Soo’s Reviews
NIGEL SLATER AND THE BREEZE  -  16th FEB '20 Lovely to have The Breeze back at Fred's.  Nigel Slater as lead singer fits in so well and has a fine voice. Gary wasn't forgotten either - they sang some of his songs during the evening including "Free" and "Love Me Like I Love You".  One song of Gary's was put on tape for us to hear him then Nigel joined in with him.  It was a good-feeling evening - wonderful! This band is full of personality - they are great entertainers and deserved the full house they got.  Brilliant! NEXT WEEK  -  BLUE HORIZON WITH CHRIS RINGO BAND Soo PHIL AND KEN  -  9th FEB '20 There weren't many people at Fred's due to the weather and not the duo. They played 2 acoustic numbers - "My Book Of Memories" and "Midnight Choir" and finished with a mention of those we have lost from the club by aptly singing "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes?" They were enjoyed by the smaller audience. NEXT WEEK  -  NIGEL SLATER WITH THE BREEZE BAND Soo PEDRO  -  2nd FEB '20 PEDRO sang a good mix of old and new country and did a Merle Haggard medley. There was more people in the audience this week - perhaps Spring is on its way! NEXT WEEK  -  PHIL AND KEN Soo BRIAN MANN  -  26th JAN '20 First time at Fred's for Brian. He comes from Doncaster and has been in various bands, trios and worked as a solo act for many years. He gave us a mix of material - my 3 favourites were Gene Watson's "Sometimes I Get Lucky", also "Birmingham Turnaround" and "Seminole Wind". NEXT WEEK  -  PEDRO Soo AMERICAN SPIRIT  -  19th JAN ' 20 Dave Ellis and Dave Wilson are American Spirit. They've  worked together off and on for 15 years.  In 2010 they won Duo Of The Year - that's also the last year we saw them at Fred's. They kicked off the evening with a Dwight Yoakam song, "Guitars and Cadillacs".  Later it was nice to hear another Dwight number,  "Tears Of A Clown" a track seldom sung at the club.  We also heard tracks by Marty Robbins and Ricky Van Shelton amongst a variety of others which went down well with the audience. NEXT WEEK  -  BRIAN MANN Soo ROB CHILDS  -  12th JAN '20 We had a nice evening with Rob.  He is a good all-round entertainer with a good sense of humour. I enjoyed his material which included Clint Black's "Killing Time",  Ricky Scaggs'  "Honey" and right up to date with Jake Owen's "Down To The Honky Tonk" and William Michael Morgan's "Brokenhearted". NEXT WEEK  -  AMERICAN SPIRIT (DUO) Soo BADLANDS  -  5th JAN 2020 A good band but I thought a bit disappointing this time as they did not do any of their usual material but seemed to play to a visiting club - more line dancing etc. There was  a new addition to the band - Ross Kitchen's (singer and excellent guitarist) daughter Heather who is very talented like Ross. She sings and plays guitar very well. NEXT WEEK  -  ROB CHILD'S Soo KEZIA GILL AND BAND  -  15 DEC '19 A great ending to a great year at Fred's. Stuart Landon (Angels With Dirty Faces) kept his promise to do the first spot and the 45 minutes flew by.  I loved his choice of material and his deep voice.  He was accompanied by his band's guitarist. After the break, having queued for the Xmas buffet, we were entertained by Kezia and her band. She has rapidly become a top artist around the UK and was well received in America. A great singer and all-round entertainer - the whole evening was brilliant.  There was a good atmosphere and the room was packed. No shows now for 2 weeks then we are back on 5 JAN 2020 with BADLANDS. Soo BLACK STEEL  -  8 DEC '19 An enjoyable evening with Bob and Jimmy. As I have written before Bob has a good clear voice and Jimmy plays pedal steel, guitar and fiddle. Loved their material too. NEXT WEEK  -  XMAS PARTY NIGHT  -  KEZIA GILL AND HER BAND Soo CLEAR CUT  -  24th NOV '19 It was the return of Don and Darren to Fred's.  They sang a few Don Williams songs, a few Jim Reeves and some Roy Orbison. All very middle-of-the-road - and we had a few jokes too. NEXT WEEK  -  THE THRILLBILLIES Soo RAY PETERS  -  10th NOV '19 A return visit from Ray this week - he was accompanied on guitar by Pete Shaw from Accrington, a solo artiste in his own right. We heard "Every Time I Close My Eyes", "Mr Lonely" and "Love Her For A While" amongst others. Always a laid-back evening with Ray. NEXT WEEK  -  STUBBY Soo HONKIN TONKIN DUO  3rd NOV '19 Dave and Gerry came across as a nice friendly duo so I am sorry to write that I did not enjoy them this time. They were not as funny and played a lot of dated line dance tracks.  I was not keen on their material either - such a shame as I like them. So sorry. They were joined on stage during the last spot by Hank T from the Smokey Mountain Boys for "Hey Good Looking" amongst other tracks. NEXT WEEK  -  RAY PETERS Soo ROOTS AND WINGS  27th OCT '19 I had never heard of this duo but recognised Kelly - she was in Kelly's Heroes - that's when I knew we would enjoy them as she has a lovely voice. Her partner is Michael - he plays guitar and does backing vocals.  They have been a duo for 7 years and live in Norfolk, a great area for country music clubs. Two songs we heard were "What I've Got In Mind" and "Some Of The Things I Carry Around". NEXT WEEK  -  HONKIN TONKIN DUO Soo JEFF GALLANT BAND  20th OCT '19 I always enjoy this band. I love Jeff's voice and his obvious delight in singing country - his smile says it all.  Clive has been allowed to show his personality and brought comedy to the act as well as singing a few songs. An all-round good night.  I look forward to their return. NEXT WEEK  -  ROOTS AND WINGS Soo RAYMOND FROGGATT  -  13th OCT '19 It was great to have Froggy back at Fred's as those of us who have been fans for many years know he is such a personality and he draws the audience in. I could listen to his stories for ever - and I have. He was ably backed by Best Of Friends who stick to traditional country songs, some seldom heard and very enjoyable. Froggy was on stage for about one and a half hours and you could hear a pin drop as usual when he performs. A perfect evening. NEXT WEEK  -  JEFF GALLANT BAND Soo CARL SCHAY  -  6th OCT '19 We have had a good year at Fred's with both established and first-time artistes.  I think this week we had the cream of the crop.  Carl taught himself to play the guitar in 1990 and has always been a solo artiste.  He has a brilliant voice which suits all manner of material and most is very current, but I'd listen to any song he chose. From Leeds he must come our way again.  A brilliant night. We heard "Red Dirt Road", "Small Town Summer" and Garth Brooks' "Red Strokes" - seldom heard - amongst others. NEXT WEEK  -  RAYMOND FROGGATT and THE FROG BAND Soo JAMES & WOOD We have had many new acts this year and none have been disappointing - this week was no exception. James N Wood are originally from S Africa and Glasgow respectively. (IS THAT THE RIGHT WAY ROUND?) They have 2 awards for most popular band of the year from CMDS and band of the year in the North East. They've been together for nearly 4 years. They sang a good range of material - we heard "Rolling In My Sweet Baby's Arms" and "Missing" amongst others. NEXT WEEK  -  CARL SCHAY Soo JOHN DOHERTY  -  22nd SEPT '19 "You get your moneys worth with John" a friend remarked this week - one song after another with hardly a break.  He started "nice and easy" he said with older material eg The Gatlin Bros' "Bed Of Roses"; we also heard some tracks from Ricky Van Shelton and George Strait etc gradually singing newer songs and line dance tracks such as "Day Of The Dead". He has a good voice and deserved the standing ovation we gave him. A lovely evening. NEXT WEEK  -  JAMES AND WOOD Soo DARREN BUSBY  -  15th SEPT '19 Darren has won Voice Of The Year and I think he deserves it. He started the evening with a Kenny Rogers medley and we also heard a few Marty Robbins numbers, and plenty of songs and requests for the people dancing. It was lovely to hear the late Kenny Johnson song "Some Memories Just Don't Die". At the end of the evening his father joined him on stage for one song and then we knew where Darren gets his voice from. I'm pleased to add that he is not retiring, just cutting back a bit. NEXT WEEK  -  JOHN DOHERTY Soo THE THORNHILLS  -  8th Sept '19 Fifty years next year Arthur and Keith have been entertaining us in West Virginia and now The Thornhills.  Still the same warm friendly people and seasoned entertainers on stage. I loved their choice of songs with a smattering of jokes.  Add nostalgia and it was a perfect night. NEXT WEEK  -  DARREN BUSBY Soo SOULS AND STONE  -  1 SEPT '19 It's 3 years since this married duo came to Fred's. It's a different act from others because they are very different from each other. Greg likes old country, dresses country and sings it well.  Jaynie is new country and sings ballads beautifully. Their first song was "That's How A Cowgirl Breaks A Young Man's Heart" and it was nice to hear "Whisky Lullaby". NEXT WEEK  -  THE THORNHILLS Soo GEORGE MACKINTOSH  -  25th AUG '19 Long time no see was the case with George this week.  He used to come to Fred's often with his 2 sons as "Arizona Flame".  Now he is a solo artiste and has been for 9 years. George lives in Glasgow and fortunately for us loves travelling! It was a laid-back enjoyable evening and I loved his choice of music.  I won't mention his good voice! NEXT WEEK  -  SOULS ‘N’ STONE Soo COUNTRY COUSINS  -  18th AUG '19 A new duo at Fred's, Brian and Harry are really cousins - hence the name.  They are from Co Durham and have been performing together for 19 years.  Smartly dressed with a change of shirts at each interlude, they looked "country". I enjoyed their choice of material and they played 3 songs that I'd never heard - "The Dance Of The Angels", Tennessee Rain", and "Raindrops And Roses". Brian chats between the music and has a lot of country knowledge. A good night. NEXT WEEK  -  GEORGE MACKINTOSH Soo CHRIS DUNNE BAND  -  11th AUG '19 Wow and treble wow! You cannot beat live music played by talented musicians and this 6-piece band is so talented, full of energy, and enjoy what they do. Chris has a brilliant voice and is ably backed by his band who also sing and harmonise beautifully. The room was packed and we all had the time of our lives. NEXT WEEK  -  COUNTRY COUSINS Soo NIGEL SLATER  -  4th AUG '19 Nigel gave us a good night - something for everyone.  The room was full, the dance floor busy and listeners enjoyed his superb voice.  Plus there was a good mix of songs. Nigel will be back in February with The Breeze.  We will never forget Gary but I do love The Breeze.  Looking forward to it. NEXT WEEK  -  CHRIS DUNN BAND Soo