Award-winning bluesman PAPA GEORGE and legendary guitarist MICKY MOODY played a live concert at the fabulous STAINES RIVERSIDE CLUB on Thursday night. Rock vocalist and talented composer ALI MAAS joined them onstage as a special guest.
The duo played a selection of blues, rhythm and blues, soul and gospel songs that included some choice cover songs as well as a selection of Papa George’s own first-class numbers.
Songs like Little Feat’s “Sailin’ Shoes” had the crowd swaying along with its indolent lurching pace — the lethargic guitars and fervent passion of the lyrics penetrated every moment.
George’s fine picking on “You Can Love Yourself” ( by contemporary Delta blues artist Keb’ Mo’) was praiseworthy. As was the liquid bottleneck slide work from Micky.
Here George’s voice was wood-tar and old brandy seeing him perfectly capable of producing cream-hazelnut highs — husky-textured but sweet, sweet, sweet — from those incredible vocal folds.
“Jesus on the Mainline” ( Ry Cooder) was finely picked.
This gradually evolving Gospel number is a crowd favorite.
Encouraged to sing, the crowd at Staines joined-in enthusiasticall with the good-natured call and response.
“Who likes John Lee Hooker?” cried Papa George. There was a yell of support so the musicians launched into “Crawling King Snake.”
This a delta-blues song from the 1920’s that is almost always identified with Hooker. George’s voice on the piece was curmudgeonly and appropriately raw — but the guitarists had a whole lotta fun with the arrangement when they stumbled upon Muddy Waters’ “You Need Love” [the precursor to “Whole Lotta Love”]
The dynamic interaction and interdependence between these two consummate guitarists — plus their whiskey ‘n’ dry voices, with velvet textures — along with a canny song choice and the highlight ALI MAAS appearance — meant that this was a night to remember.
Words & Pictures: Neil Mach 2017 ©
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