* Weds Aug 21, 8pm
London Road, Leigh
-- launch of new solo CD
* Fri Aug 23, 7.30pm
The Strand, Rye
* Sat Aug 24, 3pm
Outdoor session at the Landgate
* Mon Aug 26
Outdoor session at Hilders Cliff Lookout
* Weds Aug 28, 8.30pm:
MIDWEEK BLUES CLUB
Halberd Inn, Northgate St, Ipswich
* Sat Aug 31, 8.30pm:
YE OLDE SMACK
High Street, Old Leigh
-- with Roy Webber (drums), JJ (bass)
& special guest tbc
* Mon Sept 2: CANCELLATION
The trio gig at Peggy Sue's is off
* Sat Sept 6, 9pm
RNA Club, East Street, Prittlewell
* Sun Sept 8, 4.30pm
Clifftown Road, Southend
-- with West Weston (tbc),
Roy Webber (drums), JJ (bass)
* Tues Sept 10, 8pm
Queen's Road, Brentwood
-- trio (line-up tbc)
* Fri Sept 13, 7pm:
Church Lane, Leytonstone
* Sun Sept 22, 7.30pm:
-- with JJ on bass
* Sun Sept 29, 4.30pm:
Clifftown Road, Southend
-- Bottleneck Blues Band
* Mon Sept 30, 6.30pm:
AIN'T NOTHING BUT
Kingly Street, Soho
Martin McNeill's new CD Cat Squirrel showcases familiar tunes such as Chain of Fools and Albatross, played on solo guitar with no overdubs.
These are not simple covers; Martin puts his mark on the blues and soul favourites by reworking them and putting the the emphasis on slide guitar.
Martin says: “I'm probably best known for old-school blues but there is also a melodic side to my slide playing and I am drawn to classic soul, jazz and gospel.
“At the end of a solo show people will often ask if I have a CD including tunes they particularly enjoyed; I went into the studio with that in mind.”
The album's title song is based on Doctor Ross's Cat Squirrel, a swamp blues groove featuring unison guitar and harmonica. Other tracks include the soulful instrumental I Think It's Gonna Work Out Fine and Martin's take on of the earliest published blues compositions, Hesitation Blues. There is Ray Charles's Unchain My Heart, a jazzy Route 66 and John Lee Hooker's Boogie Chillen.
Martin, who currently does well over 100 gigs a year, has been playing slide guitar for more than 50 years. His early gigs included a support slot for his hero Fred McDowell and a 100 Club session with Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee.
He says: “I'm busier than ever, playing the music I've always loved.”
The CD Cat Squirrel was recorded at the Rooks Yard studio in Essex and produced by Pete Crisp and Tim Aves.
HOW TO BUY THE CD: CONTACT ME DIRECT OR CATCH ME AT A GIG
There's a glitch with online sales of the CD at the moment so please contact me direct if you want to buy the CD. It costs £7.50 including post in the UK.
Apologies to anyone who has tried to buy online and been told payment was not accepted. Please contact me!
Phone 07967 339 809
Easiest (and cheapest) way?
Just come along to a gig and you can take one off my hands for a fiver.
What they say about the new CD
"It is that sort of beautiful sound that makes people fall in love with the guitar"
IAN McKENZIE, who made Cat Squirrel album of the week on his Kansas City Online Radio show. Ian also said the CD was "slide guitar par excellence...magnificent sound" on his Wednesday's Even Worse show on Blues and Roots Radio.
"This CD is an absolute delight.
"Martin's love of the blues shines through and as the years go rolling he has grown in confidence. It means he is now very much his own man and his latest calling card will only add to his long list of admirers and collaborators. The album has a sparce sound allowing every note to be heard and savoured..."
STEPHEN FOSTER, East Anglian Daily Times.