August 12. The hall was a bit slower than usual filling up as some who weren’t here last month were caught out by diversions due to the closure of a main road leading to the club. Even so nearly everyone had made it by the time the duo ‘Kickin’ Country’ (Chris James & Bryan Cox) started the first set looking for a ‘High Class Lady’ but it wasn’t long before they lowered their expectations and settled for the ‘First Fool in Line’‘. As well as strong vocals individually from both Chris & Bryan throughout their three sets their harmony work was impressive with songs such as Josh Turner’s ‘Lay Low’. The mix included plenty of country songs of course and we were also treated to a bit of rockabilly with the very fast Matchbox number ‘Rockabilly Rebel’ and taken all the way back to the 1950’s with an Everly Brothers number and ‘Only 16’.
Before Danny introduced Kickin' Country there was a shock, for those who didn’t already know, when he announced that Steve Canham, better known as Steve Scott, had died suddenly at home earlier in the week. Together with Mike Norton he appeared regularly at this club and at other clubs in Kent as Steve Scott’s Changes. He performed on the British Country Music scene for many years and I first saw him with his band Rio. When he first formed his duo the act was simply called ‘Changes’ and his partner in the early 2000s was Alan Gregory. The name for his new act was inspired by the Heather Myles song ‘Changes’
For most of his working years Steve was a singer whose rich vocals endeared him to many. In my view no one in the UK sang ‘California Blue’ better than Steve and I always considered this to be his signature tune. In the late 70s and early 80s though he worked as a mobile DJ and in recent years he had regular spots as a presenter on Radio Caroline, including the ‘Archive Roots Americana Show’ who have/had a special edition on Monday 28 August dedicated to Steve.
Our condolences go to his partner Rose and family.