Take a listen to this week’s Cerys Matthews Blues Show on Radio 2 (16th May 2022) & you’ll hear a mention of a blues award for Ealing Club CIC Director Robert Salmons who has worked tirelessly matching musicians with audiences as artistic director of the Ealing blues Festival. (Find out about the 2022 festival here)
Robert Salmons (aka Robert Hokum) Director and Co-founder of the Ealing Club CIC has championed the narrative of how bands such as Blues Incorporated, The Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, The Animals, Cream (to name but a few) helped focus minds on the importance of blues artists from Chicago and the Deep South of the USA.
It has become very evident that even core bodies of the music industry that could be curating this story have forgotten these vital links to the blues, and their contribution to the ‘Classic Rock’ genre.
On this week’s show, Cerys Matthews also cited an enlightening comment made by the legendary John Lee Hooker back in 1985.
He said ” The Blues was born in America but the American people never did give it respect. They slipped the blues under the bed, under the rug for years but the British people ….. they’d seen what a goldmine it was and took the blues. Bang! All of a sudden the blues was tearing Europe apart”
The BBC Radio 2 Blues Show is available on BBC Sounds.
There is no doubt that these thoughts have been echoed by many other American Blues artists including B.B. King who nodded his hat to the likes of Alexis Korner in his biopic The Life of Riley.
Understanding the roots of music has been vital to the likes of Liverpool, Nashville, New Orleans and even Coventry where live music flourishes with an understanding of what has come before.
For more on the story of the Ealing club, check out Suburban Steps To Rockland – the Story of The Ealing Club @ Waterman’s Theatre on 12th June. Screening includes a Q & A with the Ealing Club CIC directors Robert Salmons & Alistair Young.
The 12th June Brentford screening will be preceded by a special performance hosted by at least one of Brentford’s great music pubs. (TBC)
West London venues as a whole have contributed much to the story of classic rock. Check out the new publication “Rock’s Diamond Year” available via The Ealing Club here.