We chat to Jools Holland who plays the Philharmonic Hall on July 27, alongside Gilson Lavis and guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall
The UK's most popular purveyor of boogie woogie has performed and recorded with some of the most talented musicians and songwriters in the world, including Eric Clapton, the late George Harrison and Luther Vandross, Sting, BB King and Paul Weller.
Jools Holland and his 20-piece Rhythm & Blues Orchestra features former Squeeze drummer Gilson Lavis who has been drumming with Jools for more than 25 years.
Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall’s show-stopping vocals complete a show packed with true rhythm and blues boogie woogie.
Holland has played a show here in Liverpool every summer for a decade.
“What can I say, I like Liverpool,” he laughs.
“My great grandfather was from Liverpool, so maybe that’s why it feels like home.”
Sticking to basically the same formula each year, Holland has an “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it” philosophy.
“When I hear the sound of the big band, it fills me with joy,” he explains.
“It’s the kind of music that makes you want to dance. You can see it in the crowd, it gives you that physical response that makes you start to move.
“To share that feeling, that love of the music, with thousands of people, it’s the greatest feeling.
“Don’t tell my agent, but I’d do it for free.”
Holland is one of life’s music lovers.
He presents one of the only music shows left on BBC TV, mixing old with new, picking the best from every genre.
“That’s more by default than by design,” he chuckles.
“We’ve just kept on going. We were never fashionable, so we’ve never gone out of fashion.
“Every show we try to get a real mix. We have a huge music legend – someone like Paul McCartney – then a legend in a genre that might be less well known – like Buena Vista Social Club.
“Then we’ll have a newish artist from a different genre and a contemporary popular star.
“We’re not a talent show. They have to have had at least one decent album.”
Jools Holland plays the Philharmonic Hall on July 27, alongside Gilson Lavis and guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall. Tickets are now sold out, but the box office may have returns.