Chris Barber interviewed at 86

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Jazz trombone player and bandleader Chris Barber has been performing for well over 50 years. His Jazz band included notables such as Ottillie Paterson, Skiffle legend Lonnie Donegan (Chris played double bass on Lonnie’s smash hit ‘Rock Island Line’), and Alexis Korner of Blues Incorporated and co-founder of the first electric Blues club in the UK, the Ealing Club, which continues to this day.

Chris was also instrumental in the arrival in the UK of American Blues greats including Muddy Waters and Big Bill Broonzy. His interactions with the Blues have continued, including his appearance at the Lead Belly Fest at the Royal Albert Hall in 2015, and interactions with artists such as Dave Kelly from The Blues Band and Eric Clapton.

Here, in his dressing room at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley, London on 19th April 2016, two days after his 86th birthday, Chris talks about his career from his earliest days until now, listen via this link for content including:

– Why he didn’t play the Eel Pie Island Hotel or Chislehurst Caves (which he passed on the way to his Bromley venue) and why he liked playing Gaumont theatres

– The “fantastic” Muddy Waters – and his being compelled to play acoustic guitar – and Otis Spann

– Eric Clapton

– The Beatles and Billy Preston and The Cavern Club

– Howlin’ Wolf

– Sister Rosetta Tharpe

– Jools Holland and Ruby Turner

– His father and his introduction to music, rationing and wartime evacuation and his first 78rpm records. Plus reading a book on the Blues found on a USAAF rubbish dump

– Amy Winehouse and Tony Bennett

– The trombone that he briefly plays during the interview, after unzipping it from its case

– The album ‘Memories Of My Trip’

Chris Barber’s website is here. Go and see him and his band!

 

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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.

Thank you to BBC Radio London’s Robert Elms

A question was asked on BBC Radio London’s Robert Elms Show this morning (in his new morning slot) for the British Blues Exhibition. Could listeners recall the Iron Curtain Club in St Mary Cray, Orpington? Well, yes, some could. Two even met their (ex) wives there, while watching the likes of The Moody Blues, John Mayall and more.

This link shares the show for the next month www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03cg3jz

Thank you to Robert and his team for asking the question. The result will be added to the history on this website.

New audio interview: Bernie Marsden and DJ Alan Hare

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Bernie Marsden, guitarist with Whitesnake and UFO and others, is one of those Blues-loving British musicians who have made their mark at the heavier end of music. Here he is interviewed at the Ramblin’ Man Fair 2015 by DJ Alan Hare of Hospital Radio Medway and talks about his life and influences and his latest album, Shine.

Alan is himself interviewed about his own show following Bernie’s interview.

Bernie Marsden’s website: www.berniemarsden.co.uk

Hospital Radio Medway: www.hospitalradiomedway.co.uk

Ramblin’ Man Fair: www.ramblinmanfair.com

More interviews are on our Exhibition Audio page here.

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).

Pete Brown interviewed

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Recently, the British Blues Exhibition interviewed Pete Brown, musician, producer, film maker, singer, lyricist and poet, about his life, co-writing with Jack Bruce and Cream, and more. You can hear the resulting interview here and check out all the exhibition audio interviews here.

Nicky Moore announced as fifth exhibition curator/spokesman

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Left, Timmy Moore; right, Nicky Moore

Nicky Moore, the man known as ‘The Voice’ in British Blues, is the fifth Curator announced by the British Blues Exhibition, following Andy Twyman (one man band), Paul Lamb (harmonica), Roger Inniss (bass), and Jamie Pipe (keyboards).

Aspects of the British Blues Exhibition have Curators with particular relevant experience and expertise. The role of a Curator is to help build relevant content in the British Blues Exhibition and to act as a spokesman in their field of knowledge. It can have an additional aspect, to venerate the individual chosen, and Nicky Moore deserves that recognition as a premier vocalist.

Former Hackensack, Samson and Nicky Moore’s Blues Corporation frontman, Nicky is now in duo Kyle & Moore with guitarist Danny Kyle.

Check out his page here.

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.

British Blues Exhibition travels north and south

In the space of a week (30th and 31st August and 3rd September), travelling versions of the British Blues Exhibition appeared in the Great British R & B Festival 2015 in Colne, Lancashire, and at the Boisdale Canary Wharf, a venue whose Patron of Music is Jools Holland. Photos from Colne are below:

The foyer of the British Stage at Colne hosted the exhibition for two days – and the chili from the eatery next to the stand is recommended for next year. A big thank you to the organisers and staff of the festival for their help and hospitality. Onto a briefer expedition to London:

The Boisdale Canary Wharf hosted the exhibition’s Briefcase Full of Blues on a night when Mike Vernon and the Mighty Combo were playing. Mike and his band played a well-paced succession of 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s Rhythm and Blues classics and some songs from Mike’s new album. Piano and keyboard master and Boisdale regular Eric Ranzoni was also present and showed off his new album at the exhibition. One play later, it proved to be a mix of covers and originals played on piano and with vocals, a barrelhouse delight reminiscent of Memphis Slim, Piano Red and Professor Longhair. For piano panache, look no further, seriously.

Thank you also to the staff of the Boisdale Canary Wharf.

Next up for the British Blues Exhibition is a Jo-Ann Kelly tribute night in Sevenoaks, Kent on 26th September, then, with a few appearances in Blues strongholds in hand, it’s off to schools, colleges and places where the word of the Blues needs to be newly noticed.