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Mike Farris at CLMC
Coolham Live Music Club is one of England's best kept live music secrets !
The quality of acts that appear at this tiny village hall venue is off the scale.
Mike Farris won us all over from the minute he arrived at the gig. An outgoing larger-than-life man, a unique charactor with an authentic soulful voice that celebrates his humble Tennessee gospel roots.
The last artist to impress me as much with a one man show was singer/songwriter Jimmy Webb.
The Cinelli Brothers at CLMC
This was a great night - the Cinelli Brothers at Coolham Live Music Club !
Straight ahead blues shuffles, that classic old school chicago guitar/blues harp front line, impassioned blues rock vocals - what's not to like ?
Then just as you think you know what they are about they play an old school jazz blues tune with real authentic vibe - great inspiring live music.
Finally Meeting the legendary Dave Pegg
My first pro band was a four piece pop rock group called Stagefright who were based in the West Midlands in the late seventies.
Our drummer Mark Payne was a massive Fairport Convention fan and he idolised both drummer Dave Mattocks and bass player Dave Pegg.
A pleasure to finally meet Dave Pegg after all these years - a gentle humble man.
My old Fairports friend
I first met Fairport Convention violinist Ric Sanders when I was a drama student in Birmingham in the 1970's. He later worked with Lee jones and I on Lee's 'Songs From The 13th Hour' album.
I originally was introduced by a very old friend and bandmate of mine, James Little AKA 'Energi' from punk band Spizz Energi. They had an eighties hit with punk anthem 'Calling Captain Kirk'.
Really enjoyed the Fairports' show at the lovely old Theatre Royal in Winchester.
Best blues rhythm player in the biz
I've always admired blues guitar player Kirk Fletcher.
I've worked with students on Kirk's TrueFire TrueHeart Blues Rhythm Edition online lessons - never thought I'd get to one day meet him though.
In December 2019 on a whim I Googled his live show dates and was amazed to see he was appearing in the UK at some place called the 'Coolham Live Music Club' in a couple of weeks !
Where the hell in that I thought ? I consulted Google Maps. It was about 15 miles away in Sussex !
Amazing syncronicity and a window into a fabulous unique local live blues/Americana music scene.
Psychedelic Hearts Club at CwmFest 2019
We played a 45 minute set at CwmFest again this year. This is a fabulous little festival organised by Ralph Tittley down on the family farm in Herefordshire.
The whole emphasis is on having a relaxing time and a few bevvies with family & friends in the beer tent !
Recording 'Night Train'
I have known Lee Jones since 1997.
He was a talented guitar student who after a few years began to exhibit unusual levels of artistic endeavour for someone of his age. While most teenagers are obsessing over their place in the world, Lee was instead doubling down on his acquisition of an expanding technique and of a of theoretical musical understanding to underpin his playing.
We have since collaborated on 6 album projects with plans for further work into 2022.
We've had a lot of fun this year working on some really experimental stuff, initially as a PHD project but later morphing into the 'Night Train' album
Pedal Board TLC
Pedal boards can get very scuzzy if left out in a studio or rehearsal space. I have been using mine for the past 18 months when I've been teaching and it desperately needed cleaning and rewiring.
Spent a couple of hours on it today cleaning each pedal in turn and then redoing the signal path and power supply wiring.
Looks and sounds a lot better now ! Will try using it again in stereo with my Yerasov GTA-15s on Psychedelic Hearts Club gigs and use my Roland Blues Cube Artist set up for teaching...
Larry Coryell RIP
I first became aware of Larry Coryell and The Eleventh House when I was 18 or 19 years old and getting into the jazz fusion of John McLaughlin and Mahavishnu Orchestra.
I later really got into Larry's playing listening to his 'Spaces Revisited' album which also featured guitarist Bireli Lagrene, (former Mahavishnu Orchestra) drummer Billy Cobham and the amazing Richard Bona on bass. I really enjoyed the guitar interplay between Larry and Bireli. At the time I was producing an album with jazz guitarist Lee Jones and I suggested he listened to this album as a source of possible inspiration.
Later while working on Lee's second album 'Songs from the 13th Hour' we were looking for a guitar player to duet with Lee on a track that was probably inspired by 'Spaces Revisited'. We approached Larry and he was happy to be featured on Lee's album.
Larry visited UK in late 2016 and played a couple of nights at London's Pizza Express. Lee & I attended the gig and hung out with Larry afterwards. He was very complimentary about Lee's playing and writing.
Around this was time (and having recently turned 60) I was contemplating a return to live music. I'd spent the previous 5 years working an annual 72 show theatre reading gig on guitar & bass, (working with the brilliant Music Director Rab Handleigh).
Larry was incredibly supportive and told me to go for it. His encouragement in part lead to the formation of the Psychedelic Hearts Club...
Lee & I were both very sad to hear of Larry Coryell's sudden passing in February of 2017. A hugely important and influential musician and a nice man - RIP Larry.
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