Ashwyn's profile

When are you on air?
Wednesday evenings between 7 and 10.

What was the first record you ever bought?
My Old Man's A Dustman by Lonnie Donegan.

What's your favourite single from 2004?
Vertigo by U2.

And your favourite album?
Highway 17 by the Cadillac Kings.

Tuesday's schedule

Eastgate Through The Night

The Breakfast Show with Daniel Beale

The Morning Show with Neil Walker

The Eastgate Music Sweep

Drivetime with Dan Bransby

The Echo news show

Juliette Bird

Danny Lawrence

The Blues Banquet with Ashwyn Smyth

The Blues Banquet thanks its sponsor:

It's great to be back again with a three hour feast of Blues & real r'n'b featuring tracks old & new both by the original masters and by the best of today's bands & artists, particularly those hailing from the great tradition that is kept alive by Essex musicians. Stir in some live music, new releases, gig news and much more and you have all the ingredients which go into the pot to create the Blues Banquet.

I am delighted that our good friends at Blues Matters!, the most widely read UK blues magazine whose record label is building a rollcall of some of UK's top Blues artists, are sponsoring the Blues Banquet.

There will be three courses on offer and for starters we will concentrate on news of local gigs during the forthcoming week featuring tracks from some of those you can catch at venues around our area together with new & recent releases from around the World of Blues. For more details about local gigs visit the Gig Guide.

The second course will feature our special guest(s) for the week, either talking about their careers and selecting tracks that were influential upon them or which they just like, or playing a live set in our studios.

Already booked to be our studio guest on December 1st is Billericay born Dave Bronze, a professional musician since 1976 who is not only a formidable bass player who also sings, but an accomplished song-writer who has produced a number of excellent albums for top artists.

Over the years, Dave has worked or played with Amy Wadge, Andy Fairweather-Lowe, Be Sharp, Belinda Carlisle, Bo Diddley, Brian Ferry, Chris Farlowe, Dave Gilmore, Dr. Feelgood, Duane Eddy, Eric Clapton, Eric Bibb, Gary Brooker, George Harrison, The Hamsters, Jeff Beck, Mickey Jupp, Mike Rutherford, Paul Carrack, Phil Collins, Procol Harum, Ray Davis, Robin Trower, Roger Daltry, Steve Winwood, Sting, Stuart Copeland, The Art of Noise and Tina Turner..... amongst others! In 2000, Dave was voted the British Blues Connection's Bass Player of the Year!

We should have loads to talk about!

Playing live in the studio on Wednesday December 8th will be Ramon Goose and Jay Nicholls from the going places NuBlues, recently signed to 21st Century Blues Records in the US by Grammy winning singer and actor and label boss Chris Thomas King. Ramon is a founder member of Nublues and has been described as the 'cream of the UK's emerging blues stars'. Ramon decided to forge a hip NU sound using influences of Mississippi Delta blues as played by legends such as Robert Johnson and Son House, Chicago Blues from the likes of Muddy Waters & Howing Wolf, and fuse it with Hip Hop loops and grooves. After a long search, he found Jay, a 24 year old blues vocalist and rapper who has been described as the embodiment of Delta blues vocal style whose voice arouses all around him. Jay comes from a long tradition of blues singers and his mentor has always been his blues singing father John who has bestowed upon Jay his knowledge and talent. The guys will be playing a great acoustic set featuring some of the old classics.

On Wednesday December 15th, veteran local musicians Ray Bartrip & Clive Mulcahy from top Essex band Bad Town Blues will be playing a live set featuring both traditional numbers and some of their own material. Clive's first instrument was double bass, and he also played rhythm guitar in a little band in the sixties. He was thirteen years old, and the band played in youth clubs, coffee bars and pubs, and as Clive writes on the bad Town Blues website, " I still enjoy the occasional pint." At sixteen, Clive went to art school and played in his dad's dance band, to supplement his grant. At twenty one he started playing seriously again and bought his first Les Paul (I've had about eight since). Clive turned professional and his career has included work as a session musician working with members of pop bands such as Big Country and a stint as part of Tom Robinson's Crew. Clive also played with Gerry McAvoy's band before the latter joined Nine Below Zero. Clive formed his own band and in the mid-nineties produced a much acclaimed CD. The end of the century saw Clive joining Adam Norton and the rest of the band in Bad Town Blues.

Ray Bartrip, keyboard player, studio and record label owner, renowned and talented surrealist artist and all round good guy, began playing the piano in 1958, having classical lessons. In 1964 he started his first blues band of which he says "it wasn't very good but what we lacked in ability we made up for in enthusiasm. Most of the kids in our audiences liked it too, We started our own blues club in the backroom of a pub and charged half-a-crown to come in."

In 1965 Ray teamed up with a couple of blokes, with whom he is still good friends, and formed "The Worrying Kynde", a blues, R'n'B and, eventually, soul band, typical of the 60's. The band played most of the trendy London clubs and toured France, Germany and Poland. They supported quite a few big names like Alan Price, The Searchers, Cliff Bennett, The Kinks and The Scaffold and often did double header gigs with other bands on the books of the same agency, such as The Artwoods (Jon Lord on organ) and Dave Anthony's Moods (Reg Dwight on organ). As Ray says: "I had a lot of competition!" Despite making a couple of records,only one was released which, strangely enough, has turned up on a recent compilation CD of obscure stuff from the 60's.

The seventies saw Ray progress through soul to r'n'b to prog rock & heavy metal which was followed by a sojourn in the 80's in Miami before returning to the UK and being involved in several successful blues bands through the nineties before he met Adam Norton through a mutual friend and joined Bad Town Blues.

As you can tell from the above potted history, the studio will be filled with prodigious talent and experience. Should be a great evening and I am very grateful to both Ray & Clive for taking time out from their very busy schedules to come in to Eastgate FM to play for us.

Our guest on Wednesday 22nd December is a familiar and very popular figure on the Essex scene, talented singer, songwriter, guitarist and all round local treasure, Roy Mette. Anyone familiar with Roy will know that his live performances are never quite the same. Depending on the venue you may hear soft, bluesy ballads and folkish stories - in others raucous renditions of Voodoo Chile, Mystery Train and others with a degree more power than you'd expect. The voice covers it all and he is justifiably proud of it.

The time and care Roy takes with his compositions is evident, he invests each song with feeling and depth, telling stories through his music - think 'acoustic' rather than 'folk' (although having said that there are some songs...). A songwriter of some note Roy has a catalogue of songs that many would envy and Roy's solo work continues to grow in quantity and quality.

His guitar style covers much territory including a rather unusual and distinctive way of adding percussion to semi-picked, semi-strummed numbers. A guitar 'lover', you might find him playing Gibson, Lowden, Martin, Washburn, Charvel or Takamine guitars on solo or duo evenings although you just never quite know...

For his Blues Banquet session, expect pure acoustic playing, Roy totally unplugged but still brilliant! Please note that due to other commitments, Roy will be joining us in the studio between 7 & 8 p.m. as he has to dash off to another gig!

The final course will feature our competition question, a different one each week building to our magnificent prize of a Strat Pack guitar & amplifier, ideal for all you budding axemen (and women) out there, very kindly donated by those lovely and helpful folk at MJ's Music who live in the Town Square, Basildon.

We will also have some spot competitions with CD prizes including a couple given to us by Roadhouse who played their first Essex gig at the Digital BluesFest recently. We'll be talking to some of Blues Matters! growing stable of artists including, we hope, former Groundhog, Tony T S McPhee whose brand new CD, "Blues at Ten", tracks from which we will be playing, has just been released to critical acclaim. We also hope to talk to Gary Boner of Roadhouse, a band not well known in Essex but for whom that should change after their recent well received appearance at the local Digital BluesFest.

We will also be letting local musician, Chris Pearson loose on the airwaves with his choice of tracks around a theme and playing Four by One, a feature where we spin four versions of songs by one of our Blues icons, each given a different twist by other performers. This feature will see us playing other peoples' versions of numbers originally written or performed by the likes of Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, Willie Dixon & others.

So, all in all, a real feast for you lovers of Blues & real r'n'b and, we hope, something to tempt those of you who are not yet familiar with the music which is at the root of just about all popular music today. Tune in between 7 & 10 every Wednesday here on Eastgate FM.

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