A Tale of Two Cities – Blues Edition

It’s been a while, hasn’t it!

Not for lack of interest, but more a lack of material.

Fortunately, things seem to have eased up enough for me to get out there, really out there, and catch some live shows. So, on this long-deferred holiday in Europe, I was able to catch two shows at two very different bars in two very different cities.

The first venue was a club in Glasgow, the Howlin’ Wolf. It was a Sunday night, perfect for open mic/jams and that was exactly what I found. The house band, Killing Floor (all you Blues people will get that) opened the evening, then a continuous flow of guests went on stage for 3 or 4 songs each. Excellent playing throughout, leaning more towards the rockier end of the scale (tapping anyone?). Vocally, some standout performances, particularly by bassist/singer and performance rustler Charlotte Marshall, who played with calm confidence and sang with a Steve Marriot like intensity. I wish I could have stayed longer.

A few days later, more blues in Reykjavik, Iceland. This on a Thursday night at a club called Dillon. A more straightforward performance (no jammers), local band Beggi Smári performed blues with a slight jazz inflection, at least from what I could tell from the guitarist’s approach.

The latter had a more subdued vibe than the packed larger club in Glasgow, with the audience more attentive, concert like. Still, both shows featured solid playing by the rhythm section, and a fair bit of flash by the guitarists. On the vocal front, Glasgow was a slam dunk. Sorry Reykjavik!

You can hear for yourself in these two videos. Enjoy!

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