FOR ME the sign of a good blues man is how he makes his entrance, and a man that comes on stage with a pint of Heineken in his hand has got off to a very good start.
Will Johns, who I knew very little about, put on a fantastic show on Friday last week for an impressed audience at Norden Farm Arts Centre, in Maidenhead.
A few covers, mixed in with his original material and new tracks from the band's album Hooks And Lines, and he has a new fan on his hands - I even bought the CD.
The Will Johns Band had a couple of new members, with Eric Rupert, on bass, and drummer Chris Gayle making up the quartet with original members Lee 'The Deal' Spreadbury on keys (and he really is the deal) and Will Johns playing a magnificent blues guitar, or three.
Covers included the Stones' Brown Sugar, Fleetwood Mac's Need Your Love So Bad and groovy James Brown favourite I Feel Good, which had us all (well everybody else!) up dancing in their seats.
Some memorable songs from the Hooks And Lines album were I Don't Love You, about a former relationship with tobacco - I got that one as I have been there too; Tight, a good rock blues number, and Loose Lips (Sinks Ships), which those who remember World War Two will understand.
My particular favourite on the night (being an Eagles fan) was Smugglers Blues, written by Eagles frontman Glenn Frey. Round that off with an encore of Stevie Wonder's Superstition and another pint of Heineken - bought for Will by a member of the audience - and what you have is a cracking night of blues. I am a fan and the CD will be in my car for a while.
Take a look at www.willjohns.com to see if they play in Berkshire soon.
Definitely worth a listen.