Gig review: Paul Jones & Dave Kelly

Paul Jones and Dave Kelly wear their credentials lightly, but their status is well deserved. The duo brought their interpretation of the blues to promoter David Mundell’s Kinross stage…


Promoter David Mundell, formerly of the Bein Inn in Glenfarg, has a good thing going with his semi-regular gigs out in the country at the Green Hotel in Kinross, where he has a dedicated concert space through the back decked out in decades of rock memorabilia.

The display reflects his own personal taste in music bookings, with classic rock and blues being high on the agenda, and very little from the mid-80s onwards. Yet he chooses and puts on his shows with an enthusiast’s attention to detail.

Here he had turned to duo and sometime Blues Band members Paul Jones and Dave Kelly to draw a healthy crowd, and they delivered a set of more than two hours which shone with authenticity.

It was also a lot more textured than might be expected from just two guys on stage, with the combination of Kelly’s dextrous guitar playing and former Manfred Mann member and current Radio 2 presenter Jones’ wailing harmonica combining in richly pleasing style.

Their credentials were lightly worn, although they couldn’t help drop in the odd sly reference, for example how Ry Cooder taught Kelly How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live? and Jones Jesus On the Mainline – both highlights – or how Jones played with Percy Sledge.

They belong in such company. Jones’s accent and inflection was breathtaking on Big Bill Broonzy’s Key to the Highway, Kelly’s slide guitar shone on Muddy Waters’ I Can’t Be Satisfied, and songs by Robert Johnson (Dust My Broom), Nat Adderley (Work Song) and Jimmy Reed (Bright Lights, Big City) were played with a winning combination of reverential affection and real excitement for the material.

By David Pollock

Originally published in The Scotsman

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