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'The scariest song I ever heard' bluesman sings Psycho... brilliant!

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Ian Siegal at Arlington Arts, Snelsmore, on Wednesday, November 10. Review by BRIAN HARRINGTON

Maybe it was because this was a Wednesday night, but it was such a shame this show was so sparsely attended.

Ian Siegal hails from the Portsmouth area, dropped out of art college in the 1980s to go busking in Germany and he has since carved out a career for himself tirelessly touring his own brand of Americana, which blends strong blues influences with gospel influences and some very fine guitar work to create something unique.

Ian Siegal at Arlington arts, picture Brian Harrington
Ian Siegal at Arlington arts, picture Brian Harrington

This solo, acoustic, tour is a prequel for his yet to be released album which is due out next Spring. The album was recorded in California and is currently in the process of being mixed.

Ian's easy manner with the audience and endless witty banter provided both humour and insight in to his influences and his songwriting process.

He opened with a great number from the new album with an opening line of "I'm gonna walk with my brother hand in hand" a track celebrating solidarity. He featured "a medley of my hit" a song called I am the Train taken from his 2012 album Candy Store Kid alongside some great cover versions.

Ian Siegal at Arlington Arts, picture Brian Harrington
Ian Siegal at Arlington Arts, picture Brian Harrington

Described as the "scariest" song he has ever heard, his version of Psycho, an Eddie Noack song, was brilliant, as indeed was his rendition of Charlie Patton's Pony Blues.

KK's Blues was a poignant tale of suicide, while Fishing Blues was a more uplifting tale about Ian's favourite pastime.

Preacher Blues, a Son House song, was an irreverent poke at religion and I loved Revelator another comment on religion and Onwards and Upwards a song Ian wrote for the charity Help For Heroes, particularly apposite on the eve of Remembrance day. The set ended with a stunning version of Honkey Tonk Women as a tribute to the late Charlie Watts, before a two song encore of I'll Fly Away and Take It To The Limit - Ian commenting that he is no Eagles fan, but loved the Etta James' version.

The small but enthusiastic audience loved it. Great stuff.

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