Blues Matters Magazine Issue 31
Review by Steve Buckley

The John O'Leary Band

The Navy Club, Maryport Sun. 5th March 2006

Blues Matters Issue 31

Sunday, 5 March 2006 - The Navy Club, Maryport: 

An instrumental opener, with Jules Fothergill, Roger Inniss and Joachim Greve instantly into the groove, it featured a massive Roger led bass riff, with synth effects on his customary 6 string, before Jules kicked in on the Gibson. John O'Leary then stepped up and brought the harmonica into the proceedings. Although he's Irish, he sings just like Texan Paul Byrd, strangely enough. When he introduced the band, Roger and Jules got huge cheers, they're firm favourites round these parts, of course. Junior Wells' 'Snatch 'it Back and Hold 'it' had a beautiful piece of slide from Jules before he blitzed it with an awesome solo that won a huge ovation from the crowd. '19 Years Old', a Buddy Guy tune, was delivered slow and moody, Roger's bass sublime, as always. More solo work followed, with great attention from the crowd, and, of course, a huge cheer. When Jules got his turn, it smoothed into a Santana-esque riff that the drums and bass picked up on, and the whole thingjust let rip, fantastic! 'Little by Little', a 12 bar rocker, ended the first set with a bang, guitars on song and John and Roger together with the chorus.

 'Look On Yonder's Wall', a standard blues number was, as John said, messed around with and it sounded a bit like Green Onions or Sonny Boy Williamson's You've Got to Help Me Baby, with Joachim powering away at the back. Another boogier, 'Checking on my Baby', and John certainly gives Jules and Roger free reign to solo away, much to the delight of the crowd. 'Black Cat Bone' was a funked-up rocker with Roger leading the way using more heavy effects and segueing into a Voodoo Chile style riff, before an explosive finish and a standing ovation. Except it wasn't the end, because Joachim finally got his turn for a solo, with the bass keeping a funky beat. It was probably one of the fastest, most technically proficient solo's we've seen, all around the rims, the stands too and both ends of the sticks, before bursting into a Samba Pa Ti by UB40 style ending. The encore was 'Pink Champagne', a 40's style tune that merged into 'Everyday I Have the Blues' and the crowd loved it......Steve Buckley