Guitar hero Elliott Randall among the stars at Colne's Great British R&B Festival (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Guitar hero Elliott Randall among the stars at Colne's Great British R&B Festival
3:32pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in What's on in Lancashire
ELLIOTT Randall is probably the most famous guitarist you have never heard of.
From his work with the Doobie Brothers and then Steely Dan, his sound has been heard on hundreds of hit records for 35 years.
Now the man who played the solo on Steely Dan’s Reelin’ In The Years will be at Colne on Saturday as part of the Great British R&B Festival with the New York All Stars.
Tell us a little more about the All Stars. Who can we expect to see in Colne and more importantly, what can we expect to hear?
I think I’ll take Donald Fagen and Walter Becker’s advice and play this one a little on the coy side. I can tell you what you can expect to hear. It’s going to be some very heartfelt blues… And some hip-shakin’, old-school traditional rhythm and blues. The ‘All-Stars’ are a combination of really talented players, from both New York and The Great North.
Do you enjoy playing to UK audiences? Do they differ from those in the States?
Audiences are the same the world over. There are those audiences that are quick to respond and ‘rock out’ from note one. Then there are the more staid audiences who sit like bumps on logs — until you give them that extra impetus to open their ‘enjoyment valves’ to full throttle. I enjoy both types — obviously the instant rapport is always most welcome, but I equally enjoy the challenge of ‘waking the sleeping monster’. I’ve always found that the Northern crowds jump into it every time; fun-loving!
Of all the many people you’ve worked with who was the most fun?
Gosh, I’m not sure that I can answer this by naming one or two artistes. There are so many that come to mind, but here’s a short-list: Steely Dan — well, just for being such a one-of-a-kind full musical environment; The Doobie Brothers — who, on stage, gave no less than 120 per cent to the audiences every single show; Sha Na Na – a total fun outfit, but with some of the most intricate stage moves, a real lesson in theatre. And, curiously enough, Liza Minnelli — with whom I had the pleasure of being the ‘featured rock soloist’. This was back in the early 80s. Liza was in her absolute prime. The band was half Sinatra’s band and the other half, some of New York’s finest players. Every night was a musical wonder and the second Liza would hit the stage, she’d just have every member of the audience in the palm of her hand. It was like magic.
And dare we ask, the most difficult?
Well, I’ve played with some real characters — nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more!
Your customised Strat has almost legendary status among guitarists. Do you ever worry it will fail on you?
Not if it knows what’s good for it! Seriously though, not a lot could fail on an instrument like that. I might break a string , though very rare. I keep my guitars in good shape.
Does it get its own airline seat?
Having been a soft-case kinda guy since the 60s, my instrument usually rides in the compartment above my head. I’ve had very few hassles with that. One time I was given ‘a lot of grief’ with this arrangement. In the early 90s, I was making a record for Kirsty MacColl, who, as a Virgin Records artist, had 1st Class seats for me to fly from NY to London, and it was Virgin Airways who gave me an incredible hard time. It ended well, though.
Do you ever tire of being asked for THAT solo?
Not at all. Someone actually once asked me if it was ‘the albatross around my neck’. How could it be? It helped to further my career in so many ways. I’m eternally thankful that the opportunity arose. I still enjoy playing it for audiences, as their delight is my delight! In fact, it’s likely the only solo I recreate faithfully each show, as this is the way the folks like to hear it.
- Elliott Randall and the New York All Stars play the International stage on Saturday at 3.30pm.
PLAN YOUR WEEKEND WITH THE FULL LINE-UP
- 7.30pm: Nine Below Zero
- 9.15pm: Dr. Feelgood
- 11pm: Joe Louis Walker
- Bulmers British stage
- 8pm: Full Fat Boogie Band
- 9pm: After Hours Blues Band
- 10pm: Dr Truth
- 11pm: Slack Alice
- 8pm: Mal Gibson
- 9pm: Ian Alveston Trio
- 10pm: Dave Speigh
- 11pm: Mike Sweeney, Paddy O’Hare and The Collective
- 2pm: Kat & Co.
- 3.30pm: Elliott Randall New York All Stars
- 5pm: Lil’ Jimmy Reed
- 6.15pm: TC & The Moneymakers
- 7.30pm: Colne Harp Explosion
Bulmers British stage
- 2.30pm Alligators
- 4pm: Charlie White Project
- 5.30pm: Sharon Colgan Band
- 7pm: The Midnight Ramble
- 8pm: Stomp & Holler
- 2pm: Dai Thomas
- 3.15pm: Dave Onions
- 4.30pm: Mumbo Jumbo
- 5.45pm: Open Mic
- 6,15pm: Half Deaf Clatch
- 7pm: Tom Doughty
- 8.30pm: Keith Thompson
- 9.45pm: Deborah Bonham
- 11pm: Babajack
- 2pm: The Swing Commanders
- 3.30pm: Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion
- 5pm: The Jive Aces
- 7.30pm: Ian Siegal
- 9.15pm: Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings
- 11pm: Steve Phillips & The Rough Diamonds
Bulmers British stage
- 1.30pm: Gary Grainger
- 2pm: British Blues Awards Presentation
- 3.15pm: The Revolutionaires
- 4.30pm: Blue Swamp
- 5.45pm: Keith Thompson Band
- 7pm: Tom Byrne and Friends
- 8pm: Maz Mitrenko Band
- 9.30pm: The Dale Storr New Orleans Big Band
- 11pm: Krissy Matthews Band
- 2pm: Maz Mitrenko
- 3.15pm: Dan Burnett
- 4.30pm: Krissy Matthews
- 4.45pm: Open Mic
- 6.15pm: Brother Duke
- 7pm: Dale Storr
- 8.30pm: Hokum Hotshots
- 9.45pm: Elrieke & Leopold
- 11pm: The Cats
- 2pm: Chris Farlowe and Norman Beaker Band
- 3.30pm: Climax Blues Band
- 5pm: The Pretty Things
- 6.15pm: Wilko Johnson
- 7.30pm: King King
- 9.15pm: Chas Hodges Band
- 11pm: Paul Lamb & The King Snakes
Bulmers British stage
- 2pm: Elias T Hoth
- 5.30pm: Midnight Train (feat. Debbie Giles & Sam Kelly)
- 4.45pm: Minor Blues
- 5.30pm: The 45’s
- 6.15pm: Gypsy Bill's Resonators
- 7.45pm: Albany Down
- 9.15pm: The Manatees R&B Band
- 2pm: Sharon Colgan
- 3.15pm: Gypsy Bill and Del
- 4.30pm: Open Mic
- 5.15pm: Lily & Ross
- 6pm: Howlin' Mat
- 7.30pm: Micky Van Gelder and Pat Clarke
- 9pm: Jaywalkers
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