“Since going solo in 1982 and hitting the roads, riding the rails, flying the skies and sailing the seas, Kent and Leadbessie have probably by now clocked up over two million miles together including over 71 overseas tours” I knew this would be a show not to miss. As I walked a blues kinda’ walk towards the Norwich Arts Centre last night in anticipation of what musical delights would befall my ears, the closer my feet took me the more I could hear and feel the southern states gently ripple through the crisp atmosphere of the city at night. Kent DuChaine was back in town after a long absence (too long some would say) and he bought along a special friend, of course, the one and only, Leadbessie. “She’s a beat up 1934 National Steel Guitar”, and oh! How she can sing… Blues’ing down the path towards the entrance the air turned from a winter’s eve to a summer’s night as delta blues emanated from the old church venue and caused the heat from distant stars to warm my path. The sound of the wind through cotton fields could be heard as a gentle whisper whilst packs of wolves howl a hello to the echo of Leadbessie, and the powerful southern voice of her owner, Kent DuChaine. Blues slide on finger and Leadbessie in hand Kent was in full swing as I headed through the doors into the sold-out venue to a sea of swaying heads and tapping feet, no need for a drummer. Kent has a very powerful playing technique that screams for your attention. With intricate finger picking and gracefully prose bottleneck glides accompanied by a hand hammer drum beat, leaves one thinking – This is what the blues is all about. Every lyric bellowed from his heart and every note personifying his soul, Kent has the blues absconding from each and every cell of his being, and the whole audience feels it. From teens to tombstones, goth’s to classics, no one was anyone that night, just zephyrs upon the surface of the Mississippi. The entire evening through, in a wonderfully typical blues musician style, Kent told stories of his youth, his adventures, his family and friends, to the old greats and their comedic exploits while travelling the train lines and dusty roads following the summer to their next stopping point, wherever that might be. His uplifting persona and crowd pleasing demeanour (and, of course, his incredible musical proficiency) is the reason this man is loved the world over, with songs such as Little Red Rooster demanding complete crowd participation resulting in full belly laughs in one instance, to tear jerking covers like St James Infirmary in the next, the whole evening flowed like a journey through the southern states, its ups and downs, wisdom gained and naivety found, on the path for an endless summer. With six albums to his name and fans screaming out for more I think I will not be the only one in expressing how I wish him to be around for many more years to come. If you get the opportunity to see Kent play live, go and experience it for yourself. You will leave with a smile on your face, and thoughts of realisation that your blues aren’t as blue as another man’s may be. Find out more about Kent DuChaine: Website: http://www.kentduchaine.com/home.html Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/kentduchaineleadbessie - Lewis Gibbs