Tag Archives: Blues Abuse

STEVE MORRISON — Guitar Star Live in Staines

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.

During the first half of the electrifying show we enjoyed “Call Me the Breeze” JJ Cale [Naturally, 1972] which was rewarding, buoyant and appropriately transient.

Steve’s picking technique is impressive … he provides bass notes, chords and twiddles — often simultaneously.

Steve provides bass notes, chords and twiddles — often simultaneously... Photo Credit @neilmach 2017 ©
Steve provides bass notes, chords and twiddles — often simultaneously… Photo Credit @neilmach 2017 ©

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 ©

Link: http://www.stevemorrison.eu

Pure Exhilaration from Blues Guitar Genius — STEVE MORRISON in Staines

The Tulsa Sound is sparse yet complicated and exciting. The smoky genre is espoused by the likes of JJ Cale, Leon Russell and Eric Clapton. It is a combination of rockabilly, country-rock and blues. Packed with precision riffs, intricate finger-picking style and lively rhythms.

This week we enjoyed this kind of genuine homecrafted bluesmanship at the Staines Riverside Club.

Brought to us by Steve Morrison’s band ‘Blues Abuse‘ (terrible name — great act) with Alan Hughes on drums and the legendary Alan Glen on harmonica.

Songs like “Call Me the Breeze” (completed at a frantic rate) were intricate and pure. Enjoyable, light and transient… like early morning snow on the Black Hills.

We loved the shuffling spirit of early rhythm and blues numbers, like ‘Easy Rider.‘ Steve’s voice was incredibly soft and smooth. Toasted oak and pine oil — it slipped down real neat and it suited his sharp-fringed guitar-work and the enthusiastic percussion from Alan Hughes.

Steve performed some self-written numbers. For example — Walking Blues (New Shoes) :

My wife is the Imelda Marcos of South London…” He told the audience.

“She has three thousand pairs of shoes … And we live in an apartment with 2 beds. Mind you, it’s not all bad… at least Shoes rhymes with Blues.” This was a light-hearted country-blues number with an easy lickin’ pace.

Blues Abuse - Steve Morrison, with Alan Hughes on drums...
Blues Abuse – Steve Morrison, with Alan Hughes on drums…

All songs were played with rare agility by the fast fingered Steve (who can hold down a bass-line and chords whilst simultaneously playing the most intricate highs… a rare gift.)

Songs were almost always soaked in juicy harmonica (from Glen) and kept in motion by Hughes (on drums) — he is probably one of the best drummers we have enjoyed at the Staines venue.

We sang the spiritual “Down by the Riverside” together (the Staines crowd needed a bit of flattery and coaxing — but in the end they were able to return the love.)

Come on everyone…” Steve Encouraged “ Imagine we are in a church. A church that serves beer! What is better than that? So let it all out …” The anti-war protest song proved to be a big hit.

This was an impressive evening of music from Steve and his Blues Abuse partners. (He’s got the ‘old blues‘ real bad!) What a wonderful experience!

Words & Images: @neilmach 2015 ©
Link: http://www.bluesabuse.com/