& harmonica star
Martin McNeill and West Weston...two seasoned musicians who really know their blues, making a tight, exciting partnership.
Martin McNeill is a highly-rated slide guitarist and singer, drawing on Delta and Chicago blues styles and throwing in cool, jazzy touches. For several years he played with some of the UK's top blues names at his weekly Monday Blues sessions at Peggy Sue's bar in Leigh-on-Sea and continues to gig regularly in solo, duo and full band format. His solo CD Lately I've Let Things Slide was called "British blues at its best" by Blues in the South editor Ian McKenzie.
Steve West Weston is one of the UK and Europe's top harmonica players; many would say he's No 1. He works on stage and in the studio with artists including Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey, Mud Morganfield, Mike Vernon, Junior Watson and Trickbag. He fronts West Weston's Bluesonics, and plays with Martin's Bottleneck Blues.
Martin and Steve have worked together for many years and can be relied on to deliver a raw, intense gig, spontaneously playing off each other as they romp through old-school blues classics.
07967 339 809
MARTIN McNEILL'S BOTTLENECK BLUES
The goodtime blues band that has become a fixture at Essex's top live music pub, the Railway in Southend.
Bottleneck Blues gig in trio, four or five-piece format. As well as Sunday sesions at the Railway, the Bottlenecks have played Rye Jazz Festival twice, are favourites at Annie's Jazz in Thorpe Bay and play various pubs and clubs.
Martin plays slide guitar and sings and the band often features international blues star Steve West Weston on harmonica. Other regular members are JJ Zarbo on double bass, Roy Webber on drums, Tim Huskisson on piano.
07967 339 809
MARTIN McNEILL SOLO
One man and his music...Martin McNeill delivers an intense and intimate performance, ina wide range of blues styles, from slide-driven Delta blues to jazzy ballads.
Although well known as a band leader, Martin is in his element as a solo player and gets much of his work in this format. As well as pubs and clubs, festival bookings include Broadstairs and Hoxne in Suffolk and Martin recently opened for the James Hunter Six at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich. Expect echoes of John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Fred McDowell and songs from the likes of Ray Charles, Robert Johnson and Keb Mo. Martin's solo CD, Lately I've Let Things Slide, was acclaimed at "British blues at its best".
07967 339 80
MARTIN McNEILL & pianist TIM HUSKISSON
Tim Huskisson is a highly-rated, versative pianist who has been playing with Martin in different formats for around 15 years. He works with numerous jazz bands as well as leading his own groups.
If you want a really full, mellow sound from just a duo, Martin and Tim fit the bill. They play a wide repertoire from old-style blues through to soulful standards, with some swing and cool jazz along the way.
MARTIN McNEILL & guitarist RAMON GOOSE
Ramon Goose is a remarkable guitarist, playing many styles of blues and work music. He leads several of his own bands but he and Martin get together for occasional gigs and show great empathy for each other's playing.
MARTIN McNEILL & bassman JJ ZARBO
Guitar and double bass -- a classic pairing. As well as accompanying Martin, JJ adds vocals.
TIM AVES & MARTIN McNEILL
Tim Aves is well known for leading Wolfpack and Automatic Slim, singing and playing harmonica and guitar. Previous bands include the Rockin' Armadillos. For less full-on gigs, Tim works with Martin McNeill in duo format.
Ruby Florence sings a mix of vintage jazz, blues, gospel, rock'n'roll and rhythm'n'blues.
She performs with Martin on guitar and they are sometimes joined by Fabian Bonner on bass to form the Ruby Florence Trio (or the Ruby Florence Band with the addition of drums).
Ruby Florence gigs always feature some bottleneck blues from Martin, so you get two acts in one.
07967 339 809