AULD MANS BACCIE
Thursday 2nd October lady luck was shining down that night for two poor pilgrims on the blues road. After a chance meeting at the bar of a local open mic night Nick Phillips & Davey Curtis decided to get together and rehearse to see if it was viable to form an acoustic duo playing the music they both loved, namely the Blues.
“My first influences were rock n roll; Elvis, Eddie Cochran and Jerry Lee Lewis. All of these I heard from my sister’s record collection and Johnny Cash, Oscar Peterson and Count Basie from my mothers.
Growing up in rural Buckinghamshire there wasn’t a lot of live music about but I remember buying a BB King double LP - BB King and Bobby Bland live, it never left the turntable for months. This chance purchase led me to Muddy Waters, Elmore James and Lightning Hopkins who remain favourites of mine.
I played mainly in rock bands during this time spent a short time with Silmarillion later to become Marillion and left because I thought I was going nowhere playing this stuff! Formed my own band called Hair of the Dog and spent a few years in different line ups with this outfit playing around the pubs in Bucks and the surrounding areas.
I moved to the North East, mainly because there were so many good blues bands and venues at the time. I decided to advertise for a band which led me to Jeff Morland, wherein Barkin Billy and the Rhythm Dogs were born, later renamed as Barkin Billy and the Scrap Yard Dogs.
I stayed with the band on and off for over 27 years, but found my self drawn to the less complicated format of acoustic music. As a lover of slide guitar I took the plunge and bought a resonator and hid away practising for a few months before meeting up with Davey who I had known through various bands for some time.”
Davey takes up the story
“I had been playing around the social club circuit for more years than I care to remember and by 2011 I decided I'd had enough and packed it all in. Every now again I would go to an open mic event just to keep my hand in. On the night in question, a friend of mine phoned and asked me If I would come down to the bar play a few tunes why not I thought.
After I had done my spot on the mic, I wandered over to the bar and bumped into Nick Phillips. I had known Nick for years (He once lived next door to my older brother and helped him out of a wheelie bin, but that's another story!) Anyway Nick is sipping on his pint and after the normal pleasantry's he says to me “Oi Curtis, you know what me and you should do, we should form a duo and the play music that we like to play. That piqued my interest, so we arranged to meet up a few days later and go through a few tunes. It quickly became apparent we knew more than enough tunes to get up and running so off we went. Under that old adage...you can sit and strum in your living room till kingdom come, but is only in front of an audience you really learn anything we decided to get out there and play everywhere and anywhere to anyone who would listen. What are we going to call ourselves? I asked. All the good band names are gone. Nick just smiled and said Auld Man's Baccie. And the deal was done!”
Auld man's Baccie= A colloquial name for Yarrow Achillea millefolium. A plant that was dried and smoked in place of tobacco apparently and also has lots of medicinal uses and is considered a sacred herb by many cultures. An earthy name for an earthy duo.
After the lads had gotten a few gigs under their belt Nick conatacted Gary Grainger the Blues award winning DJ with a cheeky request to appear on his show. To their suprise he agreed and this gave them their first tatse of performing on air to the public.
This in turn led to Gary inviting them to peform at the newly formed Reivers Rock and Blues festival in the beautiful surroundings of Northumberland. Sitting in the crowd that day was one man who liked what he heard. Fellow Blues DJ Jolly Roger Daniels invited them on his radio show to perform live in the studio. An intense period of gigging and song writing then insured and finally in Setember 2015 the lads were ready to go into the studio and record their. Thankfully for them Steve Daggart of Lindisfarne fame pointed them in the right direction. First avenue studios in Newcastle proved just the place to record the earthy, honest and stripped back blues they play.
Joining them in the studio to weave some of his magic on a few tracks was a man they consider a friend and mentor the wonderful harmonica player Jim Bullock and to sprinkle a little sugar on backing vocals, Nicks Daughter Rhiannon Phillips. With the help of engineer Dave Curle (Magic Dave) Resonating with the Blues was born.
One faithful servant who must be mentioned and who always raises an eyebrow where ever he goes is their beloved Baccie Bus, The humble Fiat Panda!
This little car has taken the lads all over the north of England and when carefully packed has an almost TARDIS like ability to cram stuff in. The look on people’s faces when they pull up to a gig and proceed to unload a PA system with two on stage monitors, 4 guitars, lights, stands, our table and its adornments, leads & assorted paraphernalia out of a small run-about is priceless!
The lads try to create the atmosphere of the old time Juke Joints whenever they play and bring a sense of fun along with the music they so obviously enjoy playing.