Fans of popular Lincoln based band The Blues Connection will no doubt be intrigued to learn of changes in the talented outfit, which sadly no longer includes Bob (Lightnin’ Lips) Read on harmonica and vocals.
However, lead guitarist and vocalist Pete Wray informs that the group has been enlarged to a quartet and is confident that followers will be delighted with the results.
On bass guitar is Graham and supplying added impetus on percussion is Steve, and of course taking charge of lead vocals is Pete’s lovely missus Helen, well known and highly regarded in the ‘Doncaster area (notably at Doncaster Market Jazz Days/The Salutation/Rockingham Arms and Conservative Club sessions) for her heartfelt emotionally charged renditions of the blues and of her own compositions.
Further positive news is that next year’s market Jazz Day has been given the green-light for the May Bank Holiday Saturday and Pete, Helen and Co are expected to be among the varied attractions, hopefully joining forces with Blues n Boogie piano maestro Bob Hall and famed Blues guitarist/singer Dave Peabody, if plans by Jazz into Doncaster come to fruition also with a possible session with the same combination at the Con Club. Watch out for up-dates.
Mention of the Con Club brings to mind the recent debut session by renowned local guitarist/vocalist Dickie Emmerson with Robert Baker at the keyboards, replacing the formidably talented Tony Spragg, certainly a hard act to follow which disappointingly drew a somewhat meagre attendance (despite superb bonus contributions by Sue Fisher and Johnny Noble). However there is opportunity for Dickie’s normally loyal followers to make amends at the next Monday gig on November 14. Sad news from Dickie, is the recent loss of former pianist/organist Alan Hodgson, who many will recall with affection from the Ponderosa days of Dickie’s fine entertaining Quartets at the lively venue.
Next Jazz into Doncaster session at the Con Club is set for Thursday October 27, when the attraction will be a new quartet line-up headed by multi-reed maestro Matt Palmer (a driving force on the jazz scene, particularly for his tireless work for the famed long-running Nottingham Rhythm Club, who will be joined on stage by the double bass slapping male counterpart of Annie Hawkins, Jim Swinnerton no less, making the trip from Blackpool, with Jack the lad Cotterhill on drums and Donny newcomer Don Gwinette set to dazzle at the piano. The session kicks off at 8.30pm, admission £5 at the door.
Barnsley Jazz at Silkstone Lodge (S75 4LY) have The Reunion Jazz Band, fronted by trumpeter Alan Hippsley on Monday October 24 and Jeff Milner’s Delta Friends on Monday October 31. (01226-281805/383135/290105).
Next Terry Allonby Trio gig at Horse & Groom, East Laith Gate is on Saturday November 5: 12noon to 3pm .Admission free, Relish Bar and Grill also on East Laith Gate, have regular Thursday night jazz/blues sessions free admission)
The Knights of Jazz play every Monday at The Butcher’s Arms, Braithwell usually featuring reed man Gerry Nugent & Pete Moxon, who recently performed alongside jazz legend Digby Fairweather.