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Pete Feenstra Interviews Gary Boner on the new CD, Gods & Highways, on Get Ready to Rock

Interview with GARY BONER (ROADHOUSE) – 2 August 2013

Posted on August 4, 2013 by petefeenstra

22 years into their career, the hard gigging Roadhouse release ‘Gods & Highways & Old Guitars’, the best album of their career on Krossborder records.

It pays homage to the darker elements of the American south and would fit into any one of those atmospheric Coen Brothers movies. Packed with great songs, twin guitar-led solos and sparkling 4 part harmonies, featuring their unique 3 female vocal line-up, ‘Gods & Highways & Old Guitars’ is the result of founder member, singer songwriter and guitarist Gary Boner’s eye for detail.

He writes narrative driven rock which embraces Americana, alt.country, Southern rock and boogie, topped by great hooks and played by a band that passionately brings it all to life.

And while previous albums like ‘Broken Land’ and ‘Dark Angel’ achieved international radio plays, the new ‘Gods & Highways & Old Guitars’ is a landmark album. It’s a beacon on a musical landscape bereft of original material and new ideas. The noir filled narratives imbue the songs with strong imagery, and the combination of muscular rhythm tracks and incendiary solos are an integral part of an album full of top notch harmonies.

There may be strong echoes of The Doobie Brothers, The Outlaws, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top, but the intricate arrangements and original subject matter makes for an album that rocks on its own terms.

Pete Feenstra spoke to Gary Boner about the making of the album, his dark lyrics, the band’s 3 female singers, fellow guitarist Danny Gwilym’s remarkable input and plans for the future.

Congratulation on the album Gary. There can’t be too many songwriters who after 20 odd years and 12 albums have cut their best album. What inspired you?

I think it was the fact that a lot of people thought our last CD ‘Dark Angel’ was our best album had a lot to do with it. I also felt it was the best album I had written and certainly the best one we had recorded – a really good CD – but it did not do as well as we would have liked. We had great global airplay and some amazing reviews, but some critics did not get it. That hurt, so we thought the only way is to fight back with a better CD

I’ve read that you actually write the music first and the lyrics later, which is unusual for a band with such narrative driven material?

It’s true, I need the music the inspire me. I try to come up with a kind of atmospheric soundscape or a riff that really connects with me. It’s then like a tap has been turned on and the themes and words just flow on down. It’s weird, as sometimes I can want to write a song and there is nothing there, the shelves are empty. Other times I just get this feeling that something is there and when I pick up a guitar a CD track emerges. That’s why guitars are to be found all round my house, I can’t afford to waste that moment

You seem to write with a certain feel or ambience in mind?

Yes, I think the material has got to stay true to that original feeling that I have.

Both the ‘Dark Ride’ and ‘Blues Highway‘ albums incorporated noticeable elements of Americana. Was that when you really found your style?

I think so, as it was definitely a jump up in quality. But I think all the earlier CD’s are full of Americana influences, but they were just not executed as well, or were done in a different style.

I formed the band with a guy called Robert.A.Roberts who was an Americana nut and spent about 3-4 months a year out there jamming and song writing. He showed me that path and I soon found myself trudging round Colorado, Wyoming New Orleans etc.

‘Blues Highway’s predecessor ‘Dark Ride’ is still one of my favourite Roadhouse CD’s. I think it’s the fans favourite too

Right from the beginning of the band you have always made use of the male/female vocal dynamic. Do you always write with that in mind?

Yes, we had one girl right from the third gig onwards and had periods of two and often 3 inthe band. As I write I often hear all the parts together. When I first play an idea to our other guitarist Danny it often does not make sense, as he cannot hear the other parts

‘Blues Highway’ seemed to take the band up a notch and your last two albums were even better and increasingly seem to loosely concern themselves with the human struggle and darker themes such as voodoo and death. What draws you to that subject matter?

Well no one wants a happy blues-rock song (laughs). But I’ve had a few major illnesses to deal with over the last 12 years including major brain surgery in April 2012, which left me effectively blind for a short while. Even before that happened, horror and noir were my favourite genres and even though theUSis flawed in many aspects they do that stuff far better than we tend to

Visiting the New Orleans grave of Marie Laveau a Louisiana, Creole practitioner of Voodoo – the renowned and so called ‘Witch Queen of New Orleans’, (September 10, 1794 – June 16, 1881) – was also another turning point. The blood of the animal sacrifices made the previous night was still cascading down the cross. You can have a voodoo doll blessed and ready for action down at Bourbon Street for less than ten dollars!

Do you have to do a lot of research for those songs; I’m thinking of numbers like ‘Dark Angel’, ‘Voodoo Queen’, ‘Blues Highway’, ‘Voodoo Dance’ and ‘Skinwalker’ from the current album?

It’s more like I come across the stories, and if I’m attracted to them, I pick up on a newspaper story or a magazine article or sometimes I’d be driving down a US Highway and they kind of appear at the roadside.

‘Gods And Highways & Old Guitars is almost seems a concept album, with the great American depression as a metaphor for human struggle?

I wanted the album to have the biggest Americana theme yet. The two years its taken to put it together have been against a backdrop of me being sometimes really ill and the band being limited in its opportunities to play as a consequence. I think that is reflected in the music. We are out and about again and looking for good gigs, festivals and new management.

There is a quote that a lot of people have asked you about. It’s when an Amsterdam taxi driver recognised you and thought you must be one of the most miserable people on the planet because of the subject matter of your songs. I wonder if you ever feel as if you are writing for a particular genre, maybe a little bit like Nick Cave does?

Yes I told the taxi driver it was just a genre and my life didn’t reflect desperation alley. Maybe I didn’t completely convince myself of that.

How did the excellent Marion Post Wollcot photos and Martin Cook’s front cover on the CD booklet come about?

It’s really down to Martin. He has done an amazing job, picking up the baton of creating our covers from the legendary art house genius Vaughan Oliver. Martin pulls together the construction of Blues Matters Magazine. He’d heard the band and it was his first concept. It’s what the music suggested to him. I loved the idea and when I saw it I was knocked out.

The songs all seem to benefit from a fuller and more confident production, was that a particular aim?

Yep, you got it, we threw the kitchen sink at this one. We layered the guitars in the way that most top bands would, which gave them more bite and power. We basically spent a few more days and got deeper in debt (laughs).

Was there a lot of pre-planning for this album, as there seems to be meticulous attention to detail, such as the harmonies, the rhythm tracks and the guitar lines?

Actually there wasn’t. In essence a lot of the band did not know half the songs until about 5 weeks, to one week before recording them, its that freshness you hear on a lot of the songs. However, some of the numbers like the opening ‘Hell On Wheels’ have been in the set for over a year. In terms of production Danny and I had a good few ideas, but we winged a lot of it

Roger Hunt also provided a couple of interesting drum intro’s. How did they come about?

Roger is a great drummer and is always critical of his own playing. He’d probably like to do the whole thing again differently. At the time in rehearsal after having just heard a strum through of the song he just said, ‘We need something to start it, how about this’ and then played that intro, magic!

The album also manages to capture the twin guitar spark between you and Danny Gwilym, was any of this live in the studio? I only ask because although the overall sound is very polished, the solo’s really do sparkle?

We allowed more time for the guitars to be recorded. I think Danny has done an amazing job on this CD. I rate the guy so highly. I think this is one of the best guitar contributions to a band CD I’ve ever heard and I’ll stand by that statement

How did you discover Danny as his guitar work on this album is simply superb?

I used to run the biggest jam session in South West London. It went on for 12 years and in that time I got to meet a lot of great people. We’ve always had this great guitar player legacy, from Kirsty McColl’s guitarist Dr. Noel Brown and the legendary Jules Fothergill (I think he’s the best slide player in the UK) to Canadian speedster Drew Barron. When Drew left suffering from tinnitus, Danny thought he’d be asked as he stood out in that scene. He was the next link in the chain. I thought he would be good, but now I don’t know if I could play without him.

Regarding the songs; I haven’t heard such powerful opening track as ‘Hell On Wheels’ for a long time. The call & response parts really add to the song’s intensity. Was that song written with the opening track in mind?

No, I just came up with that shit kicking riff and the rest just fell into place, a lot of it is Danny’s interpretation and add-ons.

‘Skin-walker’ is probably your most complex arrangement; essentially a two-part song that splits the solo’s. How did you work on that?

The arrangement actually changed about 3 times. The song was like a beast, it had to be tamed somehow. I’m proud of that one, I like choruses where you have to work to listen to it. The elements of blue notes and de-tuning convey atmosphere in my view.

It’s also as lyrically eclectic as it is interesting. Do you have to explain the meaning of a song like that to the band to capture the essential vibe?

I explained it to Danny who did his own web research on the subject. What set me off was an American newspaper report of a Native American who had chopped up his entire family and was then pursued. He got away by jumping off a cliff and he just landed and kept running into the desert. His defence was that he was possessed by a skin-walker. I never tuned into the end of the trial, as I didn’t want to know, it would have spoiled the story

Along with ‘Spirits Across The Water’,the title track is one of your very best ever songs. Did you particularly work on the interrelationship between the guitars and voices?

It came about on an unusual evening where Mandie G. and Sarah Harvey-Smart were there with Danny and I in my studio. Danny crunched out the starting riff and then I just saw something for Mandie that really suited her voice and she told me which lyrics she related to and which she didn’t and we were on our way. Also Sarah’s voice fits so well with Mandie’s. She’s a great singer and has been our secret weapon over the last year.

Did you always have Mandie G. in mind for the vocal?

In that particular writing session we were looking for song ideas for both Mandie and Sarah for the CD and ‘Gods & Highways’ and ‘Slowdown’ emerged.

How do you decide who sings what?

Sometimes having the male narrative vocal is important for the perspective of the song, especially if it’s an evil one like ‘Sinner’, ‘Preacher Man’, or ‘Tellin’ Lies’. But it’s the girls voices that do the real vocal work. On this CD I’ve taken a leaf out of Will.I.Am’s (Black Eyed Peas) book and I have let the girls often carry the chorus. I’ve also encouraged more female lead vocals, with Mandie singing ‘Gods & Highways’ and ‘Blues Motel’, Sarah sings ‘Slowdown’ and Suzie D. sing on the re-recorded track ‘The Big Easy’.

Was the title track actually the starting point for the album in terms of its conceptual theme?

No, funnily enough it started with ‘I Cant Say No’ which we performed at the Skegness Rock & Blues Festival over a year ago and was then followed by ‘Hell On Wheels’

Did you re-record ‘The Big Easy’, because it fitted in with overall feel of album?

Yes, it was a classic slice of Americana and it was in the same context and had the content and feel as the other songs. When we originally recorded it over 8 years ago on our ‘Broken Land’ CD, we just never cracked the production. One critic said it was the best UK Blues/Rock song of the year. Well now we’ve done it properly with a great vocal by Suzie D.

‘Slow Down’ has three writing credits, which is a bit different from the usual?

Yes, it came from the 4 way writing session I was talking about. Sarah liked the music and my concept and kept most of the chorus while I wrote 50% of the verse. She put her personal stamp on the rest and she’s proved she can write too.

‘Spirits Across The Water’ is perhaps your best ever song and it moves from an up tempo country rock to southern rock with an ethereal uplifting vocal. Did it evolve and change while it was being recorded, or did you have the whole idea before you went into the studio?

It was my writing partner Danny who came up with those magical 4 chords, and I then overlayed the vocal melody and story line, plus the bridge. It’s like a dark sea shanty, and the characters are trying to get to the US, but the question is do they ever make it?

The band got it in one take, we played it 3 times in rehearsal and then just recorded it first take. It has never been played live, yet! Bill Hobley our great driving bass player picked it up like a flash and that’s why he’s the bedrock of the band

Is that Sarah singing the first refrain on there?

Sarah’s is the dominant voice on that two girl section as she also is is on the ethereal hook of ‘Katrina’.

‘Blues Hotel’ is a boogie that would grace the ZZ Top catalogue, ‘Sinner’ could be The Outlaws and you previously wrote the anthemic ‘Preacher Man’ with echoes of Skynyrd. Do you have specific influences in mind when you write songs like that?

I love Lynyrd Skynrd and I love Joe Bonamassa and Walter Trout when they get into the kind of emotion filled dark epics that they can produce. It’s been my great pleasure to open for the latter two and I have also exchanged CD’s with them. They probably use mine for coasters. I spent the late 70′s and early 80′s as a kid down the front at The Marquee stalking the guitar players, so I guess all those influences come into the mix.

Have Mandie G, Sarah Harvey Smart and Suzie D. been singing together long?

They only sang together as a trio at this year’s Skegness Festival of Blues & Rock back in January and then they did the CD. Sarah has been singing with Mandie for years, they had their own karaoke business (Seriously!)

Do you write songs with the vocal parts and bv’s already written?

Sometimes I’ve 80% of them written, other times its just 50% and I ask the girls what they want to do with them

When you started the band with Bob Roberts the music leant more towards a country direction, did you purposely embrace a more rocky approach when you started writing on your own?

When Bob left I could only do what I was good at and what I knew. When Danny joined just before the ‘Sea of Souls’ CD, he was a guy who played in famous rock Bands like Shogun and he took us further in that direction. It probably became Rock-Blues instead of Blues-Rock.

Finally Roadhouse have a high profile as a festival band, can we look forward to more such appearances in the future?

Funnily enough we are about to play the excellent Cambridge Rock Festival. However due to my fixation with writing, recording and launching the CD it will be our only major festival appearance of this summer.

We average about 8 a summer with some in Europe but this year I focussed on making the Disc and consequently we haven’t the gigs I’d like. I’m looking forward to picking up a new manager or management to try and help to share the gigging load. Please get in touch via garyboner@btinternet.com. We’ll back at Skegness in January though (Thanks to Alan and all at BM)

All Roadhouse info on http://www.roadhousegb.liveblues.info/home/

Album review

Interview © August 2013 Pete Feenstra

Selected photos by (c) Steve Dulieu

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This entry was posted in INTERVIEWS (Start page), Interviews/Rock Stars, Start Page (All Posts) and tagged Americana, Bill Hobley, Danny Gwilym, Gary Boner, Gods & Highways & Old Guitars, Joe Bonamsa, Mandie G, Roadhouse, Roger Hunt, Sarah Harvey Smart, Suzie D, Walter Trout. Bookmark the permalink.

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Our star rating
FOUR AND A HALF STARS

——————————————————————————–
***** Out of this world
**** Pretty damn fine
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan of the band or genre
** Instant bargain bin fodder
* Ugly, just ugly

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CD Review – Gods & Highways & Old Guitars – Guitar & Bass (International High Street Magazine) – August

CD Review – Gods & Highways & Old Guitars – Guitar & Bass (International High Street Magazine) – August Edition
Roadhouse
Gods & Highways & Old Guitars
KrossBorder

Martin Cook's Excellent Cover art

Martin Cook’s Excellent Cover art


Shadowy blues-rock with Gary Boner’s vocals played off against a cleaner female chorus. Deep, eerie and hypnotic

Roadhouse first Review of Gods & Highways & Old Guitars by Pete Feenstra on Get Ready To Rock (GRTR)

http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/2013/07/album-review-roadhouse-gods-highways-old-guitars/
Album review: ROADHOUSE – Gods & Highways & Old Guitars On Get Ready to Rock http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/2013/07/album-review-roadhouse-gods-highways-old-guitars/

Posted on July 27, 2013 by petefeenstra

Martin Cook's Excellent Cover art

Martin Cook’s Excellent Cover art


Krossborder [Release date 19.08.13]

Roadhouse have long impressed with their unique take on southern roots rock and Americana, but ‘Gods & Highways & Old Guitars’ raises the bar to another level.

As ever, the 10 songs come with Gary Boner’s noirish signature style, while the band has never sounded better, with Danny Gwylim’s stellar guitar work at the heart of everything that is great about this album. The intuitive production facilitates a mellifluous sound, full of deep guitar tones and spine tingling harmonies.

Founder member Gary Boner has often been called the David Lynch of the blues for his Gothic landscapes and dark imagery. And it’s a point obviously not lost on him, as evidenced by the well chosen Marion Post Wolcott photos which adorn the CD booklet. Her photo’s documented post depression America and they provide the perfect backdrop for Boner’s troubled narratives which are predicated by his oft stated belief that:’ misery gives you a voice’.

Martin Cook’s front cover also captures the essence of an album title full of faded dreams and disappointment. But there’s always the survivors creed, represented here by the old guitar in the boot of a beaten up dodge. The motor and cracked highway may represent the broken American dream, but there’s always a guitar to give you hope.

The symbolism seeps into tightly arranged songs, topped by a triumvirate of female vocalists. And it’s their ability to seamlessly switch from sumptuous harmonies to front line vocals that gives the album unexpected light and shade and real diversity.

Roger Hunt’s crisp percussive work and Bill Hobley subtle bass pulses unerringly match the insistent rhythms, while Gary Boner and Danny Gwylim’s twin guitar work constantly bubbles and percolates before finally exploding on the anthemic ‘Sinner’,

The catchy harmonies, chiming guitars and repeated hook of ‘Hell On Wheels’ sweeps you along and levers you into an imagery strewn trip down a tarnished American highway that climaxes with the southern rock influenced ‘Sinner’.

Roadhouse’s cross generational line-up leans on the core band’s 20 year experience and adds the freshness of the younger harmony singers. And if Boner’s lyrics have previously tended towards doom, gloom and the downright gothic, then this album is a tad more reflective, as he lets the imagery and moods do the talking for him.

‘Katrina’ for example is his take on the hurricane devastation in New Orleans. It’s a song that takes you to the kind of place you wouldn’t normally visit: ‘And the levee’s running high, The lightning’s split the sky, It’s coming down again, As the city starts to weep’.

The arrangement cleverly unravels a sharp contrast between the dark imagery and an understated musical optimism, as gently nuanced volume swells, angelic voices and an ascending guitar line suggest that even in the face of desolation, there’s always hope of redemption.

This is a multi layered album full of rich imagery, intricate rhythms, soaring harmonies, delicate guitar textures, and lush melodies that finds its equilibrium somewhere between Americana and kick ass rock blues. ‘Gods & Highways & Old Guitars’ is an album of real substance that deserves to be heard at the highest table.

‘Skinwalker’ is an adventurous, 7.25 minutes of inspired originality. It’s a two-part tale of native Indian folklore that concerns shape shifting and startling transformational abilities. The song is anchored by a Bo Diddley beat, with Gary as the first person narrator, flanked by excellent bv’s and a throbbing electro-acoustic guitar pattern. Both Gary and Danny solo exquisitely either side of Roger’s link-piece that leads the band back into the groove.

‘Gods & Highways & Old Guitars’ is worthy of its title track status. The chiming guitars and harmony vocals are reminiscent of the classic early Doobie Brothers and Mandy G. adds her best ever vocal before the guitars slip into Allman’s Brothers mode on an FM rock classic.

Everything hangs together as a coherent whole and flows like all the very best albums always do, taking in Americana, boogie, southern and country rock. There’s also two thematically linked New Orleans songs that contrast a city in despair (‘Katrina’), with the unison guitar driven, Storyville feel of ‘The Big Easy’. The latter is a re-recording featuring a sensuous performance by Sarah Harvey Smart.

The narratives draw you in like a gripping novel. The clever call and response vocals on ‘Hell On Wheels’ and ‘Can’t Say No’ bring extra intensity, while the drum led, powerhouse boogie of ‘Slow Down’ features a lead vocal from Suzie D. ‘Blues Motel’ is a sister track with Mandy G leading the band into early ZZ Top territory, as Danny swaps imperious rhythm guitar for an incisive solo.

The magnificent up tempo country rocker ‘Spirit Across The Water’ is transformed into an ethereal, angelic piece by peerless girlie bv’s. You’d wager that both ‘Spirit’ and the closing ‘Sinner’ are the kind of songs The Outlaws would love to have written.

‘Gods & Highways & Guitars’ is a masterpiece and a realisation of Gary Boner’s musical vision. His songs may concern the exhaustion of the human spirit, but the music is a polar opposite invitation to pull back the flat top, hit the accelerator and head for the nearest sea spray swept coastal highway. ****½

Review by Pete Feenstra

This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), Start Page (All Posts) and tagged Americana, Bill Hobley, Bo Diddley, Danny Gwylim, Gary Boner, Gods & Highways & Old Guitars, Mandy G, Marion Post Wolcott, Roadhouse, Roger Hunt, Sarah Harvey Smart, ZZ Top. Bookmark the permalink.

Our star rating

——————————————————————————–
***** Out of this world
**** Pretty damn fine
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan of the band or genre
** Instant bargain bin fodder
* Ugly, just ugly

——————————————————————————–

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Roadhouse – 1st New CD Launch Gig – The Beaverwood Club – Chislehurst – 18/7/2013

Well into the heat wave, advance bookings were down for this key show for the Band. We were well looked after by the excellent Eric Harvey who ran the night expertly in the absence of the legendary Pete Feenstra.

Roadhouse Rocking the Launch

Roadhouse Rocking the Launch

With only 15 minutes to go there were only a handful of people in the room, but by the start nearly 40 folk saw the who and they were so brilliantly supportive that it seemed closer to 100. The first play live of ‘Blues Motel’ was excellent as was the first outing for ‘Sinner’ which came up as a 2nd encore following Preacher Man. It was great to see Geoff and his friends up from Broadstairs and nice to have great writer Dave Ling from Classic Rock at the show.

Rocking the Beaverwood

Rocking the Beaverwood

The response to the new material was excellent and for the relatively small number of people Cd sales were a record high, a totally amazing amount of CDs were sold.
Thanks to everyone who came out on a hot summer night for a memorable gig
Gary

Roadhouse Live At The Hope Tavern – Holton Le Moor Near Melton Mowbray – 14/4/2013

A return to one of our fave venues, it was great to catch up with Landlord, music lover and great all round guy, Graham. after the ritual Sunday roast lunch we watched this quaint country pub transform itself into a atmospheric Blues/Rock venue. On the downside the crowd was a touch on the low side compared to our past annual appearances here. However, it was a good gig and we managed to push material from the forthcoming new CD, Gods & Highways & Old Guitars to a very receptive audience

Sarah Rocks

Sarah Rocks

This was one of those gigs when the Band really loosened up in the second half. thanks to all the music lovers who were there to warm up (when will the weather ever change this year?)
The new CD approaches
Gary

Roadhouse Live At the Admiral Rodney – Sat 13th April 2013

ROADHOUSE LIVE AT THE ADMIRAL RODNEY – SAT APRIL 13TH 2013

My apologies for this late entry as I wrote it and added to this site a month ago but it seems to have disappeared into the ether.
a massive thanks to long time Roadhouse fan and lover of live music, Bernard Gallimore who put this event on Brilliantly. Nice big PA and over 100 tickets sold, this was a storming gig that everyone seemed to enjoy,
Danny was the star of the night as initially seeming to be blocked from view by a giant PA stack he spent the night partying with the audience at both the side of the stage and front and centre, he played some great stuff

Roadhouse Live in Tamworth

Once more thanks to Bernard and all the great crowd who really new how to enjoy their live music
Gary

Roadhouse Live at Blues In the City Festival – Blues Matters Magazine – April/May 2013- by Mike Longfoot

Roadhouse Live at Blues in the City Charity Festival – Essex – Blues Matters Magazine – April – May 2013 – By Mike Lightfoot
The weekend commenced with at the New Crawdaddy Blues Club and what a way to kick off. A double header featuring the explosive talents of Roadhouse and Tim Aves Wolfpack. Roadhouse got the ball rolling and it was a pleasure to see Gary Boner back in action after his recent health scare. the opening number ‘Rainmaker’ set their stall out with superb guitar playing from Danny Gwilym. Other highlights included ‘Dark Angel’ and ‘The Roadhouse Blues’ which featured festival organiser Nick Garner on harp
Roadhouse live at Blues In The City

Roadhouse Live at Legends Blues/Rock Club – Tamworth – 22/3/2013

We drove into the mouth of the blizzard for this one. Against the wisdom of a severe weather warning, we drove through appalling conditions to this great venue. After all the name of this game is never letting people down. We were at Legends for the first time and were positively surprised as to what a great venue it was. A nice big venue with a large well lit stage, great PA and engineer and a clever second space where the house support Band play (so no messy turnarounds, very clever).

Chris is the top man at this venue and he really looked after us. He’s put something together that had over 60 people turn up through a full scale snowstorm to see this gig. Usually he gets over 60 more, so this club is a venue on the rise. We hope to come back at some point (fingers crossed)

Roadhouse Live 2013

Roadhouse Live 2013

We played a 1 hour 20 minute set straight though. Highlights for me were ‘Dark Angel’, ‘Gods & Highways & Old Guitars’, ‘Rainmaker’ and ‘Hell on Wheels’. We introduced the whole band on ‘Telling Lies’ and the finished with ‘Preacher Man’. Then there was a seamless switch back to the house band and a hosted jam session which gave us time to get away a bit early into the snow. About 20 miles on we ran out of road as the snow just came heavier and heavier. Still we made it home and a big thanks to Roger, Bill and Danny who were on the artic driving duties.

Gary

Roadhouse Live At The Colourhouse Theatre – Merton Abbey Mills – 3/3/2013

Our run of good form continued into this relatively local show, where I’m delighted to say we achieved the record attendance so far this year. Things have been on the up at the Colourhouse since our good friend Robin Bibi and his partners took over in late 2012.

Live at the Colourhouse - Photo by Steve

‘ Live at the Colourhouse – Photo by Band Photographer Steve.D

We heavily featured new material and ‘Katrina’, Sarah’s lead, ‘Slow Down’, ‘Hell On Wheels’ and ‘Gods & Highways & Old Guitars’ were all given to a strong reception. I had a really good time with one of my better solos in ‘Dark Angel’ and overall the whole Band was on the money. The ‘home’ crowd were right behind us from the off and with the Band playing so well a lot of people were playing spot the Mandie as they were yet to see her with her youthful new hairstyle and many did not recognise her, so strong is the transformation. Bill and Roger were really tight and Danny cast his spells across a solid foundation. We saw so many old friends on the night, including some who had not supported the Band in nearly 10 years. great to see you back!. We will back at this lovely Theatre music club before the end of the year. roll on the New CD.Thanks for the great support.

Gary

Roadhouse Live at The Broadstairs Blues Bash (Festival), at the Wrotham Arms, 22/2/2013

Rocking at the Wrotham

Rocking at the Wrotham

Our 3rd consequtive year at both this great little festival where various top Bands play all the local pubs and venues. It was also our third year at one of the larger (and nicer) venues, the Wrotham Arms. A major thanks to Geoff who organised all for us (Top Man) and to Jackie the landlady.

A tough gig for us as Danny had been off work all week and I also had been totally pole axed by a flu like bug that at seen us both wedlded to our respective toilet seats over the last few days. This was a legacy from meeting Ben Poole’s bass player Barry who told us we didn’t want the awful bug he had as he could hadly stand up. then he gave us so many bear hugs we conclude that he likes sharing.

 

We managed an hour in the first set and I thought I was going to fall over at one point, but we soldiered on much to the appreciation of the excellent crowd. My B string totally detuned itslef during my Dark Angel solo, who says I cant play ‘Jazz’. Roger and Bill pulled as through this one. We played 4 songs from the forthcoming new CD, including second times out for ‘Katrina’ and Sarah’s new solo song ‘Slow Down’. There were small mistakes in each but we are getting there.

Battle of the 'Flu victims'

‘ Battle of the ‘Flu victims’

In all Mandie sung lead on 5 songs and Sarah 2, as we geared down my vocal to cope with the flu symptoms. Still, amazingly my voice bore up really well and I was still belting out by the end of ‘Preacher ManWe are really sorry that we stopped after the second encore, Danny and I just could not go on. My apologies to Jackie and all in the crowd who only got a 45 minute second set including the two encores. We are just glad that we played a pretty good gig and under the circumstances did not let anyone down

Will we get the chance to make amends in a 4th year?

Gary