Edinburgh Festival magazine praised Simon Kempston thus:
“Brilliant and quite unique guitar skills, Dundee has undoubtedly produced one of Scotland’s most poetic and expressive musicians”
Simon’s December appearances at Bonn Folk Club have become a much-loved Christmas tradition for folk music fans in the City for some years now. How did the mercurial Scot come to be such a popular visitor? and how did a man who has played concerts in 35 different countries come to describe our City as having ‘The best folk club outside of Edinburgh’? All this and more was answered when the current enforced break from touring through Covid19 restrictions meant Simon was in one place for long enough to answer my questions.
“I got ‘A’ listed on my latest record on the Radio in Holland, so it’s going out to the masses which has been great you know. There are still massive Blues elements in there though and I’ll always have that Blues guitar no matter what I do”
Good news then for the many fans of British Blues musician Laurence Jones who paid his early musical ‘dues’ touring alongside top Blues musicians like Johnny Winter and Walter Trout. With a new Band, a new CD and a new beard there was a lot to talk about when I met Laurence after his recent concert at The Harmonie.
My ‘go-to’ Man for all things Jazz is Thomas Kimmerle. Aside from being a wizard of the saxophone with his own 5tet and playing in the Bonn Jazz Orchestra, Managing the Aloisiuskolleg Big Band, leading the Bonn Jazz Youth Orchestra and running the website jazzinconcert.com, Thomas also finds the time (phew!) to put together the JazzTube Festival. Bonn locals will be familiar with the sound of Jazz wafting out from local stations from late August. JazzTube has clearly caught the imagination of the public in the eight years since Kimmerle and Stadtwerke Bonn began the venture. Here, Thomas gives his view on the coming JazzTube Season that starts on Friday (23 August)
For David Fisher his recent concert at Bonn Folk Club was only one in a very long line of concerts abroad. David was on the road for three years, busking from City to City and even Country to Country. He even found time to publish a book about his experiences – ‘Busking Beyond Borders’ is a fascinating and often humerous account of those three years. Before the show, and despite the noisy rehearsals of fellow musicians readying themselves for their floor-spots at at Dotty’s Sports Bar, 3songsbonn managed to grab a short interview with David.
On 20.04.2019 Barry Barnes from Manchester is the guest with his band Sinnerboy at the Hotel Klosterhof in Euskirchen.
No one evokes the sound and sheer emotion of a Rory Gallagher concert like Barnes. He developed his enthusiasm for the guitar playing of the enigmatic Irishman at an early age. At that time, in 1969, Rory still headed the band TASTE. After Barry had visited a show it was clear for him THIS was his music! From then on he honed his guitar playing skills and internalized the technique of Rory Gallagher.
After Rory’s death in 1995, Barry’s life also changed. He organized the first tribute concert in Manchester and regularly played the music of his hero in the bars and pubs of England and Ireland.
When he turned 50, Barnes decided to quit his normal job and devote himself entirely to the music of Gallagher. It’s unlikely that any other musician has played so many tribute concerts, or performed so often at what is probably the largest Gallagher tribute festival in Ballyshannon (IE). With his band Sinnerboy, Barry Barnes is the most sought after name to recreate the Gallagher sound at festivals throughout Europe. Whether Greece, Austria, Italy, Norway, Spain or Germany, the list could be endless.
Barnes interprets Rory’s music in his own way, close to the original but never as a cover, clearly Rory, but unmistakably Sinnerboy. What he does comes from the heart, acoustically alone, electrically with Sinnerboy, as a guest with other bands or with guests at his own show. Barry Barnes embodies, just as his great role model did, the buddy from next door with whom you can drink a pint, talk about music, down-to-earth, authentic, uniquely sympathetic.
In advance of the show in Euskirchen, guest 3songsbonn contributor Peter Reimer asked Barry Barnes about his life taking the music and magic of Rory Gallagher around Europe: INTERVIEW HERE
You only have to look at the smiles onstage to know that these guys really are a Band of Friends. Gerry McAvoy and Ted McKenna were both a part of the Rory Gallagher band – Gerry since it’s formation in 1971 where he became such a mainstay that Rory never got round to even having him sign a contract (it was usually down to a short phone call from Rory asking “Gerry, do you fancy coming in to record an album/go on a tour…” Ted joined for several excellent 80’s Gallagher albums. The missing ‘Rory’ part of the Gallagher tribute band was found in the form of Dutch guitar wizard Marcel Scherpenzeel.
On 17th September the Bonn Jazz Orchestra will have a very special guest in its ranks. Lymington born trombonist Dave Horler was a part of the highly respected BBC Radio Orchestra and has played with Ella Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby to name just two legendary vocalists. in 1980 he joined the WDR Dance Orchestra, which later became the WDR Big Band, and still managed in that busy career to bring daughter Nathalie into the world – better known now as Internationally successful singer Cascada. 3songsbonn caught up with Dave ahead of the Bonn Pantheon concert and asked him about his career to date.
On 16 June there is a musical anniversary to celebrate as the Jugend Jazz Orchester Bonn (Bonn’s Youth Jazz Orchestra) will be playing a concert in the Pantheon Theatre to celebrate its 5th Anniversary. 3Songs. Here the JJOB’s co-founders Thomas Heck and Thomas Kimmerle give their thoughts on the anniversary, the concert, and on the Orchestra itself.