Blues at Barleylands celebrate their sixth anniversary on Saturday 26 November 2022 at 2.00 pm with, what promises to be, a quite excellent gig – with some amazing musicians in the line-up.  I love the theme ‘Saints & Sinners’ “It’s a show exploring the space and harmony between spiritual music and the devil’s blues!” Right up my street! I’m planning to go if anyone fancies tagging along.

BAB Write:

Saints & Sinners – music from the cross to the crossroads. It’s a show exploring the space and harmony between spiritual music and the devil’s blues. So many blues musicians we know and love, spent their early years singing in church. Quite often following a Saturday night hollering in a juke joint on the other side of town. We would never have had the presence, power, truth and passion of Son House, Muddy Waters or the mother of the blues – Ma Rainy without these foundations. They mixed, matched and often struck sparks off each other.

At the risk of being a bit existential, in these dark times when so many are angry, scared or frustrated by where we find ourselves, I think learning to walk that line between the dark and the light is essential for our sanity. Saints and Sinners is an exploration of this shadowland by means of music that has been around a very long time. Old spirituals like Great Day, Up above My Head, Jesus On that Mainline, Down to the River to Pray and Will the Circle Be Unbroken were created out of a need to feel better in hard times.

It’s not so much about religion; but about optimism and belief that there is a future for us, our country and our children. I for one really need to constantly re-find and hold that mind set every day. One great path towards this are the sounds that make me smile, want to join in with a full voice and go home ready to go forward with a sense of hope.

Saints & Sinners began in 2018 with an idea of musically mashing together Saturday night and Sunday morning, for example Wade in the Water with Take Me to the River. And honestly its also about our love of harmonising. There is an organic thing that happens when we just sing together without thinking about it too much. The result is often bigger than the sum of the parts and leaves lots of room for the audience to join in if they want to, which they do.

Five voices, two guitars, two basses, drums and a whole bunch of percussion. Spikedrivers with Fran McGillivray, Mike Burke and Roger Nunn.

What an afternoon we have in store!