Howlin’ Mat joins Blue John for a double bill

Friday 30th September 2022 3:54 am
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Howlin’ Mat has opened for the Happy Mondays and performs up to 200 shows a year

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A blues musician who has performed everywhere from the Arctic Circle to the Sahara Desert is heading to the Isle of Man for a tour in October.

Howlin’ Mat - who travels thousands of miles a year taking the blues to audiences worldwide - is looking forward to the Manx shows which are part of a double bill with Douglas-based musician John Gregory aka Blue John.

Mat performs up to 200 shows a year and his escapades include him opening for the Happy Mondays, spending an evening with Led Zeppelin legend John Paul Jones in an island 130 miles inside the Arctic Circle in the middle of winter and having a birthday party being thrown by a notorious biker gang.

Meanwhile John is celebrating 25 years of playing the guitar at the concerts as well as 10 years of teaching the instrument.

Mat and John will be performing separate sets at the Institute, Laxey, on Friday, October 7, The Atholl Room at the Peel Centenary Centre on Saturday, October 8 and the Erin Arts Centre, Port Erin on Sunday, October 9.

Armed with his guitars and a slide on his finger, Mat follows in the footsteps of his musical heroes such as Mississippi Fred McDowell and Muddy Waters.

Mat said: ‘Elmore James – Dust My Broom was the first blues track I heard. I had never heard anything like it in my life – the hairs on my arms stood up and I was hooked.’

He’s been touring for 15 years now.

‘It’s a tough way of life for a young man but at the age of 57! I supported a great player called Kent DuChaine many times.

‘When I first met him he was about 65 and living in a Vauxhall Corsa. He is my inspiration for endurance touring.’

John said: ‘I’m really excited to team up with Mat for these shows, they will be a lot of fun and I hope lots of my guitar students from the past 10 years will come and celebrate this landmark with me.

‘I can’t wait to see Mat perform on his home-made cigar box guitar and tell stories from his time on the road.

‘He is a true road-warrior. If you like blues and roots music these shows will be the best ticket in town at three of the Isle of Man’s very best venues.’

Tickets for the Laxey and Peel shows are available at etickets.im/bjm and tickets for the Port Erin show are available at erinartscentre.com

All tickets cost £10.

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