Wolfgang Scheelen has quite an impressive list of musicians that he’s appeared with, including Ray Charles, Fats Domino and Dizzy Gillespie. On this fine Summer afternoon in Bonn, Scheelen is laying down dome mean blues harp solos with Bastian Korn on piano and Benny Korn on drums, aka The Step Twins. The SWB Sommerfestival is back with sunshine and music at the Parkrestaurant Rheinaue
Girls certainly do wanna have fun. This girl does at any rate. Erja Lyytinen has been a top-line purveyor of quality slide guitar for some years now, but she still hits the stage with an infectious enthusiasm that would put many a newcomer to shame. Since her last appearance at Bonn Harmonie there is also a new disc to enjoy – ‘Another World’ with it’s slick packaging is a sign of slick playing onstage. Is that good or bad? There are unlikely to be any complaints about the standard of playing or the enthusiasm from tonight’s equally enthusiastic audience for sure. It’s a very different Erja Lyytinen though from the one I saw here some years ago with Davide Florene, Roger Innis and Miri Mietinen, where the line generally greyed only between Blues and Rock. The current Erja Lyytinen set blurs into Jazz, Pop and Soul with heavier Rock overtones than before.
Bonn Folk Club 109 was a Singers Night. So why was almost every inch of ‘stage’ floor filled with Harps? Because it’s Folk Club, that’s why – where, outside of the rule ‘No Amplification’, nothing is written in stone,and everything is the better for it. Join me for meet #109, in the event room at Dotty’s in Dottendorf.
Around ten years ago The Ortszentrum Dottendorf looked set to close its doors. The solution it seems was for the citizens themselves to look after business. The idea of a cultural centre was put forward and now, as a new decade begins, the Bürgervereins Dottendorf/Gronau e.V. seems to be on the crest of an ever growing wave as The first Dottendorfer Jazznacht show of 2020 with Dad’s Phonkey proved on Friday.
Well, he certainly left it late this year. The new CD was pressed just days before this year’s December evening at Bonn Folk Club. Regulars will know that Edinburgh singer-songwriter extraordinaire Simon Kempston made a ‘crossroads-like’ deal with John Harrison some years back – a secure guest-spot in return for a new CD. Since 2011 in fact, Simon has been a ‘regular’ in the literal sense of the word at the Club. With copies of a new CD neatly arranged on the merchandise table, same procedure as every year, all is right with the World at Dotty’s Sportsbar. Folk Club number 108 can begin!
What is there left to say about Julian Sas at Bonn Harmonie? Fact: this was his 18th appearance here since 2003. Fact: Most of those shows have been sold out within a few days. Fact: Julian Sas is one of Europe’s best guitar players. Fact: I’ve taken pictures of Julian’s devoted, mostly dutch, followers regularly over the years, and the faces don’t change. So what makes these people ‘fans for life?’. It’s Saturday night on a sunny November night in Bonn. Wintertime. Inside the Harmonie though it’s a hot and balmy evening – it’s Sas time…
The new disc ‘Means of Escape’ was recently nominated for Best Album of 2019 in the European Blues Awards, as well as being included in Joe Bonamassa’s personal Spotify Playlist of music from musicians who are keeping the Blues alive. It was recorded in as few takes as possible says the English guitarist behind it, in order to keep the live feel. Here we are then to test out just how well that live CD vibe aimed for by Danny Bryant matches a room full of Blues fans on a chilly November evening at The Harmonie
For those not wanting to wait (and those not wanting to pay 70+ Euros for a Kunstrasen ticket next July) this was the perfect Deep Purple presentation. Some compromise is inevitable of course, but how much and where? As Purpendicular With Purple original Ian Paice on drums step onto the Harmonie stage we are about to find out…