1 (edited by BansheeUK 2018-09-18 09:45:37)

Topic: R.H.R. aka Space Blues Extravaganza

What do you get if you put Jack J Hutchinson, Mike Ross and Troy Redfern together in a band? The Space Blues Extravaganza; possibly the UK's response to Supersonic Blues Machine? Okay, that's maybe overselling, but then, Jack and Troy did [for me] put out the two best albums of 2017, add that to the unknown factor of Mike Ross, and who knows.

Explaining his hopes for the Space Blues Extravaganza, Jack adds: “I’ve always been a fan of multi guitar bands, whether that be the Allman Brothers, Black Crowes or Blackberry Smoke. Combining the three of us all on one stage will hopefully produce some magical results. It’s also an opportunity to write material with two of my favourite musicians. It’s gonna be interesting!”

Confirmed dates so far:-
13 October – Underground Theatre, Eastbourne ***
19 October – Muddy’s Live Music Bar, Weston Super-Mare **
20 October – Mid Wales Blues Club, Brecon ***
21 October – Eldon House, Bristol **
23 October – Tuesday Night Music Club, Coulsdon ***
25 October- Oxford Haven Club ***
26 October – Honey Bee Club, Sheffield **
27 October – Elland Rooms, Halifax ***
28 October – Big House Blues Bar, Darwen **

** - Hutchinson/Ross Theory
*** - Space Blues Extravaganza

All those who believe in psychokenesis raise my hand........

2 (edited by BansheeUK 2018-10-11 03:33:57)

Re: R.H.R. aka Space Blues Extravaganza

6th October - Hartlepool Supporters

Don’t know what it is about Tommy and Hartlepool; a few years ago (different venue but same town), they were the first in the UK to book Ryan McGarvey and the rest, as they say, ....... This Saturday, I got the same sort of feeling once RHR took to the stage for their first, proper gig as a band; this could be the start of something big, very big. Each of the three fronts have great bands in their own rights and any of these band could have loosened the foundations of the Supporter’s Club, but such was the chemistry between them, the shook the whole town, if not half the county.

I suppose, when you look at it on paper, Troy Redfern and Jack Hutchinson [for me] booked ended 2017 with the year’s best Blues/Rock albums; too close to call it between them, and Mike Ross crashed back onto the scene slightly earlier with the magnificent Spindrift album and this year’s Jenny’s Place - (more to be said later). So the potential was always there, at least for a damn good jam; however, as a working project it would either be spectacularly brilliant or spectacularly disastrous. It was absolutely brilliant, at least the equal of the first incarnation of Royal Southern Brotherhood, but without the after-taste of Grits. I doubt that the project set out with that sort of purpose, to do a RSB or Supersonic Blues Machine, or just to have a bloody good time, but Boy, they were cooking.

The set was the entire Mahogany Drift album, plus one each from solo, and a roarlin’ rollickin’ Frank Zappa closer. So first up was Mike Ross with She Painted The Moon, Mike & jack setting up a rolling riff which Troy sliced through with searing slide, then Jack stepped forward with Rapture, lead being swapped between him & Mike, while again, Troy treaded through with slide. For his lead, Judgement Day, Troy set out the rhythm on his old National Steel while Mike & Jack took turns on the lead. That was pretty much the pattern for the show, no one main lead and no one style dominated. Being objective looking back, the openers were a little hesitant until after the “fun piece” instrumental Mahogany Drift (done as one, slight variation from the album where it’s two pieces), where Mike sets up the riff, passes it on to Jack who puts his spin on it before handing over to Troy who does the same before passing it back down to Mike before they have a free-for-all with it. The next three numbers, Ross’s Ghost Hound Rider, Refdfern’s Satisfied and Hutchinson’s Solemn Song really just saw the band take off, the interplay between them was just so smooth, the only pauses being for the changes of guitar (nearly as many between them as a Bonamassa gig), at one point the stage was three Les Pauls abreast, each soaring: Strats, Telecaster, SGs, Slivertone - just guitar heaven with the heap of vintage amps behind. Holler, an electric Leviathan (slight change to the acoustic album version) and driving Miles Away closed the main set before each did a short number from their “day job” bands. If that wasn’t enough, Hartlepool took off when they announced final/encore song, from Zappa’s Hot Rats album - Willie The Pimp.

Solemn Song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WRjBAlqcWU

Some bands, like the Allmans or Skynyrd went for multiple guitars by design, but for three, respected solo players to meet up and find that they have such a complimentary combined effect has to be rare, very rare and yet like RSB, it’s happened again, but this time in the UK. I just have this feeling that I’ve been one of the 120 or so, not the 5000 who'll claim later to have been lucky enough to be in at the start of something I feel is going to roll and be big; take a punt at the following, and see if I’m right:-

20th Oct - Mid Wales Blues Club
23rd Oct - Tuesday Night Music Club; Surrey
25th Oct - Oxford Haven Club
27th Oct - Meeting Room; Elland

All those who believe in psychokenesis raise my hand........

Re: R.H.R. aka Space Blues Extravaganza

I said earlier that I’ll deal with the album - Mahogany Drift as a separate entity…... Though for the sake of “spoilers” maybe I should just say - it’s good, very good.

You’ve got three leads, each different in their approach and style and each what looks like contributing three songs. How far they collaborate as a group in writing these numbers I’m not sure; the only actual co-write is the two part instrumental Mahogany and Drift which makes up the album title.

So the 1st block, Ross’s She Painted The Moon, Hutchinson’s Rapture and Redfern’s Judgement Day are a solid opening salvo where each seem to set out their own particular table. Instrumental break is followed by the 2nd block which really ups the game; Ross’s Stonesy Ghost Hound Rider, Redfern’s snarling Satisfied and Hutchinson’s pastoral Zeppelin-esque Solemn Song delight the ears before instrumental break part 2 where the opening riff line has been well and truly pretzeled between the three. Part three opens with a big riff that calms to a more country flavoured semi-acoustic from Huthcinson, Holler; that’s followed by Ross’s rootsy slide driven Leviathan before a storming take from Redfern, Miles Away (which, while it’s a great charging closer, why they didn’t put the acoustic driven Judgement Day here..too obvious maybe.).

As a showcase of what each of these guys is capable of, this is a top album, quite probably my favourite of the year and it leads into the obvious; what will they come up when sat round properly co-writing…..

All those who believe in psychokenesis raise my hand........

4 (edited by BansheeUK 2020-03-10 06:54:23)

Re: R.H.R. aka Space Blues Extravaganza

Redfern Hutchinson Ross - Hotel Toledo (2019)
There was much chatter on Faceache at the tail end of last year concerning this release yet following Jack J’s burst of interest, the release seemed to get little “push”. Finally managed to grab a copy via Mr Redfern.
Well, it’s a strange sort of album; for starters, it’s instrumental, only broken by studio comments in the tracks. Now when I say “instrumental album”, don’t go thinking it’s like a Satriani effort, it’s very much more open-ended; so open ended the lead track is about 20 minutes and kind of reminiscent of tracks like Deep Purple’s Mandrake Root except it’s more a Space “shuffle” than a boogie. While the musicianship is unqestionable, there’s only about 2 tracks i would say would work into good songs, the rest seem more improvised. other than “live” Hawkwind when someone would accidentally stumble on an E chord and then everyone else would follow for about 10 minutes until they either got bored or else someone played it again but with reverb, the last album I heard anything like this was The Church - B*****d Universe. As much as I love these guys in their “day jobs”,  i’d have to put this down as “fans only”.

All those who believe in psychokenesis raise my hand........