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Bebop Spoken There

Sonny Rollins: "I work very hard. I wear out suits playing." - (Downbeat May 29, 1969.)

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Bob Brookmeyer: "The group's philosophy? We're saving to buy new uniforms - the ties wore out." - (Crescendo March 1965).

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Archives.

Today Friday March 24

Afternoon
Rendezvous Jazz - The Black Horse, Front St., Monkseaton, Whitley Bay NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.
Mick Shoulder's Swing Manouche - Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7NP. 1pm. £5. 0300 0269520
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Evening
James Harrison & Caroline Bagley- Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. Free.
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Steve Bone - Al Forno, 81 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX. 7:00pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, March 16, 2015

CD Review Doc Bowling and his Blues Professors – Black Country Boy

Doc Bowling (guitar & vocals), Donnie Burke (guitar, baritone guitar, banjo & backing vocals), Simon Minney (bass, acoustic bass, whistle & backing vocals), Graham Hadley (drums & backing vocals), Roger Champion (percussion & backing vocals), Sophie Loyer (violin), Lawrence Davies (harmonica) & Eddie Kulak (keyboards)
(Review by Russell)
A new name to your reviewer, Doc Bowling is a new favourite. Doc and his fellow seven ‘blues professors’ can be pigeon-holed quite easily – providing you have a vacant dozen or more pigeon holes! Alt country, blues (twelve bar and its variants), Americana, rock-a-billy, shuffling bottleneck, ska – all from an oblique (psychotherapist’s) view point and a Stetson brim-full of humour and understated musical excellence.
Doc Bowling sings on all eleven tracks on Black Country Boy. The eponymous first track identifies Doc Bowling as a lad raised in the West Midlands:
Smethwick Town to Langley Green 
Rowley Regis!
Old Hill to Cradley Heath
From Lye down
To Stourbridge Town
The remarkably prescient Fal$e Prophit Blues is right on the money:
Draw a picture of the Prophet,
You’re shot dead on sight
A politically aware band making a statement! It’s a change from the current vogue for bands making a quasi-intellectual pitch for their brand of ‘original composition.’  The musicianship isn’t in any way secondary to the lyric content; Eddie Kulak (keys) and Lawrence Davies (harmonica) feature. Existential Blues is heavy stuff. Don’t worry, read the liner-notes…A guitar and harmonica-driven up-tempo twelve-bar blues. That’ll do.
Pedestrian Crossroad Blues borrows from Robert Johnson. Slide guitar from Donnie Burke and fiddle from Sophie Loyer despairing of ‘the deadly and deplorable state of England’s pedestrian crossings’ is unabashed blues with lyrics not of 1930s America, but of twenty first century concerns:
You say you’ve got road rage
What we need is road peace!
These vehicular road-wars,
They’ve just gotta cease
The spitting out of Ve-hic-u-lar has to be heard. Almost as good as the classic I was born in 19 and 42 (wailing Chicago harp ‘n’ all).
Biodiesel Blues poses the question:
Must the poor go hungry
Just so the rich can drive?
Growing corn for diesel
Will the earth survive?!
The CD cover image Pastorale (detail) is by Claire Spencer courtesy Bridgeman Images.
One could be tempted to vote for a Green candidate at the forthcoming General Election!
Back to the music – and it is about the music – Church Going Blues, great lyrics:
My man Muddy Waters
He brought me the news
You gotta go to choich
If you want to sing the blues
A lyric with choich in it makes Black Country Blues a ‘must have’ purchase.
Black Country Boy by Doc Bowling and his Blues Professors is available now. The band’s CD launch is on Friday 20 March at King’s College London Students’ Union.  
Russell

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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