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Blues In Britain Issue 134 February 2013

Live Review for Teignmouth Jazz and Blues Festival ~ 18.11.2012

The picturesque South Devon seaside town of Teignmouth has held a purely jazz weekend festival for many years but recently has introduced some blues artists.  Zoe Schwarz  Blue Commotion filled the late Sunday afternoon spot.

The strength of Zoe’s voice was evident from their opening number, appropriately Muddy Waters’ “I’m Ready”, with enough of a “growl” to add that extra frisson.  Her version of “Feeling Good”, made famous by Nina Simone but co-written by Anthony Newley (just shows you what you can learn at informative gigs!) was particularly moving. Rodney Teague on bass and Dave Mayne on drums proved a solid driving force throughout.  The wonderful full sound of a Hammond-organ was provided by Craig Milverton who had just given nearly two hours of mind-blowing jazz piano.  He certainly could move those fingers round the keys! Backing vocals were provided by Si Genaro whose quirky character made him a good front man.  His dance moves would have earned him the scorn of Craig Revel Horwood, but his harp playing would have made Paul Jones sit up and listen. The crowd really liked him, despite his jokes! Last but not least, Rob Koral displayed his viruosity on a fine-looking Ibanez Artist guitar, especially on their version of Bobby Parker’s ‘Blues Get Off My Shoulder‘. He and Zoe are married, co-write their material and perform as a duo as well. (It was nice to see their daughters in the audience .) Much of their set was from their latest CD ‘Good Times’, which is being considered for the 2013 American Blues Awards which indicates why their self-penned numbers, which accounted for some 70% of the songs played, stood up so strongly beside the well-known covers they performed.

Earlier a good crowd enjoyed the music of Crystal Carter’s band. The Calibre of these performances should no doubt encourage the organisers of this successful now Jazz & Blues Festival to bring in more blues next year. As a local I shall be encouraging them to do so!

words by: Adrien Raud