Ligging On The Lagan
Pre-war Mississippi Delta Blues ahoy. We're on a barge on the Lagan, getting enthused about Cara Robinson - her voice, the drums, the fife, whistle, washboard and a nautical outfit that she bought in an Australian vintage store. It's a great combo and the tight little audience is loving the novel flavour of it all.
Cara has her roots in Portaferry and Millisle, but she's now a native of Oz and this European tour is a valuable chance to see how she's getting on. She's accompanied by Hat Fitz, the guy who persuaded her to shift continents and who plays resonant slide blues with a passion that belies his deadpan style.
It's a dynamic act and the physicality of the music is thumping around the bulkheads. They make their tributes to Bessie Smith and Skip James while the bawling ghost of Son House is summoned in their version of 'John The Revelator'. Between songs, they tell stories about their ex partners and bicker with gusto. And while Thirties America is plainly an inspiration, Cara also plays Celtic motifs on the whistle that fit into the scheme with no apparent effort.
Plenty of acts can recreate the technical aspects of this old time music, but Cara and Fitz relate so much of the fun, the sensuality and the visceral thrill of it all. From the songs of one ancient river to another, they let us go with the flow.