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The Burnley National Blues Festival 2009

Although it was difficult to better last year’s 20th festival and celebrations, 2009 overall I felt was better balanced. 

Once again we were treated to Americans who rarely visit the UK and it is to Burnley’s credit that they secure prestigious acts – the Burnley pedigree does have a lot of clout in The States but it beggars belief as to why it wasn’t sold out  - surely folk know by now that Burnley always serves up quality  - just because some of the main acts may not be household names doesn’t mean they aren’t quality  - credit crunch – bollocks – the M.E.N. sells out just for a night of karaoke – thank God I’m one of the minority not the moronic. 

Well that’s enough of the soap box, onto the music – bearing in mind this is only a ‘snapshot’.

On Friday it was great to have Lightnin’ Willie and The Poorboys here. Although they are regular visitors to our shores this doesn’t mean they aren’t good enough for Burnley – far from it. They are so entertaining and the stories that Willie tells makes for an all round performance. 

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With Lil' Ed.. great performer, but not top of my friendship list... he wouldn't give me his hat

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Chris with Lightnin' Willie

Saturday saw the return to the Pendle area of Ricky Cool, but this time with his band – and what good time stuff it was.

Doug MacLeod made a mockery of loud music – magical. 

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Chris with Doug MacLeod.... no wonder he's looking happy.... the audience loved him

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With Oliver Darling.
All the innocence of youth....  and me with my rug on that I got for 50p in The Gambia

The man who can do no wrong for me, Earl Thomas, with his resident UK band, Paddy Milner and the Big Sound were cookin’. 

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Earl Thomas

And to finish off, the best of the west coast, Rod Piazza, came in direct from L. A. – no joking to send all the harp fanatics into raptures – fantastic stuff. 

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Honey and Rod

Sunday’s highlights for me were the call and response duet during his encore when Hamilton Loomis brought onto the stage 13 year old Alex McKown – this young lad could be pretty good – he’s got a nice delicate touch – plays the guitar, doesn’t thrash it. 

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Hamilton Loomis and Alex

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The blues is in safe hands with this young man

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Chris with Hamilton Loomis

Then Kenny Neal, from the Baton Rouge area of Louisiana. Although not everybody’s cup of tea (he can be a bit funky) I couldn’t wait for his act and he didn’t disappoint. What a family of musicians. 

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Chris with Kenny Neal (far right), members of Kenny's band (family) and Teardrops Manager (far left)

And to finish the festival, Chicago legend, Magic Slim and the Teardrops. Although not in the best of health, once he’d warmed up the groove he got going was the business and when he brought Kenny Neal to play harp with him – great stuff! 

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Chris with Magic Slim (who looks as tho' he's had another good night on the sauce)

TIME FOR SOME OF THOSE OUTFITS

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That's right.... someone is missing their curtains from their front room

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Looking at this.... you'd think I could sing

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Somebody said you can't get Dickie Bows like this anymore.... thank God

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Notice how I've made sure my socks are the same colour as in the pattern of the carpet

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Rumour has it that a Peary King - or is it Queen, has been after this hat

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As usual when I'm at Burnley I'm proud as a peacock

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Little did we know on Easter Sunday 2009 that The Burnley National Blues Festival would also be taking its final bow.

My personal thanks to EVERYONE connected with the festival for such a wonderful event. I've got some very special memories. I will miss it.

RIP


The Burnley National Blues Festival 2008

To EMCEE at the 20th Anniversary of this festival was a pleasure and from feedback from the punters it was the best for many years.

Burnley is the longest running Blues / R&B Festival in the country and long may it continue, especially with the support of AIRCELLE, a Burnley based firm.

Some of my favourite photos from this festival and other Burnley moments are featured below.

 

 

 

 

Henry Butler at the 20th Burnley National Blues Festival 2008

Let me set the scene.  It's backstage at the Burnley National Blues Festival.  The area is liken to a rabbit warren..... corridors, steps up and down, left and right turns, doors that open in different directions.... it all adds character to the event.

O.K. ...... so here we go.  I'm in my dressing room (surprise, surprise) and a call goes out over the intercom ..... 'Henry Butler to the stage area please'.  For those not familiar with Henry he's a blind pianist from New Orleans and on this occasion he's appearing solo, so I decide it would be the right thing to do to guide him to the stage.

Henry duly puts his left hand on my right shoulder and we begin the journey.  In a slightly raised voice ... as is often the case when a sighted person speaks to someone blind ..... I say "We go straight for a short while Henry"....."Now take a left"..... In a typical N'Awlins drawl Henry chips in ..... "Chris, you can go a bit faster y'know".  So I quicken the pace and with raised voice give the instructions ..... "Two steps down here Henry" ..... "We're coming to a door now Henry" ..... When at this juncture Henry pointedly informs me.... "Chris, I may be blind, but I sure ain't deaf!!".

What a Top Man!

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Henry Butler
 

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Little Willie Littlefield
 

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© Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
 

© Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
 

© Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
 

© Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
 

© Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
 

© Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.

 

© Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
 

© Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
 

© Copyright 2008 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.