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Bob Meyer + Duke Garwood + David Atkinson
Bluesinlondon Nights
Leonard's, Clerkenwell 28.01.07

Meyer - upside down and way out wonderful

Garwood channels deep...

Time Out listed this gig as 'Superior avant-blues' and they got it right...

Duke Garwood's sound comes from some strange place that only Duke hisself knows about, and he's not telling, at least not in a clearly intelligible way. But it's all the better for that. It's dark and dense and doesn't really sound like anything you've heard before. A couple of days previously I'd been speaking to some people who knew Duke's great, abstract, 'Holy Week' CD and there was general wonder at how he was going to do it live. It turns out Duke just sits down, tunes his guitar ("It cost me $13") in a weird way and off he goes. He can really play and has a deep, dark voice that rumbles in from beyond, like he's speaking in tongues.

Bob Meyer also sounds quite unlike anything else, albeit in a marginally less abstract way. Before taking to the stage he'd said that once he started he went straight through, and sure enough we were treated to a literally non stop 40 minute set, one song blending into another and I'm still not sure how he did it. It's the songs from the CD and very good, and very oblique, they are too, all the time set to Bob's unique virtuosity on the left handed upside down guitar.

BiL regular David Atkinson just gets better and better. and rumour has it that he'll be debuting some more original material soon, so keep an eye out for his gigs.

These nights are starting go pretty well. We had a decent turn-out for what was officially the most depressing week of the year and those that came weren't disappointed. It provided proof, if it were needed, that there's still plenty of creative mileage in 'blues' and as such was right at the heart of what we're trying to do with bluesinlondon. It doesn't exclude more familiar forms, and we're going back to our roots for the next one with some classic Chicago/West Coast harp action to prove that point, but hopefully nights like these will help to expand what can be a quite narrow view of what 'blues' can mean.