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Bebop Spoken There

Immanuel Wilkins: "I'm against the notion of telling a story through lyrics. Dialogue or language can take away from the musical meaning. Words can do a disservice." - (The Hot House Jazz Guide January 19, 2021)

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

Thursday January 21

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HONOR HORNSBY & FRANK GRIFFITH.

Postage

12,377 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 96 of them this year alone and, so far, 96 this month (Jan. 20).

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Lee Bates @ Prohibition Bar - Oct. 2

Lee Bates (guitar, vocals)

Prohibition Bar continues to show the way. In these Covid times the Pink Lane venue is in the vanguard of Newcastle's entertainment venues attempting to chart a course throught ever-changing guidelines. Tonight's gig was the latest in the Blind Pig Blues Club's series of monthly concert promotions. One of those behind the BPBC is Lee Bates and this evening the man himself took to the Covid-secure stage - a perspex screen between performer and audience.  

Sitting comfortably with his National steel in his lap and a bottle of the house beer (Prohibition 33 Pale Ale) at hand, Bates couldn't have been more genial, his love of the blues clearly evident. From Blind Boy Fuller to Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Charley Patton and a host of other country blues artists, this was how to listen to the blues - an intimate venue, a small (by design), attentive audience, good company.     

I'm a Rattlesnakin' Daddy (Fuller) opened the show, Bates' command of the material and his instrument a joy to behold, this was gonna be a goodun. A brace from Bo Carter -  Old Devil and Country Fool - followed by Woody Guthrie's Dust Bowl ballad Vigilante Man, this was great stuff. Our man said, unsurprisingly, tonight's gig was his first since February. Bates said he thought he'd be a bit rusty. Not a bit of it! During lockdown he'd been learning some new tunes and here he was playing them in public for the first time. 

Charley Patton's Pony Blues, as recorded by Son House, Robert Johnson's When You Got a Good Friend and Phonograph Blues, some Scrapper Blackwell, some Joe Callicott, Bates had long-since decided not to bother with an interval, he was much too busy enjoying himself! A potted history of, or simply nuggets about, the bluesmen Bates was paying homage to, helped create a narrative for those perhaps less familiar with the idiom. 

Irving Berlin's My Walking Stick perhaps the unlikely selection of the evening, John Lee Hooker the more likely by way of Ground Hog Blues, and that was about it, the best part of an hour and a half straight through. Lee Bates thought he had finished for the evening...More! More! We got one more, Barbecue Bob's Yo Yo Blues. It had been a canny night.  
Russell

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