RAG MAMA RAG @ West End Club, Barry, 15th March 2013
Acoustic evening West End Club, with ‘Rag Mama Rag’ who before they set foot on the stage promised to be a little bit different why? The array of instruments on the stage and they are a duo! Ashley Dow, with his guitars, ukulele and providing the vocals combined with Deborah Dow, who provided the interesting rhythm section including a complex washboard and also blues harp with her delightful backing vocals; they really did utilise the full plethora of instruments during the two set show demonstrating their skills and how each instrument adds something to the party of Country Blues or Back Porch Blues.
These accomplished musicians played a great version of Skip James’ ‘Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues’ along with a range of songs from their wide ranging repertoire. The Hawaiian Guitar 1860’s instrumental, ‘Rally Round The Flag’, displaying the intricacy of this instrument played with a steel bar creating its own unique sound. All the songs were performed with enthusiasm wit and passion but like their name ‘Rag Mama Rag’ was ragtime tunes which suited their instruments and voices so well as demonstrated in ‘The Hesitation Blues’ by Rev Gary Davies and the great audience participation by the very willing crowd who definitely had fun during the much loved ‘Jitterbug Rag’. The set was interesting and well structured with a mix of Americana styles including an Appalachian tunes, hill music often gets neglected in many musicians set lists, the great dance number ‘Little Liza Jane’; was such fun to listen to. They are definitely a Live Act to get out and see they will entertain you.