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6 October 2014 Edinburgh Blues Club present Grainne Duffy & Robbie Hill & The Blues 62s
Grainne Duffy is a unique talent, raw and powerful, edgy and elegant. Growing up in Co. Monaghan, Ireland she gained exposure at an early age to such defining influential artists as The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac and The Pretenders by raiding her elder sisters’ record collection and very soon was developing her own musical tastes. This began when she heard the subtle playing of Peter Green which was to pave the way for Grainne to start listening to other guitarists such as B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and of course Rory Gallagher. Such a fascination led to Grainne picking up the guitar and beginning what was to be just the start of her musical journey.
All the while she was developing her vocal ability by singing in her local church choir and listening to artists as diverse Aretha Franklin, Linda Rondstat and Bonnie Raitt to name but a few. Such was the immediate reaction to her first album release that she soon became a regular on the festival circuit in her native Ireland and she began taking her music abroad to such places as far flung as the Artic island of Svalbard, Norway. She then was asked to appear for 3 days at Glastonbury 2008. There she was lucky enough to share the stage with such wonderful artists as Joan Baez, Suzanne Vega, Sinead O Connor, Seasick Steve and The Blockheads to name but a few. She opened the acoustic stage on day one with her full band with what was to be an unforgettable performance. At this point Grainne had introduced among her own material her show stopping version of the Etta James classic ‘I’d Rather go Blind’ to her set. It was during the performance of this song on day one of Glastonbury 2008 that the entire crowd in the acoustic tent, who had been camped out on the floor of the tent, rose to their feet mid performance and the atmosphere transformed to something magical that she has never forgotten and has since gone on to state as one of the highlights of her career thus far. Grainne has appeared alongside Paul Brady for the re-opening of the newly refurbished Ulster Hall and also at the renowned Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland and an extensive tour of Norway.
All the while between touring Grainne was continuing to pen new material and was experimenting with new sounds for her follow up album. She moved from playing a Strat to a Gibson Les Paul, a guitar which was to become her recognisable sound. Simultaneously, her fan base was continuing to grow at home and abroad. With her band now featuring a full line-up of second guitar - Paul Sherry, bass - Davy Watson, drums - Eamon Ferris and piano -John McCullough, this ensemble was gaining a well earned reputation as a stellar unit always delivering passionate performances - the perfect foundation for Grainne’s vocals, guitar playing and her songs.
2011 saw Grainne and her band begin the recording of her second album, over the spring and summerdue to the ever increasing touring schedule of the band at home and abroad in Norway, Scotland, Isle of Man, Holland and Belgium. Test of Time saw an album of eleven self penned tracks spanning Grainne’s many and varied influences all brought together by her ever rich sublime vocals and the heartfelt expression in her guitar playing. On this record Grainne teamed up with well known producer and mixing engineer Niko Bolas working from Capitol Studios in L.A. Niko’s reputation for working with singers and his experience from working with artists as diverse and varied as Neil Young, Rod Stewart, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock, Keith Richards, John Mayer, Los Lonely Boys and Melissa Etheridge, brought a touch of magic to a specially crafted album. With mastering completed by Grammy award winner Richard Dodd in Nashville the finishing touches to the album were all perfectly in place.
Earlier in the year Grainne released the first single from the album - ‘I Know Were Gonna Be Just Fine’ to coincide with her Irish theatre tour. The single received a warm reception and much airplay and made the BBC Northern Ireland playlist and has recently received wonderful reviews from BBC Radio 2. Her new album is due during 2014.
"Grainne, truly is the nightingale of the blues circuit at the moment with a clarity and superb articulation no mumbling of words when she is on stage, her band provide her with more than just a solid platform they provide form, shape and texture that her voice can weave around creating a soulful sound that is magical!" Blues in Britain Magazine August 2013
Robbie Hill & The Blues 62s
When blues great Otis Grand tells you it’s time to expand your horizons, you listen if you’re serious about your music. Robbie Hill, originally of Fife, Scotland, had played all over the UK, going out of his way to see the greats while also studying music. But Hill heeded his mentor and set out for Scandinavia with little more than a backpack and a guitar. Helsinki seemed the place to be, and there he met Jesse King. Maybe it was their shared love of the blues, maybe it was similarities in their coastal homelands, but King and Hill connected.
King is from the rugged coast of Oregon in the United States. With a passion for waves and cooking as well as the bass, King has played at campfires as often as at bars. Together King and Hill jammed, but they needed a drummer to fit their emerging sound while also pushing them forward. Tatu Pärssinen, of Oulu, Finland, gave them the final ingredient they needed. Pärssinen is an architect by training, but he has been playing in projects since he was 10 years old. Pärssinen brings a background in African, jazz and world rhythms for the group to build on.
It seems wrong to say that Robbie Hill and the Blue 62 were born of that union because a sound so tight and primal must have always been. Finding rhythm and layers off each other, the trio mixes covers that pull new meat from old bones with original work that sounds as old as the fjords. Hill, King and Pärssinen couple their globe-spanning experience with a deep and abiding appreciation for what it means to play the blues to create a sound that is both unique and infectiously familiar. This is Robbie Hill's first Scottish tour date in 2 and a half years.
From 7.15pm in The Ballroom.
Available through membership of the Edinburgh Blues Club at £10 per month, join at http://www.edinburgh-blues.co.uk
On the door price £15.00