Dave Kelly and Christine Collister

BLUES guitarist Dave Kelly has his long-running musical bond with Paul Jones, both in and outside The Blues Band. Christine Collister and Clive Gregson were one of the great folk couplings of the Eighties.

Now Kelly and Collister have forged a partnership that will blossom again on their autumn tour with The Travelling Gentlemen, next stop Pocklington Arts Centre tonight.

In fact, the Kelly-Collister combination can be traced back to 1994.

“We recorded a session for The Paul Jones Show for Radio Two, which came about when I asked Christine to sing on my solo album When The Blues Comes To Call, ” says Dave.

“She said: ‘Oh, I’ve never sung blues before’, but she agreed to sing the answering line on an old blues song called Let’s Talk It Over, where she improvised the parts when the woman doesn’t want to talk it over.

“I’d asked her because she has such a wonderful voice, though she hadn’t been entirely truthful about singing the blues because she was already singing Chris Smither’s Love Me Like A Man, another answering song.

It’s Hoochie Coochie Man from the feminist blues side.”

Dave picked up again with Christine after a fan sent him a copy of the radio session in spring 2005.

He forwarded it to Christine, with an invitation to tour with his band, and they duly decided to work together again, leading to a first tour last year.

More dates have followed in February and March, and this autumn’s tour will be accompanied by the November release of Christine Collister, Dave Kelly & The Travelling Gentlemen Live on SPV.

“We decided the music wasn’t going to be just blues or soul or folk but it would be anything we fancied playing that we’d never done, and we’d do it within our own format.

Christine does a beautiful version of Who Knows Where The Time Goes? , the Sandy Denny song, and we do Emmylou Harris’s Boulder To Birmingham, her song about the death of Gram Parsons, ” says Dave.

“We recorded the album over two nights at Johnny Dankworth’s place, The Stables at Wavendon, and the Arts Centre in Fareham, and it does exactly what it says on the tin. We always have great fun on stage and that comes across on the record.”

article by Charles Hutchinson for the York Press