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Geno Washington And The Ram Jam Band

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Geno Washington and The Ram Jam Band

Saturday 27 November 8pm

" One Man Who Knows how to keep his Mojo Working "

" A True Soul Legend " The Guardian

Hold on I`m Comin`, Bonie Maroney, Ride Your Pony, Roadrunner,

In the Midnight Hour, Shotgun, Shake a Tail Feather, Knock on Wood,

Land of a Thousand Dances, Uptight........

The Foyer, University House,

The University of Sheffield

Tickets £14 Call 01142228909 Or Union Box Office

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With 40 years to perfect the ultimate live performance - a form of high that cannot be copied, still raw and still rocking.

It could be laid back and mellow, the sort of rocking chair blues heard on your veranda in the deep south, listening to the corn grow, spitting in a bucket. Then again, it could be achingly beautiful. 'I put a spell on you', delivered with all the pain, longing and regret that tears chunks out of you without you noticing until the final note has withered away.

In the sixties, Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd were a long way down on the bill while The Small Faces were booed off stage by a crowd impatient for Geno Washington and his Ram Jam Band.

"I knew Eric Clapton very well - we started our careers at the same time after he left the Yardbirds, we both used to play the Flamingo club," explains the famous Geno drawl. "I used to jam with John Mayall and would hang out with Ronnie Wood ."

Geno was made for live performance - ask anyone at the 40th anniversary of the Ram Jam Band earlier this year. In a sweltering 100 Club in Oxford Street, London, Mark Lamarr as DJ, Geno's wife Frenchie ever watchful from the sound box, helping change sound levels at a raise of her husband's eyebrow, the man who once played three gigs a day is still able to captivate and deliver music straight to the heart.

"With a live band, you are alive - a part of the crowd. You need to connect. Music is one of the most powerful things, it deals with all the elements.

"The Flamingo, the Marquee, I played them all and there is no equivalent. It's much better to see a live artist, you get that basic raunchy human feel that puts you in touch with existence

Many younger people where keen to find out what Dexys Midnight Runners were singing about in the 1980's when Geno, their tribute to the G, reached number one .

Geno first arrived in Britain as part of the Air Force in 1961. He released two albums, Hipsters, Flipsters, Finger-Popping Daddies! and Hand Clappin', Foot Stompin', Funky Butt Live. The latter remained in the album charts for 48 weeks of 1966 and was only out-sold by The Sound of Music and Bridge over Troubled Water.

To the king of the live performance, many of today's acts suck. "Many people have confidence but are terrible. Their moves aren't natural but rehearsed , they cut out the art of performance and don't have to entertain, but mime their way through as somebody else sings. It's like creating Frankenstein."

" People stop dreaming, they need to be creative, be passionate, be able to smile inside themself. The only sure thing is if you do what you do well, you'll succeed. When I'm on stage. I'm only doing me, it's not an act." .

It's his Mojo, that illusive condition when a man energizes the charm of his body to its best possible use.

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Great preview. I supported Geno a few years ago first in his solo Blues incarnation then with the Ram Jam band. He wouldnot go on till the sound was the way he wanted it: he spotted a speaker was out and insisted it be fixed. But what a show he gave. He is an entertainer first and foremost.

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