St Louis Blues with Mike Zito & Jeremiah Johnson

 

There’s a tattoo with the Gateway Arch on his arm, but you only need to hear Mike Zito play to know his origins.  Jeremiah Johnson is a new name in Bonn, but also a native of St Louis, Missouri.

Not only do the two men have a common home, they also have a common ability to play the Blues from their heart-sleeves.  If you missed them on Sunday at the Harmonie, then you really should have the Blues.  Here’s why…

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Kai Strauss Kills It In Bonn

Kai Strauss could be a Tatort Kommissar with his battered leather jacket and sunglasses.  Just back from id-ing a murder case down by the Rhine.  In fact, he has a softly spoken voice with a faint lisp that suggests otherwise.  Then again, he does come up with murderously relentless cutting guitar solos.  Many of those who know a good bluesman when they hear one were at the Harmonie – sadly a lot were not.  You missed a blinder if you stayed home.

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Bonn The Next Generation…

No, it’s nothing to do with Star Trek. In Bonn ‘Next Generation’ is a new concert series aimed at giving young local musicians with their own songs a chance to shine at a top venue. This time around it was the opportunity for David Nevory, Melchi, and Peanut Butter Spirit Lover (PBSL for short!) to show what they could do in front of a large and enthusiastic audience at The Harmonie.

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Musical pearls from the Oysterband in Bonn

 

Long before there was Skinny Lister and the Dropkick Murphy’s.  Even before there was the Pogues, there was a ‘Folk Punk’ movement.  Okay, it wasn’t so ‘in yer face’ as the later incarnations, but The Oysterband were up there singing crafted lyrics from a fire in their collective bellies.  Now into their 43rd year, the fire is more a smoulder than a furnace, but after a half hour listening to the band on Thursday at Bonn Harmonie it was clear that the songs still matter – to both band and fans.

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Fresh Air at Folk Club #99

The official theme was fresh air, but Bonn Folk Club has got so popular that it would have been a theme anyway as a packed Dotty’s welcomed special guests Tangoyim and a lively mix of styles and ages amongst the musicians, lucky enough to snare spots in the ever increasingly popular sets – including the son of a popular visitor.  As always at FCB, the unexpected is to be expected…

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Duke, George, Cole & Astatine at the Harmonie

She calls them her ‘Holy Trinity’ of music, and I’m sure Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Cole Porter would all have enjoyed Astatine‘s excellent concert at Bonn Harmonie on Sunday.  Put together some of the best Jazz composers of the 20th Century and a talented band of musicians and you really can’t go wrong.  As Mr Gershwin would have observed – “Fascinating Rhythm’!

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