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The Hitman Blues Band is getting worldwide
recognition. The new release “The World Moves On” is being
hailed as "the best yet!" Their previous release, “Blues
Enough”, was in the running for two Grammy nominations. “Two
Minute Warning” (from “Angel In The Shadows”) is available as an
add-on to RockBand.
They’ve had six
successful tours of the U.K. and two in Europe, playing at clubs
and festivals including the Great British R&B Festival at Colne,
the Eel Pie Club, The Limelight Theater, the BluesExpress
Festival in Luxembourg, the Maryport Blues Festival (Main
Stage), and many others. Of course, at home in the U.S. they’ve
played up and down the eastern seaboard, working clubs and
festivals as a four piece or with their new horn section added.
With a live show that
engages the audience with great musicianship, great music, and a
liberal dose of humor, The Hitman Blues Band will light up your
Mississippi native, now Alabama resident Lisa
Mills could be called a blues singer, or a gospel singer, or a
torch singer or an R&B singer, and each label would be accurate.
In fact, as the reviews of her 2014 album I’m Changing (a
remastered and remixed reimagining of her 2005 debut album,
enhanced by the inclusion of a handful of new tracks) poured in,
she was described in all of these terms, and at least a couple
of critics suggested they even heard the nascent stirrings of a
jazz stylist in some of her more nuanced readings.
Listeners responded to
Lisa’s sophisticated, emotional performances by making her 2015
U.K. tour a rousing success marked by sellout or near-packed
venues, brisk post-concert CD sales and the inevitable query as
to when she would be returning. To the latter the answer is
“2016,” when the excitement of 2015 will be parlayed into an
extended U.K. and European tour, on which bookings are being
focused on festivals, concert halls and centers. And by the time
the 2016 tour gets underway next Fall, she will have a new album
to promote, titled Mama’s Juke Book.
A special and deeply
personal project, Mama’s Juke Book will be comprised of songs
Lisa found by chance in her late mother’s
possessions—specifically, in a Dollar Store General spiral
notebook in which her mother had handwritten lyrics to 25 of her
favorite country tunes, all dating from the early ‘70s. Her
mother, Jan Powell, was a country music devotee who
unfortunately passed away in 2012. In addition to her love of
music, Jan unconditionally loved her daughter, was her biggest
fan and most enthusiastic promoter, and not least of all, was
her trusted confidant. In a real sense Mama’s Juke Book is a
love letter from daughter to mother but it is also a Southern
cultural timepiece capturing mainstream country music in a
transitional period ahead of the emergence of the Outlaw
movement in the mid-‘70s. Grammy winner Trina Shoemaker, who
steered the retooling of I’m Changing, is returning in a
producer’s role on Mama’s Juke Book.
Although the content of Mama’s Juke Book is drawn
from country, Lisa’s interpretive artistry takes country for a
new spin when chestnuts originally recorded by the likes of
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Buck Owens, Conway
Twitty and others are revealed to have hidden pockets of soul
and blues when considered from a fresh point of view by a
versatile vocalist—similar to what she demonstrates on I’m
Changing in finding new avenues of expression on covers of the
Rev. Robert Wilkins’s “I Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down” and
Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing,” both of which are remarkable for
the way in which her ethereal approach is so completely attuned
to the lyrics’ spirituality and mystery as to make these songs
her own and of a piece with the original material surrounding
Dynamic rock/blues band Red Butler is
fast making a name for itself across Britain and Europe.
Audiences instantly tap into the fire and passion generated by
the young band from Brighton.
November 2016 saw the
culmination of 18 months preparation with the release of the
band’s lovingly crafted second album, "Nothing To Lose" produced
at Superfly Studios by Wayne Proctor. The music represents a
journey for the band and has been well received by their
supporters, new fans and the music media. This album follows the
success of Red Butler’s debut release, "Freedom Bound" in summer
2014. The ‘Nothing to Lose’ tour extended through
October-December showcasing the new album and the extended
line-up. Those performances thrilled audiences as the band
unleashed its energy with control and power.
‘Nothing To Lose’ is a
collaborative project drawn from the band members’ individual
experiences of life and music. Red Butler see the need to
deliver a message to younger people whilst retaining the support
of their established blues/rock audience. Influences include
SRV, Free, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Gary Clarke Jnr.
and artists such as Royal Blood and Vintage Trouble. Touring
with the Laurence Jones Band, Billy Walton Band and Danny Bryant
added enormously to the band experience. Their solo tours have
helped them hone their craft and delight audiences across the
country. The coming year will provide the opportunity to develop
the full potential of Red Butler.
The power and
sensitivity of their music has seen Red Butler win national
awards. Successes include:
Alex – runner up in
Young Artist category – British Blues Awards 2016.
Band – third place in Best Blues Band category –
British Blues Awards 2016.
Representing the UK at the European Blues
Challenge in Italy 2016.
Winners of the UK Blues Challenge 2015.
Runners-up in the British Blues Awards 2015
(Alex, Young Artist and Band, Emerging Artist).
‘Best New UK Act’ 2014 – Blues Matters Magazine
Alex Butler established
the band in 2012 and for a long time the line up comprised Alex
(lead guitar and backing vocals), Jane Pearce (lead vocals),
Charlie Simpson (drums) and Mike Topp (bass and backing vocals).
With the heavier sound of ‘Nothing To Lose’ Dan Spellman (guitar
and backing vocals) joined the line-up. The end of 2016 saw the
biggest change to date when Jane opted to leave the band to
pursue her own career. Dan has stepped into the role of lead
vocalist having performed with other bands and is already
exciting audiences with his voice and stage presence. The search
is on for another vocalist, which could give Red Butler the
exciting possibility of twin vocalists.
Matt Woosey’s time is now. His eighth studio
album, Desiderata, captures the most daring and progressive
music of his career. His acclaimed solo shows dart between folk,
roots, ambient and electronica. He’s an artist who slips the
creative straightjacket of the modern industry, a trailblazer
with no reverse gear, a performer who drags the acoustic guitar
kicking and screaming into fresh relevance. “You’ve got to keep
progressing,” says the Malvern-based singer-songwriter. “Like
John Martyn. Like Robert Plant. Like Radiohead…”
Tipped by tastemakers
from BBC Radio to Classic Rock, and braced for a headline tour
across Britain and beyond, 2016 finds Matt looking to the
future. Yet all the best artists come with a backstory, and it’s
fair to say that Desiderata could never have been made were it
not for a formative early career that took in passion, hardship
and redemption. “If I’d become an overnight success,” notes
Matt, “I’d probably be addicted to some horrible drugs by now.
It’s like anything. You have to do an apprenticeship. You have
Jack J Hutchinson is a London based blues
guitarist and songwriter. His new EP Get It Back is described by
Blues In Britain as "Everything that is good about modern
blues". With the record already breaking the iTunes and Amazon
blues top 40, Hutchinson is touring the UK with his backing
band. Expect loud, electric blues that is equal parts Magic Sam
and Elmore James, with a touch of Peter Green thrown in for good
"...Split Whiskers have their roots firmly
planted in Chicago blues, crossing boundaries into rock,
americana with more than a hint of the Delta. Fronted by Gilby
‘Fat Slim’ Fletcher on vocals and blues harp and Johnny ‘Magic
Boy’ Wright on vocals, acoustic, resonator & electric guitars:
They are joined on drums by the very talented Tony Hill. On
bass, the ever vibrant Claudia 'Beads' McKenzie and completing
the line up, Matt ‘Big Willie’ Willshaw on keys".
The band’s fame is spreading and they are
becoming one of the busiest bands at blues venues around the UK,
in particular in great demand on the Festival circuit. Their
superb musicianship, along with their infectious humour on
stage, promises a great evening’s entertainment
_"...MUST GO AND SEE THEM..." _Blues Matters
SHOW IS A COMPLETE EXPERIENCE, YOU WILL LEAVE AFTER FEELING
REFRESHED AND INVIGORATED..."_ BBC Radio
Having played over 1000
gigs together and now into their second decade of playing, they
have a rich heritage in the Blues. Recently retired founder
member Mick ‘Chippy Carpenter played with some true Blues greats
including Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, T-Bone Walker, Sonny Boy
Williamson, Hubert Sumlin and Gilby’s Harmonica Hero, Little
Jump 50 years to the
present and the current Whiskers line up and it’s easy to
appreciate a multitude of influences from, Muddy Waters, Jimi
Hendrix & B.B.King to, Little Feat, Ray Charles & Dr.John.
Influences, yes! Copies, No! Split Whiskers are making their own
stamp on The British Blues Scene with their unique style and
interpretation of the genre including a rapidly growing index of
original material. With a wealth of experience between them,
they’re a joy to watch and listen to.
This energetic 5 piece from Cambridge and
Leicester are currently assembling their 4th album. “Double
Bind”. It’s a mix consisting of their favourite original
material with a couple of cracking covers thrown in for good
measure. Watch this Space!