The website for blues singer and guitarist MARTIN McNEILL
Sat Jan 28, 2pm: Barleylands Blues Club, Barleylands Road, Billericay – Bottleneck Blues band (West Weston harmonica; Roy Webber drums; JJ Zarbo double bass)
Tues Jan 31, 8pm: Music Den, Hemnall Social Club, 50 Hemnall Street, Epping – full Bottleneck Blues band (Tim Huskisson piano, Roy Webber drums, JJ Zarbo bass)
Weds Feb 1, 7.30pm: Community Centre, Elm Road, Leigh-on-Sea – with West Weston (harmonica, vocals)
Weds Feb 15, 7.30pm: Community Centre, Elm Road, Leigh-on-Sea – with Tim Huskisson (piano)
Fri Feb 17, 5pm: Chapel, Albion Street, Broadstairs (Broadstairs Blues Bash)
Sat Feb 18, 3pm: Jetty Bistro, Pierhead, Broadstairs Harbour (Broadstairs Blues Bash)
Fri Feb 24, 4pm: Grapevine, Conduit Hill, Rye (Grapevine Jazz Fest)
Sat Feb 25, 12noon: Grapevine, Conduit Hill, Rye (Grapevine Jazz Fest)
Tues Feb 28, 6.30pm: Ain’t Nothing But Blues Bar, Kingly Street, Soho
BLUES WITH SOUL
Martin McNeill is a singer and guitarist who performs traditional blues and vintage soul with touches of gospel and jazz.
He has been acclaimed as one of the UK’s top blues slide guitarists.
He gigs as a solo act and with his band Bottleneck Blues. He also plays duo gigs with various players.
Martin plays in the licensed cafe at Leigh-on-Sea Community Centre on the first and third Wednesday of each month, with a guest player. Harmonica player West Weston and pianist Tim Huskisson are regular guests. Others who have played on these sessions include Connor Selby, Ben Tyzack, Ramon Goose, Dave Ferra, JJ Zarbo and Franca Shaw.
Martin plays at the famous Ain’t Nothing But Blues Bar in Soho (once a month on a Tuesday for the first six months of 2023).
Festival appearances include Rye Jazz & Blues, Dart Fest, Broadstairs Blues Bash and Swanage Blues Fest.
The band Martin McNeill’s Bottleneck Blues closed 2022 with a sellout show for the Music Mix in Wivenhoe and went into 2023 with bookings including the Cricketers at Westcliff, Barleylands Blues Club, the Music Den at Epping and Bletchley Blues Club.
The band built up a strong following with a 13-year residency at Southend’s Railway Hotel, Essex’s top live music venue at the time but now sadly closed.
Martin was named instrumentalist of the year in the 2022 GSMC awards, organised by music promoter Graham Steel to recognise grassroots music acts.
CDs: Cat Squirrel and Sweet Soul Slide
Martin’s CD Cat Squirrel was shortlisted in the 2020 UK Blues Awards after receiving excellent reviews and strong airplay on blues radio shows.
His latest CD, Sweet Soul Slide, highlights the more mellow side of Martin’s repertoire, featuring classic tunes such as Dock of the Bay, Rainy Night in Georgia, Dark End of the Street, My Girl and Wind Cries Mary.
The CDs can be ordered direct from Martin for £8 each including postage (£11 sterling for non-UK sales).