Johnnie Bassett & The Blues Insurgents - 31st March 1999

UK debut at the Bishop’s Blues Club

Johnnie arrived in the UK having just been nominated for five WC Handy awards. After a lifetime of music and aged 64 he is finally getting the recognition he deserves. Johnnie has a voice, guitar style and phrasing that is every bit as distinctive and individual as the greats such as BB King. He just never got the breaks at an early enough stage in his career to now be “up there” with his well known peers.

On his first and possibly only UK visit , Johnnie recorded a session for the BBC in Birmingham in the morning and then came down to Bishop’s Stortford. It was the closing stages of a lengthy European tour and he did just two other dates in the UK before returning to the USA.

Johnnie is something of a legend in his native Detroit and thanks to the recognition given to his recordings and supporting live performances he is now reaching a much wider audience in the USA and Europe. Of recent he has been talking of retirement and it is quite possible that he will not be seen again on this side of the Atlantic. The story of his early days is a fascinating one - take a look at

Daddy Mack Blues Band - 1st July 2000

Billed as the “hardest working band in Memphis” Mack Orr (aka Daddy Mack) and his band epitomise the contemporary bar blues of Memphis. There’s nothing more they enjoy doing than entertaining an audience with their Albert King-meets-Little Milton self-penned material (which has included playing for the Rolling Stones at a private party in Memphis).

Never in their wildest dreams might they have expected to play the Millennium Dome! But that’s what happened when they were nominated by the Blues Foundation to represent Blues music as part of the USA Weekend at the Dome. They did two sets in the Dome during the day on Saturday July 1st and then came up to Bishop’s Stortford for their UK club debut at what was billed as an “after show party” . The place was packed to the rafters and party they did, jamming with a number of notable players including the UK’s own Jon T-Bone Taylor and Nashville’s Mark Collie. On bass in place of their regular band member who could not make the trip was Dave Dunn, nephew of the legendary Donald “Duck” Dunn.

Memo Gonzalez & The Bluescasters - 25th Oct. 2000

UK debut at the Bishops Blues Club

Memo comes from that long tradition of big Texan bluesmen - big in every sense of the word, 300lbs of energy and stage presence! - but he is better known in Europe where he spends much of his time touring with his multi-national line up. This is a band that knows how to rock, swing and get down & dirty - a “blues earthquake” as they bill themselves! Nobody goes away disappointed from a Memo gig. Word is getting around and it looks like they will be regular visitors to these shores.

Corrina Greyson with the Matt Schofield Band - Jan. 31st

This combination of some of Britain’s most talented young blues artists really impressed a sell out audience. Corrina’s smoky vocals combined with Matt’s outstanding and mature guitarmanship make for a great show. I don’t think we’ve had so many calls asking when a band is going to return as we did in the days following their appearance at the club.

Other highlights

Joan Baby Band (USA), Connie Lush & Blues Shouter (UK),
Spikedrivers (UK), Geoff Achison (AUS), Ben Andrews (USA),
Bruce Katz Band (USA), Lee Sankey band (UK), Marcus Malone (USA).