The Jazz & Blues TV line up has been joined by a Big entertainer in Blues maestro Big Boy Bloater from the UK.
The man called by Jools Holland “one of the finest Bluesmen of our time” welcomes Jazz and Blues TV backs Jazz & Blues TV: “I’m really pleased to be involved with Jazz and Blues TV and to be working alongside such a great stable of high-calibre artists. It’s important that people like Jazz and Blues TV continue working to bring the best of the genres to new audiences. I look forward to getting my own brand of roots music out there!”
Big Boy Bloater has been clocking up some serious praise to add to Jools Holland’s words:
“Bloater is a phenomenal guitarist!” Mark Lamarr, BBC Radio 2
“I love this guy…he has a voice that sounds like it’s been soaked in turpentine for the last decade!” Craig Charles, BBC 6 Music
“I’m a massive fan of Big Boy Bloater, he’s a charismatic boy with a big voice” Imelda May
“If you think Bloater sounds good on record you need to see him live – Rhythm & Blues hasn’t been this exciting in years” Classic Rock Blues Magazine
2011 saw acclaimed guitarist, singer and songwriter Big Boy Bloater launch his solo career with an album full of catchy and clever self-penned material and some impressive showcase gigs. It also saw him as a guest on Jools Holland’s BBC Radio 2 show and a special guest of Imelda May at two of her big UK concerts (Roundhouse, March 2011 and Somerset House, July 2011) as well as being personally invited by Imelda to be the support for her UK tour in November ‘11,
which was followed up by a successful headline UK tour of his own in Feb 2012.
He has had major features in national magazines ‘Total Guitar’, ‘UK Rock & Roll’ and ‘Classic Rock Blues’ and in March
2012 was invited on the the Jo Whiley show on BBC Radio 2 to chat to Craig Charles.
The self-titled album, ‘Big Boy Bloater and the Limits’, released in March 2011, (featuring special guest appearances from Imelda May and jazz-funk legend Snowboy) attracted much critical acclaim. The self-penned numbers showed not only great musicianship but a maturity in style.
Bloater quickly followed this up with a brand new album ‘The World Explained’ (released 1st October 2012), which went Top 5 on the Amazon and iTunes Blues Download charts and has received some amazing reviews from the roots community and further afield. It was picked as one of the Classic Rock Blues magazine’s Top 50 releases of 2012, also garnering a spot in the Editor’s personal picks of the year.
“One of the best releases of 2012” Blues in Britain Magazine
“Hard to fault, 8/10 …… “He’s hit his stride with this amazing album” Classic Rock Blues
“An agile guitarist backing that up with some suitably raspy vocals” Q Magazine
“Bloater’s 80-a-day growl and saw-toothed twang take starring roles” Guitarist Magazine
“One of the most enjoyable and exciting albums I’ve heard in a while” Red Lick Records
Bloater has certainly worked hard and is now set to reap the rewards. “Things are great right now, I love the band I have, I love the fans and it’s great to be out there playing my own songs and really being myself. It’s been a long-time coming.”
Born in Farnham, Surrey in 1971 Bloater took up the guitar aged 11, influenced heavily by his father’s great love of music. “Our house was always filled with rock & roll, 60’s hits and basically anything and everything. My Dad still loves music to this day and he has no boundaries, it’s just good or bad music to him which has been a great lesson in life.” Playing in bands at school from the age of 13 Bloater soon realised he could earn pocket money playing in local pubs and clubs. “They didn’t care how old you were then, not sure a 14 year old would get away with it now!”
Fronting his own bands from a young age Bloater quickly became a stalwart of the retro R&B and Blues scenes and was the go-to guy to back visiting US artists, he has played for a roll-call that includes some real legends of 50’s blues and R&B. This brought him to the attention of many, including Mark Lamarr who put his own money behind a limited-edition vinyl release of one of Bloater’s tracks in 2008 (giving away 100 copies on the 100th edition of his award winning BBC Radio 2 show ‘Shake Rattle and Roll’).
But. as 2009 dawned, Bloater was feeling restless, he wanted a change of direction and the chance to write more and have more control over his career. “Mark Lamarr asked me why I was finishing my band and all I could say was that I felt trapped by the success of my bands, when I looked in my diary all I saw was gigs, but they were gigs that weren’t getting to new audiences or testing me musically or creatively. He laughed at me for being annoyed about having a problem most musicians could only dream of, but for me it was important to take a step back and think about where I wanted to be in 10 years, I was creatively frustrated and I just couldn’t see myself carrying on without a big change.” Bloater did indeed take a step back, finishing his bands and spending 2010 writing, recording, playing with other people and enjoying just being a musician again. “It was a lot of fun to have the opportunity to work for other people for a while, knowing it was temporary, it was great and it gave me the space I needed.”
Bloater has seen the best and the worst that being a professional musician has to offer. “As with all jobbing musicians I have seen the ups and downs that go with the lifestyle. I’ve been flown to Dubai first class, but have also spent all night on the side of the road with a broken down transit van. Clubs can treat you like a special guest or can treat you like the hired help that is inconveniencing them. I’ve performed in front of 20,000 people one night and then in front of 20 people the next night, and I’m just as happy to do both. All musicians have these experiences but they are what make you, years of
travelling and gigging are how you learn your craft, but you have to be strong to survive!”
Being a consummate professional, delivering hard-hitting vocals, having enviable guitar skills and the ability to write very catchy songs with clever lyrics as well as the talent to mesmerise an audience are what has brought Big Boy Bloater to where he is today. But he wants to take it further. “I’m old enough and ugly enough to know my trade well, I love what I do and I hope that shows on stage. I am very excited to have the chance now to break through and show the world what I can really do”
So, a big Jazz & Blues TV welcome to Big Boy Bloater. Bloater’s website is here.
Read about our first Blues artist announced, Olga from the USA, here.