Folk Blues Bristol & West with Dave Kelly, Mike Cooper & Ian Anderson

Date: Sunday 01 October 2017

Opening times: 19:30 - 22:45

Venue: Bristol Folk House

Ticket Price: £20.50 Advance £22.50 On the door

Genre: Blues


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Folk Blues Bristol & West with Dave Kelly, Mike Cooper & Ian Anderson, Sunday 01 October 2017

It was 1967… Dave Kelly and Ian Anderson would just turn 20, and Mike Cooper became 25. All three were heavily into ancient recordings of country blues artists that had been made what seemed like an impossible time in a far distant past, 30 to 40 years earlier, and all were evolving their own versions of that music. There was a growing underground following for the genre, and the first club to specialise in it anywhere in the UK outside London opened in Bristol – Folk Blues Bristol & West. Initially at the Troubadour in Clifton, then the Old Duke in King St and eventually the Full Moon in Stokes Croft, it kept having to move to bigger premises as it outgrew each one. Featuring legendary names like Alexis Korner and Mississippi Fred McDowell, the club helped kickstart a national boom. Mike Cooper was the first booked guest, Dave Kelly the second, and Ian Anderson the house resident: by late 1968 all three had major label record deals.

Now it’s 50 years later… well, you do the maths, as they say!

Dave Kelly … in New York he jammed with Muddy Waters. He became a friend to Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker, who both felt the benefit of Dave’s playing in their touring bands. It was Dave’s big sister, the late Jo-Ann Kelly, who first opened his ears to the blues, and in 1967 he joined The John Dummer Blues Band. After three albums and a solo project he continued to polish his style and technique throughout an adventurous career with some of Britain’s finest players. When The Blues Band was formed in 1979, the post of slide guitarist and joint vocalist was a foregone conclusion. Dave’s guitar and vocals form the very backbone of The Blues Band’s distinctive sound to this day. He also continues to tour with his own band, in duo with Paul Jones or Maggie Bell, and in numerous other guises. Of the three artists here, he’s remained the truest to the blues in all its forms.

Mike Cooper … may have started as an acoustic folk-blues guitarist and slide player, but he’s travelled a long way since then. In 1967 he was heavily influenced by Blind Boy Fuller, but then became a singer-songwriter and made seminal jazz-influenced albums like Trout Steel. He fell into the clutches of the improvised free-music scene (via Hawaiian guitar styles), working regularly over the years with the late Lol Coxhill. Having lived in Italy since 1988, Cooper has absorbed the various and varied urban folk musics of the Mediterranean – Rembetika, Flamenco, Fado, Tarantella etc – and his current work draws together all of his 50+ year musical history. He is admired by the younger generation of American alternative guitarists, and has collaborated on record with Steve Gunn. ‘Ambient Electronic Exotica’ is one description of his recent work, embracing the literary cut-up techniques of William Burroughs and Brion Gysin, for both his lyrics and music. But those blues roots are still in there …

Ian A. Anderson … no, not that one… began his musical career in the mid 1960s, heavily influenced by old Mississippi blues players, before taking a left-swerve into what nowadays gets called ‘psych folk’ in the early ’70s, making a trio of songwriter/ guitarist albums for cult Bristol label Village Thing. He eventually settled into a personal – and notably English – style drawing from traditional folk music, blues, old-time and world roots musics, making some dozen albums by the end of the 1980s including with groups Hot Vultures (with Maggie Holland), the English Country Blues Band and Tiger Moth. After a lengthy break from live performance he returned to stages a decade ago with the trio Blue Blokes 3 (with PiL’s Lu Edmonds and 3 Mustaphas 3’s Ben Mandelson), the duo The False Beards (again with Mandelson), and a re-union of Hot Vultures in 2016. In 2017, he’s enjoying performing solo for the first time in 43 years!

Ticket Information

Tickets are available from:

The Bristol Folk House
40A Park Street

Call: 0117 926 2987

Please note: There is a 50p Administration fee on all tickets

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