Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

Welcome to B&S

BRINGING YOU THE STORIES BEHIND MUSIC + ESSENTIAL NEWS, REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS...

Column

Simon Redley's Bluesville

Simon Redleys Bluesville @bluesandsoul.com
Simon Redleys Bluesville @bluesandsoul.com The Allman Brothers Band @bluesandsoul.com Buddy Guy @bluesandsoul.com Dana Fuchs @bluesandsoul.com Jonny Lang @bluesandsoul.com Laurence Jones @bluesandsoul.com Mike Zito & The Wheel @bluesandsoul.com The Rides @bluesandsoul.com Chantal Mcgregor @bluesandsoul.com

"If you don't know the blues....there's no point in picking up the guitar and playing rock and roll or any other form of popular music." So says Keith Richards. Heâs not wrong is he?

The blues seeps into almost every music. Itâs the bedrock of most genres. Luckily, we have youngsters coming through all the time to keep the blues alive. Breathing new life into it and moving it on. Yes, we can safely say; the blues is in good hands - especially in the UK.

FUTURE BLUES STARS

Take young Laurence Jones. A 21-year-old singer and blues guitarist from Shakespeare country. While all the other whipper-snapper guitar slingers turn their amps up to 11, and churn out very loud 1970s rock disguised as blues, Laurence is determined to stay true to the blues.

His debut album, âThunder In The Skyâ last year was a somewhat immature affair on the vocals, but his guitar playing was enough to turn heads and demand attention. I predicted big things for LJ back then. He booked himself some vocal coaching and with a stack of gigging experience behind him too, now has a much stronger vocal. Sneak previews of his new songs on demo have impressed.

Well, I can exclusively reveal that after some UK shows with US supergroup The Royal Southern Brotherhood, RSB member Mike Zito offered his services to produce Laurenceâs next album. Ruf Records boss Thomas Ruf caught Laurence and his power trio on a couple of dates, and was about to put pen to paper to sign Laurence to his label at the time of writing this column. That record will be recorded in Texas late summer, with Mike at the helm.

Laurence will open for Walter Trout at Shepherds Bush Empire later this year. He will also tour with UK blues acts Mitch Laddie and Federal Charm (both ones to watch too) on the New Generation Blues tour in November.

Jonny Lang has not had a studio album for seven years. His most recent offering on record was an uneven listen for me, and a tad self-indulgent. He seemed to have lost his way a bit. His new one, "Fight For My Soul" due out here on 2nd September on Provogue is however, an astonishing album. A career defining moment on almost every track. If you are a blues and soul fan........scratch that; if you are a music fan and appreciate an epic when you hear it, this is for you.

Jonny Lang is back and in world-beating form. The amazing kid that blew us all away when he stormed onto the scene in 1997 at 16 years old, with that growl of a voice and those scorching guitar licks, has grown up and made his best record yet.

My âBluesvilleâ album of the year so far - and I really cannot see anyone coming up with anything this good in the next six months. He headlined the Maryport Blues festival in 2011, and before that his only UK date was the modest-sized Dingwalls club in Camden circa 1997/98, when he was on a night off from opening for the Stones. I was there, stood next to Cliff Richard of all people!

NEW RELEASES

Talking of Mike Zito. His new album with his band The Wheel, âGone To Texasâ is one of the best things I have heard this year. A stunning set of songs, cracking vocals, awesome guitar and exemplary production. A very under-rated artist.

Walter Trout has turned out a beautiful record with his tribute to the late Luther Allison. But around the release date, Walter had a nasty fall on concrete, smashing up his left arm and elbow, and cracking some ribs. But Walter was vowing to stick to his summer tour schedule regardless.

Great news from Buddy Guyâs camp. He has a new double album due this summer, âRhythm & Blues,â on RCA, featuring guests including Beth Hart (interviewed here in this column last issue) - dueting on one track - Kid Rock, Keith Urban, Gary Clark Jr., Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford from Aerosmith. In a career spanning over 50 years and with more than 50 albums, at 76-years-old Buddy shows no signs of slowing down.

Fabulous British blues band The Hoax, who packed it in for a few years after big success here and in the USA in the 1990s, are back together again for a new CD, funded by their fans. Cutting it right now in the USA. Tour dates soon.

Thereâs a new blues supergroup on the block. The Rides. Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg. Their debut CD âCanât Get Enoughâ is a real gem. Heavy blues. Play it LOUD.

The Allman Brothers Band's best selling album âBrothers and Sistersâ is re-released this month in re-mastered CD and vinyl form, featuring unreleased jams, outtakes and live sets.

Janis Joplin lives on in the form of US blues singer Dana Fuchs new CD, âBliss Avenue.â Startlingly close to JJ and powerful stuff. Here for a few shows in October. Bluesville exclusively brings you a red hot shot from her recent raunchy photo shoot. Wow!

NEWS

UK artist Bruno Major is gonna rocket to the stars if there is any justice. Currently on tour as support to Hugh Laurie. Bruno is a mighty blues guitarist, superb singer and fab writer.

British blues guitarist and singer Chantal McGregor had an unusual end to her set at the 100 club in London recently, when on her last song, a fan collapsed from the crowd across her pedal board and cracked his head on the stage. The paramedics were called and took the guy to hospital, but he was conscious as he left the venue.

George Ross Watt of Big George and The Business was badly burned in a fire at his Glasgow home. Hospitalised for many months, he was eventually released but died suddenly. He was 55. A musical tribute to him will be held in Glasgow on 24th August, featuring a host of big names, including his friend Ian Siegal.

Linda Lewis has been telling friends on Facebook at her displeasure of being dropped for the Bill Wyman Rhythm Kings tour, saying she turned down other work. MariaâMidnight At The Oasisâ Muldaur replaces her.

Heck of a gig at this yearâs Great British RnB festival in Colne, Lancashire. Giles Robson tells me he has programmed a UK exclusive, the first time these cats have all been on stage together. Giles joins US blues harmonica legends Sugar Blue, Billy Branch and Charlie Musselwhite, backed by the Sugar Blue band.

I hear the BBC have been out in the USA filming for a new documentary on the blues. Muddy Watersâ eldest son Mud Morganfield has taken part, and I was told they approached Bonnie Raitt to contribute to the BBC 4 âBlues Britanniaâ doc.

The 2013 British Blues Awards presentation ceremony has been moved from Newark to Colne, to take place during this yearâs festival. Meanwhile, The Newark Blues Festival where the blues awards are usually held, has moved to an indoor location at the Palace Theatre, Newark.

Terminally ill Wilko Johnson cancelled the last two dates of his farewell tour. Ironically the shows near his home in Essex, and due to the flu and not the cancer he was diagnosed with at Christmas. He has announced three new dates; at Colne, and festivals in Oxfordshire and York this summer. Heartless touts were asking £200+ for tickets to his final gigs.

David Migden & The Dirty Words won this yearâs New Brunswick Battle of the Blues, and a trip to Canada to take part in the annual blues festival in September.

The Allman Brothers Band's best selling album âBrothers and Sistersâ is re-released this month in re-mastered CD and vinyl form, featuring unreleased jams, outtakes and live sets.

AND finally...

Janis Joplin lives on in the form of US blues singer Dana Fuchs new CD, âBliss Avenue.â Startlingly close to JJ and powerful stuff. Here for a few shows in October. Bluesville exclusively brings you a red hot shot from her recent raunchy photo shoot. Wow!

Simon Redley

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ MORE FROM SIMON REDLEY'S COLUMN, PLEASE PICK UP OUR PRINT ISSUE FROM ANY MAGAZINE OUTLET (Now including: WHSmith and Menzies) OR ALTERNATIVELY PURCHASE YOUR COPY HERE!!

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

Join the B&S Mailing List

Blues and Soul on Twitter