Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

This Line-Up Will Not Leave You Blue; ALAN NICHOL on This Saturday and Sunday's Durham Blues Festival and a Scaled-Down Jumpin'Hot Jamboree

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

This Line-Up Will Not Leave You Blue; ALAN NICHOL on This Saturday and Sunday's Durham Blues Festival and a Scaled-Down Jumpin'Hot Jamboree

Article excerpt

THIS summer solstice weekend brings the fifth annual Durham Blues Festival to the city's Gala Theatre.

There are a dozen acts on two stages at the venue. The Blues Cafe acoustic stage does just what it describes while the main stage will cater to the predominantly electric bands.

The main stage line-up has a blues-rock bias with familiar acts like Aynsley Lister, Larry Miller and Finland's "lady of slideguitar" Erja Lyytinen joined by Red Butler and The Brew.

However, there is also the headline appearance of the veteran soul-blues singer, Geno Washington, fresh from playing at this year's Isle of Wight festival.

Washington, who was born William Francis Washington in Indiana before re-locating to London, and his Ram Jam Band became a fixture on the UK scene in the late 60s.

His high-energy, brassdriven soul R'n'B shows were hugely popular and prompted a dedication song (and number one single) by Dexy's Midnight Runners over a decade later.

After that 60s purple patch, his recorded output has been somewhat sporadic over the decades but he did release a live album last year which was recorded at the famed Half Moon venue in Putney.

Comprehensive details of the running order, timings and a full "who's who" is available at the Durham Gala website.

This long-daylight weekend was also meant to provide the ideal setting for the proposed third annual Jumpin' Hot Club Jamboree, on farmland a few miles away near Easington. Sadly, that weekend event was cancelled but there is still a chance to see several of the artists booked for the jamboree at a specially convened Saturday night show in Newcastle's Cluny.

Thankfully, the organisers have managed to salvage the performance by the Aussie-Irish headliners, Hat Fitz & Cara, and they have pride of place at the Cluny show.

Joining them on the night are the Bluebell Cajun Band, singer-songwriter David Broad and the talented local bluegrass outfit, Kentucky Cowtippers.

Another highlight is an authentic and demonstrable glimpse into the pre-WWII field-recording process. Lorna Fulton (from the Lathe Revival project - an old recording booth/cutting machine for 78rpm records dating back to the late 1930s) will be bringing the historic Presto lathe to do some live 78rpm recordings. …

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