Ain’t that the blues

A few weeks ago, being at a loose end one evening, I decided to go and catch some live blues, so after some deliberation I chose ‘ain’t nothing but…’in Soho as a suitable place to queue for a drink. There was some enjoyable piano playing early on and then Jimmy C and his band started their first stint. They are one of those bands who seem to have a good rapport with the audience and I found it interesting and enjoyable. Then duty called and I went and joined Gigi who’d been out at a birthday party, which she didn’t enjoy. Ain’t that the blues. Continue reading

No time like the old times

Last Friday I went to the Castle in Portobello Road where there was an evening of live music with various performers. I was called up to do a few numbers and will be back there soon, though not this Friday as I’ve got other plans. I’m hoping to get together with Eddy, a young bluesman I’ve met a few times. He plays guitar and harp in a rack and sometimes busks on the ‘bello. However he recently got mugged and got a broken Jaw for his troubles so singing and playing are out of the question at present. I wish him a speedy recovery so he can get back working solo or with his band. Continue reading

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.

Bernie Pallo

Sad news this week. Bernard Pallo, our guitarist for many years, was found dead at his home on Sunday morning. A great friend and an real blues guitarist, he played with many different line-ups and bands. He was also an accomplished piano-accordion player and worked with Gordon Smith both as a duo and in a line-up featuring plenty of Tex-Mex numbers as well as Blues. I met him over thirty years ago and we did gigs together over the years. Continue reading

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