Had a look down Eaglescliffe at the week-end, for the Friday "Blues At The Bay" to catch Russ in solo blues mode for his first time at this now established weekly event.
Russ, solo, is a different beast to his Electric Band gigs (and they're as different again to his other project), and while they to tend to pander toward pub singer / covers artist, Russ keeps the sets pretty fluid and throws in the odd surprise. First set is a 60 minute acoustic and this evening started off with a nimble bit of scuttlebuttin' before keeping the Southern feel with a great take on Simple Man and rattling through various odds and ends before a surprising cover of the ol' Jaques Brel chestnut, Next before rounding off with Russ' speciality of a Led Zepp cover - this time Bron-y-Aur Stomp; Russ really working the looper.
2nd set, and Russ swaps the acoustic for the Strat and starts gently with Wind Cries Mary before taking the audience of new and old fans on a nostalgic trip with a couple more Hendrix standards, Little Wing & Voodoo Chile and for me, a showcase moment, the instrumental take on Walkin' In Memphis and a take on the standout track off his new album, Tear Down The Sky before closing the set with Purple Haze and curfew limit blazing encore Baby Please Don't Go coupled with Oh Well.
Okay, so a lot of covers, but siting in a small, sweaty pub room, a great opportunity to sit at watch Russ' awesome technique on acoustic and electric and take it from me, his fingers are fluid; and these sets are as much just for a good time as anything else. Russ' next gig will be a more rock orientated set: if you ant to see him in full blues/rock mode, get the Electric Band some gigs round your area, but be quick, a lot of time is being taken up by the Satan project (NWOBHM band) where Russ unleashes the full Fender.
When life gives you lemons; don't make lemonade.
Give back the lemons. Why were the lemons free? What's wrong with the lemons?
Do Not trust the lemons...