From an article first published in Easdale People magazine, Issue No 20, Autumn 2004.
Tam White guitar & gravel vocals, with Joost
on dobro. Scotland's answer to Broonzy, BB King, Blind Willie McTell & John Hurt,
all rolled into one. What a night.
Starting with a 12-bar delta blues, Nothing
Blues, Tam soon got us into the swing
with John Hiatt's One Kiss, and Booker
T Jones' Born Under a Bad Sign. His own
Stonemasons Blues was dedicated to the
Easdale slate, and rocked the hall to that
heavy dragging beat like never before. He
had us all singing the gospelly Save Me,
and followed that with Sweet Senegal
- his own arrangement of Robert Burns' Slave's Lament. This and Leadbelly's
Blues Walk Down, and an evocatively
atmospheric rendering of Lonnie
Donnegan's Worried Man Blues, wound
up the fist half and left us all thirsting
for more. In all this, Tam's inimitable guitar
was ably supplemented by the haunting
dobro playing of Dutchman Joost from up Findhorn way.
Tam's down-to-earth, music-is-people
approach came to the fore when he
let Joost take the first 4 numbers of
the second half. A good blues man in
himself, although more van Morrison
than McTell, Joost gave us his own
songs on guitar, with the first dedicated to Catriona Melville who had shown him round the island that afternoon!
Tam came back and soon had us singing
again with Small Talk, then went on
with Fadin Fast, the funky Freeway,
and Minstrel's Farewell - his tribute to
Two of his own songs from the Norman
Stone film Mandancin' featured in the
second half. Hold On is the title track of
his latest album, dedicated to Rab Yule
who died last year. The heavy funk of
Man Dancin set the tone for the tail end
of the evening, with that addictive beat
that gets you totally absorbed in the
blues. He encored with I'm so lonely, and
finally tuned the box down to DADGAD
for Long Time Coming.
In the Puffer later, Tam promised he
wouldn't be a long time coming back.
And like all great musicians, he loved
the hall and its unique atmosphere
which seems to adapt to anything that
goes on there.