Speakeasy blues

I was unable to do the charity gig a week or so ago. I’d had a heavy cough with flu like symptoms, which continued for weeks despite My having had a flu jab and a session on antibiotics. My voice had gone completely  but had started to return but on the day before the gig I still couldn’t manage to sing, so I had to call it off at the last minute, not something I enjoy doing at any time. Continue reading

Charity begins…

Jason Peverett, Dave Peverett’s son, who I met in Florida when I was gigging there with the Rod Price Band, runs a music and comment website site called the The Peverett Phile:

http://thepeverettphile.blogspot.com/  in which he comments on various events in America but always includes a musician interview. He did one with me which he published last Sunday and as it was the first time I’d visited the site  I have to say I really enjoyed it and I will be checking it out on a regular basis from now on. He is also going to do one with Chris Youlden and probably Mel Wright our Waydown drummer. Continue reading

New Year, New Resolution

I recently managed to delete a number of emails without answering them or saving the contacts so I hope that anyone who is awaiting a response will get back in touch. In particular I need to respond to the Greek blues interview request and to the information on Chris Youlden’s “Nowhere Road” album. Apologies to both senders of their particular emails.

With regard to other matters, Mel Wright informs me that he managed to get Bernie Pallo’s obituary in the online Guardian and to read it, the link is as follows:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2012/jan/15/bernie-pallo-obituary

It’s a good tribute to Bernie’s life.

I’ve just received the contract for our gig in September for the Banbury blues festival “Blues Attic Revisited” on Saturday September 8th  at 8p.m. until 9.20p.m. in the theatre at The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park, Banbury, Oxon. OX16 5QE I am looking forward to it as I have fond memories of the Blues Attic days. As I’ll be 75 a month later perhaps I’d better start thinking of another Birthday Bash while I’m still in full charge of a my faculties. Or at least I think I am. Now how did I lose those emails?

Christmas Time is here again…

About ten years ago I injured a shoulder whilst performing some vague sort of flexibility exercise in one of my less sensible moments. (Yes, I too, occasionally have them).and lately it’s been getting worse so a medical check up and ultrasound scan showed the problem to be a badly torn tendon. A couple of injections at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital have done the trick. Well almost, because I did a bit too much dancing with Gigi, at a Meals on Wheels Christmas Dinner and Dance in Cricklewood, which undid some of the good. However it’s improved since. I just have to temper the dancing, I guess.

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Further on down the road

The funeral of  guitarist Bernie Pallo took place  at nine o’clock in the morning but despite the early hour, there was an excellent turn out. Friends and family came over from France to join many of his colleagues from Meals on Wheels and fellow musicians were there in force. His brother Jean talked of the early days when he and  Bernie were encouraged by their father to study music. They both started on piano accordion but their musical paths diverged eventually. I also said my piece and was followed by Bill Peters from Meals on Wheels. Continue reading

Bernie Pallo’s funeral

Bernie  Pallo’s Funeral will be at 9 am on Tuesday 15th November at the West London Crematorium, Harrow Road next to Kensal Green Cemetary. Buses 52 and 18 stop nearby and Kensal Green underground is the closest tube station. Unfortunately Chris Youlden is too ill to make it. The following day a few friends, including Gordon Smith and I, will collect his ashes and spread them according to his wishes.

I have arranged a wake gig at the Elephant and Castle, Elgin Avenue W9 on Wednesday evening starting at 8.30. The pub is at the Harrow Road end of Elgin. The line-up is Gordon Smith on guitar and vocals, Jim Mercer bass and vocals, Dino Coccia on drums and myself on harp and vocals.

Party time

I arrived at the riverboat last month just as it was about to leave, but I didn‘t have to do a pierhead jump. The gig itself was really enjoyable once I’d stopped trying to find my sea legs and sat down to perform. The band was Gordon Smith, Jim Mercer, Dino Coccia and myself and everybody seemed to enjoy it. The free food and drink helped to make it a memorable trip. The occasion was a fiftieth birthday celebration. On the following Friday Gigi and I went to Henley for another birthday party, this time a ninetieth for an ex-Battle-of-Britain pilot. Continue reading

“Ain’t that the truth”

Gordon Smith, Jim Mercer and I did a gig at the Freston Road housing co-op, which brought back memories of the declaration of the Independent Republic of Frestonia. back in the day….shades of the movie “Passport To Pimlico”. The gig was in the garden of the co-op and there was a very good African band on earlier. I hadn’t sung since I lost my voice for about a month, so I wasn’t sure how it would go, but things turned out fine and I really enjoyed the gig and the whole evening. Jon T-Bone Taylor turned up too so he’s doing okay again after his illness. Continue reading

Time Out

Nothing to be blue about at present except for the lack of gigs. True, I have got a private party gig on a riverboat in September. Hope the water’s not too cold, especially as Gigs and I have just come back from warmer climes in Mallorca. Not quite Thailand but a much shorter journey. Well not that short as we had to get to Gatwick at some god-forsaken hour of the morning to get an Easyjet flight and we had the same problem on the way back. However the actual holiday was greatly enjoyable…and greatly needed. Continue reading

Early days

A week or so ago I went for an early drink at “Ain’t nothing but…” in Kingly Street and ended up staying the whole evening. I met a Geordie there, Gordon Lees, and we talked about other Geordie acquaintances such as Paul Lamb, Gordon Smith and Johnny Whitehill.  He put me in touch with Johnny, who is now singing as well as playing guitar and is keeping busy. There was pretty good band playing there and a couple of them started the evening off early with a harp and guitar duo, which is why I stayed initially. I had a brief word with the harp player. Phil Hughes. The band is known as “11 foot sack” I believe and is well worth a listen. Continue reading

Blues and beyond

I visited The Blues Kitchen in Camden recently to hear Big Joe Louis and his band. They sounded great and seem to have worked up a new introductory routine. There was a good crowd and, apart from the fact that the pub doesn’t sell bitter, I enjoyed the night out. It was part of a week long festival and it is good to see plenty of people enjoying live blues. I was beginning to become a bit cynical about the current music scene, well perhaps not cynical so much as dispirited, so it was good to be reassured that all is not lost in London. I asked about getting a gig there and was given an email address, to which I responded the next day. So far the only response to my approach has been an email advertising a Rolling Stones memorial night. I always thought you had to be dead for a memorial night to be justified. Perhaps it was a tribute night instead. Still, I’m really bad about responding to emails myself so I live in hope. Continue reading

Leavin’ Blues

I managed to turn up late for Ron Skinner’s funeral and also had to go out before the ceremony finished as I wasn’t feeling too good. I managed to recover quite easily after going to the Catford Ram for the post-ceremony get-together, which was well attended. Tributes were paid By Mel Wright and Wolfie Witcher from the blues side of his life. Continue reading