A Night of Blues and Boogie

 Zoe Schwarz and Rob Koral on stage with Blue Commotion at Lighthouse, Poole. Picture: Hattie Miles

A Night of Blues and Boogie: The Sherling Studio, Lighthouse, Poole. (Saturday 1st june, 2019)

Wow! From the opening number - a sensational version of Junco Partner - it was clear that this was going to be a very special concert.

Blues and boogie piano maestro Paddy Milner put his heart, soul and flying fingers into the Dr John favourite and it set the bar at a dizzying height but Milner just got better and better.

So too did the other acts - long-time favourite duo Harry Skinner and Dave Saunders and of course bill-toppers Zoe Schwarz and Blue Commotion.

This blues and boogie evening was staged as a celebration of home-grown Dorset talent and it was truly impressive. The concert  had been put together by vocalist Schwarz and her guitarist husband Rob Koral in association with promoter and music writer Pete Feenstra. The quality of both the musicianship and the material played was stunning – a testament to the blues roots of what has been called the Piddle Delta

Milner was born and brought up in Dorset but these days hangs out in New Orleans, tours with Tom Jones and can be heard playing in the new Elton John biopic. Oh and he also plays in his own band Jawbone. His opening set offered a raft of New Orleans jazz, blues and boogie influenced numbers with some quite remarkable original material thrown in too.

Next up were Skinner and Saunders - fixtures of the local Bournemouth and Poole area music scene for many years and graduates of bands like The Rolling Drunks and The Producers. Plus, according to Skinner, The Screaming Toilet Fish From Mars.

Suffice to say these days they are exemplary bluesmen and delivering some beautifully styled classics like Walking Blues and Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out.

The evening closed with Schwarz and her band taking to the stage and delivering some truly magic moments. It proved yet again what a phenomenal singer she is and how well her vocals work with Koral’s compelling arrangements, complex guitar work and the stunning musicianship of the entire band which also featured Pete Whittaker on the Hammond organ and Andy Chapman on drums.

Blue Commotion offers a striking contemporary slant t0 the blues. Performing mainly self-penned numbers, they explore the emotional nuance of their material and excel at instrumental interplay.

The evening closed with Paddy Milner and Harry Skinner back on stage with Zoe, Rob, Pete and Andy for an encore with Thank You. What an appropriate way to end the show.

Jeremy Miles





© Jeremy Miles 2022