May 15 to 21 – Hoedown Band at Salisbury Live…

I don’t usually rehearse on weekend’s but as neither of my regular bass players were available for next week’s gig at the Salisbury International Arts Festival (Salisbury Live 2011). I’ve asked an old friend and former regular enQ / MoonDance bass player Brian Jenking to sit in on bass. As fiddler Sian Phillips was busy with Acoustic Festival of Great Britain in Uttoxeter, we were doing the gig as a four piece and so needed to run through the arrangements with the smaller ensemble. Brian can only make it on Sunday so we get together to make some music.

The Salisbury Live series of events are essentially a musical ‘fringe’ for the main Arts Festival and is organised by a local promoter who contacted me via the Hoedown Band website. As it was a public gig we could do a different mix of songs with more original material. I find that my song writing tends to reflect the type of bands I gig with and recently I’ve been producing mainly country rock influenced songs two of which were included in the set list for Saturday.

On Saturday I head down in the van with Mike in plenty of time. After we have a fantastic run we end up at the venue with about 2 hours to spare. The weather is ‘clear and it is fine’ to quote my version of Honk Tonk Women (from Gram Parson’s version) though a bit on the chilly side. So after a quick word with the venue management we wonder down to the centre of Salisbury for a bite to eat before the gig. On the way Mike is totally amazed by the range of shops and we don’t make the distance without picking up some vintage vinyl – Alan Price in my case and a classic Genesis LP for Mike. We still have change for a tenner after the purchases.

We stop at a hostelry by the river and have a drink and a hot meal. While we’re munching away Dawn (the singer) and her husband Adrian turn up – they’ve taken a few days off before the gig to stay locally and explore the area. When it’s time to go back I show Dawn the second-hand shop we found and she vows to indulge in some retail therapy the next day.

Brian’s already there when we get back to the venue and we set up the stage in time for our kick off at 8:30pm. The audience is a bit sparse so we wait about ten minutes before we start-up. The audience was getting into it and during the break a photographer from the local paper came down for some shots of the band. On the whole it was a pretty successful gig musically with a good response to the original songs. The following week the promoted emailed and thanked us and said “the guy from the local paper said you were very good”. I drive back after a fairly leisurely load out and get to bed around 3 am.

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About Brian Heywood

Brian Heywood is a free range musician who specialises in edgy roots fusion music. Previous work has received comments such as "... aggressive, top notch fiddling set off by periodic guitar explosions." - Tom Nelligan, Dirty Linen Magazine (USA), "Just when it seemed as if newer electric British roots bands were getting thinner on the ground - Very welcome and very good." - fROOTS Magazine (UK) and Steve Barnes Fairbridge Festival Artistic Director (Australia) - "... a rocking band - I was delighted with the audience response." Brian's orginal material draws on many sources from progressive, latin and blues rock of the 70's to celtic and traditional material.
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