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Bebop Spoken There

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

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Today Thursday December 12

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 12:00pm. Free.

Note earlier time for this week only!

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Evening

Jazz

Hot Club du Nord - Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Willerby Drive, Peterlee SR8 2RN. Tel: 0191 518 2000. 7:00pm. £10.00. (£5.00. under 18s). 'Jazz at the Lubetkin'.

Gala Big Band - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). ‘Gala Big Band Does Christmas’.

Durham University Big Band - Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AN. Tel: 0191 334 1777. Free. 7:30pm. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£2.00. student).

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

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Dave Stansfield (tenor sax); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Blues/Soul/Funk/Etc.

?????

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 :

Unknown said...

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

Anonymous said...

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.