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The Blues Band: 40 Years and Counting
What does a great, lively musical tradition demand? Discipline, devotion, passion and love. Whether it’s Beethoven or B. B. King, Howlin’ Wolf or Handel, it all sounds better with a huge helping of skill, virtuosity and feeling. So when it comes to the Blues, aficionados of the genre can relax, because with The Blues Band, their music’s in good hands.
Formed in 1979 by five seasoned musicians, The Blues Band are celebrating 40 glorious years as Britain and Europe’s leading exponents of one of the greatest musical traditions of all time. It began back then with a phone call by Paul Jones, actor, singer, musician and radio presenter, no stranger to the pop charts throughout the 1960s as front man for the hugely successful Manfred Mann. His fellow Manfred Tom McGuinness shared the same love of the music – he’d started out with Eric Clapton in the Roosters. And they knew the right people to make their idea for a band ‘just to play the blues’ work; they brought in legendary slide guitar man and singer Dave Kelly, who brought along a talented fellow musician, bassist Gary Fletcher. With the addition of Tom’s chart-topping partner from McGuinness Flint, drummer Hughie Flint, (ex-John Mayall’s Blues Breakers), that first line-up stormed the post-punk music scene, and contrary to their expectations, they soon left the pub scene behind for an international career playing the music they loved. After two and a half years, Hughie Flint left due to the pressures of touring. His place was admirably filled by another fine drummer, Rob Townsend, a member of one of Britain’s most eclectic, legendary outfits, Family.
The rest, as the saying goes, is history. But what history. TV, films, a stadium tour with Dire Straits, over 20 albums, within a few years the Blues Band’s deep, well-tended roots had brought them the status of lasting legends. From Greece to Finland, Poland to Portugal, Italy to Denmark, when the Blues Band arrive, the fans turn out in their thousands. What’s on offer is always the same; a stunning menu of original compositions and blues classics, all delivered with passion, knowledge, love of the genre and entertaining showmanship. Other blues groups come and go, but it takes something special to achieve the iconic prestige enjoyed by The Blues Band. If you want to know what 40 years of skill and devotion sound like, here’s your chance – if you love the blues, it doesn’t get any better than The Blues Band.
With this tour, Nell has gone back to her roots and followed the traditional sonic footsteps of her idols Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin and Carole King. Having just recorded an album (to tape!) – of all new songs at Ray Davies Konk Studios in London, Nell’s new EP is called “Soundtrack to Little Wing – Part 1,” which is a reference to Nell’s soon to be released debut novel, for which this music is a companion album. In her return to Arlington Arts, you can expect a soulful, heartfelt performance from New Yorker Nell and her band – an artist who is at her most comfortable on the road.
Celebrating the incredible music of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton & Cream – Voodoo Room are a stunning high energy ‘Power Trio’ featuring some of the U.K.’s finest musicians whose credits include: Steve Winwood, Massive Attack, Arthur Brown, Fish, Thunder, Lulu etc.
No wigs, no pantomime – just great music played by great musicians!
“Incredible musicians!” – Neneh Cherry
“Superb” – Time Out
UK guitarist Kris Barras is known for his high-energy hybrid of no-nonsense rock, blues and country. Winners of ‘best new band’ in the 2018 planet rock awards, The Kris Barras Band have become one of the UK’s fastest rising acts.
Recently voted one of the ‘top blues guitarists in the world’ (music radar) and winning the ‘best album’ accolade in the European blues awards, perhaps best demonstrates the band’s fluidity and appeal to fans of different genres. The band’s unique mix of foot-stomping riffs and catchy tunes have made them the ‘must-see’ Blues/Rock band of 2019.
Kris Barras Band – Lovers or Losers (Official Music Video)
This Bristolian Singer-Songwriter flls your heart with words and melodies that nourish both body and soul. Within a minute of hearing Lady Nade’s voice, this alternative rootsy pop balladeer will make you feel as if she’s an old friend. You’ll find yourself transported to places you have never been to, and you will feel nostalgic for times you have never had. Her performances are like a reunion. Share a room with her, and she’ll give you her story. All of it. The joys and sorrows. You will love her for it, and she will love you back.
Be ready. Be prepared. Her tender soulful voice will draw you in. Sing to your very bones. Strip you down then build you up to be more than you were.
Gordon Haskell has often been described as a brilliant mix of Bill Withers and James Taylor with the feel of J.J Cale; but ultimately Haskell is a craftsman with his own unique style and presence, who has been consistently winning audiences with his warmth and golden voice for decades.
After 35 years of dedication to developing his craft of the singer-songwriter, Gordon Haskell finally broke through in 2001 with his hugely popular song ‘How Wonderful You Are’ reaching No. 2 in the UK chart and top chart positions right across Europe.
In 2002 his albums ‘Harry’s Bar’ and ‘Shadows on the Wall’ reached No. 2 and No 44 in the UK chart, and in the top 20 in Germany, France, Poland, Finland and the Netherlands. Both albums reached Gold status with the single selling 400,000+.
Since then he has continued to perform and record mostly in Europe, travelling from his home in Greece, and released book ‘The Road to Harry’s Bar’.
Having had a handful of sporadic concerts (& hugely successful) live appearances since, Gordon returns to the road in 2019 to bring his jazz/blues-influenced songbook and golden voice back to theatre audiences nationwide; up-close, intimate evenings with Gordon Haskell – the master singer-songwriter.