Since being on the telly [Guitar Star, Sky Arts 2015] the home-crafted bluesman STEVE MORRISON has become a bit of a draw.
We saw him and his band “Blues Abuse” [with Alan Hughes on drums and the legendary Alan Glen on harmonica] playing live at the superior RIVERSIDE CLUB, STAINES last Thursday.
Steve’s picking technique is impressive … he provides bass notes, chords and twiddles — often simultaneously.
Steve’s own composition titled “Love Has Gone” was gently set.
With baroque influences and a supreme lament-filled sob at the end, given up by Glen.
The sprinkle of finely chosen guitar notes fell like a confetti of anxious teardrops.
Another self-penned number, the “James Bond” theme called “Climbing On Top of the World” (“writing that was at the very top of my to don’t list…” Steve told the Staines audience) seemed crenelated and indented.
A fine blend of thrill, suspense and remarkable release.
In the second half, the happy crowd at the club were enlisted to join in with the choruses “just think of this place as a church… a church that sells beer…” we were told. So we sang as we swayed.
Everyone from Elvis to Beyoncé via Suzi Quatro has covered Little Willie John’s “Fever.”
The Morrison version of this Peggy Lee favourite [penned by Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell] had all the ingredients we’d expect from a bigger blues-band – tangy bass line [played by Steve] yummy guitar work, and an awesome voice filled with heart & heat. And the “sax” licks were deliciously handled by Glen.
Full marks to Steve and his buddies for an entertaining live show.
The night had a whole lot of memorable moments (not just virtuoso guitar work, but also great drum solos, some fabulous blues-harp flurries and not to mention many gossipy revelations from Steve’s “telly” work — ) this was just like a traditional British rhythm and blues evening.
Another night of incredible quality musicianship at Staines, brought to us by the highest calibre musicians imaginable.
Words & Photos Neil Mach 2017 ©