Reviews 2015

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Wizz Jones

Les Jones 16 October 2015

Click on photo to 
Click on photo to 
see larger image

Where do you start to write a review of a legend like Wizz Jones? With a few facts I guess. Firstly, although we all thought this was his first visit to the club he recalled that he had been here in both the 60s and the 70s. His nickname comes from a Beano character called Wizzy the Wuz. His mother is the one to blame for attaching to him and it has stuck quite firmly. He began his career in 1957 and busked around Europe playing whenever and wherever he could. His first solo album came out in 1969 since when he has gone on to record twenty plus solo albums and almost as many collaborations with such luminaries as Alex Campbell; Ralph McTell and John Renbourn. He was still touring with John Renbourn until John passed away in March of this year.

Tonight despite his saying that he is not a bluesman and in fact didn’t know many blues tunes he managed to incorporate songs from Bessie Smith; Blind Boy Fuller; Big Bill Broonzy and a dedication to Mississippi John Hurt. He also played his unique interpretation of songs by people such as Jez Lowe; JJ Cale; and an amazing version of Hushabye Mountain from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This was interweaved with snatches of Buddy Can You Spare Me A Dime and finished with his version of the Davey Graham tune Anji. His own songs featured several times including When I Leave Berlin – played live by Bruce Springsteen when he was there albeit not recorded. Night Ferry was recorded by Davey Arthur and the Fureys with the inclusion of new verses. He finished his two sets with a version of You’ve Changed which was recorded by Eva Cassidy. Wizz suggested that this was written by JJ Cale but I have been unable to verify this despite trawling through my 15 JJC cds.

A wonderful time was had by all especially if you are a guitar freak. I sat all night with my eyes firmly fixed on his left hand and I still don’t know how he did it.

A final point. I asked him why he did not play the banjo he had at the side of the stage. His reply. “I forgot”. He may have forgotten the banjo but those who were there will not forget him.

Support was provided by Nothing to Prove, Velvet Green and Bryn Phillips.