A child of the ‘60s, I originally discovered the Blues listening to the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, Manfred Mann etc. which in turn led me to the likes of Snooks Eaglin, John Lee Hooker and Slim Harpo. Then life got in the way and my musical horizons burgeoned leading to a present day collection that ranges from early baroque music through big band, 60s, 70s, 80s trance, ambient, some rock and much more!
In 2001 I rediscovered the Blues by chance after attending a gig at the invitation of a work colleague of my wife and soon after started Digital Blues, initially being broadcast solely via the internet. 14 years later, there are three hours a week of Digital Blues shows being broadcast on 7 stations around the world as well as being available as podcasts.
Before I retired, I organised festivals, promoted gigs, co-produced two Essex blues compilation CDs, compered at blues festivals, weekends and national Battles of the Bands where I have also been a judge. I am an occasional contributor to Blues Matters! Blues in Britain and Blues & Co (France) as well as running my own website – www.digitalblues.co.uk
I am very much involved in the Blues, particularly in supporting and promoting the artists and the music in any way I can whether it be by taking part in crowd-funding campaigns, playing new, and established, artists on my radio shows, publicising gigs, festivals, events etc. writing about the music, putting artists and venues together and so on.
A member of the Blues Foundation, European Blues Union and France Blues, for some years I have been concerned that there was no national blues body in the UK so I set about creating the UK Blues Federation along with like minded individuals to whom many thanks for supporting and sharing my goals.
You can email Ashwyn at: [email protected]
Liz Aiken - Secretary
I have listened to the Blues and blues inspired music all my life thanks to my Dad and as he was serving in the Army we often went to American bases and heard lots of live music - if only I was aware of who they were.
This early influence shaped the music I listened to as a teenager and young adult so it is not surprising that, following a career of two halves in Engineering then in the voluntary sector, following redundancy I ended up writing and photographing bands and artists that play the music I love.
Initially submitting reviews to Blues Matters! and Blues In Britain this led to establishing an independent music site www.Bluesdoodles.com a place where reviews, interviews and a selection of my photographs can be found; I have been described as the person who dabbles in all things connected with the Blues right through to what is now a trade mark blue fringe.
I have long accepted that blues is a broad spectrum of musical form from acoustic through to Electric Rock/Blues and all things in between and this should unite lovers of live and recorded music not divide. I was delighted to be asked to be involved in the establishment of the UK Blues Federation to make sure British bands have their musical voices heard far and wide.
You can email Liz at: [email protected]
Tony Hyndman - Treasurer
I was honoured to be asked to join the UK Blues Federation board. I look forward to giving back a fraction of the dedication and hard work involved in delivering live blues in the UK that I have relished over many decades.
It is difficult to pin point exactly when I ‘got into the blues’.
I guess it has been a life long journey and a love for live music, which has always been there with me.
Right from junior school I had a passion for music and at that stage performing it. Recorder, Guitar, Trumpet, Trombone, Sax and now blues harp.
What I realised in my thirties is that I preferred to listen rather than play which helped enormously; as I was working far too hard and also trying to be there for my two children as much as possible.
At that time I was travelling over 1000 miles per week and therefore I had plenty of time to listen and learn from the great masters of punk to classic rock to prog and then eventually landing at the blues.
One gloomy Monday evening I came across the Paul Jones show and he played a Parker’s Alibi track. It had not been a great day and this moved me so much I had to pull over to give it 100% of my attention. Imagine my surprise when I contacted the show to discover that Ian lived less than 50 miles from me.
Once the kids discovered I was ‘so uncool’, this gave me the opportunity for ‘me time’, but they still allowed me to fund them through Uni etc, so still had very little money ensuring that I became resourceful in going to gigs, festivals etc.
This is why you may have met me either parking your car as a traffic marshall, driving you to and from your glamping ground as a mini bus driver or simply administering first aid as a steward. I did it all. All for the love of being part of it.
These days the kids are not kids anymore and have their own income thankfully, allowing me to ease off on the festival work and becoming choosier on the gigs and festivals that I actually pay to attend. The vast majority of which are Blues based of course.
You can email Tony at: [email protected]
Alan White - Membership Secretary, Websites Manager, Historian & Archivist
Blues and gospel researcher, freelance photographer, exhibitor and website publisher.
Originator of www.earlyblues.com, probably the Internet's longest (and largest) continuously running blues site dedicated to broadening awareness and understanding of the blues and encouraging and supporting current blues music. Comprises a vast and diverse range of blues material including: the 'UK and European Blues Festival Guide', blues festival photographs and reviews, tours and gigs, artist and band interviews, history of the blues in essays, articles, poetry, art and in-depth research projects, blues clubs, forums, lectures and courses, recommended blues books, magazines CDs, DVDs, and radio stations, blues travelogues, blues news, and blues resting places. A myriad of blues related material!
Also originator of www.earlygospel.com concentrating on the origins and early advocates of gospel music and www.undergroundrailroad.org.uk concentrating on the origins, development and work of the anti-slavery Underground Railroad movement.
Freelance photographer specialising in blues music festivals, tours and gigs across UK and USA. Curator of photographic exhibitions and related talks, many with a blues theme. Producer of blues photobooks.
European Blues Awards Lifetime Contribution Award 2014 winner.
You can email Alan at: [email protected]
My first introduction to the blues was while I was at art college in Stourbridge in the mid 60's listening to John Mayall and the guitar work of the young Eric Clapton. I had time hanging out with Robert Plant and John Bonham and going to gigs with The Band of Joy, as my boyfriend was in the band, this cemented, my interest in electric blues, moving into the realms of progressive rock. I was an active gig goer and had contact with many bands.
On moving to London I was involved in the Students Union social scene at NELP and party to booking and promoting bands for the main college gigs into the mid 70's with my now husband. These included Captain Beefheart, ELP, Airforce, Love, Pink Floyd and many more. From the late 70's, music was put on a back burner because of family commitments and we moved to Lancashire.
My interest was rekindled in blues based music when I became involved with a local blues club in 2007. I was co-opted into the British Blues Archive as a local rep and began to write reviews which were published on Blues in the North West website. I now publish in Blues in Britain monthly magazine and on my Lancashire Blues Archive web page with news, reviews and gig information. My festival reviews also appear on the Early Blues website along with various gig reviews.
Now retired, I am working with new and up and coming blues venues in and around Lancashire and provide help and support for emerging bands and artists who are stretching the boundaries of blues music per se.
I was honoured to be asked to join the board of the UK Blues Federation, helping to keep British Blues at the fore and 'Keeping Live Music Alive'
I grew up in a small Italian town called Modena, a relatively beautiful and welcoming place where people meet, work, raise families and enjoy those comforts which seems to make everybody's life bearable. Like every other kid in town, I loved listening to music and going to concerts, but I was raised believing in dreams and pretty soon I picked up an instrument and started wondering at the world outside my door step. My pragmatism led me to study engineering at University, but a performance by Clarence Gatemouth Brown offered me a glimpse of a different life, certainly much harder that the one I knew, but rich in raw sounds and beautiful, soulful melodies; little I knew that that performance would have change my life. A few years later I was completing my musical education at the Musician's Institute in California with great teachers such as Scott Henderson and Carl Schroeder (Jimmy Reed, J.L.Hooker, Sarah Vaughan). I never looked back, I always kept following my call, moving from country to country in search of a sound while writing, playing and producing music and finally I made London my home.
When in 2011 I met Kathleen Pearson, an Afro American blues singer whose family traditions go back to the cotton fields of rural Tennessee, I saw once again a glimpse of those same roots I was sold many years before by Clarence Brown. Kat asked me to create a new sound, something urban and contemporary which could make the Blues once again relevant in the 21st Century, and this is what my work is all about with Kat&Co being now an internationally recognised act. I since shared stage with great artists such as Joe Louis Walker, Deitra Farr, Lurrie Bell but also Mud Morganfield, Lil Jimmy Reed and our very own Paul Lamb, Chad Strentz and Bob Hall.
It seems like the Blues has always shown me the way and it was an honour to be asked to join the UKBlues Federation board.
“Music is my life, it is not my livelihood” pretty much sums up my passion for music. Growing up in the sixties and seventies, I was exposed to the British blues explosion including Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Alexis Korner, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and many more seminal bands who shaped today’s music. My father constantly played music both at home and in his car and it has always been a road map to my life and memories.
Having spent a career as a quantity surveyor and now as a company director, I am channelling my experience to support the UKBF in its endeavours to support and raise the profile of blues in the UK.
With my company FORM sponsoring the inaugural UK Blues Awards in 2018, I achieved a life’s ambition to get positively involved with the music I love and I hope I have set a path for others to follow.
Having played guitar in a local band and dabbled with playing saxophone, I totally admire those amongst us who are gifted enough to do it for a living.
Being asked to join the board of the UKBF was a great honour and I intend to continue my support of the music and musicians that I love through the Federation for as long as the board can put up with me!
'Emeritus' Board Member:
Peter Harvie - Blues Researcher
I first heard the blues in 1963, when I was 14. There was a documentary on TV and I immediately knew this was my kind of music. Seven years later I was staying at George Melly's house and driving him to his gigs, and met so many blues artists, and this inspired me to play blues saxophone. In 2007 I tried to find out about British Blues but there was very little information, just a few stalwarts. I set up a British Blues web site and Facebook page and overnight I was swamped with British Blues enthusiasts, it turned out there are many people like me wanting to know more. I spent the early days arguing that British Blues is not just the British playing American music but a genre in its own right, now it is accepted that is the case.