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Doug Macleod


Master of Original Acoustic Blues

2014 –Blues Music Award Winner – Best Acoustic Artist

2014 – Blues Music Award Winner –Best Acoustic Album

2015 – Blues Music Award Nominee – Best Acoustic Artist

2017 – Blues Music Award Nominee – Best Acoustic Artist


On Sunday 5th November, we are fortunate to be able to present one of the most celebrated of American contemporary Blues singer/songwriters, Doug MacLeod, as part of his UK tour.

Hailing from Los Angeles Doug is the winner of two 2014 Blues Music Awards for acoustic album and acoustic artist of the year and the winner of The 2013 Blues Blast Music Award for Male Artist Of The Year as well as being a perennial Blues Music Award nominee, winning that award in 2014,2016 and 2017

A singer-songwriter in the American tradition, a travelling artist that writes and sings original songs based on his own life and experiences. He learned from the old masters, lived the music, survived the life and carries forward a valuable tradition. MacLeod is known for his superb song writing, guitar wizardry, warm soulful vocals, wit and unforgettable live performances. At the heart of this is his knack for storytelling, bringing characters-from the faceless to the legendary-to strikingly real life.

As a youth he overcame abuse and a crippling stutter by turning to music. After he picked up a guitar, and tried to sing - he found his voice.

While he developed his rich, soulful singing style MacLeod also worked out a unique, unorthodox and powerfully rhythmic acoustic guitar style. The rage of his turbulent youth was eventually channelled through his guitar, using his relentless right hand to pound out an insistent, churning beat to complement his intricate bottleneck and finger-style technique. MacLeod's playing landed him sideman gigs with George 'Harmonica' Smith, Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton, Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson, Lowell Fulson and Big Mama Thornton. Under their tutelage, he learned how to thrill and enrapture a crowd.

Over 29 years, 19 studio albums, several live records, compilations, a blues guitar instructional DVD and a live performance DVD, MacLeod has consistently earned raves. His songs have been covered by many artists including Albert King, Albert Collins, Joe Louis Walker and Eva Cassidy. He has co-written songs with Dave Alvin and Coco Montoya

MacLeod's songs have been featured in many TV movies and the hit show In the Heat of the Night. Two of his songs are on Grammy nominated albums by Albert King and Albert Collins.

Like the old masters who taught him, MacLeod's music expresses life and times via an intangible, elusive quality that may simply be a keen sense of what matters most.

With only seven dates on this Uk tour, this is a rare chance to see, hear and meet, an artist of this calibre at the Tavern so free up your Sunday and join us.

Show starts at 4.30pm and Tickets are on sale at £10



Sunday 24th September – 4pm

Dave Arcari

This Sunday’s Blues Session at the Tavern, we present blues in a different way with Scottish Bluesman, Dave Arcari.

Described as an alternative blues (alt.blues) guitarist & songwriter Dave Arcari’s alt.blues sounds owe as much to trash country, punk and rockabilly as they do pre-war Delta blues and have been showcased via ten internationally-acclaimed solo album releases.

Since Winning the Alexis Korner Memorial Trophy back in 1993, Arcari has become one of the hardest gigging live artists on the circuit. He has featured at Glastonbury (UK), Red Rooster (UK), BluesAlive (Czech Republic & Poland shows), Moulin Blues (Netherlands), The Great British R&B Festival and Peer Festival (Belgium). He has also played industry showcases at the North by North East (NxNE) music festival in Toronto, Canada and he was a finalist the UK Indy Music Awards reaching the top four in his category (best male solo artist)

2017 has seen Arcari focussing his live work on UK and Europe having been concentrating on building his audience in the USA over the last few years. His 2016 USA tour built on the foundations laid over successful US tours in 2013, 2014 and 2015 showcasing Arcari’s trademark National steel guitars, as well as banjo, regular guitar and and cigar box which help capture the full breadth of Arcari’s song-writing and performance.

A series of shows with folks including Steve Earle, Alabama 3, Seasick Steve, Toby Keith and Jon Spencer along with his relentless UK and European tour schedule have established Arcari as a formidable international solo performer who is fast building a media reputation as a ‘hell-raising National guitar madman’. 

I’m looking forward to an afternoon of full on entertainment and a different take on blues.

We start at 4pm and the Door charge is £8.00






  Presented by

The Giles Robson Band
Sunday 13th August 2017 – 4.30pm

This week’s session has the second of our “American Summer” acts and reaches new heights with the appearance of Blues Harmonica Master and Emmy award winner, Billy Branch, direct from the South side of Chicago and presented by The Giles Robson band, one of the UK’s own best Harp players who has played the Tavern on previous occasions.

We have been fortunate to be included on this European tour as Billy is mainly in Europe to headline Major festivals but gives you the rare opportunity to see him close up in a small venue at our own “fortnightly festival”.

Billy was discovered by Willie Dixon, the "father of modern Chicago Blues" while still in college receiving his political science degree, and began 6 years touring with the Willie Dixon Chicago All-Stars. 
Since those early days, Billy has played on over 150 different recordings, including 12 under his own name, and recorded with Willie Dixon, Johnny Winter, Lou  Rawls, Koko Taylor, Eddy Clearwater, Taj Mahal, just to name a few.  In addition, he has received THREE GRAMMY NOMINATIONS (losing one nomination to BB King and Eric Clapton). He has won  multiple W.C. Handy Awards from the Blues Foundation, an EMMY AWARD, an Addy  Award (this is like an Oscar for TV ads), and numerous  humanitarian achievement awards. (IT HAS ALSO JUST BEEN ANNOUNCED THAT BILLY HAS BEEN NAMED 2017 WINNER OF THE LIVING BLUES AWARDS IN THE USA)

As an ambassador of the Chicago Blues and Blues education pioneer, he and his band, the Sons of Blues have delivered this cultural legacy around the world, having made over 70 international tours.

Even on Billy’s website gig list, this is described as a “SPECIAL SHOW” and that is exactly  what I expect from Sundays gig, in the close up experience of a Tavern gig, and which should prove to be an evening to remember with one of the truly greats of Chicago Blues.

As one of our ticket only events, numbers are limited and this is expected to be a “sell out” show.

The numbers of tickets are limited and are now on sale from the Hope Tavern at £12



Hitman Blues Band


The New York City Horns

Sunday 30th July – 4.30pm


Russell “Hitman” Alexander and co return after a two year gap and the Hope Tavern is privileged to host the final gig of their highly successful 2017 UK.

It seems that this highly entertaining group of musicians are finally getting the recognition they so richly deserve in the UK, after serving their dues on previous tours.

The venues this time have stepped up a notch and include several festival headline spots with national media interest and exposure including BBC,s Paul Jones , Blues in Britain etc and reflects the popularity of this band and their modern take on blues.

Made up from the standard four piece set up (keys,bass, guitar and drums), they take it to another level with the addition of the New York City Horns, giving a “Louis Jordan feel” to the music, with a BIG BIG sound.

It’ll be a tight squeeze for six musicians plus two backing singers but we are guaranteed an evening to remember and give am sure the Tavern will give Russell et al a memorable, farewell gig before they leave for the “Big Apple”.

The numbers are limited for this special act and there are only a few tickets left so please get in touch quickly if you have yet to get yours.

The show starts at 4.40pm and tickets are £10

Veronica Sbergia & Max De Bernardi

Sunday 21st May 2017 – 4pm

At this week’s Blues Session at the Hope Tavern, Holton le Moor we present special guests from Milan (Italy) - Veronica Sbergia & Max De Bernardi in an afternoon of authentic Southern Blues in its varied forms.

Veronica and Max, who make up two thirds of the Red Wine Seranaders play country blues and ragtime, hokum, jug band and rural music from the 20’s and 30’s and play it with a passion.

They like to keep this precious musical heritage alive faithfully reproducing its original sound whilst playing it with a modern twist using strictly acoustic instruments such ukulele, washboard, kazoo, and resophonic guitars.

Their music is an overview of the American popular music from the early years of the last century reinterpreting great songs by artists like Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Minnie, Jimmie Rodgers, Sidney Bechet, Lucille Bogan, Bo Carter, Delmore Brothers in their own unique style.

With a growing international reputation, they were the winners of the European Blues Challenge in Toulouse last year and regularly perform in the USA, France, Switzerland, Hungary, Norway, Spain, England, Italy and Poland.

The return of Max and Veronica should be a special afternoon that will please all those who follow Blues, Roots and Folk with a bit of vaudeville thrown in.

The show starts as usual at 4pm and the door charge is £8.




The Greg Coulson Band

Sunday 5th March – 4pm



Sunday’s Session at the Tavern features multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and actor Greg Coulson as part of his band’s “What’s New” Tour.

Making a return visit after a few years gap, Greg is an accomplished Pianist and Hammond player who is also a gifted guitarist and singer/songwriter specialising in Rhythm & Blues. In 2010, at the age of 19 he joined the legendary two-tone band The Selecter before returning to his chosen genre, Rhythm and Blues.

Known as a Hammond player, and not just a keyboard player, Greg toured with The Selecter and made over 400 appearances worldwide.

After leaving The Selecter back in March 2015, Greg landed a leading role in the West End production of, “Close to You:Bacharach Reimagined” 

An amazing opportunity, that lead to playing and performing with Burt Bacharach himself on National TV.

Greg’s heart has always been true to Rhythm & Blues and his own song writing and finding time away from The Selecter he has managed to take the band and his own brand of high octane, fun and musically ingenious Blues to loyal audiences throughout the UK – Greg’s main aim to make Blues accessible for the next generation of music lovers.

Greg is given impressive musical support from -Stuart Dixon-Guitar(/Eddie floyd/Geno Washington/Marcus Malone)John Thompson- Bass(The Selecter/Bad Manners/Bent)Adam Gammage-Drums (Rebecca Fergusson/Baxter Dury/Elliot Sumner)

A band of exceptional talent and an evening of top class R&B awaits you at the Tavern this Sunday, one not to be missed.

We start as usual at 4pm and the Door charge is £8


Chris “King” Robinson Band

Chris “King” Robinson Band

Sunday 23rd October – 4pm



This week we welcome back Chris “King” Robinson with the full band following his amazing performance last year as a guitar/keyboard duo.

In 2013, Chris’ online popularity began to soar and quickly established himself as Twitter’s most followed blues guitarist worldwide, his first single entitled: ‘Lipstick On Her Cigar’. On the 20th November the
Chris’s fresh, modern take on the Blues has gained millions of hits on YouTube and his first single hit No.1 on the iTunes &Amazon Blues charts, after just one day of sales.

From there, huge public demand for live performances led Chris to form his own 4-piece group: ‘The Chris King Robinson Band’ quickly gained recognition as one of the most exciting live bands in the country which led to him playing the highly exclusive Lead Belly Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York City earlier this year.

After being introduced on stage by Marky Ramone, Chris played a scorching psychedelic jam to the sold out crowd at this iconic venue.

The current line up; CKR - Guitar & Vox
Nig Turner -Bass
Steve Simmonds -Drums
Zac Wood -Keys
A hugely successful 2 week Tour of the USA helped his debut EP 'Tell Me Why You're Scared' set the Blues world alight by flying straight to No.1 on both the Amazon and iTunes album charts and in-depth feature in The Blues Magazine at the end of last year further enhanced Chris’s reputation as a guitar hero in the making.
At the age of just 21, this is only the beginning for a guitarist who many think will become the standard bearer for ‘The Blues’ for years to come!

Good Chance to see him in a small venue (Carnegie Hall to Hope Tavern!!) so don’t miss it.

We start as usual at 4pm and the door charge is £8


Sari Schorr


The Engine Room

Sunday 25th September – 4pm

Sunday 25th September the Hope Tavern Blues Sessions presents what has been described as “the most stunning and exciting live band you will ever see and never forget!!! –Sari Schorr and the Engine Room

In January 2015 legendary producer Mike Vernon (Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall, Blue Horizon) witnessed the performance of one of the most amazing female blues singers Mike had seen in years – SARI SCHORR.

A powerful hybrid styles of Janis Joplin and Tina Turner, Mike was so knocked out with Sari that he offered to come out of retirement and produce an album with her. Already a consummate songwriter, with tracks on major labels, Sari has written or co-written most of the songs on the new album, “A Force of Nature” 

New Yorker, Sari, has had several years of touring the USA & Europe with Joe Louis Walker and Poppa Chubby which brought Sari to greater prominence in the blues world to the extent that she was recently inducted into the New York Blues Hall of Fame.

Sari has now put together her own band – THE ENGINE ROOM, featuring British guitarist Innes Sibun, formerly with Robert Plant. Together they are now on a US and European wide tour to celebrate the release of Sari’s debut album on Manhaton Records.

The Band kicked off her ground breaking tour in Feb this year at Carnegie Hall in NY performing with Buddy Guy, Walter Trout, Eric Burdon, Edgar Winter, Dana Fuchs, Kenny Wayne Shepherd & Laurence Jones on the Lead Belly Fest.

Supported by THE ENGINE ROOM who came together in the UK to undertake the UK and European Records. The Engine Room is fueled by the fiery guitar work of Innes Sibun and the exceptional musicianship of the highly accomplished rhythm section.

This is a rare opportunity to see one of New Yorks finest up close and should prove to be the year’s highlight of the Tavern’s Blues Sessions.

Limited Tickets are on sale at the Hope Tavern at £10.




Red Butler

Sunday 14th August 2016 - 4pm

This week’s Blues Session at the Tavern sees the return of dynamic rock/blues band Red Butler who is fast making a name for itself across Britain and Europe. As we saw on their last visit, audiences are tapping into the energy and passion generated by this young band from Brighton.  

Alex Butler established the band in 2012. After some early changes, the line-up became Alex on guitar, the energetic Jane Pearce (vocals), Charlie Simpson (drums) and Mike Topp (bass).

The youngsters developed their music by rocking the south of England pub circuit, where the power and sensitivity of their music saw Red Butler win national awards and undertake a series of tours across the country. They moved up a gear in 2015 when they won the UK Blues Challenge and British Blues Awards runners-up 2015 and this year represented the UK at the European Blues Challenge in Italy whilst being nominated in the British Blues Awards again.  

Last year they toured with Laurence Jones and Billy Walton (USA) and hit the road with Danny Bryant earlier this year whilst waiting for their second album to be released in September. The band’s original material offers a youthful interpretation of life. They share the writing and draw upon many influences including SRV, Free, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, AC/DC, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters, Gary Clark Jnr and upcoming artists such as Royal Blood and Vintage Trouble.

A contrast to the last session with American solo bluesman Doug Macleod, this band has the ability to deliver music from the energetic rock end of the spectrum to passionate blues at the other that is winning over fans far and wide.

A mile along the blues spectrum from the brilliant Doug Macleod but a terrific version of more modern Blues. Looking forward to it!  

The show starts as usual at 4pm and the Door charge is £8.

See you Sunday




The Original Sunday Blues


Sunday 24th July – 4pm


Hi folks,

This Sundays Session welcomes the annual “pilgrimage” of one of the most popular bands on the UK Blues circuit and over the years have become friends and a real favorite at the Tavern, having helped establish the Tavern as a serious blues venue nationally.

If you’ve missed them here, you may have caught them when they appear annually at the Skegness Rock and Blues Festival and run the Jam sessions there but those who have yet to see them;

Formed in 1991 by Gary Boner, Roadhouse are one of the UK’s most established, big stage Blues/Rock acts but are equally happy in the smaller intimate venues like the Hope.

A six piece outfit, made up as a collaboration of experienced and exceptional Blues/Rock musicians and much younger, talented female vocalists, Roadhouse are generally regarded as generating some of the best original material in the UK.

Lead by acclaimed song writer, guitar player and singer, Gary Boner, they have played over 2,000 live shows, including most of the high profile festivals across Europe, from Glastonbury to Belgium, Holland and France, released 11 and played live on the Paul Jones show BBC radio2

Roadhouse’s music has always been different, country-rock, heading into roots and blues, the still back routes of America laced with the dirtier back streets of London.

I, for one, am looking forward seeing Gary, Roger, Bill, Mandy et al, and to some big, big sounds on Sunday evening- they never disappoint

Starts at 4pm and the Door charge is £8


Tickets are now available for Doug MaCleod on the 31st @ £8 – Door £9

These are limited in number and moving fast since Paul jones gave us a shout out last Monday on his BBC2 show.

Call on 01673 828217

Sunday 31st July 2016 – 4pm

Doug Macleod

Master of Original Acoustic Blues


The Original Sunday Blues session at the Hope Tavern (31st July) is privileged to welcome one of the greatest living acoustic blues artists -Doug MacLeod.

A prolific singer, songwriter, engaging storyteller, and masterful guitarist, MacLeod is a perennial Blues Music Award nominee and multiple Blues Music Award winner. He recently won the 2016 Blues Music Award for Acoustic Artist Of The Year and the Blues Blast Music Award for Male Artist Of The Year.

 Doug was born in the blues that is rooted in the American tradition. A traveling artist who writes and sings original songs that are based on his own life and experiences. He learned from the old masters, lived the music, and carries forward a valuable tradition.

MacLeod is known for his superb songwriting, guitar wizardry, warm soulful vocals, wit and unforgettable live performances. At the heart of a Doug MacLeod performance is his knack for storytelling, bringing characters-from the faceless to the legendary-to strikingly real life.

 His songs have been covered by many artists including Albert King, Albert Collins, Joe Louis Walker and Eva Cassidy. 

He has co-written songs with Dave Alvin and Coco Montoya. MacLeod's songs have been featured in many TV movies and the hit show In the Heat of the Night and on Grammy nominated albums by Albert King and Albert Collins. Doug’s soulful slide guitar playing was featured in the Los Angeles opening of August Wilson’s "Gem of the Ocean”.  

Like the old masters who taught him, MacLeod's music expresses life and times through an intangible, elusive quality that may simply be a keen sense of what matters most.

"Never play a note you don't believe", and "Never write or sing about what you don't know about." Is Doug’s philosophy that can help provide a healing that has helped others overcome the hardships in their lives.

An Evening with Doug Macleod is an experience that doesn’t come round very often so don’t miss this rare opportunity.

Tickets are now available at £8 from the Hope Tavern.




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