UKBlues Challenge 2017 hits The Cavern, Liverpool, Sunday 10th September 2017

The UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) has announced that the 4th UKBlues Challenge will take place on Sunday 10th September 2017 at the world famous Cavern Club in Liverpool. The UK Blues Exhibition is as thrilled as UKBlues is in making this announcement. The late George Harrison said, “No Lead Belly, no Beatles”, as clear a proof as could be needed of the Folk/Blues influences on the greatest pop band in the world, ever, and the one most closely associated with The Cavern.

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 closed on 15th March 2017 and the four bands/acts who amassed 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!’’

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Blue notes at the Green Note

What’s cool in British Blues, I hear you ask? Who’s young and can maybe rise to the stratospheric levels of Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, who used to grind out gigs and play Blues (and a lot of other music) on his way up? And where’s cool? Are there any iconic places out there?

Not easy questions those, at all. So rather than seek an elusive, definitive answer, let’s take one act, one gig, and one place as a focus.

Blues-Boogie one man band and humorous eclectic eccentric Andy Twyman, who appeared with Rag ‘n’ Bone Man in the past, plays the Green Note in Camden on Saturday 18th February. Andy recognises it as a “top, top venue” as does Time Out in it’s awards (those awards hang proudly on the wall of the venue).

Andy is thrilled about this date and has shared his excitement in the video above. We’ve been to the venue and seen a couple of really good acts squeezed in to the cosy, veggie food-smelling place with its warm atmosphere and excellent welcome. Not just Blues either, though Ruth Theodore and The Goat Roper Rodeo Band certainly have Blues in their souls. No, this is a music venue. Don’t worry about the genre, this is a place that draws in good music like a magnet draws iron filings. Beware, Blues lovers, this place has something you’re not used to, queues outside ahead of opening time. If the good people at the Green Note say ‘Book early to avoid disappointment’, it is actually true.

So, an exciting place. Andy’s finest, or certainly most famous, hour so far has been with the song and video ‘A Naked Noel’, but for those who love Blues with a fresh twist, he’s your man, as the video to ‘Stand Up’ proves. An apt choice to end on as The Green Note can be standing room only at times.

The Green Note – www.greennote.co.uk

Andy Twyman – www.andytwyman.com

 

Live Blues fading? Don’t you believe it

As 2016 begins, the heyday of the Blues in the 1960’s and the proliferation of venues hosting live Blues and Rock seems a long way away. Instead, stories hit the press about venues closing down and the costs of added security on doors and noise limitation and other legislation, however well-intended, make life hard for people presenting music. However, if you look for them, there are numerous stories of people defending and reviving venues, resurrecting festivals, and creating new venues and festivals. Here is a sample of live musical hope at the start of 2016:

One recently formed body is the Music Venue Trust. We’ll see what plans they have and share them;

The new Blues nights at The Tuesday Night Music Club at The Comrades Club in Coulsdon in south west London, which will feature the outstanding one man band Andy Twyman on 19th January (poster above);

Just six gigs in and soon on 21st February to host Devon Allman, son of Gregg Allman and nephew of Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers and member of The Royal Southern Brotherhood, Blues Rock Aberdeen at The Tunnels, Aberdeen, Scotland;

The very new Hereford Blues Club in Herefordshire – Facebook page here;

The new Mid Wales Rhythm and Blues Club;

Also new – As the organisers say, “Come and join Little Devils and special guests at Last Thursday Blues Club, Carpenter’s Arms, Bethnal Green, London, on the last Thursday of every month kicking off January 2016 – loads of great music from the whole blues spectrum – and there’s a lot of colour in there!! ” Facebook page here;

Older, but still very important, are regular events in tribute to the former great clubs, including the Eel Pie Club, Back to the Flamingo Club nights (poster above), and more;

The campaign to revive The Half Moon at Herne Hill in London as a music venue, not to mention the attempt to keep The Greyhound in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, as a live music venue.

More venues and quotes from people at them to follow.

Still reading? Why not create a venue or a music night or a festival yourself? You can. We will be.

Wish For What You Want competition update

Recently, the British Blues Exhibition announced its first competition. If you Wish For What You Want and enter, you might just win 52 (fifty-two) CD’s, one to listen to every week of the year.

The competition closing date is midnight on the 5th of December 2015, so the lucky winner could enjoy a particularly good Christmas and a musical New Year. Most of the CD’s are, of course, Blues, but not all…. The winning entry to the competition will be drawn by award-winning British harmonica player, Paul Lamb, of Paul Lamb and the Kingsnakes.

To enter the competition, title an email “BritBluesComp”. One entry per person is allowed; entrants who enter more than once will be disqualified.

The competition question and three options to choose as your answer are below. Please write your choice, A, B, or C in the body of your email. Correct answers will be in the final draw. The winner will be contacted by email and should provide their postal address within 14 days of the notification email being sent or there will be a re-draw to find a new winner. Please send entries to comps@coollocal.co.uk.

Competition question

Who was the lead singer of British Blues act The Animals, who appeared at the Lead Belly Fest at the Royal Albert Hall on 15th June?

A. Paul Jones

B. Eric Clapton

C. Eric Burdon

The CD’s selected as prizes (with 40 to follow) are:

35. The Laura Holland Band – Dare I Believe – a first originals album from the Stax-soaked British band

34. The Laura Holland Band – Smokehouse Sessions – a British take on Blues and Soul classics

33. Austin Young – Blue As Can Be – American Blues

32. The New Groove – Quit Bitchin’ – British and loud

31. Eliza Neals – Messin’ with a Fool – hefty Detroit Rock and Blues

30. Bex Marshall – House of Mercy – lively British Blues (single)

29. Ben River – Ben River – over to the folky side, from the UK

28. Daunielle – Daunielle – warm vocals from the United States

27. Frank Bang & the Secret Stash – Double Dare, entertainingly named Blues Rock from the United States

26. Du Bellows – Stir Studio Sessions – very contemporary and absorbing British music

25. Kirsten Thien – Solo Live from the Meisenfrei Blues Club – one of the more prominent Blues ladies, hailing from New York

24. The Road Kings – Dust & Gasoline – Harley Davidson inspired Southern Rock and Blues from Birmingham (UK)

23. Smokin’ John Tropea – Take Me Back to the Old School – Jazzy output from the United States

21 and 22. Savoy Brown – Songs from the Road (counts as two, CD and DVD) – Highly successful British Blues export to the United States

20. Blue to Brown – Blue to Brown – British Blues

19. D.A Foster – the real thing – American Blues

18. Ruby Tiger – Vistas – songs from a British Blues diva

17. Dudley Taft – Deep, Deep Blue – very hard Rockin’ Blues from the United States

16. Ryk Mead and the London Blues Machine – British Blues

15. The Red Dirt Skinners – promotional copy of Sinking The Mary Rose. A rare act as popular with Country fans as Blues ones.

14. The John Verity Band – Say Why? Some cracking music

13. Jamie Williams and the Roots Collective (UK). The vibrant whole of the Roots tree

12. Vargas Blues Band (Spain), From The Dark. Highly accomplished Blues Rock from the Iberian peninsula;

11. – Debbie Bond and the Trudats, US, That Thing Called Love. Properly tuneful and melodic Blues from Alabama

10. – Matt O’Ree (US), Live In Denver, CO. A hard hitting guitarist with a new album coming with quite a stunning array of guests;

9. – Blacktop Deluxe (UK), Turn Up, Be Nice, Play Hard. Guitarist Keith Howe was just getting into fine form with Blue on Black when they disbanded, here he has gone one better;

8. – Marcus Malone (UK), Let The Sunshine In (UK). One of Britain’s finest guitar slingers, thoughin fact Marcus hails originally from Detroit, USA;

7. – The Mighty Bosscats (UK), Boiling Pot. A strong mix of British songs, at times with similarities to Dire Straits;

6. – The Sharpees (UK), Mississippi Thrill, feat. Roger Cotton (Peter Green’s Splinter Group), Brian Willoughby (The Strawbs) and Richard Hayes (Bad Influence). Real Rockin’ Rhythms and a British Blues sound (akin to Dr Feelgood);

5. – The City Boys Allstars (US), Blinded By The Night, feat Tom ‘Bones’ Malone and ‘Blue’ Lou Marini of The Blues Brothers Band. Blues, Rock, Soul and more played by a big band of some of the best musicians on the New York scene;

4. – Andy Twyman (UK), Blues You Haven’t Heard Before. Superb one-man Blues Boogie from a young master of the craft;

3. – The Axis of Awesome (Australia) – an inspired comedy Rock act who tour the UK at intervals – signed copy of Cry YOURSELF a RIVER; 33 million viewers have seen their ace Four Chord Song on You Tube;

2. – The Enzymes and the Active Ingredients (US), feat. Murphy Dunne from the Blues Brothers Band. Seriously eclectic Rock ‘n’ Roll;

1. – The Billy Walton Band (US), signed copy of Wish For What You Want, out on Vizztone Records on 27th January, the new album by a fabulous New Jersey band touring the UK in April and June 2015. Feat. Southside Johnny, Tony Braunagel (Back Street Crawler, Eric Burdon, Robert Cray Band), and Mike Finnigan (Bonnie Raitt, Phantom Blues Band).

Competition winner

Mr F of Bermondsey, London, is the winner of the 100 Club competition for one pair of tickets to give away to the Laurence Jones, Laura Holland Band and Bourbon Street Revival night on Tuesday 29th September at London’s legendary 100 Club.

We still have a few tickets available for purchase on a British Blues Exhibition special offer! To get in touch for these tickets please email promusicagency@outlook.com or call 07708 712011.

100 Club Tuesday Blues ticket competition and special offer

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We have one pair of tickets to give away to the Laurence Jones, Laura Holland Band and Bourbon Street Revival night on Tuesday 29th September at London’s legendary 100 Club.

We also have a limited number of tickets available for purchase on a British Blues Exhibition special offer! To get in touch for these tickets please email promusicagency@outlook.com or call 07708 712011.

For the competition, please put ‘Comp’ as the title of an email to promusicagency@outlook.com and correctly choose an answer to the question below.

Put A, B or C in the body of your email plus a name and address to send the tickets to if you win:

Question: What is the name of The Laura Holland Band’s new album?

A. To Dare Is To Do

B. Dare I Believe

C. Daredevil Blues

A video of the band (with a song from the album) is here.

The winning entry will be chosen from correct answers at random on 10th September and picked by musician Andy Twyman, whose new single, Try To Stay Alive, can be heard here.

 

 

 

The ‘Briefcase full of Blues’ debut at the Eel Pie Club and on Jukin’ Jenn’s radio

Debut of the briefcase exhibition 9 July 2015 Eel Pie Club

Debut of the briefcase exhibition 9 July 2015 Eel Pie Club

A busy week for the British Blues Exhibition saw the smallest travelling ‘Briefcase full of Blues’ make its live debut at the Eel Pie Club in Twickenham on a night that celebrated the late Art Wood and also raised funds for Prostate Cancer UK, with raffle prizes drawn by Bruce Welch of The Shadows. Numerous artists performed and made it a great night of Rhythm and Blues.

The first exhibition banner, now an exhibit itself, was signed by several of the musicians playing or present on the night including Don Craine (Downliners Sect); Martin Turner (Wishbone Ash); Chris Hunt (Lonnie Donegan); Ali McKenzie (The Birds); Derek Griffiths (The Artwoods).

The banner already had the signatures of Bill Wyman (The Rolling Stones); Terry Taylor (Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings); Chantel McGregor; and Georgie Fame.

Additionally, the exhibition founder, Darren, recorded a show for Jukin’ Jenn. You can listen to the show here.

John Mayall – All Your Love – From the famed ‘Beano’ album, one of the milestones in the career of one of the British Blues Exhibition supporters. John returns to the UK to appear at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in November

Junior Wells – Come on in This House – From the 92-volume  ‘Blues Collection’ of magazine and CD’s that were on issue years ago and able to be bought by British Blues fans

The Laura Holland Band – The One and Only Jimmy Reed – A contemporary British band who here pay their respects to numerous Blues and Soul icons, and feature John O’Leary (Savoy Brown/Sugarkane) on harmonica

Alexis Korner – Leaving Blues – Korner was one of the most significant people in early British Blues and featured the late Cyril Davies on harmonica in his Blues Incorporated

The Yardbirds – For Your Love – Eric Clapton left The Yardbirds for John Mayall’s Blues Breakers after recording this ‘pop’ song

Willie Dixon – Little Red Rooster – Some argue that The Rolling Stones cover of this song, in 1964, was the only ever British Blues song to chart at number 1 in the UK

Big Joe Turner – Roll ‘Em – Big Joe Turner has inspired many artists including the Exhibition’s one man band curator, Andy Twyman, who covers his song TV Mama

Paul Lamb and the Kingsnakes – Jumpin Judy – Paul Lamb is one of the Exhibition’s curators and one of his harmonica’s was in the Briefcase full of Blues

Chris Thomas King – Hoodoo Party  – Not a frequent visitor to the UK, but supported Robert Cray on a tour here

Mavis Staples – See That My Grave is Clear – Mavis appeared at the Clapham Grand and Glastonbury not long ago

The Animals – Let it Rock – one of the great early British Blues acts, here with Sonny Boy Williamson II. Eric Burdon recently featured at the Lead Belly Fest in the Royal Albert Hall

The Blues Brothers – B Movie Box Car Blues – Delbert McClinton‘s song covered by the Blues Brothers. The Original Blues Brothers Band often play in the UK

Long John Baldry – Sunshine of Your Love – Cream’s classic with Jack Bruce before the tribute night at the Roundhouse on 24th October. Long John had Elton John in his band for a period

Otis Grand – Between Heaven and Hell – Otis has contributed numerous items to the exhibition and has lived in the UK for many years

BB King – Blues Man – in tribute to the King of the Blues who played in the UK many times

Thanks to Jenn and the Eel Pie Club for both opportunities.

Still Hard and Blue – fifty or more years on

For admirers of British Blues, it is possible to see many of the performers who were part of the British Blues Explosion in the 1960’s still performing with as much passion as ever today.

Look out for:

The Rolling Stones – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts remain from the original line up. Several other members of The Rolling Stones come and go from the line up and have separate bands, such as Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings.

John Mayall. The Bluesbreaker himself who advanced the careers of guitarists including Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton continues to tour, and is a supporter of the British Blues Exhibition.

The Pretty Things – with two original members, this band continues to tour.

The John O’Leary/Alan Glen Allstars – a band with a varying membership, and in their last Monday of each month shows at the Bull’s Head in Barnes, London, both the core band and guests have members who were some of the dynamite in the British Blues Explosion. John O’Leary also performs with his own band, Sugarkane.

The Downliners Sect – Don Craine has been wearing his deerstalker hat on stage with this outfit for over fifty years.

More to follow….

 

 

About the British Blues Exhibition

The British Blues Exhibition is a hub for British Blues history and for the contemporary scene. That includes musicians of all ages in British Blues; overseas acts who tour the UK; wider culture such as theatre, art, and literature; and the people behind the scenes. We have many exhibits and our travelling exhibitions are making appearances at events. We are working towards establishing a permanent exhibition celebrating British Blues. With support from Chris Barber, John Mayall, Mud Morganfield, Huey Morgan and Connie Lush, we’re Breaking Blues Again.