Wednesday 14th November 2018
Paddy Milner (piano/vocals)
Pat Levett (drums)
Spencer Brown (bass)
Rob Updegraff (guitar)
LONDONOLA is Paddy Milner’s latest project, a trio based in London playing homegrown music with a healthy dose of New Orleans spirit. The trio features Pat Levett (drums), and Spencer Brown (bass), two of the UK’s brightest talents – both virtuosic but always sensitive to the music. Milner’s songs draw lines between his spiritual home of New Orleans, and his home of many years, London. The trio evokes the swamps of Louisiana juxtaposed with the bustling energy of London, continuing the tradition of British musicians exchanging influences with their American counterparts. The trio plays a set of high energy grooves, mixed with poignant blues-inflected ballads and virtuosic piano work. LONDONOLA is the meeting point of New Orleans R&B and British Rock n Roll. Expect to hear echoes of Milner’s influences including James Booker, Dr John, Otis Spann, Pete Johnson, Ian Maclagan, all assimilated into his own style. LONDONOLA will be releasing their first record in 2018.
THE BACK STORY
Paddy Milner is not only recognised as one of the leading blues piano players in the world (he is currently keyboard player of choice for SIR TOM JONES, following several years with the late great JACK BRUCE), but also as a superb original songwriter, singer and unique pianistic voice. Just read the praise from the likes of Dave Brubeck! His own take combines a thorough grounding in the blues, boogie & New Orleans traditions combined with a formidable arsenal of influences from his classical studies and open musical mind. His current group LONDONOLA plays homegrown British music with a strong dose of New Orleans spirit, and his new collaborative group JAWBONE will see it’s eagerly anticipated debut album released in late 2015. He has won the award for BEST KEYBOARD PLAYER in the British Blues Awards.
Milner began his career playing in Dorset pubs in his early teens. At the age of 13 Milner performed an original boogie composition in a local music competition, impressing a judge – Pretenders/Paul McCartney guitarist ROBBIE MCINTOSH. McIntosh became a great mentor and bought Milner his first Little Feat album, a defining moment. Continuing to absorb blues & boogie, which will always remain a fundamental part of his music, Milner also explored jazz, classical music and played in his father’s folk band. Later on, he was to learn from the masters including duetting with the legendary JONNIE JOHNSON and learning from JON CLEARY in New Orleans. Milner remembers his father introducing him to the music of the likes of JACK BRUCE, with whom Milner regularly toured with until Bruce’s death in 2014.
Milner burst onto the scene in his own right at aged 19 with his debut album ‘21ST CENTURY BOOGIE’. The album garnered international accolades within the blues world and beyond, with The Times calling it ‘Impressive & original’. PAUL JONES quickly became a champion of Milner and a live session on Jones’s BBC Radio 2 show helped to earn him a nomination for a Sony Radio Award. Milner’s next album, ‘WALKING ON EGGSHELLS’ achieved NO.1 in the official French Jazz/Bluescharts and a high level of airplay and exposure throughout Europe. The album wasco-written with iconic Cream lyricist Pete Brown and subsequently signed by industrymogul Gerry Bron to Bronze Records. Dave Brubeck himself became a fan ofMilner’s arrangement of Brubeck’s ‘Unsquare Dance’. Milner’s third album, ‘BASED ON A TRUE STORY’, was also very well received and took Paddy around the UK,Europe, Turkey and to the U.S. to perform on the prestigious ‘Legendary Rhythm &Blues Cruise’ alongside the most revered legends of the blues world. Milner was invited to record his fourth album ‘THE CURIOUS CASE OF PADDY MILNER’ in Paris by Ray Charles’ musical director Jean-Michel Bernard after he heard Milner’s music on French radio. The album delves deeper into a roots driven sound and shows his love of the blues combined with a whole hearted embrace of popular song.
It is as much inspired by Brian Wilson’s melodic pop symphonies as it is traditional blues.
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