The award-winning Blueswater Presents: Blues! show is now in its sixth consecutive year at the Fringe. The twelve piece band play a great selection of songs representative of the history of the blues, interspersed with anecdotes and curiosities about the protagonists who made the history of the genre.
The show starts with an acoustic solo version of Nobody’s Fault But Mine, originally performed by Blind Willie Johnson, but made famous by Led Zeppelin. It is in the sound of an acoustic guitar and a voice singing tales about life in the Southern United States that the history of the blues begins, derived from a style that was born in West Africa and mixed with Western music. Louis Jordan was one of its first stars and Caldonia is played by the band, made up of the singer, the pianist and the brass and rhythm section.
The guitar players join in with the following songs, introducing the electricity that came into the genre and developed into the Chicago blues style that had among its proponents Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Howlin’ Wolf, whose 44 Blues is played by the entire twelve piece band.
The show continues with BB King’s Sweet Little Angel, preceded by a guitar sample in his characteristic style. The rock ‘n’ roll comes in and accelerates the beat in Little Richard’s Tutti Frutti, and Elvis Presley’s Too Much represents the connection between blues, country and gospel.
British Blues, and especially the role played by its extraordinary guitar players, is another important part in this journey. The chosen song for this period is I Wish You Would by The Yardbirds, a band that had, among its guitar players, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck.
The show also touches on the female influence on the blues, with a great interpretation of a Bonnie Raitt blues song, and continues onto a fantastic grand finale, with John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom, where the sound of the whole twelve piece band fires up the atmosphere.