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”Where Good Music Belongs” Jumpin Hot Book launch with Catfish Keith special guest @ Gosforth Civic Theatre
By Juan Fitzgerald (pics/text)

From having the most unusual task as a veteran attender of the club , of taking to the stage to ask questions about the brand new Jumpin Hot Club book “Where Good Music Belongs” it was a joyful evening had by everyone on Friday night at Gosforth Civic Theatre. With a fairly packed audience of old & new regulars & Catfish co-hoots it was such an attentive crowd right from the off. Once I started the questions Graham and Adam were on a roll regaling on how they met, how the Club was set up and lots of memorable events , the questions mostly been answered before they were even asked, such was their enthusiasm. We had Leila the Northern Roots MD on stage to oversee everything & she just about managed it with Adam. Additionally I had a question from Jumpin Hot Club’s most acclaimed regular musician over the decades Martin Stephenson beamed over from my phone to the audience , as if we had conjured Aladdin out of his lamp “Can you remember the Roaring lion” he enquired. Shippy then told the story in the book of the old Trinidadian singer who wore a bright pink suit, fedora hat & a cane and made up calypso’s to every lady on Northumberland street, causing quite a stir back in the day . Then we were serenaded with an actual rare Roaring Lion 78 rpm record played on a little 1960’s record player. Yes, it was a one-off event !! Smooth links couldn’t have planned it better ; however I think they could have talked from another hour or two but we had Iowa acoustic bluesman Catfish Keith as the special guest live performer . So after a busy interval of book signing Catfish, a Jumpin Hot Club regular of the vintage years took to the stage. With his selection of 3 gorgeous custom made guitars and just like the club originators, a love of early country blues, off he went. Tunes such as” God’s Gonna Separate The Wheat From The Tares” ” Bella Mina is in the Harbour , “ Don’t Know Right From Wrong” and my personal favourite, the Lead Belly cowboy song that encapsulated the mash of styles of the club. with country mixed with the blues . Catfish guitar playing and finger picking was amazing & I loved how he contorted his fingers while playing the amazing Steel guitar & twelve string. Also how cool was a quick nail file before the next song !! It was just a glorious night & as I left the foyer it was still crammed with people getting books signed & an evening filled with stories and laughter & may The Jumpin Hot Club live for another 38 years.