Review: Geno Washington, Holt Festival

Geno Washington who is appearing at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: ERIC HANDS

Geno Washington who is appearing at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: ERIC HANDS - Credit: Archant

Geno Washington

Theatre in the Woods, Holt

He landed in East Anglia as a US airman in the 1960s and saw a new career as a singing star take off.

And Geno Washington made a flying visit back to Holt Festival in an outdoor gig played against a backdrop of woodland and looming rain.

He is in his 70s now but had the air and energy of a cheeky teenager as he stomped around the stage driving on his superb three piece band.

Thee Yo Yos are the Ram Jam band minus the brass, and serve up the rhythm and blues Geno rather than his soul side, with the guitar work of Stuart Dixon catching the eye and ear.

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There was the odd slow blues but mostly it was upbeat foot-tapping , head-nodding 12-bar feelgood music, which helped the waterproof-clad crowd forget the gloomy weather.

It was singalong time from his opening High Heel Sneakers. A journey through classics such as Got My Mojo Working and Little Red Rooster, and Land of 1000 Dances led to a Blues Brothers fuelled finale including I Feel Good which sparked a battalion of Barbour jackets jigging in the muddy mosh pit as the downpour also picked up tempo.

Geno's humour and broad smile shone through to the end as he said he had to dash because the lobster provided by the hosts was getting cold.

A short but sassy gig that served up musical sunshine amid the rain.

Richard Batson

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