GIG REVIEW BLUES IN BRITAIN
CROPREDY FESTIVAL FRINGE 2016
AUGUST 11 – 12th
This was one of those days you know why the blues is your choice of music, three different but simply put brilliant bands, interestingly all three piece, each lead by a guitar player of some talent.
Kicking off at noon was Rev. Ferriday and the Longdogs, The Rev. on a big white guitar, a Bigsby tremelo arm, and a slide on his finger poured out a slice of true Hill Country blues, this could have been Burnside, Kimbrough or the Mississippi All Stars. This was power delta blues, the powerful rhythms by a rock solid bass and drums.
The songs were all self written, and you couldn't have started better than with a band that brought the whole place awake, even from those late nights. With a new album, 'Unforgettable Trues And Everyday Lies', The first three songs went through without a break, the only comment was 'It's turned out nice again!', before playing 'Devil's Line', followed by songs about lost loves, bartenders, one about meeting, playing with and drinking whisky in New Orleans with Dr.John, which is also the title.. One song 'Sid's Song' about his three legged dog, and a closing 'Moonshhine' he had all aspects of the blues covered, a very fine slide guitarist and front man on stage (he also performs several solo gigs each year as well).
You like your blues filled with the roots of the music Rev. Ferriday is your man,a perfect festival band, promoters take note.
Rev. Ferriday And The Longdogs, Unforgettable Trues and Everyday Lies.
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
As Donald Rumsfeld once said, so famously causing the scratching of heads in consternation and dismay, “There are known knowns and unknown knowns…” yet somehow such double talk and heroic word play should be left to Rev. Ferriday and The Longdogs, for in their new albumUnforgettable Trues and Everyday Lies, the lyrical force of nature is far and away more direct, succinct and wonderfully managed than anything a politician could scramble together.
Unforgettable is a mark that deservedly belongs to the band, the memorable and the cherished going hand in hand as their deep love of the Blues comes bounding across with enthusiastic vigour and in the case of this new album, with a darker edge, with an anger of the age attached to it, still very much enjoyable but somehow more threatening, more beautifully intimidating and yet at the same time never once wavering in its commitment to allow the listener to internally dance and shake loose; the Devil after all will always allow the angels to boogie on down.
Everyday lies, whether those we tell ourselves to keep us going in the face of adversity or those we pronounce to others in order to impress or deflect our feelings, each one has its symbolic value; the same is said for the true-isms, the emphasise on what is clear and unvarnished, perhaps even understated, yet at all times striking and rich. Unforgettable Trues and Everyday Lies allows the freedom of movement within the confines of Blues to be explored and with Neil Sadler on bass, Scott Hunter on drums, the fabulous Owen Bray on harmonica and Else Black lending some terrific backing vocals, Rev. Ferriday captures the mood with pin-point accuracy.
In tracks such as Broken People, Breaking Down, Shooting From The Hip and How Long, the music is contagious, it sweeps through the veins like a miniature train buffeting against stereotype intuition and scraping down in blocks of perpetual indifference with ease. This is an album that emphasises the battle in the way that words are seen and felt, it takes a writer of absolute skill to make a menacing note come across as nothing less that beauty personified and yet Rev. Ferriday manages with absolute conviction.
A joy to be back in the company of Rev. Ferriday and The Longdogs, a fact of life that gets better and better each time they come around.
Ian D. Hall
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
With the long winter nights approaching quicker than Mo Farrah taking on a 1500 metre race just for the sheer enjoyment of it, the time spent warding off the British cold and thoughts of dark dreary nights are always in the thoughts of those who want good music to take them away from the impending and incessant wind and rain. In Rev Ferriday &The Longdogs’s latest release Nine Beats, there is another reason to sit in front of the fire, take in some exquisite and thumping music and revel in the thoughts that the clocks will soon go forward again.
The Blues Rev Ferriday, Owen Bray and Neil Sadler may be playing, however in terms of music there is absolutely no need to ever succumb to the grainy bleak days and moods as the threesome strike a rich vein of music that just doesn’t stand out, it beats the living daylights out of the feeling of despair and unfettered despondency.
The sound the band creates will make the listener long for the days of watching music in the saloons and bars that run through America’s deep south and yet with the touch of elegance that is afforded by the band’s British disposition, there is the feel of pure British humour running through the imagination, Blues it may be but it is the U.K. Blues style to which the music firmly belongs.
Nine Beats compounds and mixes three special talents and brings together a sound that is to die for, to relish in the subtlety of music and in tracks such as the gracious Syd’s Song, Tail Lights, Comin’ In and Eye’s there is much to celebrate in the work that the three musicians have put together. The musical harmony is generous and the beat unrelenting.
As the British winter draws closer, there is a shining music light to grasp hold of and nurture in Rev Ferriday & The Longdogs’s Nine Beats.
Ian D. Hall
Rev Ferriday and The Longdogs: Nine Beats
Rev Ferriday's musical past dates back to the late 1980s, with Indie rock band Loop but it was only in 2012 when his first solo album appeared. The follow-up is all set to be released on 21 October.With bluesy harmonica well to the fore, deep vocals and general grungy feel, Nine Beats presents nine slices of down 'n' dirty blues, described in the publicity blurb as inhabiting a place ''somewhere between Johnny Cash and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.'' On close inspection, I'd say the description is not a million miles from the truth. The sound reminds me of other artists too, such as Ian Siegal (especially from his Revelator era).Mostly, the pace is uptempo, with a rock feel, but there is room for the occasional step into the world of more traditional blues, such as10/6.Catchy riffs abound; it's all toe-tappingly good stuff with simple enough arrangements that were presumably designed to be played live.Stand out tracks: Moonshine, Nine Beats.For news and gig dates, head for the official Rev Ferriday and The Longdogs website
Posted by Sean Marsh at 05:47
Sunday, 13 October 2013
Marsh Towers features reviews of books, shows and events together with sundry musings
I' REV FERRIDAY & THE LONGDOGS
Nine Beats Independent
Check out the good Reverend on the internet and you’ll see this outfit described as “somewhere between Johnny Cash and Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds” with “similar artists” given as Seasick Steve and Eddie Martin – to which I might add, on the evidence of this lowdown and dirty blues CD, The Rolling Stones (60s version) and maybe vintage Canned Heat. Reverend plays guitar and drums, and he is aided and abetted by Owen Bray on guitar and blues harp, with Neil Sadler also providing bass and drum support.
Ferriday started out playing indie-rock in the 80s and was working in National Debt with Michael Messer (and Bray) around the start of the millennium. This is his second album under his own name and the leader’s vocals are thick and mean, the songs direct and energetic, the sound gritty, raw, and real, with elements of the hard-driving North Mississippi hill country approach in places, Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf and more than a tinge of alt-blues. A thoroughly modern blues album in other words, whilst drawing from the deep well of blues tradition, check it out.
REV FERRIDAY & THE LONG DOGS: “NINE BEATS” (FERRIDAY RECORDINGS)
RATE THIS ALBUM
UK RELEASE DATE 21.10.2013
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness the union of this man and this band with this new album, filled with the holy trinity of rhythm and blues (see what I did there?) This is the gospel according to the Rev Ferriday and his blues disciples!
If you like Seasick Steve and that stripped down, raw, live sounding boogie blues, you’ll like this one. Musically it is superb. The vocal takes a few tracks to bed in, and is perhaps a tad below the standard of the music, but to be fair; on subsequent listens the vocals have grown on me and whatever I say here; it works on this material. Dylan as a singer ain't exactly Pavarotti, is he? Overall it is a pretty pleasing release.
Rev Ferriday’s musical journey began in the late '80s when he formed Loop with Robert Hampson, an indie rock band who had critical success with their debut album, “Heaven’s End” including a top spot in the NME charts and sessions on the late John Peel’s national radio show. Ferriday then joined country rock band Sintra in the '90s, touring with bigger names, until he joined National Debt with Michael Messer and Owen Bray.
Last year the good Reverend dropped his debut solo album, J.F.D. - which mashed together country blues and rock and roll flavours. In a kind of Seasick meets Cash meets The Stray Cats.
Glen Ferriday plays slide guitar, drums and sings lead vocals on this album. Owen Bray also gets a go on guitars and harmonica, while Neil Sadler provides bass and some drums. A tight little unit and lots of chemistry here. The album was recorded in the summer of this year in Wokingham, and a fine job on production by the Rev and Mr Sadler. No fuss, no frills, pretty sparse and letting the songs – all nine penned by Ferriday - and the performances speak for themselves.
It has a lo-fi, down 'n' dirty core and has been said to be “somewhere between Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds and Johnny Cash.” I’d say; if you think Seasick Steve and the kind of sounds eminating from many Texas roadhouse juke joints, you’d not be far off as to what this is all about. Some infectious riffs cropping up and in the main, it's uptempo, groove-laden stuff. It certainly doesn't sound like a typical British blues album. The Rev is one mean slide player (and by that, I don't mean he hides when it is his round either!)
Here endeth today’s lesson…….
WORDS SIMON REDLEY