Ryan McGarvey brings his current UK run to a close during an eagerly anticipated return to the Sage Gateshead.

A packed out crowd of blues-rock fans fill the Sage Gateshead to witness Ryan McGarvey’s third appearance in this very room, in what has become an almost annual visit to this prestigious concert hall on the banks of the River Tyne. It’s fair to say that the North East of England is becoming a home away from home for the Albuquerque native.

Local favourites the Mitch Laddie Band open the proceedings early in the evening and give the Sage Gateshead crowd a taste of what they are all about. During their short but sweet set, the trio showcases an impressive selection of both old and new material including cuts from the band’s latest offering Another World.

As the house lights dim Ryan McGarvey takes to the stage where he is joined once again by legendary bass player Carmine Rojas (Joe Bonamassa, David Bowie, Rod Stewart), and drummer Ollie Harding. When it comes to power trios it doesn’t get much better than this.

Ryan McGarvey comes hurtling straight out of the blocks with a pair of hard-hitting blues rock numbers in the shape of “Feeling Like I Do” and “Standing On The Right Side of the Door”, which each in turn showcase Ryan’s blistering fretwork. Likewise, the pounding bass lines of Carmine Rojas feature prominently throughout.

Ryan McGarvey is getting ready to release his presently untitled new album in November, and subsequently, during this run, he has been road testing tracks from his forthcoming release. Tonight the Tyneside crowd are treated to one of his freshest cuts in the shape of slow blues number “Ain’t Enough Whiskey”, and it does not disappoint. Based on this song alone, McGarvey’s new album looks set to be one to watch out for when it lands later this year.

McGarvey turns up the funk during the epic “Prove Myself”. A mesmerising two song acoustic segment featuring instrumental piece “Four Graces” and a stripped back rendition of the emotive ballad “My Heart To You” follows mid-set. Each of these incredible compositions highlights the versatility of Ryan’s playing.

The band picks up the pace with the hard rocking “Blues Knockin’ At My Door” and the groove-heavy “Memphis”. However, it is McGarvey’s closing number “Mystic Dream” which renders the Sage Gateshead crowd speechless. The latter of which can only be described as a display of instrumental guitar mastery, which truly showcases the US-based virtuoso’s skill, flair and showmanship.

On the strength of tonight’s performance, Ryan McGarvey’s return to the UK can’t come soon enough. We look forward to more of what is to come when the blues maestro’s new album drops next month.

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Ryan McGarvey
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Event Date: 27-Oct-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.