Well, that was a blast! From sitting in my kitchen recording a rough video of an acoustic track, pulling together a new rootsy electric/acoustic blues act with bassist Richy and drummer Gav for the Newcastle heat, to the public vote, being played on podcasts and local radio and a name check on Paul Jones’s BBC radio 2 blues show – the nation’s favourite Runner-Up! – to the final in Highbury with 5 really cracking bands, to snapping a string and having to scramble my faithful old telecaster to see us through, to meeting some great people and getting some great feedback and kind words. Gotta ask myself – Why didn’t I ever do anything like this before?!
Words from the one of the founders of the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, David Seabrook, at the end of the New Brunswick Battle of the Blues final in Highbury…
“I just want to say a few words about some of the bands we saw tonight. I gotta say that…
I have no fear for the future of British Blues!
Tonight, I think, could fairly be described as a battle between some really classy veterans and some emerging talent that is going to make some waves in the future. We got Chris James, We got Grooveamatics. But I want to talk a little bit about some of the emerging acts we had. We got Little Devils – what a powerful voice on that singer – Holy Cow, that girl has pipes! We got How Askew and Paint It Blue and I want to say to these guys – there is a lot of talent on the stage!
But now, I want to say that really there was one band that stood out for the judges – a professional act that was slightly above the rest, for tonight’s show at least. And we are going to be thrilled to present them to Canadian audiences in North America at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in September – Ladies and Gentlemen, the winners tonight – the Grooveamatics!”
Chuffed for the Grooveamatics featuring Johnny Whitehill – had a good crack with them at the Newcastle heat and in London. They sound great and put on a real show – Mick has an amazing voice and pretty much everyone was in awe of Johnny’s Les Paul tone. I bet they’ll have a real ball in Canada!
Still, I didn’t envy the judges – the other bands were all spot on.