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Stone Fox 7th July 2007

It would be fair to say that ‘Stone Fox’ play their blues on the ‘Rocky Side’ of the road, that said, the Borough Blues Club was well entertained by these guys last Saturday. Well; the boys turned up and started filling the stage with equipment – a lot of equipment! With the result, one member was heard to say “Bloody hell, he’s got more guitars in that case than I saw in Cranes yesterday”! – but it was worth it.

This five-piece band have obviously decided that ‘playing the blues field’ was the way they enjoyed it, and as a result the boys provided us with a night of blues-rock covering a good fifty years of the genre, with something old, something new - (Penned by themselves), and most things, definitely blue!!      

Stone Fox are made-up of a couple of guys from Ebbw Vale, one from Tredegar, a Pontypool lad, and a Swansea boy, who got lost on the way home one night and as a result now lives in Rogerstone, so all-in-all, you could say they were just about local boys.
The line-up: - Jimmy Reed – Vocals. Mike Davies (The Swansea Boy) - Lead Guitar. Then we have Les Williams – bass, Dewi (Doc) Rees – Blues-harp, (and no mean slouch on the guitar either!), and last but by no means least; on Drums – John Price, the latter three being former members of the now defunct ‘Snowy Wood Blues Band’.                                                                
The first set kicked off with that favourite from the Blues Breakers ‘Beano Album’: -  James Bracken’s ‘Stepping Out’.
Mike was quickly into his stride demonstrating the prowess he was to display all night, and ably assisted on this number by Dewi on rhythm/lead guitar. Always a great song this, made more interesting here by the use of the alternating ‘riff’ with both the guitars contributing in turn. So; that was the warm-up instrumental out of the way, and the boys totally changed the style with a number by a man named Ellas McDaniel, better known as ‘Bo Diddley’, but made popular by Eric Clapton and called; ‘Before you Accuse Me’, a good blues-shuffle  which got our members feet tapping. The band changed the tempo again with a great slow blues, Tab Benoit’s ‘Nice and Warm’, followed by ‘It Don’t get better than this’  featuring ‘ Dewi on Harp and Mike on Slide-guitar – great number! Then they treated us to an Albert King number; ‘Born under a bad Sign’, once again, using twin-guitar lead to emphasize the ‘riffing’. Next BB King’s ‘Rock me Baby’, using a shuffle rhythm and wah-wah guitar lead. The set was finished with an ‘Extended Play’ of Fleetwood-Santana-Mac’s, all-rolled-into-one version of: ‘Black Magic Woman’, and the first half was at an end.

We then had the now customary announcements and of course the raffle, and before too long we were back to the music.

 

The second half ‘lifted-off’ with ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ theme; ‘Stone Fox Chase’, (I wonder where the band got it’s name from??) most ably performed on ‘harp’ by Dewi, this was used as an extended intro for Sonny Boy Williamson’s ‘She’s Crazy’, Sonny Boy’s music usually takes a bit of playing, but once again Dewi was well up to it. It was time again for Mike to show his prowess on the slide guitar with a great ‘driving’ version of ‘Statesboro Blues’ very Mick Taylor like, this was followed by moving straight into Elmore James’ ‘Dust my Broom 
  
 Then we had a Bo Diddley number – ‘I can tell’ – our more senior members might remember this song being played by ‘Johnny Kid and the Pirates’ – not that they’d admit it mind!, and in keeping with the slightly Rock n’ Roll theme the boys treated us to a very unusual version of  Freddie King’s ‘Tore Down’, Didn’t he sound like Elvis Presley? Fortunately Elvis left the building, and we were able to get back to the blues with a stunning version of Eddie Boyd’s ‘Five Long Years’.
Stone Fox were getting close to the end of their set now, and among the last numbers were ‘You put your spell on Me’, ‘Pride and Joy’ and finally; I got my Mojo Working’ – a great end to a great show – or was it?.
Our members were ‘going-for-it’ now and after rousing applause, the band played two more for their encore – Junior Well’s ‘Messin’ with the Kid’, and the final fling was Chuck Berry’s ‘Nadine’, A la ‘Dr Feelgood, and by the end of ‘Stone Fox’s set, we were all feeling good!, and with calls for the return of the band at a future date we called the show a done-deal. A band with a strong front-line, and a solid rhythm/back-line, they will I’m sure be around for some time! Thanks Guys! 

It only remained for us to bid Stone Fox, and our members and guests a safe journey home, and with ‘Nadine’ still ringing in our ears it was homeward bound for us all.

 

 

 

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