Monday, July 10, 2017

RavenEye at the Studio at Webster Hall

Oli Brown
As a young guitarist in Yorkshire, England, Oli Brown did not care what kind of music he played as long as he was given the opportunity to solo. When he was 15 years old, he was invited to play lead guitar in the American blues funk band Blinddog Smokin' ; Brown toured the United States with the band during the summers of 2004-2009. Before long, the youth found himself being mentored by Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, John Mayall, Walter Trout, Robben Ford and other blues greats. They taught him about the blues and stagecraft, plus they encouraged him to sing. Beginning in 2008, Brown released three studio albums and one live album, all of which earned him British blues awards. He then formed a more hard rocking band, RavenEye, in 2014 in Milton Keynes, England. RavenEye released an EP in 2015 and a debut album, Nova, on September 23, 2016. The power trio presently consists of vocalist/guitarist Oli Brown, bassist Aaron Spiers and drummer Adam Breeze.

RavenEye generously adapted the blues but made it far more riotous tonight at the Studio at Webster Hall. For each song, Brown sang a bit, then the rhythm section held down the groove as Brown roared with extended solos until he returned to the microphone to end the songs with a bit more lyrics. Brown's stagecraft was riveting, especially when he sang from atop the bass drum, or stood on his bassist's thigh and shoulder, or rode his bassist's shoulders through the audience, all while Brown played steaming non-stop guitar licks. A RavenEye concert is a show to both hear and see.

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