The Blues Trail
Pub Venues in Monaghan town
Smokin’ Hogs – East Anglia
Smokin’ Hogs have been on the UK music scene since 2004. They are a four-piece band consisting of; Mark “The Reverend” Kennedy – lead guitar, Steve “Cosmic” Soer – bass guitar and vocals, Paul “Dr Vanity” Sutton – Frontman and Harp and Keef “Slowbone” Shepherd – drums. The music of the Hogs would best be described as rockin’ Rhythm and Blues and their sound has been compared to Peter Green meets ZZ Top! They are an exciting and authentic live act and like to generate energy on stage with an electric and visual stage show with a nod to the British Blues boom of the 1960’s. In 2008 the Hogs played with the likes of Gregg Wright from the USA on his European Tour and also Dr Feelgood. They have played at various blues clubs and festivals and have plenty more of the same lined up during 2009 including the Linton Blues Festival with Dr Feelgood & Nine Below Zero. The Hogs have already released one CD entitled “Leavin‘ Here” and are set to record another in the Autumn of 2009.
LYNDON ANDERSON BAND – Newcastle
LYNDON ANDERSON BAND
This band has grown out of their American influences which show clearly here. These guys could play their set on any American stage, and the fans would walk up to them expecting American accents, so tied within across the pond sounds are they. When it comes to the blues, This Band have all the bases covered, whether it’s a 1950’s Chess classic, a chunk of New Orleans funk, rocking Texas shuffles, jazz influenced west coast swing or one of their many originals, they play it all with style, authority, and taste. From Lightning Hopkins to the Meters and beyond, they mix up a red hot gumbo of groove with tunes from the likes of Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Junior Wells, Freddie King and many many more.
Big Mamma’s Door – London
London-based Big Mamma’s Door play their brand of Sexy 50’s RnB with a whole lot of professionalism and love for the blues…the music is a just top notch.
They are an excellent band…her smoky/laid-back voice does the risqué blues-with-soul stuff with a vengeance. This is good old 50’s proper Rhythm & Blues, not the soul-less heartless pop of the 00’s ; real blues with real rhythm.
This is an engaging and highly energetic band…the audience was wowed by the sheer personality of Fiona as a performer, the artistry of Mal on guitar and the musical excellence of the rest of the band.”
“Fiona McElroy Whipped the crazy crowd into a clamour and is enjoyable more Etta James than Janis Joplin in her approach. Her gutsy vocals were matched by playful Irish banter between numbers. The crowd had no choice but to enjoy things enormously…”
‘Open For Business’ by Big Mamma’s Door is a slick and sensitively handled bunch of great songs – like an old friend come to stay and going over old stories but putting a new slant on them
Ben Reel Band – Monaghan
Recently the Band has just finished a successful tour in Holland, receiving rave reviews . This was the 5th European tour in 3 years in which they have a growing fan base. The band Ben Reel : Vocals ,Guitar, harmonica, Michael Black on drums, Ronnie O’Flynn on bass, Micky McCarney on lead guitar.
The Band will be releasing their 5th album ‘Time to get Reel’ in sept 09. It promises to be the best yet. This band just goes from strength to strength building up a loyal following throughout Ireland and Europe . This year the band have had numerous TV appearances and radio airtime, the word is spreading, this simmering underground movement is about to explode. A must see live experience. A mix of everything that is great in music, a uniquely soulful, spiritual, groovy sound, described as the middle ground between Rock&Jazz. The have developed a kinda chilled out rootsy Americana west coast feel. “From the brilliance of the playing and arranging to the magnificence of Reel’s voice “.
King King – featuring Alan Nimmo, Scotland
This band certainly knows how to make an entrance. Fronted by charismatic bluesman Alan Nimmo, their exhilarating debut at last year’s Festival. Since surging into life less than twelve months ago they have barely stopped for breath, and their electrifying sound and scorching live shows have generated more of a thunderous roar than a buzz.
With outstanding reviews and a diary fit to burst, you’d be forgiven for thinking that King had enough to keep them occupied for a moment or two. You’d be wrong. Apparently imbued with sufficient energy to power a small town, the band has also found time to get into the studio, the result being their debut EP ‘Broken Heal’. Produced alongside the team behind the Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs and the Editors (to name but a few), the EP instantly received a gleaming review from Blues Matters Magazine, including remarks on it’s “emotive lyrics”, “heartwrenching guitar solos” and “stirring guitar work”.
The Blues Jam – Monaghan
The Blues Jam
Takes place on the “Last Thursday” of “Every Month” in Seamie Mc Kenna’s Bar, Dublin St. Monaghan, and is available to everyone who likes to sing, play or just enjoy the blues. A band, comprising local musicians is always on hand to open the proceedings, & the Jams to date have witnessed everything from first-rate acoustic blues, to young guys cranking it up with classics by Rory Gallagher & Jimmi Hendrix. It’s been running now since 2003. There will be a “House Band” to start things off; you never know who is going to be there. It could be you!! Des will be your host and MC
DOCTOR BROWN & THE GROOVECATS – Newcastle
DOCTOR BROWN & THE GROOVECATS – See us on youtube
This is West Coast swing at its best over the years these guys have played all the major festivals and opened shows for the biggest names in the Blues world the likes of Albert King, Albert Collins and many many more. These guys were a big hit last two festivals if you saw them you know what to expect and no doubt you will be back for more.
These Guys are slick, tight, look great and are as tight as a nut.ENTERTAINMENT GUARANTEED, “Catch these guys if west Coast swing blues lights your candle.
Rab McCullough band – Belfast
has rocked the Blues scene from the 60,S sharing the stage with Jimi Hendrix The small Faces Rory Gallagher and the Yardbirds but to name a few. Rab took part in the International blues challenge at the w.c. Handy awards in Memphis in 2000 coming third, the first band ever to be placed outside the united states . Taking home with pride his award to His home town of Belfast. His album (Belfast Breakdown) was no 1 in the album charts in France in 2005.The blues is known as a soundtrack to the struggle to overcome, but it is a magic potion of hope. Rabs fiery playing and soulful vocals have convinced many a fan that he honed his chops on Chicago,s southside or in some Texas roadhouse, but it was on the streets of Belfast that Rab cut his teeth. Playing in most of the Big Blues Festivals in England, Norway and the States their sharing the stage with Lonnie Brooks, Arthur Mississippi Williams and Many more. This year in July he shares the stage in Maryport with Paul Jones blues band and John Mayall. Fans and everyone who hears Rab will have his name on the tongues when witnessing his blistering performance
The Juke Joints – Holland
They’re Holland’s best-known blues rockers The Juke Joints, have performed their music throughout the whole of Europe for the last 25 years !
They have released a new ‘Live’ DVD last year with very special guests: 16-year-old guitarist Ryan Perry (Homemade Jamz Blues Band) , T Model Ford, Lord Bernardo and Sherman Robertson.
They album is a brimful of blues styles, incorporating Chicago blues, rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly, all linked by the band’s unmatched energy, which is driven to unprecedented heights.
To say that the band has been touring extensively is an understatement: with frequent visits to England, they are constantly gracing stages in Holland, France, Germany, Belgium, Latvia, Switzerland, Scandinavia.
They were the first European band to play the prestigious Delta Blues Festival in Greenville,Mississippiwith B.B. King, Dr John and Little Feat and they played B.B. King’s club in Memphis !
They have shared stages with the best that blues has to offer: Kim Wilson, Buddy Guy, Johnny Copeland, Little Charlie & the Nightcats, The Paladins, Rod Piazza & the Might Flyers, The Nighthawks, Bernard Allison, Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt,
The Roy Fulton Band – Northern Ireland
The Roy Fulton Band
Making their debut at this year’s event is the powerhouse blues trio, the Roy Fulton Band. Roy Fulton accompanied by Davy Neill on bass andLawrence McKeown on drums play a selection of blues-rock standards (Hendrix, Cream etc) and are renowned for their ‘jam-band’ attitude and playing style. This is a wonderful opportunity to witness one of Ireland’s finest guitar players in action with his band. volume swells, soaring bends, melodic mojo, on-the-tip-of-destruction note flurries… …played with fire and respect – GUITAR PLAYER (USA MAGAZINE)
HOLLYWOOD SLIM & THE FAT CATS – Dublin
HOLLYWOOD SLIM & THE FAT CATS
This band describe their music as 1970s California blues. But, really, their remit travels far and wide, from Texas to New Orleans, from Chicago to the Mississippi Delta, and tips the hat to a whole slew of blues styles and heroes along the way. Blues bands come and go, and it takes something exceptional to make them stand out: Hollywood Slim is an impressive vocalist with a lively harp sound, the rhythm section of Papa Hynes and Reverend Priestly fits like a glove, and the guitar playing of Graham “Junior” Hynes is a constant surprise, never taking the obvious solo. However, along with the silken piano skills of guest Gavin Povey, Hynes adds a real sheen to the proceedings. Since their formation in 2004, Hollywood Slim & The Fat Cats have played at every major festival in Ireland, from the Kilkenny Rhythm & Roots to the Cork Jazz, winning new fans with every show and rapidly increasing their fast assembled following, both domestically and internationally.
B & The Honeyboys – Wexford
They are a bluesy, funky, R&B outfit formed in early 2006 by Kieran McEvoy and Aileen Mythen . Sharing a love of Blues and all things related, the two, both involved in other projects and activities originally formed the band as an outlet for playing Blues standards in bars and clubs. Since then B & The Honeyboys have become a more serious concern recording an album of original songs, written by B and K.J., which has garnered glowing reviews and widespread critical acclaim.
‘McEvoy has a kick-ass, full-on electric guitar style for which the word gritty might have been specially coined. Mythen is a real discovery, her bluesy voice filling your head with pure soul as she gets under the skin of the songs and sings them from the inside out.
No festival can be complete without the support from the publican’s venues in town who are the partners in bringing this festival together.
Access to any of these venues is free of charge and performance times may vary from venue to venue. Nearly 40 gigs will be played at these venues by the time we head to work on Monday
List of Monaghan Pubs participating:
The Shamrock Bar, The Town Hall suite at the Westenra Hotel, The Squealing Pig Bar & Restaurant, The Anchor Bar, An Poc Fada bar & beer garden, The Brewery Bar, Terry’s Bar & Lounge, Master Deery’s Bar & Restaurant
The Acoustic Venue
Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan – California
Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan
Tom and Kenny have been bringing their unique blend of guitar and harmonica blues, rags and good time music to widely diverse audiences for more than 25 years. Their unique combination of style and musical arrangement give a distinctive signature to the more traditional sound; what Kenny calls‘Good Time Blues’. Over the years they have shared the stage with some of the very best, including the likes of Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Johnny Otis, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Ball has the perfect gruff blues voice, plus he plays a mean harmonica; Sultan is a guitar virtuoso. Their repertoire includes hilarious blues tunes by forgotten singers, plus a number of originals. Because their music is a blend of American roots styles, they are regulars overseas, drawing rave reviews wherever they go. “There’s nothing here that’s less than jaw-dropping perfect.”
Charlie Parr – Minnesota
Charlie Parr is a folk and country blues musician who is routinely labeled “authentic” and “the real deal” by fans and critics alike. Charlie shows up with a lived-in rasp of a voice, National resonator and 12-string acoustic guitars, a banjo and a batch of his own songs and well-traveled numbers by MississippiJohn Hurt, Charley Patton and other cohorts from another time. He lays it on you, and you sense that the gamblers, the union workers, the criminals and the sinners that wander around his songs are peering right over your shoulder. Parr has sung about these folks at steady gigs in his hometown , Charlie grew up in Austin, Minnesota, in a house filled with the music that would inform his style. His late father loved the music found on collections like the field recordings by Alan Lomax released on the Folkways / Smithsonian label and Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. The elder Parr’s first-hand accounts of growing up during the Depression, riding the freight trains and traveling to places like the Piedmont region (a North Carolina country blues mecca), made the music all the more visceral to Charlie. While his peers were immersed in what is now called “classic rock,” Charlie was soaking up the music ofFurry Lewis, Rev. Gary Davis and Mance Lipscomb. As both his parents were union workers at Austin’s Hormel plant – picket line fixtures during bitter labor strikes in the mid-1980s – Charlie himself got a first-hand view of what those old songs were talking about. Charlie’s fan base says a lot about how his music connects with people. From folk-blues purists to Goth-rock fans to 21st Century Deadheads,Parr has been welcomed into their worlds.
Kent Duchaine – Minnesota
Kent at thirteen got his first electric guitar and formed a band with his buddies in his hometown of Wayzata, Minnesota, playing mainly popular music at private parties and school functions. After reading some liner notes of an Eric Clapton album Kent started researching blues music. Kent learned to play the slide guitar and soon developed his own ferocious wild style. In 1970 he opened a show for one his hero’s, the slide guitar genius, Bukka White. In 1979 Kent met up with his beloved and ever faithfulLeadbessie. She’s a beat up 1934 National Steel Guitar that wows and astounds audiences when the equally beat up case she travels in is opened and her extra heavy strings are furiously played.
In 1989 Kent discovered and looked up a legendary blues man with the name of Johnny Shines.They traveled together for three years and performed over 200 shows together. In that time, they recorded “Back To the Country” with harmonica great Snooky Pryor and were honored with the coveted W.C. Handy Award for best country blues album but unfortunately they did not add Kents’ name onto the recording! In 1991 the Smithsonian Institute honored the king of the delta blues, Robert Johnson. Kent and Johnny were specially invited to perform and “Roots Of Rhythm And Blues: A tribute To Robert Johnson Era” was the result. This was recorded by Sony/Columbia and also, Grammy nominated. Kent and Johnny’s wonderful partnership and friendship was cut short when Johnny Shines sadly passed away in April 1992. Since going solo in 1982 and hitting the roads, riding the rails, flying the skies and sailing the seas,Kent and Leadbessie have probably by now clocked up over two million miles together including over 75 overseas tours (yup, she’s faithful old girl!).
Kent’s’ versions of “Trouble In Mind”, “St James Infirmary” have been seen to bring tears in many eyes. The London Times newspaper has named him as one of the best five concerts in the U.K. Kent and Leadbessie have dedicated fans all over the world who are asking all the time for him to add another album to the six that he has already released which include his own ingenious compositions as well as songs that he loves and keeps alive that those wonderful, old blues guys produced.
The Acoustic Venue will be held in the Market House, in the center of town.
The cost into the Market House will be €10 on Friday and €12 each on Saturday and Sunday ; your ticket can then be used as a 50% discount into the Marquee that night only. The performance times will vary from day to day, however, they will end at 10pm to facilitate those who wish to head to the Blues Trail or mosey on down to the Marquee.
The Headline Blues Acts Monaghan 2009
Friday 4th at the Marquee
John Jorgenson Band – California / Nashville
The John Jorgenson quartet features Grammy Award Winner John Jorgenson. A founding member of the Desert Rose Band and theHellecasters. The list of artists he has performed and recorded with reads like a whos who of rock, pop, country, bluegrass, and folk music- you choose! Bonnie Raitt, Earl Scruggs, Hank Marvin, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Little Richard! And 6 years with Elton John.
Earl Scruggs himself says,
“To say that John is a superlative guitarist is an understatement. He is simply great.” A true musician who does not copy anybody, audiences are amazed by John’s dazzling guitar work and vocalist. Whether playing his own accessible compositions or classic standards, John and his band make music that is equally romantic and ecstatic, played with virtuosity and soul.
King Pleasure & the Biscuit Boys – England
“The aristocrats of Rhythm & Blues”. King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys present a breathtaking mix of1940s Kansas City Jazz and Blues in a truly exhilarating, swinging, non-stop live stage performance. Looking like they just stepped straight out of a 1940’s black and white B movie, this inimitable six-piece delivers a shot of pure and authentic Jazz and Blues from a bygone era, when Swing was King.
The main man, King Pleasure, is unique. He sings he romps, he roars, he relentlessly drives the band forward and clearly has such a ball as he does it. Bands are rarely blessed with such a huge personality, and the bonus comes with his sensational tenor sax playing.
Blues & Rhythm magazine dubbed them “easily the best Rhythm & Blues Band on the planet!”
Paul Jones of BBC Radio 2 claimed that they are “The hardest act to follow since the parting of the Red Sea”
Saturday 5th at the Marquee
Too Slim And The Tail Draggers – Seattle
Although generally lumped into the blues-rock arena, Tim “Too Slim” Langford and his band fall into whatever category a combination of Tom Petty, Creedence and ZZ Top would create.
“Too Slim” and his band the Taildraggers, have created an eclectic style of roots-rock, American, and blues that has become a genre all of its own! Their new vibe blends power-chord-driven, fun-loving Dirty-Rock with the fresh songwriting of Modern Alt-Rock while remaining true to their Blues and Americana roots. Their live show is exciting to fans of Rock & Roll, with enough Americana to thrill purists and a decidedly new sound that brands Too Slim as Broke-the-Mould good!
“A cracking band with a love of the blues and a flair for playing” All Music Guide.The eclectic nature of the band allows Too Slim and the Taildraggers to easily cross-over and appeal to audiences of every musical taste.
Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas – Louisiana
Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas
Nathan Williams plays zydeco, the fast and furious accordion-driven dance music of theCreole people of South Louisiana. In the hands of a dedicated musician and songwriter such as Nathan Williams, zydeco is one of the most expressive sounds in roots music. His down-home parables are delivered with surprising musical turns and a distinctive Caribbean lilt that reaches back to the very beginnings of Creole culture in Louisiana.
“Tooting saxophones, chicken scratch on the rubboard and zesty guitar licks that would make Snooks Eaglin proud. Hotter than Tabasco sauce on a crawdad.”
Here is uplifting, new music that remains connected to its place in history. If you haven’t heard what’s happening in zydeco lately, here’s your chance!
Sunday 6th at the Marquee
Coco Montoya -Santa Monica/California
“In a world of blues guitar pretenders, Coco Montoya is the real McCoy. Be prepared to get scorched.” Billboard
Over the course of his 30-year career, guitarist and vocalist Coco Montoya’s explosive guitar playing and soul-driven voice have propelled him to the upper reaches of the blues-rock world. Having played with legends such as Albert Collins and John Mayall, Montoya has released four solo albums and has performed non-stop at clubs, concert halls and major festivals all over the world.
At every show, fans’ jaws dropped, and critics raved about Montoya’s mind-bending guitar licks and impassioned vocals. “The fiery blues that issue forth from Coco Montoya’s guitar are awe-inspiring and boogie requiring” shouted The Village Voice. No music aims more directly at the heart than the blues and Coco Montoya is an expert marksman.
Harper – Michigan/Australia
Harper is a fiery artist who blurs the lines between rock, blues, soul and world music. He has been described as “a singer with the deep soul of Motown, a harmonica player who can graft Sonny Boy II and Little Walter with John Popper, a songwriter who tells his own compelling stories in an unhurried, J.J. Cale-like manner, and a musical visionary who is unafraid to mix his music with infectious modern percussive rhythms and you have a glimpse of what Harper is about“.
Distorted guitars blend with the unique drone of the Harp & didgeridoo to create raw yet eerie sonic textures, somehow sounding primal and contemporary, while Harper’s ace band holds down the groove with a keen second-sense of interplay and dynamics that so many groups strive for.
He is certain to turn the heads of audiences looking for originality, honesty, passion and skill in modern roots music.
“Harper is a crack harp player, he plays the instrument with both speed and efficiency, blasting into his runs with the force of a jet stream” All Music Guide, USA
The Main Stage will be held in the Marquee which will be located at the new car park opposite Monaghan Shopping Centre – also known as “Dan McNally’s yard”
- The Marquee opens at 10.00pm each night. A band from the blues trail will entertain you at the bar area until the first main act comes on stage at 11:30pm.
Ticket prices 2009:
- Friday: €20 Last year €22
- Saturday: €20 Last year €25
- Sunday: €20 Last year €22
- Season ticket covering
all three nights: €50 Last year €55
- no hidden charges