Hamilton Loomis to open the seventh Dereham Blues Festival
Wednesday 10th July at
Dereham Memorial Hall - tickets on sale from 31st January here
We are thrilled that Hamilton Loomis is over here on tour and honoured that he will bring his band to headline at the 7th Dereham Blues Festival. For those that have witnessed this stunning musician and his turbo charged shows you will agree with the following words:
Described by Blues Blast Magazine as “a non-stop turbo of power, one minute moving from side to side of the stage, and then taking on his horn player in a head-cutting contest on the apron of the stage the next minute,” Loomis’ energetic, get-in-with–the-crowd antics are infectious.
“Being comfortable on stage is something that comes completely natural to me,” he says. “I feel joy when I play music and it literally moves me. It moves my body. I learned long ago that whenever music is coming from you, from deep inside your soul and from the right place, people will feel that on a deeper level and might not even know what’s going on inside of themselves. I enjoy engaging the crowd and feel a show should be an interactive experience.”
In describing Loomis' musical style, Guitar Player magazine once stated,
"If blues, soul, and rock can be said to form a triangle, you’ll find Hamilton Loomis right in the centre of it"
You better get out of the way ‘cuz he’s comin!’ – Bo Diddley
Who is Hamilton Loomis?
Loomis was born in Galveston, Texas, United States, to musical parents and he learned to play the drums, piano, guitar and harmonica at an early age. In his teenage years, he was part of a doo-wop singing family group that performed at the Delta Blues Festival. He says,
“My parents had a fantastic record collection and, when I started writing, I gravitated towards what I’d been listening to all my life. I have a huge reverence for the blues and all it encompasses, but I’ve always been fond of R&B and funky music.”
Loomis began playing solo and met a number of renowned blues musicians. Loomis later commented,
"When I was coming up in the music scene, I was lucky to have musical mentors like Joe "Guitar" Hughes, Johnny Copeland, and of course, rock icon Bo Diddley.”
Loomis also got help and advice from others including Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown and Albert Collins.
“These ‘veterans’ took the time to teach and give advice to us youngsters, as if ‘passing the torch.”
A protégé of Bo Diddley, Loomis met the icon backstage at the age of 16 at Houston’s famed venue Rockefeller’s. Before the night was over, Loomis was onstage playing guitar with the legend. Bo Diddley quickly became friend, mentor, collaborator and supporter, appearing on two of Loomis’ albums and presenting a cherished red guitar that he still plays.
“That one night began my education and I spent a lot of time with Bo over the years listening to him tell so many stories,” said Loomis. “He was so generous and most people don’t know that he was really philanthropic. He played free concerts around his hometown for homeless shelters, schools and anyone that just needed help. He was always giving! That’s another thing that planted the GIVE IT BACK seed in my mind. It’s all coming full circle.”
"I used to listen to a lot of Freddie King who was from Texas, but I never got to meet him. Probably the biggest influence on my playing style was a guy called Joe Guitar Hughes. Not many people know about him because he never made it famous, never really toured because he was a family man. But he grew up with Johnny Copeland and Albert Collins in Houston and Joe taught Johnny Copeland how to play. He was just a total guitarist – knew all the chords and all the voicings. And he was just a fantastic musician. His recordings really don’t do him justice but he used to host a blues jam every Tuesday night up in this little part of town there was an all black club and my parents and I would go up there and we’d be the only white people in the place, but when the music started all the barriers were down. That was the first time I really saw that as a teenager, how music breaks down cultural barriers and that’s a beautiful thing. So he gave me a shot and he taught me through a lot licks and a lot of lessons things like how to be sparse with effects, gete your tone from your hands not from your effects, learning how to listen to the other musicians, have a conversation with them and don’t just play loud all the time but use dynamics. Things like that have just stuck with me. I got to play with Gatemouth Brown a few times too so I like to slip and slide around and I got that from him."