Preview: for lovers of the Blues, here is the band that sets the standard.
The Blues Band was formed in 1979, by ex-Manfred Mann group members, Paul Jones and Tom McGuinness, originally to play a few pub gigs.
Looking for a bit of fun and some beer money, the band soon found themselves with a whole new career on their hands.
Slide guitar ace and vocalist Dave Kelly was recruited, Gary Fletcher filled the bass post. Rob Townsend of Family fame replaced Hughie Flint in 1982 at the drums. Their new studio album Few Short Lines, released on Repertoire Records, is collecting rave reviews everywhere.
The album features some very special guests, including Al Kooper, famed for his work with Dylan, Springsteen’s old mate Southside Johnny, Scottish soul diva Maggie Bell, and Linda Lewis, who joing Paul for a raunchy duet.
In the past 35 years the band have played all around the world, playing venues ranging from intimate clubs through to headline slots at Glastonbury.
The Blues Band are one of the few outfits to have consistently recorded new material throughout such a long career, and whilst staying true to their blues roots and have constantly developed their music and redefined their approach on several occasions. Their 1994 album ‘Wireless’ saw them venture into the purely acoustic arena for the first time, while 1999’s ‘Brassed Up’ cd was, as the title suggests, a foray into big band blues.
With four singers and songwriters in the band the quality and variety offered by The Blues Band is pretty much unrivaled, and the band’s passion and reverence for the music, their presentation and showmanship all combine to deliver a great night out.
For a band to stay together for such a period takes commitment and belief but most of all requires an audience that keeps coming ‘Back For More’ (as per their 1989 album). Thousand of gigs and hundred of thousands of attendees cannot be wrong!
The Blues Band will play Langholm’s Buccleuch Centre on Thursday September 8 and The Maltings Theatre in Berwick on September 9. See venue websites for ticket details.