Past Events
This page contains information about previous performers and performances at Brooks Blues Bar.
Past Events Page 1

Saturday 5th January 2013



Steve Morrison, is by any standards a remarkable guitarist who commands a following by virtue of not only his technical skills, but as a literate and melodic song writer. alan Glen’s (harmonica) musical credits are too numerous to list, but he was one of the members of the Yardbirds. There is also a rare appearance from john B Harris whose blues piano is unmatched, with a stunning virtuoso performance in the style of Otis Spann, Professor Longhair and Memphis Slim et al. His performances are show-stoppers and not to be missed.

Admission: £8

Saturday 2nd February 2013


Inspired by the rich history of blues guitarists, Sonny Black is true to the spirit of the blues and roots tradition. From playing acoustic country blues in the ‘70s’ with British blues pioneer Mike Cooper, through several European tours and two critically acclaimed albums for Pye Records, Sonny Black went on to perform with blues legends such as Lowell Fulson, Phil Guy, and Jimmy Dawkins. Sonny’s album Heart and Soul met with acclaim from Living Blues and Blues Revue in the U.S.A. as well as being made album of the year by Blueprint Magazine in the UK. Sonny and double bass player jim Mercer recapture the sound of traditional acoustic and Chicago blues. A superb duo that never fails to deliver a tight and flawless yet soulful and moving performance. “He possesses that quality that can only be called blues soul.” Blues In Britain Magazine. "An outstanding artist." Paul Jones, BBC Radio 2 ”Top drawer..." Time Out

Admission: £8

Saturday 9th March 2013


"...three musicians interweaving and complementing each other perfectly." - fRoots UK "...The atmosphere the band is able to create is nothing less than remarkable”- Blues Revue USA "...a gift for evocative songwriting". Paul Jones - BBC Radio 2 "...a unique sound and absolutely thrilling playing from guitarist Ben Tyzack" Orkney Blues Festival "Spikedrivers present the most delicate and elegant face of roots music." - Blues To Bop - Switzerland "The Spikedrivers were simply the revelation of the festival" - The More Blues Festival - Belgium. One of the most original, innovative and exciting bands around, their combination of gutsy slide guitar, rock-solid bass, infectious grooves and highly distinctive vocals, creates a sound that is uniquely their own. They take you on a journey, from southern juke-joints and lazy front porches to the huge open spaces of dust bowls and railroad tracks disappearing into the distance....Ben tyzack – Guitar, vocals & harmonica “... hard picking, sinuous baritone guitar and growling vocals...” Blues Revue – USA. Constance redgrave – Bass guitar, vocals & percussion. “Redgrave’s spare lines have everything you need, thick tone, solid note choices, and a deep pocket.” Bass Player – USA.

Admission: £10

Friday 22nd March 2013            SPECIAL EVENT


UK Tour

Admission: £15 - Advanced booking Recommended

More info

Saturday 6th April 2013


(Brooks Blues Bar debut CD launch)

Gordon Smith was once described by the late John Peel as the ‘foremost white blues guitarist in the world” - a hefty epithet to carry around and potentially embarrassing to such a modest character as Gordon. There is no doubt that he is a pretty mean player – he also has the advantage of a good blues voice –it’s deep and dark, and you sense that he means it. In fact he means all of it – every note – he reverences the music and it shows as he displays the influences of the great originals – Rev Gary Davis, Lightning Hopkins and most obviously the great Lonnie Johnson. One thing we’re really not hearing among the modern (electric) fraternity is the jazz tinged melodic lyricism that Lonnie Johnson applied to his playing – that allied to his extensive use of diminished chords and scales is a rich source of inspiration to anyone who wants to find something fresh in their blues playing – or they could of course listen to Gordon Smith. The performance tonight include solo tracks from the album - a note perfect rendition of Rev Gary Davis’ ‘Cincinnati Flow Rag’ – it’s picked cleanly – not a hint of a muted note, the Leroy Carr classic ‘In the Evening (When the Sun Goes Down)’ a song that is a cornerstone of blues poetry. The band kicks in – alan Glen – harmonica, jim Mercer – double bass, and tim Penn – piano, and a lovely Otis Spann style of piano it is. The set includes some slower blues and then pick up tempo with a high - ‘Dorothy Mae’, ‘Mojo Boogie’ and ‘Dust My Broom’. Admission £8

Admission: £8

Saturday 4th May 2013


“It’s an index of Gillespie’s empathy with her material that the originals blend so seamlessly with the classic numbers...she literally beats the pants off anything done by a British bluesman the last 10 years” Essential Blues. dana Gillespie has been a major figure on the UK music scene for over 40 years. She moved via the 60’s folk scene through pop and glam-rock to finally settle on the musical love of her life - the Blues, which she describes as “ first musical love because it’s earthy, spiritual and honest.” Since the late ‘70s she has been singing, recording and touring with international blues musicians including spending two years in the USA. She has recorded over 60 albums for major labels including Pye, Decca, RCA and her current label, Ace. She has performed worldwide and voted “Top British Female Blues Vocalist” by the British Blues Connection and Blueprint Magazine five times and has now been elevated to their Hall of Fame. Highly regarded by her fellow musicians, she was invited by Bob Dylan to support his ’97 UK tour as he has been a fan since the ‘60s. She is accompanied by jake and artie Zaitz a father and son powerhouse combo of musical authority stretching across a wealth of influences. Jake’s nearly a decade as Dana’s guitar supremo with many miles travelled around the world and a long list of recordings including their latest co-written and co-produced collaboration (“I Rest My Case” on Ace Records). Honed his flair sharing stages and recording with top crop of the music world, including Joe Louis Walker, Billy Branch, Mick Jagger, Larry Garner, Pee Wee Ellis, Zach Prather, Big Joe Louis, Ian Siegal, Big Joe Turner and Matt Schofield. Artie is something of a marvel, still in his teens he’s already accomplished more than many seasoned players. Exposed to blues music early on he mastered several instruments most notably guitar and piano. Equally at home on stage and in the recording studio (Dana Gillespie, Pee Wee Ellis, Queen Bee, Earl Green, Davod Azad, Gary Crosby and Tomorrows Warriors).Currently 2nd year of Jazz at Trinity College of Music, performing with various line ups across UK and Europe.

Admission: £10

Saturday 1st June 2013


"... a genuine hard-bitten bluesman ... a genius. Hedley makes his tight, measured electric blues look effortless, but this is virtuoso stuff." Oxford Mail "...rocking country blues..." Time Out "authenticity is all ... Hedley clearly prefers the rough to the smooth" The Guardian. Giles Hedley, a regular on the blues festival and club circuits both solo and with the aviators, has appeared on national radio in England and France - truly, in the words of top UK blues magazine Blues in Britain, a "mainstay of British blues". His band The Aviators is a funky, danceable roots-blues trio steeped in early Chicago blues. Earthy slide and steel guitars, a unique rack harmonica style, a passionate, Wolf-style voice, adventurous bass and drums right up front in the mix create the unmistakeable Aviators sound, quite unlike other British blues bands. With Sam Kelly on drums, richard Sadler on upright bass, dazzling rhythmic interplay is the band's key feature - one of the reasons that it plays as many dance gigs as blues festivals.

Admission: £10

Saturday 6th July 2013


“ . . .. very, very good stuff! Excellent song writing . . . very subtle, beautiful, and lovely side guitar.” Paul Jones BBC Radio 2 “ . . .. he sings with as much understated soul as anybody has a right to expect. Tortora is something of an undiscovered treasure..” Guy tortora has laid claim to a unique niche on the Blues 'n' Roots scene in the UK and on the Continent. His two recent solo albums received a warm welcome in the Blues 'n' Roots press. His latest album, Prodigal Songs was released last year. His original songs are performed in some of the various musical idioms that originated in the USA -- blues, jazz, folk and roots. Some describe his music as postcards from a personal Storyville, delivered with conviction and passion. He is accompanied by janos Bajtala piano, Costa tancredi, bass, Pete Hedley drums/percussion.

Admission: £8

Saturday 3rd August 2013


Pianist Bob Hall and guitarist Dave Peabody have been playing and experiencing the blues for some fifty years. From the 1950's onwards visiting American blues stars have toured the UK in the company of British musicians who in turn have absorbed the blues spirit that gives the music its gritty integrity. Multi-award-winners Bob Hall (piano/vocals) and Dave Peabody (guitar/vocals) have had the experience of learning from many blues originals during thousands of miles of travelling around the UK and the U.S.A.  John Lee Hooker, Howlin Wolf, Honeyboy Edwards, Charlie Musselwhite and a host of other blues giants have befriended Hall and Peabody giving them the kind of insight worth more than a lifetime spent just listening to records. Today Hall and Peabody are the foremost UK exponents of traditional blues styles.  They perform the music of their friends and mentors interspersed with stories of their poignant and often hilarious experiences and travels. Dave Peabody is also a photographer with an international reputation whose work is seen in books, magazines, and hundreds of albums.

Admission £8

Saturday 7th September 2013


"Flawless fingerpicking and slide guitar paired with an idiosyncratic writing style and an exuberant performance persona makes Steve James come on like a full band." Dirty Linen

Steve James is a great instrumentalist, a prolific composer, and a dynamic stage presence. He is one of the few contemporary songwriters to manage the neat trick of working within older traditions while consistently producing lyrics that sound fresh and smart rather than cute or nostalgic. His singing conveys both the depth and the humour of his material, and his live shows have a crackling energy that is light years away from the museum-style presentation of many acoustic blues revivalists. It's a hell of a show." Elijah Wald musician and author of "The Dozens" and "How The Beatles Destroyed Rock'n'Roll"

Steve James is well known - this notoriety based on numerous critically acclaimed recordings, a tireless international tour schedule and a sheaf of published work including articles, instruction books and videos. His instrumental versatility (on guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, guitar-banjo) also makes him a favourite at music camps and workshop programmes.

Steve has recorded with a diverse crew including Maria Muldaur, James McMurtry, Jesse 'Babyface' Thomas and Kevin Russell of the Gourds. He's played live with a slate of blues/roots luminaries including John Hammond, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy and Howard Armstrong. Steve has also appeared on numerous compilation albums.

Admission £8


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