Levon Helm - The Midnight Ramble
Review contributed by Rex McLeod.
Last October, I was visiting the USA , staying in NYC and travelled upstate NY to Woodstock. I was off to Levon Helm's home and studio where he held a Midnight Ramble with his 12 piece band every Saturday night (unless they were on the road). As you drive down Levon's long driveway, the first sign you notice is WATCH OUT FOR BEARS! Makes you realise you are in amongst the Woodstock forest.
At each Ramble Levon had a guest act and the night we went it was JD Souther. JD, who co-wrote many songs with Glenn Frey and Don Henley from The Eagles, was performing with a few members of Levon Helm's Band. He presented his music with some light humour, telling the story behind each song.
A quick one in relation to Heartache Tonight; JD, Glenn Frey & Don Henley had the verses written for some months but not one of them could come up with a chorus. One night Glenn Frey suggested he ring his old mate, Bob Seger to see if he could come up with any ideas. They sang what they had to him down the phone and when it came to the chorus part, Seger let loose with "It's gonna be a Heartache Tonight.......etc" and the rest is history. He told us about the recording sessions, even referring to how "cosmic" they were at certain times! He did a good hour's set, then there was a break and a shared supper. Everyone was encouraged to bring a plate along.
Jazz & Blues Festival. Samoa, 2010
Samoa 2010 International Jazz & Blues Festival
November 12th - 14th, 2010
Review contributed by Mark Ockleston
Mark and his friend Sandra were lucky enough to be winners of a trip to the Festival by entering a draw at the International Blues Festival at the Windsor Castle in Parnell at Labour weekend.
Mark’s review of the festival is published below.
The festival was organised by Billy TK Jnr with the assistance of Anne Gill.
My compliments to them for the huge amount of work that was put into it to make it such as high standard event.
I certainly hope that this will be an annual occurrence.
Maybe this could be your end of winter overseas sun–seeking trip next year.
I would certainly recommend it.
My friend Sandra had the fortune of winning a fully paid trip by entering a draw at the International Blues Festival at the Windsor Castle in Parnell at Labour weekend.
I had the fortune of being her friend and hence a free trip.
The Festival was held at 4 venues, 3 of which were in Apia; Millenia, Scalinis and the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel.
The 4th venue was Sinalei Resort, 35 minutes from Apia on the far side of the island.
We got to stay here and as it was pure paradise we didn’t venture out to the other venues.
I did check out the Tanoa before the event and it looked impressive with the stage set not too far from the outside pool.
I heard that these 3 Apia locations absolutely rocked, especially the Millenia.
Blues and Barbecue Festival. USA, 2010
W.C. Handy Blues and Barbecue Festival
June 12th - 19th, 2010
Henderson, Kentucky, United States of America
Review contributed by Ian Thomson
On the agenda of one of our members during his recent trip to the USA was to soak up as much music as he could... and that meant preferably Blues.
His festival review and other observations of the music scene in America make for very interesting reading,
Travelling through the South, Ian Thomson, wife Lorraine and Gary Harvey were caught by the local paparazzi and he found themselves in the pages of the local paper as he attended the WC Handy Blues and Barbecue Festival in Kentucky.
Ian’s review of the festival and other recollections of the trip are published below, and to read the full news article, click HERE.
Before we get to the W.C. Handy Blues and Barbecue Festival, some other notable highlights of the trip included catching Cedric Burnside (grandson of R.L. Burnside) and Lightning Malcolm at Oddies in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Cedric on drums and Lightning on guitar are like White Stripes on corn liquor.
These Mississippi boys work hard for their money… tips only and CD sales at $20.
Antones (in Austin, Texas) needs no introduction to most blues fans, and while we listened to Gary Clark Jnr. an up and coming young black guitarist with a great pick up band including Chris Layton on drums, in shuffles this little old black guy with a young white minder in tow.
It was none other than 97 year old Pinetop Perkins.
Here he was, sitting out back signing CDs and shaking hands…mine included.
What a moment.
He still plays the spots and cuts the mustard, all on a daily diet of McDonalds and cigarettes....amazing.
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