One of the area’s top live music venues may have seen its main promoter opt for ‘retirement’ but 2017 still looks set to be another vintage year for fans of the blues, soul and rock at Ripley Town Hall.
As influential promoter Andy Herrington prepares to take a back seat after more than ten amazing years, a Grammy Award-winning guitarist is set to arrive at Ripley, writes Graham Chalmers.
Appearing on Saturday, January 21, Martin Barre is legendary for his contribution of several decades to folk-rock greats Jethro Tull.
It’s his guitar music fans can hear on the likes of Jethro Tull's classic albums Aqualung and Thick As A Brick.
Barre received a Grammy Award in 1988 for his playing on the Tull album Crest Of A Knave.
But Martin’s lengthy life in music spans more than Ian Anderson’s famous outfit.
Outside Jethro Tull, Martin has worked with artists including Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa and Chris Thompson to name just a few.
He has also shared the stage with such legends as Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.
Martin has put together his own band to play "classic" music from the Tull catalogue as well as material from his solo projects and a few blues classics.
Vocalist/guitarist Dan Crisp supplies stunning vocal interpretations of the Tull back catalogue but it is his harmony guitar that particularly impresses, allowing Martin space and a sound that replicate the album versions albeit in some instances re-imagined by the originator.
Honourable mentions too for Alan Thomson, who spent many years in John Martyn's band, on bass plus occasional mandolin and the solid, accomplished percussion of the redoubtable George Lindsay on drums.
As for the inspiration behind the transformation of Ripley Town Hall into one of the UK's top venues, Andy isn't completely hanging up his boots.
Andy said: “I had a health scare three years ago. I was very lucky, almost fully recovered and a lot to thank the National Health Service for.
“But I wanted to pass on some responsibilities in case I should fall off my perch again!
"I will continue my involvement with the club but am passing on the programming at the end of the year."
Other events coming up at Ripley Town Hall include Andy Fairweather Low and The Low Riders on February 18.