Photography by Hapless Guitar Photography, Article by Tim McLaughlin
On this day WTTS FM brought, I think, the coolest blues line up of 2017. The main act is know to many people and radio stations around the US, Jonny Lang, whose five piece played songs from Jonny’s seven studio albums. This blues great from the Northern Plains of North Dakota brought along with him a one man, two guitars, one flask, and what I suspect an empty pack of cigarettes before the he flew home to England the next day.
THIS IS WHY YOU SEE THE OPENER.
Jack isn’t known to many passive blues fans but he should be. Some of his accolades include the Montreal Jazz Festival hailing him as “The new master of the slide guitar,” and Bootsy Collins calls him “The Real Thang.”
Where I ‘discovered” Jack and where I think he gets his amazingly inviting and humorous stage presence is busking on the streets in England and Europe. The video that I watch, going on 100 times and telling people about it even more was on a canal bridge in Amsterdam playing “On The Road Again.” I was looking up slide guitar lessons on YouTube and a few years later I am in the photo pit photographing him. He played ten songs which included “On The Road Again,” “Leavin’ Blues,” “She Said,” “Make My Way Back Home,” and ended with a song that he wrote (wink wink) “Hit The Road Jack.”
Jack belting into the microphone.
Jack Broadbent’s set up is one microphone, two guitars, and an amp that he uses as his “seat,” and a flask for a slide. Although he is a young man everything about makes him feel like an old soul. He walks out on stage as if he is walking into his hometown pub and you are a group of his mates who he wants to play a few songs for and have a few pints. He is very gregarious and engaged with the crowd before his set, between each song, and at the end took several long/slow bows. All the while thanking a very attentive crowd and even more so Indianapolis, The Vogue Theatre, WTTS and most of all Jonny Lang. The only downside to Jonny Lang’s set of nearly two hours is that Jack didn’t join the band for a song or two.
Jack was kind enough to stick around and sign his CDs and talk all things blues, slides, and his upcoming travels. The next few months will see him perform on three continents, dozens of countries and too many venues to count, so check out his webpage to see when he’ll be coming to a city near you.
I can’t recommend enough that you look up his work on YouTube, buy his music online, and buy merchandise from his web site (www.jackbroadbent.co.uk) and keep an eye out for him. Jack Broadbent tours constantly, so keep an eye out for him in a town near you. His performance was perfect, as he makes you feel like he is busking on a bridge over a canal in Amsterdam, or at a house show in Indianapolis.
Jack using his flask as a slide.