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Review: Woody Mann, Aldershot, 18th Nov 2009

Will Fly 19 Nov 09 - 09:03 AM
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Subject: Review: Woody Mann, Aldershot, 18th Nov 2009
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Nov 09 - 09:03 AM

Woody Mann was in concert at the West End Centre in Aldershot last night (18th November), and a superb evening it was. He played an excellent mic of blues, jazz, gospel and dance music - very free ranging in dynamics, tempos and rhythms - on a small cutaway Martin and a resonator guitar (both amplified).

The material nodded to Mann's mentor, the Rev. Gary Davis, and to guitarists such as Eddie Lang, Snooks Eaglin and Joseph Spence - but with WM's variations, additions and twists to the music, rather than mere quoting or copying. His technique is astounding, with complex bass runs underpinning triplets and blues & jazz riffs which extend the whole length of the keyboard. And all this with the ring finger firmly anchored to the face of the guitar. However, technique is not everything, and Mann's music is above all, melodic and flowing - very beautiful to listen to.

He's reaching the end of his UK tour so, if you haven't seen him and get the chance to, then do so. The West End Centre in Aldershot is not the world's most thrilling venue, and I think there were about 60 or so in the audience last night, but it was intimate and cosy, and the sound was well balanced and warm.

Here are some snaps of the man in action, onstage:

Woody Mann & Martin 1

Woody Mann & Martin 2

Woody Mann & resonator 1

Woody Mann & resonator 2

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