WHEN Kent Duchaine last came to Ilkley in November 2015 I wondered whether there would be sufficient interest in this style of music to generate an audience. I need not have worried. The upstairs room in The Ilkley Moor Vaults was packed to capacity with all seats taken and people standing at the back. The atmosphere was electric.

A few had seen Kent before and had come back for more, many were blues aficionados and knew what to expect, quite a lot were friends of ours who had come along not quite knowing what they had let themselves in for. They were in for a treat.

What we all got was one of the best evenings of live entertainment that I can remember in a long time. Kent is the consummate performer and with the assistance of his assistant, ‘Leadbessie’, his beloved 1934 National Steel guitar, he soon had the audience spell-bound.

His mastery of the guitar had those in the audience who play, awestruck. Using a bottle neck technique and open tuning he was able to produce a heavy bass riff, rhythm and lead guitar all at the same time and with what appeared to be the minimum of effort. Close your eyes and there were three people on stage.

His repertoire includes classics from the greatest Blues artists of the 20s and 30s – Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Johnny Shines, Percy Sledge (When a Man Loves a Woman) plus many of his own songs

But what really made the evening so special was the way that Kent was able to interweave this fabulous music with fascinating stories from his long life on the road as a travelling Blues musician. Stories about the amazing people he met along the way, including most of the Blues greats whose music he was performing and humorous anecdotes about the effects of his life style on his family and his three ‘ex wives to be’ as he referred them. He had the audience on the edge of their seats

Kent will be back at The Ilkley Moor Vaults on Friday, November 16 (8pm start)

For tickets (£6) – contact Ged Faricy on 07833 937254

by Ged Faricy