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Brooks Blues bar gig listings July 2013



Saturday 6th July 2013




“ . . .. very, very good stuff! Excellent song writing . . . very subtle, beautiful, and lovely side guitar.” Paul Jones BBC Radio 2 “ . . .. he sings with as much understated soul as anybody has a right to expect. Tortora is something of an undiscovered treasure..” Guy tortora has laid claim to a unique niche on the Blues ‘n’ Roots scene in the UK and on the Continent. His two recent solo albums received a warm welcome in the Blues ‘n’ Roots press. His latest album, Prodigal Songs was released last year. His original songs are performed in some of the various musical idioms that originated in the USA — blues, jazz, folk and roots. Some describe his music as postcards from a personal Storyville, delivered with conviction and passion. He is accompanied by janos Bajtala piano, Costa tancredi, bass, Pete Hedley drums/percussion.


Admission: £8

Saturday 3rd August 2013




Pianist Bob Hall and guitarist Dave Peabody have been playing and experiencing the blues for some fifty years. From the 1950′s onwards visiting American blues stars have toured the UK in the company of British musicians who in turn have absorbed the blues spirit that gives the music its gritty integrity. Multi-award-winners Bob Hall (piano/vocals) and Dave Peabody (guitar/vocals) have had the experience of learning from many blues originals during thousands of miles of travelling around the UK and the U.S.A.  John Lee Hooker, Howlin Wolf, Honeyboy Edwards, Charlie Musselwhite and a host of other blues giants have befriended Hall and Peabody giving them the kind of insight worth more than a lifetime spent just listening to records. Today Hall and Peabody are the foremost UK exponents of traditional blues styles.  They perform the music of their friends and mentors interspersed with stories of their poignant and often hilarious experiences and travels. Dave Peabody is also a photographer with an international reputation whose work is seen in books, magazines, and hundreds of albums.


Admission £8

Saturday 7th September 2013




“Flawless fingerpicking and slide guitar paired with an idiosyncratic writing style and an exuberant performance persona makes Steve James come on like a full band.” Dirty Linen

“Steve James is a great instrumentalist, a prolific composer, and a dynamic stage presence. He is one of the few contemporary songwriters to manage the neat trick of working within older traditions while consistently producing lyrics that sound fresh and smart rather than cute or nostalgic. His singing conveys both the depth and the humour of his material, and his live shows have a crackling energy that is light years away from the museum-style presentation of many acoustic blues revivalists. It’s a hell of a show.” Elijah Wald musician and author of “The Dozens” and “How The Beatles Destroyed Rock’n'Roll”

Steve James is well known – this notoriety based on numerous critically acclaimed recordings, a tireless international tour schedule and a sheaf of published work including articles, instruction books and videos. His instrumental versatility (on guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, guitar-banjo) also makes him a favourite at music camps and workshop programmes.

Steve has recorded with a diverse crew including Maria Muldaur, James McMurtry, Jesse ‘Babyface’ Thomas and Kevin Russell of the Gourds. He’s played live with a slate of blues/roots luminaries including John Hammond, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy and Howard Armstrong. Steve has also appeared on numerous compilation albums.


Admission £8

Saturday 5th October 2013




RAG MAMA RAG (back by popular request), have slowly and consistently built up their reputation as one of Europe’s finest Country Blues acts. With an interesting and wide range of instruments, (ASHLEY DOW,Henderson acoustic guitar, National & Dobro Resonator bottleneck guitars, Weissenborn acoustic  lap steel, ukulele and vocals), plus DEBORAH DOW, (harmonica, washboard, percussion and backing vocals), RAG MAMA RAG create an exceptionally full and hard driving rhythmic sound.
Their repertoire is 20s and 30s blues based, but extremely varied, encompassing Mississippi blues, East Coast ragtime sounds, early white country tunes, original compositions, and many other regional styles of the 20s and 30s period. Touring non-stop in Europe, (they now live in France),  during the last twelve years RAG MAMA RAG have clocked up around 4,000 concerts and have played at all the major festivals in France, Belgium and Germany.

Admission £8

Saturday 2nd November 2013




Veronica and her band have wowed audiences in Europe, and are well on their way to winning the hearts of the British as their past two short tours of the UK drew enthusiastic audiences all wanting more.  This tour is again based around the Brooks Blues Bar date and we confidently expect it to be another triumph.

The Red Wine Serenaders are Veronica Sbergia on vocals, ukulele and washboard; Max De Bernardi on guitar, vocals, mandolin and ukulele; Mauro Ferrarese on slide guitar and vocals; and Alessandra Cecala on double bass and vocals.

Hailing from Italy, they came together five years ago, rekindling good-time blues, country blues, ragtime, hokum and jug band music, and all that rural music from the 20s and 30s.

Each is a virtuoso musician in their own right. They play music from the 20s and 30s, covering artists such as the Mississippi Sheiks, Billie Holiday, Hank Williams and Memphis Minnie, and are big favourites at numerous international music festivals. They are now establishing their fan base  in the UK.

If you caught them the past two years, you will know why they are fast building a reputation as one of the best live acts around – if you haven’t seen them, come and see why they earn repeated standing ovations. A quick search for them on YouTube will give you a good idea of their repertoire.

This band provides something different from the norm, playing and singing with great skill and virtuosity, with the emphasis firmly on having a good time…. Red Wine Serenaders is not only a project; it is a lifestyle, like good wine: honest, amusing… engaging!


Admission £10

Saturday 30th November 2013




“Fran McGillivray sings with a controlled passion highlighted by Mike Burke’s instinctive blues guitar heart to create a highly distinctive character. The material is beautifully, grippingly balanced – heartbreakingly poignant one minute, rousingly upbeat the next… “ Colin Irwin “Folk Roots” magazine


Fran and Mike are founder members of electric band So Long Angel.  Since appearing at the Colne Blues Festival as a duo in 2004 they have concentrated much of their energy into developing a unique acoustic brand of blues and hauntingly original self-penned songs featuring Fran on vocals and bass guitar and Mike on guitars.


Special guest John B. Harris also makes a rare solo appearance on the house grand piano  – he plays in the style of the legendary Otis Spann and Professor Longhair and never fails to rev up the audience who unfailing give him a standing ovation as at the gig here in January with Steve Morrison and Alan Glen. A unique performance which can only be heard at Brooks Blues Bar.


Admission £8

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