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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Blind Pig Blues Club: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle - July 5


Struggle Buggy: Lee Bates (guitar, kazoo, vocals); Billy Newton (harmonica, vocals); Paul Summerson (bass guitar); Keith Smith (drums)
(Review by Russell)

The most authentic blues in town! That's the Blind Pig Blues Club's forthright claim and at the end of an evening featuring Struggle Buggy supported by Michael Littlefield's solo set those who were present would readily endorse it! 

Lee Bates and Billy Newton have worked together as a duo for a good few years and Struggle Buggy is their four-piece band comprising bassist Paul Summerson and drummer Keith Smith. The set list ranged from Blind Boy Fuller (I'm a Rattlesnakin' Daddy and Flyin' Airplane Blues) to Memphis Minnie (Kissing in the Dark) to Washboard Sam (I'm Gonna Keep My Hair Parted in the Middle). Bates, playing a National Steel, took the majority of the vocals with Newton singing Sonny Boy's Early in the Morning

Bates and Newton are students of the blues; musicians, labels, recording dates, all at their fingertips. The subject matter often dark, lyrical innuendo ever-present, yet Struggle Buggy's frontmen successfully engaged with the Prohibition Bar audience with their unfailing good humour as the rhythm section - Paul Summerson (bass) and, the model of restraint, Keith Smith (drums) - did what a good rhythm section should do - lay it down and keep it there, in-the-pocket. 

The Panic is On (Depression-era blues), Tampa Red's Black Hearted Woman, a Mess Around from the Memphis Jug Band (Bates blowing 1920s' kazoo) and Tear it Down (King David's Jug Band) with audience 'jazz hands' participation, this was authentic blues alright with a most welcome relaxed, inclusive approach courtesy of Bates, Newton and co..                 

Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals)

Earlier, Michael Littlefield opened this month's Blind Pig Blues Club session with a solo (guitar/vocals) set. The King Bees' frontman is the 'real deal', as 'authentic' a musician as you could wish to hear. Guitar and voice, the young man has got it big style. The traditional (19th century?) Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor for openers, Robert Johnson's 32-20 BluesYou Got Me Dizzy from the Jimmy Reed songbook and a Nassau String Band cut (Bellamina), no less! Tyneside is lucky to have such an accomplished performer, Littlefield is the coming generation, make no mistake, fingers crossed he'll be around for years to come. 

Next month's Blind Pig presents, all the way from Edinburgh, Geriatric Jones and Kid Thomas. August 2nd, doors at eight, first set at nine. Admission free, but, but, but, do make a donation!    
Russell

1 comment :

Patti said...

This was a great blues night - Michael is the real deal - he can cross from Mississippi John Hurt to Robert Johnson seamlessly - singing and guitar styles. Gently melodic, to the raw emotion of RJ ...... this was it, in our very own Prohibition Bar!

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