* Sun Sept 29, 4.30pm
Clifftown Road, Southend
-- Bottleneck Blues full band
with West Weston (harmonica),
Roy Webber (drums) JJ (bass)
* Mon Sept 30, 6.30pm
AIN'T NOTHING BUT
Kingly Street, Soho
-- early show at London's famous blues bar
* Weds Oct 2, 7.30pm:
BLUES AT LORNA & LOTTIE'S
Leigh Community Centre cafe,
71-73 Elm Rd, Leigh SS9 1SP
-- with Tim Huskisson (piano)
plus solo spot from guitarist Glen Ottley.
Laidback blues in comfy cafe...
£5 admission, licensed bar, easy parking.
This could become a regular music night;
please support it if you can!
* Fri Oct 4, 7pm:
Benfleet Conservative Club, High Road, Benfleet
-- club event but open to public
* Sun Oct 6, 6.30pm
-- Bottleneck Blues Duo with Tim Huskisson
* Tues Oct 8, 8pm
Queen's Road, Brentwood
-- Bottleneck Blues Trio with Tim Huskisson & JJ
* Weds Oct 9, 8.30pm
MAN OF KENT
John Street, Rochester, Kent
-- great place to play
* Sat Oct 12, 8.30pm
Grapevine, Conduit Hill, Rye
-- debut gig at classy wine bar
* Sun Oct 13, 4.30pm
New Writtle Street, Chelmsford
-- laidback afternoon session
* Sat Oct 19, 8.30pm
Station Road, Southminster
-- real blues in a proper old-style pub
* Sun Oct 20, 4.30pm
Clifftown Road, Southend
--- Bottleneck Blues full band
with West Weston, Roy Webber & JJ
* Sun Oct 25, 8.30pm:
High Street, Maldon
-- Bottleneck Blues Trio
* Tues Oct 29, 8.30pm:
Hills Road, Cambridge
-- great music pub
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
The CD can be ordered for £7.50, including post in the UK. Contact Martin by phone, email or Facebook message and he will send a copy and sort out whatever payment method suits you.
07967 339 809
"Slightly languid but with a little eccentric underlying intensity. Lovely atmosphere, beautiful slide guitar player"
JOE CUSHLEY, Balling The Jack, Resonance FM
"It is that sort of beautiful sound that makes people fall in love with the guitar. Slide guitar par excellence, magnificent sound"
IAN McKENZIE, Acoustic Blues Club, Kansas City Online Radio
"An absolute delight. He is 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
"ExcelIent CD...I absolutely adore this gentleman. He plays most wonderful bottleneck guitar and is so under-appreciated. I've seen him live a number of times and I love listening to him"
ASHWYN SMYTH, Digital Blues (Ashwyn is UK Blues Federation chair)
"Great guitarist! He's cut a bunch of standards to great effect. I really like that"
PETE FEENSTRA, Rock & Blues Show, Get Ready To Rock Radio
"One of the best blues releases I have heard in the past few years...correction, one of the best releases I have heard in the past few years of any genre"
JOHN GREGORY, Blue John Media
TOP FIVE ALBUM
Cat Squirrel was No 5 in the blues radio play chart for August, compiled by the Independent Blues Broadcasters Association. The four records above it were by US acts.
PICK OF THE MONTH
The Independent Blues Broadcasters Assocation has made Cat Squirrel a pick of the month for September.
PAYPAL ORDERS NOW ACCEPTED
If you have a PayPal account, you can make out payment to firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to state your delivery address.
A glitch which resulted in some orders being rejected, without payment being taken, has been resolved.
However, if you don't receive the CD within three days please let Martin know.