Tribute To Cyril Davies

August 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

Online exclusive review.

Tribute To Cyril Davies - Eel Pie Club, Cabbage Patch, Twickenham 12/5/10 - by Bill Smith

This was a night when a galaxy of Blues musicians and enthusiasts gathered together to celebrate the life and work of the first true British Chicago style blues harmonica player Cyril Davies. Much of the organization of the players was done by John O'Leary and the set list was coordinated by Alan Glen. The House Band consisted of John O'Leary (voc/ harp), Alan Glen (voc/gtr/harp), Bob Haddrell (piano/organ), Costa Tancredi (bass) and Pete Miles (drums). They were joined for the first set by Papa George (gtr/voc). The guests included Art Themen (sax), Nick Newall (sax), Paul Cox (voc), Earl Green (voc), Tim Hain (voc/gtr), Roy Parsons (bass), Pete French (voc), Raphael Callaghan (gtr/voc), Laurie Garman (harp), Dave Raphael (harp), Robin Bibi (gtr), Dino Coccia (drums), Don Crane (gtr) and Tom Nolan (gtr).

Alan Glen started the proceedings with a fine rendition of that Cyril Davies classic instrumental “Country Line Special” which set the tone for the evening. Then John O’Leary sang and played harp on two Chicago classics, “Snatch it Back” and “Born in Chicago”, with some fine soloing from Papa George who then sang on “Smokestack Lightning”. After John O’Leary contributed “Early in the Morning” he was joined by Art Themen and Nick Newell for “Checking up on My Baby”. The duo then soloed with great gusto on the instrumental “Watermelon Man”. They were then joined by the inimitable Paul Cox on vocal and Laurie Garman on harp for three rip roaring tunes which happily took us to the end of the first set.

After the showing of some fascinating movie footage of Cyril Davies in action during the interval, the second set commenced with Raphael Callaghan from Liverpool, singing and playing acoustic guitar on “Go down Sunshine” with Dave Raphael on harp. Tim Hain then sang on his own compositions “Eel Pie Special” and “Hug You”. Earl Green then took to the stage and sang “Everyday I Have the Blues”, “Sick 'n’ Tired” and “Red Hot Mama”. He was joined by Art Themen and Nick Newell with Dino Coccia on drums. Pete French then sang on “Rock Me” with Robin Bibi, Don Crane and Tom Nolan on guitar with John O’Leary soloing on harp.

It was no wonder that the Patch was full to capacity! There were many who had seen Cyril Davies in the days of the Roundhouse in Soho. They all agreed that the musicians had performed in a way that Cyril would have approved. It is good that so many musicians and enthusiasts turned out for a fitting tribute to the man that put Chicago harp on the map in the UK.

View photos and video from the evening.

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