The scorching night of blues and boogie in Newbury

A night of blues and boogie
at Arlington Arts, Snelsmore
Friday September 17th

Let me start by saying that this three-headed event delivered everything it promised and more. Truly excellent music by musicians at the top of their game. Marvellous.

Dino Baptiste opened the proceedings with incredible keyboards with Tasha Buxton-Lewis providing excellent percussion.

Photo by Dino Brian Harrington

Dino is heavily influenced by his childhood heroes, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard and has worked with many iconic artists including Mick Jagger and Lulu. His blistering game got at least one audience member I heard asking if Dino had more than 10 fingers! Opening up with The Boogie Man, he also included some great covers like Do The Mess Around (my favorite Ray Charles track) and Kansas City.

Then, Mark Harrison, solo and acoustically tonight, with his distinctive and very individual compositions. An extremely accomplished guitarist, Mark has an excellent line and his songs, inspired by the traveling black bluesmen of the 1920s and 1930s, often feature subjects that many fear. Very interesting and unique. I especially enjoyed Tribulation Time, Go Nice, a quote from Reverend Gary Davis (who taught / mentored Bob Dylan) and Turpentine.

After the intermission, Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion took the stage. Opening with three tracks from their latest album Chameleon. It was a great set characterized by Zoe’s incredibly dynamic voice, which goes from a whisper to a loud moan, and Rob Koral’s superb guitar work alongside swirling Hammond and excellent percussion. No wonder they won a series of awards.

Mark, imagine Brian Harrington
Mark, imagine Brian Harrington

I loved it If only I could be with you and I would be there for you from the new album and jazz infused I Want To Get Something Started With You.

After the excellent Down in The Caves, Dino, Mark and Tash came back to join Zoe and the band for a blues encore / finale in E.

A good night.

Zoe, imagine Brian Harrington
Zoe, imagine Brian Harrington

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