As the astute follower of live music in the north-east of Cádiz province, you may know this already, but the Blues Raiders are no more...the band survives as a duo and the name has changed to the Raiders Lite!
To explain the reasoning behind this you need to know a little history. Nigel and I first met in around 2009/10 and became guitar buddies, jamming and exchanging ideas. Back then we both played acoustic guitars and would often meet and play at the Alameda in Olvera, often over a convivial Rioja or two at what was then Bar Mi Pueblo.
Paco, who ran the bar, talked us into playing a concert and our previous incarnation, Los Delgados was born. More middle of the road than anything, we played acoustics and sang songs by Jini Mitchell, Buddy Holly and the like. We played several seasons in Mi Pueblo until it finally closed its doors (in about 2012).
We then scouted for other places to play and La Noria became our bar of choice, firstly because the chap who ran it, also called Paco (in fact by the strangest coincidence, also called Francisco Medina Troya) was a blues fan and harmonica player, and secondly the bar had a nice quiet patio away from the traffic, allowing us to while away the balmy summer evenings playing a bit of guitar and enjoying still more convivial Rioja. We immediately switched to a blues reportoire to provide a platform for the harmonica, and overtime switched to electric instruments, bass and guitar which suited a more 'Chicago sound'. Again we started doing public concerts, building a reportoire which led to shows in other locations such as the Biblioteca and the White Towns festival.
More recently Paco took employment outside of the pueblo, staying away during the week and only returning to Olvera at the weekend, making it difficult for him to commit to gigs in other places. Even if we played when he was in town on a Saturday, he really had to spend time with family rather than play a gig with us. Subsequently the bar closed, meaning we could only play at other venues.
This meant we faced two problems. Paco's availability was already in question and so we could not say with any certainty whether he could be relied upon to attend a particular event. Also the blues reportoire that we had built, largely to support the harmonica was turning out to be a liability. We were already aware blues has limited appeal, especially among a Spanish audience. After some research we decided Rock was the music of choice for an Olvera based band and harmonica was only of limited use.
So we took the unpleasant decision to drop Paco from the lineup. These things are never easy. Paco has been a good mate over the years and we have enjoyed many evenings playing with him and building our musical partnership. Alas, all things must pass!
That means there will be no more updates here about the Blues Raiders. In future all information about Raiders Lite will be posted on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/raiderslite/