It was a case of something old, something new, something borrowed and something bluegrass when sixties pop legend Joe Brown ended his current tour at Newport Riverfront on Friday evening.
Joe accompanied by his Bruvvers, Phil Capaldi, Neil R Gauntlett, and Dave ‘Rico’ Nilo began the show with the a capella Gospel song “Rock My Soul”. Then to everyone’s surprise, Joe’s son Pete, himself a successful performer and producer walked onto the stage to join the band.
Joe and the Bruvvers displayed a wide range of musical styles including folk; country, skiffle and rock n roll paying tribute to friends Lonnie Donegan, and George Harrison along the way. It was also interesting to hear new twists on Buddy Holly’s Well Alright which had a distinctive Bluegrass feel and a blues version of the medieval song She Moves through the Fair.
There were also tracks performed from his new album Down To Earth and of course a few diversions into Joe’s own pop past with rocking performances of I’m Henry The Eighth I Am, Sea Of Heartbreak, Picture Of You and Darktown Strutters Ball.
After closing on a rousing version of Forty Days, Joe returned for an encore of his unique ukulele version of See You In My Dreams a song he said would send us home with some love in our hearts. Hearing the comments of people as they left the Riverfront and for me personally – I’d say the magic definitely worked!
- A version of this review appeared in The South Wales Argus during May 2007