Jul 162015

MorelandArbuckleFunky Blues Promotions Aberdeen is proud to present Moreland & Arbuckle at The Tunnels, Aberdeen on 25th July 2015

Guitarist Aaron Moreland and harpist/vocalist Dustin Arbuckle have spent over a decade exploring the edges of American roots music, in the process merging blues, folk and rock and building a reputation as an influential roots duo.

Moreland had grown up absorbing mostly rock influences including Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath whilst Arbuckle had taken his inspiration from icons such as Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson.

Their journey began after meeting at an open-mic night in Kansas in 2001, and they made their debut as a duo on Telarc International with the release of Flood in 2010.

In July 2013 they released 7 Cities, a most ambitious work, telling the story of Spanish explorer Coronado and his fabled search for the seven cities of gold in the Kansas plains. The sounds of 7 Cities ranges from the vintage rock of ‘Kow Tow’ to the twang of ‘The Devil in Me’ and takes in a surprise version of Tears for Fears’ ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’, all rooted in the spirit of the Delta Blues.

“Filled to overflowing with guitar and percussion soaked rock, country twang and low slung blues, 7 Cities is proof that Moreland & Arbuckle have yet again hit the listener right between the eyes.” (World Music Central)

Tickets are available from the venue or from Aberdeen Box Office 01224 641122.


www.FunkyBlues.co.uk  or www.facebook.com/FunkyBluesAberdeen

Jun 192015

Laurence JonespicBlues Rock Aberdeen’s next eye-catching show brings Laurence Jones to the city.

With his third album What’s It Gonna Be attracting unanimous critical praise, Jones will play at The Tunnels on Monday June 22, with his ubiquitous and faithful bassman Roger Inniss and drummer Miri Miettinen

Voted Young Artist of the Year in the 2014 British Blues Awards and representing the UK in the 2015 European Blues Challenge, his is no X Factor-type fluke or hype.

Not yet in his mid-20s, Jones has paid his dues and has the receipts, having supported, among others, Walter Trout, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and King King. 2014’s Ruf Records Blues Caravan saw Jones tour Europe in the company of Albert Castiglia and Christine Skjolberg.

Underlining his growing stature, Jones was invited to play at the Royal Albert Hall on 15 June to celebrate the music of blues giant Leadbelly. What’s It Gonna Be includes a tribute version of the great man’s ‘Good Morning Blues’, even sampling the original. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3RGnSKNy6c

Reviews have compared him to Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy and he’s been described as “the future of the blues”.

His ongoing battle with Crohn’s disease is no secret and the launch party for What’s It Gonna Be  raised over £1600 for Crohns’ and Colitis UK.

Support Graham and Kenny’s terrific promotional efforts and hear some top-class modern blues in what is a considerable coup for Blues Rock Aberdeen. Tickets cost £10 plus booking fee from Aberdeen Performing Arts. http://tinyurl.com/oa9adee Doors open at 19:30.




Jun 052015

Funky Blues Promotions Aberdeen are proud to announce the return of Hamilton Loomis and his band to the city, playing at The Blue Lamp on 12 June 2015, following his successful Drummonds gig in 2014.

Hamilton Loomis (1)“If blues, soul and rock can be said to form a triangle, you’ll find Hamilton Loomis right in the centre of it” (Guitar Player magazine)

Hamilton Loomis is among those bringing blues into the 21st Century, redefining it for contemporary audiences and uniting music lovers all over the world in blues appreciation.

Having learned to play guitar and drums at a young age, by his early teens he was playing in his family’s Texan doo-wop group.

Among the many who saw Hamilton’s talent and potential early on, was Texas blues legend the late Bo Diddley, and by the time Hamilton was 18 he had performed in front of thousands at the Delta Blues Festival and was beginning to write and arrange his own material.

His self-released 1994 debut CD Hamilton received a Grammy Nomination for Best Contemporary Blues  Album, and he went on to complete Kickin’ It, his first Blind Pig Records release in 2003, his original approach devoured by an audience hungry for something fresh in roots music.

Touring non-stop since 2001, Hamilton has introduced his funkified Texas music to audiences worldwide, whilst also grabbing two Best Artist award titles in England and Wales.

Tickets are available from the venue or from Aberdeen Box Office 01224 641122.

Funky Blues Aberdeen Facebook page www.facebook.com/FunkyBluesAberdeen has more details.


Apr 232015

nimmo trio2With thanks to David Innes.

Some fantastic blues acts have played in Aberdeen so far in 2015. Ian Siegal, Laurence Jones and King King graced the Jazz Festival and Robin Trower, with Joanne Shaw Taylor in support, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd all excelled at The Lemon Tree in April.

Then Seasick Steve, supported superbly by My Baby, delighted the Music Hall audience last weekend.

Graham Robertson of Blues Rock Aberdeen is keen to point out that the blues action continues, with the Stevie Nimmo Trio booked to play an afternoon show at The Tunnels on Sunday 3 May at 1500, a perfect way to celebrate the May Day weekend.

As one half of Scotland’s highly respected Nimmo Brothers, Stevie Nimmo has built a deserved reputation over 15 years of touring and recording, and is a well-respected musician throughout the blues and rock scene.

Following a successful Nimmo Brothers gig in Aberdeen in 2014, Stevie now brings his trio line up to the Granite City for a full-on electric gig.

Stevie’s critically-acclaimed Wynds Of Life solo album in 2010 featured top Texas musicians, and now the first Trio album is on release to coincide with the tour. Songs previewed live during 2014 received great audience reaction.

Virgil and the Accelerators will return to The Granite City playing at The Tunnels on Friday 15 May.

Tickets are available from www.aberdeenperformingarts.com

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Apr 172015

Trouble With The Blues is the fourth album from the Gerry Jablonski Band. It’s a classic compendium racing up and down the full spectrum of The Blues, and it’s absolutely cracking. Suzanne Kelly stops listening to it long enough to review.

Trouble With The Blues CoverThe Gerry Jablonski Band has come up with their best album yet, although it’s not as if they’ve released any flawed albums before. Twist of Fate, their last album was rightly well received.

But on Trouble With The Blues, the high production values, writing, playing, solos and vocals have reached new, highly-gelled heights. My first initial reaction is that I must see them do this material live as soon as possible.

The lyrics run from playful, for example in ‘The Curse’, to heartbreakingly raw and painful.

This emotion comes in no small measure from the sad passing of the band’s long-standing percussionist Dave Innes, who tragically passed away one year ago after illness. The last piece, ‘I Confess’ puts me in mind of Hamlet’s famous soliloquy which painfully questions existence; if you hear the song, you’ll perhaps take my meaning.

In ‘I Confess’, the lyrics are initially filled with sorrow:

“I never felt this way before until my friend passed away”

– as direct and crushing as a lyric can get. As it reaches a crescendo, the lyrics increasingly expose more raw pain, self-contempt and anger mirrored in the poignant vocals. All the while the guitar grows correspondingly louder and more insistent.

It’s cathartic for anyone who’s had such a loss; such a person will identify with this song and likewise be moved. It’s incredibly honest, as is ‘Anybody.’

‘Anybody’ is also a mournful, classic blues. Clapton would have been happy to have come up with this song. The instrumentals are minimal, while Jablonski sings

“I’m only human after all.  I’ve been through my changes; don’t know which way to turn.  All my friends are doing fine.  So somebody, could be anybody, take me to the light.”

Jablonski - Credit - Peter Narojczyk (1)People are going to be singing along to this when they hear it live, I guarantee it. The only thing I’d say is that this sweet song is one I could imagine with a gospel choir on the chorus towards the end; i.e. the ‘Under The Bridge’ effect if you will. But other than that suggestion, I’ve no fault to find with this accomplished album.

Jablonski’s voice has never been in better form; the guitar work, and especially the guitar solos have also taken things up a notch. The title track ‘Trouble with the Blues’ has a scorcher of a solo, for instance.

But this album is a group effort, a team production. The entire band shares the song writing credits. There are polished bass lines and funky bass solos: ‘Trouble With The Blues’ has a great solo. Once again Peter Peter Narojczyk’s harmonica work is versatile, polished, expressive; Jerry Portnoy would approve. Lewis Fraser is now on the drums. He’s done a brilliant piece of work on this album. Mr Innes would approve.

I’ve dwelt on two melancholy, soul-baring tracks so far; but ultimately this album is celebratory.  ‘Lady & I’ is upbeat and sassy; ‘The Curse’ is great fun.  Then again so is ‘Fork Fed Dog’ – down, dirty, fun. I can imagine sets opening with this high-voltage track. It’s a tremendous track and I look forward to experiencing it live. ‘Big Bad World’ is a nice sharp bit of social commentary and a good showplace for Narojczyk, with a short but sharp Jablonski solo.

Live dates are indeed coming; for more information on this album and where to catch the Gerry Jablonski band, see the website here:  www.gerryjablonskiband.com . I also understand that a video is forthcoming, shot at least in part in Aberdeen’s D-Range recording studio.

Jablonski - Credit - Peter Narojczyk (3)There is a great deal of debate in Aberdeen now about what is or is not culture, and what Aberdeen’s greatest cultural assets are. This album is as strong a hint as you can possibly get on that score.

This is not a piece of work to listen to once and forget; it will be going on your iPod and going where you go.

Having seen their Facebook updates during the project, and how happy they were to be at Abbey Road, I must say I’m very happy they’ve come out with such a strong, varied, memorable work. Nice work, gentlemen.

Feb 272015

steve nimmo trioBy David Innes.

Graham Robertson and Kenny Taylor’s Facebook page had me intrigued.

Blues, in all its guises, is a healthy obsession, so a chat was in order.

Graham provides the words.

So, Graham, what inspired you to begin promoting gigs in Aberdeen?

Kenny and I are both huge fans of live music and regularly travel to gigs all over the place.

‘We had thought about promoting, but when our friend Linda from Newcastle gave us the chance to bring Ryan McGarvey to Aberdeen, we decided to take the chance. Having seen him a few times before, we knew how talented he was, and it would be a challenge and a great opportunity for our first show. Ryan, Kenny and I were very pleased with the turnout out of 121, given that he’s virtually unknown in Aberdeen. There’s definitely a demand for blues rock out there with Joe Bonamassa pulling a crowd of over 3000 when he played the AECC in September.

We started our Facebook page since it’s much easier to get word out via social media. Over 200 people are following the page in the short time it’s been up and running, and we’re considering the merits of having our own website.

As fans of live music it is also quite important for us to keep the tickets at affordable prices.

So why Blues Rock? Are you attempting to get into a niche here, or are you open to acoustic acts, Delta interpreters etc? What if Eric Bibb was looking for a gig in the NE?

We’d be open to acoustic gigs, but are focusing initially on electric blues rock for the first two or three years until we get ourselves established. We’d then consider taking Eric Bibb to Aberdeen if it was financially viable.

What were your personal highlights of 2014?

2014 was very good year for us. Obviously starting up Blues Rock Aberdeen and putting on our first two gigs – Ryan McGarvey and The Nimmo Brothers were the main highlights.

In March I travelled to New York to see The Allman Brothers Band play two nights during their run at The Beacon Theatre. A week after I’d booked the tickets they announced that 2014 was going to be their final year, so that made the concerts even more special.

In May we both attended The Rory Gallagher Tribute Festival in Ballyshannon, where Rory was born. It was a brilliant, with over twenty bands playing over the weekend. Fans attended from all over the world and I even had a pint with a guy who had travelled from Australia especially for the festival.

The overwhelming highlight of 2014 for me, though, was the Harvest Time Blues Festival in Monaghan, Ireland at the beginning of September. It came as a real surprise, as I didn’t think anything could top seeing The Allman Brothers Band.

laurence jonesThe whole festival was particularly well-run and had a great variety of bands. Almost every bar had live bands playing including Crow Black Chicken and The Hardchargers from Ireland. Doug MacLeod, Lil’ Jimmy Reed, Bnois King and Smokin’ Joe Kubek all played, and 81 year old Leo Bud Welch graced the acoustic stage.

The main stage started at 2230 and had a wealth of talent with Monaghan’s own Grainne Duffy, Mud Morganfield, Royal Southern Brotherhood, and my favourite band over the whole weekend The Steepwater Band from Chicago. I would highly recommend The Harvest Time Blues Festival to anyone.

In November Kenny went to The Blues Fest at The Royal Albert Hall taking in many great acts including The Hoax, Beth Hart and Robert Cray, but his highlight of 2014 was seeing Gary Clark Jr blowing away the crowd in Manchester.

And your three favourite blues albums of 2014?

2014 was a fantastic year for blues albums. Our top three in no particular order were:

Rival Sons – Great Western Valkyrie

Gary Clark Jr – Live

Beth Hart  and Joe Bonamassa – Live in Amsterdam

And who would you predict for glory in 2015?

Blues Pills from Sweden who impressed us greatly when we saw them support Rival Sons in Glasgow in December.

Ryan McGarvey, a very special talent. I’m sure everyone who saw his gig in June will agree

Ruf Records’ Laurence Jones, We first saw him support Royal Southern Brotherhood in Kendal in 2011. It’s been really good to see him mature as a musician when we’ve seen him at one or two blues festivals in the last couple of years and when he supported Kenny Wayne Shepherd in Edinburgh last year, he went off to a standing ovation. He just gets better and better, now with a fantastic rhythm section behind him in Roger Innis on bass and Miri Miettinen on drums. It’s great to see him awarded another high profile support slot, joining King King on their current UK tour, including a Lemon Tree date on Sunday 22 March.

So far, what’s arranged in Aberdeen for 2015?

We’re bringing The Stevie Nimmo Trio up on Sunday 3 May, Virgil and the Accelerators on Friday 15 May, Laurence Jones on Monday 22 June and we’re hoping Philip Sayce will reschedule his cancelled show from last November. For the Stevie Nimmo Trio we’re trying something different. Since it falls on May Day weekend we’ve made it an afternoon gig with doors opening at 1500.

‘After their successful gig in September we’ll be bringing the Nimmo Brothers back later in the year.

If money, venue and availability were no object, who would you bring to Aberdeen for blues lovers to see?

We’re huge fans of Gary Clark Jr and Warren Haynes and would love to take them to The Granite City. Warren Haynes is the hardest working man in music and we’d love to see him play Aberdeen whether with his band Gov’t Mule or solo.

There are perennial complaints that Aberdeen is missed out when artists of all genres tour the UK. Blues Rock Aberdeen and Almost Blue promotions are putting admirable effort and energy into trying to put that right.

The least they deserve is your support for their creditable hard work.


Blues Rock Aberdeen gigs 2015

03 May             The Tunnels       The Stevie Nimmo Trio (afternoon show 1500)
15 May              The Tunnels       Virgil and the Accelerators
22 June            The Tunnels       Laurence Jones

Sep 272013

Aberdeen’s undisputed Ambassadors of Blues Gerry Jablonski and the Electric Band excel themselves with a standard-setting live show and new album ‘Twist of Fate’ that deserves wide acclaim. Suzanne Kelly reviews.

Jablonski Electric Band 1 -  Credit: Julie ThompsonGerry Jablonski and the Electric Band would have been my first port of call musically if I were in charge of Aberdeen’s City of Culture Bid.
This is Aberdeen’s longest serving and most talented blues/rock outfit.
Years of hard work, dedication and progress have turned out a diverse, blues-infused album with an individualistic sound.

Jablonski and the Electric band are the kind of journeymen that make going to see live music the pleasure it should be, a good antidote to manufactured bands and reliance on costume changes for audience captivation.

Several hundred other people agreed with me; a hugely enthusiastic crowd enjoyed the band’s high octane set at the Lemon Tree on Friday 20th September where the new material was given the enthused reception it deserves.

The opening acts were Hell house and The Ruckus which at different points evoked Paul Rogers & Bad Company to AC/DC with a strong finale number ‘Nothing to Lose.’ 

From his acoustic blues days through Cloth Monkey, from the powerful Union Terrace Gardens Jubilee party to the present, Jablonski has grown into a seasoned, entertaining front man. The Lemon Tree saw him and the band giving it their all.  Jablonski started the set on his own with an instrumental which invoked The Rolling Stones ‘Hipshake.’

As the band joined him on ‘Sherry Dee’ I was momentarily distracted by some of the crowd; I wondered why people come to see live music if they’re going to talk (if not shout) above it and spent their night taking selfies. But everyone was soon totally caught up in the set, and wouldn’t have noticed if the place had crumbled around us.

It can be hard to balance real, raw blues against the desire to put out a neat, tight, clean set, but they walk that line. They are clearly tightly rehearsed without losing any of the fresh feel their material demands live.

Jablonski Electric Band 2 -  Credit: Julie ThompsonFor me two of the (many) highlights were the very powerful ‘Black Rain’ and ‘Preacher’, from the new album (then again there was also some delicious slide guitar).  You would be justified in buying the album for ‘Preacher’ alone; a dark, heavy track reminiscent of Clapton/Cream, with a twist.

The lyrics deserve more attention than I’ve been able to give them so far, but the title track ‘Twist of Fate’ a slower, beautiful bit of blues is poignant.

What ‘Twist of Fate’ is about is explained on the album notes:-

“During the recording, our drummer and friend has been battling his illness, hence the title of this album.  Music is a great healer and a magical force, but it should never be above family and friends and those you love.”

The press release promised:

“There is real passion and pain on this album and it takes the band and their electric music to a whole new level.” 

The promise was kept.

Gerry kept referencing the importance of his wife and family to him during the set, and how important the families of the bands are to the whole. This support is clearly crucial, with drummer Dave Innes receiving treatment for cancer. Not that you would have had any clue of this on the night; he was a smiling, powerful force.  It would be remiss not to credit the harmonica work from Peter; a perfect foil for Gerry’s solos.

It was over an hour into the set, and I was wondering how many more songs they would be able to get through without all of them tiring – the drumming was impeccable, the base understated, elegant and reliable – as it’s supposed to be. Jablonski’s vocals are getting better and deeper all the time; but it has always been the amazing fills and solos that I find compelling.

There was some slowed-down traditional blues towards the end, but the way Jablonski plays deserves more attention than it’s had to date. The bass player is not to be overlooked – you can’t do anything like this without a solid bass. The set flew past; the title track from ‘Twist of Fate’ came close to the end. The set’s ended, but things are just beginning for JG and the Electric Band.

‘Twist of Fate’ is available on Fat Hippy Records and at all good record shops.  www.fathippyrecords.couk

More photos of the band from the Lemon Tree by Julie Thompson can be found here:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/ladypakal/sets/72157635732346123/

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Sep 172013

With thanks to Suzanne Kelly.

Gerry Jablonski

Gerry Jablonski and The Electric Band have long been one the most successful acts to come out of Aberdeen.

Their first 2 albums on Fat Hippy Records have sold to classic blues rock fans all over the world and both albums have had to be re-pressed to supply demand for their music!

On the 23rd September Fat Hippy will release their stunning third album Twist Of Fate.

Recorded whilst the band were fighting for their future as drummer Dave Innes (Midge Ure, Marillion, Fish, Bay City Rollers) battles with stomach cancer there is real passion and pain on this album and it takes the band and their electric music to a whole new level.

The band will play Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree on September 20th; other upcoming dates include 21st September at Non-Zeros, Dundee and 27th September in Edinburgh’s Voodoo Rooms.

With tours of Poland, Germany and Czech Republic already booked for 2013 and 2014 to launch the album and interest from the USA growing every day you should probably catch this band whilst you can!  More info:


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Sep 032013
Sugar Blue with Giles Robson

Sugar Blue with Giles Robson

Giles Robson & the Dirty Aces will appear live at Aberdeen Blues Club in The Blue Lamp on 12 September.

Only in his mid twenties, Robson is the leading blues harmonica player of his generation who hosted a harmonica showdown at the Great British R&B Festival last weekend in the company of world-renowned players Charlie Musselwhite, Sugar Blue and Billy Branch.

The band’s 2011 debut release Crooked Heart of Mine earned enthusiastic reviews and the forthcoming album From The Basement is likely to be the first British blues album released on leading Chicago-based label Alligator Records.

The band plays high energy blues and R&B with new wave grittiness and are slotting in this exclusive mainland Scotland show as they travel between the Monaghan and Shetland blues festivals.

Apart from Robson’s harmonica histrionics, the band also features respected Polish guitarist Filip Kozlowski. Ian Jennings on double bass and drummer Mike Hellier blues veterans both, between them have accompanied Jeff Beck, Van Morrison, Jools Holland, Scotty Moore, Jimmy Witherspoon, Sherman Robertson and Derrin Nauendorf among many others. Most recently they backed Mud Morganfield at this year’s Aberdeen Jazz Festival.

Doors open at 8pm. Tickets bought in advance from The Blue Lamp cost £8 or £10 on the night

Oct 282011

There are sure to be fireworks when leading Newcastle blues group the Lyndon Anderson Band conclude Aberdeen Blues Club’s 2011 season of shows at The Blue Lamp on Saturday 5 November.  With thanks to Chris Simmonds.

When it comes to blues, this vibrant and exciting 4-piece band has all bases covered.

Whether it`s 1950s Chess classics, New Orleans funk, Texan blues shuffles, West Coast swing or their own well-crafted material, they play it with style, authority and taste.

Harmonica player Lyndon Anderson is regarded as one of the UK’s very best and his deep soulful voice evokes the Mississippi cotton fields rather than industrial Tyneside.

Lyndon’s band members are seasoned veterans who have come through the ranks of Newcastle rock, blues, soul, punk and rockabilly bands and share their frontman’s vision.

The band has released two highly acclaimed CDs to date – Take My Order and The Groove-O-Matic Sounds of The Lyndon Anderson Band.

Support is provided by local 4-piece The Malpaso Gang, who play a mixture of old-style country and blues. The band won the award as Best Band in the local Fudge Awards last year whilst their lap steel player Son Henry has won Best Instrumentalist at the UK National Blues Awards two years running.

Doors open at 7:30pm with the first act on stage at 8pm.
Tickets priced £6 are available in advance and will be available on the night at £8.

For further info: