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Bebop Spoken There

Danny Gatton: "I was tired of playing in beer joints. I wanted to do something tangible like building cars. But once you do music it gets into your blood. You can get away from it for awhile but sooner or later it comes back to you." - (Down Beat April 1991).

Tal Farlow: "There were times when I would stop [playing guitar] and do sign painting." - (Downbeat December 5, 1963)

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Today Wednesday August 23

Afternoon
Vieux Carre Jazzmen - Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 3OS. 1pm. Free.
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Evening.
New Orleans Jazz at the Village Hall - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Rd., Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm. £3.
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Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. £1. 8pm.
Billy's Acoustic Blues - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free (weekly).
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

SummerTyne Americana Festival 2017: Merle Haggard’s Strangers @ Sage Gateshead - July 21

Ben Haggard (guitar, vocals); Noel Haggard (guitar, vocals); Norm Hamlet (pedal steel); Eddie Curtis (bass guitar).
(Review by Ann Alex)
This band went down well to a full capacity Sage Two. None of the songs were announced because I guess, most of the audience knew the material. The musicians played the instruments well, with occasional short solos during songs, probably improvised, and the singing was good. The audience joined in occasionally with a few lines of songs, and some clapping. The mood was one of easy, relaxed listening. Ben and Noel are the sons of the late Merle Haggard, who died last year aged 79. The sons paid tribute to their father during the show.
So why wasn’t I quite happy and at ease, like the rest of the listeners? I’m not the best person to be reviewing a band such as this one, as I don’t especially like the content of the songs presented. This is what I call ‘cowboy’ music, and I don’t mean that description as an insult, but simply as a description. The lyrics portray a kind of freewheeling ‘cowboy’ feel, which I suspect never actually existed in real life.
It’s all about men enjoying travelling around; drinking too much whisky; loving and then leaving women behind; meeting unsuitable women; sometimes being saved from the drink by a good woman; doing bad things which make their mothers cry; the virtues of being old-fashioned. The final number which had the audience singing was the rather self-congratulating Okie from the Stokie, followed by an encore, demanded by the audience.  But if the songs were to the taste of this audience, who am I to object?
I thoroughly did enjoy a blues number and I’d love to hear more blues from this band, and I’ve come to enjoy the sound of the pedal steel especially.

The support band was very much more to my taste. Ashley Campbell, another artist who is the offspring of a famous country performer. Ashley is the youngest daughter of Glen Campbell.
Ashley Campbell (guitar, banjo, whistling,); Shannon Campbell (guitar); Will Carter (National steel slide guitar); Eli Bishop (fiddle)
This lady had a superb rapport with the audience. I got the feeling that she was really pleased to be with us. She is a skilled musician, with lovely long fingers, the better to play guitar chords with, a lively banjo and even a bit of cute whistling. Likewise, the rest of the band were equally able with evocative slide guitar, rather bluegrass influenced fiddle and her own brother on the other guitar.

Most of the songs were originals, witty, wise and sometimes funny, eg words to the effect that ‘God gave you a handsome face, he must have taken it back’ (about seeing a boyfriend years later). One song concerned being ‘lazy’ in love, lazing around with a boyfriend on Sundays; another was about moving on to another life. She paid tribute to her father who is now, unfortunately, suffering from Alzheimer's disease, with a song about being with him (courageous woman) and the performance was neatly rounded off with Dolly Parton’s Jolene and Glen Campbell’s Gentle On My Mind.
An artist well worth seeing again.
Ann Alex

2 comments :

  1. A bit of pedantry: the song is called "Okie from Muskogee".

    ReplyDelete
  2. From Ann Alex, Thanks for that. I've never seen the title written down and my version comes from listening to the song being introduced. Presumably Muskogee is a place in Oklahoma.

    ReplyDelete

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About this blog - contact details.

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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