There was a special kind of energy in the air as I walked out of Mama Stones last night having just witnessed the stunning and uplifting collaboration between soul songstress Joss Stone and legendary rock guitarist Jeff Beck.
Everyone looked slightly stunned at the brilliance they had just witnessed. I felt it too. On stage in a striking red dress, Joss looked as beautiful as she sounded as she took her audience with her from song to song.
The music industry’s superstars united for exclusive one-off gig and chose Exeter to perform the intimate showcase.
Joss’s strong, clever, buttery vocals were the creamy accompaniment to Beck’s zesty guitar riffs – their sounds paying complement to the other as if saying, “Hey listen to him! No listen to her!”
Individually, they are masters, together they are masterful. Both stole the show. Their unique tones worked in harmony together, and as performers they worked in harmony together.
Both are musicians you want to close your eyes and listen to, to blot out all distractions and give them the full appreciation their talents command. Then again it was pretty hard not to keep still as well and stop yourself from dancing with a smile on your face.
Crowds gathered early to hear the delicious Stevie Wonder-esque tones of Mama Stones’ house musician Leigh Coleman, who was the pair’s support act for the night. The young guitarist, who has recently released an EP entitled ‘It is what it is’, performed a set of soul and R&B numbers, including a bit of Michael Jackson, as part of a three-piece. His rhythmic jazz-funk style and talents certainly started stirring up the magical atmosphere that ensued. It was a genuine privilege to be part of it.
Devon-based Joss last performed at the club, owned by her mother Wendy Joseph, three months ago before embarking on a world tour, which she took time out from to return.
In the past Joss has appeared as a special guest on stage with Jeff Beck on a number of occasions including the O2 in February 2010, and the Idol Gives Back fundraising event in America, also that year. In both shows the song they performed together was the I Put a Spell on You, most renowned with Nina Simone. It featured on Jeff’s album Emption and Commotion, along with a second song with Joss on vocals called There's No Other Me.
Jeff became a renowned UK guitarist after replacing Eric Clapton as the Yardbirds' lead guitarist in 1965.
He left the band two years later and formed The Jeff Beck Group, which featured Rod Stewart on vocals and Ron Wood on bass. He has since been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.