Getting on down for some rootsy blues

Downtown roots
Downtown roots
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Sheffield’s Downtown Roots are a world away from the city’s gritty indie heritage.

Rather, Downtown Roots have a musical sound that’s more akin to a smokey London bar, circa 1967, as guitarist Moz Casserly explains.

“We love blues, especially that of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton so what we play is basically guitar blues.”

The band is simple in format. “It’s just me on guitar, a bassist and a drummer but we like it that way. We don’t argue and it keeps it straightforward. There are no egos in our band.”

In terms of songwriting, the band stray away from the standard eight-bar blues structure.

“We like to go off-piste. There is a lot of improvisation with what we do so we are quite exciting to see live.”

But this magic – created on stage – is difficult to translate to record. “People come and see us live and absolutely love what we do but it’s hard to capture that on record. We are writing new material though and we will be recording that onto an EP at a studio in Stag Works very soon.”

The band has been together only two years. “We’re all young – between 20 and 21 – and we met at the Boardwalk. I was a glass collector there.”

Downtown Roots have also donated takings from gigs to the Walter Trout Fundraiser.

“We raised £500 for Walter Trout. He’s a great musician and we wanted to help out.”

And when not raising money for a new liver for the guitar hero, the band is busy rehearsing for a full European tour supporting the Mudcats Blues Trio.

“It’s all go,” says Casserly. “But it’s all good.”

Downtown Roots play at the Frog and Parrot on June 12.