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Linton Music Festival: 19th - 21st June 2009
Alma Inn, Linton, Ross-on-Wye. Herefordshire. HR9 7RY

Friday 19th June The Smokin' Hogs 
A Linton Friday night special kicks of with the Smokin’ Hogs, a punchy rockin' 3 piece band from East Anglia. Think Peter Green meets ZZ Top and don’t be late !.
  Dr Feelgood
(Part 1 - double headline)
The legendary Essex rockers return to Linton by popular demand!. Deservedly one of the the most popular live Rhythm and Blues acts in the world.
  Nine Below Zero
(Part 2 - double headline)
Also back by popular demand, Nine Below Zero have been one of Britain’s premier R&B bands for over 20 years. Their high-energy show features the power-house vocals and guitar of Dennis Greaves and Mark Feltham on harmonica..
Saturday 20th June The Dirty Robbers 
Front man Oliver Darling leads these four scallywags on a trip through classic R&B and honky-tonk blues from the 50’s and 60’s that will get your toes tapping, hips swinging and your body jiving until you can’t boogie any more!  One not to miss.
  Vulnerable Things
If you like your Blues low, down and dirty, a la Black Keys and The White Stripes then look no further than Vulnerable Things. With a sound that is all their own they have built an enviable reputation for themselves on the London music scene.
  Key Frances Band (USA)
1/3 Bo Diddley, 1/3 Jim Fogarty, 1/3 Hendrix – and described as “music’s best kept secret ever”.  At the 2008 Peer Rhythm & Blues festival his psychedelic blues ripping on the electric guitar took the breath away. Prepare to be stunned - the music will take you to places you didn't even know existed.
See below!
  The Juke Joints (NL)
Continuing our plundering of the best of the Dutch rhythm and blues scene (Phil Bee 2007, Big Blind 2008), Holland’s best-known blues rockers, The Juke Joints roll up at Linton. Known as the masters of rock rollin’ blues, The Juke Joints have blazed a trail across festivals in Europe and the USA for over 25 years.
  Connie Lush and Blues Shouter Described as having "a voice like a 3am whisky and enough electricity to power the National Grid", Connie Lush is widely recognised as one of the finest Blues singers that the United Kingdom has ever produced.
  Mike Sanchez and his Big Band Singer, guitarist, pianist, and surely the meanest “rocking and reeling alley cat” ever to emerge from deepest Worcestershire, Mike Sanchez is our Saturday headline. Renowned as one of the most exciting and charismatic performers of Rhythm & Blues and Rock ’n’ Roll, his music must surely be the biggest, meanest beat in town.
Sunday 21st June Matthew Lee (Italy) Born in Pesaro, Italy, Matthew Lee is an extraordinary rock’n’roll singer and pianist in the mould of Jerry Lee Lewis. He is one of the most complete and charismatic artists around today, despite his tender years, capturing his audience's attention with his stage presence.
See below!
  Otis Grand
The gentle giant of the blues, Otis Grand has been setting the standard for the past four decades and leads one of the hottest true blues and R & B bands around today. Having pioneered the big band blues sound over the last few years, his guitar led big city style blues has been recognised with numerous awards.
  Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams (USA) Playing an utterly unique blend of rock & roll, folk, and quirky Americana, Gandalf Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams have been called "the hillbilly Pink Floyd”. Spotted at the 2008 Rhythm Festival where they stole the show, we promise you something special !    See below!
  Magic of Motown Show (USA) It’s 50 years since Berry Gordy founded the Tamla Motown record label and Linton joins in the anniversary celebrations with the spectacular ‘Magic of Motown’ show. This lavish production honours the legends and revives the multi-million-selling hits that made Tamla world famous and brought the world dancing to its feet. Party time in HR9 !.
STOP PRESS: Real Ale Line-up

Following months of deliberation the smoke from the Alma Inn chimney finally turned from black to white this weekend and Graham emerged from his isolation with the official announcement of this years festival beer list!  Pleased to say that he appears to have excelled himself again with no fewer than 29 real ales lined up for the festival weekend (and he is even promising not to run out this year).

Matthew Lee

Its rare indeed for us Linton folks to book a band or artist without first seeing them play live, but so high was the recommendation from one of our most trusted contacts for Italian (yes Italy !) pianist Matthew Lee, it left us with little option.  Unfortunately, by the time we became aware of this Italian virtuoso we only had the first slot on Sunday left; don’t be fooled by the billing, this guy is headline material.

Despite his tender years and the fact that 2008 was his first European tour, Matthew Lee has hit the European festival circuit like an express train, gaining plaudits (and return requests) everywhere he has played. He has already developed a reputation as one of the most complete and charismatic artists on the scene today, combining brilliant showmanship, a ferocious, boogie-style instrumental style with rowdy, uninhibited vocals.

Having seen his promo DVD we can tell you that his style is moulded in the Jerry Lee Lewis wild man image, kicking his piano bench out of the way to play standing, raking his hands up and down the keyboard for dramatic accent, and even standing on top of the instrument and playing with his feet.  But more than that his music is pure rock ‘n roll and embodies its most reckless and high-spirited impulses - although we don’t believe he has a 13 year old wife ;-)

And it just gets better - this is not a one man show as Lee fronts an amazingly strong band. With guitarist Frank Carrera (savour him playing slide on Ol’ Whisky Blues on the myspace link below) and bass player JJ Latini leading the charge, together they knock out the old rock and roll standards with a passion that is as good as or better than anything around today.

If you love the rock’n’roll and rockabilly world and that hair raising, spine tingling sound of the piano-pounding rockers from the late Fifties, then Matthew Lee is going to going to be a sensation – don’t be late, there’s gonna be a whole lotta shakin’ going on.

Anyway if you want to check him out yourself:


PS. for all the ladies out there my missus also says he’s real hot stuff !

Linton Festival Team

Key Francis Band (USA)

The Linton ‘away team’ caught  the “Key Frances Band” live at the Belgium Rhythm & Blues festival last year. With impressive speed the distinctive rocking sound, incessant funky swing and fiery driving guitar pulled in a huge audience with magnetic force, then turned them into a contagious, foot tapping, head bobbing  mass (check out the videos of some of the actual BRBF set on youtube for a real treat – link below).

Defying labels, but demanding the attention of even the casual listeners in the crowd, the expressive vocal interpretations and guitar led psychedelic intensity of the music rocked simply took the breathe away.  

This guy has presence, tone, psychedelic blues, passion & raw gut emotion. He eats, breathes & feels blood curdling licks, and, taking no prisoners along the way, plays his guitar like a certified psychedelic shaman.

We liked him!




Tip: turn the volume up

(Stop Press: please be aware that Youtube and the PRS are currently having a little spat. These links are working now but may disappear at any point until the dispute is settled)

Linton Festival Team

Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams (USA)

OK, so a few of you out there were lucky enough to be at the 2008 Rhythm Festival with the Linton away team and know what to expect; but we know that the majority of you out there are living in inexcusable ignorance of what for us was THE band of 2008. 

At the Rhythm Festival we saw the name, and like  everyone else thought we were probably going to get something along the lines of a fill in  traditional Romanian gypsy taraf belting out strange tunes on a cobza, violin and panflute, whilst wailing in some unintelligible foreign language (it happened in 2007 !). 

 Instead we got something special - a riveting, mesmerizing, crazy, amazing machine of music.  How good were they ? Ever seen 2000 people get up at the end of a set to buy the CD simultaneously ?  We have ! 

Imagine a band that has mixed 25 years of rock and roll with a dash of folk and a pinch of Americana in an enormous caldron over a blazing fire.  Stir it around, then blend in generous slug of creativity and season with a huge dose of talent. The result takes shape in one of the best American bands on the road today - and the music rocks !   

Gandalf Murphy and the SCOD are at once completely original and entirely familiar, citing influences as diverse as Hank Williams, Dylan, Bowie, Incredible String Band and early Pink Floyd, they describe their music as "punk-classical-hillbilly-Floyd" -  a mental rollercoaster of whimsical, thought-provoking songs. 

Believe us poor Linton folk - this band is a knockout; and they are as fascinating to watch as they are to hear. Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams kick some mean hillbilly butt.

Youtube links for your enjoyment below - but a must see live experience. 



Linton Festival Team

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