The Blues Band
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The Blues Band Paul Jones ~ Dave Kelly ~ Rob Townsend Gary Fletcher ~ and ~ Tom McGuinness The Blues Band was formed in 1979, by ex Manfred Mann group members, Paul Jones and Tom McGuinness, originally to play a few pub gigs on Paul Jones’ nights off from his then full time career as an actor in London’s West end. The blues had always been their first love, indeed Manfred Mann for a short time backed Sonny Boy Williamson. Tom’s first band – The Roosters- also included a young Eric Clapton. They (Paul & Tom) called on Tom’s former colleague from McGuinness Flint, the other half himself – Hughie Flint who previously had been with John Mayall, Eric Clapton and Savoy Brown. Looking for another guitarist/singer, a mutual friend suggested Dave Kelly, and he brought along bassist Gary Fletcher . Dave had started playing acoustic blues in the folk club scene in the middle sixties and later switched to electric slide guitar with The John Dummer Band. It was with this band that he toured with and backed John Lee Hooker, Howlin Wolf, later Son House, Buddy Guy , Junior Wells, Hubert Sumlin to name a few. Those few pub gigs turned out to be a 36 year commitment from the guys, although drummer Hughie Flint retired after two years to be replaced in 1982 by Family and Medecine Head stalwart Rob Townsend . Seventeen or is it eighteen albums/cds later they are still going strong. 2014 saw them make their eighth appearance at The Glastonbury Festival and they are favourites on the European Festival scene, always known for giving stunning, soulful and expert performances. They still love playing together and partly keep the whole thing fresh by dispensing with a set list about ten years ago. Paul and Dave share the main lead vocals, but in the past few years Tom and Gary have also been contributing a couple of vocals over the evening. There is a general order of who is singing lead at any given time and he calls out to the rest of the band whichever song has sprung into his head.– Keeps you on your toes ! So - be prepared for an evening of stunning blues played with feeling and expertise by these masters of their art – if possible make room to dance !