The John O'Leary Band

The Spectrum Club, Keighley, Yorks

20th May 2006

 Why, in your 70th decade would you drive the lenghth of the M1 and back without sleeping, play two hours and declare it "a fantastic night"?  You'd have to love the music, adore your fellow musicians and bathe in the appreciation of an knowledgeable crowd of blues enthusiasts.  Meet the John O'Leary band in Yorkshire.  With four decades of UK blues experience behind him, the front man took his enthusiastic and energetic young band, placed them in the intimate atmosphere of  the North's newest venue, lit the touch paper and stepped back!   O'Leary and his band left an indelible mark on the lucky members at the packed Spectrum Blues Club.

With a  wonderfully traditional core to the repertoire - Muddy Waters "Nineteen Years Old", Rice Miller's "Help Me", Junior Wells "Snatch It Back", Hop Wilson's "Black Cat Bone" - all renewed with an infusion of jazzy chords and Latin rhythms, the two hour show had enough variety to please new and old blues fans alike.  Drawing too from original compositions from their new CD "Sins",  John's searing blues harp was complemented by the slide guitar of Jules Fothergill, the contrasting style of Winston Delandro on lead, and a watertight rhythm section of Joachim Greves (drums) and Roger Inniss (bass).

John 's blues commune showed their Butterfield affection by opening with "Born In Chicago", but their key quality was their versatility.  The lovely Lorna Reilly, redefined Marva Whitney's "It's My Thing" ( sic) before joining John on "Rock Me Baby" and Jules took vocal duties on "Turn On Your Lovelight" before a guitar dual with guest axe-man Tim O'Sullivan.

It was full stage, a packed house and a memorable night......Keith Lee