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Leather jacket wearing Hollywood hard man Steven Seagal brings his Blues Band to Leeds on 19th July. The date at the o2 Academy falls just after the midway point of Steven Seagal’s Blues Band’s European tour. The man BB King once said was “great at guitar” will be playing songs from his forthcoming third album as well as fan favourites from his back catalogue.
The star of Under Siege, who started his career as a martial arts instructor in Japan, is fiercely committed to the blues. He owns one of the most extensive collections of blues guitars in the world, and has honed his playing style in the tradition of the genre’s legends. A huge fan of Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, BB King, Robert Lockwood Jr and many more, Seagal began playing guitar aged 12, long before his acting career would make him famous. After encouragement from his mother prompted him to begin releasing his own music, Seagal seized the opportunity to jam with some of his heroes. Released in 2005, his debut album ‘Songs From The Crystal Cave’ featured a harmonica solo from Stevie Wonder. In the wake of that album Seagal played with King, Diddley and Brown and was welcomed into the blues world.
His second album ‘Mojo Priest’, which explored a purer blues sound than its predecessor, was released in 2006. The album’s yearning, burning blues saw Seagal gain further worldwide recognition for his musical talent, as he toured extensively with his previous band Thunderbox. His most famous UK show to date was a 2007 appearance at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire. His much-anticipated return this year also includes dates in London, Liverpool and Southampton. Seagal will be working on his as yet untitled third album as he tours Europe.
While he’s widely known for his action-packed films, blues music has consumed Seagal’s life for years now. The chance to see this 62-year-old movie star, director and producer performing on the Academy stage is not to be missed. His evocative storytelling and guitar licks have enchanted blues fans around the world. An eclectic personality – Seagal was the first foreigner to teach in a Japanese Akido dojo and is a reserve deputy sheriff in Louisiana – is following the trail made by his musical idols. Seagal’s performance at Leeds’ o2 Academy will be powered only by the raw emotion of the music he loves. You won’t find many better blues shows this summer.