Saturday, October 06, 2012

Live Music 2012 - Grip of the Blues

While the title of the post is borrowed from a 2008 album by Finnish blues guitarist and songwriter Erja Lyytinen, who is not actually touring the UK until 2013 but I very much intend to see her live then; it happens to sum up my live music forays in the next couple of weeks rather well.
It all kicks off next weekend and involves only small venues...
If you were watching footage of the Diamond Jubilee Concert in London earlier this summer you might have noticed a rather special guitarist accompanying Annie Lennox for her performance. That was Joanne Shaw Taylor. She is a songwriter and singer too and has very recently released her third album on Ruf Records (Ruf 1181). Here it is.

Live at Bristol Tunnels, 11 October and Tavistock Wharf, October 12.
Having never seen her live before I'm very much anticipating that it will be amongst the live highlights of my 2012 - and there have been many.
This next artist I have seen live, in 2009 supporting Seth Lakeman, after the release of her excellent 2008 album 'Kitchen Table'. Bex Marshall also has a new album out and is playing at The Griffin, Frome on 20 October. Here is that album, released on House of Mercy as HOM 002.

The following day, Sunday 21 October, is the first Frome Blues Festival held at the Cheese and Grain. In an exciting line-up one highlight is Chantel McGregor, the recently announced winner of 'Best Female Vocalist' at the British Blues Awards 2012 and an award that Joanne Shaw Taylor had been the recipient of in both 2010 and 2011.
  'Like No Other' is her 2011 d├ębut album - released by Tis Rock Music as TRM001.
The twelve tracks on it include inter alia a splendid cover of Stevie Nicks' Rhiannon (3:39) and yet the self-written songs vary wildly in length. Track 8 'Cat Song' is just 2:16 but follows the rather remarkable 'Daydream' and another truly astonishing cover version...

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