Party In The Park, Boston 2004

Sat 10th - Sun 11th July 2004 - Central Park, Boston

Firstly we'll take a look back at Boston's 5th Party In The Park and a couple of blues gigs that took place last weekend. Due to time, space and work constraints our reviews will be fairly brief.

After being blessed with glorious sunshine throughout last year's Party On The Park, crowds at this year's event braved occasional heavy showers and the unseasonably cold weather. There was certainly no chance of anyone getting sunburnt this year, the music though was just as enjoyable!

We caught a number of acts during Saturday and Sunday afternoons, beginning with Wreakset, a band whose music encompasses rock, pop with hints of punk. They played a set of original songs which included the catchy 'Alien'. Next up came Evolution who played a wide variety of rock covers. Purple, an eye-catching act attired in shades of purple who played some original songs and some covers featured a special guest saxophonist from Australia. Next up were Boston band Blista who played mainly modern covers including a number by the Kings Of Leon. The Melt were playing just their third gig together following the departure of three members of the band who appeared at last year's festival. The new line up are shifting emphasis away from their blues roots towards a rockier groove, and are working on new songs, some of which featured in their Party set. They closed a strong performance with a fine rendition of the AC/DC number 'Thunderstruck'.

On Sunday we had our second opportunity to see Abi Moore perform live, we first saw her playing a floor spot at Boston Folk Club a couple of years back, at The Party she was accompanied by her band which features talented bass player Sean South, well known on the Lincoln music scene, a female percussionist and Adam ??? on guitar. She played a slightly shortened set of mainly original songs, including 'Hold On' which she performed when we first saw her. Introducing this number, she also credited the young man in the audience who after hearing the song encouraged her to begin a musical career. Ploughmen's Bunch have become festival favourites with their mix of covers, including 'Bad Moon Rising' whose words reflected the impending rain, which fortunately didn't turn into a hurricane or storm! They also play some original songs, one of which told the story of a lost hat. The CS Big Band brought the sounds of swing to the Party, from Glenn Miller and Frank Sinatra to Village People, Santana and Van Morrison, as well as a tribute to Dixieland. Gin House, with great support from 'The Ginettes' in the audience, opened with the Dr Feelgood song 'Back In The Night'. Their uptempo rhythm'n'blues had many at the front dancing. They feature less well known blues songs in their set, as well as the odd rock'n'roll number, and its not hard to see why this act is popular at venues as far afield as Nottingham and Leicester. Two great afternoon's of music, we're sure the Party continued on into the evening's in the same vein.

It wasn't just Boston where live music could be enjoyed though, local blues fans had a great opportunity to enjoy some of their favourite music at The Farm venue in Chapel St Leonards, two evenings running. On Friday Emily Druce and Steve Jones played to a small but enthusiastic audience. Their set featured a number of songs from their latest CD, 'Songs From The Silver Band Room' as well as some even newer material such as 'Take Your Soul Out West', a lovely song with a gospel flavour. The duo also featured some older material, including the old Skip James song 'I'm So Glad'.

The following night there was a double headed bill of blues from Kent DuChaine and King Rollo's Upfoot Blues Band. With three sets from King Rollo and two from DuChaine the audience were treated to over four hours of music. Kent DuChaine performs a mix of original songs and classic old blues numbers from the likes of Robert Johnson, interspersed with entertaining stories of his own blues journey. Renowned for his attacking style of guitar playing, DuChaine's old steel guitar 'Leadbessie' is perhaps the world's hardest worked instrument! King Rollo and his band play laid back blues from Spencer Williams ('Basin Street Blues') to Rufus Thomas ('Walking The Dog'), as well as some self penned material with a similar groove. They closed the evening well into the small hours with an extended medley of blues and rock'n'roll songs that had featured in Rollo's 44 year musical career.