‘Errol isn’t so much upholding a tradition as creating his own’
Mike Atherton Echoes Magazine
‘The finest blues and reggae harmonica player in Europe…and I say that with utter confidence’
Max Reinhardt BBC Radio 3
Jan 2019. ToeRag Studios. The New Year has already welcomed Errol and the band back into the recording studio. This time we find the boys laying down tracks, the old way, in the legendary ToeRag Studios under the watchful eye of the enigmatic Liam Watson. This new work follows swiftly on from the success of Errol’s 5th album, ‘Packing My Bags’ during 2018. Described as, ‘…pure Blues, with a depth and integrity that is all too rare these days.’ (Amplified Mag) ‘Packing My Bags’ has met with much critical acclaim; ‘a masterpiece’ (Pete Feenstra), ‘8/10’ (Classic Rock magazine). Errol’s music has found it’s way onto the airwaves commanding record of the week on Robert Elms (BBC London) and a guest spot on Paul Jones Radio 2 Blues Show recorded at the iconic Maida Vale studios. Radio support, both independent and national, has brought new listeners to Errol’s sound with digital versions of the album found floating down the streams on Spotify, Apple, Deezer etc…
‘Like Chess Records Meets Studio One’
‘Packing My Bags’ was the first of Errol’s albums to be released on vinyl. A personal ambition for Errol realized has also drawn fans of the record to get in touch with Brassdog Records. One vinyl lover wrote; ‘superb sounding recording. Errol and the band have a unique sound and the musicianship is outstanding, but I also feel I must mention the recording and production. It is fantastic. I have not heard an album of this quality in a long time.’
‘A Mighty Performer…catch him while you can!’
Cerys Matthews BBC Radio 2 Blues Show
As well as regular gigs across the capital the Errol Linton Band have performed throughout the UK and Europe making appearances at the Wilderness Festival and Cerys’s own: ‘The Goodlife Experience’. 2019 promises yet more opportunities to catch this brilliant band live. You’ll be impressed. Expect to dance.
Errol Linton (Vocals, Harmonica) “A good friend sold me a harmonica one day, started blowing on it, never stopped, the harp lead me to the blues, not the other way ’round.”
In 1991 a chance meeting with John Walters, BBC Radio 2 producer led to radio session on the Andy Kershaw Show and in 1993 Errol was featured along side Big Bill Broonzy in BBC 2’s Arena documentary (Rhythms of the World) called Two Generations of the Blues.
1995 saw Errol touring Spain and the UK with Henry Gray, piano player for 14 years in the mighty Howlin’ Wolf. Linton’s band have opened the show for Screaming Jay Hawkins, Bo Diddley, Dr John and Blind Boys of Alabama.
Linton released his first album Vibin’ It (Ruby Records) in 1998. Across the UK BBC Radio DJs Charlie Gillett, Paul Jones, John Peel and Andy Kershaw all played the album. He toured the full length of the UK and Ireland, playing festivals, clubs and pubs. Promoters in Germany, France and Spain all booked the band. They were the first UK artists to perform at Park Tower Blues Festival in Japan, on the same stage as the soulful Howard Tate and even jamming with the late great Clarence ‘Gate Mouth ‘Brown.
In 2001 Linton returned to the studio to cut Roots Stew (Ruby Records). Roots Stew shows Errol’s song writing developing alongside the band’s organic blues-reggae groove. You can hear Linton’s harmonica on Channel 4’s documentary ’Mr. Rock and Roll’ Transglobal Underground albums ‘Rejoice Rejoice’ (Nations Records 1998) and ‘Yes Boss Food Corner’ (Ark 1 Records 2001) double CD compilation Beyond Mississippi (Manteca 2002) Abram Wilson’s album Ride! Ferris Wheel To The Modern Day Delta’ (Dune Records 2007) and Malala Rai Banda album Balkan Reggae (Asphalt Tango Records 2013)
Band are guitarist Adam Blake, bass player Lance Rose, piano/keys Petar Zivkovic and drummers Kenrick Rowe and Gary Williams. Lead by Linton they create an urban sound with rural roots. Some songs are tough rockers designed to get crowds dancing. Others have a soulful ska and reggae vibe.
Linton’s ’Mama Said’ (2011) had contribution from noted New Orleans late trumpeter Abram Wilson.
Adam Blake (Guitar) was born in Lincoln, England and immediately given a copy of ‘Rocking Goose’ by Johnny and the Hurricanes. What chance did he have? At the age of 18 months his parents moved to London without asking his permission or consulting him in any way and, around this time, it was noted that young Adam was unusually interested in records and had learned how to operate the record player. At four years old, he was taken to see the movie A Hard Day’s Night and exposed to the Rolling Stones first album. At eight he bought his own record player. At eleven he started to learn guitar. At seventeen he dropped out of school to become a musician. It’s been that way ever since.
Chastened but unrepentant, Blake divides his time between teaching guitar and bass at various schools that don’t know he has no formal qualifications, doing gigs with Errol Linton’s Blues Vibe, playing sitar with Cornershop from time to time, playing old records, watching movies, reading and writing. Over the years he has been a pro music journalist – writing for Music Week the UK Music Industry trade paper – and a session bassist for Natacha Atlas, the pseudo-Arabic diva. Just recently he has returned from a successful jaunt to Japan with Errol Linton. He is interested in politics, acting, literature, cartoons but above all music, any music, so long as it’s truthful, with heart and humanity. Oh, and a bit of humour helps too…
Lance Rose (Double Bass) is a regular on the London jazz circuit, loved by fellow musicians for his ‘feel’. Influences include Ska and Reggae and jazz greats Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – as well as Hard Bop music. His most valuable guidance has been from his dad – the legendary Michael ‘Bammi’ Rose, who is part of Jools Holland’s Big Band.
Petar Zivkovic (Piano/Keys) was born in Belgrade Serbia, moving to London with his parents as a child. He came from a musical family & was encouraged to play piano from an early age, enrolling at music school at the age of 11. Listening to Blues records by the great masters, & listening to the great Alexis Korner’s Radio show in his teens, led him to experiment with different boogie & blues styles, late night jams with fellow adolescent blues addicts in his area. These informal gatherings of like minded individuals eventually morphed into long forgotten bands, playing in London venues such as the Mean Fiddler, 100 club, Dublin Castle…etc.
In 1984 Petar toured the US with Donovan, his first sustained professional engagement. On his return to the UK, he met singer Jhelisa Anderson, with whom he collaborated over the next decade in Soul Family Sensation. signing to Sony Records in the US & touring Internationally.
From 1994-6, Petar was the house piano player at Blues W14 in london, which is where he met BB King’s Bass player Big Joe Turner, who invited him to tour & record with his “Memphis Blues Caravan”… After six years on the road with Big Joe, Petar left to join the Eugene “‘Hideaway” Band, with whom he still tours occasionally. During the late 90’s, he played numerous European tours, backing US Blues artists such as Tutu Jones & Byther Smith.
Petar has long been in demand as a session player, In 2001, he collaborated with X-Press2 & David Byrne on their number one hit Lazy, playing all instruments except the drums.
Always returning to the Blues, Petar has been a proud member of the Errol Linton Band for the past five years. Good Times!
Kenrick Roy Rowe (drums) Began working in the music industry specifically on the reggae circuit Working with artists such as Janet Kay, Dennis Brown, The Mighty Diamonds, Alton Ellis, Jean Adebambo, Tiger, Sugar Minott, Lee Scratch Perry, Big Youth, Ken boothe, and other established artists in the British and Jamaican reggae industry.
Following studies at City Lit Music Institution and Privately with American jazz drummer Clifford Jarvis, took the transitional step of crossing over to the Jazz, Latin, Soul and Funk circuit. During this period he became a member of La Famille featuring Soul II Souls Caron Wheeler, Cleveland Watkiss and Roy Hamilton. The experience gained led to work with a number of leading Jazz artistes such as Courtney Pine, Steve Williamson, Guy Barker, Jason Rebello, David Murray Big Band, Art Farmer, Ernest Ranglin, Jazz Jamaica Allstars, Andy Shepherd.
Other Artistes include Ant and Dec, Selector, Milly Small, Omar, Aswad, Hugh Masakela, Baba Maal, Mica Paris, Omar, Maxi Priest, Joss Stone, Ant and Dec, and recently recorded the new PJ Harvey and Joss Stone Albums.
Gary Williams (Drums) Early influences: My father loved buying records throughout the 1970s/80s, so was fortunate to be listening to namely; reggae, Ska, Soul and Jazz funk and artists such as Desmond Dekker, John Holt, Burning Spear, Bob Marley, Freddie McGreggor, IsleyBrothers, Jackson five, Spyro Gyra, Herbie Hancock and Gilberto Gil. I Started learning how to play drums in 1997 by listening and imitating albums my father had bought.
I had my first gig in 2001 with Lance Rose as a Trio and haven’t looked back since!! Since then, I’ve been thankful for my early experiences playing with ex- Tomorrow Warriors guitarist Alan Weekes and Brian Mussinghi Edwards amongst many other talented musicians on the London Jazz and reggae scene. Drummers I’ve enjoy listening to include Carlton Barratt – Bob Marley, William Kennedy – Yellow Jackets, Brian Blade – Fellowship.