Boogie in the Bonn sunshine with the Stefan Ulbricht Trio

Another beautiful start of Autumn Sunday (that seemed like more of a mid-Summer SUNday) outside the Parkrestaurant Rheinaue.  This afternoon’s guests were the Stefan Ulbricht Boogie Trio, who answered all of their description perfectly – being a trio and playing boogie piano.  No complaints from me then, or the many people enjoying a cool beer or glass of wine on the trestle tables that seem to stretch far into the distance and beyond.

Boogie piano?  I thought it was something that happened when the likes of Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis got into their Rock ‘n’ Roll stride.  Great Balls of Fire and all that.  In fact, it’s a genre that grew at the start of the 20th Century in Metropolitan USA, with all its own heroes of course.  Albert Ammons, Meade ‘Lux’ Lewis…   Legend has it that such a concert at Carnegie Hall was so wild that some of the audience had to be helped down from the chandeliers after enthusiasm got them, literally, swinging to the music.

No chandeliers, indeed no roof, to worry about this afternoon of course, and an audience in the more mature category that would not have been up for such antics I suspect.  Good thing too as it happens, since even dancing is not permitted at open air shows these days.  Indeed, since last week’s concert, the fencing around the site has been doubled in height and even three young children who were clearly enjoying the show after somehow climbing onto the fence and peeking over it were told to get down.  Rather a shame I thought as the music needs young people to carry it on.

Not that Stefan Ulbricht is an old man I hasten to add.  He clearly has a passion for this style and was a recipient in 2009 of the Clarence ‘Pinetop’ Smith award for his talents.  (‘Pinetop’ is said to have coined the term ‘Boogie Woogie’).  The talent and enthusiasm were on display in the sunshine for sure, and the trio made a pleasant afternoon even more so with their clear love of the genre.  My mind did wander a bit though I have to say, and led me to a conundrum and a question posed by my favourite Cockney Pop act from the ’70’s Chas and Dave.  Chas Hodges was a pretty mean boogie pianist himself and posed the question:  The music started out as ‘Boogie Woogie’ and over time became just ‘Boogie’ music.  What, asked Chas, happened to poor Mr Woogie?  Why is there not a ‘Woogie’ piano style?  The duo even made a song about it.

My question unanswered and my beerglass empty I headed back home.  Next Sunday (27  September) is seemingly the very last concert of the SWB Summerfestival at Parkrestaurant with Jazz and more from a band intriguingly called ‘The Bad Goats’.


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