Winner of the Best UK Male Vocalist Award for 1996 and 1997 from the British Blues Connection, Earl Green is a rarity, a black British Blues singer. Born in Jamaica, he came to Britain, on his thirteenth birthday, already into R&B music, and soon started a career as a vocalist which has spanned over twenty-five years.
He was a founder member of Otis Grand and the Dance Kings, in 1986, and until recently has been the lead vocalist in many line-ups with Otis, including the award winning Otis Grand Big Band. He sings on Otis's albums Always Hot and He Knows The Blues.
Earl founded The Earl Green Band in 1995 and they tour regularly in Britain and Ireland. Earl is also the featured vocalist in Bop Brothers, alongside ace guitarist Jon T-Bone Taylor and sax supremo Dick Heckstall-Smith.
Earl is a prolific and excellent songwriter. He has co-written songs with Otis Grand which are on He Knows The Blues, winner of the Best British Blues Album award in 1993. Earl's present writing partner is Jonathan Plotel, who is also the bass player in The Earl Green Band. The band's current set includes their songs from Earl's album.
Earl's solo debut album Feel The Fire (on Abacabe Records, ABACA CD 002), which was released on July 22nd 1996, is a collection of great Blues, Soul and R&B originals from Earl and his co-writers plus three excellent Blues standards. Guest artists include the W.C. Handy award winner Joe Louis Walker, UK guitarists Todd Sharpville and Pete Boss plus The Earl Green Band.
Earl has appeared at the Balgium R&B Festival; the Paleo Festival at Nyon; Lugano; Jazz Pamplona; XII Festival Internacional de Jazz de Granada; VII Festival Internacional Jazz en Escena, Malaga; Oldemzaal; Midzomer Blus Festival; Groningen; Nottoden Blues Festival; Cahors; Bayeux Blues Festival; Danish Blues Festival; Imatra Big Band Festival, Finland; The Great British R&B Festival; Farnham Maltings Blues Festival; Temple Bar Blues Festival; Cork Jazz Festival; Dublin Blues Festival; Dartmouth Blues Festival and many more. In the UK, he appears regularly at the top London Blues venue, The 100 Club as well as festivals and Blues clubs all over the country, fronting the Earl Green Band
In January 2000, Earl joined Paul Lamb & The King Snakes. The current schedule includes gigs in Britain, Ireland and all over Europe, see gig list for details.
"Great vocal performance!" Paul Jones,
Blues singer & DJ
"There's surely no more soulful singer in this country." Juke Blues
"Britain's best Blues vocalist with a range equalling the likes of Al Jarreau." Blueprint
Earl Green & Mark Olbricht's Blues Band
click their name to visit the website thebluesbass.com
A very pleasant surprise indeed, as I stumbled upon an album I didn't even know existed. This Live in Poland set was recorded in November 2002, released in Poland in 2003, and finally has found its way in small numbers to the UK. (You can buy via the bluesbass website)
The band comprises UK based, Polish bass player Mark Olbricht, Richard Simmons on keys, Giles King on harp, Matt Schofield on guitar and Alan Shaulder on drums, and of course the immaculate Earl Green on vocals.
Given the material, the album is essentially the Earl Green live album that we have all been waiting for. There's much of his current repertoire, played supremely well by a killer band who had virtually no time to rehearse for the show. There's undoubted frisson in the air, with Mark's bass driving a relentless rhythm section through a mix of shuffles, boogie and swing. Richard Simmons adds peerless piano flourishes throughout, and Giles adds a beefy harp on "Open Up Baby ".
Overall this album really does sound like a true representation of a band playing out of its skin in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Beyond that, Earl Green delivers arguably his best recorded appearance yet. A great album, seek it out.
Here are some audio clips from the Live Torun Blues CD:
|Open Up Baby|
|Sugar Coated Love|
This CD was number 7 in the September 2004 Playlist
Clips are in Windows Media Player format, and should stream to your PC in CD quality if you have Broadband, or lower quality if you use a dial-up connection.
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Media Player on your PC or Mac you can download the latest
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