The Billy Jenkins Listening Club

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It's the Series Two Box Set Binge...

Series Two of The Billy Jenkins Listening Club webcast is now boxed up for your binge listening pleasure. Listen to all six episodes. If you enjoy what you hear, please share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. You can subscribe for future episodes through iTunes - and write a nice review while you're there... Series Three coming soon...

Series Two

1. When artists meet...

Billy Jenkins and Maggie Day photographed by Beowulf Mayfield

Billy believes you can always recognise a fellow artist. It's obvious from the way they talk about their work, just listen to what they say - you can never mistake it. Well... almost never. Special guest performer and Channel 4 First Dates sensation Maggie Day stepped up to the microphone to read Billy's account of the time when two artistic minds didn't quite agree... Listen

2. A tough lesson...

Billy Jenkins and souvenir bull photographed by Beowulf Mayfield

When Billy performs away from home, he takes great care to learn as much as he can about local opinion and sensitivities. In this story we hear about the time, earlier in his career, when Billy put his foot right in it... Listen

3. A teenage ambition fulfilled...

Mike Pickering at the drums photographed by Beowulf Mayfield

When drummer Mike Pickering was a teenager he told a careers adviser that he wanted to be a drummer in a blues band. He had to wait a few years but in 1995 Billy Jenkins made that dream come true when he asked Mike to be part of the "holy trinity" at the heart of the Blues Collective. In this episode he recalls his part in that history... Listen

4. Those scary strings...

Billy Jenkins and teddy bear Bot photographed by Beowulf Mayfield

There's something out there in the darkness... It sounds like a scary film soundtrack is sneaking through the dark suburban streets... Don't worry, Billy assures us, it's only a string quartet - members of the Gogmagogs musical theatre group to be exact, and they only sound scary to consumers of the mainstream media... Listen

5. It's all too much...

Billy Jenkins playing guitar in a supermaket car park. Photographed by Beowulf Mayfield

There's too much going on in the world - too much information, too much noise, too much social pressure and too much of everything! In this episode Billy describes how the irritations of suburban life inspired one of his most stamping, stomping and comical blues songs...Listen

6. A fight to the bell...

Billy Jenkins and Tony Messenger square up in the boxing ring. Photographed by Beowulf Mayfield

Of all forms of jazz, free improvisation is possibly the most challenging for audiences. Billy recognises this and to make things a little easier for listeners he devised his musical Big Fights - inspired by the sport of boxing. Two improvisers face each other and, when the bell rings, they come out of their respective corners playing. When two or three minutes have passed, the bell rings again and the playing stops. It's really very simple - but it's not so simple to record, as producer Tony Messenger recalls... Listen

Stay in touch

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Follow the listening club on Twitter: @BJListeningClub

Club Credits

The Billy Jenkins Listening Club webcast is presented by creative photographer and former jazz columnist Beowulf "Wulfie" Mayfield, pictured above.

Maggie Day photographed by Beowulf Mayfield

The story that opens Series Two is read by performer Maggie Day, sensation of Channel 4's First Dates in May 2017.

Mike Pickering photographed by Beowulf Mayfield

Drummer Mike Pickering was part of the "holy trinity" rhythm section at the core of Billy's Blues Collective. After driving and jetting around many parts of the world, he's got plans to use his feet more by leading a marching band...

Tony Messenger photographed by Beowulf Mayfield

Record producer Tony Messenger worked with Billy during the 1980s and 1990s, recording many of Billy's most famous albums including the True Love Collection, which is ranked in the BBC's 50 Greatest Jazz Albums playlist

Billy Jenkins photographed by Beowulf Mayfield

Guitarist, bandleader and composer Billy Jenkins is currently on an open-ended sabbaitcal from live performance. The Listening Club podcast provides an alternative outlet for his creative energies.

For further short audio-visual pleasures, have you seen the Billy@60 music sn-apps?