Tag Archives: blues guitar

PAPA GEORGE BAND — Staines Riverside Show Review

A superior night of musical entertainment was had by all this Thursday at Staines Riverside Club when the PAPA GEORGE BAND came to town to play a magnificent concert to a crowded house.

The award-winning blues-man PAPA GEORGE is one of the leading British live blues artists around and he’s a regular attendee at the Staines club, often appearing in company with MICKY MOODY or friend Alan Glen (the harmonica musician and band leader who was originally with The Yardbirds.) Like Alexis Korner, GEORGE is of Greek Cypriot origin.

Papa George - @neilmach 2020 ©
Papa George – @neilmach 2020 © “razor-sharp guitar-play that feels kinda swampy ‘n’ moist and often impudent in nature…

His numbers almost always come with razor-sharp guitar-play that feels kinda swampy ‘n’ moist and often impudent in nature.

George introduced the others in his power trio quite early on: Peter J. Stroud (on drums, known for his work with The Foundations) and the amazing Pete Rees (the session bassist who is very famous for his work with Gary Moore.)

Their interpretation of “Red House” (Hendrix) was as authentically raw as the original, with lots of inventive guitar and many incredibly tight rhythms.

Papa George photo credit: @neilmach 2020 ©
Papa George photo credit: @neilmach 2020 © His voice is the texture of worn leather with the bitterness of tobacco smoke…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there was plenty more waka-waka chung to be enjoyed on the self-penned “Blackjack” — one of the highlights of this top-level show. Of course, as we have said before, George’s voice is a mixture of dark molasses and plum wine, with the texture of worn leather and the bitterness of tobacco smoke. You could drown in his voice of tar and syrup, you really could! But this show was surprising due to the extraordinary electric guitar work that the maestro brought to Staines.

We all knew that George was one of the best blues singers on the circuit, a brilliant composer and a master of the Amistar resonator. What we didn’t know was that, armed with his Fender Strat or Flying Finn, he’d be the Southern Area Champion electric guitarist too! As one keen club-member observed, after a particularly spirited guitar solo: “I guess George is the best guitarist we’ve had in this joint.” I think he could be right!

The evening proceeded with splendid covers of old Elmore James, a Paul Rodgers penned blues paean (Muddy Water Blues ) and an old John Hiatt number (Feels Like Rain — made famous by Buddy Guy.) The concert ended with an ingenious and totally immersive rendition of the funky-soul hit “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder) that had originally been written with Jeff Beck in mind, for his Beck, Bogert & Appice project. At Staines Riverside Club, this song was a hugely enjoyable final piece, full of intelligent rhythms, extraordinary rebound and lots of cheerful energy.

What a show! What a guy!

Words & Pictures: @neilmach 2020 ©

Link: http://www.papageorge.co.uk/papageorge.co.uk

 

Papa George and Micky Moody – Live at The Riverside Club, Staines

You couldn’t get two more talented bluesmen together than this. Rock guitar wizard Micky Moody (Whitesnake) along with classic ‘Blues With a Feeling’ guitarist Papa George at The Riverside Club Staines. Micky Moody seated slightly loftily on the glittering stage of the Staines Club, vaunting his Les Paul, and Papa George, slightly lower, embracing his custom steel guitar.

“Well, are you ready for this?” George asked the crowd, the excitement already building. A warm round of applause followed. “Right, then, lets move on …” And we went straight on a trip … starting with the warmth and glowing hypnotic genius of “You Can Love Yourself.” ( contemporary Delta blues artist Keb’ Mo’)

Clearly, both artists are masters of the guitar – but the voices are also impeccable. As we approach “Jesus on the Mainline”  (trad: but normally associated with slider Ry Cooder,)  Papa George’s voice is darker, more whisky and dry whilst Micky’s vocals are finer, they seem stretched-  they are harder.Together, these elements create a magical potion. Crowd participation was encouraged gently, without becoming uncomfortable. As I looked around the club I could see almost everyone was happily singing along to the chorus.

The atmosphere was relaxed and unpressured.  And you felt that you were witnessing two of your favourite artists jamming away in your own lounge. Such is their easy-going style and their friendly light-hearted manner, it is as if you are enjoying an evening with friends. And that’s how it should be.

Included in the set were at least a couple of Papa George’s own compositions, including one of my own favourites “Broken Mirror”. It is at these points that you realize how skilled these musicians really are. Their improvisations are amazing. Both guitarists consistently demonstrated a mastery not only of the blues guitar, but also classical and flamenco guitar. The finger tapping percussive style of Micky Moody was particularly fascinating.

Songs like “Sailin’ Shoes”  (written by Little Feat guitarist Lowell George) allow the partnership to flourish. Here the intricate patterns created by the splendid finger-picking from George, surround the sweeter notes soared up by Micky.This song allows the duo to explore new undiscovered territories – all the while branching out with fresh sounds – whilst the audience happily goes along for the ride.

Papa George is a first-class vocalist with a creamy dark chocolate voice that smothers you in those deep molasses.  Micky Moody is a snake-charming smooth handed guitar player and a talented vocalist. Together they played a concert that was uplifting – almost spiritual …. what a night!

© Neil_Mach April 2012

Links:

http://www.papageorge.co.uk/

http://www.mickymoody.co.uk


The Big Jim Sullivan gig

STAINES RIVERSIDE CLUB

Thursday 21st August BIG JIM SULLIVAN GIG

Unfortunately, “BIG JIM” sent his apologies but could not be with us on the 21st August… he is currently off sick.

We all (here in Staines) send our heartfelt ‘get well soons’ out to BIG JIM.

For those of you that came to see Big Jim hoping for something special, we are sure that you were not disappointed because Duncan McKenzie put on an excellent show and pulled out all the stops with his buddy Alec McAbe to play some sizzling music.

Big Jim Sullivan and Duncan McKenzie in Staines

Awesome Blues Guitar !

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