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Gtfm's Blues Boys will be hosting their 6th Abertillery Blue Festival on the weekend of  July 16th & 17th 2010. For details check out www.abertillerybluesfestival.co.uk and www.blaenaugwentvenues.com  Box Office phone: 01495 355800

Blues Show Bob in action at Blues Dragon Festival in Cardiff - photo copyright John Edwards 2009, used with permission.

 

The 'Blues Dragon Allstars' in action - photo copyright John Edwards 2009, used with permission.

 

Andy Fairweather Low

Bob, Norm plus a Top Line-Up at 2009 Abertillery Blues Festival

 

Two days of blues and rock were headed by legendary guitarist Andy Fairweather Low – described as one of the UK's most eclectic and charismatic musicians. Andy will be joined by his band The Low Riders.

 

The array of other British and international talent included Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory, The Oli Brown Band, Jay Tamkin Band, Earl Thomas & Paddy Milner & The Big Sounds, Lightnin’ Willie & The Poorboys, Derrin Nauendorf, Kendall James Band, Blue Traffic and the Lisa Mills Band.

This years Abertillery Blues Festival was the biggest yet with a host of international talent and a growing fringe festival in the town and we were delighted to be involved .

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Blaenau Gwent Council added:

 

The festival was awarded £20,000 of funding from the Heads of the Valleys Programme – directly addressing the Welsh Assembly Government’s agenda to promote the Valleys as a tourist destination. Blaenau Gwent Council’s Executive Member for Leisure and Culture, Cllr Jason Owen said:

 

“Abertillery Blues Festival is growing in popularity every year and is now firmly established on the UK music calendar".

 

 

CD Review: BIG MAMMA’S DOOR – OPEN FOR BUSINESS

 

Q:          When you’ve got a band producing T-Bone Walker guitar sounds, keys ranging from barrel-house boogie to Hammond and a truly tight rhythm section, what more could be needed to play authentic and vibrant 1950’s music?

 

A:          A fabulous, sassy lady at the front sensitively phrasing the melodies. Fiona McElroy fits the template as though specifically designed for her.

 

I like sassy lady singers. That’s probably a throw-back to my wasted youth but could equally be the fact that I was brought up in a period which had Kathy Kirby - whose lips could outshine the chrome-work on a  ’55 Chevy - as a musical icon. Big Mamma’s Door’s music is taken from a very specific period in history; when there was a very particular mood. Most apparent is the joie de vivre of a world recovering from the austere years of war and rationing. Squeaky clean, renewed and full of enthusiasm for the moment.

 

This selection of songs ranges through the exuberant As Long As I’m Moving, the thoughtful I Love You (Koko Mo) to the suggestive, provocative tease of Blu Lu Barker’s Don’t You Feel My Leg which is just beautifully paced.

 

What strikes me about Big Mamma’s Door is not just that they are consummate musicians. They are consummate musicians who have selected music which they love. More; they have selected music which they love and clearly enjoy performing. And this is what defines this album. There is a sheer exuberance in the playing which underpins the whole project.

 

Open For Business is an album of eloquence. It certainly speaks to me. Try listening!

 

Blues Show Bob

GTFM Blues Show

 

CD Review: NAOMI MATHER – BORN AT THE WRONG TIME

 

 

Since seeing this young lady opening for the Spikedrivers a year or so back, I’ve been very keen to hear more. This 4 –track CD is certainly representative of her work and serves its purpose in offering her music to a wider audience whilst leaving them wanting more. She has a comprehensive understanding of her guitar’s tonal qualities; whether fingerpicking, sliding or tapping.

 

It is not an easy feat to sing soulful, meaningful lyrics whilst all this is going on but she accomplishes the merger comfortably and there are some very good songs within this brief sample. My particular favourite is From Here, We Can See It All which has a truly haunting feel.

 

This is not an exercise in paying lip-service to Delta Blues as a self-promotion; there is an obvious love of the genre which shines through. Naomi Mather is born at exactly the right time to further develop the music she so patently adores and I just hope that she gets discovered soon so we can hear a full album of her songs.

 

Check her out on www.myspace.com/naomimather

 

 

CD Review: JAY TAMKIN – SORTED

 

Jay Tamkin apologised to me just after he recorded this CD because he didn’t think it would be ‘Bluesy’ enough for my tastes. Having first met this engaging young man about two years ago the GTFM Blues Show has followed his blossoming career with a proprietary interest and not a little excitement.

 

Make no mistake. This debut album marks the arrival of someone very special on the British music scene. Jay Tamkin has met and exceeded our expectations every time.

 

Yes, he is an exciting performer. Yes, there is an inventiveness to his music. He writes good tunes, he is a fleet-fingered guitarist when the moment demands but there is so much more.

 

There is a sense of adventure evident throughout this CD. But it is not a gung-ho experience either. Jay is willing to experiment with both sound and fills. There is a solid musicianship evident in this youngster’s songwriting but there is a musicality too. Each track is very different, each a considered blend of ideas and execution. And then, just to confound us, there are a couple of surprises too.

 

Jay Tamkin has class and this CD clearly demonstrates that he is not a ‘one-trick pony’. There is absolutely no necessity for apologies about this fine piece of work.

 

I believe that, with the right promotion and encouragement, this young man could become a major performer.

 

Blues Show Bob

GTFM Blues Show