An Evening With Paul Jones and Dave Kelly at The Lowdham Village Hall on Friday 15th January 2016

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Founder members of The Blues Band, Dave Kelly and Paul Jones spent an intimate evening entertaining a packed Lowdham Village Hall with their unique interpretation of the blues. With Kelly’s dexterous guitar playing and former Manfred Mann member Jones’ wailing harmonica, it was a master class in both old and new downright dirty blues.

With just the two of them on the stage with sombre lighting, they started the evening with Jesse Fuller’s San Francisco Bay Blues, and this audience knew straight away that they were in for a treat.

Their credentials were there for all to see, as Kelly told us that Ry Cooder had taught him to play How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live? Not to be out done, Jones pitched in with how he had played with Percy Sledge. Their story telling was both interesting and amusing and had the evening flowing like the Mississippi River.

They dedicated Ray Charles’ Lonely Blues to Kelly’s great, great nephew Charlie who was in the audience, whilst Kelly’s slide guitar shone on Muddy Waters’ I Can’t Be Satisfied.

With each taking a turn on the vocals, Jones’ Weeping Willow Blues was melancholic and sad, but was brought alive was his fabulous harmonica playing.

In a set of two halves, there was no let up. With Kelly playing his guitar like a dream and Jones outstanding harmonica playing, the evening soon passed. But not before we were treated to the likes of Noah Lewis Blues, Robert Johnson’s Dust My Broom, a soulful Ain’t Nobody’s Fault But My Own, the gospel Get Right Church and Kelly’s version of Skin Games Blues.

It was clear that they have a real affection for the blues and even for those in the audience that were uninitiated, they managed to draw them in and thoroughly entertain them. The evening was brought to an end with Jimmy Reed’s Baby What Do You Want Me To Do, which morphed into Bright Lights Big City. For those in the audience who were truly spell bound, an opportunity to meet both Jones and Kelly at the interval was a real treat.