Americana Weekend at the Liverpool Philharmonic 27–28 July
Americana Weekend 27–28 July
Box office 0151 709 3789
Friday 27 July 8.30pm, Rodewald Suite, £15
Back when blues was king and South Louisiana was the breeding ground for some of the most memorable American music ever recorded, at the heart of it was .
This key figure of US blues music has been making his laid back swamp blues for over six decades, is a 2012 inductee to the Blues Hall of Fame and has been nominated for three awards in the 2012 Blues Music Awards including Traditional Blues Album for his latest, .
Starting out as Lightnin’ Slim’s harpist of choice, perhaps his most famous hits in his own right are and . The very embodiment of the American blues tradition Lester’s voice has enriched with age and his harmonica playing has lost nothing.
Leslie Johnson was born June 20, 1933 in the small town of Torras, Louisiana, near the Mississippi state border to Robert Johnson and Maggie Hartford. He was raised mostly in Scotlandville, a suburb of Baton Rouge. He credits Jimmy Reed and Little Walter as his main blues influences, and you can easily hear Reed’s vocal style in Lester’s singing. But Lester isn’t shy about telling anyone that his first love was and still is country – the real, traditional kind. He got hooked early on Jimmie Rogers.
In his late teens, Lester joined his first ever band, a group called the Rhythm Rockers that included Big John Jackson on guitar, Sonny Martin on piano and Eddie Hudson as singer. Lester blew harp. The group played primarily high school dances, and Lester also began to sit in with Guitar Gable’s band on club gigs.
It was in the mid-1950s, on a bus, that fate turned Lester’s way, and the roots to what would become classic music began to grow.
Through all of his influences and associations, Lester’s crafted a style as unique as his nickname. He calls it “swamp blues,” and it’s a mixture of blues, swamp pop and classic country. Lester says it’s a “down home” music without the additions and subtractions that other more urban-styled blues has included.
Lester several years ago moved to Paradise, California, to be with his girlfriend, Pike. He regularly performs both as a solo artist (with acoustic guitar, rack harmonica and foot percussion) and as the front man with a band, playing either harmonica or guitar. He knows more jokes than many comedians, and he’ll almost always include a few in his performances. Talk to him off stage, and he’ll tell you quite a few more. He’s just one of the guys and goes about his business without any pretense or ego, always accessible to his fans. You’d be well advised to see him when he hits your town.
Pine Leaf Boys and Chris Moreton
Saturday 28 July 7.30pm, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall £16, £22
A night of quality Bluegrass and Cajun music from a line up of special guest artists led by the four-time Grammy-nominated band Pine Leaf Boys. Hailing from southwest Louisiana, this band have breathed new life into Cajun music, reviving ancient songs. Playing Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco, their mission is to present the beautiful, powerful music of their ancestors to the world and prove that it is still thriving and full of life.
The Pine Leaf Boys include Wilson Savoy (accordion, fiddle, vocals), Courtney Granger (fiddle, accordion, vocals), Drew Simon (drums and vocals), Jon Bertrand (guitars), and Thomas David (bass). Being described in the New York Times as, "... the link that connects the young and the old generations," and, "the best new, energetic, and fun Cajun band in a very long time," the Pine Leaf Boys play the old fashion dance hall standards while making a priority to bring many of the more obscure songs of past masters into their repertoire and play them with gusto.
The band are joined by award-winning Wirral-based guitarist , a multi-instrumentalist described as (The Independent).
Article posted by Musicmafia