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Bebop Spoken There

Buddy Guy: "I've never made a record I liked." - (The New Yorker March, 2019)


Today Thursday March 21



Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.



Mo Scott Blues Band - The Globe, Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £6.00. (£3.00. student).


Andy Lawrenson Trio - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free.

Tees Hot Club w. Dave Stansfield (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Ted Pierce (piano) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NJ. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Mavis Staples @ The Boiler Shop, Newcastle - July 13

Mavis Staples (vocals); Rick Holmstrom (guitar, vocals); Jeff Turmes (bass guitar); Stephen Hodges (drums); Vicki Randle (vocals); Donny Gerrard (vocals) + Benjamin Booker (vocals) 
(Review by Russell)
The Boiler Shop on South Street, the historic site of Stephenson's Works, the workshop in which George and Robert Stephenson built the first locomotives - Locomotion and Rocket - has been lovingly restored to its former glory.  

On a sweltering Friday evening, Sage Gateshead's concert promotion across the Tyne in Newcastle attracted a near capacity crowd to hear a set of blues, gospel and r 'n' b by one of the enduring figures in popular music. 

The Staples Singers first came to public attention in 1949 and since then the family, for many years guided by Pops Staples, has continued to preach the gospel, the book of good music. Mavis Staples, seventy-nine years young last Tuesday, took to the stage to a heroic reception from an adoring crowd. Backed by her long-serving trio - Rick Holmstrom, guitar, Jeff Turmes, bass and drummer Stephen Hodges - and friends Vicki Randle and Donny Gerrard supplying sublime backing vocals, Staples worked the crowd for seventy-five minutes, later returning to the stage to deliver a fifteen-minute encore. 
The voice as strong as ever, Staples exuded love and warmth in a non-stop set of classic material and songs from her current album If All I Was Was Black. 1972's Billboard chart-topping I'll Take You There espoused love and togetherness but before that Staples revived memories of Dr Martin Luther King and the civil rights marches, singing Who Told You That? - an admonishment of those who have failed to stand up and challenge the pernicious political forces of our times. We Go High took as its inspiration the words of Michelle Obama in seeking to empower the young. Yes, Staples was in no mood to take anymore BS. Preaching to the converted in an historic, converted engineering workshop, Staples said she could feel the love. 
Civil rights, Black Lives Matter, Staples was only too well aware of how some things have changed very little and her invitation to Benjamin Booker to join her on stage to sing the eponymous song Witness from his 2017 album further illustrated that generations apart - the age difference between Staples and Booker is 50 years - there is still much work to be done. 

Earlier Benjamin Booker played a half hour support set. Benjamin Booker, vocals and guitar accompanied by Sam Coles, guitar and vocals won new friends here on Tyneside. Booker's vocal style is unusually husky, husky rather than hoarse, at times wrought, the voice of a singer-songwriter. His occasional guitar playing was just that, occasional and for accompaniment only. Sam Coles played the guitar parts, themselves pared down contributions with minimal vocal backing. Booker's Witness - think Can I Get a Witness? (Marvin Gaye) - spoke to the Black Lives Matter campaign. Pertinently, poignantly, Mavis Staples would later invite Booker to join her in reprising his timely composition. 

An evening of blues, gospel and r 'n' b with as much soul as you could possibly wish for. Staples said she'd be back. Let's hold her to that.  

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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: I look forward to hearing from you.


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