Mike Hoddinott Blues All Stars
Date(s) - 14 Apr 2019
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
The Eldon House
After over a decade of touring the UK , Europe and USA with the likes of Eddie Martin , Innes Sibun and American artists such as Johnny Adams , Larry Garner and Many others, Mike Hoddinott decided to use some of the great players he had worked with over the years and form his own band. Mike had worked as drummer for Pete Gage before Dr Feelgood required the singer’s outstanding abilities as a great vocalist and front man. Pete was first call as soon as he was available after leaving the Feel good band. Paul Hartshorn had worked alongside Pete in a few bands, notably The Pink Torpedoes and has been a stalwart sideman to many touring acts and recording artists. He is regularly cited as one of the best guitarists in the country by other guitarists who are mesmerised by his expertise as a slide player. Tony Caddle was the original bassist with the Allstars . As a rhythm section, Mike and Tony were in great demand after leaving The Innes Sibun Blues Explosion in 1993. Hired by many musicians to record or tour, namely Alamo Leal, Sherman Robertson, Jay Owens and many others. Tony left the UK to live in Norway with his partner and children, occasionally popping up on tours back here. Finding a replacement for Tony Caddle was to be an easy choice. Richie Blake had worked alongside Mike in the Eddie Martin band and was proving himself, although still a youngster, to be an amazing technician on the bass guitar. His feel for the blues and jazz / rock influences were just what Mike needed to give the band a varied direction musically. After playing and directing the John Fenlon Band for many years, Richie is now touring often with visiting acts to the UK , establishing himself as first call session man for many top players including Cliff Moore , brother of the late Gary Moore. Many keyboard players have sat in with the Allstars. Players such as Paddy Milner and John Baggot, but a Hammond organ sound was needed to achieve the sound Mike was looking for. Roger Sansom had sat in with Eddie Martin a few times and seemed the ideal candidate for the job. Roger had toured Europe and the UK with many visiting musicians as keyboardist and musical director. The sound of the Hammond enables the band to explore many styles of music within the Blues genre and Roger is able to push the band to exiting highs and very subtle lows. This line up has played Festivals in Europe and the UK over the last 12 years Recorded two live albums and has a reputation for its blues / jazz fusion crossovers. All the songs performed are covers of well known and more obscure pieces arranged by Mike with lots of help from the band. The Mike Hoddinott Blues Allstars are into their 13th year of performing regularly with this line up and are still as exciting and dynamic as when it all started back in 1999,
A recent line up change has see Pete Gage take time away to concentrate on his own band. His replacement has been the phenomenal vocalist Eric Okafo . An enigmatic bass player and singer in The Soul Strutters . A very popular addition to the Allstars , his vocal style has steered the band towards a more soulful side of the blues .