What’s New In Issue 85

January 7, 2009 in Editorial

By chance, the major articles in this month’s magazine feature three musicians who were born in Jamaica. Being ‘near’ the United States, they were all immersed in American musical culture before they arrived here.

Big Joe Louis, our cover artist, plays and sings the blues in a style that predates the vogue for blues-rock. His skills make him ideal to accompany blues veterans like Homesick James and the new generation such as Mud Morganfield. He came into Blues In Britain to talk to me and some of that conversation is in the magazine article; the full text is on the web site here.

Sam Kelly is a drummer of equal skill and experience and he too plays with many of the visiting blues musicians. He also plays regularly in many UK line-ups. One of them, Station House, started as the band that hosted the Sunday afternoon jams at The Station Tavern, Bramley Road in London W10. Sam has written us an e-letter to describe the new line-up of the band, which has its debut at The Bulls Head in Barnes on 19th February.

This Is Soul is a touring show featuring Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band and guest stars Jimmy James and PP Arnold. There are twenty three dates on the tour, starting in the middle of January and finishing on the last day of February. I called soul singer Jimmy James and he talked to me about the tour and his band The Vagabonds. Pat Arnold will be featured in issue 86.

We also have reports of blues festivals around the country and from Lucerne alongside our usual reviews of gigs and recorded music. Thanks to everyone who contributed words and photos. Please keep them coming in!

Gigs are always scarce in January and February, while we recover from Christmas. However, the acts that are booked are well worth seeing. I plan to go to Brooks Blues Bar at The Telegraph and The Half Moon, both in Putney, the 100 Club and Famous Monday Blues in Oxford. Best of all, I am going on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise with Taj Mahal, Irma Thomas, James Hunter and so many more. Have a wonderful 2009!

Fran Leslie

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