Music at its best
Reviewed at the Wheatsheaf Hotel on 16 February 2019
Presented by Cal Williams Jnr
Internationally renowned Guitar master Cal Williams Jnr is one of the darlings of the Australian blues scene.
For this year’s Fringe he is reviving his History of Early Blues show at the gorgeous Tin Shed: a perfect venue for dirty Delta blues.
Joining Williams this year is Kory Horwood on bass and Lightnin’ Will Kallinderis on blues harp.
This gig does what it says on the can: the boys play a selection of numbers from the early blues masters, with the occasional interesting story thrown in. The format is pacey yet relaxed.
Opening with Blind Willie Johnson’s Lord, I Just Can’t Keep From Crying, the effortless musicianship of this trio was in evidence from the get-go. The set moved on through such numbers as Charley Patton’s 34 Blues, J. B. Lenoir’s Down in Mississippi, and Furry Lewis’s Turn Your Money Green. The main part of the evening finished with a big sing-along to Lead Belly’s Midnight Special. The guys shared the vocals, although Williams did the bulk. Kallinderis got the crowd singing along, with his quietly spoken, yet high-intensity, enthusiasm.
Saturday night’s audience lapped this show up, and with good reason. Here are three world-class musicians, all with strong stage presence, delivering a tight, but free-flowing night of some of the most seminal music of our time. This is not just a gig for the blues-lovers: here be the foundations of contemporary rock. This is the music that inspired Led Zeppelin, Cream, The Rolling Stones and The Who. And what self-respecting pub covers band doesn’t do Midnight Special?
This is music at its best, in one of the cosiest and most atmospheric venues in Adelaide. These three guys are the real deal, and this show is an all-round gem.
Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Venue: The Tin Shed at the Wheatsheaf Hotel
Season: February 17th & 24th
Duration: 90 minutes