child”, “Million Miles Away”, “Black Dog”, “Black Night”, “Whiskey In the Jar”, bringing to an end a fantastic show from this hot talented band.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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25:06:15 - POORBOY

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

This excellent four piece harp driven blues band based in Leeds ripped the roof off with some buzzing Chicago Blues. Frontman Paddy Wells on lead vocal and blues harp was inspirational as he and the band played to a packed house. Lead guitarist Gary Whitaker was superb with Frederic Hiebler on a fabulous sounding bass guitar and new boy on the block is no other than session drummer Rick Lacey who has over the years played with the cream of Northwest bands. The band recorded six tracks in June 2014 at the Cottage Road Studios Leeds and the title track entitled “Jumpin’” was aired on the Paul Jones R & B show on radio 2 recently.  The first set kicked off with “Jumpin’ followed by “Find Someone New”, “I Can Tell”, “That’s Enough”,” Checking on My Baby”, “Walking Through the Park” with the Etta James’s classic, “I’d Rather go Blind”, and finishing the first set with “Every day I Have the Blues”. The second set started began with “She’s Dynamite”, “Born in Chicago”, “She’s Evil”, “Up the Line”, “Spoonful,” “My Babe,” “Heart attack and Vine”, “Some Days”, “Mellow Down Easy”, “Got My Mojo Working” and finally “Can’t judge a Book” an absolute brilliant show by a very hard working band who bring to the table an edgy, gritty, soulful Chicago Blues.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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18:06:15 - THE MAZ MITRENKO BAND

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

The Maz Mitrenko band returned to Chorley and entertained a packed crowd here, who relished the bands mix of classic blues and rock along with original material from these three exceptional musicians who had travelled from the heart of the West Midlands. This band always gives a fantastic show and from the very start took command of the proceedings.  The first set kicked off with Freddie King’s classic “Going Down” followed by “Deja Blues” their first of six original numbers.  ”Tattooed Lady” from Rory Gallagher, and the second original called “Drifter” with “Accuse Me” from Bo Diddley, and a brilliant rendition of Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road” and an echo from the seventies with “ Bridge Of Sighs” from Robin Trower, just a fantastic first set, the crowd where on their feet, the applause was deafening, tremendous. The atmosphere was tangible as the crowd settled for the second set. “All Along the Watchtower” by Hendrix started the second set with wonderful guitar work from Maz, I expected nothing less, and a good strong combination from the engine room, Pete Vickers on bass and Phil Brittle on drums, a very busy pairing indeed throughout the bands performance.  Rory Gallagher’s “Calling Card” again a marvellous rendition followed by “Mississippi Delta” another original song with “So Long Chicago” an original from the band that is on their next cd.  The heat was turned up as the band played the Muddy Waters hit “Hoochie Coochie Man” with “Misty Mountain Blue” (Co Written with Doug Jones) and the last of the bands original works.  “Walk on Hot Coals” from Rory Gallagher finishing with “Hey Joe” and “Purple Haze” a crescendo of sound from the very able Maz Mitrenko band, just fabulous from start to finish.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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11:06:15 - THE BONNIE MAC BAND

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

The Bonnie Mac Band returned to the Minstrel to give a fantastic show of Blues and Blues/Rock. They travelled from Leeds and Huddersfield to entertain a packed crowd here in Chorley. This four piece band have over the last two years or so entertained in venues both sides of the Pennines in pubs and Blues festivals, and will be at the Great British R & B Festival Colne which takes place from the 28th to the 31st of August 2015. The band line up is spearheaded by Sheila McFarlane on vocals, with her ever increasing vocal range, which certainly suits the bands move to more of a rock/blues genre.  The maestro on lead guitar/rhythm guitar is Geoff Waddington, he nails the riffs superbly, a musician of the highest calibre whether its blues or rock.  The boiler house, the rhythm section of Craig Jackson on a thumping bass and John Sharpe on drums were brilliant and consistent, no let up here.  The band’s first set hit us with ”Little by Little”, “Breeze”, “Blues is My Business”,” Trouble No More” that set the bar high, the second set included covers by Gary Moore, Free, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dooby Brothers, Z Z Top and more just brilliant, finishing off with Sweet Home Chicago and Road Runner.

This band is growing from strength to strength and in the not too distant future we should be seeing a new CD with original tracks penned by the band.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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04:06:15 - THE VOODOO HOGS

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

The Voodoo Hogs hale from the County of Cheshire and have been together performing all over the Northwest circuit for the better part of two years. They have an extensive repertoire of classic blues/rock covers for your entertainment and are booked for many gigs this year.  Graham Hetherington on lead vocals delivers his songs in his gruff voice style and looking sharp as the bands frontman.  Gary Diack on lead guitar was spot on with his guitar work a top musician, the rhythm section with Phil Marsland on bass guitar and Gary Burgess keeping time, an over-all excellent display. The first set kicked off with Killing Floor, White Room, Sharp Dressed Man and Hoochie Coochie Man and a tribute to the late B B King with his song The Thrill Has Gone, plus many more classics, the room was bouncing.

The second set went into overdrive with Purple Haze, Foxy Lady, Boom Boom, Tore Down and a mix of rock and roll for an encore, just all good rocking stuff.  The crowd loved it, the band enjoyed it and the dancers danced, another cracking night supporting live music, tremendous.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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28:05:15 - THE ORIGINAL REPLICA

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

Making their debut here in Chorley were four young talented musicians from the Warrington area. This Fab Four took us back to the 50s and 60s a great time for British music, a boom time indeed and some would say that this was the starter of the very commercial pop era.  Liam Mannion on lead guitar (Vox) (Hofner) and vocals, was superb his solos and his guitar skills were far beyond his years, a mature performance, and the overall sound created by the band was tremendous, yes the Mersey Sound is alive and well in the hands of these young guns. The rhythm section of Matthew Gallagher on a fiddle bass guitar (Paul McCartney) and Jamie Jones on (Gretsch) drums kept busy and drove the band from hit to hit, lastly on rhythm/lead guitar with vocals was Philip Murry.   The band played to a packed house and the dancing went on and on, foot tapping stuff.     With wonderful renditions of “Roll over Beethoven” “Be Bop a Lula” “Bye Bye Love” “Rip It Up” “Mustang Sally” too “Long Tall Sally” and with other classics from Ray Charles, Chuck Berry and the Everly Brothers the house was jumpin’ another great night for live music.  Two of the bands original songs “Lucy “and I’ll Never Say I Love You” are retro 60s in composition and very good they were too, a re-visit to the Cavern I think, watch this space.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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21:05:15 - THE WELSH T BAND       www.welsh-t.co.uk

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

Making their debut here at long last The Welsh T Band crossed the border from Yorkshire and performed some hot classic Rock /Blues along with some original material from their C D entitled “WHERE THE ROAD LEADS”.

John Terry aka WELSH T the founder of the band on lead vocal and guitar was superb, his contrasting vocals were fabulous and was the catalyst for the bands overall performance, it’s what front men do and he can.  On lead guitar was Kevin “Geetar”Ackroyd a musician of the highest order his skilful solos and riffs were brilliant, a corner stone of the band. The rhythm section was well stocked with David Hoyle on bass guitar and on drums Greg Gallagher all was faultless in the engine room.

The core of the band over the last 15 years have been up and down the Country gigging on the pub circuit and have performed at many music festivals including the R & B festival at Colne.

This band has a lot more to offer I’m sure of that, with superb musicianship and a passion for performing to packed venues.  The crowd enjoyed the music and danced the night away, as another great night for live music came to a close.

The original songs of the album performed by the band were” Lucky Man”” Sweet Shop”” April Fool Blues”” I Don’t Know” How Much” “IT’s Cold Outside”” Place in my Heart” and the title song ”Where The Road Leads”.

The bread and butter classics performed were “Mojo Working” “Before You Accuse Me” ”If My Baby Quit Me” “Albatross” “Need Your Love So Bad” “ The Sky is Crying” and many more.

Keith Blackledge
National and International Music Reviewer
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14:05:15 - CRY BABY & THE HOOCHIE COOCHIE BOYS
         
  
http://www.crybabyhoochiecoochieboys.co.uk/

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

I can only say these guys are rhythm & blues at its best. 'CRY BABY & THE HOOCHIE COOCHIE BOYS' from Stoke on Trent, returned to BJ's, and gave a brilliant show to a packed house. The 'boys' are Rob Wilkinson on superb vocals and harmonica, Vince Cutcliffe on excellent guitar, Mark Hargreaves versatile keyboards, Chris Bevington on expert bass and Andy Carr on pounding drums.

Kicking off the evening with some great blues 'I Don't Believe' and 'I Got News', bringing in Robs amazing blues harp playing. Moving on to an up tempo Nine Below Zero track, 'Don't Point Your Finger At Me' again with superb harp. Great guitar work on 'More Than I Can Take' then on to one of the few ballads of the set, 'A Long History Of Love', both King King numbers.

A dash of country blues on 'Living It Down'  then a great take of the Muddy Waters classic 'I want To Be Loved' . A self penned  superb slow blues followed, 'Come Fly With Me' with great vocal input. Rounding off the first set, some more King King, 'One More Time', giving us a nice bit of wah wah on the guitar, and to finish a great harp led Chicago blues number.

The second set   kicked off with a rockin' number 'Personal Jesus', then a great take of the Alabama 3 track, 'Too Sick To Pray'. Upping the tempo a rockin' rhythm & blues 'Squeeze Me In' and a Nine Below Zero number 'Soft Touch', excellent!

'All Your Life' was followed by a brilliant compilation of 'Anyway You Want Me' and 'Bright Lights'. There was some great slide guitar from Vince, on the Elmore James classic blues 'Wild About You Baby' with excellent blues harp from Rob. Raising the tempo again, a Dr Feelgood classic, 'Back In The Night' .

'Turn It On-Turn It Up' and 'Take My Love' led onto the last number a Cry Baby classic 'Zydeco Boogie' . A brilliant track with Vince on mandolin giving us a walk about in the audience. Excellent work on keys, giving that authentic Cajun flavour, superb.

A well deserved encore of 'Gimme Some Lovin' and 'Can I Get A Witness' completed, what had been a buzzin' night. The musicianship of the band is amazing and all are involved in other projects. They have a new CD in the making, so hopefully that will be available later this year. A well recommended band, so catch them if you can!

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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08:05:15 - THE EARLY MAC BAND 

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

A welcome return to BJ's of The Early Mac Band. As the name implies their roots lie in the classic music of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, much of which was performed to perfection. 

From the Leeds area, they are Luke Smithson on vocals and guitar, Joel Dowson on guitar, Ol Jessop on bass with Peter Tallent on drums and vocals.                                                                                    

On yet another lively Thursday evening, the band began the set with a tribute to the original Fleetwood Mac.  They played the most haunting version of 'Albatross' I have heard, which was well appreciated by the audience.  With 'If You Be My Baby', a slow powerful 12 bar blues, the two guitarist complimented each other brilliantly. A touch of Garry Moore completed the first, well put together set.

The second set brought us some foot tapping 12 bar standard blues with Peter Green's 'Stop Messing Around', then onto a classic Hendrix number 'Little Wing', which the guys did real justice to, with superb guitars throughout.

Performing in their own style, the band played the classic Robert Johnson number 'Crossroads', This led on to another Hendrix classic of 'Hey Joe' . Returning to the Fleetwood Mac flavour with a great take of 'Oh Well' and one of my favourite tracks ever, 'Need Your Love So Bad', followed by 'Black Magic Woman', superb!

The final numbers,  'It's All Over Now' and a stomping version of 'Johnny Be Good', got the dancers up. A great end to an enjoyable evening and The Early Mac Band will definitely be back again at BJ's next year.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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30.04.15 - THE MIGHTY REVELATORS   http://www.themightyrevelators.com/

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

Returning again to BJ's were the multi talented MIGHTY REVELATORS, from the north west. Playing a mix of blues, swing, Americana, country and Tex-Mex, with a dash of funk thrown in, the line up was - Rick Lucas on guitar, slide guitar and vocals, Mark Hopkins on guitar and vocals, Aaron Lloyd on bass with Paul Schofield on drums.

Opening with some self penned swing and blues numbers the scene was set for the evening. Performing many of the self written tracks from their current and excellent CD, 'Eyes On The Road' plus some new material, The Mighty Revelators showed what 'versatility' really is. With two 'class' lead guitarists in the band, both with different styles,  gave them the option to produce a variety of sounds, which they did brilliantly, assisted by the most competent rhythm section.

With only a couple of covers in the set, they performed the B B King number 'Downhearted', to perfection. A great first set with an even livelier second set to follow , including a excellent funky number of their own, 'Kept', which had been played on Paul Jones Blues Show on BBC Radio2.

Some great stomp on 'Lord Have Mercy', class slide guitar on  Americana number 'Eyes On The Road', finishing the evening with  some swing and The Shadows  influence. A well deserved encore was given with the 1950's Coasters number 'Down In Mexico'. An excellent evening of music from an excellent band and we'll  definitely see them back at BJ's next year.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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THE SECTION www.facebook.com/pages/The-Section-Blues-Rock-Band/197958896890613

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

After an absence of two years, it was a welcomed return of the 'The Section' to BJ's 'Rock in the Blues' Club.

Fronting the band on superb vocals and bass guitar was Mick 'The Guvnor' Taylor with Steve Pollard on lead and slide guitar, Pete Stonall on harmonica and guitar, Geoff Wilkinson on keyboards and guitar, and Truvel Thomas on drums.

Opening the evening with a bit of rockin' Stevie Ray Vaughan and Humble Pie, they also did a great take of  J J Cale's 'Call Me The Breeze', with some excellent slide guitar. Playing a mix of classics including Little Walter's 'Boom, Boom' and the Animals 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood' they slowed the pace with 'Stormy Monday' , finishing the first set with Rufus Thomas's 'Walking The Dog' and  some rockin' Quo.

Blasting into the second set with Z Z Top's 'La Grange' they continued to keep the pace with some Nine Below Zero, Canned Heat and Dr Feelgood, with a dash of John Mayall for good measure. They did an excellent take of Robert Johnson's 'Walking Blues' - again with some super slide. The final number and well deserved encore was 'Bonie Maronie'.

There was some great guitar and harmonica playing and 'The Section', as a whole, gel really well together as they are all well seasoned musicians in their own right. We will hope to see them back at BJ's next year.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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THE ESCAPE COMMITTEE        http://www.reverbnation.com/theescapecommittee

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

To cheer up a Thursday night, we had a welcome return to BJ's the premier Warrington based band, 'The Escape Committee'.

As a trio tonight - with Pete 'Sarge' Frampton  fronting the band on excellent guitar and vocals, with the solid rhythm section of John Gibson on bass and Paul Burgess (10cc) on drums - they gave us a varied selection of 60’s & 70’s classic songs with a definite penchant for Eric Clapton.

Kicking off the evening with a BB King number and a bit of slide guitar, the quality of the band was laid down. Continuing with some classic takes of Dylan's 'I Shall Be Released',  Clapton style 'I Shot The Sheriff' and a superb version of Hendrix's 'Little Wing', they rounded off the first set with a  great version of the standard 'Rock Me Baby'.

The second set brought a plethora of standards with 'Keys To The Highway', 'Nobody Knows You When You Are Down And Out', 'Georgia', 'Before You Accuse Me' and 'Crossroads'.  They performed an epic version of 'Have You Ever Loved A Woman' with superb guitar work from Pete, which was just brilliant.

Changing the pace with some rocky Americana and slide guitar and a dash of rock 'n roll, which led nicely into a great version of 'Cocaine' and 'Badge'.  To wind up the evening, Blind Faith's 'Can't Find My Way Home' and the finale of Neil Young's 'Rockin' In The Free World' ending, what was, a great gig.

The excellent musicianship was evident and we will look forward to the return of the Escape Committee next year at BJ's.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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GROUNDFLOOR BLUES BAND      https://www.facebook.com/TheGroundfloorBluesBand/info

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

Some new faces with the Liverpool band 'Groundfloor Blues Band'. Having only been on the circuit for a relatively short while, they certainly gave a tight and incredibly well put together  performance, with an exceptional sound for a three piece line up. They  are Mike Grant on class vocals and Vox guitar and slide, Jimmy Pendleton on pounding bass and Greg Leyland on technically superb drums.

Although they are primarily a covers band, their choice of material was varied ,including many blues classics from BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Cream, Rory Gallagher and  more.  The set kicked off with a great take of 'One Foot In The Bayou' which set the scene for the calibre of these guys. A brilliant first set finished off with the classic 'Five Long Years', with more to come.

The second set equalled  the first with some added  ZZ Top, Mayall and  Free with a superb take on the Freddie King number 'Pack It Up' . To complete the set they performed the classic 'Keys To The Highway' and to finish, on what had been an exceptional gig,  a great take of Clapton's 'Further On Up The Road'

With superb musicianship from the whole band, Mike's  vocals were spot on and his guitar playing was almost faultless. They will definitely be back at BJ's next year and I hope they have luck in finding more platforms for the music that they play, as The Groundfloor Blues Band certainly have that little 'extra'!

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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PADDY MAGUIRE BAND http://www.paddymaguire.com/

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved

We knew we were in for a high class performance with the brilliant Paddy Maguire Band  playing to a packed house - and that's what we got! From W Yorkshire the band are Paddy Maguire on guitar and vocals, Jenna Hooson Maguire on amazing vocals, Jamie Mallender on bass and Sean Fitzpatrick on drums.

Kicking off the evening with some classic Aretha Franklin 'Chain Of Fools', with Jenna laying down the rules. Onto a great rockin' take of 'Proud Mary', then slowing down the pace with 'Muddy Water Blues', showing Jenna's versatility. A dancing number  'Nutbush City Limits', moving onto the haunting Etta James classic  'I'd Rather Go Blind', a superb vocal challenge for Jenna, magic.

The second set brought Paddy to the forefront on vocals, with 'I Want To Fly' and continuing with some classic rock in Paddy's own style. All for audience participation, Beryl stars again with a touch of 'guitar playing' with Paddy on 'Rock Me Baby', hilarious!

A couple of self penned numbers, with the beautiful 'Love Still Grows' and a new track 'Red Headed Woman' leaning towards classic rock. Finishing off the evening with Jenna's 'pièce de résistance' the Janis Joplin's classic 'Mercedes Benz' and ending the set with a touch of 'soul' .. a great end to a great evening with a great band.

The Paddy Maguire Band give you the best in blues rock and with Jenna Hooson Maguire on amazing power vocals, it is a band hard to top. We'll definitely be seeing them back at BJ's next year!

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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COLD FLAME, 26th March 2015   http://www.cold-flame.co.uk/

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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HARD TO HANDLE, 19th March 2015  http://nwb.co/hardtohandl

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

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

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

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

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

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

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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ALFIE IBBOTSON'S POPULAR BEAT COMBO, 12th Mar 2015 http://www.alfieibbotson.com/

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

The return of the north west band 'Alfie Ibbotson's Popular Beat Combo' was a breath of fresh air. Having now established themselves as a competent covers band, with an extensive set list,  they brought to the table an excellent mix of rhythm & blues covers, with a dash of soul.

Fronting the band with an amazing voice - not unlike that of Paul Rogers from Free, was Tony Wardle on vocals and harmonica, with Paul Mason on guitar, Charlie Pearson on bass and hard hitting Ian Massey on drums.

Kicking off the evening a class compilation of Spencer Davies and Cream, then  a brilliant take of the classic Robert Cray blues number 'Don't Touch Me'.  Speeding up the tempo brought  us soul with Magic Sam's  'I Just Want A little Bit' and  rock 'n roll with SRV's 'The House Is A Rockin''.  Getting into the 'spirit' of the evening was  Robert Camille's 'I Got Loaded'  and  some 12 bar blues at its best, with John Lee Hookers 'Boom, Boom', Tony gave us some  class harp playing and vocals.

Closing the first set  the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry,  Johnny Winter  and a great guitar solo from Paul  on Joe Bonamassa's  'So Many Roads'. The final number was the  Albert King classic 'The Hunter'.

The second set brought us some classic 60's and 70's tracks from Free, Who, Kinks, Rolling Stones, Spencer Davies, Beatles, Everly Brothers,  and Gloria Jones.  The evening was rounded off with a touch of soul , with Smokey Robinson's 'Get Ready'- with a great 'full on' bass line from Charlie and excellent drum fills from Ian. The final number of the set was  Wilson Pickett's 'Land Of A Thousand Dances'  with well deserved encore of Deep Purple's 'Hush'.

Tony's  voice takes centre stage and as an ex pro he certainly has that little extra. The whole band gel well together and have a great sound, it was also good to hear more blues takes in the set. A high standard performance from a 'class' band  and I'm sure we'll see them back at BJ's next year.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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FORTY4, 5th March 2015   http://www.forty4music.com/home/

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

Bringing in some of the best music to BJ's 'Rock in the Blues' Club at the Minstrel in Chorley, were the incredible blues funksters FORTY 4. A welcome return of this class, five piece blues funk band from Merseyside, who give their own individual take on blues classics and self penned works, providing a whole show of excellent  'Rhythm and Groove'.

Fronting the band on vocals and lead guitar was Neil Partington, with the excellent Paul Starkey also on lead guitar. The magic man on keys was Glen Lewis, with the rhythm section of Bill Price on bass and Nick Lauro on drums.

The evening kicked off with some fiery guitar work from Neil and Paul, on 'I'm Going Down', followed closely by a great funky version of Lee Dorsey's 'Get Out Of My Life, with superb piano input from Glen.  They played an excellent  'Hoochie Coochie Man' in a true Forty 4 style, with some more classic blues on T Bone walkers 'T Bone Shuffle', brilliant!

Some self penned pure funk with 'Feels So Good' , then bringing in a touch of 'reggae'  before the Howlin' Wolf classic and name sake of the band 'Forty Four'. With amazing guitar work 'in the school of Clapton' from Paul it gives a sound that would take a lot of beating!

To finish off the first set, a bit of 'rock n' roll' 'Taking My Love',  an up tempo good old R&B number, although put together by Forty4.

The second set was equally varied  with 'Pack It Up' bringing together a bit of jazz, a bit of funk with that New Orleans feel. Like a blast from the past, although written by the guys, 'Keep The Meter Running' provided a great funky feel with some ace drum work from Nick and bass lines from Bill. 

A dash of swing, showcasing the piano boogie talents of Glen, then moving onto a touch of the blues funk master Freddie King with 'Dead Leg Woman'. It was then the pure magic of Clapton's 'Old Love' with Paul in his element and finishing off the set the Ray Charles 'Don't Need Know Doctor' and some rockabilly 'I Believe I'm In Love With You'. 

It's wonderful to have such talented musicians all in one band and even more so, to have them play at a local club. Their album, '44 Minutes', recorded in 2013, is still fresh and sound bites can be heard at   http://www.forty4music.com/forty4-music/

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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THE BOOZIE WOOZIE BAND, 26th Feb 2015   https://www.facebook.com/BoozieWoozieBand

© Copyright 2015 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

Another interesting Thursday evening with the Boozie Woozie Band, who are a collective of musicians based in the northwest, who enjoy  playing their own brand of boogie blues and rock 'n roll. Fronting the band on keys and vocals was the entertainer Andy Stones, with Paul Kistner on authentic  50/60's guitar, Horace Dogson on double and electric bass and Alan Taylor on drums.

Playing a diverse mix of rock 'n roll classics including numbers from Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley, they also added a touch of Credence Clearwater Revival and some great Ray Charles numbers. With Andy playing  mean boogie blues on keys and with the addition of Paul, taking us back in time, with his class guitar playing in the old rockin' style, the sound was great, topped off with Horace on the double bass, we were in for a cracking evening and that's just what we got. The Boozie Woozie Band certainly take 'entertainment' seriously and gave a fabulous performance with the addition of great humour.

There was certainly 'A Whole Lotta Shaking Going On' and the band finished off the evening with a well deserved encore of 'Rock Around The Clock'. I'm sure we will see them back for a retake next year!!

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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THE AFTER HOURS BLUES BAND, 19th Feb 2015  http://www.afterhoursbluesband.co.uk/

© Copyright 2015 Rosy Greer. All Rights Reserved.

A welcome return, after a year, of this local Prestonian band, the 'AFTER HOURS BLUES BAND'.

The talented three piece play a mix of self penned  and covers of blues rock, with a definite penchant towards Jimi Hendrix . Fronting the band on guitar and vocals was the talented Lee Wharton, with superb bass man Doug Long keeping that rhythm going with the excellent skin lady Ann Batty on drums.

A great rockin' opener to the evening, with the self penned 'Driving Home'. This was followed closely by a Stevie Ray Vaughn classic 'Pride And Joy' and what a great take. A slow, self written number 'Midnight Colour' with a touch of 'wah wah' was next, with an After Hours take of the classic 'Black Magic Woman' with some superb guitar work from Lee to follow.

'Tin Pan Alley' gave us a slow blues with a 'singing' guitar performed with passion. Then the 'Hendrix' trademark of 'All Along The Watch Tower', finishing off the first set with their own version of 'Crossroads'.

The second set brought us some upbeat slide guitar, a great version of the Stones 'Jumping Jack Flash' and an 'epic adventure' in the form of a Hendrix trilogy of  'Voodoo Child', 'Machine Gun' and 'Red Patrol'.  Doug did a great bass solo in this number and the whole track took us on a 'long journey' with Lee recreating the Hendrix passion.

A change in tempo, with an upbeat funky number giving us some mega guitar, - Ann and Doug were also working hard on this one. Back to some super slide guitar and rockin' it up with the old classic 'Shake Your Money Maker' . To finish the set, an After Hours version of the Zeppelin classic 'Communication Breakdown' with an encore of a mixed tempo slide guitar driven 12 bar. A great end to a great set.

Doug Long on bass, will be leaving the band shortly, so this was his last BJ's gig with the band. All at BJ's wish him well and look forward to seeing the new line of the After Hours Blues Band next year.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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SLY FOX, 12th February 2015  http://www.sly-fox.org/

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

Another great rockin' evening with Oldham based band 'Sly Fox'. A welcome return for this band who play a diverse mix of covers.

Fronting the band on superb lead vocals and guitar was David Bridge, with Michael Walsh on excellent lead guitar and vocals. On bass - and what a bass player he is - was Tony 'Fox' Cooper (also trading as the bands mascot in fox head and tail!) Finally the skin man on electric drums, Ian Fletcher.

The first set gave us a mix of music from Etta James to the Everly Brothers and  from the Eagles 'In The Fast Lane'  to the Beatles, 'Come Together'.  They also did a great take in a Django Reinhardt style of Gypsy Swing. With a dash of Jimmy Witherspoon they then finished the first set with a couple of classic Status Quo numbers.

The second set was equally mixed including a classic take of the Doors 'Roadhouse Blues'. With  a touch of Rory Gallagher and Phil Collins and a great Status Quo cover of 'In My Chair' and a Pink Floyd classic, 'Comfortably Numb', the evening was brought to a close with Tom Petty's 'Running Down The Dream'  with a well deserved encore of Gary Moore's 'Tell Me Woman'.

Certainly 'Sly Fox' are a band to keep your feet tapping and with the variety and diversity of music they play there is no time to get bored. An excellent evening and an excellent band!

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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THE ALAN KENSLEY BAND, 5th February 2015   http://alankensley.wix.com/band

© Copyright 2015 Rosy Greer. All Rights Reserved.

The Alan Kensley Band made yet another return to BJ's 'Rock in the Blues' Club at The Minstrel, Chorley, this week.  Fronting the Preston based band, in this classic pop/rock covers outfit, was Alan Kensley on vocals, lead guitar and harmonica, with Terry Blacow on rhythm guitar, with the backline boys of Trevor Blacow on bass and Ken Wright on drums.

Starting off the set with some 60's classics, including numbers from the Beatles, Stones and the Kinks they added an 80's tune in the form of Chris Rea's 'The Road To Hell'.

The second set raised the tempo with a few more 60's and 70's classics including, Queen's  -'We Will Rock You, the Doors  -'Roadhouse Blues'  and  Spencer Davies's - 'Gimme Some Lovin''. They also did a  take of Peter Green's  - 'Need Your Love So Bad' to cool things down.

Closing the evening  a bit of rock 'n roll with Chuck Berry's - 'Johnny Be Good', a touch of 70's classic rock with Deep Purple's - 'Smoke On The Water' and bringing in a taste of Status Quo with - 'Rockin' All Over The World'. This led us to the final number of the set a Jimi Hendrix classic - 'Hey Joe'.

A good set for The Alan Kensley Band, who come as  a 'what you see is what you get' band. They are a group of seasoned musicians who have come together to play the music they love.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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THE MARAUDERS, 29th January 2015           www.marauders.tv

© Copyright 2015 Rosy Greer. All Rights Reserved.

Another great night at BJ's 'Rock in the Blues' Club at The Minstrel in Chorley. The Lancashire based rhythm and blues band the Marauders, were back to rock the joint. That they did, with their takes of classic harp driven rhythm and blues, swing and rock 'n roll. Fronting the band on vocals and master of the harmonica, Chris 'Wizz' Gee, with Pete Konnanov on excellent guitar. The powerhouse rhythm section of Andy Schemet on bass and Jon Lowe on drums completed the line up of this long serving band.

Kicking off the evening in great style with Bo Diddley's  'I Can Tell' then onto a bit of the Wolf man's 'Pretty Baby', set the scene for the evening. Giving us a few self penned works including a rockabilly number 'Chevrolet' shows the versatility of the band.

Adding a touch of Creedence Clear Water  'Born On The Bayou' and a dash of Jimmy Reeds 'Shame, Shame, Shame' we moved on to some classic blues and some harp driven rockin' rhythm and blues. They finished off the first set with superb slide guitar on Feelgood's  'Back In The Night' and more.

The second set was as equally 'full on' with some up tempo rockin' numbers.  A great take of  Bonnie Raitt's  'I Believe I'm In Love With You' and a couple of Stevie Ray Vaughan tracks. Adding to the repertoire, a bit of  country blues with ZZ Tops 'Sharp Dressed Man' and some class, harp driven swing. 'Cadillac' gave us  super slide on this rockabilly track and led into some classic Dr Feelgood.

The final number of the set was 'My Babe', with a well earned encore of  'Bright Lights, Big City' (could this be Chorley?) and the classic Stevie Ray Vaughan number 'The House Is A Rockin''. Plenty of dancing was going on and a great time was had by all, including the band!

The Marauders are a classic rhythm and blues band at its best and wowed the audience at the Great British R&B Festival in Colne last year, where they appeared on the British Stage.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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THE ARMADILLOS, 22nd January 2015                www.thearmadillos.co.uk

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

We rode on down to the Minstrel Cantina the ARMADILLOS had hit town and these Good Ole Boys were playing. The boys are known in these parts for their Western Swing, Blues and Roots ‘n’ Rhythm, stuff to get your toes tappin’.

Trail Boss Greg Walker goes by the name of ‘The Tone Ranger’ on lead vocal lead guitar and lap steel guitar a desperado with quick fire banter and a mean right guitar hand.

His old time pal Horace Dogson on rhythm guitar and backing vocals another veteran cow hand and the rhythm section of cow poke brander Andy Levy on bass guitar and driving the chuck wagon was Ian Gibbon on drums.

The first set started with T Bone Shuffle, My Baby She Worships Me, Get my Hands on it, Desert Skies, Spider and the Fly, and Steel guitar Rag with Greg on the Lap steel guitar pulling out all the stops superb. The band were in full swing mode for the second set with Folsom Prison Blues, Put another Log on the Fire, Trashy Woman, Route 66, Ain’t I’m a Dog, Miles and Miles of Texas and a 1955 rendition of Marty Robbins song Tennessee Toddy a swing version brilliant.

The band were on fire and so was the Cantina, pass another bucket of Country Swing yahoo.

Keith Blackledge

National and International Music Reviewer
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WAYNE CARRICK BAND, 15th January 2015 15      http://waynecarrickband.co.uk/

© Copyright 2015 Rosy Greer. All Rights Reserved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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FOGPOCKET, 8th January 2015

© Copyright 2015 Rosy Greer. All Rights Reserved.

New to BJ's 'Rock in the Blues' Club, at The Minstrel, Chorley, the newly formed five piece local band 'FOGPOCKET', -  a blues rock band of high calibre.

All are class, veteran musicians. Fronting the band on exceptional vocals was John Scarlett, with Paul Rivans on class guitar, John Winder on keys, with a full Hammond sound, Mark O'Connor on pounding bass and Roy Dennett, keeping that rhythm going on drums.

It was a brilliant opener with an interesting intro on John Lee Hooker's 'Burning Hell', with superb vocals and musicianship that set the scene for the evening. Following with some 60's classics from Spencer Davies and Cream, they moved onto a number from British Blues Award winners King King, with a fully endorsed cover of 'What Am I Supposed To Do'. Paul provided a great guitar solo with John giving a superb vocal performance.

A mix of music to follow with Joss Stones 'Karma', the Eagles 'Somebody' and Jack Bruce's 'Neighbour Neighbour' with the bass man Mark working hard. Then 'I Put A Spell On You' and a great take of Robert Cray's 'Playing In The Dirt' and to finish off the great first set,  'Seesaw', with a bit of audience participation!

The second set was as equally varied, kicking off with 'Homework',  Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'Crossfire' then into a funky version of Deep Purple's 'Never Before'. Some more class Robert Cray, Bobby Bland and Buddy Guy numbers and another King King number 'One More Time Around', all with a bit more of a soul feel.

The final number was a brilliant version of Neil Young's  'Rocking In The Free World', with a well deserved encore of Joe Cocker's 'A Little Help From My Friends'.

Bearing in mind this was only their second gig, they certainly gave us a full on sound with an interesting and varied covers set list. They also hope to have their own material in the set soon.  Let's hope we see 'FOGPOCKET' out and about on the circuit, as this band can offer something a little bit different from the norm. Excellent!

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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THE EXTRAS, 1st January 2015

© Copyright 2015 Rosy Greer. All Rights Reserved.

A welcome return to BJ's 'Rock in the Blues Club' at the Minstrel, Chorley, of brilliant EXTRAS from Southport. Having been off the radar for a while and it was good to see them back on the circuit -  with music that has just got better!

The line up toasts a new front man, Mark Taylor on vocals, (who is the son of Merseybeat legend Kingsize Taylor), Dave Woods, who continues to 'wow' us on superb guitar, Joan 'Miss Dynamite' Bimson, keeping that energy going on bass and backing vocals, with the pounding skin man Mark Prescott on drums, giving us that high octane sound that is the Extras!

A great opener to the evening with Sam Cooks 'That's It, I Quit', an up tempo rockin' number giving us the Extras individual take. Some full on up tempo rhythm and blues to follow with 'I'm Not Talking' then moving on to some classic Dr Feelgood with 'Sugar Shaker', 'I Can Tell' and 'Every Kind Of Vice' with great rhythms on pounding drum and bass from Mark and Joan.

'Have Love Will Travel' by the Sonics, gave us some classic R&B, with a bit of rockabilly on 'Stray Cat Strut'. A cheer went up for 'Tin Soldier' the Stevie Marriot classic rock, with excellent vocals from Mark. Some fast finger work from Dave on 'Take A Tip', a high energy rhythm and blues Dr Feelgood track,  more to follow with the driving rhythms of 'Lights Out' - rock 'n roll on speed!! Finishing off the excellent first set, some up tempo classic rock on 'Moonchild' and the pounding drums on Feelgoods 'Heart Of The City' - phew!

The second set was equally 'full on', opening with a mega instrumental 'Misirlou' leading straight into 'Peter Gun'. Next it was 'get on your dancing shoes', with a high energy skiffle number 'Lonesome Train. Back to the 60's with a Wilson Picket's '99 And A Half', then some rock 'n roll with 'Bad Boy'.

Rockin' it up with 'Dr Feelgood', 'Hog For You', 'Stupidity' and 'I Take What I Want', they hit some classic R&B with Vince Taylor's 'Brand New Cadillac', Presley's 'Hunk Of Love'- taking the 12 bar to a new dimension - and the classic Johnny Kidd & The Pirates 'Shaking All Over' and 'Please Don't Touch'.

Finishing off the set with some more Dr Feelgood classics, 'She Does It Right' and 'She's A Wind Up' with a well deserved encore of 'Route 66', the Extras certainly left their stamp again, on the crowd at BJ's!!!

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer     www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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SLYDER, 18th December 2014

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

A change of personnel to the band SLYDER has left Norman Roberts the only original member left as he forges ahead with his new band, in Norman’s words “the show must go on” and with these veteran musicians a busy future is predicted.

Joining Norman who fronts the band on lead vocal and guitar is lead guitarist Mike Walsh a man of many talents if it’s got strings he can play it. On bass guitar for the foreseeable future is Dougie Dixon a man in demand an excellent musician and linked up very well with drummer Tom Watson, this engine room was running hot. With a list as long as your arm of classic covers the band kicked off with Joe Bonamassa’s D’Jango, and Just Got Paid followed by Cocaine, The Animals hit We Gotta Get Out of this Place followed by Black Magic Woman, Love Potion 9 by the Searchers Need Your Love, The Thrill is Gone and Somebody by the Eagles to finish the first set.

The second set burst to life with Before You Accuse Me, Route 66, Rock Me Baby, covers from Bad Co, Buddy Guy, The Beatles, Paul McCartney, Gary Moore, and the Doobie Brothers. The selection of covers by the band got the dancers to their feet a party atmosphere was present no doubt at all and the night was a great success thank you SLYDER.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and thank you for supporting live music here in Chorley.        

Keith Blackledge

National and International Music Reviewer
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THE COTTONHOUSE SHAKERS, 11th December 2014

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

The COTTONHOUSE SHAKERS from the Blackburn area take a popular cover and put their spin on it by giving it a soul/blues swing/Jazz/funk edge, it’s a stretch from the normal but makes interesting listening and they achieve this very well indeed, the bands musical abilities know no boundaries.  

Gary Ward founder and frontman on lead guitar and lead vocal is a musician of great skills and his work load is tremendous writing and playing in other bands as top musicians do.

Neil Canning another busy musician on keyboards brings to the table many attributes, but his musical arrangements with Gary are brilliant ‘Green Onions’ by Booker T was one such number.

Next we have the rhythm section of Derren Lee Poole on bass guitar and Tim Jackson on drums a solid performance throughout a great understanding from this pair.

This eclectic mix of covers makes a statement from the band and that is anything is possible with the right approach, covers from the likes of Albert King, B. B. King, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Miles Davis, Muddy Waters, Led Zeppelin, Nina Simone, Tom Waits and many more just great entertainment from a band that SHAKES things up a bit, away from the norm.

Keith Blackledge

National and International Music Reviewer
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THE HEXMEN, 4th December 2014

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

This band hails from Liverpool and George Hexmen front man and founder has taken this band from its conception in the late 70’s to present and in that time has toured all over the UK and mid Europe.

There is no doubt that he has become over the years a beacon for live entertainment and still gets that buzz live music gives.

A new era starts and a new CD is forecast and more live shows both here and Europe, there is no stopping this powerful in your face brand of energetic Rhythm and Blues.

George on lead vocals and harp and plenty of Liverpool banter takes no prisoners and gets to business with’ Ridin’ on the L&N’, Long Grey Mare, Treat Her Right, Messin’ with the Kid, Hoochie Coochie Man, Come On In, ending the first set with Gloria, the Van Morrison hit.

Colin Guthrie superb on lead guitar a gifted musician played his last gig with the band and is moving to pastures new we wish him well. The rhythm section of Mike Cain on bass guitar and on the drums Matt Shaw they have an association going back over 25 years and it showed amazing work from this magnificent pairing.

The second set cracked off with Woolley Bully, 29 Ways, Lonely Avenue, That’s It I Quit, Bull Frog Blues, Bad is Bad, King Bee, and Smoke Stack Lightning.

The dancers danced the crowd shouted for more, a night of live entertainment from a band that has it all.

Keith Blackledge

National and International Music Reviewer
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THE CHEATING HEARTS, 27th November 2014

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

This five piece band from the Rossendale area of the Northwest gave a sensational performance to say the least, with an array of popular covers with flavours of Blues, Americana, Pop, Rock and Roll and Country something for everyone’s taste.   

 Fronting the band were the harmonising voices of James Gansler on guitars and mandolin and Maria Brothers on guitar they were superb. Nick Cornell on keys and vocals, giving a full back sound and his interplay with the lead guitar work of James was spot on, all musicians of the highest calibre, they made it look easy.

The rhythm section of ‘Shug’ Millage on bass guitar and Mike Smith on drums were the backbone of this fantastic band, not a beat out of place.

The band covered hits from Chuck Berry, Bonny Raitt, Lindisfarne, Ace, The Band, The Faces, and many more.

This was excellent entertainment from a band that creates great vibes from their catalogue of popular classics.

Keith Blackledge

National and International Music Reviewer
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THE POWER 3, 20th November 2014

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

Jeff Earl Jerome the bands front man on lead vocals and bass guitar, with Phil Grundy on vocals and lead /slide guitar and on the drums Chris Hughes, they are three very experienced musicians based in Liverpool and are well worth watching. This is an amazing trio and have been together now for about 3 years and have entertained extensively throughout the Northwest blues circuit. A superb blues cover band they take you back to the golden age of Blues/Rock.

The voice of Jeff is tailor made for this genre and he has perfect pitch, with a pumping bass he really hits the spot. Phil with his riffs and flicks gets down and dirty with some memorable slide guitar work and Chris as the drummer drives the band on with Jeff as the rhythm engine hits overdrive.

The band kicked off the first set with ‘Rock & Roll Hoochie Coo’ along with ‘Cold Shot’ ‘Stormy Monday’ ‘Tore Down’ ‘Current Situation’ a great rendition of 'Superstition’, 'Ain’t No Sunshine', and to finish ’Oh Well’ bringing this brilliant first set to a close.

The second set powered on and the heat turned up with ’Frankenstein’ to start ‘La Grange' and 'Boom Boom' linked, followed by ‘You Don’t Love Me’ ’Damn Right I Got the Blues’ ‘Travelling South’ ‘Black Betty’ ’Just Got Paid’ ‘Texas Strut’, the crowd wanted more, so to finish they did ‘Laundromat’. This was a great show from a band that never disappoints, a fantastic array of Blues/Rock to get your bones gyrating.

Keith Blackledge

National and International Music Reviewer
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THE LOL GOODMAN BAND, 13th November 2014

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

Lol Goodman the founder and frontman of the band, on lead vocals and lead guitar is also the lyricist /composer of the bands music, and has penned all but one of the tracks on their latest CD entitled TAUTOGY out now, following on from the band’s first CD entitled OLD DOG ‘n’ LICKS in 2013.

The Lol Goodman Band over the years has had personnel changes, but now have a keys man Rod Mayall, yes, the brother of the British blues legend John Mayall as a permanent fixture.

The rhythm section of James Horrocks on bass and time served veteran musician John Firth on the drums.

The band’s base is in Manchester and are regulars on the Northwest pubs and clubs circuit and blues festivals nationally.  The blues music of the 60’s and 70’s are the inspiration for this band and as a result they have buried themselves in this British blues tradition.

Keith Blackledge

National and International Music Reviewer
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BEETROOTJAM, 6th November 2014

This bands new approach to the blues is one man’s vision, and that man is Mal Green.

Mal is a one man driving force for self-promotion, and music making, combining a fusion of genres with a blues spine and producing some great songs.  Mal has his own record label Green Dog Records and gets involved root deep with other musicians that wish to pursue a career in the music business.

The band’s new album, eight tracks in total entitled STRAWBERRY is a no-nonsense retro mono LP and a CD package this is by no means a raw production. The band gave us a taste of the new material from Mal Green, arranged and produced by BeetRootJam, recorded and mixed at Home Sweet Home Studios Salford.

Mal has a prolific writing record an explosion of lyrics that keeps him pretty busy all year round. It does not surprise me that this new recording just tells you what he’s about.

The band members are Mal Green on lead vocal, harmonica and lead guitar.  On an electric double bass is Dave Luvin, who hails from Kansas City USA and has a history of performing here in England with several bands, and with new member Mark C Fitton on drums. In the studio was Brian Walsh on tenor sax, with Marnie Jayne Holdsworth Green and Toni Amanda Holdsworth completing the studio line up.

This was an enjoyable gig all round, with excellent musicians, a great blend of music, a professional attitude from the word go and definitely on the money, all this from a premier music maker and a gentleman that is Mal S. Green.

Keith Blackledge

National and International Music Reviewer
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NIGHT TRAIN, 30th October 2014

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

This Northwest band gave us a blend of original blues penned by Alec Martin and a compendium of classic Blues and rock and roll, something for everyone’s taste.

Alec Martin on lead vocals and blues harp and guitar is a pillar of the music circuit for the last 25 years or so he has performed all over the region with his band.

On lead guitar is Wally Rumsey a blues rock guitar man through and through he was just terrific.

The rhythm section the pulse of the band was on drums Rob Pusey and new to the band Hadge Weller on bass.

The band gave us a taster of their new album entitled ‘The Silence Spoke’, with Death Angel, I Forgot your Name, Howlin’, Broken Heroes, Shadows of the Night, I Said Yeh.

The second set was the mix of blues and rock and roll, with Help Me, I just Wanna Make Love, I Put a Spell on You, Bullfrog and then a medley of rock and roll, with Roll Over Beethoven, Whole Lotta Shakin’, Luceille, Oh Carol, Roll Baby Roll and to finish off with ‘Gloria’ and ‘Bring it on Home to Me’.  the crowd just danced the night away and the night rocked.

This band likes to entertain and they did on the eve of Halloween they were spookily good.

Keith Blackledge

National and International Music Reviewer
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Backwater Blues Band, 23rd October 2014

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

This trio of blues musicians have been together for 14 years and Colin Walker has been the bands front man, lead guitarist and lead vocalist for all that time. The band is based in Stockport, Greater Manchester and are very busy gigging in their own back yard, so it was a privilege to hear them perform in Chorley here at the Minstrel, the audience thought so too, they got a great reception.

Colin puts his heart and soul into his beloved blues he played out of his skin. With a gifted voice that just lends itself to the blues genre and wicked in the guitar department he can do no wrong.

The bands rhythm section was on fire, steadying the ship with controlled power, the booming rock solid bass guitar of Arthur Cowdrey and the busy drums of Mark Isherwood, superb.

Jeff Levy Makor not for the first time came as guest guitarist he has known the band for years. A guitarist again of the highest calibre he brings to the table a free style Santana feel to compliment the band, exquisite.

The band’s first set included cover from The Allman Bros, Bad Company, Howlin’ Wolf, Bobby Charles, Free, Jimi Hendrix.

The second set the band delivered covers from Ten Years After, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Fleetwood Mac, Santana, BB King and Neil Young. This was a show to savour a great night of the blues brilliant.

Keith Blackledge

National and International Music Reviewer
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Black Cat Bone, 16th October 2014

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

The band travelled from Preston, Southport and Stockport to entertain the packed crowd here in Chorley and they really rocked the blues.

Frontman and lead vocals Richie Richardson was just superb. Richie’s vocal range for the plethora of covers the band played was amazing, he just has that tone, and very much a Joe Cocker sound alike on ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ and Aerosmith’s ‘Walk This Way’ and Lead Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ he is a vocalist that gets very close to portraying the original versions.

The magnificent lead guitar work from Tom Walkerdine again was brilliant, and with very little technical assistance from his foot pedals, his riffs and solos were top drawer, enough said.

The rhythm section, this pairing of these two high calibre musicians was fabulous, with Ben Titus on a stunning bass and Stu Robinson on drums, they were tight, and steered the band on, and I suspect that their heart beats were in time, amazing.

The bands second set was as good as the first, they started with Aerosmith’s ‘Sweet Emotion’ then ‘Black Dog’ by Led Zeppelin, ZZ Tops ‘LaGrange’ and ‘Just Got Paid’ they covered AC /DCs ‘Back In Black’ and a stunning Who medley, ‘My Generation’ ’See Me Feel Me’ ’Pinball Wizard’ and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ and an encore of ‘All Right Now’ by Free.

This was an amazing gig by this hard working band that enjoyed their time here, we certainly did.

Keith Blackledge

National and International Music Reviewer
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The Jon Casey Blues Band, 9th October 2014

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

The JON CASEY Blues band travelled from the Liverpool area to debut here in Chorley and what a show they gave. The band that has been together for about 2 to 3 years are a breath of fresh air, they are a blues band of the highest calibre, and the BJ’s faithful enjoyed every minute. Jon Casey who is only 24 years of age, played and performed like a veteran blues man, he is a new talent and we will hear a lot more of him in the coming years, his vocals were clear and concise, and the bands mix of sound was spot on, an enjoyable experience from the beginning.

Steve Faulkner on bass guitar and vocals, a gentleman and a veteran of the Liverpool music scene and has played with some great bands over the years, Ocean being one, and he has been on the charity circuit for many years, a true professional.

David Goldberg on keys and vocals, another stalwart of Liverpool’s musical history, he plays with Liverpool Express and Rumours of Fleetwood Mac. David and Steve have an association going back longer than they liked to admit. Lastly Jimmy Mac on drums one of the leading lights in the percussion department, just terrific.  The bands ever growing repertoire of blues classics reaches the young as well as the mature, they gave us covers from Eric Clapton, Cream, John Mayall, and Peter Green, Fleetwood Mac, Rory Gallagher, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Joe Bonamassa.  The band also gave their rearrange blues version of the Bill Withers hit ‘Ain’ No Sunshine’, it was brilliant, the whole show was. 

Keith Blackledge

National and International Music Reviewer
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Full Fat Boogie Band, 2nd October 2014

The FULL FAT BOOGIE BAND from the Fylde coast came to entertain the faithful here at BJ’s with a change of personnel that did not deter from this bands excellent gig, such is the talent of these veteran musicians, who are celebrating 25 years on the road . Guest musician Raymond Williams on his tenor sax and baritone sax when required stepped in to front the band on this occasion. With his powerful forthright vocals and great sax playing he was a formidable force and was well received.  Simon Knowles played bass guitar for the absent regular bass player Andy Houghton and a great job he did as this was the first occasion in a live situation. The twin guitars of Steve Gregg and Dean Kelly and the drums of Peter Crouch rounded off this hard working band. The band's CD entitled I SCREAM COLNE is a cover CD with the exception of ‘Leavin’ on That Train’ penned by Andy Houghton.   Covers from their CD are Dr Feelgood, Monkey, You Don’t Love Me Baby, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Sweet Nothing, C’est La Vie, That’s Life, Shake a Tailfeather and Enjoy Yourself.

Keith Blackledge

National and International Music Reviewer
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Tin Pan Alley, 25th September 2014

September's live music month here at BJ’s ended with an exceptional talented band from Lancaster. TIN PAN ALLEY came to entertain and that they did. Fronted by Nigel 'Tanny' Tanton on lead guitars and lead vocals, he gave an outstanding performance. Tanny’s guitar work is legendary he certainly nails the classic riffs and solos and his vocals certainly hit the spot. The rhythm section off Graham Goral on a wicked throbbing bass and Kevin ‘Cochise’ Cook on drums were just brilliant together, musicians of the highest calibre.  The first set included classics from Stevie Ray Vaughan, ZZ Top, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin and to finish the set the song 'Free Bird' from Lynyrd Skynyrd, the crowd went nuts, brilliant stuff. The second set kicked off with ‘I Thank You’ from ZZ Top, followed by Joe Bonamassa, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Free, Montrose, Gary Moore, with Led Zeppelin to finish, classic after classic a brilliant show from a band that have set the bench mark for others to follow, fantastic.

Keith Blackledge

National and International Music Reviewer
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Rhythm Zoo, 18th September 2014   http://www.rhythm-zoo.com/

© Copyright 2014 Rosy Greer. All Rights Reserved.

Well the 'Zoo' are back! It was a welcomed return to BJ's for the popular band 'RHYTHM ZOO'.

Hailing from Shrewsbury, Harrogate and Bradford, Andi Hall fronts the band on sultry vocals, with Phil Dean on amazing lead guitar. Keeping that rhythm going were Pete Betts on bass and Dermot Hall on drums and what a great set they did with a mix of self penned tracks and covers.

The opening number, a slow blues 'I Just Want To Make Love To You', was pure class. Andi's sexy vocals were superb and Phil's guitar work just faultless. Funking it up next with 'Good Girl Bad Girl' then 'Part Time Love' with an excellent guitar solo from Phil.

A bit of a 'rockin' number, then on to a smokingly 'hot' version of the Robert Cray track, 'Playing In The Dirt'. Slowing the pace, we moved onto  the excellent T Bone Walker's 'Stormy Monday' which was sung with passion by Andi, with Phil's guitar solo that was just awesome, a brilliant take.

'Steal Your Love' gave us 'full on' power from the rhythm section, Pete and Derm, on this earthy rockin' track with strong vocals from Andi. To finish the first set a great up tempo gospel influenced number 'Whole Lot Of Water' .

Kick starting the second set, Andi was in her element with the rockin' blues, 'Wild, Wild, Woman'. Onto  the self penned  '12 Bar Blues' with great vocals from Andi again.  Slowing the pace, a slow sultry blues 'Never Going Back To Memphis' with a haunting guitar solo from Phil.

A classic  12 bar rhythm and blues with 'Tore Down' next, with drums and bass working well. Then onto 'rock God' Phil taking lead vocals for the classic Cream number 'Badge'. A brilliant take  and what a great voice.  A slow blues next with 'Coco Blue', before moving on to 'I've Got My Mojo Working' for a bit of audience participation. Guest Beryl was invited to the stage with her tambourine yet again!

For the penultimate number of the evening, rockin' 'Sweet Home Chicago',  got the dancers up. The final number, the classic Doors track 'Road House Blues',  was a fantastic finish to great evening. Here's hoping we will see the amazing 'Rhythm Zoo' back at BJ's next year.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer      http://www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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The Shakers, 11th September 2014   http://www.theshakersbluesband.co.uk/

© Copyright 2014 Rosy Greer. All Rights Reserved.

The SHAKERS describe themselves as -  "a hard rockin' rhythm & blues band, from deep down in the Fylde Coast Delta" - and I'll go with that!

Playing at the prestigious BJ's 'Rock in the Blues' Club, Chorley, they gave the crowd a full on performance of their 'Shakerboogie' with some classic covers.  Fronting the band on vocals, slide guitar, guitar and harmonica was John Carroll, on rhythm and excellent lead guitar was Chris Peacock.  Keeping that rhythm going was Brian Hunter on bass and vocals with the powerhouse of Craig Holland on drums.

The evening kicked off with a great 12 bar blues and classic number 'Sweet Home Chicago'. Taking the slide guitar into the audience, John set the scene for the evening. A great guitar solo from Chris gave us the 'full on' power opener.

A couple of Hendrix classics followed with 'Foxy Lady' and 'Red House', then a change with a Ray Charles number 'Unchain My Heart' with Brian on well sung vocals. John brought in the harmonica for the Little Walter number 'My Baby', again with Brian on vocals which had a leaning towards jazz.

A bit of harp led blues boogie with the John Lee Hooker classic 'Dimples', then on to the final number of the first set, 'Stormy Monday', with guest guitarist Javon Aziz. A nice bit of the 'youth of blues' as this young man is only 17!

Classic 'Crossroads' opened the second set, followed by 'Little Red Rooster' with great slide guitar. Another guest, Beryl, took to the stage with her tambourine, for 'I've Got My Mojo Working', then onto a 12 bar blues, 'Framed'.

Some harp driven classic Howlin' Wolf,  with 'Who's Been Talking', nice funky overtones and good guitar solo. Then moving on to a Peter Green classic 'Oh Well', drummer Craig kept the power house going. To finish off the evening a couple of R&B numbers 'Walking The Dog' and 'Treat Her Right' with an encore of 'Hoochie Coochie Man'.

A great evening's entertainment with classic 'Shakerboogie' rhythm and blues.

Rosy Greer - Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer      http://www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
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Doctor Truth, 4th September 2014

© Copyright 2014 Lucas Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

This five piece band based in the Manchester area have had a few changes to their personnel over the years, but now it seems they have settled down to incorporate the wonderful soul blues voice of Jocelyn Knight, who has an impressive CV, working in the past with M People no less.  With other top bands seeking her vocal services and for work in the recording studios this lady of the blues is busy making music.   Chris Roach on lead guitar is well known on the Manchester band scene, a musician who works his guitar with that picking Blues/Jazz feel at times. The rhythm section is as good as it gets with Rick Lacey on the drums and Mike Collinge on bass guitar.  Rick is a top musician, again a drummer who has many styles to suit the band type you can see him play in a few Northwest bands when the need arises. Mike Collinge a well-respected bassist and a perfect match for Rick that is hard to beat. Mike has a solid sound and an easy going style that lends itself to the blues genre. The one element that was missing from this impressive line-up was keys man Paul Ashton who was on holiday.  The band played original works off their CD “Code for the Road”.   Doctor Truth heels the soul, and a tonic for them blues.

Keith Blackledge.

National & International Music Reviewer.
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Stealer, 28th August 2014

STEALER are a four piece rock/blues cover band that pride themselves on performing authentic renditions of the vintage bands from the 60’s and 70’s. They do it with a no-nonsense matter of fact approach.  Steve Clegg lead vocal and frontman for the band is a veteran vocalist who thrives on the pub rock scene and the intimacy of the audience, he engages them with a little light banter has he introduces cover after classic cover.   Steve G on lead guitar is a class musician his rendition of Parisienne Walkway’s amongst others was spot on.  Steve B is their bass player and backing vocalist, he has a relaxed manner and his bass line on Keep on Running was brilliant, alongside him completing the rhythm section was Anthony Da Souza a hell of a drummer and he kept it together for the band, White Room, and Substitute and Fool For Your Loving stood out for me.  The classic covers kept coming, in their second set, The Seeker, Rosalee, and Wishing Well, and a lot more just fantastic.  This band gives you a show, the audience wanted more, and the band went home happy playing to a crowd that appreciates its classics.

Keith Blackledge

National and International Music Reviewer.
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