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

Ron Skinner, bluesman

I just heard from Mel Wright that Ron Skinner, the original Shakey Vick Big City Blues Band bass player and vocalist has died. He was awaiting treatment for cancer but was too weak to receive any therapy. Ron was always a keen bluesman rather than a rock bluesman and it’s ironic that the recently released “Live at 100 Club” album includes him on it, with an amalgam of a couple of his old bands which we called The Blueshawks for that occasion.. Continue reading

Here’s one we made earlier

Met Mel Wright for a drink at the Blue Boar just behind the 100 Club the other day and took delivery of the live recording Cd’s “!00 Club Boogie.” I guess I’ll have to put it on the recordings page and perhaps in the pictures section too. As it was recorded about twenty years ago I used an older picture of me on the cover. I’ve used it before on the “Night After Night” album and it reminds me of when my hair had more colour and less grey. We will officially launch it on April 9th.
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Thought for the day

We won’t be doing the gig at the Inn on the Green this month as things are up in the air at the moment as I mentioned earlier. It’s one of those things that happen to musicians at any time so I should be resigned to it by now, but I have to say the whole music scene is depressing right now, as far as I’m concerned. Nobody supports live music in small venues the way they used to. Continue reading

And finally…

Yesterday I met up again with drummer Mel Wright, (who also penned the “Les Enfants Terrible” piece on this site), to discuss the finalisation of the artwork for the forthcoming album. The one recorded live at 100 Club twenty years ago and which I’ve been rabbiting on about for some time now, and is unsurprisingly titled 100 Club Boogie. We had a pretty good meeting although it only took two pints each. It was at the Blue Post pub, just around the corner from the club. Continue reading

Last Fair Deal Gone Down

A while back I came across a forum on the subject of “The Real Deal” with regard to the blues. It was the usual disagreement on whether white people could call themselves “the real deal” if they played blues. Naturally there were the usual collection of bigots, the misinformed, or people plainly not using their basic intelligence on the subject. This applied to both sides of the argument. I almost questioned myself on whether I regarded myself as the real deal, but decided that it didn’t really matter that much. Continue reading

Absent friends

Our gig last month at the Inn on the Green was noticeable by the absence of our regular drummer, Dino Coccia, who as it turned out, was still in Ireland, completely unaware that the gig was on. The confusion may have lain in the unusual occurrence of five Sundays in that particular month. In fact it was quite an unusual month in other ways as there were also five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays in the month, which hasn’t happened for over a hundred years, I’m informed. However, we soldiered on without a drummer. I’ll make sure Dino get’s enough warning about the November gig which is on the 21st. Continue reading

I must be getting old

I have a slight problem. I think I’m missing out on something. I’ve just had my seventy-third birthday and I’m still waiting for the mid-life crisis. What’s going on? Must be something in the water. Now a little voice in my head pipes up and says it’s more likely something in the booze. Whatever! Now, where was I before I rudely interrupted myself? Oh yes, my birthday. For all of you who meant to send cards but didn’t, it was actually on the second of October. But do I care. Yes! Continue reading

Further on down the Road

I went to the Round Midnight gig of Mike Pigott and as it was the first time I’d been there, I was a bit disappointed when Gigi and I walked in, as there weren’t many people there. However despite the Tube Strike and the heavy rain, the place began to fill up. I sat in for a few numbers too, so I enjoyed the place. It is still a proper pub but it is also a good music venue so two for the price of one. I’ll definitely be going back. Continue reading

Going to the country

A week or so ago, Gigi and I went to stay with some old friends of mine in Kent. There was a gig at a local pub and another friend of mine, fiddle player Mike Piggot, was playing in a trio. I was invited to sit in for a few numbers and thoroughly enjoyed it. Mike is an amazing player and has worked with me in the past on guitar as well as fiddle. He’s due to do a gig at Round Midnight in London on September 6th so I intend to be there. The country air meant that we slept in until 11am the next day…or was it the wine? Continue reading