Sunday, December 11, 2016


News that the Stones were planning on releasing a "Blues" album in 2016 was received with a certain amount of excited anticipation . They certainly had the credentials to play the music and confirmation that Eric Clapton would be featuring only heightened the excitement.

Music Review by Brian Hay for

I have been a Stones fan since 1964 when at the age of ten I got to hear their first album . Without me knowing at the time they were also introducing me to the Blues, a passion that has been with me ever since.

I pre-ordered the album and waited patiently for the release date 2nd Dec 2016.

Blue & Lonesome apparently came about when the creative juices of the band had dried up while trying to record some new material. As a "refresher" they started to play what comes naturally to guys whose DNA is steeped in the Blues.

Without rehearsal they went into Blue & Lonesome, someone on the desk hit "record" and in one take the title track was down. A project that had been talked about for 40 years was underway, a Blues album by the Rolling Stones.

My first impression of the CD version of the album was how raw the recording is as it blasted out of the speakers. No tweaking, no over dubbing, just the sound that was made in the studio delivered straight to your ears.

Image result for BLUE & LONESOME stones
The Guardian

I have no idea as to how the tracks were selected as they are all covers of previously recorded songs including four of Little Walter and two of Howling Wolf.

Of the 12 tracks only 2 had made the Billboard charts when first recorded. Four listens in and I am starting to pick out my favourite bits.

Jagger's harp playing is commendable. He he delivers what is expected on the Little Walter tracks. I have been trying to catch the Hammond B3, one of my favourite instruments and listed as being used on a few tracks but not prominent enough to be heard.

The title track has some nice guitar work from Keith but beyond that the distinct step change in guitar comes when Clapton joins the band.

My standout track, originally recorded by Little Johnny Taylor and reaching number 9 in the Billboard chart of 1971, is "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing". Clapton picks up slide duties and lifts this track above the rest of the album.

Clapton also plays on probably the most well known track on the album, "I Can't Quite You Baby", first recorded by Otis Rush back in 1956. Jagger's vocals on this track are reminiscent of the phrasing often used by Buddy Guy. I don't think it's the best version I have ever heard as it's quite hard to get the LZ version out of your head when listening.

Overall, if I'm honest  it's not the album I was hoping for.

Eleven quite obscure tracks and one Blues standard, all played well by guys who know every riff in Blues there is to know.

What's missing? I'm not sure but I know my spine didn't tingle nor did my neck hairs stand up when I played it. Perhaps we have waited so long we expected too much.

The album was recorded in three days proving that these guys can play this stuff without even thinking about it  It has also reached No.1 in the UK charts a success they have not known for a new album since Voodoo Lounge in 1994.

Every Stones and Blues fan should have this album in their collection as it is an historic compilation of a genre that always needs support.

Finally I would love to see a campaign to induct Darryl Jones to full band member as he has more than served his time and should get the reward he deserves.

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Monday, December 5, 2016


Christmas 2016 will mark the move of Costa Blanca Blues over to the belly of Benidoleig to bop and boogie with our favourite music and friends!!

We had an excellent experience at the countryside restaurant El Cid's and the owner and staff were fantastic. We will be back!!

This video of mixed photos and video clips will give you a hint at the energy in the room.

The music in this video is not by Buddy Paul & the Crazy Goats but I can tell you that we were treated to a grand mix of slow walking blues to the best boogie woogie and even a few old twisting favourites. The musicians were ace as usual!!

Thank you to everyone who attended. The CBBlues group and webzine grows every year and finding more blues music lovers makes it easier to afford the top musicians of the genre in Spain and abroad.

I am hoping that this trend will continue into 2017 as there are still some incredible blues performer to see and of course we need to invite back our favourites. 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Keep it Real
Karla Darocas - 

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Once again, a truly mad, adventurous, heart-warming experience. Thank You.

CrossRoaders gathered at Bar Mediterraneo in Teulada on the last Saturday of November 2016 to celebrate yet another Christmas spirit together. Some came in costumes from the roaring music hall days gone by. Everyone sang and performed to their hearts desires and we all felt their joy.

It was also Den's birthday, and after we all had a round of Happy Birthday to You - songsmithery in his honour, he got up on the guitar and plucked out a tune. Bravo!! When the spirit moves you... do it!

We even had some guests from Pinoso, namely Alan Currie and John Wilcock and they were gifted gents. They and their partners joined us for lunch too.

Community Lunch is another perky part about Bar Mediterraneo. It's real food, fast, affordable - not always friendly - but who cares!! It's all part of the experience!! Deep Valenciana!! And, we are grateful to the owners for the use of their large salon / dining room - at the back!

John and Roger did a smashing job of taking over the roles and responsibilities of our music director, Buddy Paul, who wasn't able to be with us. They got everything set up and ready on time and ran the event with superb hosting talent... I guess these wonderful gentlemen have had some previous hosting experiences. Bravol!! I really appreciated your efforts!!

I had some fun with my photography since everyone was in the spirit - so was I .

I made a happy Christmas video too!!

Enjoy and Let it Shine!!
Karla Darocas, editor 

Monday, November 14, 2016


WOW - Cannot believe that it's our 5th year of appreciating and celebrating the blues!!

Our music director, Buddy Paul has pulled his Crazy Goats back together for this special Christmas Party & Dance - so we can have a festive boogie and jive event!! This band is a cast and crew of some of the most talented musicians that Valencia city has to offer!! Plus they are good sports and accommodate our musical wishes to enjoy life and blues music. We like to keep it real!!

In case you do not know the Crazy Goats - they are - Enrique Portoles and Jorge Champez are the stars on the guitars. The fabulous Alejandro Zamora is on bass guitar and joining them is a new drummer who they call -  Miguel Superbataka.

The owner Charlie over at El Cid's has promised us some great home-cooking with a choice of Christmas lunches that promise to satisfy our taste buds!! It's all great and wonderful!!

We need our menu choices in by the 20th of November - so book it up soon!!


Monday, October 31, 2016


Saturday, October 29th, 2016 was a perfect fall day to enjoy one of my favourite monthly events - namely CrossRoads. It was great to see some of the gang who go off during the summer - now returned to participate in our 3rd season of songs and stories!

Our music / stage director, Buddy Paul - launched the group off with some blues and then let all the participants solo or duo and then jam it up at the end. One of our gang even brought out her saxophone - to which Buddy Paul commented, "Look at Ann getting all Saxy".

I read a small selection from one of my favourite books "Creating A Charmed Life" by Victoria Morgan. And another CrossRoader read a really funny prose by Woody Allen about Living Life Backwards! *see below*

After the CrossRoads Session - there were 12 of us that stayed to share lunch. It was fabulous as always.

Enjoy the slideshow video xx

Karla Darocas, editor / empressaria

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


On the 23rd of October, our CBBlues Friend John Le Sueur organised a massive fundraiser event to support the fearless firemen and their equipment. He invited all of his classic car club and the local biker clubs, plus the Red Cross and food, beverage and other stands.

The Town Hall supplied a massive stage and thanks to Chris Williams at Total Fm we had a big PA system which we ran all the amps through.

Just when we were setting up that is when all the bikers arrived - 185 in total. 

The sun was shining - and that was a Godsend considering that the 2 days before was OK for ducks but not for Valve amps on a stage at a big fundraiser! 

I kicked off the show with a couple of sound check numbers to a grand round of applause. (ha ha). It was so great to see so many people. There were hundreds. I even saw our CBBlues Friend Dennis Hankey who was parading on his Harley - Good one Den!!

Next up were two young lads from the UK. They were awesome and only16 and 19 years old - unbelievable. They promise to send over the CD discs for anyone to hear that missed the event. 

My Smoking Blues Band was just about to launch into our set when the Stop Blues Band turned up, all the way from Murcia city. So we had to stop and get them sorted out.

Then we kicked off and ripped into some blues for the crowd. 

A big thanks to Xavi Alaman who stepped in to play bass for the Smoking Blues Band at the last minute.

After a strong blues set, we took a break and some other guys from the UK jumped up and performed a nice selection of classic rock songs.

Then it was time for the Stop Blues Band - who are fantastic!!!

German Ramallo is the guitarist and singer in the band and he called me up to harp for them and WOW did we kick!! Then they all asked me to join their band!! I was so blown away by the invite - hence I ended up on stage all day! That will teach me to be so talented!! (hahahaha)

There was great support and everyone had a great time. 

A big THANK YOU to our pal John Le Sueur who called me in to be his music director for the day. 

Also many thanks to the Big BBQ Company, Total FM, Bay Radio, Jennifer Cunningham Insurance (support and finances) and Karla Darocas (Mama Blues) for the pics and never ending support and efforts to promote blues music - and all her friends like Carol Lynn, Kathleen, Lizzie, Steve, Jose, and more!!

It was a big success!!

Blues it Up,
Buddy Paul, Music Director - Costa Blanca Blues

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Buddy Paul, our devoted Costa Blanca Blues music director, popped into Bay Radio FM in Javea and shared some important information with DJ Moody about the Fireman's Fundraiser taking place in Javea on Sunday, October the 23rd.

Buddy Paul's Smoking Blues Band and our CBBlues friends - STOP BLUES BAND will be there on Sunday too.

It's going to be full Classic Cars, BBQ's, Bikes & Blues - just how we like it!! kd

Monday, October 17, 2016


The CBBlues Octoberfest Sunday Social appreciated and celebrated with Murcia's #1 Blues act - STOP BLUES BAND.

I really enjoyed this band for many reasons - here are a few...

1. PROFESSIONAL. From the start of their arrival until the time they packed up - they were extreme professionals. They arrived early, unloaded quickly, got sound check out the way, had time to relax and enjoy their home-cooked menu of the day at Bar Mediterraneo, and then launched into a truly unique concert that blended blues with Spanish roots music.

2. CULTURAL. Singing many of our favourite blues standards in Spanish was a real treat and a profound experience. I love the way that Costa Blanca Blues embraces cultural integration - music is the divine leveler.

3. REHEARSED. The band was so tight that you never doubted their ability give you a perfect performance. They knew when to push the emotions forward and when to pull back. They were so rehearsed and professional again!

4. VARIETY. Their songs were full of interesting changes from tempos to styles. One song started as a slow blues and then worked its way into a Spanish Bolero - super cool.

5.SHOWMANSHIP. They all had fun stage garments that made them into more than musicians; they were showmen!

6. ENTREPRENEURS. They brought with them well produced and packaged CD's and groovy and tshirts; again the signs of professional hard working musicians. These are the kind of entrepreneurial musicians that I like to support and encourage because they are ones that bring us good music without the hassle and attitude. CBBlues Friends likes to Keep it Real when they appreciate and celebrate!

7. HARMONIC. They often sang in two and three part harmonies and to me there is nothing more amazing than that ability to blend voices. Love it!

8. QUALITY. Their level of musicianship was superior. They knew how to command their instruments but with that ease that makes every note perfect in pitch and tone.

9. FRIENDLY. They were all very friendly and respectful and mingled with our CBBlues friends.

If you get a chance to support these musicians, I highly recommend them for real live music ./ blues lovers. They are not for the uncultured pop music crowd because they are musicians musicians, if you know what I mean.

Thank you again to Jorge García (bass) and Germán Ramallo (guitar) and Raúl García (drums) - the ultimate power trio!!

Report by Karla Darocas, editor CBBlues Webzine


Saturday, October 8, 2016


The great thing about these full-time professional, hard working musicians is that in an acoustic performance they can let their talents be up-front and focused.

Monday, October 3, 2016


One of the hardest working blues acts in Spain are the legendary STOP BLUES BAND.

Hailing from Murcia city, which has a deep blues tradition for many years, STOP BLUES BAND have been involved in many blues concerts with a host of international blues performers from the highest levels of the tradition. The band has also been involved in all of the big blues festivals and conventions that are well promoted and supported throughout Spain including the Cazorla Blues Festival. They are also releasing their 2nd CD which promises to be a unique blend of blues with other roots and modern music styles.

Here are some interesting facts about the ONE STOP BLUES BAND and the performers...

Sunday, September 25, 2016


THE FALL SEASON OF CROSSROADS got off to a great start on Saturday morning (September 2016).

Most of the regular CrossRoaders were on hand and they brought their friends too. It was a very large and exciting crowd with a lot of talent in the mix. We had performers from UK, America, Australia and Spain - plus me being Canadian, however I lost my spoken word piece so could not perform!

There was a great support from all in attendance and 20 plus stayed on for the community home-cooked lunch for more socialising and sharing. The improvement on issues of shyness with some members has really soared. You cannot believe they are the same people who joined us 2 years ago!! Music does have the power to transform minds and souls and the CrossRoads monthly community events are the perfect environment for this blooming of talents.

I baked a Canadian-style coffee cake for all the guests with carrots, walnuts and lots of cinnamon - not too much sugar! It turned out to be hit - so I guess it will become tradition too. There is something to hosting a coffee morning with coffee cake as the bonus.

Buddy Paul, our music director was in good form and spirits considering the fact that he was working and making music till late the night before!! What a professional. He never misses a beat and he loves his CrossRoaders!!

I was clicking away with my camera -  as usual - and went for some humanism poses / photos using my favourite folks = the CrossRoaders.

See you all Next Month xx
Karla Darocas,

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Costa Blanca Blues, the one and only blues music appreciation group on the coast, launched its 5th season with a spectacular reunion of the best blues harmonica performers in an intimate yet ultimate showdown that was powerful and exciting.

CBBlues music director Buddy Paul pulled together many of the musical guests from last season and the 2nd Annual Harp Attack - Dueling Harmonica Show - went off with a ton of energy.

A very warm thank you to all the musicians who came in from all corners. 

We had harp player extraordinaire Little Fonzi who hails from Benidorm. The Valencian king of the blues harp, Danny Boy was down from Valencia city. Daniel Tena who really puts a lot of lung into his harmonica was also here from the big city of Valencia. And of course Buddy Paul who has come a great distance in the blues harp ranking and I would say has reached Master status.

Peter Murphy was here all the way from the UK. We were afraid that he could make it as he was ill earlier in the year, however, the knowledge that he was to perform at the 2nd Annual Harp Attack got him better again!!

Keeping the musical melodies on the right track was new comer Jon Knox from Altea, who proved to be not only a monster guitarman but a super showman and good sport!

Back beats were kept in order by our favourite standby drummer from Oliva - Alvaro Diez and on base guitar is our long time CBBlues friend - Mr. Brad Marriner.

During the show, I had a lovely woman come up to me and state that she was so happy and the music made her want to dance. Another gentleman, who drove a long way to be with us, now that is a blues fan, said that he felt like "crying with happiness" when he heard good blues.

The feedback has been fantastic from this event and everyone wants a 3rd Annual Harp Attack next September 2017 - So - I guess we will BLOW IT UP again!!

Enjoy the photos and I will be posting more videos to the CBBlues YouTube Channel but here is one to get you revved up!! 


Thank you to all of our devoted CBBlues Fans and Friends who appreciate and celebrate with us each and every time!!

Karla Darocas, editor

BUDDY PAUL - I can't hear you... Got your Mojo Workin?

Friday, September 16, 2016


CBBlues fans are in for a great new season of high quality musical talent at all of the social events!
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COSTA BLANCA BLUES will launch it's BACK TO THE BONE * Acoustic Roots Music Revival Concerts - this OCTOBER 7TH and every First Friday of the Month - till end of the season!!

"Our Sunday Socials are great fun but they are big band and party action with blues songs ranging from Chicago to British styles," explain organiser Karla Darocas.

"I want to also showcase the acoustic talents that are the true revivalists; the roots performers who are dedicated to keeping the old songs and styles alive!", she continues.

Together with her music director, Blues entertainer Buddy Paul - the Back to the Bone - concert series was born.

"For the launch, I wanted performers who were extremely talented and solid entertainers," explains Karla, who has been a dedicated blues and roots music fan and journalist since the early 70's.

There is no one on the scene more devoted than the roots musical duo of Sara Gee and Ramblin' Matt. With 4 album under their belts, these talents will be representing Spain in the 2016 edition of the Texas Sounds International Country Music Awards, to be celebrated in Jefferson, Texas in mid-October.

Together with Buddy Paul, these musicians will be sharing a Selection of Vintage Delta Blues and Early Mountain Hillbilly Songs from Beginning of the XX Century to the 1940's!!

No strangers to the Roots Revival music scene, Matt has attended roots revival festivals in the USA and UK. Sara got her chops by performing vintage blues and country in Formentera. These are Spanish musicians and yet they have an extreme attraction to the old Americana & British music styles.

Both Sara and Matt are from Valencia, but are now living in Denia. Matt spent 20 years between USA, UK and Zanzibar and Sara has been in Formentera 7 years also playing music. They met in May 2013 and they have lived together and played together ever since, and they plan is to keep on doing it until their last breath.

Get all of the full what's and wherefores on this talented twosome - Click Here

"Old lyrics enable me to put myself in the shoes of those old performers, songsters that made a living from their music, always running here and there...just like myself ," chuckles the revivalist songster / performer.

He continues, "Sara draws her inspiration from Blues women like Bessie Smith or Memphis Minnie, and also from Hank Williams."

BACK TO THE BONE promises to be a trip back to the past where songs were crafted and performers were one with their instruments. It's going to be a real journey into the heart of emotional songs that don't die!

"Due to past life antics and a hazardous life and travels,  I have internalized The Blues thereby making it a part of myself, explains Ramblin' Matt.

"The Blues, it's like my very own Prozac; it keeps me balanced."

Like all music fans who appreciate the vintage genres, Matt admits, "I like very much the tale songs of the first songsters, about dodgy characters and bar room stories."