Howlin' for Wolfmail's incredible gig!
Friday 14 September, 2007 Old Canberra Inn
Let's Create Entertainment in association with the Canberra Blues Society presented
an outstanding night of blues that had the audience dancing on their seats...
'just goes to proove you are never too old to boogie!'
Last night at the Old Canberra Inn, more than 100 blues lovers congregated
to catch Wolf Mail, Mal Eastick, Doug Williams & Tony Boyd, supported by
young gun Stephen Bowtell.
Stephen Bowtell came up first, a good looking, respectful & tasty axe man,
Stephen had the crowd’s full attention for the entire length of his set. His
work was clean, tidy & wonderful to watch & hear. His axe just kept talking
to us & the chops he put down got into my head & stayed there all night. In
10 years time, I think people at this & other of Stephen’s supports with
Wolf, Mal & Doug, will be saying, “I saw THE stephen Bowtell play his first
tour”. He tells me he’s working on his first CD, so keep an eye out for it.
Then it was time for Wolf to get up. Wolf is the complete professional in
his playing, stage presence & vox. His impassioned growl into the ‘58 Beta’
mike, with Doug’s occasional harmonies, & consistent groove on his 5 string
bass, kicked along by Tony’s drum work had the crew dancing like there is no
tomorrow. Those of us that have seen Wolf on his feet, know the power of the
man & his music. Howls of delight continued through Wolf’s set, with the
punters letting him know in ‘Wolf speak’ they were right into the music Wolf
was ‘blessing’ them with.
Mal came on centre stage, firstly with a blistering guitar solo, which had
the audience leaning forward to hear the axe in Mal’s hands, cry, weep,
snarl & bark. Mal was at his best & when Doug & Tony jumped into the engine
room, things started popping. Mal has been introduced to a full on, yelling
& screaming, hooting & hollering, ACT audience, for the first time. This
will pave the way for his next ACT appearance, probably in the New Year. He
picked up 100 new fans, most of whom, hadn’t heard him previously, but I was
asked when he was coming back.
To watch the camaraderie, respect & rapport between the 5 artists, ranging
in age from 17 to over 50, & the music that ‘oozed out’ of these men was
inspiring. The age range for the gig’s audience reflected the ages in the
band, which I think makes the future of Blues music look assured.
Juan F (Geof) 15/9/07
Cuba's Elmer Ferrer Band
storms the Yacht club
Now, let me tell you about Elmer Ferrer’s Yacht Club gig.
It was held in the Marquee, on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin, on the grassy lawn, in front of the Yacht Club,
overlooking the lake, towards the National Museum’s colourful facade, & over to the city of Canberra.
Elmer, Anders, Roberto & Rodney took full control of the local environment with their own brand of Blues/Rock
giving the sailors on the lake some groove to sail to. Elmer’s axe work is nothing but a work of art.
To hear him stretch a note cleanly & see his incredibly fast fret style is amazing. Put this together with the sounds
he gets out of his guitar, backed up by a strong stage presence,
& you know the place is going to rock. And rock it did, with Robertos’ slap & funk bass lines every where they needed
to be, strong & tight, & Rodney, a most amazing drummer, who seemed to be playing rhythms inside rhythms,
pulling in a couple of drum solos, flanked by 3 guitars, & getting the audience to it’s feet, the party kicked off.
Anders vocals are very good, a touch gravely, with a bit of ‘jazz’ smooth, thrown in, as well as a whole bunch of nice ‘attitudes’.
I listened to him sing & play some acoustic Blues standards on my li’l Seagull, on the back deck at home, an excellent all round,
multi instrumental musician.
So, their version of ‘Come together’ succeeded in getting ½ of the audience on their feet. O
nce they were up, the pace & drive of EFB kept them dancin’.
Ander’s key & Gretsch play was tasty & timely, with top vox topping the first set off, & getting the dancers into a sweat..
The second set saw the ‘Argentinean Boys’, who turned out to be a loose collections of Canberran musicians,
who, I was told, won awards for their work in Lantana, the movie, get up & bring a ‘Cat Empire’ feel to proceedings.
With trumpet, trombone, different key & Gresth players as well as Glen Terry up, the set became a feast of
instruments fitting in beautifully, with some amazing sols/duo breaks. Mama Blooz was invited up by Elmer, who had
heard her sing previously, & the marquee exploded, punters clapping, bopping in front of their seats & smiling fit to burst
Glen Terry did a great version of ‘Rock this house’ & there are some great shots of him & Elmer ‘head to head’.
Great music, fun crowd of about 80+, & sunny arvo by the lake with some of the best musicians I’ve heard.
People ask me why I do it.