THE BLUES are back in town on February 15, as the annual Valentine’s Weekend Rhythm & Blues Hop returns to Portrush Town Hall – with the Ronnie Greer Almost Big Band in concert.
And also returning as special guest for this year is Ireland’s queen of the blues herself, Grainne Duffy – who made last year’s show so memorable.
The show has been supported by Coleraine Borough Arts Committee, and gets underway at 8pm. The town hall will be seated in cabaret style and seating is limited to 120. Tickets are £12 and are on sale from Flowerfield Arts Centre in Portstewart. You can buy using your credit or debit card on (028) 7083 1400.
Patrons are invited to bring their own bottle – corkscrews and glasses will be available at the venue, as well as some soft drink for any designated drivers.
One of the justifiable legends of the Northern Ireland music scene, Ronnie is also one of its favourite performers. A superb blues and jazz guitarist, his style is best described as ‘Chicago blues with a twist’ – his fingers have added passion and fire to some of the greatest blues bands in the country, including for a time the legendary Jim Daly Blues Band and a host of others.
Ronnie never fails to wring the last drop of emotion out of a solo, while still keeping the toes tapping. As a sideman and frontman, Ronnie has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the blues business – including the likes of Dr. John, Memphis Slim, Lowell Fulson, Phil Guy, Johnny Mars and many more.
Ronnie’s current band line-up – Ronnie and Anthony Toner on guitars and vocals, with Alan Hunter on bass, Colm Fitzpatrick on drums and John McCullough on keyboards – is perhaps the finest he’s ever had, and it has gone down a storm with audiences at recent shows that have included blues festivals and arts venues across Northern Ireland. For this show, he’ll also be welcoming Dave Howell on saxophone, who has raised the rafters at the Town Hall on previous visits.
And adding to the line-up will be the fabulous Grainne Duffy, who has been blessed with a fiery guitar approach and some soulful, smouldering vocals on a range of material, from her own songs to Etta James and Bonnie Raitt classics.
Ronnie recently released his debut album, A Lifetime With the Blues, to great critical acclaim. ‘beautifully crafted’, said Jazz NI. ‘An absolute delight of an album and a must-have for local fans of the world’s greatest music’.