Richard Studholme:

2008-09-02: The Blue Devils:
Jim Leverton, Richard Studholme, Graham Walker and Tom Jaworski

We got mail from Mr. Studholme on 2007-03-09:
Hi Christer...fantastic new lineup with Steve Thorneycroft and Jim Leverton. Check out Jim on the net...
cheers, Richard
Of course we did! Jim's solo outing "Bright New Way" was issued in 2005, and we quote the blurb at CD Universe on his history:
"Jim Leverton's bass playing career began in the mid 60's and he has plied his craft with the most eclectic range of artists one can imagine, through from Frankie Miller, and Englebert Humperdinck right through to Caravan with whom he continues to play today . He is also well known for his work with Juicy Lucy, Savoy Brown, Blodwyn Pig, Fat Mattress, Joe Brown and of course Steve Marriott's Packet of Three."

We got mail from Mr. Studholme on 2005-05-13:
"My new album "Zoned" is out and available via mail order (send cheques/money orders to Chilland School Terrace Hawkhurst Kent, price £10.00 or E15.00), is being reviewed in Blues In Britain in June [SEE BELOW!] with an interview. Album is also available from Red Lick Records.

I have been busy in the studio recording the likes of Eric Bibb, Dave Bronze, and David Maxwell. I am currently planning some live dates in the UK and in Europe.

My website is currently undergoing a rebuild to cover these new details and will be up and running very soon. "

Later on we also received a copy of the "Zoned" CD. And yes, it is great! Mr. Studholm is a guitarist of many moods. My favourite cuts might be "Latenight 1 + 2", "Rain Down Tears", "Bar Room Life", "Paycheck To Paycheck" and "Strange Affair". Everything being a matter of taste. Myself I've always enjoyed slow jazzy songs, soulful funky stuff, sighing Hammond backgrounds, cool Jimmy Vaughan-ish guitars. Mr. Studholm excels in this area - but he has interspersed those tracks with fast stuff with more of a rock'n'roll slant. Something for everybody - without being bland. Recommended!

Big Joe Louis wrote me on Sept. 16 1998 regarding West Weston's Bluesonics:
"Richard Studholme is now the guitarist with Wes (Steve). He used to lead a band called The Richard Studholme Blues Connection which backed several JSP artists on record in the 1980s/1990s like Carey Bell, Louisiana Red, Bill Dicey, Mojo Buford, Nappy Brown and Rockin' Sidney."
After The Richard Studholme Blues Connection but before West Weston's Bluesonics, Richard was lead guitarist in 1997 with Nicky Moore's Blues Corporation and is featured on their album "Take Me Home".

Michael Prince rated Mr. Studholme's new CD "...buzzin'" highly in his review in 'Blueprint Magazine' Issue 20, Febr. 99:
"This is a collection of 4 instrumentals written by Richard... He is backed by fellow-Bluesonics, plus Chris Corcoran on second guitar so that all the tracks could be recorded 'live'... Styles vary throughout from the Chicago sound of the title track, with Richard adopting a Muddy-style tremelo effect and West Weston again sounding uncannily like Little Walter, to the jazzier feel of "2 for B" which is also notable for Roy Webber's spot-on drumming.
Anybody who has seen Richard Studholme play, either with the Bluesonics or in other outfits, will know he is one of the finest guitarists we have, so there are no surprises here. The playing is superb throughout..."
Bluprint Magazine reports in April 2000: "Richard Studholme has left West Weston's Bluesonics. Chris Corcoran has taken over guitar duties."
1) "...buzzin'" PRMCD 1001 (CD of four instrumentals) (1998)

2) "Zoned" is out and available via mail order (send cheques/money orders to
Chilland School Terrace Hawkhurst Kent, price £10.00 or E15.00)
Richard Studholme - …Zoned!
Tone Zone 0010
Richard Studholme - …Zoned!
Tone Zone 0010

The British blues scene is greatly indebted to Richard Studholme. You see, up to somewhere around the mid-eighties, it was generally accepted that US bluesman plus UK band was at best a necessary evil, at worst an unmitigated disaster. As guitarist and bandleader, Richard helped change all that; his classy support for the likes of, plucking names from memory of random, unheralded harp ace Bill Dicey, Hubert Sumlin, Mojo Buford, Lefty Dizz, Carey Bell, Lowell Fulson, the late Lucky Lopez, and Larry Johnson, live or on record, set new standards for other to aspire to - and the current increased respect for and appreciation of the UK blues scene is witness to his success.

The man himself has hardly been prolific though, to this set of originals and covers is extremely welcome. As befits the label name, on first listening it is the immaculate guitar tone that impresses, totally appropriate for whatever the song demands. Appreciation for the conciseness of the playing comes in its wake, as does being impressed by the fine unaccented vocals and admiration for the songwriting and choice of covers, including a couple of less obvious Chuck Berry numbers.

Though there is a fluctuating personnel throughout, Studholme is backed by such long-time associates as bassist Andy Pyle and drummer Steve Thorneycroft; however, some measure of the esteem in which Richard is held can be gauged from the guests he attracts, including slide guitar maestro Roger Hubbard, harpman Steve Weston, Ian Jennings on bass and Hammond organist Bruce Katz. As I hope is clear, it is only what Studholme deserves. He also deserves a lot - and I mean a lot - of credit for such a well-crafted album as this.

Rating: 9
Norman Darwen