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RUSSELL deCARLE TRIO JUMPIN HOT CLUB @ LIVE THEATRE, NEWCASTLE 23/04
SEE FSR TOUR DATES FOR THIS ONCE IN A LIFETIME SHOW THAT IS OPPORTUNITY TO SEE ONE OF THE FINEST TRIOS WALKING THE PLANET!!!! LIVE MUSIC DOESN’T COME MUCH BETTER OR MORE ENTERTAINING THAN THAT FROM RUSSELL AND THE BOYS
Canadian act, lead vocalist, acoustic guitar player Russell deCarle was making his first visit to the UK despite having previously been in successful 1980s country band Prairie Oyster.
However, they say good things are worth waiting for as was the case here. Joined by eloquent lead guitarist Steve Briggs and genial accordion player Denis Keldie, deCarle may have steered the ship across the water but he didn’t forget to bring Canada’s big wide-open skies with him.
deCarle (and the boys) are old school, real players and singers. They do things right, true professionals and at the same time great entertainers, people who cherish the applause and respect of an audience able to tap into their thinking.
Sounding terrific throughout, even on material not usually in my vocabulary (for I don’t usually listen to songs covered by the likes of the Inkspots, Diana Shore or Hank Snow for that matter) crooner deCarle took the audience through western, old country and swing jazz with equal aplomb.
A spot of yodelling when added to his already exemplary vocals exploits placed an icing on the cake, and it wasn’t the only layer such the virtues of the music by them.
As for the playing Keldie was masterful, subtle and cultured and Briggs likewise a man of great taste. Both were given license to display their rare skill to the full and there wasn’t a hair’s breadth between them. Joined at the hip comes to mind.
Such was the playing of sidemen Keldie and Briggs they repeatedly prompted spontaneous applause from the audience, and this wasn’t for showmanship but quality of product!
Adding to it all deCarle kept the evening flow with stories spanning recently deceased country legend Merle Haggard as they performed one of his songs “Everybody’s Had The Blues”. His memory of the ‘Hag’ was one of how him and the band enjoyed each other’s company to the degree Merle would remain for the entire sound check before a show. They weren’t just his band they were his friends too.
To go with those inspired by the plains of Saskatchewan he did one from homegrown hero, Hank Snow to go with a couple of wonderful songs from Jimmie Rodgers in “Blue Yodel No.9” and the one he encored with “Hobo’s Meditation” (as covered by Snow and another Trio; one made up of Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt) some 100 or so minutes after them first setting foot on stage!
It was one of those evening when you would have gladly walked a few miles to, and through driving wind and snow too! Just to hear him perform Chris Wall’s “I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight” or a Tex-Mex styled version of Marty Robbins’ “Ruby Ann”. I could go on, because there were a bunch more songs near every bit as good; and arguably to some better. And, yes there was a timely mention of and cover of a song from Canadian legend, the late Willie P. Bennett (Gail Davies etc).
You don’t come across accomplished performers like the Russell deCarle Trio every day; a feeling shared by the act that supported them Gateshead own little ensemble Shipcote and Friends. A unique five-piece able to bring to life simple everyday themes like few others.
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