Wednesday, 18 February 2015

REVIEW: The Southampton Blues Legends, 1865 Club, Southampton by Duncan Eaton

IT is 20 years ago that south coast blues legends Pete Harris and Bob Pearce shared the same stage. But the reunion could light the blue touch paper for regular blues nights at Southampton’s latest major music venue with musicians from both sides of the Big Pond.  

And the 1865 club has already pulled off a major coup by signing Mud Morganfield – eldest son of the undisputed king of the blues Muddy Waters – who will be headlining on May 9.  

It was a full house as The Pete Harris R&B All Stars and Bob Pearce Blues Band served up a double helping of tantalising blues. With a career spanning more than 50 years Bob, known as Southampton’s King of The Blues, opened the show with a powerful cocktail of blues, rock and gospel.  

His set included Keep On Keepin’ On the title track to his much acclaimed 1993 album. He invited his soul mate Pete Harris on stage for their first jam session for 20 years, which included Chicken Shack Boogie, Elvis Presley’s Little Sister and Chuck Berry’s Johnny B Goode.  

As well as nearly lifting the rafters it was the cue for the jivers to fill the dance floor. And the party continued as The Pete Harris Band took centre stage with a blistering blues session, sprinkled with some rock ‘n roll.  

Pete, who has appeared with a glittering galaxy of American blues artistes, gave a master class in vocals and guitar. One of the highlights was one of the first blues standards and a Bessie Smith favourite, Ain’t Nobody’s Business. He also joined forces in note perfect harmonies with the latest addition to his multi-talented band, Jeradine Hume, who captivated the audience with her powerful and soulful vocal style. 

It is incredible to think that her first public appearance was only a year ago but when it comes to singing the blues she is a born natural. That was clearly demonstrated with I’m A Woman, a blues classic from the song book of Queen of the Blues Koko Taylor. It has become a big hit for Jeradine on YouTube. For Elvis fans there was Hound Dog but Jeradine chose the version by Big Mama Thornton.  

The reunion of the south’s soul legends hit all the right notes as the blues took off in spectacular style at the 1865.

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