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Down Home Blues: New York
Cincinnati & The North Eastern States

Deluxe 4 CD Set with 80 Page Book
Out 21 September 2018

> Following the popularity of the Detroit and Chicago box sets, this is the third installment in Wienerworld’s Down Home Blues series that explores the unique regions of the black American blues scene
> Features 37 artists, many of whom were influential in developing the down home blues scene, including Brownie McGhee, Big Chief Ellis, Alonzo Scales, Cousin Leroy and others
> Four CD set, packaged in a deluxe digipak with outer slip case, featuring 110 rare tracks, all digitally remastered, some of which have never been reissued since their original release
> Includes an 80 page book on the origins of the music and the blues scene in this  region by eminent blues writer and scholar Chris Bentley, complete with essay, rare photos, tracklisting and full sessionography 

The box set contains the down home blues of the territories of the North Eastern States that encompasses two important cities that helped in the development and growth of this blues genre, mainly from artists who were far more comfortable playing their music within the bars and out-of-town juke joints. 

These tough little venues were quite different from the bigger rhythm and blues, jazz orchestrated venues that New York and Northeastern cities had established for those bigger sounds.

This is black American musicians, many with pre-war country blues roots which had evolved with an edge that didn’t have to come out of the Delta and migrate up to the Illinois or Michigan cites during and after the Second World War. Here, many hailed from Florida, Georgia, Alabama and The Carolinas. 110 performances from single solo artists who were lucky enough to get just one sublime record release, up to the tight small combo groups of musicians whom all produced equally fine intense recordings.




We are privileged to have Manchester born blues legend Victor Brox who is probably one of the most underrated champions of the British Blues scene and its unsung hero. This may well have been because he has refused to be pigeon-holed into any single category and has produced an eclectic style which often defied analysis. What cannot be disputed is his excellent singing voice, musical virtuosity and total eccentricity. He was described by Jimi Hendrix and Tina Turner as their favourite white blues singer.
He is without doubt a national treasure. He has worked with: Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Gillan of Deep Purple, Charlie Mingus, Memphis Slim, Dr. John, Aynsley Dunbar, Graham Bond, Alexis Korner, John Mayall, Country Joe McDonald, Keith Moon, Bill Coleman and Screaming Lord Sutch. In 1970 Victor performed as Caiaphas on the original recording of Tom Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar.



R.I.P. Matt "Guitar" Murphy
1929 - 2018

We mourn the passing of Matt "Guitar" Murphy, who was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2012. We join the rest of the blues world in sending condolences to his family.
May his spirit live on through his wonderful music.

Photograph taken at the Chicago Blues Festival 2010
© Copyright 2010 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.





Cut and Run

The Chris Bevington Organisation

Release Date: 25th May 2018


"The musicianship and production is stunning"
-  Classic Rock

"Quality musicianship throughout"
- Rock Society

"Celebrates all good things about the genre ... an unexpected little gem"
- Fatea



Sawdust Man 

Trevor Babajack Steger

Release Date: 1st May 2018

"Sawdust Man is a fine collection of original songs that showcase Trevor’s skills as a writer, musician and performer. Recorded in the best traditions of the early delta blues legends, it’s just one man, a guitar, a stompbox and a harp rack. From the eponymous first song, right through to the random, riffing final track, the result is a tour-de-force, capturing Trevor’s musical integrity and leaving the listener richer for having heard it. Musical influences whisper and weave their way through each of the songs. It’s easy to imagine the spirits of long gone blues legends catching a fleeting ride on Trevor’s music, nodding in approval that their legacy is in safe hands. What you hear is what you get, and the only thing better than listening to this is to watch Trevor playing live, and to witness the transformation he undergoes during each performance".

​ - Richard Wall, Blues in Britain 2018

Here is Trevor on YouTube playing Sawdust Man:


Sawdust Man Tracks:

1. Sawdust Man 
2. Runaway Train 
3. Black Dog 
4. River Song 
5. Red Boots 
6. Cat Scratch Fever 
7. Been So Long 
8. Stranger in the Hall
9. Something on my mind 
10. Went out walking 

(All songs written and performed by Trevor Babajack Steger)

Available at:  


All The Rage
Ian Siegal

Release Date: 16th March 2018

Nugene Records NUG1801

Recorded at Island Studios, Amsterdam

Produced by Jimbo Mathus

Artwork by Ian Siegal

A studio album from Ian Siegal is always a seismic event. Recent times have seen this award-winning British songwriter put untold miles on the clock, with the spit-and-grit of his shows bottled in several live albums. But in 2018, it's tantalising to find his name alongside ten new original songs and to anticipate where ALL THE RAGE might take the man whose material was rightly trumpeted by Mojo as "awash with wit, lust and distraction".



11/4 LONDON Jazz Café Camden
12/4 BRIGHTON Komedia
13/4 GODALMING W Noyce Centre
14/4 DEVIZES Long Street Blues
15/4 TEIGNMOUTH Pavilions
16/4 BRISTOL Tunnels
17/4 POOLE Mr Kyps
18/4 CHELTENHAM Vonnies
19/4 DERBY Flowerpot
20/4 MANCHESTER Ruby Lounge
21/4 EDINBURGH Voodoo Rooms
24/4 NORWICH Arts Centre
25/4 HULL Fruit
26/4 SHEFFIELD Greystones



R.I.P. "Sunshine" Sonny Payne

We mourn the passing of Sonny Payne, who was a two-time Keeping the Blues Alive Award recipient and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2010. He was the host of the legendary "King Biscuit Time" program on KFFA radio in Helena, Arkansas for over five decades. We join the rest of the blues world in sending condolences to his family.

The photo was taken when I was a guest on his show in 2008.




Email:    Tel: 07966 514592 

The new solo EP/CD from Blues/Rock Singer/Songwriter  PAUL BRIDGWATER

(with guests –Luther Grosvenor, Tony Bayliss, Simon Neale, Lee Thomas Evans, Jared Bryant, Troy Redfern, Jerry Christopher.) 

Paul is the singer with Worcester-based blues rockers SLOWBURNER who have impressed the best!.....

”Great band & Paul’s a great singer who continues the tradition of great British blues & soul singers”  -  Robert Plant 

“7 Songs” is Paul’s second solo recording.. following his 2012 album..”The Other Side Of The Sun”....

“If you only buy one more album this year, this is the one to get - incredible voice, beautiful songs and superbly produced album, highly recommended”... Alan

“An exceptional CD, the songs breathe pure emotion and the vocals are reminiscent of a young, soulful Paul Rodgers”...  Lucas Campbell, Red Eye Radio. 

‘Blow me down, the man can sing to wake the dead... I mean that special, smoky voice that only the best can bleed & only the average can imitate. Bridgwater's voice is special ‘. ...Chris Watts, Kerrang!

Downloads from Amazon and iTunes

CONTACT:  OR  tel ... 07966 514592

Or via....... facebook







Raising funds to contribute towards the costs of LaVendore Rogue representing the UK at the 2018 International and European Blues Challenges

LaVendore Rogue will be representing the UK when they join more than 250 other acts from all over the world at the 34th International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis, USA organised by the Blues Foundation between 16th and 20th January 2018.

They will also compete in the 8th European Blues Challenge (EBC) in Hell, Norway organised by the European Blues Union on 15th, 16th and 17th March 2018 in which 21 bands from across Europe will take part.

As part of UKBlues’ mission to support the Blues in the UK we have set up this crowd funding campaign to raise funds towards the considerable costs which will be incurred by the LaVendore Rogue representing the UK at the 2018 IBC & EBC.

As well as providing financial support to LaVendore Rogue the crowd funding page also offers a huge range of rewards which you can get in return for your pledge. 

So don't delay, visit the
 crowd funding page today!

Click here for full details

Visit UKBlues' website-
which contains a wealth of information which is regularly updated.


We See Us Later
Norman Beaker Band

Special guests: Steve Ellis and Larry Garner

Recorded : April 2017

Available from Amazon



Following on from our announcement late last month about the UKBlues Awards which we are putting in place, we are very excited to tell you that the website for the Awards is now up and running, albeit in a somewhat limited format for now.

At present there is some more detail about the Awards as well as answers to some of the questions that have been posed by people about the Awards.

Visit to find out more.

We are also inviting people to apply to be included in the extensive panel of people from across the blues spectrum in the UK involved in the initial nomination stage of the Awards process,

If you would like to be included in the extensive panel of people from across the blues spectrum in the UK involved in the initial nomination stage of the Awards process, then e-mail us at giving us your name, full postal address, telephone number and the e-mail address with which you wish to register plus a brief outline (no more than 50 words) describing why you wish to join the panel and your background in the blues in the UK.
We do not undertake to accept every application and UKBlues’ decision will be final and we will not disclose our reasons for accepting or not accepting applications. All applications will be treated as confidential and all members of the nomination panel are required to keep their involvement in the panel confidential.
More information about the UKBlues Awards will become available over the next few months.

Thank you for your support of UKBlues in what it is doing. Please do your bit by spreading the word to your friends and colleagues. If you think they would be interested, invite them to apply to join the nomination panel. Tell them about the benefits of membership and see why it is a great idea to join!

(Browse the UKBlues website for details of membership discounts, how to join etc.)




27th September 2017 - For immediate release


The UK Blues Federation is pleased to announce that they are putting in place the UKBlues Awards to commence in 2018 to give the blues community in the UK the opportunity to recognise and applaud those involved with the blues in the UK. 

Many people have expressed the opinion that UKBlues is the ideal body to undertake the organising, running and overseeing of an annual awards process given that it is an Affiliate of the Blues Foundation and an Active Member of the European Blues Union as well as the organiser of the annual UK Blues Challenge. The UKBlues Awards is a natural next step for UKBlues and furthers its stated aim to support and promote the blues in the UK. 

A new, dedicated website is in the process of being created and voting in the awards will take place over a four week period in February with a high profile, high quality awards presentation ceremony taking place later in the year. 

For UKBlues, Ashwyn Smyth, Chair, said: ‘It is evident from discussions we have had that many people have missed there not being any blues awards this year and, after much discussion and thought, we have decided that UKBlues should look to fill that gap.  

We have a very clear idea of how we should proceed with these awards and will be looking to create something that will draw support from across the blues spectrum in the UK. Above all we want to see an Awards process that does justice to all the recipients and nominees and to all those involved with the blues in the UK.  

Other musical genres have high profile and successful Awards and we feel it is high time that the blues in the UK enjoyed something similar. It will not happen overnight and will take a great deal of commitment.  

It is clear that building the profile of these Awards will take time but with the support of all those involved with the blues in the UK, we believe we can create something of which the UK blues community can be proud.’ 

More information about the UKBlues Awards will become available over the next few months.


ALBUM AVAILABLE ON  iTunes  Amazon  Spotify






R.I.P. Paul Hereford Oliver MBE

25 May 1927 – 15 August 2017

World Authority on the Blues

© Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Paul Oliver (right) with long time friend and blues historian Max Haymes
Photograph © Copyright 2012 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

Paul Oliver was one of the world's leading authorities and writer on the history of the blues. From an early age he collected blues records and books on the blues, publishing his first article in 1951. Since that time he had published thirteen books on the history of the blues and blues music including The Story of the Blues, Blues Fell This Morning, Conversation with the Blues, and Blues Off The Record.  His work also includes interviews, field work and research in recording and printed sources tracing the origin and development of African American music and culture from the time of slavery through to the Twentieth Century. This work, known as "The Paul Oliver Collection of African American Music and Related Traditions" is one of Paul’s legacies, held on a custodial basis at The University of Gloucestershire, England, by agreement with the European Blues Association and Paul Oliver. It represents an enormously valuable resource in teaching and research and is of international significance.

(Extract from an interview with Paul Oliver)

Full interview with Paul Oliver on a blues research weekend in 2012


A tribute from blues historian Max Haymes:


     (an initial tribute to the late Paul Oliver, the world’s leading blues historian:
25th May 1927 - 15th August 2017.) 

My literary mentor of the Blues, Paul Oliver, I learnt last night (15th.) has died at the age of 90. 

Paul, in the latter years had become my friend and when I visited him at his home in Oxon, on one occasion, we took a short walk in the beautiful Oxfordshire rural surroundings. And he would confide in me how much he missed his late beloved wife, Valerie.  This was a subject I would never have dreamed of broaching him with.  But as one of the older of his visitors  (although I am some 14 years his junior) he probably felt we were nearly contemporaries.  They were magic times, Paul, (even the white-knuckle trips when you still had your car!) which I will always treasure. 

I feel I cannot but repeat part of my notes to the 4-CD set ‘Meaning In The Blues’ which I presented to him at one of his talks, some 6 years ago.  This came out on JSP Records based in London, and the company allowed an 80-page booklet to accompany the recordings (thank you John), celebrating the 50th. anniversary of Paul’s ‘Blues Fell This Morning’.  My aim was to give him this tribute while he was still in the land of the living 

“In only a slightly revised paragraph in the Introduction to the 1990 edition Paul Oliver wrote, ‘The blues did not reflect the whole of black life in the United States, and a social study of black problems does not explain the blues.  But in order to understand the blues singers it is necessary to explore the background of their themes, and to enter their world through them, distant and unapproachable though it may be.’  The last 34 words sealed my ongoing existence on this planet.” (Max Haymes. p.3. Notes to ‘Meaning In The Blues’. 4-CD SET [JSP 77141. London] 2011). 

The early blues singers (often only semi-literate at best) would sing a floating verse which runs: 

            They accuse me of forgin’ an’ I cannot even write my name 

But Paul Oliver could write their name, in his unprecedented book of the genre, ‘Blues Fell This Morning’ and many subsequent ones on both early blues and gospel which are all well-worth reading, and indeed essential to the serious blues collector.

If there is a great juke joint in the sky, Paul, you are once more with your Valerie. 

I learnt from Paul’s books  that the Blues is a way of life and will be here until the last of our species dies out.  The BLUES ROLL ON!  But to précis his own words, although events and social conditions are changing, on the African American, the Blues still fell this morning. 

Max Haymes. 16th. August 2017.  Lancaster, UK.



Message from vocalist Alan Nimmo:

As you know I have had yet another set back concerning the recovery of my vocal cords. Firstly I'd like to once again apologise to you for not being able to carry on at the Wharf in Tavistock on Friday 28th July and also for not being able to perform our shows at Buckley and Steelhouse festival on the same weekend.

Unfortunately, it is now clear, that in order for my voice to fully recover I need to undertake an extended break from performance. After further consultation, I plan to take a minimum of a 3-month break to undergo a period of rest & vocal rehabilitation.

This has been one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to take in my career and fully realise King King will be letting down an awful lot of people in the next few months, I can only apologise most sincerely. It would be unfair to our wonderful fans, for me to carry on as I am and risk ruining any further King King gigs.

I'm working to get fighting fit, both vocally and physically to perform at the top of my game when we return to the stage towards the end of the year.


Rescheduled October Dates

We know many off you will have tickets for our October tour, which has now been rescheduled to January 2018. We are working on rescheduling other shows, and a lot have been confirmed already. The full listing is on our website.

Thanks for your understanding! We look forward to seeing you all soon.
Alan, Lindsay, Wayne & Bob



Down Home Blues: Chicago
Deluxe 5 CD Set with 88 Page Book
Out 22 September 2017

> Features 41 artists who were influential in developing the Chicago blues scene, including Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers and many more
> Five CD set, packaged in a deluxe digipak with an outer slip case, featuring 134 rare tracks, all digitally remastered, some of which have never been previously available
> Also includes an 88 page book featuring an essay on the origins of Chicago music by renowned blues researcher and historian Mike Rowe, complete with rare photos, tracklisting and full sessionography.

The period from the end of World War II until the dawn of the 1960s, the blues scene in Chicago can rightfully be described as one of its golden ages.

Passionate, powerful and personal, blues is the spirit of black America. It was a direct result of the Great Migration, when thousands upon thousands of black people left the rural south to settle in the urban areas in the North. Many of these came from the Mississippi delta and chose Chicago as the natural destination. Chicago was a city of opportunities. For musicians with their roots from the South, here was a welcoming network of clubs, radio stations and record labels and – most importantly – a large and appreciative audience.

This 5 CD set features a collection of 134 extraordinary performances from this golden era of down home blues. Many of these tracks were unissued at the time, others are alternate takes of issued songs, but are equally as fine. There are included some ultra-rare gems.








Exile & Grace
King King

Announced: 28th June 2017

Get your copy here:






Exile & Grace UK October Tour

Sari Schorr & The Engine Room have been announced as support for Walter Trout
 on his UK autumn tour, on the dates below:
09/10   The Brook Southampton UK
10/10   Under The Bridge London UK
11/10   Under The Bridge London UK
13/10   Central Station Wrexham UK
14/10   Warehouse 23 Wakefield UK
15/10   GuildHall Preston UK
17/10   Robin 2 Bilston UK
18/10   Public Hall Harpenden UK
20/10   Bierkeller Bristol UK
21/10   Muni Arts Centre UK
22/10   Sin City Swansea UK

Sari Schorr and the Engine room and their 'A Force of Nature' CD have been nominated in no less than 8 categories in the Independent Blues Awards. You can vote here too

Robin's new album Time and Emotion is in now stock and shipping to the UK and Europe,
gaining rave reviews:

"His latest release Time and Emotion is so damn good. … Trower’s smooth-as-buttah guitar licks, screaming solos and ethereal bluesy vocals keep the listener hooked.”
Classic Rock Revisited

"He’s a feel player for whom every note counts. Each song is an emotional footprint on a landscape of vast possibilities. He explores that terrain with a seamless flow, kick started by the clever segueing of the opening two tracks, while the combination of his dreamy voice, subtle musical pulses and a deep guitar tone draws us into a beautifully crafted album."
get ready to Rock!

Robin has also just announced his only UK Headline show at
London Islington Hall on 29th November 











Break the Chain
Doug Macleod

Release date: 2nd June 2017

Reference Recordings

In this release, his third album for Reference Recordings, Doug MacLeod continues to explore the breadth and depth of the human condition. Recorded by Reference’s Grammy-winning engineer ‘Prof.’ Keith O. Johnson at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, California, Break The Chain brings twelve new MacLeod originals. Each song is extremely personal and at the same time, universal; covering subjects topical, humorous, and soulful; from the satirical to the sublime.

The title work, Break The Chain, composed and performed with his son Jesse, focuses on breaking the cycle of family violence and abuse. A powerful concern all too many are familiar with, Doug and Jesse confront this pervasive issue directly and personally, bringing it out of the shadows. Together, they share the healing, reconciliation and peace available to all who work to prevent the cycle from repeating and to Break The Chain.

The album is co-produced by Doug MacLeod and Janice Mancuso. Bassist Denny Croy, drummer Jimi Bott and percussionist Oliver Brown join Doug in duo, trio and quartet settings. Like all ‘Prof.’ Johnson’s sessions, Break The Chain was recorded live, in real- time, with no overdubs or effects. It is being released on compact disc with HDCD, as high-resolution and conventional downloads and later, as a premium 2-LP set.

A prolific singer, songwriter, engaging storyteller, and masterful guitarist, Doug is a perennial Blues Music Award nominee and multiple Blues Music Award winner including Acoustic Artist Of The Year and Acoustic Album of the Year. An active touring artist, MacLeod supports his beloved St. Louis Cardinals during baseball season and, when at home, enjoys cooking for wife Patti Joy.










For immediate release

21st APRIL 2017 

Contestants for 4th UKBlues Challenge named

The UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) is delighted to reveal the four bands who have been selected to take part in the 4th UKBlues Challenge which, as was revealed recently, will take place at the world famous Cavern in Liverpool on Sunday 10th September 2017.

The four bands have been chosen using the same process as has been used in previous years and which is approved by the Blues Foundation and the European Blues Union. This involved a panel of some 250 people from across the UK blues spectrum being invited to nominate three acts which they felt would best represent the UK at the European and International Blues Challenges.

The bands/artistes are, in alphabetical order:

Elles Bailey

LaVendore Rogue


Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion

As recently announced, they will be joined by the young band chosen by representatives of Jessica Foxley Unsigned at the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival at Colne in late August.

Each act/band will perform at the 4th UKBlues Challenge in front of a panel of judges drawn from across the blues spectrum in the UK who will award them marks in five categories as laid down by the organisers of the International & European Challenges.

These categories are, in no particular order, blues content, instrumental talent, vocal talent, originality and stage presence.

Ashwyn Smyth, Chair of the UK Blues Federation commented: ‘After the success of this year with the UK winning the European Blues Challenge with the Kaz Hawkins Band, the successful act from the UKBlues Challenge has quite a task! We are very pleased with the great variety represented by the four bands selected and believe this demonstrates what a broad church the blues in the UK is.

What is clear to me from attending the last five European Blues Challenges, is that originality and variety counts for a great deal and to win, bands have to have that special something. I believe our chosen contestants all demonstrate this in buckets. It is going to be a very interesting UKBlues Challenge in September!'

Notes for Editors:
The UK Blues Federation is a not for profit pan-UK federation that was founded in 2015 to create a focal point for blues in the UK by bringing together musicians, fans, venues, festivals and many others involved with the genre in the UK.
In addition, UKBlues has created and is continually developing a UKBlues website as the one-stop portal for comprehensive information on UK Blues artists, venues, events, festivals, agents, magazines, radio and record labels.
UKBlues also seeks to provide support and guidance to the blues community in their blues projects, develop and provide support for educational projects, particularly those aimed at the younger generation as well as organising an annual UK Blues Challenge to ensure that the UK is represented both at the European and International Blues Challenges. UKBlues also works to seek/provide financial assistance for the UK band competing at these Challenges.

UKBlues also recently amalgamated with the British Blues Archive to create a one-stop comprehensive British blues history resource.
For more information:

Ashwyn Smyth – Chair -  UKBlues – – + 33 604 48 79 98
Darren Weale - +44 (0)7708 712011



For immediate release

18th APRIL 2017 

A chance for young musicians to represent the UK at the
2018 European & International Blues Challenges

Following hard on the heels of the UK’s representative, the Kaz Hawkins Band, being declared the winners of the 7th European Blues Challenge in Horsens, Denmark, the UK Blues Federation is delighted to announce that the 4th UKBlues Challenge which will take place at the iconic Cavern in Liverpool on Sunday 10th September 2017.

This will, for the first time, see five bands participating to win the opportunity to represent the UK at both the International and the European Blues Challenges in 2018.
Four of the bands have been chosen using the same process as has been used in previous years and which is approved by the Blues Foundation and the European Blues Union and the names of these will be announced shortly.

The fifth band will be selected from the bands who have been invited by Jessica Foxley Unsigned to play at the Great British Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Festival which takes place in Colne over the August Bank Holiday weekend –  These bands are, generally, under the radar and being selected to play at Colne is a big step up for them.

As part of its mission to bring the blues to a wider audience and to encourage young people to be more involved with and take a greater interest in blues based music, UKBlues is looking to offer one of these bands the opportunity to take part in the UKBlues Challenge and, perhaps, to represent the UK at the International & European Blues Challenges.

The band will be chosen by a panel of representatives of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned project and will be chosen on the strength of their performance at Colne.

Originally called the Jessica Foxley Stage, the project was set up by her parents and brother in 2010 in memory of their daughter/sister, a  talented singer and musician who was tragically killed in a car crash aged just 21 in 2009.

In 2011, the name was changed to Jessica Foxley Unsigned which perfectly reflects what the project is about; giving high quality performance opportunities to unsigned young blues bands and solo artists based in the UK.

Co-founder of Jessica Foxley Unsigned, Margaret Foxley, said: "We are particularly excited about our project this year, as the festival's new emphasis aligns exactly with everything we have been doing for younger, unsigned Blues musicians for the past seven years.
Our eight selected performers will be given the opportunity to play live to a festival audience who appreciate and expect good quality acts. As in previous years, we are sure that our talented Jessica Foxley Unsigned musicians will step up to the mark and really give their audience something to talk about.

Being asked to make a nomination for the UKBlues Challenge is definitely the icing on the cake. We are very proud that one of our acts will be able to benefit from this wonderful opportunity to play at the Cavern in Liverpool, where so many famous artists have started their musical careers. That they could even go on to represent the UK in the European and International Blues Challenges is quite mind-boggling!"

Speaking about the Jessica Foxley Unsigned project, Jason Elliott, the Festival Director said: ‘’The Jessica Foxley Unsigned project, focussing as it does on nurturing young and emerging Blues-based talent, in many ways symbolises much of our new direction. Our mission of bringing new life and blood, new acts and audiences into this key genre, must span all levels of experience, technical ability and all age groups to be truly successful. This is where Colne can truly create its legacy."

For UKBlues, Ashwyn Smyth  said ‘‘We are delighted to work with both the new organising team at Colne and with the Jessica Foxley Unsigned team to offer such a fantastic opportunity to a band or artist to take part in the UKBlues Challenge alongside four well known and popular bands/artists selected by a panel drawn from across the UK blues spectrum, and for them to do so at such an iconic venue!’’
UKBlues Federation
The UK Blues Federation is a not for profit pan-UK federation that was founded in 2015 to create a focal point for blues in the UK by bringing together musicians, fans, venues, festivals and many others involved with the genre in the UK.
In addition, UKBlues has created and is continually developing a UKBlues website as the one-stop portal for comprehensive information on UK Blues artists, venues, events, festivals, agents, magazines, radio and record labels.
UKBlues also seeks to provide support and guidance to the blues community in their blues projects, develop and provide support for educational projects, particularly those aimed at the younger generation as well as organising an annual UK Blues Challenge to ensure that the UK is represented both at the European and International Blues Challenges. UKBlues also works to seek/provide financial assistance for the UK band competing at these Challenges.

UKBlues also recently amalgamated with the British Blues Archive to create a one-stop comprehensive British blues history resource.
For more information visit
For more information:

Ashwyn Smyth – Chair -  UKBlues – – + 33 604 48 79 98
Darren Weale - +44 (0)7708 712011





Larry Garner and the Norman Beaker Band

Penrith Rugby Club, Penrith

Friday 19th May 2017

Winters Park
CA11 8RG

Tickets Phone

01768 864024

Larry Garner

Louisiana blues man Larry Garner's songs are delivered with a sense of irony and passion. His lyrics are meaningful and amusing in equal measure and he's a fine guitarist. Larry is a great performer and very much a modern day Blues man. He won the 1988 BB King Lucille Award in Memphis, the 1995 MO Better Blues award in Atlanta, a 2002 Louisiana Blues Hall Of Fame inductee, The BBC Jazz FM Bluesman Of The Year award, three time recipient of Blues Songwriter Of The Year award in Paris, five time nominee for WC Handy award in Memphis, 2004 Slim Harpo Ambassador for the Blues award in Baton Rouge, recipient of the coveted Muddy's Club Bluebird award, and two time recipient of The Bluesman Of The Year award, Canada .

The Norman Beaker Band

One of the top Blues bands in the North West, The Norman Beaker Band have been at the forefront of the UK blues scene for over 3 decades working with a who's who of Blues stars such as BB King, Buddy Guy, Alexis Korner, Jack Bruce, Van Morrison, Chuck Berry and many more.






Photo courtesy Dave Raven, UKBlues




Photo courtesy Dave Raven, UKBlues



Details on EBC Facebook page:

and UKBlues Facebook page:

Mike Vernon is a Patron and Kaz Hawkins is an Honorary Member of the UKBlues Federation

Mike Vernon and Ashwyn Smyth, Chairman UKBlues Federation
Photo Courtesy Paul Styles, Blues in Britain



Chuck Berry at Maryport Blues Festival 2008 © Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

Chuck Berry

1926 - 2017


Roll Over Beethoven


Photo courtesy Paul Natkin / Alligator Records


World-renowned blues harmonica master James Cotton, whom Rolling Stone called, “One of the greats of all time, burning with brilliant virtuosity,” died on March 16, 2017 of pneumonia at St. David's Medical Center in Austin, Texas. He was 81. His overwhelmingly powerful harmonica playing was one of the iconic sounds of the blues. He toured worldwide for over 60 years. 

James Henry Cotton, known as “Mr. Superharp,” recorded nearly 30 solo albums, winning one Grammy Award, six Living Blues Awards and 10 Blues Music Awards. He was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in 2006. The New York Daily News called him, “The greatest blues harmonica player of all time.” NPR Weekend Edition said, “Conjure up a list of all-time great blues harmonica players, and high up on it you'll see the name James Cotton.” 

Born on a cotton plantation in Tunica, Mississippi on July 1, 1935, Cotton was a working musician by age nine. He learned harmonica directly from Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller), toured with Williamson and Howlin’ Wolf, and recorded for Sun Records in 1953 before spending 12 years touring and recording with Muddy Waters (starting at age 20). Cotton was featured on Muddy’s famous 1960 At Newport LP on Chess Records, including  the iconic version of Got My Mojo Working, one of the classic recordings of Chicago Blues. 

After his 1953 Sun sessions, Cotton didn’t record under his own name again until the mid-1960s, with tracks included in the groundbreaking Chicago/The Blues/Today! series of LPs on Vanguard. Along with Otis Spann, he cut The Blues Never Die! for Prestige. 

In 1966 he formed The James Cotton Band, quickly earning a reputation as one of the most commanding and potent live blues performers in the world—a man who could literally suck the reeds out of his harmonica from the pure force of his playing. He made his initial solo albums, three for Verve and one for Vanguard, in the late 1960s. With bands featuring outstanding musicians including famed guitarists Luther Tucker, Matt “Guitar” Murphy and Hubert Sumlin, he quickly rose to the top of the blues and rock worlds. It wasn’t long before Cotton, with his gale-force sound and fearless boogie band, was adopted by the burgeoning hippie audience as one of their own. Cotton shared stages with Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, B.B. King, Santana, Steve Miller, Freddie King and many others. 

Cotton’s blistering talent and full-throttle energy kept him in demand at concert halls all over the country. He played the Fillmore East in New York, the Fillmore West in San Francisco and every major rock and blues venue in between. During the 1970s, he cut three albums for Buddah and one for Capitol. He rejoined his old boss Muddy Waters for a series of Muddy albums produced by Johnny Winter, starting with Hard Again in 1977. Cotton also guested on recordings by Koko Taylor, Steve Miller, Memphis Slim, Hubert Sumlin and many others. He was joined on his own albums by stars like Todd Rundgren, Steve Miller, Johnny Winter, Dr. John, David Sanborn, Charlie Haden, Michael Bloomfield and Cissy Houston. 

Cotton signed with Alligator Records in 1984, releasing two solo albums and the famed Harp Attack! with Junior Wells, Carey Bell and Billy Branch. He won a Grammy Award in 1996 for his Verve album, Deep In The Blues and recorded four albums for Telarc Records before returning to Alligator in 2010. His most recent recording was 2013’s Grammy-nominated Cotton Mouth Man. 

In June 2010, Cotton was honored by New York’s Lincoln Center, where his friends Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, Taj Mahal, Shemekia Copeland and others paid tribute to him in an all-star concert. The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal honored Cotton with their 2015 B.B. King Award for his seven decades of contributions to the blues. 

Throughout his entire career, Cotton’s blast-furnace harmonica sound and larger-than-life personality always remained a true force of nature, described by USA Today as “devastating and powerful…carrying the Chicago sound to the world.” 

Cotton is survived by his wife Jacklyn Hairston Cotton, daughters Teresa Hampton of Seattle, Washington, and Marshall Ann Cotton of Peoria, Illinios and son James Patrick Cotton of Chicago, Illinois, as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.




The UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) is thrilled to announce that the 4th UKBlues Challenge will take place on Sunday 10th September 2017 at the world famous Cavern Club in Liverpool.

The selection process to choose the bands/acts that will be taking part in this year’s Challenge is currently underway with a panel of more than 250 people from across the UK blues spectrum having been invited to nominate three bands/acts who they believe would best represent UK blues at the International and European Blues Challenges in Norway and Memphis in 2018. This stage of the process closes on 15th March 2017 and the four bands/acts amassing the most points will be invited to take part in this year’s Challenge.

In an exciting innovation, a fifth band will also be invited to take part in the Challenge, their selection being completely unrelated to the process currently underway. More details in this respect will be announced in the near future.

Jon Keats – Director of Music & Events at The Cavern Club said:   “We are delighted to be hosting this year’s UKBlues Challenge here at the Cavern Club. Whilst people will always associate the venue with The Beatles and Merseybeat era, blues has also played a huge part in our history.

Many blues giants have played here including the likes of Big Bill Broonzy, John Lee Hooker, Alexis Korner, Eric Clapton, Sonny Boy Williamson, Bo Diddley…This is our 60th Anniversary year and it’s great to welcome the blues back to the Cavern!”

For UKBlues, Chair Ashwyn Smyth commented: ‘’ We are excited to be bringing the UKBlues Challenge to Liverpool this year, and especially so given that we will be staging it at such an iconic venue. We have always made plain our desire to ensure that the UKBlues Challenges are staged in different parts of the UK as part of our commitment to blues throughout the UK.   We thank the management of the Cavern for making this event possible and look forward to the 4th UKBlues Challenge being bigger and even better than the first three!’’

For more information  visit and


Jessica Foxley Unsigned are seeking outstanding, unsigned, young talent (solo artists or bands) to complement the line-up of main artists playing at the Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival 2017 in Colne, Lancashire.

As part of the process, applicants are asked to submit a link to a sound recording, along with a link to a video of their act performing live. The project's focus is to support musicians up to the approximate age of 25; solo artists, or the lead musicians in bands, should not be a huge amount older than 25 and based in the UK, please.  There are eight, half hour slots available as part of the festival project. Applications are perused, then discussed by a panel of judges, who will use the submitted sound recordings and videos to select a shortlist and the eight 'winners'.

Festival director, Jason Elliott, explained further - "We now have the full set of judges; 6 women and 6 men, plus Paul Foxley (from Jessica Foxley Unsigned) as the Chair. The judges have been invited because  we feel that, as well as being highly accomplished in their individual fields, they have all shown an openness to both innovation and the nurturing or support of emerging talent. We thank them for their time and support and look forward to an exciting, rewarding project".

Click here for a message about the Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival and Jessica Foxley Unsigned from Jason Elliott.

An easy-to-use application process is available via the Jessica Foxley Unsigned website. Applications will be judged on the following criteria - originality, creativity, technical ability, musical compatibility (with a broadly based, contemporary Blues festival) and entertainment value​​.


Jessica Foxley Unsigned (formerly The Jessica Foxley Stage) was set up in 2010 in Jessica's memory, to provide high profile performance opportunities for young musicians. Now in its 8th year, ​the project has gone from strength to strength and attracts young musicians of a very high standard from across the UK. ​ ​

This year, ​they​'ll invite eight outstanding, but as yet unsigned, young acts to play sets on the two main festival stage​s ​on Saturday and Sunday. ​T​he cream of emerging young talent will rub shoulders with the superb line-up of professional acts​,​ in a truly exciting musical melting pot.




Coming soon

Details of the new Carlisle Blues/Rock Festival 2017

Friday 29th - Saturday 30th September 2017



To The River
John Cee Stannard & Blues Horizon

Cast Iron Recordings CIRCD 028

Release Date: 27th January 2017

"Ten of the twelve tracks are written by John Cee. The other two include John Coo's interpretation of the Jelly Roll Morton classic "Winin Boy Blues" and a completely new and original re-working of the traditional "House of the Rising Sun", which owes more to Woody Guthrie than the Animals, and is delivered with an energy and intensity which is very much of today". Two of John Cee's tracks include the Farnham Voices Community Choir adding to the gospel feel the tracks already have.




UKBlues Welcomes British Blues Archive

The UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) is delighted to announce that with immediate effect the British Blues Archive (BBA) is to amalgamate with UKBlues and come under the organisation’s ‘umbrella’ with BBA’s online archive material being incorporated into the Education section of the UKBlues’ website ( .

In addition UKBlues and the British Blues Archive are working with the British Blues Exhibition (   and Early (   who have agreed to migrate some of their relevant online content to further enhance the brand new and comprehensive resource afforded by this new venture.

This unique partnership will create an unparalleled central resource and reference point for historical material relating to blues in the UK online and forms part of UKBlues’ stated aim to seek to provide educational material and facilities to widen knowledge of the blues in the UK and to assist those also seeking to do the same.

Ashwyn Smyth, Chair of UKBlues said: ‘We were thrilled and honoured when Peter Harvie, joint founder of the BBA, approached us to suggest an amalgamation. The BBA has a wealth of material of all sorts and Peter’s approach came as our webmaster, Alan White, was in the process of setting up an Education section of our website following our decision to seek to develop this aspect of our activities. So this was a great idea that arose at the perfect time.
To then have the British Blues Exhibition and Early Blues offer to work with us to further enhance this was the icing on the cake and we thank board members Darren Weale and Alan White for their generous co-operation.

The Board of UKBlues is hugely excited about the possibilities that these new partnerships and co-operations afford us as an organisation but, more importantly, the blues as a whole in the UK. They also serve to reinforce our mission to become a focal point for the blues in the UK.’

Peter Harvie of the British Blues Archive said;  'We at the British Blues Archive are delighted to be joining UK Blues. The work being done by the British Blues Archive and UK Blues complement each other and the bringing together of our strengths has created in one place a tremendous resource, the place to go to for information, history, interviews and insights on British Blues. We at the British Blues Archive are tremendously excited about the amalgamation and are looking forward to new projects ahead with UK Blues'.





The Old Courts
Gerrard Winstanley House
Crawford Street



Photo courtesy Alan White

The Robin 2, Bilston, West Midlands played host to the 3rd UK Blues Challenge on Saturday 12th November 2016, organized by the UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) and sponsored by  Upton Blues Festival.

At stake for the four contestants was the opportunity to represent the UK at the 33rd International Blues Challenge (IBC)  in Memphis in the USA at the end of January/early February 2017 and at the 7th European Blues Challenge (EBC) in Horsens, Denmark in April 2017. This will be the first time that the UK has been represented at the IBC.

The four bands participating in the Challenge were selected by a panel of more than 250 people involved in and with the blues in the UK and came from across the UK exhibiting the breadth, quality and individuality that exists in the blues in the UK.

From Cornwall, Wille & the Bandits, a trio whose reputation is being reinforced by their most recent CD release.

Photo courtesy Graham Munn

from Norfolk the individual and combined talents that are the Dove & Boweevil Band

Photo courtesy Graham Munn

from Northern Ireland the powerhouse that is the Kaz Hawkins Band

Photo courtesy Graham Munn

and from Birmingham, multiple British Blues Award winner, Rebecca Downes

Photo courtesy Graham Munn

Each of the bands delivered an exciting and varied thirty minute set featuring mainly original music which demonstrated how broad a church the blues is in the UK, much to the delight of the large audience at the event.

Photo courtesy Ashwyn Smyth

Deciding upon a winner was a tough job for the panel of seven judges, drawn from across the blues spectrum:

Kyla Brox*,
Alex Butler of Red Butler who represented the UK at the 2015 EBC,
Oliver Carpenter - Trustee - and Ruth Etheridge - Secretary - Upton Blues Festival,
Mark Horsley, the Promoter and Director of the Scarborough Secret Blues Festival,
Peter Noble, boss of Noble PR,
Becky Tate* of Babajack, EBC contestants in 2013.
*Honorary Members of UKBlues

After much deliberation and in a tight contest, the Kaz Hawkins Band were declared very popular winners and were presented with the UKBlues Challenge trophy and Winner's certificate.

Photo courtesy Liz Aiken

As well as competing at the International & European Blues Challenges, the winner will also be offered slots to play at Blues on the Farmthe Great British R'n'B Festival at Colnethe International Blues Review Mini Cruise and the Upton Blues Festival in 2017.

Kaz said after the announcement: ‘My band and I are so humbled to be chosen to represent the UK Blues Federation in the USA & Europe. It's exciting to be pushing our own boundaries in the blues genre. We would like to thank the UK Blues Federation for giving us this opportunity to showcase our music on behalf of the UK. ‘

In addition to representing the UK at the International and European Blues Challenges and the massive exposure this will offer, the band will also be offered the opportunity to play at four top blues festivals/events during 2017 and they were presented with a trophy on the night.

Previous UK representatives at the EBC have included Red Butler, Laurence Jones, Babajack and Ben Poole. Becky Tate of Babajack, said of their participation in the EBC:

‘For us it was immensely important. We got to go to Europe, it was our window into Europe and we met an enormous number of people. We had a whole year’s worth of festival work offered us from that one twenty minute slot we played.

We didn’t win, we came close, but you know what, what we won was an amazing opportunity for us as musicians and I can honestly say that our European work is what has kept us on the road.
It’s an amazing thing to do for that individual band but it is also an amazing thing to do for British blues. That’s why what these guys (UKBlues) are doing is so important‘

Another of the judges, Peter Noble of Noble PR commented:

’The UK Blues Challenge was wonderful.  It gave me the opportunity to see Wille & The Bandits live who I felt were the most original artist of the night.  I particularly loved the pedal steel guitar and Wille’s harrowing vocals.   Kaz Hawkins touched a nerve with the judges and after her performance you felt a definite emotional connection.   The biggest reaction of the night went to Rebecca Downes who really impressed everyone with her incredible powerhouse vocals and dynamic stage presence.   Dove & Boweevil were also impressive with their entertaining blues repertoire. All in all a great evening.'

Ashwyn Smyth, Chair of UKBlues said:

‘ This was an excellent evening and our thanks go to everyone involved, the bands, the judges, the sponsors and all the team at the Robin 2 who made us so welcome and worked so hard to make the event such a success. The feedback we have received has been great and it is clear that those who attended thoroughly enjoyed the very fine musicians who played for them. I hope that we have laid the foundations for future UK Blues Challenges and that it will become one of the must attend events of the blues year.

This was a night that celebrated the best in UK blues and demonstrated only too clearly the quality and range of the talent that is all too often unsung in this too frequently ignored musical genre. The event also raised funds which we, UKBlues, can use to further our aims and to make a contribution towards the Kaz Hawkins Band’s costs attending the two Challenges.’

UKBlues will be setting up a crowd funding page soon to raise additional funds to help the UK’s representative attend both the European and International Blues Challenges. Details will be announced shortly.


Don't forget that, as a Member of UKBlues  you can post details of your gigs and/or those gigs with which you are involved on the Events page of the  UKBlues website. There are already a few gigs posted here and we hope that over the next few months this page will become ever more populated.

If you are already a Member or Friend of UKBlues and want to avail yourself of this facility, please contact our Webmaster who will sort out access and log ins for you -


If you are not already a member of UKBlues, why not join now? Click here to join.

By doing so you will be able to help us support & promote the blues in the UK and you will enjoy a range of benefits including being on the panel of those invited to nominate artists for the annual UK Blues Challenge.





Best Album/Recorded Session


Fire on the Floor - Beth Hart (USA) 

Runners Up

Coming Home - Julian Sas (NL)

A Force of Nature - Sari Schorr (USA)

Rise up from the Ashes - Ulrich Ellison (AT/USA)

Breaking Free - Layla Zoe (Can)

Best Festival/Event


Ribs en Blues (NL) 

Runners Up

Blues on the Farm (GB)

Great British R&B Festival Colne (GB)

Gevarenwinkel Festival (BE)

Best Vocalist


Layla Zoe (Can)

Runners Up

Sari Schorr (USA)

Lisa Mills (USA)

Best Guitarist


Ryan McGarvey (USA)

Runners Up

Laurence Jones (GB)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (GB)

Danny Bryant (GB)

Best Radio Show


Paul Jones - Radio 2 Blues Show (GB)

Runners Up

Ashwyn Smyth - Digital Blues (EU)

Gary Grainger - The Blues Show (GB)

Tim Aves - The Blues is Back (GB)

Best Magazine/Publication


Blues Magazine (NL)

Runners Up

Blues Matters (GB)

 Blues in Britain (GB)

Blues News (NO)

Best Solo/Acoustic


Matt Andersen (CAN)

Runners Up

Dave Arcari (GB)

Bex Marshall (GB)

Eddie Martin (GB)

Best Musician (Performance)


Julian Sas (NL)

Runners Up

Dale Storr (GB)

 Paul Lamb (GB)

Best Band


Tedeschi Trucks Band (USA)

Runners Up

Wilko Johnson Band (GB)

Band of Friends (EU)

Tommy Castro and the Painkillers (USA)

Lifetime Contribution Award (awarded by European Blues Awards team)

Pete Feenstra - Feenstra Blues (UK)

For more details click here

or go to:


Aynsley Lister - Eyes Wide Open

New Album Released Friday 7th October 2016
on CD and iTunes & Standard Digital Download


"There is a great little crop of blues musicians out there over
in the UK right now. There is an Irish kid called Simon McBride
who is very good, Joanne Shaw Taylor is a superstar in waiting
I think and Aynsley Lister is also very good."
- Joe Bonamassa, Nottingham Post

Award-winning blues-rock aficionado Aynsley Lister released his eighth studio album Eyes Wide Open on Friday 7th October 2016 on Straight Talkin’ Records.

Eyes Wide Open is Aynsley’s magnum opus, which sees him confidently pursuing his own musical path. Self-assured, inventive and richly-textured, Aynsley brings his 18 years of hard touring, 11 album releases (eight studio and three live) and all his experience as a musician to fruition on Eyes Wide Open.

Aynsley’s previous opus, 2013’s Home garnered the guitar ace both Songwriter of the Year and Song of the Year at the British Blues Awards. Eyes Wide Open is a bold, confident and accessible slice of contemporary blues-rock that promises to bring Aynsley yet more accolades as well as introduce his genre-blending sound to a new audience, building on the 100,000 albums he’s already sold worldwide.

- The Times

"This is the kind of album you hope someone will release but never does. It’s one of those rare works of art that will never leave your stack of favourites."
- Eminence

"Eyes Wide Open is over an hour of exceptional song-writing, guitar playing, vocals and musicianship that will want you to listen over and over again. Aynsley is a quite simply a blues master!"

The 39-year-old British guitarist says that this raw, energetic album is a return to his roots; a record that at its heart boasts all the grit of traditional blues. “I wanted to keep the raw edginess and energy of a band,” says Aynsley. “So that meant minimal takes and going with the ones that had the most spirit and passion over those with technical perfection. To me, music isn’t supposed to be perfect. It’s supposed to grab you and move you both emotionally and physically; it’s supposed to connect with you.”

Photo Credit: © Alexandre Coesnon

Eyes Wide Open seals Aynsley’s reputation for adroitly blending blues and rock, pop and even a smattering of soul. Hooky melodies dovetail seamlessly with blazing blues solos that are as passionate as they are tasteful. Like every musician of weight, this album also reveals Aynsley’s ability to tell a story. Each track paints a picture, exposing an emotional landscape with the insight of a fine artist: “The world never stops and so much happens around us - some of it resonates with you, some of it doesn’t. This album is written about the world as I see it, through eyes wide open.”

Peter Green, Albert King and Eric Clapton were the musical giants influencing the young ears of Aynsley Lister while he was growing up. Building on this foundation, Aynsley has crafted his own unique perspective on contemporary blues since he first formed a band aged 13 and released his self-titled debut in 1998 on Ruf Records. It’s been a fantastic journey so far that has seen Aynsley play with, amongst others, Buddy Guy, John Mayall and Lynyrd Skynyrd. He’s won multiple awards including Guitarist of the Year at the 2015 British Blues Awards and he has been nominated in the Guitarist and Male Vocal categories in the 2016 British Blues Awards.

Produced by Aynsley Lister
Recorded at Superfly Studios (UK)
Engineered by Andrew Banfield
Mixed by Adam Ellis and Aynsley Lister at Deadline Studios (UK)
Mastered by John Webber at Air Mastering (UK)

Photo Credit: © Alexandre Coesnon

"Guitarist of the Year 2015"
"Songwriter of the Year 2014"
"Song of the Year (Home) 2014"
- British Blues Awards

For more info:





2wenty5ive - The Collection
Ian Siegal

A limited edition box set comprising 38 of Ian’s most popular songs (on 3 CDs) together with a 72-page illustrated book of lyrics and a vinyl sticker.

“Siegal possesses that priceless gift, a true blues voice. But that’s only half the story. The extra six-pack he brings to the party is his songwriting.”
-  Tony Russell, Mojo contributor and editor of the Penguin Book of Blues Recordings.


It's Christmas Time
John Cee Stannard

Cast Iron Recordings CIREP 029

Release Date: 4th November 2016

"Quirky, distinctive and certainly a little eccentric - English Blues"
  -  Blues in Britain

"Unpretentiuos laidback country blues"
  - Flyin' Shoes Review





Call of The Blues
Michael Messer's Mitra

A unique fusion of blues slide guitar, Hindustani classical slide guitar and tabla rhythms.

Michael Messer's Mitra is a trio comprising British blues innovator and slide guitarist, Michael Messer, Hindustani slide guitar maestro from Mumbai India, Manish Pingle , and London-based tabla player, Gurdain Singh Rayatt. 
This is more than another meeting of musicians from different cultures, this is a band with its own unique sound, an exhilarating and highly accessible fusion of blues and Hindustani classical music. With vocals, slide guitars and tabla, these three musicians from opposite sides of the globe create a fascinating musical journey, running from the banks of the Mississippi, via London, to Mumbai and the Ganges Delta.


Check out the very first

Amazing value - not to be missed!

Get your tickets here:










Congratulations go to all the winners and runners up in the 2016 British Blues Awards, the results of which were announced at Newark Blues Festival earlier today (Sunday 11th September 2016) 

Male Vocalist of the Year Sponsored by Blues in the South

1)         Alan Nimmo

2)        Aynsley Lister

3)        Marcus Bonfanti

Female Vocalist of the Year Sponsored by Digital Blues

1)         Rebecca Downes

2)        Connie Lush

3)        Kaz Hawkins

Band of the Year - Sponsored by The Tuesday Night Music Club

1)         The Nimmo Brothers

2)        The Laurence Jones Band

3)        Red Butler

Acoustic Act of the Year - Sponsored by Blues is the Truth

1)         Ian Siegal

2)        Marcus Bonfanti

3)        Joel Fisk and Jon Amor

Guitarist of the Year - Sponsored by New Crawdaddy Blues Club

1)         Laurence Jones

2)        Alan Nimmo

3)        Aynsley Lister

Harmonica Player of the Year - Sponsored by Wall2Wall Blues

1)         Mark Feltham

2)        Will Wilde

3)        Trevor Steger

Keyboard Player of the Year - Sponsored by G99photography

1)         Paul Long

2)        Paddy Milner

3)        Steve Watts

Bass Player of the Year - Sponsored by The Blues and Soul

1)         Lindsay Coulson

2)        Roger Inniss

3)        Matthew Brooks

Drummer of the Year - Sponsored by The Hat Reviews

1)         Andrew Naumann

2)        Sam Kelly

3)        Mark Barrett

Instrumentalist of the Year - Sponsored by Raven and the Blues

1)         Becky Tate

2)        Kyla Brox

3)        Karena K

Young Artist of the Year - Sponsored by Pablo and the Blues Show

1)         Laurence Jones

2)        Alex Butler

3)        Matthew Long

Blues Festival of the Year - Sponsored by Blues and Roots PR

1)         Upton Blues Festival

2)        Blues on the Farm

3)        Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival Colne

Overseas Artist of the Year - Sponsored by Sunday Morning Soul

1)         Buddy Guy

2)        Dan Patlansky

3)        Dana Fuchs

Independent Blues Broadcaster of the Year - Sponsored by The Roots Collective

1)         Paul Long

2)        Dave Raven

3)        Gary Grainger

Blues Album of the Year - Sponsored by Sedgefield Rock and Blues Club

1)         Reaching for the Light - King King

2)        Renaissance - Connie Lush Band

3)        Big Blues - Jesse Davey

Blues Song of the Year - Sponsored by GMH Promotions

1)         Rush Hour - King King

2)        Believe - Rebecca Downes

3)        Walk on Land - Chantel McGregor

The Barry Middleton Memorial Award for Emerging Artist of the Year - Sponsored by Blues in Britain

1)         Rebecca Downes

2)        The Voodoo Sheiks

3)        The Della Grants

The Kevin Thorpe Memorial Award for Songwriter of the Year - Sponsored by Blues and Roots Connections

1)         King King

2)        Stevie Nimmo

3)        Wily Bo Walker

Blues Great -   Papa George - Sponsored by Cavern Club London

Blues Great The Hoax - Sponsored by Ginger Cow Marketing

Lifetime AchievementPete Feenstra - Sponsored by Wrinkly Rockers Club

Full details of the awards -  click here


Earl Thomas

"Thomas’ soulful music should be heard by blues lovers everywhere. This is highly recommended listening as it gets better and better with each and every spin".
  -  Richard Ludmerer

This album is awesome! Earl's vocals are phenomenal on every track! Bravo! "
  -  Daniel McKernan

Fleschtone Records


The Back on Track Recording Project
The Jordan Patterson Band

Flamingcheese Records

"Beautifully recorded and mixed, this album just sounds great.  Songs like Can We Fall In Love Again, Do You Believe, and You’re My Girl simply are hook deep, ear pleasing tracks where the band and the players mesh into a natural vibe.  Elsewhere there is a funky Lenny Kravitz vibe to Living Without Your Love, Favourite Boy has a Charlie Musselwhite on steroids kick and Play My Song rips a snaky riff to the ceiling and back.  Not enough can be said how good the band vibe on this album is…  Crank this up and just watch people say “wow’"

  -  John Emms Reviews, 2016


Steve Summers Band

Casket Records CSK388

"He's a master guitarist with a delicate touch, a full range of tones and an ability to express a full gamut of moods and emotions at the touch of his fingers"
- Pete Feenstra

For all media enquiries, please contact James Soars 01536 720245/07758781032




The Other Side

The Stumble

Self Release - Available from

Rapturous Chicago style rhythm & blues

The Stumble are a powerful six piece band based in and around Preston in the North-West and what you get is a classic valve driven back line driven with shuffle and roll. Their music is heavily based on the rapturous electric blues guitar sound that emanated from Chicago in the ’50s and ’60s. Influences range from B.B. King, Freddy King, Muddy Waters, Maceo Parker, Peter Green,  Booker T, King Curtis etc. Basically, if music has that screwed down ambient live feel expressed by some of these guys, then it'll be on the playlist.

Paul Melville vocals, Colin Black guitar and harmonica, Boyd Tonner drums and vocals, Simon Anthony Dixon on sax’s, Cameron Sweetnam on bass, with newcomer Ant Scapens lead guitar making up the formidable six.

Seeing the band is an experience not easily forgotten as they are all about the exciting, live Chicago style Rhythm & Blues. What better reference could any band have than this -

'Man this band’s so good I wanna take ‘em over to America with me.’ - Lazy Lester.





City of Decay

Label – Kross Border Rekords KBR20161 

Release date- July 15th 2016

Distribution- Proper Distribution

"The vision of a solid and uncompromising Blues/Rock Band remains uncompromised and is wonderfully intact" Blues Matters

"They play loud and they play well, the soloing is ferocious and the commitment is total" R2

Having built a solid reputation for producing quality Americana/blues/rock, the core of CITY OF DECAY is based around the decaying infrastructure of Detroit due to the evacuation of the car industry. Their previous album focused on New Orleans and the highways and reservations of the West. This is a more 'blue collar' piece of work, but like 'Gods & Highways & Old Guitars' still works as a largely cohesive concept. There is a focus on the industrial and social wastelands of the US, as well as taking a detour down Highway 61, South of Chicago. Once more Roadhouse features their famous vocal ensemble, but CITY OF DECAY displays even more reliance on the stunning vocals of Mandie.G and Sarah Harvey-Smart. The twin lead guitar attack of Danny Gwilym and Gary Boner is still present along with the rock solid rhythm section provided by Bill Hobley on Bass and Roger Hunt on drums. There are more distinct musical and vocal sections to these songs making them more complex and ambitious than past Roadhouse CD's. This CD features eight songs written by Gary Boner including several co-writes with Danny and Mandie.G, in fact nine tracks in total if you include the radio mix of Blues Highway. However, due to the epic nature of some of the songs it clocks in at well over an hour's music. 

Regarding song choice, highlights include Blues Highway which was inspired loosely by the book by Richard Night. An original blues song it features a great duet from Mandie.G and Sarah and with full on solos from both Danny and Gary, occupies more than eleven minutes playing time. Title track City Of Decay is a look at the downfall of Detroit after the 'Big six' car manufacturers pulled out. This epic song has a number of different distinct sections and is probably the most ambitious Roadhouse song to date and The Night Of The Gun takes the listener back on to the mean streets of Detroit where a stranger ends up in the wrong part of town, the song a pure riff driven rocker.  

Roadhouse have so far achieved airplay on over a hundred radio stations in more than twenty countries, a highlight being performing three tracks live on the Paul Jones BBC Radio 2 blues show. Live, they have shared the stage with a veritable who’s who of international artists including Walter Trout, Joe Bonamassa, The Animals, The Yardbirds, Dr Feelgood, Nine Below Zero, Wilco Johnson, Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones), Pat Travers and many more. A true festival band, they have played at many festivals all over Europe including Glastonbury in 2010 and eight performances over the years at the National Festival of R&B in Colne. They play regularly at the UK Festival of Rock & Blues held every year in Skegness. Their last CD Gods & Highways & Old Guitars achieved critical acclaim and considerable airplay across both Europe and the US.

"Britain's finest Roots Rockers, a dark coming together of Country, Rock and Blues" Maverick

"Drilling deep into Americana with their driving sound and harmony stacked songs" Classic Rock

"A combination of classic Blues/Rock & Americana you would swear that they were American" Rock Society

"Deep, eerie and hypnotic" Guitar and Bass

"This is a multi layered album full of rich imagery, intricate rhythms, soaring harmonies, delicate guitar textures, and lush melodies that finds its equilibrium somewhere between Americana and kick ass rock blues. ‘Gods & Highways & Old Guitars’ is an album of real substance that deserves to be heard at the highest table" Get Ready To Rock

For more information and the latest tour dates, please visit: 

For all media enquiries, please contact James Soars 01536 720245/07758781032





Blues for Francis:
The Life and Work of Francis Wilford-Smith
  by Caroline Beecroft and Howard Rye

ISBN-13: 978-0-9562679-5-5

Paperback, 404 pages, 187 illustrations, Published 2015

Nominated for the Association for Recorded Sound Collections 2016 Award for  Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research

Published by Music Mentor Books:

For many years, Francis Wilford-Smith led a parallel existence as an internationally respected cartoonist/illustrator ('Selby'), and also as one of the world's foremost collectors of blues records and an acknowledged expert on blues piano. Whilst both sides of his life are celebrated in this memoir, it focuses mainly on the latter.

Motivated by a desire to preserve as much as possible of the music that he loved, Francis privately recorded several visiting blues pianists at his home, Trumpets Farm, in 1960 and 1961. Unfettered by commercial or time constraints, his guests had free reign to play whatever they wished and produced some truly unique and outstanding performances. The intriguing stories behind these groundbreaking recordings is to be found within these pages.

To accompany this book, vintage jazz and blues reissue label Frog Records have released a special 27-track companion CD, Trumpets Farm Blues, containing previously unissued material from these legendary sessions.  Check out Frog Records:

"A truly fascinating book, a must for any lover of blues piano".
Alan White,


Tonight At Noon
Ged Wilson

Release Date: 29th April 2016

Self released:

" ... a good blues artist with a sense of humour and some good blues influenced songs"
  - Blues in Britain

For more information and the latest tour dates, please visit:



Throw Away Your Blues
Kyla Brox

Release Date: 15th April 2016

Album available for pre-order through Kyla's website:

'One thing is true Kyla Brox singing will lift the spirits any day of the year.  This is an album where the blue is Midnight Blue with the nap and resilience of velvet.' 10/10

'Kyla delivers her songs with passion, honesty and confidence. This is a very worthy addition to any discerning record collection'.
Maverick Magazine.

Another excellent vocal performance. She is back with a solid album that repays repeated listening'. 
Blues In Britain.

STUNNING artwork, STUNNING singing/musicianship and STUNNING production!' Christine Moore (Blues Matters)

'Simply Awesome!'
Alan White,


New official video filmed at The Vale 27th Feb 2016.
This is first ever official Kyla Brox live video.


Rebecca Downes

Release Date: 18th March 2016

'Something of a breath of fresh air. Emotional, authentic songs  that speak to the listener'
  - Blues Magazine

Mad Hat / Cargo Records


The Red Wine Serenaders, there are no better words that define them!

This is a musical project born about three years ago featuring a talented combo of musicians who passionately play country blues and ragtime, hokum, jug band and rural music from the 20s and 30s. Veronica Sbergia and Max De Bernardi, originators of the project, like to keep this precious musical heritage alive faithfully reproducing its original sound whilst playing it a modern twist.
Using strictly acoustic instruments such ukulele, washboard, kazoo, resophonic guitars and doublebass their passion for this music is perfectly represented on their last CD "OLD STORIES FOR MODERN TIMES", that also sees contributions by other leading musicians and friends, Sugar Blue (a legendary harmonica player in the past with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Willie Dixon and Frank Zappa) and the world master of resophonic guitar, Bob Brozman.
The album is an overview of the American popular music from the early years of the last century with the Red Wine Serenaders reinterpreting great songs by artists like Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Minnie, Jimmie Rodgers, Sidney Bechet, Lucille Bogan, Bo Carter, Delmore Brothers in their own unique style.

Veronica & The Red Wine Serenaders are the winners of the European Blues Challenge 2013, an important international contest held in Toulouse in March.

Thanks to this result they performed at the prestigious Notodden Blues Festival in Norway and will take part in Lucerne Blues Festival in November.
Veronica & The Red Wine Serenaders performed in USA, France, Switzerland, Hungary, Norway, Spain, England, Germany, Italy and Poland.

Veronica is also the first Italian artist ever invited to the Mustique Blues Festival (2012 and 2013), in the Carribean.

- Extract from their website


Sonic Gumbo
Mumbo Jumbo

Oliver Carpenter, Chris Lomas and Phil Bond - aka Mumbo-Jumbo – deliver eclectic, acoustic close harmony, piano based music, intimate and entertaining interaction with audiences and bring the fun back into live performance.

“The musicianship is unsurpassable, and the songwriting is excellent.” 
- Blues in Britain magazine

Sonic Gumbo CD available now from:




Wayward Sons
Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus

Release Date: 4th March 2016 on Nugene Records NUG1602

Duo Live Album Precedes 40-Date European Tour

Stop Press:
Ian Siegal nominated for Acoustic Artist in the 2016 Blues Music Awards (the Blues Foundation, Memphis)



"One night. Two troubadours. In the autumn of 2014 on their first tour together, Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus rolled into the sleepy Dutch town of Hoogland. They pitched camp at Caf6 De Noot, which despite its parochial name has been hosting international touring artistes for more than 20 years. What followed was a special night of dry banter, salty tales and classic songs performed with industrial-strength charisma. The set might so easily have been lost into folklore, kept alive only in the memories of the fans who packed the venue. Thankfully, somebody thought to hit 'record.' 

Wayward Sons is an evocative snapshot of that intimate show. Regardless of the geographical location of your stereo, this atmospheric album places the listener squarely in the midst of the crowd as they cheer the Anglo-American roots duo to the stage. 

Let's have some introductions. Ian Siegal is the much-decorated British national treasure whose album catalogue and firecracker shows have earned him eight British Blues Awards, three European Blues Awards and three US Blues Music Awards nominations, most recently in the 2016 BMAs for Acoustic artist of the year. Add to that haul, two Best Blues Album awards from Mojo - the best-selling British music magazine adding that his work is "awash with wit, lust and distraction" - and you'll understand the crackle of anticipation in the Caf6 De Noot. 

© Copyright 2016 Will Ireland. All Rights Reserved.
Photo © Copyright 2016 Will Ireland. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

In the opening words of Siegal himself, Jimbo Mathus is "a very talented man". Or, as the Briton adds later: "That's a superstar you're looking at right there". Both descriptions of the Mississippi songwriter and multi-instrumentalist are right on the money. Mathus broke out with the genre-blurring Squirrel Nut Zippers, whose iconic album 1996's Hot led to a set at the second inauguration of President Clinton in 1997. Since the millennium, limbo tracked with Buddy Guy, led The Tri-State Coalition and forged a solo career that hit new heights with the hard-hitting psych-soul of 2014's Blue Healer. 

Even in the age of auto-tune and Pro Tools, you cant's fake chemistry - and Wayward Sons proves the Siegal/Mathus partnership has it in spades. 

The pair's friendship goes back to 2013, when Mathus contributed banjo and mandolin to Siegal's acclaimed album, The Picnic Sessions, recorded in Mississippi. Despite hailing from opposite sides of the Atlantic, the two men found they shared cultural touchstones, not to mention a rare musical understanding that bleeds into Wayward Sons. Siegal's acoustic and slide guitar dovetails with Mathus' mandolin, harmonica and kazoo. Vocal harmonies lock horns then curl up in harmony. "You can tell we're ragged," notes Mathus, after a stunning run through of I'll Fly Away, " but we're right." 

This standout show from their first tour together also finds the duo's banter on whip-cracking form, whether that's Siegal claiming to be the mayor of Hoogland, or Mathus wryly reminding us that he's still very much alive. "I'm sorry that the people at the back can't see our beautiful faces," drawls Siegal in one memorable aside. "You're missing out on a treat, I can tell you. Because we are two very handsome men, trust me." 

Whether or not that's true, Siegal and Mathus are undeniably stellar live musicians, racing through a setlist that airs a fistful of classics from their respective catalogues, as well as some rip-it-up reboots of old standards. 

Mathus kicks off with his Dylan-worthy strum In The Garden ("If you see something wicked, don't look in its eye"), and after the set-break, we're treated to gems including Tallahatchie, Old Earl ("a song about a lazy man") and the sad-eyed stunner Milltown. Not to be outdone, Siegal revisits his raucous Talkin' Overseas Pirate Blues from The Picnic Sessions, a song inspired by the inability of Americans to pronounce his first name. 

The track listing takes in some exceptional covers, too: consider the lazy strum and close harmonies of Townes Van Zandt's Heavenly Houseboat Blues, or the smoke-blackened romance of Ewan MacColl's Dirty Old Town. And in the hands of these two heavyweights, even well-worn traditional numbers find fresh impetus, whether that's the tale of the courageous engine-driver Casey Jones or the Missouri outlaw Jesse James ("Many people have sung this song, and I'm about to sing it again..."). 

One time around could never be enough. Due to popular demand - as well as their own pleasure - Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus tour together again in Spring 2016, playing 40-plus shows across mainland Europe (April 22nd-May 15th) and the UK (May 17th-June 3rd). 

Until they roll into your town, Wayward Sons is the next best thing, catching the sparks, bottling the bonhomie and making your front room feel like the front row. These 21 tracks might stretch the 74-minute capacity of a CD to its limits - but even after the encore, you'll be calling out for more.

Check out Earlyblues Interview with Jimbo Mathus here

Check out Earlyblues Interview with Ian Siegal here



Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus will play some 40 shows across Europe in the period 22 April to 4 June 2016. This follows their successful first tour together in 2014. Ahead of touring the duo are releasing a 21-track album recorded during the debut tour.

If your musical preference is a combination of rootsy blues and folk Americana, delivered with irreverent humour and nuggets of folklore, then look no further. This transatlantic duo of multi-award winners ticks all the boxes, combining the talents of Europe’s leading contemporary Bluesman with the Grammy-nominated songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Mississippi.

For devotees of blues and Americana on this side of the Atlantic, Ian Siegal needs no introduction. He’s the eight-times British Blues Awards winner, three-times European Blues Awards winner, and two-times US Blues Music Awards nominee. He’s sung with the prestigious Orchestre National de Jazz in Paris, played in more than 40 countries, and among his latest albums is a BBC recording made at London’s Royal Albert Hall. His accolades include two from MOJO magazine for Best Blues Album of the Year. Ian is the only non-American to achieve this distinction.

He first met Jimbo in 2013 when the latter contributed some banjo and mandolin parts to an album Ian was recording in Mississippi (The Picnic Sessions). The two discovered a shared passion for many of the same musical influences.

Now, when someone has found fame with a band called Squirrel Nut Zippers (as Jimbo Mathus did when he formed this alt-Americana outfit), you know you’re in for something different! An almost overnight sensation, The Zippers played at the second inauguration of President Bill Clinton and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Later Mathus went on to pursue a variety of musical projects. Among these he toured and recorded with Buddy Guy (catalyzing the distinct approach of Guy’s “Sweet Tea” album) and he is a founding member of the South Memphis String Band. Jimbo has a new album “Blue Healer” on the Fat Possum record label.

Check out Earlyblues Interview with Jimbo Mathus here

Check out Earlyblues Interview with Ian Siegal here

May 17 Worthing – Southern Pavilion
May 18 Havant – Spring Arts Centre
May 19 Leicester – The Musician
May 20 Lowdham – Village Hall
May 21 Selby – Town hall
May 22 Newcastle – The Cluny
May 25 Bristol – The Tunnels
May 26 Stroud – The Convent
May 27 Ottley – Courthouse
May 28 Sheffield – Greystones
May 29 London – The Green Note (two shows)
May 31 Bilston – Robin2
June 01 Cheltenham – Vonnies Blues Club
June 02 Aldershot – West End Arts Centre
June 03 Whitstable –The Duke


The Moon Goes Boom - Live in London
The Boom Band

Release Date: 27th November 2015










The UK Blues Federation is pleased to announce that the band representing the UK at the 6th European Blues Challenge (EBC), organised by the European Blues Union (EBU) will be Red Butler after they were announced as the winners of the 2nd UK Blues Challenge on Saturday 24th October 2015 at the Boom Boom Club in Sutton, Surrey, an event jointly promoted and organised by Pete Feenstra Real Music Live and the UK Blues Federation (UKBlues).

A panel of five judges chosen from across the UK blues community awarded each contestant in the Challenge points for each of the four criteria laid down by the EBU – originality, instrumental talent, vocal talent and stage presence.

Up against Malaya Blue, The Brothers Groove, and The Katie Bradley Band, Red Butler were a popular winner, acclaimed by a large and enthusiastic audience.

The 6th European Blues Challenge will take place on 8th and 9th April 2016 in Torrita di Siena in Tuscany, Italy and will see 20 bands from around Europe competing. Previous UK representatives at the EBC have been Ben Poole, 24 Pesos, Babajack, David Migden & the Twisted Roots and Laurence Jones.

The recently created UK Blues Federation is honoured to have been appointed by the EBU to run the Challenge and is in the process of setting up a crowd funding campaign to assist with Red Butler’s  costs in connection with travelling to and appearing at the EBC. Full details will be available very shortly on the UKBlues website –

Ashwyn Smyth – Chair of UKBlues said: ‘ It has been a lot of hard work to pull both the selection process and the UK Challenge together but it was all worth it! I am sure that Red Butler are going to do us proud in Italy next year. Our thanks go to Pete Feenstra for all he has done to make the Challenge happen and to the five judges who were faced with making some difficult choices. This has also been a great way to introduce the newly formed UK Blues Federation to the blues community in the UK and we have many plans for the future including, we hope, seeing a UK representative at the 2017 International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

“We hope that many people will want to join UKBlues and help to support us in what we are doing and they can do so by going to our website where there are details of membership types and how you can join.”

Alex Butler of Red Butler - - said: ’There is huge exhilaration amongst the band at winning the UK Blues Challenge. We put our hearts and souls into the gig against stiff opposition. The immediate reaction from the crowd told us this was something special from the word go.” 

Contact: UKBlues Chair Ashwyn Smyth via email to or Darren Weale (Media Group) on 07708 712011.


Back to Front Band

The Back To Front Band area musical collective based Cheshire, with Phil Wright [piano/keyboard/vocals] and Adrian Hough [bottleneck guitar] at its core.  Sparse piano and plaintive bottleneck create the canvas for Phil's understated and soulful vocal delivery.  The songs are stripped down to the narratives in which the character tells the story through the music.

The stunning new CD "Transition" is available from their website and individual tracks can be downloaded from the usual online stores.

Mojo DeLuxe
Bob Malone

UK Release : Monday 21st September 2015

"MOJO DELUXE is that perfect gumbo of dirty blues, classic rock & roll, and New Orleans piano pyrotechnics. It's where Bob Malone stomps his foot on a miked-up cigar box, rips on a funky old upright piano and a vintage Wurlitzer, and sings fearlessly of life at the halfway point. It is deep grooves, swamp rock, gospel-drenched ballads, and plenty of nasty slide guitar. The all-star band features Stan Behrens (WAR), Tim Lefebvre (Tedeschi Trucks Band), Mike Baird (Journey, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker), producer/guitarist Bob DeMarco, and Bob's John Fogerty bandmate Kenny Aronoff. This is Bob Malone's 8th album."


All photographs used with permission

"Los Angeles based Bob Malone plays keyboards with rock-n-roll Hall of Fame legend John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival & more), and continues a long running and very successful solo career. His sound is a one-of-a-kind hybrid of blues, rock and New Orleans R&B, delivered with high-energy piano virtuosity and unique soulful vocals.

Bob headlines over 100 shows a year in the UK, Europe, Australia and the USA, and has played with (or opened for) Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffet, Rickie Lee Jones, The Neville Brothers, Rev. Al Green, Dr. John, Leon Russell and many others.

Bob completed a very successful month-long UK tour during Aug/Sept of 2014 where he received high accolades for his festival & venue performances. In 2013 Bob performed at the Glastonbury Festival, along with a month long July tour of Italy. Bob is also a regular at the prestigious WWOZ Piano Night at House of Blues in New Orleans, featured alongside piano legends Marcia Ball, Henry Butler and more.

Bob Malone's six CDs have earned Top-20 spots on many blues radio charts, and are played on stations worldwide. On Monday 21st September Bob releases his new album 'Mojo Deluxe' and tours the UK in support of his new album as a 4 piece band.

A few recent comments regarding Bob Malone's music & performances:

"A keyboard wizard” The New Yorker

"John Fogerty's five-man backup band was slouch-free, too — with the show-stealer trophy going to a shaggy-haired Bob Malone" Edmonton Journal

"A new peak in what’s been a rather mountainous career, Malone’s latest shows off everything that makes him great... and more. Great songs, amazing production and playing, it doesn’t get much better than this.” Filter

"The presence of first-call players like Leland Sklar, Chris Trujillo, and Marty Rifkin alongside the artist’s New Orleans drenched piano, raises the bar for this troubadour. On his 6th CD, Bob Malone is clearly in the big leagues" Music Connection

"Bob Malone doesn't just accompany himself on piano. He supports his singing with pulsating, roaring keyboard work that grabs you and shakes you until you cry for mercy" Keyboard Magazine

UK Tour dates for October 2015 (with links):

Friday 9th October
  - The Railway Hotel, ​Southend-On-Sea​
aturday 10th October
  - Boogaloo Blues Weekend, Yarmouth

Sunday 11th October
  - The Navy Club, Maryport
Wednesday 14th October
  - Dusty's Blues Club, High Wycombe
Thursday 15th October
  - The Green Hotel, Kinross
Friday 16th October
  - The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen
Saturday 17th October
  - The Retreat, Braintree, Essex
Monday 18th October
  - Hope Tavern, West Lindsey
Tuesday 20th October
  - Blues Cafe, Harrogate
Wednesday 21st October
  - Railway Venue, Bromley Cross (near Bolton)
Thursday 22nd October
  - The Jam House, Birmingham
Friday 23rd October
  - Keighley Blues Club, West Yorkshire
Saturday 24th October
  - Peterlee Catholic Club, Peterlee
Monday 26th October
  - The Bullingdon (Haven Club), Oxford
Tuesday 27th October
  - The 100 Club, Oxford Street, London
Wednesday 28th October
  - The Jazz Cafe, Cardiff

More details at Bob Malone's website:


High Voltage
Stephen Dale Petit

"Born in the Joshua Tree desert of California, Stephen Dale Petit's musical journey began young. Given a Gibson SG
Special at the age of 12, he soon focused on blues music.

By his mid-teens Petit was commandeering the Californian club circuit five nights a week. Cutting his musical teeth with
musicians ten years his senior, jamming with the likes of
BB and Albert King as they passed through his native stomping
ground. Relocating to London in the 1990s,
Petit worked alongside the best in the business, collaborating with The Clash's
Mick Jones, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, The Pretty Things and also Keith Richards and Ian Stewart of
Rolling Stones.

An ill-fated major-label recording contract and subsequent descent into addiction left Petit adrift and homeless. Finding
salvation in busking, as so many of his blues heroes had before him, the blues was truly the healer as he recorded the self‑
financed debut
"Guitararama". Sending shockwaves through the blues community, self-released " Guitararama 'also
saw critical acclaim in 2008, resulting in
Petit securing a distribution deal with Universal Music for all of his music. Press
were quick to jump onboard the
campaign for a 'New Blues Revolution'.

2010's follow-up album "The Crave" brought breakthrough commercial success, earning Petit a place in Classic Rock
magazine's' Top 50 Albums of the Year' ahead of childhood hero, Eric Clapton. Meanwhile, leading blues authority
Blues Matters Magazine, heralded
""The Crave" as
'one of the most important albums of the year'. Later that year, Petit cemented his status as a UK Blues legend in his own right. Assembling a musical cast of Chris Barber, Rolling Stones Ronnie Wood, Mick Taylor and Dick Taylor, SDP captained his successful campaign to 'Save the 100 Club', earning himself a deserved place within 100 Club and British Blues history. 2011 saw "Stephen Dale Petit The BBC Sessions" - a compilation of the many SDP appearances on BBC Radio 2's Paul Jones and Bob Harris shows, which included a guest appearance by Mick Taylor.

Stephen Dale Petit live shows have become the stuff of legend - none more so than his appearance at London's High
Voltage festival in 2010. Riled by the local council's attempts to close the show down due to noise restrictions, a defiant
Petit delivered a 'show-stopping set' (Classic Rock) forever immortalised by the Ronnie Lane Mobile Recording Unit.
The result was 2012's vinyl-only release "Live at High Voltage"
which was eagerly devoured by both critics and fans

It was during recording sessions for 2013's "Cracking The Code"that Petit achieved perhaps the ultimate accolade to any guitarist worth his salt - receiving the seal of approval from Howlin' Wolf's universally venerated axeman, Hubert Sumlin. "Cracking The Code" reads like a who's who of blues royalty - featuring guest appearances from the likes of Dr. John, Hubert Sumlin, The Black Keys' Patrick Carney, Mick Taylor, Chris Barber and hot-ticket producer Vance Powell.

2015 sees the highly-anticipated digital re-release of "Live at High Voltage", plus new material and live shows later in the
year. Stephen Dale Petit's blues-odyssey continues and, as
Mick Taylor
assures, 'the future of the blues is in good hands
with Stephen'."

Stone Cold Sober
John Cee Stannard & Blues Horizon

Label: Cast Iron Recordings CIRCD 025

Release Date: August 3rd 2015

"Within a year of the band's last album, BUS DEPOT BLUES comes this; STONE COLD SOBER the third blues based CD from JohnCee. As with 'Bus Depot' the new album is based around the working trio of JohnCee, Mike Baker and Howard Birchmore. The rhythm section of Andy Crowdy and Julian Bown provided a fantastic basis for the last album, so they were the obvious starting point for this one. Although trio based, JohnCee again invited a small number of guest musicians to bring their skills to the project. Nicole Johnson (backing vocals) and Roger Cotton (Hammond C3) had both appeared on John Cee Stannard's THE DOOR DOO ALBUM in 2013. Simon Mayor added his formidable mandolin playing to one track, and violin to three others. Matt Empson, eminent Reading session musician, added his piano skills to three tracks.

On STONE COLD SOBER there are eleven originals by JohnCee and one cover – Blind Blake's Lead Hearted Blues which JohnCee originally learned from the singing of Mike Cooper back in the early 1970's. JohnCee explains: "Although this sounds nothing like Mike's version, I still hear his rendition in my head when I perform it The other songs are largely pure fiction. Just one track Poverty Blues was inspired by a BBC documentary about middle Americans who had lost their good jobs and houses as a result of the recession and found themselves living in 'tent cities' in places like Detroit Another three songs go back to my first year of writing this new material. Rum Ol' Do was written shortly after Bus Depot, and as there was no room for it on the last album, I saved it for this one. The Story really does tell a story, but it wrote itself as I worked through the verses. It's a song about a guy who's down on his luck, but he tells the story as though he is talking about someone else – until the last line of the last verse – then he comes clean. It's not about anyone I know. Same goes for So Long and I guess the inspiration for this came from my appreciation of Jimmy Witherspoon. Although this song just didn't fit for the last album, it seems to sit very well here.

"The newest song is Worse Off Than You and is really a look at the glass half full kind of tune. This one was written during the six months of recording the album, as was Stone Cold Sober which came about after I'd been listening to Saffire the Uppity Blues Women – particularly their track Sloppy Drunk by Leroy Carr. I borrowed their take on the song as a basis, then gave Leroy Carr his deserved nod in the lyric. It's just a fun song. Most songs grow from doodles, but Right Back At The Start was more of a self-imposed challenge. I wanted to write a song with a particular feel to it With the help of the great musicians working with me, I think we got what I was after. My main goal on this album was to keep the good-time foot-tapping feel we had in Bus Depot and at the same time, make sure the slower numbers were interesting. It's been great fun producing STONE COLD SOBER, and I am so grateful, both to my Blues Horizon buddies Mike and Howard, and also the fantastic guest musicians who joined me and added so much.- Simon Mayor, Matt Empson and Roger Cotton.

JohnCee, Mike (guitar), and Howard (Harmonica) have all been playing and working as musicians for around 50 years. JohnCee's history is mainly in the folk world having formed the folk band Tudor Lodge in 1968 which continues as a duo to this day. A sudden burst of song writing in 2011 lead to his first blues based release in 2013 – THE DOOR DOO ALBUM. With so much encouragement from friends and other musicians, JohnCee formed Blues Horizon to take the songs to a wider audience. Mike and Howard had both appeared on 'Doob' alongside a dozen or so other great session musicians, and after a short space of time, and with so much new material, it was clear they had to record an album as a trio. This resulted in BUS DEPOT BLUES and the response to the album was so positive, that within six months they had started work on this new album STONE COLD SOBER"



Click here for more information:

Just A Liitle Bit
Mike Vernon

Release Date: 03/08/15
Label: Cadiz Music

Question: What do Alexis Korner, John Mayan's Bluesbreakers, Eric Clapton, Stevie Winwood, Spencer Davies, Jack Bruce, Rod Stewart, Ginger Baker, The Artwoods, Muddy Waters, Savoy Brown, Otis Spann, Johnny 'Guitar' Watson, Larry Williams, Graham Bond, Ten Years After, Stan Webb, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Champion Jack Dupree, Christine McVie, Mick Taylor, Eddie Boyd, Dr.Feelgood, Freddie King, Climax Blues Band, Roger Chapman, Cleo Laine, Jimmy Witherspoon, Level 42, Roachford, Sherman Robertson, The Hoax, Oli Brown, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Bo Diddley all have in common?

Answer: All have, at one time or another, been involved in the making of records that have been produced by Mike Vernon. So after 50 years in the business Mike has decided to make his own studio album!

So to Mike Vernon - the Rhythm & Blues singer! Let the man speak for himself: "I have always loved singing - I was in the local Church Choir when a teenager and then as a vocalist with The Mojo Men - an early blues band of doubtful talent! Then I took two opportunities during the Blue Horizon years to have a go at making solo outings - with mixed success I would have to say. Then came The Olympic Runners - I produced, wrote and performed alongside George Chandler, Pete Wingfield and Joe Jammer. Then in the late 1970s and early 1980s I took on the task of singing the baritone parts with Rocky Sharpe & The Replays. I really miss the 'buzz' of working in front of an audience - so here I am, a born again Rhythm & Blues vocalist. I've been doing a lot, of gigs in Spain and getting tremendous reaction - I'm heading into the studio soon to cut a 'homage to the R&B Greats of the '40s1'50s' CD and I am ready to rock'n'roll! Now is the time - and if I don't do it now - it will not get done at all!"

Mike Vernon has handpicked the musicians he will be working with - The Mighty Combo - featuring West Weston (vocal/ harmonica); Martin Winning (tenor sax); Geraint Watkins (vocal/piano); Paul Garner (guitar); Ian Jennings (upright bass); Mike Hellier (drums) 

Mike Vernon is probably best known as the founder of Britain's #1 blues record label, Blue Horizon. During the four year period that Blue Horizon was distributed by CBS and Polydor, the label issued around 60 singles and more than 100 albums - most of them featuring blues artists. Although Mike Vernon is primarily associated with the blues, he also produced significant acts outside of that field during those early years - David Bowie; Dutch rock band Focus and a five-piece soul group from California, Bloodstone. His first single production for Bloodstone - 'Natural High' - hit the #1 spot on the US charts earning the Producer a Gold record. But there were other such Awards already on the wall -Bowie's 'Laughing Gnome'; Fleetwood Mac's 'Albatross' and a number from his work with Focus. In future decades, whilst continuing his crusade to record blues acts Mike Vernon worked with Level 42 and, in so doing, collected two further Silver discs. He also produced Andrew Roachford's debut album - another Gold platter. Mike worked both as a Producer and Engineer throughout the 1980s and early 1990s with some further significant successes - especially in Europe. Albums by Spanish bands Danza Invisible and Los Secretos saw major chart success as did a Renaud Hansen release in France. During the late 1990s Mike Vernon launched three new blues orientated labels - Indigo, Code Blue and Blueside. With Code Blue he produced Sherman Robertson, Jay Owens, Eric Bibb, John Primer and Bo Diddley (his album was nominated for a Grammy) whilst Eugene Bridges and Angela Brown were to appear on Blueside. In 2000 Mike retired and moved to Spain. But in 2010 Mike Vernon came out of retirement to produce both Dani Wilde and Oli Brown for Ruf Records and a 'live' set with Louisiana legend, Lazy Lester. He is currently working on a debut CD with an exciting new Spanish band from Sevilla - Q Et The Moonstones.

Forthcoming Live Dates:

Mike Vernon & The Mighty Combo Wednesday, 26/08/2015, Southern Pavillion, Worthing
Pier, West Sussex 0800 0935337.

Mike Vernon & The Mighty Combo Friday, 28/08/2015, (Ge) Varenwinkel Festival, Herselt,

Mike Vernon & The Mighty Combo Saturday, 29/08/2015, Great British RnB Festival,
International Stage, Municipal Hall, Colne, Lancs 01282 661234

Mike Vernon & The Mighty Combo Wednesday, 02/09/2015, Boisdale, Canary Wharf, London
020 7715 5818

Mike Vernon (Talk) Thursday, 03/09/2015, Blues in Hell Festival, Hell, Norway 

Mike Vernon & The Mighty Combo Friday, 04/09/2015, Blues in Hell Festival, Hell, Norway

Additional dates yet to be confirmed



Tour info:  


Women in Blues

Check out the latest Earlyblues interview with film director Lisa Eismen. Lisa leads an Australian film team working on promoting an upcoming documentary film called Women in Blues, directed by Lisa Eismen and shot by award-winning cinematographer Pieter De Vries, ACS. The film celebrates women who sing or play the blues and explores the struggles that these artists have experienced as women in the world of blues music. In order to help source the remaining funds necessary for completion of the project, a fund raising campaign including film trailer has been launched on Indiegogo. You can see the film trailer and details of how to donate by clicking here:    A very worthwhile cause!!


RIP B.B. King
September 16, 1925 - May 14, 2015

© Copyright 2011 Kirk Lang. All Rights Reserved.

'The Thrill Has Gone'


Reaching For The Light
King King

Label - Manhaton Records HATMAN 2038

Release Date - 5th May 2015

No. 1 iTunes and Amazon Blues Download charts

King King are:
Alan Nimmo (vocals/guitar)
Lindsay Coulson (bass)
Wayne Proctor (drums)
Bob Fridzema (keys)

“Reaching For The Light is another masterclass in blues rock from King King. King King have proven again they are without a doubt among blues rock’s elite”  
  -  Blues Rock Review

 "Stunning - all set to be blues album of the year"
  -  Alan white ,

Check out their European Tour and buy the CD at:


The Well
Joel Fisk and the Breakdown

Joel Fisk, vocals, guitar & Hammond organ
Geoff Johnson, guitar & backing vocals
Rob "Tank" Barry, bass
Stephen "Cupsey" Cutmore, drums & percussion
featuring guests:
Ian Siegal, vocals
Jon Amor, guitar

Album available from

Wow, a 'must have' for 2015!
  - Alan White,










So Complicated
Midnite Johnny

The band's sound is based on all styles of Blues music including 70s Blues Rock and Southern Rock sounds. First established in 1994 out of South Florida Midnite Johnny Band released 2 CD's "Lyin' Eyes" (1998) and "Blues and Boogie" (2008). For the past 6 years Midnite Johnny (John Morava) has been based in the UK and with the current band line up has released their latest CD on Mosher St Records "So Complicated" 

Midnite Johnny has worked extensively throughout his native USA and has established a reputation as one of South Florida's most powerful Blues influenced guitarists. His resume includes working with Harvey Mandel; Thom Doucette and Warren Caesar. Johnny also worked with James Cotton as stand in guitarist as well as with Bo Diddley on several gigs during 1989 and 1990. Now based in the UK he is fast building a dedicated following throughout the UK appearing at the Warrington and Nantwich Blues Festivals; and the Colne R & B Festival to name a few, the Colne performance being transmitted live on BBC Radio Lancashire.

© Copyright 2014 Jan vd Berg. All Rights Reserved.Heart of Fire
The Juke Joints

"Dutch blues-rockers and winners of the 2012 Dutch Blues Foundation Award for Best Dutch Blues Band have been setting fire to international stages for no fewer than 32(!) years. This year alone has seen them firing away in, amongst others, Spain, Norway, Switzerland and at the legendary Harvest Time Blues Festival in Ireland. That is why the title of their new studio album has been so aptly chosen: 'Heart on Fire', which is exactly what they have been doing all these years, setting hearts on fire.

On their 9th studio album the Masters of Rock Rollin Blues have like never before succeeded in translating the steamingly hot energy of their live shows into a brilliant studio sound.

'Heart on Fire' contains 10 infectious Juke Joints originals. The rhythm section, consisting of drummer and vocalist Peter Kempe and bass player Derk Korpershoek, provides their customary fireproof foundation,

Michel Staat steers his guitar increasingly outside oft-trodden paths and Sonnyboy van den Broek continuously pokes up the fire with his tighter than tight harmonica prowess. The Dr Ross classic Cat's Squirrel and crowd favourite-to-be Funny Little Valentine, penned by Australian rockabilly singer/guitarist Louis King, receive the passionate, greasy Juke Joints treatment and seamlessly fit in the coherence of the album."

The album was recorded in the Westmaas Studios in Holland and was produced by René van Broekhoven and The Juke Joints. It includes guest appearances by Roland Bakker (Julian Sas Band) on piano & keyboards and Ben van den Dungen on saxophone. It will be released in all of Europe by CRS ( mid-January 2015.

See The Juke Joints in the UK at Linton Festival 19th - 21st June 2015!

Also check out Kwadendamme Bluesfestival 8th - 9th May 2015.


Furry's Blues
Mike Atack

Speaking as an early blues and gospel collector, for the last 45 years or so, and as what people would deem me being a ‘purist’, I have to say that the 6 tracks presented on this CD are a beautiful group of blues which are a tribute to the great Memphis bluesman Furry Lewis who initially started recording in the late 1920s and became a blues hero in the 1960s and for the next couple of decades.  As blues writer Chris Smith said after disclosing the official take on his birth year as 1899: “In 1959, Lewis resumed recording and began performing for the new white audience; in the ‘60s he became something of a mascot for the Memphis alternative music scene.  He kept working  until his death [1981] and, although age and alcohol undermined his musicianship, he was venerated as a loveable old geezer from America’s past; his cameo as ‘Uncle Furry’ in the film W.W. And The Dixie Dancekings exemplifies the process.” (p.p.387-388. ‘The Penguin Guide To Blues Recordings’. Chris Smith. [Penguin Books. London] 2006.) 

But his earliest songs are vibrant, subtle, deeply felt examples of the rural style that became so popular with the working class black audience in the South from the 1920s onwards.  Furry Lewis fans will welcome the blues on this CD by Mike Atack. 

He is nothing short of total commitment in his obvious love and dedication to the Blues.  What many latter-day blues singers often forget is the awesome sensitivity which the early, pre-war genre consistently featured on their recordings.  As they say, it is often the notes that are NOT played which intensify this atmosphere which transforms the best of rural blues, cut before 1944, into art; working class art in comparable statements of poetic beauty.  I can count on the fingers of one hand, blues artists who regularly play and sing in this early style in 2014. 

One such is Mike Atack.  Originally from Lancaster he is now based in Southampton.  I can best sum up these 6 blues as being outstanding in delivery and most important of all - FEEL!  For these ears ‘Cannon Ball Blues’ and ‘Dry Land Blues’ are the leading performances with the latter including the surreal lines ‘I can look through muddy water and see/spy dry land’ which Furry first put on a recording.  And the remainder  maintain a very high standard, rare in modern times as far as rural/country/downhome blues is concerned. 

An excellent debut and I do look forward to his next outing which will probably include, among other artists, the great version of ‘Yellow Dog Blues’ by Crying Sam Collins. Rest assured, good people that the early blues is safe in the very capable hands of Mike Atack.  Have mercy, NOW! 

‘Mississippi’ Max Haymes
[Author of ‘Railroadin’ Some (railroads in the early blues)’. Music Mentor Books. 2006.

Furry's Blues CD available now,  price £7.00 including P+P, from Mike Atack, please email:


BEST BAND - Winner
Gary Clark Jr

Ryan McGarvey

The Great British R&B Festival, Colne

Ian Siegal

Matt Anderson

Blues Magazine UK

The late Jack Bruce

Paul Jones Show, BBC Radio 2

Rory Gallaher, Kickback City

Alan White
for providing Europe's independent guide to the blues

Categories 1-9 were decided by electronic poll-daddy public vote.
Category 10 was decided unanimously by the EBA Team.

"Congratulations to all #European Blues Awards 2014 winners
and our best wishes to all contenders past and present"
- The EBA Team



© Copyright 2011 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Erja Lyytinen at Linton Blues Festival © Copyright 2011 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.


Freedom Bound
Red Butler

Label: Red Butler Music

Release Date: July 28th 2014

"Red Butler are a blues/rock band from Sussex that formed in 2012 Alex Butler (guitar and backing vocals) had already caught people's attention including some within the music industry for his playing ability, passion and touch. Having performed for several years Alex decided to form a new and dedicated band to fulfill his musical aspirations. The current lineup emerged in April 2012 and by August that year they had won an opportunity to perform at Hyde Park during the Olympics. The current lineup includes Jane Pearce (vocals), Charlie Simpson (drums) and Steve Eveleigh (bass and backing vocals) although Mike Topp will take over the bass role from Steve later in 2014. Freedom Bound also includes session musicians Darren Vassie on trumpet and Maik Pehrsson on keys.

Red Butler has built upon their early successes, which have included festival appearances and high profile support slots. Within 12 months of being together a track was played by Paul Jones on Radio 2 and Alex and Jane have since had the opportunity to support Paul Jones & Dave Kelly. Paul recalled the track and said he was looking forward to hearing the debut album. Later in 2014 they will return to The Great British R&B Festival in Colne, this time appearing on The British Stage and also The Acoustic Stage. Shortly afterwards they will appear at The 100 Club in London and January 2015 will see them perform at The Rock and Blues Festival at Skegness".

Keepin' It Together
Bob Stroger & Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith

Release Date: 1st June 2014

Big Eye Records

The Fabulous Bob Stroger and Blues drummer extraordinaire Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith are proud and thrilled to announce the June 1, 2014 release of their new CD, Keepin' It Together, which they co-wrote and produced on the Big Eye Records label.

Keepin' It Together
includes twelve original songs and in addition to Kenny Smith on drums/vocals and Bob Stroger on bass/vocals, the album features eight other talented blues artists including Barrelhouse Chuck, Jerry Portnoy, Joe Filisko, Billy Flynn, Little Frank and others.

Click here for the Bob Stroger and Kenny Smith Factsheet


Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus in “Roots To The Core” Tour.

Nov. 7-29, 2014

In November, Ian Siegal will tour as a duo with Jimbo Mathus, the Grammy-nominated songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Mississippi. They will perform 21 shows in England, N. Ireland, Scotland, Belgium and Holland.

For devotees on this side of the Atlantic of blues and Americana, Ian Siegal needs no introduction. He’s the seven-times British Blues Awards winner, the European Blues Awards winner, and US Blues Music Awards nominee. He’s sung with the prestigious ONJ orchestra in Paris, toured in 25 countries, and his latest CD is a BBC recording made at the Royal Albert Hall.

Siegal first met Jimbo Mathus in 2013 when Mathus dropped by the Zebra Ranch studio in Coldwater Mississippi to contribute some banjo and mandolin parts to a Siegal recording. The two discovered a shared passion for many of the same musical influences.

Now, when someone has found fame with a band called Squirrel Nut Zippers (as Mathus did when he formed this alt-Americana outfit), you know you’re in for something different! An almost overnight sensation, The Zippers played at the Second inauguration of President Bill Clinton and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Their albums achieved gold and platinum sales. Then, at their peak and in classic music industry style amid disastrous lawsuits, the Squirrel Nut Zippers were no more.

Mathus went on to pursue a variety of musical projects. Among these, he toured and recorded with Buddy Guy (catalyzing the distinct approach of Guy’s “Sweet tea” album) and is a founding member of the South Memphis String Band with long-time collaborators Luther Dickinson and Alvin Youngblood Hart.

It is 16 years since Jimbo Mathus last toured in Europe. With the resurgence of blues and Americana on this side of the Atlantic he has timed his return just right. Welcome back Jimbo!


Fri, 7/11 Keighly/Bronte Blues
Sat, 8/11 Matlock Bath/Fishpond
Sun, 9/11 Carlisle Festival
Mon, 10/11 Edinburgh/Voodoo Rooms
Tue, 11/11 Worthing/Connaught Theatre
Wed, 12/11 London/Borderline
Thu, 13/11 Southampton/The Brook
Fri, 14/11 Wrexham/Hooker Blues
Sat, 15/11 Whitstable/Duke of Cumberland
Sun, 16/11 Olen BE/Crossroads
Tue, 18/11 Oss NL/Groene Engel
Wed, 19/11 Leiden NL/Qbus
Thu, 20/11 Alkmaar NL/Victoire
Fri, 21/11 Terneuzen NL/Porgy & Bess
Sat, 22/11 Hoogevaan NL/Blues festival
Sun, 23/11 Hoogland NL/Café de Noot
Tue, 25/11 Sheffield/Greystones
Wed, 26/11 Newcastle/The Cluny
Thu, 27/11 Derby/Flowerpot
Fri, 28/11 Darvel Festival
Sat, 29/11 Belfast/Empire


Live ... At Last
yla Brox

Release Date: 14th February 2014

"Is Kyla Brox the greatest soul singer the UK has produced? It’s self-evident that the voice is a marvel: husky in the mid-register, increasing in intensity as it gains altitude, and turning on a pin from brooding dissatisfaction to searching desire and need. In short, it’s sheer soul perfection.  

This is obvious in live performance. But a document of a live event can be useful, if only to test those first euphoric impressions against the hard evidence. Kyla Brox Live At Last is a 2 CD set that faithfully captures the live Brox experience. This is the real deal". 

Click here for the whole press release

Click here for Earlyblues interview with Kyla and Danny
Click here for Earlyblues interview with Victor Brox

Me To You
Eric Bibb

UK Release Date: February 2014

"It's back. The debut that dazzled the blues scene. The songs that became the soundtrack to our lives. The thrilling opening gambit that turned Eric Bibb from nonentity to superstar. Of all the statistics surrounding 1997's Me To You - an album that took in 11 studios and 44 different musicians - the most staggering is surely that this classic record has been out of print for 12 years.

Until now. In February 2014, Manhaton Records is raising this sunken treasure from oblivion, restoring the original 14 tracks to CD, alongside fresh sleevenotes from the legendary producer who helmed them, Mike Vernon. "Me To You must rate as one of Eric's best albums," writes Mike. "If this is your first time with it, enjoy. If you've heard it before - enjoy again."

... never, never, ever, give up...
Cliff Stocker & The Legendary Slack Alice

Organic Mountain Music / OMP0013

Rock Artist Management

"from Cliff's rasping voice, to the impressively powerful rhythm section and exceptional guitarists, the seasoned and passionate musicianship of Slack Alice never fails to deliver the blues, with feeling!"
  - Alan White,

- - - - "that was Cliff Stocker and the Legendary Slack Alice and friends" - - - - the album is called "never, never, ever give up!" that's why that song is called "still singing the blues." Excellent album. What a band and what friends they have! Talk about all star friends! You have that wonderful) sax playing by "Snake Davis," Cliff Stocker himself on vocals, Jerry Donahue on guitars, Zoot Money and Paul Nuttall on pianos, Gerry Conway on drums and Scott Whitley on bass. Lovely stuff! And as I said the album is called " - - - - never, never, ever give up! - - - -" What good advice!!!
  - Paul Jones, BBC Radio 2 Nov 4th 2013

"Cliff Stocker is a legend in himself, having gloried in the "fame" in the 70's with the original Slack Alice. Cliff on vocals, harmonica and acoustic guitar, the highly talented guitarists of Chris Preston on lead and slide guitars, dobro, mandolin, etc. Colin Redmond also on lead guitar, banjo, acoustic, etc. Alan Sagar with his unique style on bass and fretless bass guitars and the hard hitting Liam Barber on drums. With plenty of "guest" input, this album has great presence. - - a great album with a variety of tracks to keep everyone interested, an eclectic mix and variety is the spice of life - -  excellent!!!!"

  - Rosy Greer (Lancashire Blues Archives.)

Rosy Greer (Lancashire Blues Archives.)

Chasing Clocks
Lucy Zirins

Produced by Michael Messer

Gingersnap Music





Deborah Bonham






Cracking The Code
Stephen Dale Petit
featuring Mick Taylor, Dr. John, Hubert Sumlin and Black Keys' Patrick Carney

"Triumphant, raw, fresh energy"
  - The Times

"Killer Album"
  - Classic Rock

333 Records - No. 295333CD



Giant From The Blue : Gary Fletcher Band In Solitary : Gary Fletcher

Wait ages for one and surprise, surprise, like buses, two come along at the same time!

Available now from Amazon, iTunes and all other reputable online outlets.

The Gary Fletcher Bands' `Giant From the Blue' album (a Roald Dahl inspired title!?) was recorded in 2011 but has only now been properly released, though 100 pre-release copies were sold at a couple of festivals that year. It features 12 GF originals played by the GFB's line-up of ex Dire Straits drummer Pick Withers, ace young guitar player Steve Ling and Jack Fletcher on bass with additional contributions from Nine Below Zero's Mark Feltham on harmonica, jazz giant Guy Barker on trumpet with backing vocals from Kokomo.  Gary: "By the time the sessions for the album took place the material had been 'played in' by the band via numerous gigs in the UK and Scandinavia and I think it shows. Often when recording songs come together for the first time in the studio - certainly that's invariably the case when I record with The Blues Band - and whilst that can produce great results the feel and assurance of the performances on the album confirms to me the benefit of 'running in' the tunes on the road".

The 'In Solitary' album was recorded in early 2013 and is a pure solo recording. No overdubs or recording tricks - just GF voice and guitar recorded 'live in the studio'. Gary: "I'd been playing solo shows and written a number of songs and instrumental guitar pieces that seem to work best in the solo format. When selling CDs at these shows I'd started to get asked for CDs that reflected what audience members had just seen so I headed for the studio with my long suffering and very gifted engineer/co-producer Bill Gautier and really enjoyed the challenge of, effectively, one take recording! As ever Bill worked his magic and I'm very pleased with the immediacy and warmth of the recordings".  In something of a departure for Gary he also covers 3 songs by some of his favourite writers - Willie Dixon, Blind Willie Johnson and Chuck Berry – and explores various different tunings and guitars including the resonator guitar. Amongst the 12 tracks 3 guitar instrumental tunes feature too.

JoJo Burgess, best known as the charismatic front-man of Hokie Joint, has recently launched the Help Roxi Walk appeal through Facebook on behalf of his lovely daughter Roxanne who has been diagnosed with spastic-diplegia cerebral-palsy in her legs and may never walk because of it. Since learning of Roxi's disability the family have discovered a revolutionary treatment known as SDR, which is a treatment that cuts select nerves and releases the spasticity (tightness) in the legs, making moving movement much easier.

JoJo and family are hoping to raise £50,000 by Roxi’s 3rd birthday (8th August 2014) to allow Roxi to go for treatment at St. Louis Children’s Hospital – the world-leaders in this surgery.

JoJo has had a great response from the Blues World already, with notable artists including Ian Siegal, Dave Arcari, Dale Storr, Giles Robson, Matt Taylor, Todd Sharpville, Jon Amor and JoJo’s Hokie bandmate’s all offering their services to record a charity single cover of the iconic 'Meet Me in St. Louis' made famous by Judy Garland. To make a donation, simply visit and for regular updates on the fundraising process go to To get involved or to contact the family about anything simply email




RIP Magic Slim
Magic Slim, a revered and towering figure in the field of traditional Chicago blues,
died 21st February in a Philadelphia hospital at the age of 75.

© Copyright 2010 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Magic Slim at the Great British R&B Festival, Colne, 2010

Press Releases from Blind Pig Records:

Magic Slim, a revered and towering figure in the field of traditional Chicago blues, died today in a Philadelphia hospital at the age of 75. Born Morris Holt in Torrance, Mississippi in 1937, the guitarist performer, bandleader, and recording artist went on to enjoy a career that launched him to national and international recognition and acclaim.

Slim was one of the foremost practitioners of the raw, gut-bucket, back alley blues associated with the postwar Chicago blues sound. He and his band, the Teardrops, were known as "the last real Chicago blues band" for their authentic, no-frills, straight-no-chaser performance of the music.

Slim's slash and burn guitar technique and booming vocals made for a commanding stage presence. His intense style was the blueprint that spawned much of the music played by modern blues artists and rockers. After catching one of Slim's electrifying live shows at a local nightclub Eddie Vetter invited Slim to open Pearl Jam's concert in Chicago. Magic Slim also had an encyclopedic repertoire of hundreds of blues songs in his head, giving his live shows a charming impromptu quality.

Growing up in Grenada, Mississippi, Slim took an early interest in music, singing in the church choir, and fashioning a guitar for himself with baling wire from a broom, which he nailed to the wall. "Mama whooped me for that," recalled Slim. His first love was the piano, but having lost the little finger on his right hand in a cotton gin accident, he found it difficult to play properly. Undaunted, he simply switched to guitar, working in the cotton fields during the week and playing the blues at house parties on weekends. In 2011 the state of Mississippi erected a Blues Trail Marker in Slim's honor in front of a building in Grenada where his mother operated a restaurant.

In 1955, like many musicians from the Deep South, Slim migrated to Chicago, where he was mentored by his friend Magic Sam, who gave the lanky Morris his lifelong stage moniker. Initially discouraged by the highly competitive local music scene, Slim went back to Mississippi and spent the next five years woodshedding and perfecting his craft. He confidently returned to Chicago and became a formidable player on the scene, eventually putting together the Teardrops, who would become one of the busiest and best-loved blues bands around, and one of the most sought-after headliners for festivals in Europe, Japan, and South America. Slim and his group won the coveted Blues Music Award in 2003 as "Blues Band of the Year," one of six times Slim won a BMA, considered the highest honor in the blues. Living Blues magazine called Slim and the Teardrops "a national treasure."

Slim's recording career began with a series of singles in 1966, and he recorded his first album for a French label in 1977. With the release of Gravel Road in 1990, he began a twenty-two year association with Blind Pig Records, who issued ten albums and a live DVD over that span. His last release, 2012's Bay Boy, proved that Slim could still deliver the goods. As No Depression said, "Magic Slim doesn't just play the blues, he body slams his audiences with a vicious guitar attack that pins them to the floor. His blues are the in-your-face variety." AllMusicGuide added, "Magic Slim turned 75 in 2012, but his growling vocals have the fire and brimstone of a Young Lion and his guitar playing is still as razor-sharp as it was when he turned pro in the '50s."

Blind Pig Records owner Jerry Del Giudice said, "Magic Slim embodied the heart and soul of this label. It was Magic Slim, and the guys like him, and their music, that inspired us to start the label in the first place."

Blues Revue once remarked, "Whoever the house band in blues heaven may be, even money says they're wearing out Magic Slim albums trying to get that Teardrops sound down cold." Now Slim can assume his rightful place as the leader of that band.

For a complete biography, please click HERE. To see a video of Slim recording "Goin' To Mississippi" in the Blind Pig Chicago warehouse in April of 2002, please click HERE.

For more information visit

© Copyright 2010 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Magic Slim at the Great British R&B Festival, Colne, 2010

Click here for Earlyblues Interview with Magic Slim


We Had It All
Dave Kelly - Family & Friends

Release Date: 4th February 2013

"If there is such a thing as a British 'blues pedigree', then Dave Kelly's sets the standard. Kelly is a blues craftsman - a journeyman who has served his time with the best.

In New York he jammed with Muddy Waters. He became a friend to Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker, who both felt the benefit of Dave's playing in their touring bands. It was Dave's big sister, the late Jo-Ann Kelly, who first opened his ears to the blues, although his passion for rock and roll - and especially the work of Buddy Holly - remains intact. In 1967 he joined The John Dummer Blues Band. After three albums and a solo project he continued to polish his style and technique throughout an adventurous career with some of Britain's finest players. When The Blues Band was formed in 1979, the post of slide guitarist and joint vocalist was a foregone conclusion - and bringing his friend, the bassist Gary Fletcher, along to that first rehearsal, was a bonus. Dave Kelly's guitar and vocals form the very backbone of The Blues Band's distinctive sound. The Blues Band is still one of Britain's best Blues Band and set up high standards.

Today, after 35 years 'treading the boards' with the band, with his solo albums, duo tours with Paul Jones, and soundtrack work (for commercials and such projects as BBC TV's' King of the Ghetto' and the Comic Strip's 'Strike!') Dave Kelly is firmly established as Europe's premier blues performer.

DAVE KELLY – Family & Friends "We Had It All" are 18 unreleased tracks from his musical journey covers over 35 years in the business and feat. Names like ERIC BIBB, CHRIS BARBER, MAGGIE BELL, LONG JOHN BALDRY, CHRISTINE COLLISTER and many more".

 Click here for interview with Dave Kelly

Roots and Branches
Robin Trower

"Robin Trower, one of the most justly-acclaimed of British Rock music's elder statesmen, will release his new album ROOTS AND BRANCHES on MANHATON RECORDS on February 4th 2013

On the new album Roots & Branches Robin has produced unique cover versions of some classic blues and R'nB tracks such as Hound Dog, The Thrill Has Gone & Little Red Rooster. Of the new album Robin says "I started off thinking I would do a complete album of covers, I wanted to get as far away from the originals as possible. I came up with half a dozen arrangements, which felt different enough, so I ended up writing some new songs as well. I have tried to make the new songs be influenced by what I have done with the classics, so the album blends together"

The unassuming Robin Trower has, over the forty-odd years since his departure from Procol Harum, assembled an incredible body of work, from his commercial high water mark with the epochal Bridge of Sighs album in 1974, through to the brand new Roots & Branches. His music has never attempted to make concessions to commercial demands, and his improvisational skills have consistently re-set the bar in terms of blues-soaked inspiration and intensity. Never abashed about crediting the late Jimi Hendrix as one of his main influences, Trower remains one of the most talented musicians that the UK has ever produced.

Roots & Branches comes hard on the heels of recent Trower releases such as What Lies Beneath, and Seven Moons, his 2008 collaboration with Jack Bruce, and offers yet more proof that his inspirational wellspring has far from run dry".

"Wow, an excellent album, covers of originals and Robin's new songs certainly do blend together beautifully"
-  Alan White,

Candy Store Kid
Ian Siegal & The Mississippi Mudbloods

Ian Siegal, Cody Dickinson, Luther Dickinson, Alvin Youngblood Hart with special guests Garry Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm.

Nugene Records NUG1204

"Life isn't just one flavour. Music shouldn't all have the same taste. In the right hands, the blues can be a rainbow, and with Candy Store Kid, Ian Siegal has just painted his masterpiece".

Click here for New Interview

Live at Bronte Blues Club
The Blues Duo:
Tommy Allen and Johnny Hewitt

Superb new album from the masters of amazing foot tappin' Chicago Street Style Boogie. Guaranteed to have you swaying those hips!!





The Other Side Of The Sun
Paul Bridgwater

The amazing solo album from Slowburner's frontman Paul Bridgwater.  Slowburner are a four-piece live blues band from the Midlands who play R&B the way that Brits are not supposed to!

"Great singer who continues the tradition of British blues soul singers"
  -  Robert Plant

"Paul's voice must be one of the most underrated in the business, his range, interpretation and delivery are exceptional ..."
  -  Steve Wosket

"If you only buy one more album this year, this is the one to get - incredible voice, beautiful songs and superbly produced album, highly recommended"
  -  Alan White,

Album available from Slowburner's website:

The Stumble / Lie To Me

Rapturous Rhythm & Blues with The Stumble's third album 'Lie To Me' available now from gigs and soon from CD Baby.

Track listing:
Lie To Me, Big Better Love, I get a Little Hot, Money On Time, My Life, Little Margarita, Jumping Off The Lovin' Train, 360 Degree Blues, In & Out of Love, No Patience, Numb The Pain.

All songs written and arranged by Boyd Toner, except 'Numb The Pain, written by Paul Melville and arranged by Boyd Toner.

"Undoubtedly their best album yet"
- Alan White,

Check out The Stumble's tour dates at

The Stumble are:
Paul Melville - Lead Vocals
Colin Black - Guitars
Rob Livesey - Guitars
Cameron Sweetnam - Bass
Simon Anthony - Saxophones
Boyd Toner - Drums


Michael "Iron Man" Burks, July 30th, 1957 - May 6, 2012

Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter Michael "Iron Man" Burks died in Atlanta on Sunday, May 6, 2012. He was 54 years old. He was returning from a tour of Europe and collapsed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. He was rushed to South Fulton Medical Center where he could not be revived.

© Copyright 2010 Alligator Records. All Rights Reserved.
© Copyright 2010 Alligator Records. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

"Arkansas-based blues guitarist/vocalist Michael “Iron Man” Burks toured Europe and the UK in November 2010. performing songs from his Alligator Records CDs, "Iron Man", "I Smell Smoke" and "Make It Rain". Boasting remarkable natural talent and deep-rooted soulfulness, Burks’ music is driven by an intense, blue collar work ethic that has earned him well-deserved national recognition, making him one of the blues world’s fastest-rising stars. Burks’ powerful presence, inventive and riveting guitar work and soul-shaking vocals make him the torchbearer of electric blues guitar heroes. His instantly identifiable guitar sound and his live charisma have already earned him four Blues Music Award nominations. Burks’ first Alligator release, MAKE IT RAIN, was named as one of the Top 200 greatest guitar recordings by GuitarOne magazine. In 2006, the Delta Cultural Center awarded Burks the prestigious Sonny Payne Award for Blues Excellence, presented each year to an individual or individuals who have strongly influenced blues music in Arkansas".
Alligator Records


The family of late blues legend Michael "Iron Man" Burks has announced plans for a memorial and musical celebration on Sunday, May 20, 2012. The event, open to the public, will take place rain or shine at 3:00pm CST at Riverwoods On The Ouachita, Bradley Ferry Road, in Burks' hometown of Camden, Arkansas.  In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations in Burks' name be made to the HART Fund of The Blues Foundation, which aids musicians with health care needs: _________________________________________________________________________

I interviewed Michael at the Carlisle Blues Festival in November 2010 during his European and UK tour, you can read the interview here.


RIP Louisiana Red
W.C. Handy award winner traditional blues artist Louisiana Red (born Iverson Minter) died from a thyroid imbalance in hospital in Germany on Saturday 25th February 2012, aged 79.

© Copyright 2009 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Louisiana Red © Copyright 2009 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

Louisiana Red lived the Blues. He not only played the Blues, he lived it through his guitar and his singing. Strongly influenced by Muddy Waters, Lightnin‘ Hopkins and Arthur Crudup, he long ago found his own voice, his own style, his own form of expression. In a career spanning over half a century, Red played with just about every major bluesman you can name, some of the most memorable encounters being his jams with B.B.King and Muddy Waters. His albums have been called masterpieces by critics, and in 1983 he won a W.C. Handy Award as best traditional blues artist. Red recently toured the UK with Michael Messer and I had the privilege of interviewing Red at Southport Arts Centre in conjunction with Spencer Leigh, BBC Radio Merseyside. You can read the interview here.


© Copyright 2011 Kirk Lang. All Rights Reserved.

Guitarist Magazine Presents:
The Exclusive BB King DVD Fanpack

"Guitarist Magazine, is soon to release a 132 page magazine special edition fanpack on the Mississippi Delta Blues legend that is Mr B.B. King, featuring an exclusive one-hour documentary DVD by renowned director and ‘Mr Rock & Roll’ himself John Brewer a prelude to his forthcoming feature film on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame blues icon.

With special inside access to B.B. himself, the DVD includes in depth interview extracts, video footage from his sell-out concert at the Royal Albert Hall last year plus additional film and images from the archives, highlighting his career from the 1950’s through to the present day.

Featuring  exclusive guest contributions from the world of music including Carlos Santana, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Robert Cray, Slash and many more, plus record producer Bill Szymczyk (BB King/The Eagles) and the record company legend that is Joe Bihari the fanpack gives a truly informative and inspiring insight into B.B. the man, the legend, the influence upon successive generations of guitar players across all music genres. 

Under the Guitarist Presents banner, BB King: King of the Blues, the magazine and DVD pack focus on King’s life and career to date and will be released on 2nd February at the retail price of £14.99 and is available to pre-order now in UK and US editions via MyFavouriteMagazines Guitarist Presents BB King: King of the Blues."

RIP Etta James
Three-time Grammy winner singer Etta James, a pioneer of 1950s rhythm and blues and rock music, died from complications of leukaemia on Friday, 20th January 2012, aged 73. Etta died at a hospital in Riverside, California. She would have turned 74 on Wednesday.

Photo: Etta James performing in 2004 (Reuters: Fred Prouser)



RIP Hubert Sumlin
The legendary blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin passed away in hospital in Wayne, New Jersey
of heart failure on Sunday, 4th December 2011. He was aged 80.

Hubert Sumlin © Copyright 2010 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Hubert Sumlin, Chicago Blues Festival 2010 © Copyright 2010 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

Hubert Sumlin © Copyright 2010 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Hubert Sumlin, Chicago Blues Festival 2010
© Copyright 2010 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.


Chris James
Angel In The Mirror

Chris James - acoustic guitars, slide, vocals
also featuring ...
Laurence Blackadder - double bass
Steve Brookfield - hammond organ, piano, percussion, drums, bass

"Chris has played music for the last 30 years in and around Carlisle. On the way, he has supported many of the finest live acts around from John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Earl Thomas, Nine Below Zero, The Hoax and The Nimmo Brothers to acoustic acts such as Clive Gregson, Boo Hewardine, Kristina Olsen and Paul Jones. Chris won through to the Final of the New Brunswick battle of the Blues in April 2011 at the 100 Club in London. He is now becoming a regular performer around the country".

Drawing inspiration from the great bluesmen of the past such as Robert Johnston, Reverend Gary Davis and Big Bill Broonzy, together with his warm, charismatic personality and laid back manner, Chris delivers authentic, raw, acoustic instrumentals and songs - an authentic Mississippi Delta sound with the voice to match.  Wonderful stuff!!


David Honeyboy Edwards © Copyright 2010 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.RIP David Honeyboy Edwards

The legendary Delta blues artist David
Honeyboy Edwards passed away peacefully at his Chicago home at 3am, Monday, 29th August 2011.
He was 96.

Here is a link to a story of his passing in the Chicago Sun Times:








David Honeyboy Edwards © Copyright 2010 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Photograph taken at the Chicago Blues Festival 2010.


Check out details of "Meaning In The Blues" - a new JSP 4-CD set
celebrating the 50th anniversary of Blues Fell This Morning by Paul Oliver
Compiled and annotated by Max Haymes

Available now from or

Read Red Lick's review here


BOB DYLAN ENCYCLOPEDIA GREATEST HITS is an audio-book, featuring a broad selection of entries chosen and read by Michael Gray from among the 850 entries in his vast & authoritative The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, published in paperback by Continuum International in London & New York in 2008 (ISBN 978-0-8264-2974-2).

Michael Gray is a critic, writer & broadcaster recognised as a world authority on the work of Bob Dylan.

His pioneering study Song & Dance Man, published in the 1972, was the first full length critical study of Dylan’s work. A second, updated edition was published in 1981. The massive third edition Song & Dance Man III - including a 112-page study of Dylan’s use of the blues - was published a fortnight before the end of the 20th Century (2000 in the US). A seventh reprint was issued in 2008.
The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, won the International Association of Music Libraries’ C.B. Oldman Prize for an outstanding work of reference and research. Now Gray has hand picked and read a selection of entries to create BOB DYLAN ENCYCLOPEDIA GREATEST HITS.

The readings on this new album span a wide range of Dylan topics, from his birthplace in Minnesota to his great 21st Century work "Love and Theft".

BOB DYLAN ENCYCLOPEDIA GREATEST HITS will be released by look at me dance on CD on the 27th of April 2011 and as a digital download from reputable retailers from the 7th April 2011 onwards.

'look at me dance' is an independent record label and publisher based in North Yorkshire, UK. 

For more information please visit or

Rev. John Wilkins
You Can't Hurry God

"Reverend John Wilkins played guitar with O.V. Wright in the ’60s, as well as performing in local churches, parties and clubs, very much in the North Mississippi Hill Country country-blues style of his father Reverend Robert Wilkins, whose 1930s version of “That’s No Way To Get Along,” entitled “Prodigal Son,” was later covered by the Rolling Stones. Since the early ’80s, Reverend John Wilkins has been pastor at Hunter’s Chapel Church in Tate County, Mississippi. Past members of this congregation include Fred McDowell and his wife Annie Mae, Other Turner and Napolian Strickland".

You Can’t Hurry God sports a full bass-drums-guitar-Hammond lineup, with Reverend Wilkins’ daughters on backing vocals. Wonderful stuff. Available now from Mississippi’s Big Legal Mess Records, an offshoot of Fat Possum Records. Check it out here:

Feel Like Robert Johnson Vol. 1
Al Hughes

"Rather than try to slavishly recreate the originals, aping Robert Johnson's playing and singing, Hughes instead adheres to the feel of the music, while singing in his own natural voice. It all works rather well too ....   Hughes is a gifted singer and guitarist in his own right, and has neatly encapsulated the spirit of Robert Johnson, without ... selling his soul to the devil in the process"
Gordon Baxter, Blues in Britain

Vaudioville Records


Check out the new Willie Dixon website - a true treasure trove of all things Willie Dixon

The legendary Willie Dixon, master of the bass .....


"U.K. film producer Bob Hewitt and his cameras are at it again with the new DVD release of Leo Fender’s Telecaster: The Original Twang, which documents the 60-year history of Fender’s first successful electric guitar model.

Hewitt, a former
Guitarist magazine contributor, and director Michael Bayley Hughes continue the collaboration that created acclaimed 2007 documentary Strat Masters, assembling a stellar cast of Telecaster players and experts and filming on both sides of the Atlantic. The film presents an all-encompassing look at the guitar that has endured relatively unchanged for six decades, from inauspicious late-1940s beginnings amid the orange groves of Fullerton, Calif., to worldwide reverence as an indispensible stage and studio mainstay.

The film’s interview subjects are certainly qualified to comment. Hewitt and Hughes trained their cameras on a galaxy of Telecaster stars, including Keith Richards, James Burton, Albert Lee, Jeff Beck, Steve Cropper, Redd Volkaert, G.E. Smith, Jerry Donahue, Wilko Johnson, Buddy Whittington, Richie Kotzen, Greg Koch, John 5 and others. The film includes the last interview given by Knack leader Doug Fieger, who lost his battle with cancer in February 2010, shortly after his interview segment was filmed.

Original Twang also aims the spotlight at female Telecaster aces. “This is the first guitar film to feature women players,” Hughes said. “We’re thrilled to have Sue Foley, Deborah Coleman, Viv Albertine and Chantel McGregor among our pantheon of rock giants.”  Other Telecaster experts appearing in Original Twang include Seymour Duncan, guitar author/historians Tom Wheeler and Richard Smith, and Norm Harris of Norm’s Rare Guitars in Los Angeles. From the Fender corporation itself, interviews include senior marketing vice president Richard McDonald and Abigail Ybarra, who has worked for Fender since 1956 and is world famous for winding pickups.

“The making of this important documentary has been a real labor of love over the past two years” Hewitt said. “It was great to talk with the likes of Telecaster legends Steve Cropper, Keith Richards and Jeff Beck—but really exciting to hear from the ‘new guys’ like John 5 and Chantel McGregor. We listened to the people who bought
Strat Masters, and we have included more live performance in this film. Anyone who loves the Fender brand like we do will certainly enjoy this film.”

Hewitt and Hughes were given access to film in Fender’s Corona, Calif., factory and Custom Shop. They’ve also uncovered rarely seen footage of the factory in the 1950s that was shot by Fender’s first plant manager, Forrest White".

For a glimpse of 'Leo Fender’s Telecaster: The Original Twang', watch this clip:

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