Jumpin Hot 37th Anniversary shows in November (Pics Juan, Ship, Marty & Sid)
Well, this month we’ve held a full exhibition inc Juan & Charles framed photos from the past 15 -20 years. Also hours & hours of video footage from Kevin Daley’s local TV shows, fixed onto a small mounted screen in Gosforth Civic Theatre for our 37th Anniversary celebration’s. All this smogaboard’ed together of course, with seven shows of high-quality J Hot Club live music, in all our favorite Newcastle/Gateshead venues.
Here’s a short review
A very youthful & celebratory crowd gathered in Cluny2 for our first Anniversary concert. Arkansas old time country –punkster Nick Shoulders & his chum Grant on Double Bass, doing their first ever UK tour. They were great & as Nick’s expert yodeling & hearty whistling filled the air, I could hear echoes of The Sons Of The Pioneers & Jimmy Rodgers. I was actually quite stunned. Their harmony singing was first rate too, as was the whole crowd joining in, song after song, which created a great vibe & was very uplifting to see, especially for an old man like me. Hell, I didn’t even mind the mullet hairstyles. Gravedancer, Nick’s school friend from Arkansas opened the night, & a teletubbies song on banjo was quite a surprise.
The following evening in Cluny2, Big Red from local troupe The Grinners, did a fine solo opening spot, afterwards commenting that he learned so much from watching the main act Sam Lewis. High praise indeed Red ! You see, Sam from Nashville Tennessee gave a totally captivating performance. In fact if you like laid back soulful self – penned tunes. Very catchy music, that is quite timeless, Sam’s your man. He tells a very good tale too & won over Big Red’s quite sizeable South Shields following (which wasn’t that easy).
We moved over to Gosforth Civic Theatre for our next few shows. Riley Downing & his troupe of Stetson hatted ‘Missouri ‘country rockers, held a ‘rather disappointingly small ‘ Thursday night crowd totally engrossed. They did the set in front of the stage and it worked just fine. Gem Andrews did the opener & reminded us just how good a singer-songwriter she was.
A pedal steel would have worked well with Riley and for Jeffrey Foucault show a few days later, steel player Eric Heywood stole the show. He was a magnificent performer. Jeffrey’s bluesy folk music suited Eric so well & Jeff’s on- stage humour made for a charming, if long awaited, evening. It had been almost 15 years since the Mid West troubadour graced the J’Hot stage. Bringing support act Dietrich Strause up on piano for a grand finale was a top move. Actually Dietrich was also a class support act of his own. His music brought to mind Gordon Lightfoot & Ron Sexsmith.
Probably the highlight anniversary show for many was the Errol Linton Band at GCT. Direct from London, it took me a few years to sort that one out. Harmonica player /leader Errol needed something to prize him out of Brixton & our 37th Anniversary did just that. Not to take away from any of the other gigs, but the whole band were on fire. They made their unique concoction of Blues & Reggae look and sound so laid back & damn easy. And didn’t the band seem to love it. Lance the Bass player smiled all evening like a Cheshire cat, while Rich the guitarist bounced & skipped around. Hopefully we’ll see them back earlier than a decade. Michael & Scott (King Bees duo) did a mighty fine job playing some classic 40’s acoustic blues as the evening’s aperitif.
We haven’t been putting music into The Globe that very long, but its working well & it also worked well for Kevin Galloway’s show. This Texas based singer- songwriter had never been to Newcastle & it was the perfect place to debut. His gruff & husky voice matched his lonesome & lowdown country tunes. He had the audience spell bound & a hush ensured over the whole place. Tim, his tour manager partnered him on guitar, which hasn’t happened a lot with TM’s in our 37 years existence ! We should also mention the opener, Ben Singh from Carlisle who is a super talent and ensured a memorable evening.
Our final Anniversary gig was a special one-off in Gateshead’s Little Theatre. Mary Gauthier joined us from Nashville with her partner Jaimee Harris. I bought Mary’s book” Saved By A Song” online in the summer. The very first thing I did when they arrived was to get it signed. However, the book really came alive when Mary read a few extract on stage during her wonderfully varied set. That was an unexpected highlight, as was Mary having Jaimee Harris accompanying her all night. Jaimee’s namesake Emmylou immediately sprang to mind. From the opening song “ Drag Queens & Limousines” to “ About Time “ to the very apt “ Thank God For You “ we hung onto everything she had and more. So thank God for you Mary Gauthier and thank God for live music.
We take chances with all kinds of music, so why not give us a chance with something you’ve not heard? We’ve 37 years of experience you know …
BTW – The exhibition is still ongoing in GCT until mid December…