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One man and his music…Martin McNeill delivers an intense and intimate performance, in a 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”
Martin sings and plays old-school blues and is a highly-rated slide guitarist and his repertoire includes Delta and Chicago blues, soulful ballads and modern folk blues. Martin’s album, Lately I’ve Let Things Slide, has been dubbed “British blues at its best” and hails from the east of England near Southend and is a stalwart of the blues scene in that area.The punning title of the album betrays both its content and Martin’s abiding love of all things ‘slide’. He even has named his band Bottleneck Blues. This is a terrific album and an excellent showcase for Martin’s outstanding slide talent.
There are twelve tracks on the album. Only one of them is an original, but don’t let that put you off. The covers are reworked pieces with an original spin to each. They range from Fred McDowell’s You Gotta Move, a tune which must have dozens if not hundreds of covers, to Keb Mo’s Keep It Simple. Martin manages to make both sound delightfully original.
The same is true of On The Road Again (Canned Heat) which here is nicely delivered without that falsetto delivery of the original. Goin’ Down South is an RL Burnside original with a nice bit of reverb added to the guitar part.
The instrumental Pickin’ The Blues is an excellent workout, for me, because of its Hawaiian sound, coming as a reminder of the outstanding work of the late Bob Brozman. The only original is Mad With Me and is a delightful song with a kind of John Lee vibe… wonderful stuff.
“ONE OF THIS COUNTRY’S FINEST BOTTLENECK BLUES GUITARISTS” - Stephen Foster, BBC radio presenter
“GREAT PERFORMER…STUNNING BOTTLENECK GUITARIST” - Ashwyn Smyth, chair of British Blues Federation
For centuries Rye was an island with only one land connection at high tide to the mainland through the Landgate Arch. These days the striking Arch and buildings are home to Antique shops and cafes and a stunning view. Our artists perform on next to Knoops the Chocolate shop - who make a fantastic hot chocolate or milkshake.
Please note there are no toilet facilities at The Landgate so please use nearby Knoops cafe facilities.
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