lonnie dvd coverBEST VERSION1

The Blues Soul of Lonnie Shields – Live at The 100 Club, London – JSP 5806

 So far in this wonderful series of DVDs shot by Blues Archive we have presented a genuine set of gold plated legends – U.P Wilson, Larry Garner, and Otis Grand. With Lonnie Shields we have that ‘next generation’ bluesman who, when this material was filmed was poised to be one of the next big names. If it didn’t quite work out that way in the late 1990’s then it may just now, because I know that Lonnie is re-building his career, writing songs and doing all that hard graft that a bluesman has to do. I think we will see a lot more of Lonnie playing major festivals and touring from this time.

But what of 1998 when this was filmed. This was Lonnie’s only ever English gig at the time and what better place for it to be than The 100 Club. A club that’s been the home of this music since these great Americans started arriving in this country. The show finds Lonnie playing his then new songs from his two JSP albums (both of which were produced by Soul-Blues legend Johnny Rawls). So this is a serious artist with some serious music but Lonnie’s also a consummate showman (from the tough circuit of clubs where he comes from you better be…) and natural frontman. With a tight and professional little band that Otis Grand put together for the occasion this was a terrific show and could have been just one of those nights that is now a blur in the memory…but Blues Archive were there and captured another terrific moment in time…

Lonnie’s out of that Deep South Blues tradition but he is not one of the ‘rough and ready’ musicians who seem to have been taken up by some of the rock-blues crowd. Lonnie’s a far more interesting artist than that – he melds the hard blues with a soul sensitivity and a sure touch as a songwriter. And gold plated legend? He will be…

JOHN STEDMAN

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