Monday, December 26, 2016

The Blues Enthused Christmas Stocking 2016 - Part 2

Christmas dinner fully digested?  Good, because here come few more platters of goodies.
You could call 2016 the Year of the Nimmos.  If Stevie Nimmo came up with my favourite studio album of 2016, his brother Alan’s outfit King King released a live album to rank alongside classics of the genre.   To put the icing on the cake, I was there at the Glasgow O2ABC gig in May when it was recorded, so I can testify to the fact that King King Live captured all the crackling intensity of that night.
Jo Harman lets her hair down
The support act on that tour, Dan Patlansky, turned plenty of heads with his live performances.  He also delivered an album, Introvertigo, that emphasised the waves made by its predecessor, Dear Silence Thieves - way more modern than your average blues-rocker, Boo Boo.  Wondering what sounds King King and Patlansky might make if they played together?  Well here they are, giving it big licks on the last night of that tour, with ‘Little Wing’.
A more rough and ready purveyor of originality was Big Boy Bloater, with his album Luxury Hobo.  Founded on R’n’B shot through with pub-rock Estuary Englishness, it still manages to fold in some other musical horizons.  Sadly I had to miss out on an opportunity to see Bloater live.  But the Bloat also does a nice line in quirky videos, so here he is with his band the Limits giving us ‘I Love You (But I Can’t Stand Your Friends)’.  Ah yes, a good old fashioned ‘brackets’ title!
Summertime brought the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, one of the highlights of which was Mr Sipp, the self-styled Mississippi Blues Child.  Now here is a guy who knows how to take classic electric blues and put on a show full of personality.  Check out this award-winning performance from the 2014 International Blues Challenge for evidence.
Vintage Trouble go native in Glasgow
From the Jazz & Blues Festival to the Edinburgh Blues’N’RockFestival, which furnished an early sighting of local band The Rising Souls in their newly electrified four-piece incarnation.  By the time the autumn came they were releasing a new four-track EP - featuring the title track 'Set Me Free' in the course of an impressively taut launch gig full of brand new material.  If you fancy the idea of Led Zeppelin having a love affair with Aretha Franklin, as they put it, then keep tabs on them in 2017.
Singer-songwriter and soul siren Jo Harman also pitched up at the Blues’N’Rock Festival, walking a tightrope between hold-your-breath sensitive ballads and shake-yer-booty bluesy soul.  Next year is a big one for Harman, whose much-touted second studio album People We Become is scheduled for release in February.  Three years have passed since her widely applauded debut Dirt On My Tongue, and it’s time for her to live up to her promise.  Here she is giving it big licks on ‘Through TheNight’.

What better way to close the Christmas Stocking than with American soul’n’blues stirrers Vintage Trouble?  Blues Enthused will actually be seeing out the year with them at their New Year’s Eve gig at the Sage Gateshead, and if they’re as good as they were at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow during the summer then it should be a helluva Hogmanay party.  Get in the festive mood with VT in festival mode, at Glastonbury 2015.

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