This weekend Taranaki’s Midnight Blues Band will rock the stage at TSB Showplace. Taranaki Community News caught up with Adam Sedgwick to find out all the show, his love of music, and why all the proceeds are going to an important local organisation.
Hey Adam! You have a cool gig coming up at the TSB Showplace this week. What can you tell us about it?
Taranaki’s very own Midnight Blues Band are staging an epic tribute entitled Green, Kings & Moore featuring some of the biggest names of electric blues music at the TSB Showplace on Saturday 21st December! To say we’re excited about this gig would be an understatement.
Where did the idea for this gig come from?
I have a real passion for the Blues and some of these artists have written and performed songs which have had a big impact on my life at some stage or another. Since learning about these artists and their predecessors in more detail – their lives, backgrounds and hardships – I really wanted to celebrate their contribution to music and keep the flame burning in the hope that it inspires a new generation of blues fans.
The music of the night is described as electric blues. What are some of your fav blues songs, and why?
We wanted to take the audience on a journey. That was one of our two main goals with this gig: celebrate the featured artists by covering some of their signature songs while at the same time taking the listener on a journey from the roots of Mississippi, through the 60s British Blues Explosion and culminating, at least from my perspective, in the fiery and intense Blues of the late great Gary Moore.
Each of these artists have passed the torch from one generation to the next and you can hear their influences throughout their music. There were of course many acoustic-based bluesmen who inspired the likes of Freddie, B.B. and Albert King, namely Lead Belly, Son House, Blind Boy Fuller and the legendary Robert Johnson. However, for this gig we decided to start our journey from the forefathers of electric blues.
Some of my favourite blues songs, all of which will be featured in the show, include Going Down by Freddie King, Born Under A Bad Sign by Albert King, The Thrill Is Gone performed by B.B. King, Jumping At Shadows performed by Peter Green and Story Of The Blues by Gary Moore. Each and every one of those songs has had a profound impact on me and my own musical journey.
What’s your history with music?
To be honest I have loved music since I can remember. I used to watch Pink Floyd The Wall on VHS (remember those!?) when I was three years old and throw a tantrum when my parents wouldn’t let me watch it as it was probably quite inappropriate for a three year old! Ha!
Although my Mum and Dad never played any instruments when I was growing up they did have a formidable music collection. Like any child who grew up during the era before tapes and compact discs I used to love picking out one of my parents vinyl LPs from the shelf and dropping the needle waiting for the sound to jump out of the speakers.
I grew up mainly on a vinyl diet of Elvis, Dire Straits, Fleetwood Mac, T-Rex, David Bowie and Pink Floyd. Despite this early love of music it took me until I was a first year university student to start playing guitar. I remember walking down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and buying my first electric guitar and amplifier from a shop called Sound Control… I wanted to be Slash. It turns out that pretty much every guy walking through those doors wanted to be Slash.
Anyway, I walked home to my student flat with said guitar and began my musical journey. As it turned out Slash was a great place to start as he not only allowed me to indulge my 80s rock obsession at the time but he also opened the door to the blues. I immersed myself in guitar magazines and various biographies and soon began to learn of the people who inspired my 80s rock idols. From there it was the point of no return. I was well and truly down the rabbit hole.
Thanks to Slash I re-discovered the likes of Rory Gallagher, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Peter Green and Gary Moore all of whom I had listened to when growing up. For me personally it took time to find my musical niche. However, once I found the blues I knew I had found my home. Like many things in life you either have it or you don’t. The blues is very much like that, as a certain James Hendrix once remarked: “Blues is easy to play but hard to feel”.
If you could have a jam session with any three musicians from history, who would you pick, and why?
This is an easy one for me: Gary Moore, Peter Green and David Gilmour.
For me the above three artists represent the best of the very best. Gary Moore has the fire, attack, speed and intensity unmatched by anyone before or since (so far).
Peter Green has the touch, feel, timing and phrasing of the Gods. He has harnessed the sweetness of B.B. King and the rawness of Freddie yet still manages to posses his own distinctive style. He also has a great blues voice and gets my vote for vocal duties!
Finally, David Gilmour. This may seem like a strange choice but in fact he is the perfect choice. David plays every other note. He leaves perfect spaces between each of his notes and phrases which builds tension and emotion within his music which is unparalleled. He is the polar opposite to Gary and that’s why he is the perfect choice in this line-up.
There are a bunch of talented local musos in this line-up. Tell us, who’s involved, what they are doing, and what have some of the highlights been?
Indeed! We’re so lucky to live in a province which is full of amazing talent. Not only in this band but elsewhere in the Taranaki music community. We’re very fortunate indeed.
I am extremely fortunate to be joined onstage by some formidable local musicians namely: Andy Bassett on bass guitar, Dave Ritchie Smith on rhythm guitar and vocals, Ken Davies on rhythm guitar, Marc Gernhoefer on drums and vocals, Nic Boheimer on harmonica, Jarrod Bakker on keyboards and organ, Stewart & Robyn Maunder on saxophone, Karl Anderson on trumpet, Robin Wells on saxophone, Alan Ramage on trombone and the very talented Laura Griffiths on backing vocals.
One of the biggest highlights was our first practice session with the horn section, which was mind blowing. I went home after rehearsal and couldn’t sleep due to the adrenaline rush. It was one of those “wow” moments. Another highlight has definitely been the introduction of local blues veterans Ken Davies and Nic Boheimer to the band, both of whom have injected their passion and respect for the blues.
All of the proceeds from this gig are being donated to Conductive Education Taranaki. What is this cause, and why have you guys chosen to support it?
Having lived on the periphery of the special needs world as a step-Dad to a wonderful little boy, Daniel, I have enormous respect and appreciation for people who give their time to help those who need that little bit extra.
Conductive Education Taranaki aim to make a child independent and able and help them discover what they can do, not what they can’t do. It’s run and managed by some wonderful people who fought hard to set up this Hungarian-based philosophy of learning here in Taranaki.
Prior to them setting up here in the region many of the families traveled up to Hamilton on a regular basis, which put additional strain on what were already very stressful lives. Given the personal connection and having met and socialised with the wonderful families and staff it was the most logical choice to support them with proceeds from this gig.