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Blues Central - 6th January 2007 By Dave Lewis

This was the first band in the club at the start of a brand new year 2007! A lot of us were suffering the “Post Christmas Blues” and needed something to cheer us up, these guy’s did just that. With a big shiny drum kit and the enthusiasm of four talented musicians, the first club gig of the New Year was underway.

The band opened up with a good old standard “I’m Ready” by Willie Dixon/Muddy Waters, swiftly followed by “All your Love” by Otis Rush with the drummer (Graeme “Lenny” Jones) admirably covering the vocals.

Several standards were served up to follow, including, “Please don’t let me be misunderstood” by Nina Simone, “The thrill is gone” by BB King and an unusual rocky version of the classic “Moondance”. The first set concluded with a powerful rendition of every blues bands favourite, “Hoochie Coochie Man” by the one and only Mr Willie Dixon.

Blues Central are a local band, you could say loosely based in Newport, however, these guy’s have been around the block and then some!

The line up consists of-

Pete Hughes, Guitar/principal vocals,
Graeme “Lenny” Jones, Drums/vocals,
Andy Gibbon, Electric bass/vocals,
Rick Lawton, Sax (baritone and alto) / Flute/vocals

The band have shared stages at venues as prestigious as, The Point Cardiff, Bishopstock Blues Fest, Maryport Blues fest, The Welsh Harley-Davidson Fest and guested ‘Live’ on one of my favourite radio shows, “The Paul Jones Rhythm & Blues Show on BBC Radio Two. They have rubbed stage shoulders with the likes of, Peter Green, Gary Moore, The fabulous Thunderbirds, Booker T & the MG’s (an old favourite of mine!), and the fabulous Nina Simone.

These guy’s are a dancing band as was seen in the first set, the mood was maintained in the second set which kicked off with- “Unchain my heart” by Ray Charles. Next, came what I thought was a superb delivery of, Peter Green’s “Black Magic Woman” played to perfection by the whole band. Who is Carlos Santana anyway!! “Nadine” by Chuck berry kept everyone on their feet and the ‘Punchy’ delivery of “Ain’t Got You” - Yardbirds kept musical continuity. In this second set, we were treated to several more fine classics, including, “Big Fine Girl” - T-Bone Walker, “6345789 and Barefootin” - Steve Cropper, “Need Your Love so Bad” - Peter Green and “Baby Please Don’t Go” - Big Joe Williams.

The evening ended with several encores, which were: - “Reconsider Baby” - Lowell Fullson, “We Gotta Get Outa This Place” - The Animals, and the final icing on the New Years Blues Cake, “Cocaine”, by JJ Cale.

Thanks to the band, for kicking off the New Year in style, and thanks to the Borough Blues Club Members for once again supporting our club.

A happy and healthy New Year to you and yours!


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