Absolutely amazing three days with The Session from New Orleans recently; the gig at ‘the Chicken’ went well enough attendance wise but the music was not only contemporary; but tinged with enough tradition to hear all past influences flooding out of these very talented young musicians.

With the gracious help of Andy Hague at the Be-Bop Club we were able to arrange a second gig at The Bear within 48 hours to fill a couple of down days in Bristol for the band. At extreme short notice the gig went ahead to a sold out room; they even managed to squeeze in jamming at the Canteen on the Monday night. Great stuff and thanks to all those who came out for both gigs (some did both!) and I know from the reaction, everyone enjoyed the music; as did the band, they were very appreciative of Bristol’s hospitality (thanks Sandra & Ian Fryer, for the meal). Coming next a busy month ahead, with 5 gigs to look forward to.

My web guy is away in September and the website won't be updated until October. I'll notify any changes by email. If you are not on my mailing list, now would be a good time to join (see right).

Cheers, Ian

Silverado - A Tribute to Horace Silver

Sun 7 Sep 7:30 for 8:15 (£12/10)Hen & Chicken Book

Horace Silver

Sadly the great Jazz pianist Horace Silver died last month aged a good 85! During his time on this planet he produced some of the most influential and infectious music of the last 65-years, utilising both Hard Bop and Latin styles to create a sound that became synonymous with Blue Note Records who he exclusively worked for, for over 25-years (1952-79).

Andy Hague

With the ability to compose music that was not only great as full length Jazz pieces; but could be equally effective as a ‘3-minute’ single tracks needed for the Juke Box hits for Blue Note, tunes such as: The Preacher, Filthy McNasty, Sister Sadie, Doodlin’, Blowin’ The Blues Away, Nica’s Dream and probably his best remembered Song For My Father

So as a Tribute to Horace Silver and striking while the collaborative iron with trumpeter Andy Hague is red hot, we humbly offer tonight’s sets of music in dedication to the great man and his music.

For some truly toe-tapping, swinging, groove based, high energy jazz, come and listen to the Styling’s of Silver with Silverado.......read more

Dana and Susan Robinson (USA)

Thu 18 Sep 7:30 for 8:15 (£11/9)Hen & Chicken Book

Dana and Susan Robinson

New songs of rural America and Old Time Mountain Music is where Dana & Sue are coming from. They are two guitar-playing, banjo-flailing, fiddle-sawing, and harmony-singing interpreters of the American experience. Their unique blend of contemporary songwriting and traditional Appalachian music bring to their performances a deep understanding of America’s musical heritage.

The genius of a Dana and Susan Robinson performance lies in their ability to capture the imagination of their audience, evoking a transformative experience that touches on the deepest humanity. They can make the audience howl with laughter or hush with poignant reflection as they take them on a journey across America and convey the mystery and wonder of the places they visit......... read more

Many songwriters such as Bruce Springsteen or John Mellencamp have been heralded as modern day Woody Guthrie’s or keepers of the American rural spirit, but that mantle might be better entrusted to musicians like Dana Robinson who embody both the heart and the soul of folk music. ~ Dirty Linen

Carrie Elkin Band (USA)

Tue 23 Sep 7:30 for 8:15 (£12/10)Hen & Chicken Book

Carrie Elkin

Carrie toured here earlier in the 2013 with her old friend Sam Baker but she’s returning in 2014 with her own band and with a new CD that is currently in production. In 2012 we saw her in Bristol with her life partner, the super talented Danny Schmidt. Carrie has a fantastic voice, she’s an ace songwriter and she is one of the warmest human beings you’ll ever meet, and she never disappoints.

Carrie Elkin has emerged as one of the defining new voices in the world of Texas singer-songwriters, being celebrated by Texas Music Magazine as one of their artists of the year. She's an artist full of contrast and contradiction. With a voice that's somehow both gritty and pristine, the Austin Chronicle calls it an earthy combination of strength and compassion . . . reminiscent of the winsome beauty created by a young Nanci Griffith while Bob Harris of the BBC throws in comparisons to Patty Griffin and Iris DeMent, and calls her voice spellbinding from the opening track.

The voice, the stories, the images, the grace and infectious enthusiasm, it's a complete package. But it's the power of her live performances that really have been creating an incredible buzz around this young artist. Maverick Magazine said it best, after a recent festival performance: I have never seen a performer so in love with the act of singing. That's the gospel truth. Onstage Elkin was simply a force of nature.........read more

Cloudmakers Trio

Sun 28 Sep 7:30 for 8:15 (£14/12)Hen & Chicken Book

Cloudmakers Trio

Normally this trio has Dave Smith on drum kit but he’s of touring with some bloke called Robert Plant? Good for us; as in his stead we get another chance to see and hear the incredible talent of James Maddren on skins. Plus, with the speed, accuracy and swing of American émigré bassist Michael Janisch, and the effortless lead from Jim Hart we have a gig to relish. The cream of London’s first call rhythm section players. ~ Jazzwise Magazine

For sometime now Jim Hart has steadily created a reputation for taking this partly forgotten instrument back to full status as a frontline jazz instrument of note, using the Vibraphone in new and percussively melodic ways. He is now the go to guy in the UK for mallet work, and his international regard is also rising. In the States the established players such as Gary Burton and Joe Locke who took up the mantle from the likes of Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo, Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson changed the perception of this instrument and have now seen a new breed of young players come through such as Chris Dingman, Matt Moran and Jason Adasiewicz in the USA. Similarly, UK players such as the great Orphy Robinson led the way here, using vibes as well as marimba to change the concept of what this instrument can achieve. Jim Hart has taken up the baton and sprinted ahead with others such as Lewis Wright also moving onto a new track.

Cloudmakers Trio play original music that lies somewhere between New York's 'downtown' sound and the modern European tradition. They aspire their sound to defy category yet draw influences from a diverse range of music traditions, while maintaining devotion to raw energy; in-the-moment risk taking, a dedication to groove and rhythm, all with strong melody. They take themselves and the listener through their music, to that place that only exists when musicians of this level come together to perform with true empathy. Aptly titled and ferociously skilled, The Cloudmakers Trio is one of the most exciting contemporary groups working in creative music today.......read more

The vibraphone remains one of the great unsung heroes of jazz's arsenal but young British virtuoso Jim Hart has the wit and invention to make its mercurial charms immediately and abundantly apparent. ~ The Metro

Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer (USA)

Thu 2 Oct 8:15 (£11/9)Hen & Chicken Book

Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer

Occasionally I get contacted by an artist that is totally unknown to me, but from the first listening to the music you get instantly drawn to something intangible yet something you feel works naturally and is worth taking a chance on. That happened with Rebecca Pronsky, with jazz outfit The Session more recently, and with Jarrod Dickenson and Otis Gibbs; this gave me the same feel and hence we have this gig in Bristol tonight.

If the past track record is anything to go by we are in for a good one, these two sing great, harmonise even better and with furious acoustic guitar from Dave and unbelievable electric from Mandy it promises great things. The songwriting is of the highest quality and is extremely varied in style and tempo with equal effectiveness, check out the album press quotes on the gig page, and just how varied the sources are!

Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer have amassed an admirable résumé and an ever-expanding fan base during their time playing music together. Having toured Europe and at home in the USA from coast to coast, performing in everything from highly esteemed theatres to intimate listening rooms, the pair have honed their skills sharing stages with fellow troubadours: Iron & Wine, Willy Porter, The Swell Season, Kelly Joe Phelps, Jeffrey Foucault and many others.........read more

Take a punt and you’ll be in for a very enjoyable night out!

Dave and Mandy create a confluence of soulful lyrics, musical chops and harmony in their music that is as beautiful as it is thought provoking. ~ Willy Porter

Chris While & Julie Matthews

Thu 30 Oct 7:30 for 8:15 (£13/11)Hen & Chicken Book


Full gig details to follow, but advanced tickets now on sale on the booking page