A Celebration of Women in Blues: A Tribute to Jo Ann Kelly
The Ship Theatre
Walthamstow Hall, Holly Bush Lane,
Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3UL
Tickets are now available via The Stag Theatre Link to Tickets
In association with Sue Revell and Blues with Bottle
Fran Mc Gillivray (Vocals, Bass) & Mike Burke (Guitar)
Katie Bradley (Vocals, harmonica), Dave Ferra (Guitar), Bob Bowes (Bass)
Val Cowell (Vocals,Guitar) Jess Hayes (vocals)
Bex Marshall (vocals, guitar)
Finale will see all women perform together
Jo Ann Kelly – A celebration of Inspiration:
The rock era saw a few white female singers, like Janis Joplin, show they could sing the blues. But one who could outshine them all — Jo Ann Kelly — seemed to slip through the cracks, mostly because she favored the acoustic, Delta style rather than rocking out with a heavy band behind her. But with a huge voice, and a strong guitar style influenced by Memphis Minnie and Charley Patton, she was the queen. Born January 5, 1944, Kelly and her older brother Dave were both taken by the blues, and born at the right time to take advantage of a young British blues scene in the early ’60s. By 1964 she was playing in clubs, including the Star in Croydon, and had made her first limited-edition record with future Groundhogs guitarist Tony McPhee.
Posthumously, she’s become a revered blues figure, one who helped clear the path for artists like Bonnie Raitt and Rory Block. But more than a figurehead, her recorded material — and unreleased sides have appeared often since her death — show that Kelly truly was a remarkable blueswoman.
WOMEN IN BLUES LIVE: SATURDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER 2015
Fran Mc Gillivray
Fran performs each element of a song and conveys every strand of a narrative through her beautiful voice and thoughtful stage presence. Fran McGillivray has been been writing and performing since the 70s with partner Mike Burke. Fran’s vocals are warm, her Bass playing is full and truly soulful accompanied by partner Mike who is an impressive picker, playing a resonator slide guitar with a technique that is both individual and dynamic. Fran and Mike are a highly skilled musicians that weave irrisistable anecdotes to accompany their own songs and Blues which are rare and enlightening.
Nominated for ‘Female Vocalist of the year’ in the 2015 British Blues Awards; Katie Bradley has gained a reputation worldwide for her voice and harmonica playing. Kent singer-songwriter Katie Bradley came into the international spotlight with her 2012 i-tunes Blues hit “I hear the river” which received a nomination for Best original song in the British Blues Awards, which came from her debut album “She’s Ready”. Katie continues to ascend celebrating a highly acclaimed career supporting and collaborating with artists across the world formerly Luther Allison, Suzanne Vega and most recently Rhythm and Blues greats: Lucky Peterson, Taildragger, Georgie Fame, Geno Washington to mention a few.
Val Cowell & Jess Cowell
Based in South London singer/rhythm guitarist VAL COWELL has been one of the top female vocalists and musicians in British Blues for 25 years. Receiving much critical acclaim for song writing with her band ‘BAD INFLUENCE’ Val has been described as having “a tidal wave of a voice that can take on the mantle of our greatest singers” Val is looking forward to celebrating the music of Jo Ann Kelly, as her brothers used to compare her to Jo when she started playing her guitar, a memory Val remembers fondly. Val’s daughter Jess will be joining us for this evening, a voice to watch in contemporary Blues today.
UK British Blues Award winner Bex Marshall’s unique style of guitar playing is a combined technique of slide, blues rock, ragtime and roots pickin’.Her voice has been compared with Memphis Minnie, Joan Armatrading, JJ Cale, Derek Trucks and….“Bonnie Raitt and Led Zep jamming in an everglade moonshine joint”. Bex is constantly touring, its in her blood and trained as a croupier at 18 began her travels around the world working gaming tables on cruise liners to Park Lane even dealing illegal poker games in Amsterdam. She hitch hiked the coast of Australia on cattle trains and always with a guitar on her back living and storing tales. Bex has just completed a European Tour as the guest JANIS with ‘Big Brother and the Holding Company’s original guitarist Sam Andrews.
Blues writer and curator Darren Weale will be holding a very special edition of his British Blues Exhibition
themed towards ‘British women in Blues’ tracing the history of female artist’s in the UK with a wonderful collection of posters, records and items.