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Review: Hokie Joint Hamilton Loomis Sugar Ray and the Bluetones
TO those who misguidedly say that the blues is all the same, Saturday night’s line-up at the Burnley Rock and Blues Festival should dispel that myth once and for all.
The sign of a good festival is a varied bill which introduces the audience to something new and unexpected.
Fitting that bill perfectly were Hokie Joint, who should be rebooked immediately for next year’s event.
Totally original, with each member having a distinct personality of their own on stage, their mix of blues, rock, Balkan folk, and other world music influences, combining with a lead singer with a rasping growl of a voice, was fresh, modern and compelling.
Next up was one of the rising stars of the blues scene Hamilton Loomis.
Oozing charisma, the scarlet-shirted Loomis brought soul to the proceedings, along with some blistering guitar work.
Backed by some great musicians, Loomis injected a party atmosphere into the night. Some great guitarists can sing OK, but Loomis has a great soul-tinged voice.
From walking through the auditorium using the seats as stepping stones, at the same time playing an impossible solo, to leading us into the world of reggae and dub, he put on a great show.
Headlining were Sugar Ray and the Bluetones.
“We’re here to play blues cos that’s what we do,” said Sugar Ray at the start of the set.
With Sugar Ray on vocals and harmonica, and an outrageously-gifted young guitarist and a sublime keyboard player, this was the highlight for the traditionalists as Burnley was transformed into Chicago for a night.
Blues, all the same? I don’t think so.
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