Saturday, January 27, 2007

Travis Haddix and Artie 'Bluesboy' White Longthorpe, Peterborough, UK 12th Jan 2007

On the 12th of January I made an epic 500 mile round trip to see these two fine artists in Longthorpe village hall nr Peterborough in England. The were backed by the Mike Carr Blues Band, which in fact was an excellent modern jazz outfit whose take on blues was very much from the perspective of the likes of Jimmy Smith & Brother Jack McDuff. (Purists note that there is precedent for this. Think Albert King doing Let's Have A Natural Ball and you'll get the idea.) There were three sets of over an hour each. Travis played guitar in a quite different style to his (excellent) cd's, eschewing effects for a lovely clean BB King style which perfectly complimented the band's style. Much the same crew had played the Stamford Arts Centre the night before and there had apparently been one or two teething troubles...I'm pleased to say that these had been ironed out by the following evening and I had a great night. Artie has recorded a number of Travis songs, allowing for plenty of synergy. First Thing Tuesday Morning for example is a real killer slow blues and they both did it here. A wry sense of humour permeates it, and many of Travis' songs, which I greatly enjoy. In addition to the original material there were also classics by the likes of Louis Jordan & BB King.
Travis did a top job as master of ceremonies and band leader. He did well to jump around on the crowded stage without demolishing it!

He is an engaging, friendly guy and a dynamic performer who works the crowd very well, on and off stage. Catch him live if you can! You can contact Travis via his website at Any of his cd's are well worth having esp his self produced ones and you can get 'em off the site. His excellent 'Company Is Coming' (and Willie Pooch's killer "Funk n' Blues") made the long, long drive back to Devon a whole lot more fun. Still waiting to hear from the traffic cops though..

This was Artie's first trip to the UK. I hope that it isn't the last and that he enjoyed it. I certainly did. There aren't many guys left who can sing a slow soul blues like he can. Artie also has a number of excellent cd's available via his website at

Finally a personal note of thanks to the Homans and all the crew at ShakeDown Blues for their efforts in bringing these guys over, at a time when hardly anyone else in the UK still bothers. They work damned hard to make these gigs happen and my personal thanks go to the Homans for their friendliness and hospitality. You can contact Shakedown and see what's coming up (and in my case wince at what you missed already) at


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