Festivals Have Plenty of Punch; ALAN NICHOL Takes a Look at the Jazz, Blues and Roots Music Scene

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), July 4, 2008 | Go to article overview

Festivals Have Plenty of Punch; ALAN NICHOL Takes a Look at the Jazz, Blues and Roots Music Scene


Byline: ALAN NICHOL

IT'S FESTIVAL time again and the region, in common with the rest of the country, has an abundance of musical offerings to satisfy most tastes.

The Whitley Bay International Jazz Festival was mentioned here last week - it starts next Friday - and just down the road at Durham there is that city's biggest ever music festival, Brass, starting tomorrow.

However, the SummerTyne festival, held in and around The Sage Gateshead from July 18 to 27, is now in its third year and has a hugely impressive roster of artists from Allen Toussaint to Sinead O'Connor and kd lang to the Neville Brothers.

It would seem entirely appropriate to focus on American acts on American Independence Day! I had a chat with one of the many American artists set to appear later this month, San Diego powerhouse singer Eve Selis. Eve has been here twice before and on both occasions she left the audience yelling for more.

She is essentially a live performer, a fact which has given rise to titles like "the queen of roadhouse rock". So, I ask her, what does she call her music? "I would say Americana!

Roadhouse rock with elements of country, folk, blues, R&B and pop.

"As far as performance is concerned, I've always been energetic on stage. I like to sing songs that really hit me."

The mix of music Eve describes is pretty accurate. She certainly has some of that rock swagger but it is roots-based music, nonetheless. The band bears testimony to that fact in that she has "Cactus" Jim Soldi on guitar and he was with Johnny Cash for four years and bluegrass-king Rick Skaggs for a couple of years. …

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