Oli Brown

Oli Brown

2010 has sparked a renewed interest in the guitar for me. I have just bought a new Marshall Class 5 Amp (in British Racing Green!), ordered new bits for my Telecaster (Glendale bridge and saddles), and bought some smoking new music too (Joe Bonamassa’s The Ballad of John Henry). This new interest even made me leave my house on a cold, wet Monday in February to go and see a young blues slinger called Oli Brown.

I shuffled on down to Champions in Bournemouth to see 19 year old Oli, in an evening of blues hosted by the Bournemouth Blues Club. Supported by local combo The Reptiles, Oli Brown looked like being an interesting young blues musician, and I listened to his album Open Road on my way to the gig.

What really struck me about Oli Brown, is his fire and passion for his music. He is not just another hot shot guitar player. He is a great vocalist too! I think the mark of a great guitar player is their rhythm chops, not just how many notes they can fit in a bar. Oli really blew me away. His performance and that of his band was first class. Backed by Simon Dring on drums and Roland Bacon on Bass this three piece band rocked the place.

Oli Brown Blackstar amp

I was struck by Oli’s command of his Vanquish guitar. Using a Ernie Ball medium thumb pick he made his Blackstar combo sing. He doesn’t need a truck full of effects either: just an original Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer and a Boss OC3 Octave Pedal.

Oli Brown pedalboard

Oli Brown has just finished recording his new album with legendary producer Mike Vernon, who as well as producing the Blues Breakers album (The Beano Album) has also worked with: David Bowie, Duster Bennett, Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green, Danny Kirwan, John Mayall, Christine McVie and Ten Years After! I can’t wait to hear it!

I urge you to go and see the Oli Brown band. I urge myself to go and see him too in May as part of the “New Blues Generation UK Tour” alongside the equally talented and young, Esquire touting Joanne Shaw Taylor and Virgil and the Accelerators. Watch out, this could be the start of a whole new British Blues Explosion! Bring it on.

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