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Dave Merrick Dave Merrick

Natalie and Dave play their favourite music from the jazz and blues classics of the 1920s through to the 1960s, and beyond, They came together to further explore and develop their own take on these classic jazz standards. They have been gigging in and around the Bristol and the South West for the last five years or so. They are also very close neighbours, both coming from the same neighbourhood in their hometown city of Bristol UK. They have made two CD's and two DVD's.

Both have had extensive performance experience in and around the Bristol and South West (UK) area, inclusive of a number of radio appearances on both sides of the Atlantic.

Artists they both like: Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Julie London - all the great female jazz singers.

Guitarists influencing Dave: Mississippi John Hurt, Rev Gary Davis, Bert Jansch, John Renbourne, Stefan Grossman, Jo Pass, Django and all the great jazz guitarists.

They have a lively YouTube channel which is attracting increasing levels of attention. You can find this by googling:

https://www.youtube.com/user/SmallDays1


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Bessie’s life in blues brought back to life

REVIEW Empress of the Blues – A Tribute to Bessie Smith; Thunderbolt, Totterdown, Bristol.

Some performers deserve to be known by more than their work. Bessie Smith won fame as Empress of the Blues in the 1020’s, but there was more to her life than money and fame.

She died in 1937, but 80 years on a good sized crowd were held rapt at the Thunderbolt as Dave Merrick narrated her life story, from a ragged upbringing in the American South, with the help of original recordings.

Bessie shot to fame because her unique vocal style could cut through the limitations of 1920s recording technology.

But it was the live performances the Totterdown audience were waiting for, and Natalie Davis on vocals, with Dave on guitar and Brenan Whitmore on saxophone did not disappoint.

Renditions of I Need A Little Sugar in my Bowl, and ‘Taint Nobodies Business If I Do made the magic of Bessie shine, from the slow paced blues of the 1920s to the syncopated swing era of the 1030s – showcased by a fascinating and still-exciting clip for St Louis Blues of 1929

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