& harmonica star
Martin McNeill and West Weston...two seasoned musicians who really know their blues, making a tight, exciting partnership.
Martin McNeill is a highly-rated slide guitarist and singer, drawing on Delta and Chicago blues styles and throwing in cool, jazzy touches. For several years he played with some of the UK's top blues names at his weekly Monday Blues sessions at Peggy Sue's bar in Leigh-on-Sea and continues to gig regularly in solo, duo and full band format.
Steve West Weston is one of the UK and Europe's top harmonica players; many would say he's No 1. He works on stage and in the studio with artists including Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey, Mud Morganfield, Mike Vernon, Junior Watson and Trickbag. He fronts West Weston's Bluesonics, and plays with Martin's Bottleneck Blues.
Martin and Steve have worked together for many years and can be relied on to deliver a raw, intense gig, spontaneously playing off each other as they romp through old-school blues classics.
07967 339 809
MARTIN McNEILL'S BOTTLENECK BLUES
The goodtime blues band that has become a fixture at Essex's top live music pub, the Railway in Southend, where they currently play on the first Sunday of the month (4.30pm start).
Bottleneck Blues gig in trio, four or five-piece format. The Bottlenecks have played Rye Jazz Festival twice, are favourites at Annie's Jazz in Thorpe Bay and play various pubs and clubs.
Martin plays slide guitar and sings. The band features Roy Webber on drums and JJ Zarbo on bass. They are often joined by international blues star Steve West Weston on harmonica and/or Tim Huskisson on piano plus occasional guests including Grahame Turner (sax) and Laurie Garman (harmonica).
07967 339 809
MARTIN McNEILL SOLO
Martin McNeill delivers an intense and intimate performance, in a wide range of blues styles, from slide-driven Delta blues to soulful ballads.
Martin is in his element as a solo player and gets much of his work in this format. As well as pubs and clubs, blues, jazz and folk festival bookings include Dartmouth, Rye, Dereham and Broadstairs.
Expect echoes of John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Fred McDowell and songs from the likes of Ray Charles, Robert Johnson and Keb Mo. Martin's solo CD, Lately I've Let Things Slide, was acclaimed at "British blues at its best" and his latest CD, Cat Squirrel, also won rave reviews and got to No 2 in the blues broadcasters' chart.
07967 339 80
MARTIN McNEILL & pianist TIM HUSKISSON
Tim Huskisson is a highly-rated and versative pianist who has been playing with Martin in different formats for around 15 years. He works with numerous jazz bands as well as leading his own groups.
If you want a really full, mellow sound from just a duo, Martin and Tim fit the bill. They play a wide repertoire from old-style blues through to soulful standards, with some swing and cool jazz along the way.
MARTIN McNEILL & guitarist RAMON GOOSE
Ramon Goose is a remarkable guitarist, playing many styles of blues and world music. He leads several of his own bands but he and Martin get together for very occasional gigs and show great empathy for each other's playing.
MARTIN McNEILL & bassman JJ ZARBO
Blues guitar and double bass -- a classic pairing. As well as accompanying Martin, JJ adds great vocals.
Ruby Florence sings a mix of vintage jazz, blues, gospel, rock'n'roll and rhythm'n'blues.
She performs with Martin on guitar and they are sometimes joined by Fabian Bonner on bass to form the Ruby Florence Trio (or the Ruby Florence Band with the addition of drums).
Ruby Florence gigs always feature some bottleneck blues from Martin, so you get two acts in one.
07967 339 809