Blue to the Bone

No one I spoke to in the club of the above name (in Northbridge, Perth) seemed to have heard of George Thorogood and his “Bad to the Bone”. Still … the place has live blues bands 5 nights a week, and tonight had two acts on. The venue has only recently organised itself to that format, so management and staff were keen to please, and attract an audience for future nights.

The first duo, rhythm / vocal and lead semi-acoustic covered a wide range of bluesy-country-folk-rock. Apart from the Kalgoorlie to Port Hedland “road” blues number, the two that stuck were covers of Dylan’s “Times They Are a-Changin'” and Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” – both in the vocalist’s own style, rather than a karaoke imitation style. Brave for such well -known classics.

The next act were a 4-piece (2x Strat) blues rock outfit called “The Gators”. A tight unit, but quickly apparent that they were the latest vehicle for guitarist Paul Felton and vocalist Pete – it was the rhythm sections first gig together. Says something about the quality of both that they were tight throughout. Paul impressed on The Animal’s “Misunderstood” and on Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”. “Misunderstood” introducing Paul’s understated right hand pinched harmonics, and the latter giving free reign to his solo virtuosity. So simple, but so effective.

I’ve seen a few rock guitarists in my time, Joe Satriani most recently, Slim Hamster and Bill Puplett most memorably, but Paul is up there in the top handful. Worth catching.

[Post Note : This was my first visit of many to BTTB, and the first “duo” mentioned were Rick Steele (see many later references) Became very friendly with Rick, life and soul of Perth Blues Club still (in 2012) even though BTTB has long changed its format. Saw him most recently in 2011, though don’t appear to have blogged.)]

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